Article on BJJ Nutrition Basics from Science of Skill

Nutrition in general is pretty important, but particularly so for athletes like us (it’s ok if you have a hard time grasping the notion that you are an athlete- I struggle with the same issue). Science of Skill is here to help, and has a post offering general nutritional tips for your average grappler.

Check it out, let me know if you have anything to add- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

 

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Happy Friday: Wonky Week Edition

Other than our great seminar on Wednesday, this week has just been…off. And not just for me, for everyone it seems.

Here’s a song to commemorate this week, with the hope that next week will be a lot better.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Our Seminar with Rodrigo Pagani

So last night we had a seminar with Black Belt/Head of the Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu Association in Brazil/really nice guy Rodrigo Pagani, and in short, it was pretty great. The techniques he taught weren’t terribly fancy with almost superfluous movements, and definitely made sense, which was a nice middle of the road sort of approach: something that the higher belts could sink their teeth into and learn, while the lower belts could follow along, and not feel like they were just dropped into the middle of an advanced algebra class when they just mastered addition and subtraction.

Pagani’s (current) signature guard, the curu curu guard sounds like it’s going to be super crazy and overly fancy (like Berimbolo part 2, Electric Boogaloo) but rather still had that same style of staying fairly efficient and still giving you a lot of options to counter a variety of possible reactions from your opponent.

So, overall it was a great seminar, and I’m really looking forward to working on some of the stuff he showed us.

 

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Awesomeness Abounds

Hey everyone!

So there have been some great things happening IRL which I’m happy to share with you:

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Photo Borrowed from Foobooz: click on the photo to read the article

My teammate’s cafe, Little Spoon is now open! Hooray!

 

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We’re having a seminar tonight with Rodrigo Pagani, where we’ll learn the intricacies of the “Curu curu” guard… I have no idea what that entails, but I’m sure it’s going to be interesting.

 

Also, Jen Flannery of  50/50 BJJ just got her black belt! Another hooray and congratulations!

 

And finally, I’ve been shopping around for gi’s recently, and in my searches I found this gem:

 

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…Oh yes, my friends, that’s exactly what you think it is.

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Shell and all, courtesy of the brand Modern Flow.

So, that’s all the good news (and great finds) I have: how are you all doing? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Drilling BJJ: The Fine Line Between Assisting a Partner and Smothering Them

I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there before- your instructor goes through a technique, you partner up with someone, and when it’s time to practice what was just shown, their eyes become as wide as saucers- their face filled with nothing but fear and panic. They turn into a deer in headlights, looking at you with an expression that screams “what now?”

So you try to coach them through the technique- put your hand here, your foot there, it’s ok, just breathe….

While we all want to help one another, you have to proceed with caution when it comes to this sort of thing. In the effort to be helpful, you run the risk of becoming too helpful, and the student learns to depend on you to teach them the technique, not the instructor. Which especially in the beginning can be sort of the blind leading the blind.

No one’s doubting your good intention- but it’s sort of like cheating with online scrabble with one of those websites (Not that I ever did such a thing…so-siree-bob…) You get stuck in a move, and so you refer to an outside source. Just this once, you tell yourself….

And then the next thing you know, you are checking the site for the best letter combination before you even attempt to play your turn. What was supposed to be an occasional assist becomes a crutch that the person depends on, which is also detrimental to you. The time that would have been spent drilling or practicing, you are essentially reteaching a technique. Or, what if this is the one technique that they actually fully understood, but now you two have gotten into such a routine that you automatically start to teach the person- there’s also the possibility that you don’t fully understand the technique yourself, and could be guiding the person to do something incorrectly. Again, not intentionally, but that’s why you have an instructor that’s (usually) higher ranked to show you these techniques.

As a training partner, it’s fine to point out one or two things, but you really shouldn’t walk your partner through a technique from A to Z: if they have that many questions about what was being taught, don’t be shy, call your instructor over and have them go through the technique. A) it’s kind of their job and B) the ultimate goal is that a relationship of trust is built between the student and teacher, so your training partner learns the technique through the instructor, and not a jiu jitsu verison of “Whisper Down the Lane”.

Have you been in that situation? How did you handle it? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Eddie Bravo Invitational AKA Battle of the Beards

So I saw photos from the Eddie Bravo Invitational on my Facebook feed, and it appears the uniform for this event was either a super graphically designed rash guard or a full beard, preferably both. Check out the BJJ Legends facebook page to see what I mean.

It looks like it was a pretty interesting event- I didn’t watch the event because, well, to be totally honest I sort of forgot about it. I did take a look at some of the photos however, and it appeared to be an interesting event.

Did anyone else watch the event? What were your thoughts? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day!

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Happy Friday: A Praise Chorus Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve been listening to a lot of Jimmy Eat World lately, particularly their song “A Praise Chorus”

So join in and rock out with me, and have a great weekend everyone!

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Jiu Jitsu Class: Not Always About the Fun Stuff, But the Important Stuff

Our coach has mentioned this phrase a couple of times this week: last week was a little more acrobatic in terms of techniques, but this week the techniques we are going over are undoubtedly in the “basic fundamentals” column.

I think there’s a pressure sometimes for instructors to “teach to impress” students: not always intentionally, but there is a pressure show them the cool, fancy stuff to keep their interest, keep them coming to class. I’m not trying to critique anyone’s teaching style, but we should keep in mind that the basics, or what people would consider “un-fun” are absolutely  essential. That super cool flying/twirling submission isn’t going to mean anything if you don’t understand the fundamentals that go along with it. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but you didn’t learn to run before you learned to crawl, so why would jiu jitsu be any different?

Also, I believe in learning the basics even if you consider them tedious, because when it comes time in either rolling in your gym, or out in competition, sure the fancy stuff is cool but particularly in the beginning I feel like the basics are really the moves that make the most difference. Again, you have to understand the basics of what you are doing to apply the special grip/circumstance/weight placement to make the fancy stuff really work.

Those are just my two cents. Have a great day everyone!

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Hump Day Madness

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the super late post: had an early work meeting and all other sorts of hump day madness.

How’s your hump day going? Planning on training tonight, or are you one of the early risers who takes a morning. If you are, I am in awe of your ability to function in the morning…

Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Jiu Jitsu and the Impracticality of Extreme Weight Loss Measures

This post is inspired by a recent conversation with a family member. I don’t know if many people get these comments, but this person expressed concern that I was going to extremes in order to lose excess weight for some tournaments coming up, particularly not eating and other extreme methods of weight loss.

The comments were meant with the best intentions, but it’s hard for people sometimes to understand that a lot of times these extreme measures are avoided as much as possible (well, for me anyway) and regarded as a last resort, because truth be told they’re pretty impractical when it comes to jiu jitsu tournaments- well the bigger tournaments like IBJJF ones, anyway.

When a jiu jitsu player attends a tournament set up more in an IBJJF format, you don’t typically weigh in the night before- you are required to weigh in the day of, really minutes before you are supposed to compete which more often than not makes extreme weight loss tactics a last and desperate measure. Wrestlers usually weigh in the night before (from what I understand) so they can exercise more extreme weight loss strategies since they have time to eat, drink, rest, replenish what they have lost. However, relatively there’s little time in between weighing in and actually competing in jiu jitsu, so a competitor doesn’t have as much time (if at all) to rehydrate or regain their energy.

So for a jiu jitsu player, it makes more sense for them to take a longer, steadier approach to weight loss. Sure, it makes them a killjoy at your Friday Night Hot Fudge Sundae/Pizza Party around tournament training time, but they are doing what they have to in order to lose weight in a sensible way where they will still have energy for when its go time. Sure, there are some lower ranked competitors who will still attempt these extreme tactics, but after time they learn that it’s a hell of a lot easier on their bodies to take this longer approach then to starve themselves, run around in sauna suits, and other sorts of crazy weight loss methods.

 

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