Happy Friday! Spirit Animal Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

So if I were smoking peyote and going on a spirit quest (yeah, I’m not sure why I would do that either: just go with it), I would want this fella to be my guide.

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This apparently is Zeus, a blind Western screech owl who according to IFLScience  has a condition typically called vitreous veils or strands:

“Eyes are filled with a clear gel called vitreous humor, but sometimes cells or strands of the gel can clump together so that they are less transparent than the rest of the gel. Zeus also doesn’t appear to have an iris or lens, so his lack of eyesight means that he can’t be released into the wild.”

Anyway, he appears to be an adorable little guy. And that’s not even taking into account my bias for owls (they’re my favorite kind of bird).

That’s all I’ve got for today- have a great weekend everyone!

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Metamoris 5 and the Competitor Contest (Sort of)

Metamoris 5 is just a few days away, and one of the competitors, Kevin Casey, had to bow out.

The cool part of that is Metamoris decided to take the opportunity to open the slot to the jiu jitsu community, getting them involved in the selection process for the spot by posting the potential candidates on Facebook and having people like or share who they wanted to see compete at the event- the one with the most likes and shares would take the spot.

Now here’s the sucky part: not that I know the tally, but according to some a competitor was chosen, but he was not the most popular one and therefore should not have been the winner.

It blows, but I’m not terribly surprised. Or maybe it’s just that I’m not that terribly emotionally invested in the outcome. Anyway, who do you guys think should have taken the spot? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Black Belt (!!)

 

 

So on Monday night we had a seminar with Saulo (you all know which Saulo I’m talking about) and at the end we had several momentous promotions- black belt promotions, actually, and I was one of the students promoted.

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It’s funny, and a little weird- it’s something you strive for, but never focus on: first, because that sort of pressure can be overwhelming, particularly in the beginning- and second, because the process of getting to your black belt is just as important as the rank itself. More so, actually. Think about how much you learn when you start training for a competition, how your skills sharpen- all for what, anywhere from 30 seconds to 20 minutes of actual competing? We continue on this journey- we learn, we laugh, we cry, become frustrated, experience epiphanies when something all comes together and finally makes sense for us-it’s all a part of the experience that culminates into preparing you for your black belt.

Earning your black belt is a tremendous achievement to be sure, but it’s definitely not the end of the journey. There are still techniques to learn, positions to drill and commit to muscle memory, more experiences to be had- not to mention more opportunities to teach, and learn from one another. Also, while I am one of the ones who received the black belt, it’s really an accomplishment for the team and the academy in general. None of this could have happened if my teammates weren’t there with me, and I am tremendously thankful for that.

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I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds in store- not only for myself, but for my teammates as well. I’m thrilled not only to progress, but to train with my teammates and see them make the same journey as well.

So, um, in closing- black belt, yay! :D

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Why You Should Always Drain Your (Cauliflower) Ear

Did anyone see this past weekend’s UFC? If so, then you know exactly what I’m about to talk about.

First, let’s go over exactly what cauliflower ear is, just in case anyone isn’t sure (courtesy of Wikipedia, of course):

“Cauliflower ear… is a condition that occurs when the external portion of the ear suffers a blow, blood clot or other collection of fluid under the perichondrium. This separates the cartilage from the overlying perichondrium that supplies its nutrients, causing it to die and resulting in the formation of fibrous tissue in the overlying skin. As a result, the outer ear becomes permanently swollen and deformed, resembling a cauliflower.”

Basically, when the ear receives enough trauma, the skin on the ear will separate from the cartilage and fluid will fill the space. Eventually that fluid hardens into scar tissue and that’s how you get cauliflower ear.

For a number of people this is seen as a badge of honor, if you will, and refuse to drain the fluid that builds in the ear. For those folks, hopefully this is your “scared straight” moment:

exploding cauli ear

Yup, that’s right: this girl was struck in the ear with enough force that her cauliflower ear exploded.

The officials thankfully stopped the match, but really, ew.

I’m posting the video below of the moment (obviously NSFW, unless your superiors are cool with exploding ears):

In short, drain your ears kids- you may think it looks cool now but even if someone isn’t punching at them, cauliflower ear can lead to more complications down the road.

 

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Happy Friday! Fightland Article Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

First and foremost, let’s get this out of the way: Keenan Cornelius is fighting in Metamoris again? No offense to the guy, but he’s really not all that interesting to watch. There, I said it-come at me, bro (or something).

Moving on, there’s an interesting article on Fightland about how Fernando Augusto da Silva, AKA “Tererê” is like the Jimi Hendrix of jiu jitsu- although Tererê thankfully has not met a sad, untimely end (and didn’t asphyxiate on his own vomit, so he has that going for him) the article does cite certain similarities, including the indelible influence each man has had in their respective art.

Check it out and let me know what you think- otherwise, have a great weekend everyone!

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Friendly Reminder About Being Mindful with Your Jiu Jitsu

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Remember kids, it’s harder to break an  old habit than to create a new habit. Be mindful when drilling, work on being as technical and precise as possible, because it will eventually become ingrained into your jiu jitsu.

Have a great day everyone!

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Science! A New Study Suggests Meditation is Beneficial on a Cellular Level

I usually try to wait until Thursday to post science stuff, but I thought this was pretty interesting: a recent study suggests that meditation can affect the human body on a cellular level. While the study says that the cells (the telomeres, to be exactly) have changed through mindful meditation and yoga, when reading the article it sounds like that portion of the chromosome is actually preserved- when the telomere is gone, the chromosome will degrade, which is bad news for the cell.

As I’ve stated before, you can view jiu jitsu as a sort of unconventional form of meditation- I would be interested to see how it stacked up to these other forms of meditation and exercise.

Check out the article and let me know what you think- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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BJJ: Understand Your Strengths, but Don’t Cater to Them

This is a pretty funny article, a satire of the “oh, only things this particular personality type will understand” articles that are floating around the internet right now:

Sorry I Murdered Everyone, But I’m an Introvert

And I guess as someone who wobbles between INTJ and INFJ, this is my favorite comment so far in response to the article- “…INTJs are the people who help you plan your party. We calculate the minimum effort necessary for maximum enjoyment, and plan ahead to reduce the stresses of being in crowds. Accidentally slaughtering all of your guests? That’s sloppy. That’s some ISFP nonsense right there.”

I feel like these articles almost excuse our personality traits-which, we should accept and acknowledge our strengths and shortcomings, but I have always disagreed with the concept of catering to them. For example, I just found out there’s an app for my phone where I can potentially have wine and liquor delivered to my house, just like a pizza.Will I use it and cater to my introverted nature that really hates crowds? No: buying alcohol for me is really such a rare occasion (maybe once every 3 to 6 months) that I can “put my big girl pants on” and face a store full of strangers just like everyone else.  Also, browsing can be fun sometimes.

To put it into a jiu jitsu context, I am pretty decent at chokes, but that doesn’t mean I should neglect joint locks. I really like one kind of sweep, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only sweep I should do. The examples could go on and on- there are certain techniques that work really well for me, some that don’t, but I try not to excuse the deficiencies in my game and only focus on my strengths. That leads to a lop-sided player in a way: almost like only working out the right side of your body but not your left, because the right side is your “strong side”.

Do you want to be the jiu jitsu equivalent of this guy? I don't.

Do you want to be the jiu jitsu equivalent of this guy? I don’t.

Understand your strengths- introversion, extroversion, right, left, chokes, armbars- but also understand that you have to work on your weaknesses on and off the mat to make yourself a more well rounded jiu jitsu player, and human being in general.

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Lovato Out of Metamoris 5

Not to kill your jive this morning, but unfortunately Raphael Lovato Jr. (who really should dress as that particular Ninja Turtle one Halloween…but I digress) will not be participating in Metamoris 5 due to a tear in his shoulder.

This is the explanation he provided on Facebook:

To all my friends, fans, & supporters, I regret to inform you that I will not be able to compete at Metamoris 5 against Yuri Simoes on November 22nd, due to a serious tendon tear that happened in training this week.

The tendon that connects my pec to my shoulder is torn.

Words cannot express the disappointment I felt when I got hurt this week and realized that I was going to have to step out of Metamoris and cancel my fight with Yuri.”

I truly feel bad for Lovato: not only does he train hard, obviously a top competitor, but the few times I’ve met him he’s just a really nice guy, and it’s a shame to see someone work so hard, they are so close to their goal and then an injury like this pop up, taking them out of the running.

I saw (I think it was Instagram…I don’t remember. Which, btw my username on there is @skirtonthemat if any of you are interested) that Cobrinha is clamoring to take Lovato’s spot: we’ll see how things play out over the next couple of weeks, I guess.

Who do you think should take Lovato’s spot in Metamoris? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday: All About That Base (No Rebel) Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

I’m just gonna leave this here for you to enjoy…

Have a great weekend everyone!

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