Adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

We use a 16-week BJJ curriculum cycle based on the following 10 foundational positions:

1. Standing
2. Open guard
3. Closed guard
4. Half guard
5. Turtle
6. Side control
7. North-South
8. Knee-on-belly
9. Top mount
10. Back mount

 While there are an infinite number of positional variations, escapes, advances, and submissions within these ten positions, we use this foundation to help students build their own individualized BJJ game plan. We generally start the curriculum "cycle" at the #10 position (the worst position for the bottom player) and move backwards along the positional hierarchy until reaching neutral position #1.  

BJJ Curriculum:

Week 1: Back mount
Week 2: Top mount
Week 3: Side control
Week 4: Side control
Week 5: North-South
Week 6: Knee-on-belly
Week 7: Closed guard
Week 8: Closed guard
Week 9: Half guard
Week 10: Turtle
Week 11: Open guard
Week 12: Open guard
Week 13: Standing
Week 14: Full game
Week 15: Standing
Week 16: Full game 

What to bring/wear

At a minimum,  students should bring a long sleeve sweatshirt and pants. We have loaner Gis and belts.

If you have them, bring the following:

  • BJJ gi (white preferably) & belt
  • rash guard
  • compression shorts
  • flip flops 
  • mouthguard
  • wrestling headgear
  • towel
  • water bottle

What not to bring/wear:

  • shoes/socks on the mat
  • athletic cup
  • jewelry 


BJJ Rules


Rockaway Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (RBJJ) is an affiliate of Fabiano Sherner Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (FSBJJ). RBJJ’s primary BJJ instructor, Professor Udelhoven, is an IBJJF-registered Black Belt under Master Fabiano Scherner. Master Scherner and Professor Udelhoven’s BJJ lineage begins with Mitsuyo Maeda and Carlos Gracie (see: ). Due to our lineage, the RBJJ BJJ curriculum below focuses on sport jiu jitsu, as opposed to self-defense jiu jitsu which is more commonly known as Gracie Jiu Jitsu (GJJ). For a brief description of the differences and divergence of BJJ and GJJ, see:


Because RBJJ’s BJJ curriculum focuses on sport jiu jitsu, students must recognize its limitations in a self-defense context. Generally speaking, there are no headbutts, striking (punching, slapping, elbows, kicking, or knees), small joint manipulations, hair pulling, eye gouging, groin or throat strikes in sport jiu jitsu.  As such, students are not training to employ or defend against such techniques which may be necessary in a self-defense situation. In addition, some sport BJJ techniques are not desirable in self-defense situations as it focuses almost solely on grappling and large joint and choke submissions. Differences between sport and self-defense application of techniques and positions will often be pointed out during classes.


Given the above, RBJJ GI, No-GI, and open mat classes, will follow the IBJJF rule set (see: Digression from this rule set must be pre-approved by Professor Udelhoven. 


Adherence to the IBJJF rules accomplishes several things: 

  1. Creates a common understanding among students about what is allowed;
  2. Standardizes our training with other FSBJJ affiliates and most other sport focused BJJ academies; and, most importantly,
  3. Protects students, allowing them to train/roll very hard while reducing (not eliminating) the risk of injury, and thus giving them a greater likelihood of having a long and enjoyable BJJ journey throughout their life.


We ask all students and instructors to familiarize themselves with the IBJJF rule set. If there is ever any doubt, seek guidance from Professor Udelhoven.


Of special note for all Gi and No-Gi BJJ:

  • There is no striking or striking feints. 
  • Wrist locks, applied carefully, are allowed by all belt levels when rolling with known teammates. When rolling with new students or students from another gym, only blue belts and above may apply wrist locks. 


Of special note for all Gi BJJ:

  • Heel hooks are not allowed at any level.
  • Knee bars and toe holds are allowed by brown and black belts and allowed by blue and purple belts rolling against brown or black belts. However, blue and purple belts have the right to choose not to apply or have applied to them knee bars or toe holds while rolling. 
  • Knee bars and toe holds are not allowed by white belts or by other belts when rolling with white belts.
  • All other legal submissions cannot be avoided unless the opponent is injured and notifies the opponent as such beforehand. 


Of special note for all No-Gi BJJ:

  • All legal submissions are allowed at blue, purple, brown, and black belt.
  • White belts and teens cannot use or be submitted by heel hooks, knee bars or toe holds. 


Professor Jay Udelhoven, BJJ Instructor 

Martial arts bio:

  • 1978-1984: Middle/high school and college wrestling.
  • 1985-1988: US Army/Wisconsin National Guard combatives.
  • 1994-1996: American Karate under Pete Bell, Paola, Kansas.
  • 1994-2000: Kansas/Florida law enforcement defensive tactics.
  • 2010-2011: Mixed martial arts and no-gi BJJ under Coach Aric Wiseman @ Lynnwood & Shoreline MMA.
  • 2011-2014: Gi BJJ under Professor John Sylvester @ (what is now) Kindred Jiu Jitsu.
  • 2014-present: Gi BJJ under Professor Fabiano Scherner @ American Top Team Portland (received black belt in December 2020 -- registered black belt with International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation).
  • 2022-present: Gi BJJ @ Rockaway BJJ.

Coach Tim Irving, BJJ Instructor
Martial arts bio:

  • 2009-2020: Gi BJJ under Professor Matt Thornton at Straight Blast Gym in Portland.
  • 2020-2021: No-gi BJJ under Coach Phil Schwartz at 10th Planet Portland. 
  • 2022-present: Gi BJJ @ Rockaway BJJ (received brown belt December 2022).