Happy Friday! Nostalgia Edition

Happy Friday! Lately I’ve been listening to some of the music that I jammed out to as a highschooler- mainly to laugh at my terrible taste in music, if we’re totally being honest.

What does that include, you may ask?

Oh yes, my friends.

As I told someone right after mentioning that I was listening to this, “I fully admit it’s terrible: doesn’t mean I’m going to stop listening to it.”

So I’ve been walking around the streets of Philadelphia basically giggling like a crazy person every time a new track comes on. Because, come on: if you can’t laugh at yourself then you need to lighten up. I’m not only typically to dwell in the past, but it’s fun to look back and chuckle now and again.

I’m also still trying to recall if I was still watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer at this point, or if it was shortly after. I’ll report back when I finally remember.

MV5BY2MwOGIyZGYtNzgxZC00N2Q5LTllYjItM2U4MTkwMDBjYzUyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzA5NjUyNjM@._V1_UY268_CR0,0,182,268_AL_

Anyway, feel free to share your own bits of nostalgia and have a great weekend everyone!

 

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Science! Please Use Sunscreen Properly

Well, looks like we’re not using sunscreen properly, according to this article on IFLScience.

Long story short? Apply a thicker layer than what you think is the appropriate amount. I used to be someone who logically knew that I was supposed to put on sunscreen, but A) getting older and B) having a relative pass from melanoma have made me much more conscious about putting on sunscreen. It’s important: and make sure to reapply when you get back from swimming! I know I sound like an old lady, just deal with it.

Check out the article and have a great day everyone!

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Surviving Hard Summer BJJ Training Sessions

It’s super hot and muggy here on the East Coast, and with that sometimes training can feel brutal. It doesn’t help when it’s basically 100 degrees outside, not much cooler inside due to body heat and whatever else- on top of the fact that you are wearing anywhere from 1 1/2 to almost 6 pounds of extra clothing. My general take on these conditions is to try and keep training (because if we all stopped we would have to basically take 3 months off…. inconceivable!) but also listen to your body and make sure to take care of yourself.

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  1. Bring water to class: I imagine there are a couple of academies out there in which there is that one person that doesn’t drink water in between sets. Friend, don’t be a hero, drink some water. Or gatorade- whatever it takes to keep yourself hydrated.
  2. Train with a lower rank: so maybe you’re not feeling great, but not to a point where you need to sit out. This is a perfect time to work with a lower rank- they are still working on trying to figure things out, you need some time to be in a position where you are still working on things, but presumably this will allow you to slow a little bit while you come back around.
  3. Sit out when you need to sit out: You’ve been a brave little toaster up until now, and you are just not feeling well. You’re nauseous, maybe a little dizzy… just sit out. Every jiu jitsu person I know is amazingly stubborn, and it truly becomes a double edged sword: on the one hand its great when you need to “dig deep” and persevere through some bad situations, but it can also become a liability and you can really hurt yourself because you were too stubborn to not stop.

So, those are my main tips for surviving some hard summer training sessions. Hopefully you either take my advice or maybe you’re just one of those people who “love the heat” and can train unfazed in super steamy conditions. If that’s the case, well then good for you: I imagine you lived in either Florida or are secretly a lizard. Hey, I’m not here to judge, just here to provide some tips for others who have trouble with the heat.

Have a great day everyone!

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Chair Throwing? Really?

So as some may have noticed (or not, totally cool) I have been sort of buried under work, life, etc. I’ve still been training, getting ready for Master Worlds, but by and large have been keeping my head down and nose to the grindstone.

I check back in to see what’s happening in the bjj world and people are throwing chairs? Really? And by people, I mean one black belt at the conclusion of a match, at a white belt.

The guy did offer an apology for his actions and I’m sure there was a lot going on leading up to this, but still I think the chair throwing was uncalled for, at any rank.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today, folks- just…. don’t throw chairs at one another, please?

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Grace Under Pressure

There are a handful of skills and life lessons that we can take off the mat, and I fully believe that learning something like jiu jitsu can help in learning “grace under pressure”.

I apologize if I’ve mentioned this before, but much too often we see people lose their cool when they are put in stressful situations- and there is lot of pressure from a lot of external forces: pressure from your boss at work, pressure at home from a significant other or parent, pressure from the whole clusterduck that is highschool, college or grad school, or pressure even from the onward march of time and you STILL haven’t developed a super power (I don’t know about you, but that one definitely keeps me up at night), just toe name a few.

Chalk it up to one of those fun, complementary skills that are developed during jiu jitsu- keeping your cool in bad situations is one of those essential skills you need to learn in order to advance. You’re stuck in mount? Flailing around most certainly isn’t going to help- you’re just putting yourself MORE at risk of being submitted. So what do you do? You try to keep your cool and you start to look for ways to get out of the situation. In that case the pressure is both mental and physical- pressure of not wanting to lose, on top of the pressure of someone literally sitting on top of you.

And much like in those situations on the mat, the better you are able to maintain your wits about you, the more likely you are to actually succeed in said stressful situation.

So, long story short, keep the cool that you have been honing on the mat in your every day situations, and more likely than not you should come out on top in the end.

That’s my advice for now- have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday! Reminder Edition

Happy Friday everyone! Gold BJJ has an article interviewing a brown belt Brian Sheehan with a helpful reminder “don’t roll to win, roll to get better”.

Check it out and have a great weekend everyone!

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Jeff Glover Retires from Competing

I’m not dead, I promise- just in the great work/life/training/writing balance, writing has sort of been taking a back seat.

I just checked BJJnews to see what I missed out on while I’ve been buried under work, and I’m kind of surprised to see that Jeff Glover is retiring from competing in jiu jitsu. When it’s time, it’s time, I guess.

Anyhoo, if you are just a surprised about that as I am, check out the article and have a great day everyone!

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Keys for BJJ Success: Consistency and Accountability

If you really think about it, there’s really no secret formula to getting better at jiu jitsu: the problem often lies in people’s impatience when it comes to improving their skills and advancing in rank.

Consistency is important in a lot of ways: you need to consistently show up for class, drill and attend class on a reasonably regular and consistent schedule. While the results themselves don’t always feel consistent, keeping constant in your efforts to improve will eventually pay off.

Accountability in a number of ways is important: you need to be accountable for your failures- you can’t learn from something if you don’t take ownership for it. You need to hold yourself accountable to making it to class on that consistent schedule, and to get back to class if you miss a day or two. Taking ownership of your lack of knowledge, swallowing your pride sometimes and asking for help or feedback on something you aren’t executing on.

Again, not rocket science, but they are lessons that we logically know, but we don’t always know “heart and soul”. They are lessons that we learn over time before they really start to sink in. Once we do however, the road to improvement gets just a little easier: when we take ownership of our jiu jitsu journey and take consistent steps along it, we will eventually make progress.

Just some thoughts for the morning: have a great day everyone!

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BJJ Scout video on China IBJJF Scandal

According to a video from BJJ Scout, apparently a BJJ blue belt was given an “honorary” black belt for bringing IBJJF competition to China.

Personally, I’m baffled at the idea of an honorary black belt in this circumstance for a variety of reasons: I’m not against said distinction if the person falls into one of these categories-

  1. Has a ton of experience in grappling and beating bjj players, particularly members of the Gracie family (which is why I didn’t even bat an eyelash when there was mention of Sakuraba getting an honorary black belt- they call him “The Gracie Hunter” for pete’s sake)
  2. You are old enough that you will probably never compete and/or live long enough to actually see yourself get a black belt in the natural course of the ranks.

Neither seem to be the case for this person: not that it’s really any of my business, but I don’t think an honorary black belt was really necessary.

Anyway, check it out and have a great day everyone!

 

 

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Happy Friday! Giving Back Edition

The past 2 weeks have been a bit bananas, but yesterday my office did their annual day of community service- and I have to admit, it’s nice to give back. We painted homes, picked up trash (like, a lot of it) around some neighborhoods, in addition to other items that were sorely needed in the community we were working in.

I encourage everyone to try to give back to your community, in one way or another- with or without your academy (it would be nice if a bunch of people participated in giving back to their community, but hey, don’t let me tell you how your gym should operate). Whether that’s helping clean up a local park, dropping some items off at a local shelter, or some other act of service, you never know just how much it’s needed and appreciated until you actually get out there and do something.

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

 

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