Monthly Archives: September 2013

Quick Note: the Sacrifices we Make for Jiu Jitsu

Hey everyone, I’m running around playing Monday catch-up, but I wanted to add a note/ask a question.

I may have to do an all day thing tomorrow for work, and am currently planning on going to the gym ridiculously early in order to work out. Unfortunately no one will be there at that time to drill jiu jitsu with, but I can at least get a sweat which should help keep me on the scheduled weight loss I’m working towards for some tournaments I’ll be competing in.

This to me is a huge sacrifice, because A) I love sleep and B) hate getting up early in the morning. Which is funny if you know that I used to work opening shifts at a Starbucks, which requires getting to the store at about 5am.

Any recent and/or big sacrifices you have made for a tournament, or for the sport in general? Let me know and have a great Monday everyone!


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Happy Friday: Late Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

So, I managed to hit the “off” button on my alarm rather than the snooze (I’m a huge snooze button abuser) and have been running around attempting to catch up ever since. I blame it on the fact it’s Friday the 13th. Or whatever.

Anyway, hope everyone’s 13th is going a little better with training, life, etc. and have a great weekend!


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Interesting Post About “Fitspiration” Photos

This popped up on my Facebook feed, and it’s a pretty interesting article about those photos you see floating around Pinterest and other sorts of sites that at first glance just seem motivational, encouraging people to push themselves a little.

When really put under scrutiny however, I have to agree with the author that some of them can be irresponsible and pretty messed up. I particularly agree with #5: that strong has become a new buzzword for manipulating a woman’s body image, and that these ads (c’mon, real talk, these are ads for fitness) are not talking about true strength, but rather that mythical “toned” look women are always encouraged to strive for through any media of your choice.

Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think.

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What to Wear for No Gi Class

Someone recently asked me what she should wear to no-gi class, and it’s a good question for someone that just starts out: while gi class basically makes your clothing choices for you, barring a t-shirt and whatever you wear underneath, no gi clothing has a little more choice and diversity. This can be good once you get into a groove and find what you are comfortable with, but for those just starting out it can be a little daunting.

Personally, I tend to wear a rashguard and capri length compression pants. I know some girls who prefer full leg leggings, or spats as they are sometimes called, and others who prefer more of a traditional short. Some women worry about exposing their midriff and wear a tank- top like leotard under their no-gi clothing, which is fine too. I don’t, mainly because I have a pretty short torso and my rashguards end pretty long, so flashing a little belly is not often too much of a concern. My biggest piece of advice would be to avoid wearing a cotton t-shirt. The fabric will become soggy, stretch and eventually get in the way while rolling. At least that’s been my personal experience.

I even took a picture of my typical no gi getup…Please pardon the facial expression; I’m terrible at selfies and consider myself one of the least photogenic people in the world. And the hair- it was after class….I’m just going to stop now.


no gi

Overall though I would say find a combination that works best for you and feels the most comfortable and covers everything you want covered. Maybe you would rather have a tank top, or a full length sleeve rashguard rather than short sleeve, board shorts rather than compression pants…I could go on and on. One note though, if you decide to eventually compete in an IBJJF no gi competition, at least 10% of your rashguard has to have the color of your rank- not that anyone just starting out would immediately begin to think of competing in those tournaments, but hey, the earlier you know the better.

Oh, and for those that are down with the spats, Meerkatsu has some pretty sweet octopus ones over at his store you may want to check out. There are also some pretty awesome Pony Club Grappling Gear ones, particularly “The Jessica“. Because unicorns are pretty awesome.

Those are my two cents- what does everyone else wear? Let me know and have a great day everyone!




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MyFitnessPal App: Making What I Hate Most a Little Easier

I have this mentioned before, but I hate counting calories. I don’t know what it is, but I think I would rather go back to having braces then count calories. Usually. But, I am looking to lose weight for some tournaments coming up, and I have come to terms with the fact that I have a tendency to over-train and under-eat.

This would also be a good time to mention that I don’t do this intentionally and I absolutely realize this is a problem: it . It’s counter-productive, in fact: too few calories and it becomes harder for someone to lose weight. So, to counter-act this I am using the app myFitnessPal as a food diary- to do what I hate, and making it just a little bit easier.

It’s fairly easy to use and more or less self-explanatory. You put in some personal information- height, weight, goal weight, activity level, and calculate a calorie net goal. From there you log in what you’ve eaten throughout the day, and the app keeps a tally of what you have consumed, telling you how many calories as well as other nutritional information- I’m a champ at eating my daily value of Vitamin A and C, apparently. There is also an option of putting in physical activity- the weight/resistance training options I found to be sort of limited, but they have jiu jitsu as once of the cardio activities, so I plug in the time I spend in class, along with the walking I do throughout the day, but that’s about it.

I am probably not using the app to its full potential, but for someone who loathes keeping a food diary, it’s pretty painless, keeps my disgust for the process at bay, and keeps me from overestimating how many calories I’ve consumed vs. how much I’ve burned which I have to admit is pretty nice. There’s a whole thing where you can friend people, but personally I’m really not interested in that part of the app. I just want to log in what I eat, my training time and then get the heck out of dodge.

So, for anyone else who can’t stand keeping a food diary, myfitnesspal is an app I would recommend.

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BJJ: Learning a Technique Because It Just Looks Cool

This probably would be more apt to call “Judo: learning it because it looks cool”, but whatever, I’m just going to run with it.

We learned a fancy entry to a Judo throw this weekend in class that I want to practice and get better at executing, at least better while drilling it. Do I think I have a snowflake’s chance in hell of pulling it off in a tournament? Nope. Then why spend the time practicing it?

The simple answer is “because it looks cool”.

The more in-depth answer I can provide is this: while of course it is beneficial to drill and “own” a technique, sometimes it’s just fun to try something new. You learn these new things, develop new skills that granted, may not directly relate to a training or competition match, but has the possibility of getting you to think in a different way, discerning different opportunities to take advantage of and encouraging a more diverse jiu jitsu game in general.

So, while I wouldn’t condone sinking all your time into something super fancy and complicated that would need juuust the right circumstances and planets to align in a certain fashion, I would say give them a try now and again, because there could be some secondary benefit you may not realize may come of it.

Have a great day everyone!



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BJJ: Offering the Community Others Crave

A while back I started using the app Fitocracy on my phone- the general premise behind it is you put in whatever exercise you have been doing, and in return you are given points for those activities. You can complete ‘quests’ and ‘level up’ as you go along. There is also an option to pay for the service and engage in ‘duels’ with fellow members to see who can gain the most points for a specific activity, or just a free for all (I think, I’m a little sketchy on those details as I haven’t opted for the paid membership).

Admittedly I’ve been pretty intermittent with plugging activities since I signed up: recently I’ve been making an effort to add activities and attempting to engage in their online community. I’m not doing very well in regards to that latter part, but hey, I’m trying. I’ve also been using myfitnesspal recently, which I will definitely talk about in a later post.

I’ve noticed some of the other BJJ people that I have friended, or followed on the app/site have also been absent from the site. There are one or two I still see plugging in activities on my feed, and of course there’s taking into account people getting busy with life, as well as just plain old natural attrition, but I began to wonder if it had something to do with community.

I think Fitocracy is excellent particularly for people who are engaged in exercise where continued interaction with others is completely voluntary: running, weight lifting, rock climbing. Sure, you can ask someone to spot you, but there’s no obligation on either side to continue conversation or any sort of interaction. I’ve been a member at what would be considered more standard gyms, and to be perfectly honest it’s a hard environment to break into, especially if you are just starting out- at least that’s how I felt. Sure, no one stopped me from using equipment, but no one seemed particularly keen on saying “hello” either. And to be perfectly honest you don’t want to be “that guy”, the one that is an annoyance when someone is trying to focus on their workout. At least that’s how I felt: so you do what everyone else does- you put in your headphones, keep your head down, and only talk to people when it’s absolutely necessary. Of course there are exceptions, this is just my experiences in multiple traditional gym settings- you know, with free weights, cardio equipment, some of those assisted weight machines like Nautilus, etc.

The nature of jiu jitsu almost (I say almost, again, I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule somewhere out there) forces, or at least strongly encourages continued interaction with your partners and teammates, which in turn promotes the sense of community. It’s nice to have a supportive online community like Fitocracy and other sites like it, but it is not nearly as essential for jiu jitsu students as it may be for participants in other sports and activities. I’m not putting down the site: if anything I would still encourage people to try it out, especially if you find your routine is getting a little boring and would like some ideas on how to change it up. But for jiu jitsu people I just don’t think they will find the community aspect as important as some others might.

Anyway, those are my thoughts- have a great weekend everyone!


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A Friendly Workout Reminder

I’ve been training/working out a lot recently in preparation for some tournaments coming up, and I just wanted to offer these photos as a friendly reminder, if you find yourself lifting weights frequently be sure to trim or file down your calluses:


Not as bad as having them ripped off, but still not very comfortable.

Learn from my mistake, don’t ignore your calluses. And that’s the end of my public service announcement.

Have a great day everyone!

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Progress When You Least Expect It

It sort of sneaks up on you, doesn’t it? You work tirelessly on a particular problem-skill, technique, etc. and you don’t even notice when you have progressed in other areas.

We’re all guilty of it at some point or another: I wish I could tell you that I knew exactly when my jiu jitsu progressed or “got better”, if you will. I don’t know, I nitpick over small details and then there are those magical moments where everything comes together, and I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one who does this: in jiu jitsu and in life in general. But as I have mentioned before, we all have a fantastic knack for learning from our mistakes and getting better, moving onto more advanced, difficult situations even though we don’t always feel like we are moving forward.

So essentially if you feel like your progress sneaks up on you, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. 😉

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Getting Back Into the BJJ Groove

So, this morning I was browsing through bjj blogs, visited Georgette‘s site and looked over the sidebar listing other bloggers and their most recent posts.

These were the three post titles that caught my eye:

“Never Give Up”

“No Mercy”

and finally, “Pressure in BJJ”

Dang, we’ve got some badasses over here… Granted I haven’t read the posts yet, but I’m going to continue to be optimistic and hope everyone’s talking about how they are training hard after the Labor Day holiday and ready to rock out at some training session/Tournament/Open Mat/What-have-you.

Anyone in the States train over the Labor Day weekend? I know a number of schools held open mats: our academy held a team training over the weekend for those getting ready for tournaments coming up in the coming months.

Well, anyway, I do hope everyone is feeling relatively healthy and if you took time off training during the summer, you’re ready to get back into the jiu jitsu groove- or really whatever groove you need to get back into.

Have a great day everyone!



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