Monthly Archives: June 2011

Rule #20-Something of Training in Jiu Jitsu: Never Eat Fried Food Before Class

This is actually pretty important, all things considered.

A teammate I was drilling with had to keep stopping due to heartburn and kept muttering, “I shouldn’t have eaten those french fries…”

Oh and by the way, this was a technique that required you to be in the “knee in the belly” position. When he first complained, I bounced a little in that position, because he’s a friend, a white belt and driving home the point that you really should not eat fried food before training.

It’s hard to eat healthy, I get it, and when we think of eating food that’s bad for us, we tend to think in long term consequences, like “oh, I’ll get fat, it’ll clog my arteries eventually,” so on and so forth. Eating poorly right before class has a more short-term, immediate effect when you begin to attempt to drill and train. That brick you feel weighing you down in your stomach is actually the Big Mac and fries combo you ate during lunch, and now you are experiencing the immediate consequences.

So please, this is what I have to say on the matter. Don’t eat fried food. Not because of the long term, astounding health benefits that come from abstaining from fast food, but because no one wants to feel like they are going to puke when training.


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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday, 6.29.11

The top news recently has been Nate Marquardt and his failure to pass the medical examination.

He was then pulled from the UFC, with quotes from Dana White including words such as “disgusted” and “will never fight again in UFC”.

According to, the Pennsylvania Commission is very strict with their privacy policies, and therefore prohibited from revealing the results of the medical examination . Marquardt stated he was taking ‘hormone replacement therapy’ to replace low testosterone levels.

Considering Chael Sonnen was caught with steroids and still fights for the UFC, I think there’s a whole lot more to the story.

Well, here’s hoping we find out the whole story without having to get all ‘Scooby Doo’ about it.






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The Bridge vs. The Bump

I am going to make a grand assumption and guess that in most academies, the words “bump” and “bridge” are used interchangeably when referring to certain techniques. Bridge and roll, bump and roll, bump into the person, bridge into the person, etc., etc.

And we are all wrong. There is a difference between the two.

On Saturday I was talking with our coach/instructor John, about said difference.

When you bump, it is a quick movement, and up and down with the hips when on your back used a lot of times to throw off your opponent’s balance, say when they are in mount and you are looking to force them to post, or to create space for a brief second in time, say on the bottom in side control, to create space between you and your opponent to slide your knee and shin between yourself and your training partner.

The bridge, however, is a cousin of the bump, in which there is an up and down of your hips, when you are on the bottom, but the time when the hips are raised is extended, and you are to hold that position to work an escape, so on and so forth.

Not too thrilling, I know, but I think it clears up the terminology when it comes to describing or explaining a technique, which leads to the proper execution, and overall a better jiu jitsu game.

I would at this point post a funny picture of John and explain how we all have him to thank for it, but I would rather impart the sentiment that it is a good point, and we should give credit where it is due.

Thanks John!

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Satisfying My (Little) Masochistic Streak

I apparently have a thing for being ridiculously sore and tired, because I have a grandiose plan in which I will be taking kettlebells, muay thai, jiu jitsu AND judo all this week.

It all exhausts me, but in the end I feel good and always come back, asking for more. The week prior I wasn’t able to get to Tuesday/Thursday classes, and when I think of the prospect of all the classes I get to take this week, there’s some part of my brain rubbing its little hands together, saying “excellent…” 

Granted, I make all these plans and then there is a chance at some point in the middle of the week my body decides it’s had enough torture. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak indeed.

We’ll find out in a couple of days whether or not I will take all the classes I am planning to attend.

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Jiu Jitsu and the Amazing Technicolor Kimonos

 …And it was red and yellow and green and brown and scarlet and black…

 I was just thinking about all the different gi colors out there now, and wanted to post up some of the more interesting gi’s I have seen recently.

1) There’s your bright red 

2) Flame Detailed

actually....I don't know what that is...


4) and tie-dyed, as showcased by Georgette and her sponsor, Happy Kimonos


I know some people have a penchant for the colorful gi’s, which I don’t mind: actually if I ever decided to step out of my comfort zone of the traditional white and blue kimonos, I would probably go for the tie-dye. Why? Mainly because if you’re going to choose a different color and stand out, hell why not go as they say,  “all in”. For now I’ll just stick to my comfortable, plain old white and blue kimonos. 

As my father would say, “It’s safe inside the box.” 😉  



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Rise of the BJJ Ladies

We all know the abstract concept, “more and more women are participating in jiu jitsu by the year” and you see them at tournaments, but when perusing photos of academies, you see maybe one, two, up to even four women in one academy.

Where are all the ladies?

Well, the answer to my pleasant surprise, is apparently at Maxercise. I looked around last night during drilling, and I counted 7 ladies on the mat (okay, 6 on the mat and one running around doing admin stuff-way to mess up the count Maggie).

We tend to think of jiu jitsu as a male dominated sport, but lately our classes are starting to become a little more even in the gender ratio. Sure, it’ll be a while before there are more women than men in class, but after tonight I am starting to believe that day is closer than previously believed.

I’m hemming and hawing about posting the actual number of girls, since some are white belts that just started, and others are on the injured list but planning on coming back, but we do have at least 6 to 8 girls that train on a regular basis, and that’s not including the 3 that just started classes, the one that’s about to start class, and so on and so forth. More and more women are taking jiu jitsu, which I think is a fantastic development and healthy sign of growth. It shows jiu jitsu is not just for the old college wrestlers and the MMA wannabes, it’s a sport and martial art that appeals to and works for everyone, regardless of size or gender.

So watch out fellas, because the ladies are gaining on you.

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday, 6.22.11

If anyone was paying attention to my twitter feed, you have already seen this photo that I have shamelessly stolen from John, but I am going to post it again anyway:


Congratulations are in order for:

Our new blue belts: Sarah, Rob S., Matt Sp., Azeez

Our new purple belts: Isaac, Mike D., Josh S., Max and Evan


Congrats everyone!

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And They Say BJJ Fighters Don’t Have a Sense of Humor

Actually, I don’t know anyone who says that, but it’s certainly the impression given in most of their photos. The serious, “I mean business” photo that many BJJ students and professors tend to have; it’s a little intimidating sometimes, like that old photo of your great great grandparents and family, sitting very sternly for the camera.

Fortunately, we get to see a lighter side of the Brazilian/BJJ community through Rener Gracie and the practical joke he played on students and teachers in his academy. I’m sure 90% of the jiu jitsu community has already seen it, but just in case you have not, here it is.

As a side note, a ton of people were promoted in our academy last night, which I’ll talk about tomorrow. Hooray!

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Martial Arts that Don’t Really Exist

Originally I was looking for a list of fictional characters who practiced martial arts for a fantasy based smack-down/Thunderdome scenario, but instead I found something fairly comparable- fictional martial arts. While most of these are indeed adapted from real martial arts, here are some of the more memorable and easily recognizable ones. Or just plain ridiculous, whichever:

1. Using Cards as Weapons

Poor Guy...I don't even remember him being in Wolverine's Origins....

2.  Ominte- apparently used in Logan’s Run

3.  Saikyo-style Karate-from Street Fighter

If only it were real, my friend...


4. Most of what anyone saw in the anime “Ranma 1/2” (figure skating martial arts? Japanese take out martial arts? Really?)

These two are ready to jack you up...on ice...respect.


5. The famous Wuxi Pinky Hold, from Kung-Fu Panda

This would be depressing, if I started to train in martial arts just to learn this hold...


There are others out there, I’m sure, but these are the ones I found to be the most memorable, or again, ridiculous. But, that is the point of fiction sometimes, to make the implausible sound plausible in this world?

Or to just sound and look pretty cool.



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Grappler’s Quest, 6.18.11

This weekend we will be on a quest. To grapple.

I will not be competing due to the muscle I seemed to have tweaked sometime Monday (it happened after kettlebells, before the birthday beatdown) and it actually still hurts to walk, let alone train, so I’m going to sit this one out. There is a NAGA tournament on August 6th, the Battle at the Beach which I’ll be aiming for. There is also an IBJJF tournament in September and since our team is planning to participate, I’m not overly worried about missing this tournament.

I’ll still be at the tournament, yelling things and helping film stuff, I assume.

I’ll be sure to post results on Twitter as soon as they happen!

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