Your First Time at Red River Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (RRBJJ)? This is what you should know…

Trying something new can be very intimidating and maybe a little scary. I’d like to put you at ease and assure you that this is a family oriented environment and very friendly. Jiu-jitsu is a gentle sport that was created for the smaller, weaker opponent. So, no, you will not get beat-up in our gym, no, you will not get punched in the face and no, you will not get kicked. Jiu-jitsu teaches a person to grapple using their own weight and technique to submit an opponent. I guarantee that you will be so hooked with RR BJJ that you will be upset at yourself for not coming in earlier. The benefits of Jiu-jitsu are endless. People join for many reasons, some want to lose weight, others want to learn self-defense, others want to one day fight in MMA. Whatever your reason is, you will have a lot of fun!

Now, first give us a call at (940)257-1302 to set up a date and time, OR simply fill out the contact form at the top of this page.
So for your first time at Red River BJJ, here are some things you should and shouldn’t bring to class.

What should I bring?

  1. Yourself at least 10 minutes early.
  2. Bring an ID if you’re an adult or your parent with an ID if you’re a minor.
    a.  If you are a minor (17 yrs or less) bring your parent, they have to sign a waiver for you.
  3. Comfortable clothing that you can move in
    a.  Preferred: T-shirt, sweats, board shorts, biker shorts, spatz etc.
    b.  Ladies, in BJJ there’s a lot of movement which can make our clothing move in odd ways, so wear biker shorts under your shorts and sport bra under your shirts to prevent wardrobe malfunctions. Yoga pants work well also.
  4. Water/water bottle
    a. It’s important to stay hydrated. If you don’t like water fountain water, bring your own.
  5. No shoes on the mat, so bring flip flops or shoes that are easy to take off and put back on.
    a. We literally roll on the mats, so if you get off the mats and go to the restroom, we expect you to wear shoes so you won’t bring the funk onto the mats.
  6. Hair ties
    a. If you have long hair, it gets annoying to fight with your or your partner’s hair during practice, tie it up.

What should I keep at home?

  1. No jewelry to include piercings of any sort.
    a. Torn earlobes are not fun, and cleaning up blood isn’t either. Better to be safe than sorry.
  2. Tank tops on no-gi days
    a. Please be cognizant of others. Sweaty armpits are nasty, keep them covered please.
  3. And the most important thing: Your Ego
    a. At one point or another we all get tapped by a smaller and what we thought as a weaker opponent. Don’t underestimate the power of Red River BJJ, and don’t take it personal. You will be there one day remembering your first day. Always stay humble.

See you soon!

Women’s Self-Defense

Professor Ben first started to train when we were stationed in Anchorage Alaska in 2004. He found a Gracie Barra (pronounced Ba-ha) school on the opposite side of the city. He began training and that was all he would talk about. Growing up, I trained Wah-Lum and Shaolin Kung fu, so martial arts have always had a special place in my heart. So the day he asked me to join Gracie Barra, I didn’t object. I had absolutely no clue what Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was, so I decided to go check it out. On a cold Alaskan evening, I walked in Gracie Barra and see about 8 sweaty men rolling on the mat in pairs, no girls.  A pair of guys stopped grappling (rolling), discussed the moves and started again. Before they began, one of them lays on his back, opens his legs and tells the other “come here”. The other guy kneels between his partner’s legs, while the guy laying down on the mat, wraps his legs around his waist. (this is what you call the guard position) From there they proceeded roll with each other or grapple…did I mention they were sweaty? At that moment I thought to myself “there’s absolutely NO WAY I will try this with a bunch of sweaty and stinky guys!” I did a 360 and went back out the door. Ben continued to practice BJJ, and eventually earned his purple belt. We moved to Wichita Falls Texas in 2009, and he began to teach on base. After a year, of hard work, we decided to open a school off-base, so in Feb 2011, we opened Red River BJJ. During that time, I deployed and had to attend 30 days of training at Ft Dix, New Jersey. One of the prerequisites was to complete an Army Combatives class. Every girl in my class was as apprehensive as I was years ago. The army obviously gave us no choice and after a grueling Army style “warm-up”, they showed us a few basic positions, chokes, and how to defend them. The army instructors made it a point to pair males with females, since they believe that if a female is attacked, more than likely it would be a by a man. One of the girls had a nervous breakdown (she had been attacked before) and at that moment I realized how important Jiu-Jitsu can be for a woman. If being attacked, what position does the man want to get to? In her guard (see the picture)


If the woman is a BJJ expert, what position does she want him to get to? In her guard! Why?  Well, in BJJ there are a handful of positions that are the dominant positions.  The guard is one of them.  From the guard, you can control the person with your legs, arms, hands and from there, many submissions (attacks) are possible.  In RRBJJ we drill self-defense techniques that include compromising positions during a struggle like the guard, mount, what to do if you are stuck on the bottom, if somebody takes your back, etc. Many of these positions might be uncomfortable at first, but are very crucial to a woman’s (or anybody’s) self-defense. Plus, drilling them will become second nature. Recently, a female navy sailor proved this by defending herself from an attacker during a deployment using Jiu-Jitsu. Click on the link below to read more about it.

If you or a loved one would like to learn more on self-defense, call us now to schedule your free intro class!


Vanessa Lozano

Preventing Injuries in Jiu-jitsu

I have learned that when you don’t prepare yourself before you get on the mat, like taping your fingers, wearing a cup, taking jewelry off, etc. could result in injury to you or your training partner (s). I have also learned that a lot of injuries in jiu-jitsu happen when the practitioners go too fast and become sloppy with their technique. Unfortunately, in jiu-jitsu, you have to be fast and agile when transitioning between movements in order to get the advantage. But we don’t get there miraculously, we have to practice a lot and most of us are sloppy at the beginning. We have to start somewhere, right? So, how do we prevent injuries in jiu-jitsu? Here are few tips that could help.

Sports Tape—use it

Have you ever been to a BJJ tournament and seen competitors with tape all over their fingers? Well, during Gi training we use lots and lots of grips. We grip each other’s lapels, grip the sleeves, grip the pant legs, our belts, etc. So what happens? Your fingers get raw from the gi material or one of your fingers might get trapped in a gi and…ouch! The tape is used to help alleviate the raw knuckles and able to continue gripping. I have used the tape as well, to remind me not to use the finger that I injured the day prior. When you roll, you will realize how much your adrenaline will pump, and you will not notice things hurt until after you are done. So, prepare before you get on the mat.

Cups – use them

I have been the culprit a few times, of accidentally kneeing, or kicking my training partner in his family jewels. I’m a woman, so I have no clue how bad it hurts, but by the fetal position they curl up in, I am certain it is pretty darn painful. So, if you have a cup, wear it. Not only will you roll more confident especially when we drill things like passing guard or kneebar from open guard, but if you happen to do the north/south position, you might hit your opponent in the forehead with the cup. Ok, that might not get you a tap, but it’s kinda funny and painful—true story.

Mouthguards—get one, or two

Mouthguards can be a bit uncomfortable at first, but let me tell ya, it’s more uncomfortable when you accidentally bite yourself while rolling or get hit on the mouth. Again, like any other sport, accidents happen, so it’s better to be prepared. I have taken a few accidental elbows/knees to the mouth, bitten myself and gotten hit on the jaw. They all hurt. Why? Because I wasn’t wearing a mouthguard! Shame on me! I was told that some dentists actually make custom mouthguards, so I called and asked. Now I have my own custom made mouthguard and it’s not bulky or uncomfortable. If you don’t have insurance or the time to wait on a dentist appointment, you can find all kinds of inexpensive mouthguards at your favorite sports store. They can be molded to your own teeth using hot water. It’s worth the few dollars spent and your dentist will love you for it!

No Jewelry on the mat

Now-a-days, who doesn’t have piercings? Yeah, they look cool and make you look tough, but what if they get caught and ripped off? I bet you will cry like a baby, I would! This is why all body jewelry has to be taken off before getting on the mat. We just don’t want to see a grown adult cry. Piercings include any ear, nose, belly button, face and other piercings or jewelry that is attached to any body part. Same thing with rings, earrings, necklaces, ankle bracelets, toe rings etc. I have heard so many horror stories about wedding rings getting caught and tearing off skin. Don’t be that guy.

Ladies, no metal accessories in your hair

I know we all love to be cute, especially when practicing a man dominated sport like jiu-jitsu, we want to feel pretty, wear cute clothes, nice shoes and do our hair. But on the mat, you only need one thing on your hair, a rubber band or scrunchy to keep your hair off your face. Bobby pins can come off and poke somebody or yourself. We can be cute off the mat, and kick butt on the mat.

Trim those nails

We’ve all been there, you go to grip a lapel and accidentally hit your opponents face, with your claws. And now there’s a scratch on their face, and what’s worse? There’s blood/skin, on you! What if you get scratched by somebody’s toe nail? Gross! Scratches aren’t the only problem with long or untrimmed nails, have you ever bent a nail backwards? Can you say OUCH? You go for a grip, your opponent breaks the grip and as he does, your nail promptly bends backwards also causing a sharp pain to shoot up your arm. Eeeee!! Please trim those nails…all of them, before coming to class.

Calm down, breathe and work the technique properly.

I’ll admit it, I became awesome at defending my neck, my arms etc. That was my BJJ life my first year. I couldn’t get to a submission because I was too busy defending. So when I finally got to an armbar, I got so excited and give it all I got. Unfortunately for my opponent, it wasn’t very pretty. During my excitement, I cranked so hard I overextended their elbow. So the moral of the story is, focus on setting the move first, if you are doing it properly, it will be very difficult for your opponent to move, then go for the submission…crank/pull/extend S-L-O-W-L-Y until you get the tap. There is absolutely not need to crank, especially during drilling! I have a strong belief that getting a tap is not the biggest priority during training if you can’t get there with proper technique. My priority is to set the submission using good technique (distribute your weight properly, position your arms and legs right etc.) and then finish the submission steadily.

So there it is, my take on preventing injuries. You are not limited to this list so please use good judgment and if you are in doubt, ask your coach/professor. See you on the mats!!

Top 10 Reasons why you should train at Red River BJJ in Wichita Falls, TX

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Train at Red River BJJ in Wichita Falls, TX

10.) Compete at Tournaments – If you like competition, this is the place to prepare yourself for tournaments.  Join our Competition Team and travel with us to the surrounding areas for Tournaments!  Stop by and check out our walls, they are full of medals and pictures from competitions!! 

9.) Self-Defense – With Red River BJJ we will teach you the tools you will need to defend yourself. If you apply the teachings to your life, BJJ becomes something that can help you if you find yourself in a bad situation.

8.) Lose Weight – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a workout like no other! You will find yourself pushing your body & mind to new heights while learning the techniques and most importantly, by having fun.

7.) Top Notch Instruction – Our instructors and staff are here for you. We are committed to making sure that you learn the fundamentals and techniques that you need to thrive on your journey with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we invite experts from out of town, like Bruno Bastos to teach a few times a year.

6.) Join the Family – As a member of RRBJJ you are not JUST a student. You are FAMILY! From the instructors, to students, to families of students; you are one of us and a member of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community. We are all united under the life principles of the BJJ lifestyle and are here to help support you. We would love to have you join the RRBJJ family.

5.) For ALL ages! – Some may think, “I am too old to start something like this.” Not true. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is something that anyone can do, no matter what your age is. The RRBJJ family is diverse and we range from kids, teens, and adults of all ages.

 4.) Learn MMA style striking and boxing – If you watch UFC, have you noticed that most fighters use Jiu-Jitsu?  One of the styles used by Anderson Silva (UFC Middleweight Champion), Georges St-Pierre (Welterweight Champion),  and all the top contenders/top names is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Current undefeated Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey has defeated all her opponents with arm bar submissions!  We can show you different variations of those arm bars!

3.) No Bullies! – All our students learn that Jiu-Jitsu is a self-defense art and is only used as such.  Our students are NOT bullies and will NOT bully others.  We show them safe and easy techniques to stop bullying if this is happening to them.  Arm you children with the secret weapon of BJJ! 

2.) Discipline – Learning the art of BJJ makes you learn more about yourself.  Learning the techniques requires dedication and discipline.  You learn to focus on a goal, drill the moves to perfect them, and achieve those goals when you least expect it!

1.) Friends – Finally, the #1 and most important reason you should join RRBJJ is to learn an effective tool that can be used in life today, tomorrow, or when the need arises!  At Red River BJJ you learn to share your knowledge with other students no matter what belt.  Everybody learns from each other.  Members of RRBJJ are truly passionate and love what they do.

Bonus Reason… It’s called positive peer pressure!  We want you to give our school a try for FREE!  If you or a friend is on the fence about trying a class, go for it!  You will not regret it!  We are confident you will use that positive peer pressure to drag your friends to the next class once you’ve tried it!   

If you are interested in learning more about Red River Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the RRBJJ Family we are here to answer any questions you have. Stop by our school or contact us at:

Red River BJJ, LLC.
2526 Missile Road
Wichita Falls, TX 76306
[email protected]

Self Defense for the entire family

Self-Defense for the Entire Family in Witchita Falls, TX

Have you ever worried about how you can keep your family safe from bad people?

Sure, they might be safe around you, but what happens when they have to go to school, work, or your daughter has her first date?

You can’t stay with them 24/7 to protect them from bullies, perverts, robbers etc.

Well, look no further!  Our coaches at Red River BJJ can arm your loved ones with a secret weapon…Jiu-Jitsu!  Call now to schedule your FREE Intro Class and claim your FREE uniform!  Don’t miss the chance to experience the Best Martial Arts in Wichita Falls, TX!!