Brothers in arms: There is no question that in jiu jitsu, the single most important factor in your progress will be the manner in which you train. HOW you train is far more important in determining your rate and extent of progress than WHO you train with. Nonetheless, having good people around you can definitely play a positive role in your development and make progress easier. When I was a student, my big brothers (Senpai) on the mat were Matt Serra @mattserrabjj , Ricardo Almeida @ricardoalmeidabjj and Rodrigo Gracie @rodrigogracie . They were always a huge inspiration to me and the other beginners. Sensei Renzo Gracie @renzograciebjj gave us the directions and the senpai gave us the physical interaction that created progress. This tightly woven sense of mat brotherhood, based upon relative experience and skill level creates a symbiotic relationship between juniors and seniors that helps both. Juniors learn fundamental skills whilst seniors get to practice advanced attacking skills on less skilled opponents as a prelude and stepping stone to applying them in championship situations. This healthy sense of mutual benefit is one of the keys to a healthy and progressive training environment where the skills needed to attain dreams can grow to the required level. Sometimes that mat brotherhood goes beyond the metaphorical level and has a genetic basis – real life brothers Gordon @gordonlovesjiujitsu and Nicky Ryan @nickyryanbjj work hard in preparation for the 2017 world championships. A very big part of the astounding progress of Nicky Ryan is the day to day work of grappling his outstanding brother – after learning to cope with that level of pressure, other assignments can seem easy!