The 7-5-3 Code

753CodeThe 7-5-3 Code is a philosophy developed by the Valente Brothers in the tradition of providing warriors with values by which to live their lives. It is largely inspired by the samurai principles of Bushido, the code of moral principles observed by ancient Japanese warriors. Bushido (literally: “the way of the warrior”) was originated to  temper the everyday violence of the samurai’s training and vocation with a moral code of conduct by which they could conduct themselves. The samurai developed this code to keep themselves from straying too far from a righteous path.

As practitioners of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we face humility every time we step on the mats, and this tends to help ground us in our daily lives. Still, studying a code of conduct can further cement within us the principles of right living.

The 7-5-3 Code is broken into 3 sections: The 7 Virtues of a Warrior, The 5 Keys to Health, and The 3 States of Mind.

The 7 Virtues of a Warrior

The 7 Virtues of a Warrior help to guide the jiujiteiro in his interactions with others. With these virtues in mind we can hope to do right by others and ourselves, and not allow our training to falsely inflate our ego, sense of power and importance.

  • Rectitude
  • Courage
  • Benevolence
  • Politeness/Propriety
  • Honesty/Sincerity
  • Honor
  • Loyalty

The 5 Keys to Health

The 5 Keys to Health assist us in ensuring that we are at our most physically fit, so our training does not suffer.

  • Rational Nutrition
  • Sensible Exercise
  • Efficient Rest
  • Proper Hygiene
  • Positive Attitude

The 3 States of Mind

The 3 States of Mind guide our inner relationship, so that we will think with clear mindedness and wisdom.

  • Zanshin – Alertness/Awareness (can also be considered as Preparedness)
  • Mushin – Clear Mind
  • Fudoshin – Emotional Balance

This code aims at helping to give us a guiding set of principles to assist us with our interactions with others, our health, and our own self-awareness. As with other systems of thought, it is good to contemplate the ideas it contains daily until you understand and internalize the concepts.

More in-depth articles exploring each of these areas will follow, but in the meantime, check out this video of Gui Valente talking through the 7-5-3 Code:

Stephan Kesting – Jiujiteiro and Educator

Stephan KestingFor anybody that has been around Jiu Jitsu for any length of time, chances are that they’ve stumbled across Stephan Kesting’s site On his site, Stephan hosts a wealth of grappling information. He has established himself as top-notch educator in the art of Jiu Jitsu.

A little bit about Stephan, in his own words:

“I’m a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, and have been doing martial arts for over 30 years. I am also a certified instructor in Erik Paulson’s Combat Submission Wrestling, a black belt in Kajukenbo Karate, an instructor in Dan Inosanto’s Jun Fan JKD, Maphalindo Silat and Filipino Martial Arts program. I’ve also studied Japanese Judo, Russian Sambo, various Chinese Kung Fu systems, Brazilian Capoeira, Muay Thai Kickboxing, and many other martial arts.” – Stephan Kesting –

With a lineage like that it’s no wonder that he’s become such a well known name in the field of martial arts. To our good fortune he has published articles in various magazines, participated in podcasts, published e-books, filmed DVDs, created mobile apps, designed apparel and posts a very entertaining series of YouTube videos (you can check out his channel here: Stephan Kesting YouTube).

He recently teamed up with Jiu Jitsu great  Emily Wok to bring you the DVD series “How to Defeat the Bigger Stronger Opponent“. This video series is aimed at the smaller jiujiteiro, providing details to masterfully leverage the techniques in jiu jitsu to help you overcome a much larger opponent.

He also teamed up with Brandon ‘Wolverine’ Mullins to bring you the second part of that video series, “How to Defeat the Bigger, Stronger Opponent with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Series 2“.

Stephan Kesting is one of those rare individuals who has not only excelled at this art form, but has given back immensely to the community at large. If you haven’t had a chance to check out his stuff, do yourself a favor and dig in.

I’ll leave you with this humorous video from the man himself:

Gracie Jiu Jitsu Master Text

graciemastertextLong known as the torch bearers of the modern martial arts world, the Gracie family revolutionized the sport of fighting, and are largely responsible for the popularity of Mixed Martial Arts today. To re-hash a commonly known history, Gracie Jiu Jitsu had it’s beginnings when a frail young man named Helio Gracie began teaching Judo at his brother Carlos’s academy. Helio found himself in a position to conduct his first class when Carlos Gracie himself was running late to teach. Carlos’s student, Mario Brandt, was waiting for his lesson, and rather than have him wait, Helio took over for his brother in his absence.

From that first lesson Mario asked if he could continue lessons with Helio, and Carlos agreed. The rest, as they  say, is history.

Carlos, being a small man, and ill of health, realized that the athleticism needed to be effective in the Judo/Jiu Jitsu currently being taught would need to be modified if it were to work for a person with his physical traits. From that came many years of experimentation, which gave birth to Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

It is rare to have a martial arts master alive in your lifetime who is able to create such a practical and useful fighting form, and even rarer still that this master would release a book showing in great detail the secrets of his trade. If for no other reason, that makes this book worth owning for any martial arts enthusiast.

But aside from that, this book stands on it’s own merit. Thomas De Soto captures all of Helios instruction in vivid detail. The photography beautifully distinguishes this book as the collector’s item that it’s meant to be.

The Gracie Master Text goes into great detail in over 1,200 photos, covering stand up defense, ground defense, how to deal with an adversary with a weapon, mount, guard, and more. There is even an appendix covering the Gracie diet, which some members of the Gracie family have been quoted as saying is at least as important as their Jiu Jitsu practice.

The price on this book varies wildly, so I would recommend grabbing one as soon as it’s even remotely within your budget. I got mine, and I couldn’t be happier to own such an important piece of the Jiu Jitsu legacy.

You can find your copy an Amazon here – Gracie Jiu Jitsu Master Text