Sunday, January 15, 2012

Committed if Convenient?

Hi Friends,

I’m noticing a disturbing trend amongst our society these days that has spilled over into the BJJ arena. It seems the “Fast food” mentality that has been developing over many years in America has, for some BJJ practitioners, overlapped and crept into many of their training regimens. This idea of entitlement to train only if convenient for one’s self will only hinder progress and progression in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (or any other aspect of life for that matter). To provide some perspective I’m going to tell you a little story about my BJJ journey, in a time when Jiu-Jitsu was sparse in the US at best, let alone in the state of Washington.

After a business trip to Texas with my father which served as my first introduction to BJJ (also my first time meeting my close friend and mentor Allen Mohler), I returned home and immediately began researching training options locally. At the time, there was one school in the state with a Brazilian, black belt instructor. At that time the main BJJ hub for Brazilians to go teach in the US was California (still partially holds true today), mostly in part to the sun and beaches! So, it seems fate was on my side at the time, since the odds of being blessed with a Brazilian instructor, let alone a black belt, here in our very rainy state were minimal at best.

I was so committed to the art that the thought of a 40 minute drive to the gym, and another 40 minute drive back home didn’t make even me flinch. I can honestly tell you that the thought of switching to another school didn’t even cross my mind over the several years I trained at that location. Unfortunately, after a couple changes in ownership as well as several changes of instructors, the school shut down. There was a lull in training, many months of getting together in random garages with my buddies and trying to stay sharp on what I had learned up to that point. 

Fast forward a few months and a Ralph Gracie affiliate school opened up in Burien. I jumped at the opportunity to train again and took up a 2 hour round trip to resume my training again. At that time I was training BJJ four days a week and lifting weights the other three (ah to be in my early 20’s again). Shortly after beginning my training in Burien, and after many years of frustrating dating experiences, I met my beautiful wife Amy. So, I then added the following to my routine (did I mention I was working two jobs at the time?):

  • Get up at 5am to open Emerald City Smoothie in Burien by 7am
  • Work at ESC until noon and then commute over an hour to Lakewood
  • Work at Pierce College in Lakewood from 1-5pm.
  • Wait at Pierce College for Amy to get out of her classes at 7pm.
  • Go to Amy’s house to have diner, watch movies, and hangout until 2am
  • Rinse and repeat 5 days a week

During all of the aforementioned activities I still maintained my training schedule and eventually earned my purple belt in BJJ. So, I’m guessing by now you guys are hopefully able to understand why you get a tilted head, raised eyebrow, or scoff from me when I hear how tough it is to make it to class at such and such time, how far it is for you, etc.

The point I’m trying to make is that if you are truly committed to something you will find a way to make it work! However, if you are only going to be committed when it is convenient to do so, you are guaranteeing that you will fail. Believe me when I tell you, I could have come up with many great excuses if I had wanted to waste my effort on it. To progress and improve at BJJ you need to be consistent, part of being consistent is being committed to improving. Even if you are only able to train one day a week, if you do so consistently, you will see steady progress. You can’t take an all or nothing approach to your training “Well, I can only make it in a couple of times this week, so I’m going to just wait and not come in until next week when I can train more”.

In closing, I realize that everyone has other commitments outside of BJJ, including but not limited to, family, work, etc. With that said, I also know that all of us are able to MAKE time for the things we want to do. If you are truly serious about your training and love the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, find your resolve and MAKE time to train. See you on the mats!


Coach James Foster

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A friend in need!


I’m writing this because a close friend of mine is facing a very trying time in his life right now. My friend’s name is John Munn and he’s the owner of a wonderful local comic book shop called Comic Book Ink. Comic book shop, why is coach writing us about a comic book shop you say? Well my friends, the majority of you probably don’t know this but your coach is a pretty big “nerd”! I’ve been involved in drawing and collecting comic books since a very young age and continue to do so to this day. That isn’t the extent of my nerdiness, but as much as I’m willing to share at the moment :) Anyways, back to the topic! John is facing the threat of having to shut his business down after many years (since October of 2002) of providing wonderful service to the local community. The doors to Comic book Ink will shut if they can’t pay off their remaining debt of $4,500 (down from $110,000 as of August 1st, 2010) to Diamond Distributing by August 22nd, 2011. For those of you who don’t know who Diamond is, they are the ones that the comic shops have to order all of the new comics from each week. That only scratches the surface of what’s going on, so after you read this email please take a minute to read the information at these links as well: and also check out the Comic Book Ink website at

I’ve been friends with John since 2002 and can honestly tell you he’s one of the most selfless and caring people you will ever meet. He has made many sacrifices in his personal life to try to keep the shop running over the years, so that the “nerds” like me have a great place with a family atmosphere to get our weekly comic book fix at. I consider John and the employees at Comic Book Ink to be more of an extended family than acquaintances, just as I feel the same about my family at FBJJ. John has been very supportive of me as a fellow small business owner since I first started teaching BJJ many years ago. He always remained positive and encouraged me to pursue my goal of running my own school one day. I would not be sending this email or asking for your help if this wasn’t an issue that is very close to my heart. John deserves much success in life, because let’s face it, truly selfless, caring, and honest individuals as himself are becoming more of a rarity these days. He has a family (wife and two sons) to take care of and it would be truly devastating if he were to lose his main source of income. As if all of this were not stressful enough, on August 10th John’s father lost his fight with a deadly disease and passed away, leaving John and his brothers to settle his affairs and put the life he left behind into order.

If there is any way that you could make any contribution to help John keeps his doors open I would be thankful from the bottom of my heart. Furthermore, I will donate a 1 hour private lesson ($120 value) for every contribution that is made through:  All you have to do to receive your private lesson is bring me a copy of your contribution receipt and we will get the lesson scheduled. No contribution is too small in my opinion, everything helps! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email or shoot me a call/text. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this, oh, and please keep the whole “nerd” thing between us :)

"Coach" James Foster

Owner and Head Instructor

FBJJ Enterprises, LLC | Foster Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Phone: 253-208-3270

Monday, June 27, 2011

The day has finally come!


One of my students has broken into the big leagues and will be fighting at UFC 132 this coming weekend! His name is Jeff Hougland and he runs my affiliate school in Enumclaw, WA called Combat Sport & Fitness. Jeff is on an impressive 8 fight win streak and definitely earned his shot in the big show! Checkout the article from when the news broke at

This weekend will mark a couple of "firsts" for me. First off, I've never been to Las Vegas so I'm interested to see if it's all it's been cracked up to be :) Secondly, this will be my first time cornering a fight at the UFC. I'm incredibly excited and can't wait for Jeff to show the world what he can do! For those interested, you should be able to watch Jeff's fight on the streaming prelim fights that will be showing on the UFC's facebook page. Make sure to tune in and thanks for all of your support! OSS....

Coach Foster

New class schedule: Effective Friday, July 1st.

Here is our new class schedule which will start this Friday:

MONDAY10:30am-11:30am BJJ 101
5:00-6:00pm Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (ages 7 & up)
6:00-7:30pm Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
7:30-8:30pm BJJ 101

TUESDAY10:30am-12:00pm Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
5:00-5:30pm Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (ages 4-6)
5:30-7:00pm Submission Grappling (No Gi)
7:00-8:30pm Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

WEDNESDAY10:30am-12:00pm Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
5:00-6:00pm Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (ages 7 & up)
6:00-7:30pm Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
7:30-8:30pm Intermediate-Advanced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Blue Belt and above only)

THURSDAY10:30am-12:00pm Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
5:00-5:30pm Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (ages 4-6)
5:30-6:30pm Competition team training
5:30-6:30pm Women's Jiu-Jitsu and Self Defense
6:30-7:30pm Basic Striking

FRIDAY10:30am-12:00pm Submission Grappling (No Gi)
5:30-7:00pm Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
7:00-8:00pm BJJ 101
7:00-8:00pm Adult Open Mat

SATURDAY10:30am-12:00pm Submission Grappling (No Gi)
12:00-12:30pm Adult Open Mat
12:30-1:30pm Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (ages 7 & up)
1:30-3:00pm MMA Basic Training (Mixed Martial Arts) No Gi

SUNDAY10:30am-12:00pm Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
12:00-1:30pm BJJ Drills and Fundamentals
1:30-2:30pm Competition team training
2:30-3:30pm BJJ 101
2:30-3:30pm Adult Open Mat

*The Competition Team Classes are only open to active competitors. For more information, view the class descriptions below.

Friday, March 18, 2011

FBJJ and CSF (Lotus Club Jiu-Jitsu) competition accomplishments so far.

Team Gi
Champions for
The Revolution 03.13.10
with 153 points

Combined Overall Champions
The Revolution 03.13.10
with 200 points

Team No-Gi Champions for
The Revolution 07.17.10
with 77 points

Combined Overall Champions
The Revolution 07.17.10
with 200 points
16 – 1st Place winners

Adult Team Gi Champions for
The Revolution 11.13.10
with 100 points

Adult Team Combined Overall Champions for
The Revolution 11.13.10
with 130 points

Youth/Junior Team Gi Champions for
The Revolution 11.13.10
with 73 points

Youth/Junior Team Combined Overall Champions for
The Revolution 11.13.10
with 106 points

Adult/Master Team Gi Champions for
The Revolution 03.12.11
With 84 points

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Side control escape variation: Using the shoulder walk

Here are some key details to help you build the knowledge you need to escape side control/cross body position!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Interesting way to think about the guard position. *F-Bomb warning*

There are some good concepts in this video about how you should perceive the guard position in order to not become complacent when you are there:

*Warning this video does contain many usages of the "F-Bomb"*

Coach Foster

Friday, February 11, 2011

My favorite keylock/american setup!

Hey Guys,

I just thought I would share this video with you. I've had success with this on people of all belt levels, sizes, etc. Enjoy!