Monthly Archives: February 2013

Keenan Cornelius leaving Lyod Irvin’s Team

My internet is a little wonky today, so I’m going to make this really short, while the internet gods are still on my side.

So word on the street is brown belt Keenan Cornelius left Lloyd Irvin’s team.

I’m a terrible jiu jitsuka and I really don’t know that much about Keenan, other than the fact that he is a young man who happens to be ridiculously good at jiu jitsu. I’m sure he has good reasons for his decision and I wish him the best of luck in his new team/academy (Atos, I believe?).

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Jiu Jitsu and Lady Parts

So Julia has a post about ladies, that time of the month, and jiu jitsu.

It’s a little awkward to write about, but it’s also a topic that I have been approached about a couple of times in the locker room actually, and even on the mat, as there are women who are very concerned about what to do in such a full contact sport. I am really trying to keep this mature and as possible, but just warning this may near dangerously close to the light hearted and almost silly. Mainly because as stressed as a lot of white belt jiu jitsu women worry about it, it’s really not a huge deal.

And for guys who are confused about this and wonder why women don’t seem to have this part of their bodies under control, ask yourself the same question the next time you get an unexpected erection in the middle of the day. Our bodies are a teeming mass of hormones that tends to run on a fairly regular schedule and react to a predictable set of responses, but there are times when the whole system seems to go haywire due to unexpected circumstances, such as a hiccup in hormones due to stressors, general health or environmental factors. The body is just that, a body; a group of organs that (other than the brain obviously) doesn’t understand not doing something due to social context. Just like sweating or blinking or several other functions.  And if you can stop sweating on command congratulations I wish you the best of luck with your superpower. Please use it for good, not evil.

Anyway, my first response is: don’t worry, you’ll be fine.  If you realize something is amiss, ask your teacher to use the bathroom according to whatever protocol your academy has, and I image they will let you go. Some have been touting the Diva cup, multi product/combo use has also been suggested, and I say it’s never a bad idea to keep some products in your locker or bag, for both yourself and that inevitable day someone asks for something. Really,  in all the time that I have trained, there has only been one occasion when someone needed to change their gi pants: it was a guy (the instructor actually) who caught it, didn’t make a big deal out of it and mentioned that she should go to the bathroom. That’s it. Didn’t bring extra pants? Not always, but some students have extra uniform parts in their lockers, and academies sometimes keep “loaner gi’s” for prospects receiving an introductory introductory session with jiu jitsu. See if your academy has loaner gi’s as well, and if the occasion ever arises, clean yourself up, ask to borrow some loaner gi pants and make sure to take the pants home, wash them, and return them to the loaner gi collection. Not something that should be abused, but a possible last resort depending on how early on you are in the class.

If you are hesitant about going to class during that week, I would say attend. I agree with Julia that BJJ helps with cramps, but I have to admit sometimes I have skipped class due to a bone-tired feeling I seem to get early on sometimes. Do try to make it in, because you’ll be glad you did more often than not, but don’t force yourself if you know in your heart of hearts that you just want to play hooky for a day. More than a day I would say take your pain reliever of choice (such as Tylenol or Advil), try to make it in and roll around. You may be surprised at how much better you feel.

For other tips check out her post, and they also seem to have a pretty good discussion going on in the comments.

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(Intentionally) Stuck Between a Rock and a Bad Place

You know, fancy sweeps and smooth transitions are fantastic and all, but sometimes you need to get stuck into a bad place. It’s necessary for development: it sucks like crazy, but again they are necessary. Things won’t always go the way you expect them to, because that’s the nature of jiu jitsu: when you attack, there is a high chance that you are leaving something vulnerable. It’s a necessary risk that is taken. We always hope for a positive outcome to our risk, but sometimes the dice comes up snake eyes and the cards aren’t in our favor.

At our academy we tend to do positional training in both positions: the good and the bad, giving each partner something to work on.

Because sometimes it’s good to get yourself stuck between a rock and a bad place.

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Counter to Berimbolo, Courtesy of DSTRYRsg

Hey, there’s a counter to the Berimbolo I can totally do! As long as I can also chant “light as a feather, stiff as a board.”

Check it out! 

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Happy Friday everyone!

Have a great Friday everybody!

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Slideyfoot’s Marathon, Gas masks and MMA Training

Quick little blurb I just want to put out: Slideyfoot is fundraising for a Grappling marathon for Rape Crisis (England& Wales) and you should definitely donate something. Anything.

Secondly, not that I’m planning on training with a gas mask anytime soon, but I’m watching a video about MMA Training and the effectiveness of using a gas mask. Check it out:


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Women and Whether They Can “Handle” BJJ

I know everyone has probably put in their two cents at this point, but when I first read the heading to Keith Owen’s post, “Can Women Really Handle Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?” my first reaction was to recall a scene from the movie 300, which I have (painfully) recreated for you with a free gif generator, so sorry for the poor quality:

“Clearly you don’t know our women…”

Granted this guy doesn’t make his living writing, he makes it teaching  jiu jitsu. Also granted there is an expectation that as an instructor he should have a little more open mind and less sexist attitude when it comes to recruiting women students into his academy. 

Maybe it’s just me, but in his post the instructor creates an “us versus them” mentality, which may also reflect in his teaching at his academy. In an attempt to not scare women away, he in fact is creating a segregated culture by putting women to the side where they won’t be”harmed” or “made uncomfortable” by rolling. By putting women to the side you create a double standard; a perfectly healthy man is pressured to train, where the “delicate flower”of a woman is not pressured to try her new skills out on the mat. 

Aye, but there’s the rub: to try something new, jiu jitsu or not,  is about getting out of your comfort zone and being challenged. And while we know the joys of overcoming those challenges in the art, they can be immensely frustrating and practically a deal breaker for ANY beginner. It takes time and patience to get a new student through that first obstacle, regardless of gender.  I’m sure if this is he notices a lot of women walking out the door, there’s a good chance a lot of white belts in general are walking out the door, frustrated with the experience: it’s just women are the smaller group and so their absence is more noticeable. While you will find a few exceptions to the rule, your white belts aren’t quite “in love” with jiu jitsu up to the first 60 to 90 days-you have to share that passion, that enthusiasm with them. Challenge them, but also make sure someone isn’t smashing the living daylights out of them the first week in.

I do find the mention of the married men a bit out of line though. I could be totally wrong, but to mention it as an issue means there’s a good chance someone is making it an issue on the mat which would make any female uncomfortable no matter how much they love training.

I never thought I had to be Captain Obvious, but women don’t think about sex when they are training with male partners. We are there to learn and improve, not to “get our grind on”. Just….ew. And if the wives of these guys are complaining about women training with men, encourage them to try a few classes to see what the whole thing is really all about. Who knows? Maybe you’ll have a few women sign up that way.

My point is treat everyone in your academy with respect, encourage that respect among one another, have  relatively little to no double standards (guys in our academy are not allowed to wear a shirt under their gi, but women are allowed- that sort of thing) and most importantly share your passion for the sport with your students. That is how you will get women to stay: by focusing on the sport and everything you love in it, and not a woman’s perceived “delicate sensitivities”.

I’m linking to Julia’s post on the subject, mainly because she was the one that brought the whole thing to my attention, and also I don’t want to give this guy any more publicity than he already has gotten in response to the article. If you are going to read it, read Julia’s analysis first, and like her post so she gets the readership traffic boost.


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Big Apple BJJ Open Tournament

So in addition to the New York Open, there is another tournament, the Big Apple Open Jiu Jitsu tournament.

Taking place on May 18th, they have an early bird registration fee now- $90, until March 23rd. It’s taking place at Martin Luther King High School in Manhattan.

I took a look at the results: it looks like a small tournament at the moment, but who knows, it was just promoted by Graciemag, so there’s a chance with the additional publicity it will have more competitors.

Check it out if you are interested: Big Apple BJJ Open Tournament

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GracieMag Covering IBJJF Events, Now on Google Plus

Not going to lie, I was hoping for some sort of Google hangout action with some of the fights: which may be happening and I am checking my computer at the wrong times.

I don’t think it’s a terrible idea, but uploading some clips and matches would be pretty sweet, and add to the appeal of having Graciemag use Google Plus as their main platform. I mean, isn’t that one of the main perks of using Google Plus, the fact that Google owns Youtube?

Graciemag is just getting its sea-legs on the new platform, so we’ll see how it turns out. I will keep my fingers crossed that the hangouts and live streaming are in the near future for GracieMag.

Oh, and shameless plug: I am also on Google Plus, here, with a ridiculously long URL because that’s apparently how Google likes to roll.


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The Scary World of Workout Supplements

So, when I first read about the IBJJF testing for steroids and immediately went to the Anti-Doping Agency’s website to see if caffeine was a prohibited substance (whatever, it was a legitimate concern), there was a video on site with an athlete who warned against illegal substances in supplements. And at first I scoffed a bit. I thought it was a rare event, if possible at all.

After reading this article on the death of soldiers who used the supplement Jack3d though, I’m not so sure. I knew the FDA rules were more lax when it came to supplements, but jesus, this is ridiculous. I know everyone is all about the brand new product to train harder, faster, stronger and all but there needs to be some testing done, and maybe a few more rules when it comes to the regulation of the ingredients that are put into these supplements.

And to put it crudely, it’s hard to sell a product to someone who’s dead.



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