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VERBAL TAP (Episode 55) with Amechi Akpom and Matt Kirtley

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Raf's Recollection | Although Kev and I have very little to offer the jiu-jitsu community, we are fortunate enough to have friends who are making really cool contributions to the sport.

On this BJJ-heavy installment of Verbal Tap, we talk with two people who are doing amazing things to improve and modernize the sport that we all love so much.

BJJ Training Journal

BJJ Training JournalIf you’re anything like me, you try as hard as you can to keep records of your BJJ training, but it doesn’t always work out right.  Sometimes you forget the techniques that you’ve used during training, you have a hard time trying to recall the exact steps your instructor showed or, even worse, you go days without updating your records.

Our pal Amechi Akpom is trying to eliminate those problems. On February 8th, he will launch a new app targeted at BJJ practitioners like you and me called BJJ Training Journal (available on all iPhones).

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 8.57.49 PM

In a Verbal Tap EXCLUSIVE we get Amechi to take us through the app (and the accompanying website on how you can keep records of your mat time, how many times you submit your training partners, and even how you can keep a digital log all of your notes and techniques that you utilize during training.

And even if you’re lame and don’t have the use of an iPhone (like me), you can still sign up and use the Beta-version of the website over at

On the podcast, I mentioned to Amechi that I will be blogging about my experience using his website over the next month.  If you are vaguely interested in reading how bad I am, I highly encourage you to set up an account over at and then friend me here.

If you train with me, go ahead and sign up so you can keep a log on how many times you tap me out.  And if you even remotely like jiu-jitsu, you’re gonna want to sign up so you can really start improving your game.

Over the next month and a half, I'll try to make things fun and interesting!

Aseopian Media

As much as I would like to call Matt Kirtley a nerd, I happen to know the man can break my arm with relative ease (see the video above).  But Kirtley’s nerdiness comes in a form many of us can relate to: devotion to the world of jiu-jitsu.

Matt’s a black belt (under Eduardo de Lima) and gives us a lot of cool insight into his latest project with beloved Verbal Tap guest, Marshal Caper (of Artechoke Media).  These two awesome BJJ guys are now working on a sweet Reverse Omoplata from Crucifix Instructional.  The instructional is the first planned to be released in conjunction with Artechoke’s new ebook 3-D Jiu-Jitsu: An Introduction to Thinking Conceptually.

3D Jiu-JItsu is an online ebook (you can view it right here for Free.99) that utilizes multimedia platforms to demonstrate armbars, arm drags, and single leg take downs.  The book combines Marshal’s penchant for thorough description with animated GIFs on how to do the moves and Matt’s guidance and jiu-jitsu badassedry.

While 3D JIu-JItsu is currently up and running, the guys are looking for funding to complete their  Reverse Omoplata Instructional.  They’ve got a campaign up at IndieGogo and are offering some pretty cool perks to those who contribute.  Give it a look, and definitely help these guys out.  If this project does well, they’ve got even more in store for you all (as they outline in the video below).

Magic - RafIn fact, there was one perk that Matt kindly extended to myself and Kev.

Some within the BJJ community know Matt as the guy who made a set of trading cards for elite level BJJ Practitioners.  Somehow, we were able to get him to make a couple cards of “Magic” (see what I did there, please don’t sue us Hasbro) for Kevin and yours truly.

Awesome, right?

(That’s not a statement, I’m aMagic - Kevinctually asking you.  Are these good?  Accurate?  I'm clueless here)

I have no idea how that game is played, but I think I’m goblin?  Kevin, however, has never looked better and looks like an evil wizard from the Smurfs.  So kudos to our pal, Matt.  I can now tell my grandchildren one day that, yes, I once had a collectable trading card made about me—and, no, I still have no idea what any of it means.

Don’t forget.  3D Jiu-Jitsu is the shit and go contribute to their IndieGogo immediately.

But Wait, There’s More


As you may have guessed from the preview video above, I am not happy with my BJJ Podcast Nemesis, Paul Moran.  Upon hearing that the news that Matt Kirtley had been booked on both our show and Open Mat Radio in the same week, I might have gone on a small (but justified) rampage by podcast’s end.

Should you care to listen to my meltdown, you can find it around the 1:14:07 mark of the podcast.

And if for some reason you want to listen to whatever it is Paul is passing off as an “interview” with Kirtley, you can head on over to his website and let your ears burn in agony.  I challenge you all to let us know who really had the better interview (you hear that Paul!).

As always, comments, likes, and shares are always appreciated.  Happy training, Verbal Tap fans.