Instant Gratification “Run” in Philly

I happened across this story yesterday- Philly is debuting a 0.0 mile race next year, basically participants sign up for the “race” so they can engage in the post race partying. While I’m all for people getting down and enjoying themselves, the idea of celebrating an accomplishment without actually accomplishing anything really doesn’t jive well with me.

You would think under this logic I would have an issue with people receiving medals for being the lone person in a division, but it’s not quite the same situation. Most of the time you train and prepare for a tournament, and if it’s a blind registration, you arrive with the full expectation that you will compete in a match. Even if you are the sole person in your division, there’s an expectation that (hopefully) you’ll fight in the open. This, however…. it’s like a costume party, but with a sports theme. Really guys, you can’t even make a half-assed jog around the block with booze at different stations along the way?

What do you guys think? Do you like the idea of the instant gratification run, does it rub you the wrong way, or are you just indifferent to the whole thing?

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

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BJJ and Drilling: Feel the Rhythm, Feel the Rhyme

Whenever we emphasize drilling in class to lower belts, two things happen. First, we talk about how students should find a rhythm to their repetitions.

And second, I pretty much always have to suppress the urge to make a Cool Runnings reference.

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What do we mean by finding a rhythm? It’s really about putting the steps together. Often, particularly among lower ranks, you have the independent parts of a technique down: you understand what you are doing, and maybe even why- but your movements are jerky, and sometimes the technique falls apart because the next piece requires momentum or movement from the previous piece to bring it all together. So we tell students to try to put elements together to make a more smooth execution of the technique.

Does this mean you have to zip through drilling like you just took an entire bottle of Adderall and chased it down with a Redbull? Absolutely not.  If you are not familiar with the technique, and you don’t feel comfortable drilling at a fast pace, don’t. If you’re not confident in the technique, there’s a very high chance there are small (and sometimes large) details you’ll miss if you focus more on speed than execution. It’s more of an encouragement to take the building blocks you’ve been given and create one cohesive piece. And, the more you practice the technique as that one cohesive piece, the more confidence you’ll have to execute it in live training and competition.

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Psychology Today and an Article on BJJ

Well, this is kind of interesting: someone wrote an article for Psychology Today regarding his theories as to why jiu jitsu is gaining in popularity and becomes so addictive.

Most of his points I definitely agreed with: the “runner’s high” achieved while training, the sense of accomplishment, the almost meditative mindfulness, the close knit community- I think they all contribute to the addictive nature of the sport. I’m not entirely sure I’m on board with his point about how we crave human contact: I understand the point he’s trying to make, but in total honesty there are other grappling sports out there which also require as much human contact, and have not become as popular as jiu jitsu has in recent years.

Anyway, check out the article and let me know what you think. Otherwise, have a great day everyone!

 

 

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Bjj and Drilling: Your Body Remembers so You Don’t Have To

When it comes to jiu jitsu, there’s frequently (if not almost constantly) an emphasis on drilling- which some may find boring. And understandably so- the mind craves stimulation and variety, and really doing the same thing twenty, thirty, a hundred times in a row doesn’t really satisfy that desire.

When it comes to live rolling however- the part the same people who dislike drilling look forward to- that’s when the benefits of drilling really come into play. There is a limited window for certain techniques- opportunities that can fly right by if you don’t have the muscle memory to act on them, to allow your body to react to the opening before you create a conscious thought about it.

I remember one of my old judo coaches said once, “by the time you can think of the name of the throw you want to do, the chance to do it will already be gone”.

So, if you want to get better at rolling, you need to put the work in through drilling, to create the muscle memory of performing whatever technique it is, so you can start to work on looking for opportunities to use it.

Have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday! Grappler Christmas Gift Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

For anyone who is scratching their heads over what to get the special grappler in their lives, Meerkatsu put together a nice guide to give you a few ideas.

Check it out, and have a great weekend everyone!

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Science! No One Apologized for Flu Shots

I don’t know if I’m having a bad allergy attack or caught a bit of a cold, but I’m feeling run down and my sinuses feel like heavy little water balloons….in my face.

On a related note, according to IFLScience reports that the CDC did not apologize for the flu vaccine or admit that it didn’t work.

I had no idea this was a thing, but apparently it’s a thing. Apparently the CDC mentioned something everyone should have learned in their highschool biology class, that viruses evolve and mutate pretty quickly, so there may be some slight variations to the flu virus you contract vs what you were vaccinated with, possibly reducing the efficacy of the vaccine. The media apparently took this news to mean that the vaccine doesn’t work, which is a complete (and sort of dangerous) lie.

According to the site: “Even if H3N2 has drifted and the vaccine does not provide maximum protection against that particular strain, it may still be able to lessen the severity of the illness. Additionally, the vaccine also protects against other strains that a patient may encounter, so health officials are still recommending the flu shot to anyone who has not yet received it.”

The more you know, folks.

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‘Tis the Season to Get Chubby…

Between now and New Years, it always seems like it’s the time to get a little plump around the middle…. Only to hate ourselves when tournament training starts up again. Between dinners at the homes of family and friends, to the cookies you make for the office…

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I say enjoy yourself in moderation, definitely still try to make it in to roll (even if you have to literally roll yourself into the academy) and if possible, try eat healthy (or relatively so) during this time of gift giving and face stuffing.

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Like this bacon butternut squash soup I made from scratch: delicious, filling, and I totally didn’t hate myself after eating it- yay!

So remember, enjoy the holidays, don’t beat yourself up too badly if you fall off the wagon a couple of times because it’s bound to happen, but keep in mind that you don’t want to put yourself too far down the hole when it’s time to workout and get back into competition shape again.

Have a great day everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

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Updates on Jiu Jitsu Worldwide League

The Jiu Jitsu Worldwide League has been updating their site, so I would say if you are interested in possibly competing in these tournaments you should periodically check their site.

It looks like they are adding to the rules, updating the weight divisions, and some other updates: I personally would like to see where they are holding the other 11 tournaments throughout the year: again, we’ll just have to check back and see.

Anyone keeping an eye on this as well? I’m interested in seeing how this progresses. Check it out and let me know what you think. Otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Jiu Jitsu On a Boat

Does your spouse/partner complain about how they want to go on a cruise, but you hate the idea of spending days away from training? Well now you can have the best of both worlds:

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A number of top jiu jitsu guys and gals have organized a cruise specifically for grapplers, to take place from August 23rd to the 29th.

So while your significant other is sipping on cocktails and soaking up some sun by the pool, you can take advantage of sessions provided by instructors such as Andre and Angelica Galvão, Felicia Oh, and both Saulo and Xande Ribeiro.

Compromise- it’s a beautiful thing.

If you’re interested in the trip, check out the Grappler’s Escape website.

Is this something you could imagine yourself doing? Something you could imagine talking your spouse/partner into getting on board with (that pun was totally intended, by the way). Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday! Flashback Edition

Happy Friday everyone! It’s been almost 3 weeks since I received my black belt, and I am still expecting someone to tap me on the shoulder and ask for the belt back, realizing their mistake. It’s crazy to think 8 years ago I started this whole journey, and just how different I’ve become because of it. I was clumsy, shy, and now I’m…. still clumsy, still shy now and again,  but there’s been so much of a difference it’s kind of amazing.

So, since I’m in this reminiscent sort of mood, I have some good news and some back news for you: The bad news is you’re going to get a lot of photos of me.

The good news however is that I seem to look better as I get older- just like Sean Connery! Yes!

 

In the beginning….

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This was about 2 to 3 months before I started jiu jitsu. As you can probably see, while I was an active person, my diet wasn’t exactly the healthiest… Fast forward about a year later (I’m terrible at keeping track of these things):

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This may have been the first seminar I attended, I’m not entirely sure…

 

 

 

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Definitely not the first in-house I did but you know, nothing wrong with a nice action shot.

 

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First ever IBJJF Tournament. Fun fact, this year was the first time I have been back to the Long Beach Pyramid (for Master Worlds)

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The first documented  podium “Katie Face”- trust me, there are a lot of Katie faces, but this one is tournament specific.

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Some more IBJJF tournaments… And developing a sweet streak of gray by this point (I found my first gray hair when I was 15- it was bound to happen).

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some training, training and more training….

 

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And more tournaments- at this point I’ve learned I can’t look straight ahead when my hand is raised because I’ll probably have a weird look on my face.

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Much like Sarah in this photo, while continuing on our journey we learn to enjoy the ride, laugh a bit and appreciate the time we share with teammates and other fellow jiu jitsu players.

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Back to what I was saying: you may think by the time you get your black belt you’ll be super cool, or know everything, or something of that nature…

 

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(this was a photo that was taken for work along with some headshots, btw, not how I hang around the gym out of my gi)

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Nope, you’ll probably still be an awkward, somewhat more knowledgable panda, and you have a ton more to learn. That’s one of the great (and for some, frustrating) things about Jiu jitsu- it’s a sport/martial art that constantly evolves, so there is always something more to learn and take away from your time on the mats.

Hopefully you enjoyed (or at least survived) this trip down memory lane. Have a great weekend everyone!

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