Onward to DirtyWhiteBelt.com

Hi folks! After several years of keeping the blog here — and a year or two of doing podcasts and comics — we have a fancy new website designed to keep all of the content together. It also has a new events calendar for jiujitsu and MMA events in the Carolinas and beyond, which should be useful. You can submit events there, too! The site still needs a few tweaks, but everything is a work in progress, right?

From now on, all blog posts and podcasts and whatnot will be at dirtywhitebelt.com. I’ll set up a URL redirect eventually, but for now, please enjoy the new site!


Introducing Dirty White Belt Radio

For a little more than a year, I’ve been doing a podcast. We’ve made 58 shows. Learned a lot. Made more than 60 videos about technique, nutrition, live event coverage and funny things. Plus, the occasional webcomic.

It’s been an amazing year. Now it’s time to take it to the next level — which means a couple of big changes.

First, the name of the show is changing. The show was called the Cageside ConcussionCast, but we wanted a name that’s going to reflect our focus on Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and more broadly the healthy lifestyle associated with jiu-jitsu. The new name of the show will be Dirty White Belt Radio — after this blog. dwbrtempfbcover

(You can also call us “The Artist Formerly Known as The Cageside ConcussionCast” if you want.)

Regular readers might know that the idea behind the “Dirty White Belt” name is this: as my belt gets darker, I always want to retain the white belt attitude of consistently learning. I want to learn forever, and this project is a way to stay on that journey with my fellow travelers.

But that’s not the only big change.

We’re creating a new website which will launch at DirtyWhiteBelt.com that will house ALL the content we produce — podcasts, blog posts, video instructionals about jiu-jitsu, food and nutrition, webcomics, and a unified events calendar for seminars, tournaments, superfight events and MMA fights throughout the Southeast. We’ll also have ways you can support the charities we back, as well as ways to support other local North Carolina brands. Right now, that URL just points at this blog, but that’s going to change soon.


We want you to expect more from us. We’re still going to have the content you’ve come to expect — just more of it and a better version. We’ll always focus locally on jiujitsu and other fighting arts in the Carolinas and beyond, but now we’re going to be bringing in more big, national guests, especially guests with historical significance. (We already have some interviews recorded that I can’t wait to share with you). We’re also going to produce more regular bonus content to go along with the podcast — things like videos and comics.

All of this will be housed at the (currently under construction) dirtywhitebelt.com. We hope to launch the website on Jan. 1, to start next year. And we had so much fun at the ConcussionCast Carnival last year, we hope to do another live event in 2017!

In the meantime, we’re going to slowly transition everything under the Dirty White Belt label. We’re also going to be able to sell advertising, so … if you’re a jiujitsu brand that wants to reach a passionate, smart and good-looking audience, boy do we have that. (Thumbs up, cheap pop).

What does this mean for you, the listener and supporter? Not much, I don’t think. Now begins the process of transitioning to the new name on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and our various social media channels. If you already subscribe to us in one or more of those places, you shouldn’t need to do anything else — and if you don’t subscribe already, please do. And be aware that when you see something from “Dirty White Belt,” that’s us.

Our goals remain the same: to shine a light on all the fantastic things happening in our local scene, and to talk to the great people making them happen; to bring you the best possible interviews with both local folks and legends of the fighting arts; and to spread the word about jiujitsu to everyone who needs to hear it. And everyone needs to hear it.

Thanks for listening, and for hanging with us through this exciting transition!

Happy 4th!

For the 4th of July, I’m in Palau training judo, which was invented in Japan, then flying to China to practice an art invented by Brazilians. Like Tom Paine said: “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”

Happy birthday, America! New post tomorrow.

Why “Dirty White Belt”?

In Feb. 2011, I started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Triangle Jiu-Jitsu in Durham, North Carolina. It quickly began to dominate my thoughts and time.

I told myself that I wouldn’t start a BJJ blog before I earned a blue belt. That happened, and then I took 5 weeks off from work to visit my girlfriend on an island, so I got some time to write.

I loved being a white belt for many of the reasons Andrew Smith notes here: you get to grow and develop and learn. You advance at a rapid pace because everything is new to you. And no one expects you to do anything but get submitted over and over, so hey, no pressure! My instructor, Seth Shamp, says that during your early days in jiu-jitsu it’s your job to see everything and absorb as much as you can. Given that I’m a naturally curious person, I had a blast following those instructions.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to advance in BJJ, and it’s fantastic to be a purple belt now. But I also want to be sure I keep a similar mentality that I had as a white belt:

* You’re trying to learn here. Check the ego at the door, keep an open mind and have fun.

* Every day your instructor and training partners help you get better. Appreciate them.

* If you do well, awesome, but nobody really cares except you and your mom, and you can’t be sure about your mom. Do this for it’s own sake, and because you love it, and because you want to improve.

The old story is that people became black belts because they just kept training, and their formerly white belts just got darker and darker. Hopefully, no matter where my journey through this art takes me, I will keep the attitude that I’m just a dirty white belt. The attitude stayed the same even if the belt changed.

Hence, “Dirty White Belt.” Let’s see where this goes.