Harley Flanagan was the frontman and bassist for NYC’s legendary punk band Cro-Mags. He is also a Black Belt under Master Renzo Gracie and a highly respected instructor. He talks about brawls, riots, NY’s old punk scene and how he got started in BJJ! Click “Read More” for show notes!


  • His life before Jiu-Jitsu
  • Growing up on the lower east side of NYC
  • Being in a punk band at 10 years old
  • Why struggles, pressure and suffering can be blessings in the end
  • Why punk rock spoke to him so strongly as a kid
  • NY in the 70’s and 80’s and the punk shows during that time
  • Shows becoming riots
  • Jiu-Jitsu attracts all walks of life
  • Beginning Jiu-Jitsu in 1996
  • How he found BJJ and Master Renzo
  • Ryan Gracie
  • Being at the Renzo vs Oleg Taktarov fight
  • Street fights
  • Avoiding fights
  • Muscle memory and reflexes
  • The incident that caused Ryan to stop working security
  • How Jiu-Jitsu can improve your social circle
  • The Webster Hall incident
  • BJJ in the 90’s
  • Stylistic popularity in martial arts over time
  • His underground MMA experience
  • The Pummel
  • His style of BJJ
  • Why he loves teaching
  • His current music projects