Mastering the Crucifix is Live! Did You Get It Yet?

Mastering the CrucifixMy big crucifix and reverse omoplata instructional is now out at! Buy your copy for $39.95 or read an entire chapter for free first.

So what do we call this–book, e-book, video, website, or what? It has written explanations, multi-angle animated GIFs, and video instruction. You can access it as a responsive app-like website on any modern device with a web browser. You can download it in ePub format for your e-reader. You can ask questions on any page to get feedback directly from the author. It’s the Swiss Army knife of BJJ instructionals.

If you backed us on Indiegogo, you should have received an email with your login credentials. Let me know if you didn’t or you had problems. You can log in anywhere on or within Mastering the Crucifix itself.

Now that I’m no longer spending all my time working on getting this out, I’ll get back to updating my site and podcast. Expect behind-the-scenes looks at what it took to get up and running (I did all the web development) and previews of upcoming projects.

Buy Mastering the Crucifix now.


Indiegogo Success!

The Indiegogo goal was surpassed by over $1700 and we’re moving on to the next stages of production! Thank you for your support!

All the filming gear has been ordered and is en route now. Marshal and I are picking dates and securing filming locations.

Later this week I will leak more seminar footage as a preview of what’s to come. The full seminar is being edited together now, and we will be contacting those who purchased it once we have the delivery method finalized.

More announcements coming soon, but for now I just wanted to thank everyone who made this possible and let you know we’re hard at work!


Listen to me on Verbal Tap Cast!

Raf and Kevin had me on their show Verbal Tap Cast to talk about BJJ, MTG, D&D and our course my latest Indiegogo project. Listen to the show here.

Looks like my appearances on Open Mat Radio sparked a lover’s feud between Raf and his archnemesis Paul Moran.

Don’t forget to check out 3-D Jiu-Jitsu: An Introduction to Thinking Conceptually! This is the test model for what we hope to do with my crucifix and reverse omoplata instructional.

Marshal is giving away 10 copies of his latest Victory Belt book on his site!


I Need Your Help!

Today’s a big day! Today I launch the Indiegogo fundraiser for my crucifix and reverse omoplata instructional and Marshal D. Carper releases his free instructional 3-D Jiu-Jitsu: An Introduction to Conceptual Thinking.

Watch this video to learn why we need your help and why we’re releasing 3-D Jiu-Jitsu for free.

Super Magic New “eBook” Format

Take a look at a page of 3D Jiu-Jitsu, like 2-05 Ankle Grip Counter. You’ll see a written introduction to the technique, like with all BJJ books. You’ll see moving pictures, a feature usually reserved for the Harry Potter universe, with each technique being shown from several angles with animated GIFs. And to complete things, you can watch a video of the technique being taught, just like in any DVD. This was Marshal’s idea for a new mixed media ebook, and that’s what we plan to do for the crucifix and reverse omoplata that I love so much.

We hope you like the “text + gifs + video” format and how it works across every device with an internet connection. We’ve been testing it on Macs and PCs, iPads, iPhones, Android phones, and anything else we can find with a web browser and a screen. We have more refining to do, but we hope you like the new approach as much as we do.

What Your Support Means

Why do we need help with fundraising? Here’s the story:

Marshal runs a BJJ publishing start-up called Artechoke Media. The BJJ book market has slowed to a halt, and that bummed Marshal out. He has big plans, but so far he’s been testing the BJJ ebook market with Don’t Wear Your Gi to the Bar and now 3-D Jiu-Jitsu.

He’d brought me in as a bona fide black belt to be his first “big” instructional. I’ve had an outline for a crucifix and reverse omoplata instructional for a long time (since that’s kinda my thing), but I was waiting for a cool way to do it instead of just making a DVD. Marshal showed me tests of his “multimedia ebook” idea and I loved it. We got started on my instructional, with him flying me out to Pittsburgh to film it. But after experiencing catastrophic camera failure and trashing everything we’d recorded, then Artechoke losing its web developer, and a drying up of funds, our projects were put on indefinite hold.

That’s where your support comes in. With a successful Indiegogo campaign, we’ll be allow to:

  1. Finish my crucifix and reverse omoplata instructional using the innovative mixed media format pioneered by 3-D Jiu-Jitsu.
  2. Establish the Artechoke Media studio and make it capable of producing future high quality instructionals with more BJJ black belts.

I took over web development, and that’s how 3-D Jiu-Jitsu got finished.

How’s This Different Than Pre-Ordering?

Using crowdfunding like Indiegogo allows us to be fully transparent about where your money is going. Neither Marshal nor I are Mr. Big Bucks. We both work day jobs in addition to training and trying to get this BJJ publishing company off the ground. Your backing will be used to complete this project, and ideally carry us into making more products without the need to run another crowdfunding campaign.

Plus, Indiegogo lets me do cool stuff! Instead of pulling the usual sales high pressure “buy now” B.S., I get to give out bonus perks like discounted 1-year memberships, copies of Kesting’s DVDs, an autographed photo of Kyra Gracie, a guest spot on Open Mat Radio, and even my entire personal BJJ book and DVD libraryTake a look at the perks.

How You Can Help


Listen to the New Podcast!

Last week when I released a 15 minute video on standing up from guard, I let slip that I’ve been working on a podcast too. The first episode is up now. You can hit play below to listen while you keep reading about the new podcast:

Submission-Only vs Points Tournaments

Listen to “Submission-Only vs Points Tournaments” by Aesopian BJJ on SoundCloud

My goal for these podcasts is to answer the questions I receive through my site’s “Ask a black belt” widget (seen up in the top right corner). Each podcast is only between 4-15 minutes, with most at about 8 minutes. I am recording these using my iPad whenever and whenever I have free time. Editing is minimal and I don’t have any music or sound effects or co-hosts. As you can hear from the background noise of cicadas buzzing and birds chirping, I’m often outside in park.

Over 120 questions came in through my site’s “Ask a black belt” feature, and while I tried to answer as quickly as I could (seen here), I quickly got overloaded. That’s why the recording for this podcast are so quick and simple. They wouldn’t get done otherwise. I can record 4-5 of these in the time it takes me to type up my blog post.

Please send me any feedback you have on the podcast. I’m not used to sitting alone and talking to “myself” and my iPad, but I’m trying to work on my radio voice. Let me know if anything distracted or annoyed you so I can try to do better in the future!

If this podcast proves popular, I’ll see about making improvements like generating transcripts, getting better recording gear, seeking out interviewees, and getting listed in iTunes and Stitcher.

Want to do me a big favor?

Since quitting my job and moving to a new state, my funds are getting low. In the past (probably 7 years ago), I’ve asked for donation when I’ve needed help paying for web hosting costs, and now I’m asking again for this podcast.

The basic SoundCloud (my podcast hosting) plan cuts off at 2 hours of audio, which I have already passed. It costs $132/year to upgrade to the Pro Unlimited plan. People often tell me my site helps them more than most DVDs, and I don’t even charge for it. If you’d like to help keep this site going and support the new podcast, please follow the link on this page to donate via Paypal.

Let’s spice up the deal a little. If you donate through Paypal and contact me afterwards, your question will go to the top of my list. You’ll get an answer from me, maybe by video, a podcast, a blog post, or a personal email. Be sure to include which email you used on Paypal and how much you donated.

With your support, I’ll keep putting out new podcast episodes (and videos) on a regular schedule! Here’s what’s coming soon:

Future podcast topics (already recorded!)

  • How to defeat the smaller, weaker opponent
  • What I think of mandatory school gis and Gracie Barra gis
  • How to be less defensive and loosen up in sparring
  • How to spar with higher belts without spazzing or self-defeating
  • Caring for jacked up fingers
  • Hygiene tips to keep you from being a social outcast
  • What to do while recovering from injury
  • How a good gi should fit
  • How to stop being “too nice”
  • If grappling dummies are worth the time and money
  • Earning belts when you only train no-gi
  • Should you be offended if you don’t have a blue belt but are sure you’re awesome?
  • Training without the desire to earn belt rank

I’ll be posting one of these a day for the rest of the week to launch the new podcast. And I’ve got another 15+ minute video ready too!