Monthly Archives: January 2013


To the random person who viewed my “quarantine” post about a bazillion times…

I hope you found what you were looking for?

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A Mutual Agreement

While usually I don’t talk about my teammates on here, one of our white belts mentioned to me that she was having difficulty being aggressive, and is worried about it when it comes to competing. Not a bully or using strength or anything, but really taking the initiative when an opportunity presents itself. And it’s adorable. Not in a condescending “oh that’s adorable, hunny.” I mean really, genuinely heart warming. Because she cares so much about the well being of her fellow teammates that she doesn’t want to do anything that would be perceived as bullying.

And of course we don’t encourage bullying in our academy, but we also don’t believe in just rolling over and letting the other person have their way; jiu jitsu really is about a back and forth, about both competitors testing their skills and wits against one another. I know I’m preaching to the choir in some regards but a chess game isn’t really fun if one of the players just lets someone else with relatively equal skill win all the time. When it’s someone much more skilled against a less skilled player, of course there are different tactics to be used: going a little slower so the less adept opponent can catch on, taking more risks than usual to leave more vulnerabilities that your opponent can possibly take advantage of, all that kind of stuff.

But anyway, back to the white belt: my response to her was not to think of it so much as being aggressive, but more of a mutual agreement you make with your opponent. Both parties basically agree that both of you will do your best to technically submit one another, and they agree to do the same. You are not promising to ‘bring the pain’ or anything like that, but you are agreeing to bring the best of whatever skills you have to the table, and again they agree to do the same, especially in competition.

And again, we can get into what sorts of ways to train on the mat, but we were talking about competition, so this is what I told her. I do honestly hope she takes my words to heart, and agrees to give the girls in her division the best she’s got.


Filed under bjj, tournaments

…You’re Gonna Have a Bad Time

I’m messing around with a meme generator and for fun I just made a couple about jiu jitsu.



You're gonna have a bad time guy

I figured there could be a ton more made…when you don’t wash your gi regularly, if you wear shoes on the mat, so on and so forth….

Please, feel free to leave one in the comments below. Extra funny gets extra points! Just keep in mind this is just like Whose Line Is it Anyway, where the points don’t matter.

Give it a try and let me see the results! Here’s the link to the generator I used: Give it a try!

And just to make a preemptive suggestion, nothing too lewd or inappropriate. It will be removed immediately. Everyone who reads seems pretty respectful and well mannered, but, you know, just in case.

Have fun!

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Busy, but still here

I’ll try to post something tonight tonight, just letting you know I’m not dead or anything.

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Anti Doping Testing for Jiu Jitsu Competitions

Well then.

According to the IBJJF main page, starting with this upcoming Pan Jiu Jitsu Championship 10 randomly selected male and female black belt competitors will be selected to be tested for any prohibited substances.

As with most things in life, I can see the pros and cons to this sort of thing: the pros including the hope that this will deter anyone currently using, or thinking about using a PED. There will become a more even playing field for all, which of course is always preferable.

The only cons I really see to this include: it probably takes extra time, and money to get these tests done. I would still go through the test, I would just gripe about taking extra time out to complete the test. Just because. It’s also surprising what is allowed and what is not. I personally checked out the site to see if my favorite drug- caffeine- was on the list, and thankfully we can all still have our morning cups of joe or a couple of bottles of Diet Coke since it is a “not prohibited” item. Yay! Benadryl is also not prohibited, so that’s good to know.

There are a few that are surprising that may be on the list. I don’t know, I went specifically to the Anti-Doping Agency’s website and jiu jitsu was not listed. Someone on facebook did mention that cannabis would be banned, Adderall would be out (understandable), asthma medication is a no go due to steroids in the medication’s formula, and if you have come down with a case of the sniffles, lay off the cold medication a couple of days before the tournament due to the ingredient pseudoephedrine. If the medication you are taking has a banned substance in it, there is a Therapeutic Use Exemption form that you would have to fill out, and I imagine have a doctor sign off on.

So, that’s all the information I have for now. When I know more I’ll post it.

What do you guys think about the random testing for doping?



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New Jiu Jitsu Blogger: Meghan!

There’s a new lady BJJ blogger and fellow RJJA member, Meghan! She talks about being a med student and training jiu jitsu.

Check out her site!

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Final Word on the Lloyd Irvin Situation

Everyone it seems has put in their two cents about the three Lloyd Irvin teammates and what happened on New Year’s Eve. I don’t feel I have much to add to the conversation, but I will say one thing.

I may not know everything about my teammates, but above everything else I see them as friends, comrades, and some as an extended part of my family. I root for them, I honestly care when they are physically or emotionally hurt, I cheer their successes and offer a shoulder to lean on when times are hard. And I know they feel the same way about me- it’s a culture and support system we have developed in our academy, as a part of our Association, and its a level of care and respect I would hope all academies and larger groups and associations encourage. The acts by these two individuals to me prove that is not always the case.

And maybe I’m trying to put on a pair of ill fitting rose colored glasses, but I sincerely hope these two individuals are one of those few exceptions to the rule, and so far the odds are looking pretty favorable:  it seems most of the jiu jitsu community has responded in a thoughtful, passionate manner against what happened, and that gives me some hope. Do I think this is the first time a woman has been raped by a teammate? Sadly, tragically, no. And Georgette has the story to prove it on her blog. Do I sincerely hope this will lessen these occurrences? I pray by all the Powers That Be- the old gods and the new (bonus point if you get the reference) until this sort of thing is pretty much unheard of.

Jiu jitsu is currently a predominately male sport, but it is also young, and has the ability to change. It’s a sport that is known for evolving and adapting, and while of course I want to do everything in my power to make it so, I can only hope that this is one of those situations that will lend itself to evolution.

There are a number of articles on the subject, so I’m just going to post them below and then leave the subject alone. Again, not because rape shouldn’t be discussed, but I feel at this point I would do nothing but echo sentiments of others in the BJJ community.

Yael encouraged a call to action on her blog

Georgette has a couple of posts on the subject, but this one I feel pretty much sums up the most of what she was talking about

Ryan Hall wrote a piece, posted it on Facebook that was then featured on a number of sites, including Bloody Elbow

There are several others I’m sure, but to be perfectly honest it’s late, I’m exhausted, and I feel those three have summed up the general sentiment of the majority of the jiu jitsu community on the subject. Although I will give an honorable mention to the Gracie Breakdown and their encouragement to keep a positive and respectful atmosphere in the academy.

**UPDATE: Lloyd Irvin has posted his response to recent events. Check it out.



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So I wanted to finish my thought yesterday, but actually I was one of the people who received a stripe!

It’s definitely an honor, and as I told my fellow brown belt and friend- it’s kind of weird. But cool. but weird.

Have a great weekend everyone!


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Congratulations and Different Classes for Ranks: the Cons

I will give my short list for the cons of separating classes, but first congratulations to our students who got stripes, and to Matt for his promotion to purple belt- congrats Matt!

Anyway, back to the cons of teaching classes that have been separated by rank. I don’t think there are very many, but here’s the short list I came up with. I very much favor having classes separated, but in an attempt to be fair I’m going to keep my mouth…er, fingers… shut and not argue against these points.

Lower ranks don’t have as much interaction with higher ranks– lamentable, but true: if they are kept with their white belt brethren, there’s less of a chance to mingle with the higher ranks

Lower ranks have less of an opportunity to drill or train with a higher rank- someone mentioned their game improved immensely when they trained with a higher rank when they were a white belt, which I could understand.

Lower ranks don’t have as many opportunities to see the more advanced stuff- I could argue they don’t really need to see anything too fancy and get overwhelmed at such an early stage, but for some people I’m sure they would love to see what lies ahead for them in their jiu jitsu career.

So there you have it: personally I think the pros outweigh the cons, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

What do you guys think?

**UPDATE: Sorry, I didn’t make myself very clear;  I am in favor of separating some of the classes, not all of them. Carry on!**


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Different Classes for Ranks: The Pros

Someone on facebook posted an aritcle on the pros and cons of dividing a class according to rank. We recently did the same thing at our academy, and I think it will be beneficial for the lower belts. Here’s a short list of why:

A heavy focus on the basics– in a white belt class there can be more of an emphasis on the simple stuff, and even if they have heard the information before, they’re white belts and could use the extra repetition.

The class is geared toward a specific group, rather than a broader audience– Sort of hand in hand with the previous item, say you’re teaching a mixed class, and while you have higher ranks there you can mention some things and combinations of techniques and common problems that you are sure they have encountered. There is no guarantee like that with the white belt though, so you run a pretty high risk of confusing them.

Less students, and therefore more individualized attention- this one is just simple math: a divided class means less students taking up mat space, which gives the instructor an opportunity to focus their attention on a smaller number of students

Chance for higher ranks to teach and hone that skill- For those who are higher ranks, especially students below black and brown belt, this is a perfect opportunity if they decide they want to teach to take advantage of that opportunity.

I’m running out of time, so I’ll go over the cons tomorrow, but that’s my short list for the benefits to a divided class.

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