Monthly Archives: November 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday, 11.30.11

Today in the vein of being helpful and all, I wanted to show anyone who has difficulty with pull ups (you’re in good company, trust me) a variation to an assisted pull up- negative pull ups!

Basically, you jump up on the bar so your chin is above the  bar, or the “top” position, if you will. You then slowly lower yourself into a full hang with your shoulders still engaged- the slower the better for this. This method was introduced to me by John and I have found to be pretty effective in getting to a point where I can do one and the occasional two pull ups.

Here is a a photo to illustrate:

This is an illustration for a chin-up, but you get the idea.

Hope that helps!

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Back to Basics

So our classes in the evening are structured like this: a group kettlebell class, then a beginner’s jiu jitsu class, advanced jiu jitsu class, and then judo if anyone still has any energy left.

Even though technically I could wait for the later, more advanced class, I still like to take the beginner’s one. First, because I take kettlebells, second, whatever we do in the second jiu jitsu class is usually a continuation of whatever happened in the first, and finally because I realize that to get better at the more advanced stuff, sometimes you have to go back to basics.

It’s also important to go back to the beginning to better understand the move. When you first learn something, especially at a lower level, it’s almost overwhelming to learn a new technique. You easily become lost in a forest of “your arm goes here, not there”, properly placing your body weight, etc. You may even forgo certain details because they just don’t make sense to you at that time.

This is where going back to basics is key. You know your way around, you can see the forest for the trees, to continue the foliage analogy, you can see how details relate-and more importantly, why they are necessary for the successful completion of a technique.

So if you don’t, and if your schedule allows, I would highly recommend going back to basics to perfect your techniques.

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Holiday Rollin’ Off Those Rolls…

We Americans came together and celebrated our two most favorite vices this past week: gluttony and greed. 

While I really don’t participate in the Black Friday madness, I did indulge some with the Thanksgiving gorging of self. Thankfully our gym was open for open mats on Friday night and Saturday morning, so I was able to burn  a little off over the weekend.

I’m also making it a point to not look at the scale until the end of this week…because I will probably cry….

So, how was your holiday? 

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday, 11.23.11

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!  What are your plans for Turkey day?

I have a special gift for you all from one of the guys that reads this blog, Rob…It’s so cool that I get to say that..

So here you go, and  thanks Rob!

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What I Have Learned from Kintanon’s Homework

I know it’s not the end of the month, but I wanted to get my thoughts out about this before I forgot:

Simply, I need to eat closer to training time.

I have been experimenting with times to eat before class, and while I really have been only eating peanut butter, since I figure it is easy enough to digest and won’t mess with my stomach, eating closer to class time is really beneficial.

I am thinking of experimenting maybe with a protein shake before hand, but maybe 3 hours before class instead of two because some protein powders tend to mess with my stomach. There’s no point in eating or drinking closer to training if it keeps me from that very training.

I’ll let  you guys know how it goes!

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For everyone that may have been concerned, no I did not lose my job: we’re all packing up and moving up a floor in the same building. But I certainly appreciate the concern.

To be perfectly honest I have been living under a rock all this week when it comes to jiu jitsu and such-not training, etc. Which may have been a good thing since one of my calluses ripped off while doing kettlebells on Monday, so my hand has had a chance to heal all week.

I’m looking forward to this evening and what class has in store: let’s go!

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Office Space

Why I haven’t been posting



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The More You Know

If you supplement you jiu jitsu with weight training, take care of the calluses you may develop, so they don’t, you know, rub off or anything.

The more you know!


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The Perfect Drug

Most people in the world are looking for something: looking for a way to feel good, to make them look better, or hell, just quiet their personal demons. Some turn to dangerous diets, drugs, or alcohol to find what they are looking for.

Ladies and Gentleman, I have your solution: exercise. Specifically, exercise you really enjoy.

I, of course, highly recommend grappling, but I also understand that’s not for everyone, just like I really don’t find much enjoyment in basketball or soccer. I know I am primarily preaching to the choir, but this is something for some reason I was thinking about. So many people self- medicate in a variety of ways, when there is a healthy, relatively safe alternative they could turn to.

I am standing by my statement that exercise is the perfect drug. In addition to improving your body, when you exercise you release endorphins, and according to WebMD: “Endorphins … trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. ”

So you can get the benefits of an endorphin production without a soul shattering dependency, or needing to visit a creepy alley or opium den- hooray! Additionally, it’s an addiction that you can be proud of, that you can talk about, that people will admire you for.

I’m sure no one ever said that about alcoholism or a crack addiction.

Granted, this can potentially be a pricey habit to pick up, but on the other hand instead of outright destroying your body, if you exercise correctly, you’ll be improving yourself and actually extending your lifespan, instead of knocking off the years off your life expectancy, one by one. This also should be done in moderation, of course. No one started a running regimen with 20 miles a day- pace yourself, and the rewards will soon become evident.

So go out there and get high- er, exercise!


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Win and Lose

I did a full pull up!


One! Ah, Ah, Ah....

This may seem silly to you to be excited about, but there was a time where I could barely do a negative chin up, let alone a full pull up. I did one though, and I am on my way to the next goal…TWO! Ah, ah, ah….::crack of thunder::


I am ashamed, internet friends. I got so caught up with work this afternoon that I forgot to eat anything. I remembered actually as I was climbing up the stairs to the gym and felt hunger pangs. I didn’t train as intensely as usual, so it turned out all right, but I wanted to be able to report something about how I felt. I’m still feeling pretty good from last night, believe it or not. Tonight I had some peanut butter again, close to training: I’ll let you know how it goes!

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