Interview With Wayne Terran (The Fourth Stripe Newsletter)

    Submission Shark Community | Twitter: @WayneTerran

    The Fourth Stripe Newsletter

    Full Name: Wayne Terran

    Age: 33

    Belt Colour: ???

    Professor: Fonseca Brothers

    Short Term Goals: Continue to give brown and hobbyist black belts a headache. Double my newsletter audience by end of 2024.

    Where do you train out of?

    Autore (Los Angeles, US)

    Do you prefer gi or no-gi?

    Right now I’m training more gi due to my work schedule.

    Gi is fun since you can dangle on off people’s lapels and do fun spinning transitions, it’s really my way of making the gi more fun and flashy for rounds with my teammates.

    I love no-gi because it’s more free-flowing and as a non-wrestler, I find wrestling fun.

    Have your instructors helped you in other aspects of life other than jiu-jitsu?

    I’d say no, not because they don’t have anything to offer but because I’ve learned a lot my life lessons in my earlier years when I was training Muay Thai. That’s not to say I won’t be learning anything from them in the future though. Life is long and has a bunch of challenges waiting for us at every corner.

    What are some lessons you learned from jiu-jitsu that apply to everyday life?

    Staying aware of changes.

    Maybe it has to do with transitioning from late 20s into early 30s but you start to see how your life progresses a bit differently.

    You’re just a little more aware of how good times and bad times fluctuate which allows you to identify and address different types of issues.

    For example, if I feel like I’m in a training slump, I’m able to identify why I’m feeling that way. Am I still excited to wake up early in the morning to go train? Do I enjoy studying Jiu-Jitsu in my down time? And I experience stress in other parts of my life? Why am I feeling this ache/pain in my body?

    How often do you train?

    Currently training 4x a week. When competition rolls around, it goes up to 5-6x.

    What made you want to start training?

    I started training various kickboxing in my early 20s including Muay Thai and Savate. I’ve competed, taught classes, did privates, and coached fighters.

    After 13 years of primarily Muay Thai, and seeing that I was approaching my 30s, I wanted a new challenge in the “next chapter” in my life. I always felt like “grappling wasn’t my thing” but I knew I had to give it a shot before I can make that statement…here I am now, I’ve drank the Kool-Aid. But at the end of the day, I’m still a Muay Thai guy.

    Do you plan on training your whole life?

    I don’t plan on stopping. But if for some reason it’s not BJJ, it’s going to be another martial art. I still have interest in Silat/Wing Chun or maybe Tai Chi.

    Perhaps those martial arts would be more appropriate for my body when I’m older. (Anyone out there with experience, please let me know.)

    What’s it about jiu-jitsu that makes it so addicting?

    Probably because there’s an endless amount of “moves” or positions you can play with.

    When we “do something right” (aka hit a submission or pass guard) it’s very rewarding and I’m sure we get a dopamine rush.

    What has jiu-jitsu done for your physical health?

    It’s made me become more conscious of how my body is changing as I get older.

    I know I’m not old, but I’m not young either.

    It’s forced me to pay closer attention to my body.

    I can still invert and play bolos all day, but I’m not going to because I still turn my head to check my blind spots when I drive.

    Has jiu-jitsu benefited your mental health?

    Of course. Not in any major way though.

    It has caused a lot of stress. Funnily enough, it’s not about the competition or nervousness that causes the stress.

    I’m sure like most other people, I’m hard on myself. “I should know that. Why did I make that mistake.”

    But I see these frustrations more as blessings. It’s a good opportunity for us to practice restraint and not beat ourselves up. It forces us to curb our expectations of ourselves.

    And I don’t mean that in a way where we no longer push ourselves, but rather accept who we are, understand why we have our limits, and become realistic with what Jiu-Jitsu is for us.

    For my own personal philosophy, a hobby shouldn’t be stressful. You should be excited to do it.

    And just like my physical body, the mind also needs to be healthy for you to grow in BJJ in a constructive manner.

    Getting both to be align is something special because you’ll see yourself do things you wouldn’t have imagined you could do on the mats.

    If you could restart your jiu-jitsu journey, would you do anything differently?

    We could make a huge list but in reality, it’s part of the learning process.

    What’s your advice for someone that’s never tried jiu-jitsu before but is interested in trying it?

    Don’t just “drop in a class.”

    Set a goal of trying it for 1-3 months.

    That’s because one class doesn’t give you enough of a taste of what Jiu-Jitsu can be.

    The hardest part isn’t the singular class but rather the discipline and the routine maintenance of training regularly and managing yourself through the challenges.

    After you’ve reached your goal (whatever timeline you’ve set for yourself), you can decide if you want to continue.

    Don’t let people “shame you” when you quit.

    This an example of an output-oriented goal, it’s not dependent on how well you do, but how much you do.

    In this case, instead of saying “I’m going to get two stripes in 3 months” you’re saying “I’m going to train 2-3x a week for 3 months.”

    The first isn’t impossible, but there are a lot of variables that you don’t have control over. The second can have a 100% success—you have complete control of the efforts you put into training.

    What’s your favourite move?

    Catching a crucifix or armbar from the turtle position is very satisfying. Most people have the natural instinct to try to catch a single leg when you’re moving on top but I see it as them “giving” me their arm (crucifix/armbar) or head+arm (reverse triangle).

    If you didn’t discover jiu-jitsu, where do you think you’d be now?

    Probably training Silat and continuing to coach Muay Thai…and writing a newsletter about Muay Thai.

    Have any of your training partners pushed you to reach your full potential?

    All the time. I encourage lower belts to be the best training partner they can be and in return, you’ll attract good training partners.

    This is a huge investment opportunity in the long run.

    I’m lucky to have partners that share the same vision, which is simple: be the best versions of ourselves.

    So, we understand if we want to be the best version of ourselves, we have to also give our best to our partners.

    When you were first starting, what was the most difficult concept of jiu-jitsu that you had trouble getting?

    Guard retention. Learning all these different guards were great, but I didn’t know how to set up these guards.

    Perhaps the instructions were also too detailed.

    I learn better by being given a general concept and idea and letting me troubleshoot on my own and reaching out to an instructor when I come across an issue.

    I need to explore things on my own before asking questions.

    But that’s more of a personal learning style and I understand everyone is a little different.

    If you could roll with any practitioner, dead or alive, who would it be?

    I trained at AOJ a bit and was able to roll with Rafa Mendes a handful of times.

    I always make sure to get in a round with him whenever I attend a seminar.

    That’s because I find that my body likes to move the way he moves so I study a lot of his film.

    Being able to roll with him helps me learn first hand.

    If you had to describe Jiu-Jitsu to someone that's never heard of it before in under 5 words, what would those words be?

    Grappling with chokes and joint locks…okay that was 6 words but joint locks can kind of be one word.

    What has been the most memorable moment you've had on the mats so far?

    I think it’s hard for me to pick one moment.

    It’s the collection of moments that I remember most.

    I’m primarily a morning class guy and I like to show up extra early.

    So, it’s always me and my professor stretching and chatting while we waited for everyone else to trickle in.

    This is when we get to connect about stuff outside of BJJ…which led to them asking me for some help on the business side of the gym.

    What makes you want to inspire and motivate others?

    Growing up, I always felt out of place for various reasons.

    I got along with everyone and had a lot of friends, but never felt like I belonged anywhere.

    There was always an internal monologue in my head, not in any bad way but a trail of thoughts or voice is always present.

    And it wasn’t until I started playing sports in high school and started training Muay Thai in college did I get the first feeling of real belonging.

    I was able to channel a lot of my thoughts into the sport.

    Sports allowed me to see the direct relationship between effort and result.

    That’s why I want to normalize training martial arts.

    Not everyone has to compete, not everyone has to be “good.”

    But learning to maintain composure and learning how to learn through kinesthetic movement can be grounding for us as people.

    Was there a difficult moment in your life where jiu-jitsu helped you get through it? If so, please explain.

    To be honest, not really. But maybe the opportunity hasn’t come up yet.

    What is the Fourth Stripe Newsletter?

    The Fourth Stripe is a newsletter designed primarily for lower belts (although upper belts enjoy it too!) to get access to great BJJ resources.

    Whether it’s instructionals, health tips, or just concepts/ideas, anything that could help a BJJ grappler.

    There’s a lot of great material out there in the scattered internet and there’s a lot of fluff as well.

    We all know scrolling social media isn’t the healthiest thing to do and even if your focus is to study only BJJ on social media…it’s built to take your attention elsewhere.

    That’s why I keep my newsletter short and straightforward. It’s written to be read in under 4 minutes.

    The main goal is to provide a place where you can get extra BJJ studying in while also not overwhelming you with too much information.

    One of the biggest compliment I got for the newsletter was that it was the Goldilocks of information.

    What can people expect when they subscribe to The Fourth Stripe?

    It’s not necessary for me to share a technique and explain step by step what you need to do.

    Like I mentioned before, I learn best when presented with a concept and try to play with it before asking more detailed questions.

    I don’t want to spoon feed anyone details unless they ask for it. I don’t want to people to be a carbon copy of whatever it is they learn. I hope they can take what they learn and make it a part of them.

    Those technical details are easier to consume in video form than in reading form. So instead, I’ll link the reader to a cool technique they can watch on their own but I’ll highlight key details that aren’t covered in the video.

    Again, I’m not trying to overwhelm the readers with too much.

    I also share a drill/exercise that they can use to help improve on the technique. The technique is useless if they aren’t healthy and on the mats!

    In addition to a technique and exercise, I’ll share 3-5 additional resources that the readers could find helpful.

    Readers are encouraged to write in--I always respond! And I have quite an engaging reader base so it’s exciting to be able to connect to other people around the world.

    Makes it nice, whenever I’m about to travel, I just send out an email blast and ask for gym recs. People usually respond and invite me to their gym.

    And this is part of the community build I like to be a part of. This is what gets me excited to continue to write the newsletter.

    It looks like you developed ‘The White Belt Training Guide’, what inspired you to create this online resource?

    Pretty simple, when I was a White Belt, I was trying to figure out what I should be learning. A little more structure would have been nice.

    Again, keeping it short and straight forward, it’s a few thoughts on what a white belt can focus on and list of techniques they can reference if they ever forget.

    It’s free and will be continuously updated in the future.

    Where can people learn more about you and your resources?

    Check out the newsletter, you can get it on the website at If you don’t like it, you can always unsubscribe. We can still be friends.

    Wayne's BJJ Newsletter (The Fourth Stripe)

    I also write additional articles and connect to even more resources at

    What would you like to say to everyone that has supported you on your journey?

    Saying thank you wouldn’t be enough.

    When the journey is over, how would you like to be remembered? I don’t need to be remembered.

    I just hope I’ve inspired young folks to face their challenges head on.

    And to look internally to get the most out of themselves, study the past to make the best decisions for themselves at that moment.

    Final Thoughts

    Writing TFS has helped me organize my thoughts and think about the greater community around me.

    I’m also an avid reader. And I feel like there’s less interest in reading these days which is a little sad. I don’t know if my newsletter is going to change that but I don’t believe reading is a dying art. It’s just changing.

    So how we consume reading material must change.

    Future projects for The Fourth Stripe include free Deep Dives of various techniques. These will be consist of very appliable techniques I feel everyone can incorporate into their games. Even if they may not fit someone’s “game,” it’ll translate to other parts of their Jiu-Jitsu.

    And as a special thank you to readers of TFS newsletter, they’ll be getting free access to these Deep Dive studies in the near future

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