Monthly Archives: July 2013

Gabi Garcia’s Gi Competition Dilemma

Gabi Garcia, from Bloody Elbow


Black belt Gabi Garcia recently reported that she was going to move away from competition in the gi and focus more one tournaments such as ADCC and her MMA career. According to Garcia (and totally borrowed from Megan at Tangled Triangle):

“I want to fight MMA now. I don’t know when I will fight on a GI again. I’m unmotivated, not because I think I’m invincible, but we need to find another challenge. Many people is not fighting the absolute class, focusing on the weight classes, and I need another goal in life. If I am able to get down my weight, and if UFC or other events begin to have bigger weight classes, I will get down my weight as much as possible. Now I am going to train to defend my title in the ADCC.”

While I can’t really blame her, there are a whole lot of “if’s” in that remark and I do question the possible jump to MMA, especially in the near future. Yes, fight organizations such as the UFC and Invicta are beginning to include women’s divisions, but even if/when she goes into MMA, her opportunities to fight at the moment (and I feel for a while) will be limited at best. Let’s be blunt, Gabi’s a whole lotta woman- at 6’2, and reportedly about 235lbs, she’s really in a size and weight class all her own, male or female. Her chances of finding competition that can come close in size are very slim. Personally I think her chances of competing are better in ADCC, where due to their weight and skill criteria for women, and she probably has more people potentially her size to compete against, even if they are at a lower belt/skill level. I also think she shouldn’t give up just yet on gi tournaments- more women are becoming black belts, and they are coming up in all shapes and sizes, and so hopefully sooner rather than later she will have some new competition to go against. Again though, we’re depending on a very big “if”, which can be frustrating.

Also, personally I think it would be interesting to see Gabi compete against MMA fighter Cris Cyborg. Cyborg is a brown belt, but I also think she would give Gabi the fight she has been looking for in these different competitions. That’s just my personal opinion.

What do you guys think? Should she pack the gi away? Will she have the competition she is looking for in MMA? Or do you think there are just too many unknown variables and there’s really no way of predicting what will happen? Let me know!


Filed under bjj, tournaments

Some Articles to Check Out

So I caught some interesting articles over the weekend, that I think you may want to read as well:

Graciemag posted an article on How Jiu Jitsu makes you a Better Professional

And speaking of business and professionalism, Megan over at GiFreak talks about the Lessons We Should Learn from the Lloyd Irvin Scandal

Check them out!

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Bust Lines and BJJ

A male author recently posted an article on his blog about the size of a woman’s bust line and how it may potentially effect their performance in the sport.

In response, I laughed and laughed….

To me, that’s like asking if a male’s genitals get in the way- I would imagine it’s actually more an issue, especially with poorly executed techniques such as the armbar and knee cross pass. Fortunately the author finally (correctly) surmises that you just deal with it. While the author did reference an interview with Ronda Rousey who mentioned a problem with her sports bra during her match with Liz Carmouche. What (I guess) men don’t realize is half the women in the audience, or at least most of the women I train with all looked at her one fight outfit with Carmouche during her first UFC match and wondered how in hell that mess of straps was going to stay put for the fight. If there was anyone Rousey should have complained to, it should have been the sponsor, or whoever else convinced her to use that particular sports bra. Something that had a slightly higher neckline and there would have been a good chance Rousey wouldn’t have been kicked in the chest, as she reported, while trying to adjust the garment.

Breasts in BJJ aren’t really an issue, even those with a larger chest. I know because as anyone who knows me IRL knows I speak from experience. Sure. you sort of look forlornly at yourself when trying to make weight, and curse them, but that could be (and has been) done with any deposit of fat on the body. After training for 7 years (as of this August), I can report as a woman with a larger chest, having virtually little issue with the whole thing: actually I wear a t-shirt and tank top under my gi and have a bigger problem with the necklines of my shirts and tanks getting stretched out more than anything. The only other problem I can think of are those rare occasions when a toe or a finger accidentally snag a strap, but it’s highly unusual and people will usually just stop, get themselves untangled and continue.

This has been my experience with the whole thing: I don’t really think it’s a problem, but anyone else have issues? I wouldn’t think so, but hey, I’m opening the floor everyone in case I’m wrong.


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Happy Friday: New York Open Edition

Hey everyone, hope you’re having a happy Friday: this weekend the team is headed up to the New York Open (back to Harlem, whooo): I’ll report back on Monday.

Anyway, have a great weekend everyone!

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BJJ Group Class vs. Private Sessions

So, we all have different life/work schedules, and for some (if they have the time and the means) depend heavily or sometimes exclusively on private training sessions to learn jiu jitsu, rather than take a group class. I really have maybe taken about a handful of private lessons in my jiu jitsu career, and I think there is definitely a benefit to each side.

I do however compare the two in this fashion- privates are more like tutoring, whereas taking a class is just like, well, taking a class in school. There is a definite benefit to taking privates, especially when it is really your only opportunity to train. I think of a group class less like the traditional desks and chalkboard and more like a multi-age, Montessori classroom.

Just in case you have no idea what I am talking about, Maria Montessori was an Italian doctor who developed (or furthered, I imagine she was not the first, I am not sure) a teaching method in which children in age groups, roughly in groups of 3 ages, are encouraged to interact with their classroom, and more importantly with one another without the use of desks. Not just learning the subject matter, but they also learn how to interact with one another: the older children become mini-assistant mentors,  feeling a sense of responsibility towards their younger classmates, the younger ones pick up one social cues and protocol from the older ones, and everyone cooperates with each other on the general premise of respect and concern of the well-being of one another.

This is all just the theory: I’m sure there are many people out there with horror stories of this sort of class set-up gone horribly wrong, but that’s not the point here.  The point is jiu jitsu group classes sort of operate on the same theory- you learn not only from your instructor, but also from your fellow students, who can teach or at least remind you of different details of techniques during class: older students feel a sense of responsibility towards the newer belts, and while teaching while the main instructor is teaching, they do from time to time become those mini-assistant mentors as well. All of this (again, at least should) foster a sense of camaraderie among the students.  And, you also become more acclimated to training with different body types- tall, short, thin, stocky, etc.

Privates on the other hand are like being tutored: you are going to someone who has mastered the subject and you are getting an in-your-face, one on one instruction. This can be great especially if you are having difficulty understanding a concept and need the help of someone who has much more experience than you do, but at the same time you miss all the benefits of the group class atmosphere, and if you train exclusively with privates, there is a good chance you are missing the community atmosphere that is built with the rest of the students in the academy. That, and you are primarily training with one body type, and someone who is probably going a little slower than they usually would, to ensure you execute the technique while training.

So, my feeling on the two is pretty much this: group classes in my opinion are preferable for obvious and non-obvious reasons, and privates are great, but shouldn’t be your primary form of learning techniques, if you can help it. Again, for some it’s the only way they are able to train and it’s better than nothing, but everyone should try to make a group class, at least occasionally.


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Dustin Hoffman and Tootsie

Heads up, this really has nothing to do with jiu jitsu and more about being a female.

I’m sure everyone and their mother has mentioned this clip, but I think this is just fantastic, because Dustin Hoffman addresses the elephant in the room that exists really for every woman- that some people will not be interested in getting to know you  because you do not live up to some expectation of beauty or attractiveness. Frankly I just sort of shrug my shoulders at those people- I’m sure they are, for the most part, nice and all but if I have to look a certain to get your attention maybe it’s best I didn’t attract it in the first place.

Anyway, check out the video below:



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New BJJ Scout Video: Rodolfo Vieira

The writer/creator over at BJJ Scout has a new black belt whose technique they will be examining and breaking down- Rodolfo Vieira. I don’t know too much about him, other than he fought in Metamoris 2 against Braulio Estima (I vaguely remembering watching this match, but nothing really specific is coming to mind about it), but I look forward to checking out the videos the author will put out regarding his game.

There’s already one about Vieira and his takedowns, which from the post look to be very judo heavy- a concept I can totally get down with.

Check it out!

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Monday Grind

Hey all, right now I’m working on some back end stuff for this blog, so posts are going to be a little shorter than usual this week, possibly. In the meantime, watch this video of MMA fighter Tim Kennedy and his training methods- I imagine his dedication to posing with a katana really helped in his win on Saturday night. 😉



Have a great Monday everyone!

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Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!

This weekend the UFC is holding a pretty interesting fight card, with the main event being Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman, but also includes a match between Tim Kennedy and BJJ black belt Roger Gracie. I think everyone has high hopes for the Silva and Weidman fight, but we’ll see: sometimes a highly anticipated fight can be a huge disappointment, a fact MMA fans know all too well.

I’m planning on watching the fights tomorrow night: anyone else? Whether you are, or cannot (or hey, simply will not)- still have a great weekend!

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Happy Fourth of July!

Have a great 4th of July everyone!

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