Monthly Archives: April 2014

Jiu Jitsu: The More You Learn, The Less You Know

I was talking to a teammate about this last night: you know how when you were a kid you assumed that adults had it all figured out, had everything (relatively) under control because they were older, wiser, and had the experience you didn’t? Years go by, you experience a period of time in your teens when you think you about the world and how it works, and then adulthood sort of creeps up on you- slowly, and you eventually realize there is so much out there in the world to which you know absolutely nothing about.

This is What You Know

Getting to a higher a higher rank in Jiu jitsu is sort of like that. As a white belt you look to the higher ranks, awed by their knowledge and control- you get a couple of stripes on your belt, a color change perhaps, and you start to think you have an understanding about how all of this jiu jitsu stuff works, that sooner or later you will master it all and have a real handle on jiu jitsu. By late purple, brown and maybe black (not sure, not there yet so I couldn’t tell you) you realize there is so much out there that you don’t know, it’s astounding. Sure, there are some things you know, and are even pretty good at, and there are some techniques and sweeps that you are familiar with, but then you hear about the million, bajillion other techniques out there and you realize that in your jiu jitsu toolbox, you really only have a relatively small set of tools at your disposal.

A daunting, almost overwhelming concept at times, but I would say relax: sure, you most likely don’t know all the techniques in the world-largely due to the fact that this sport is always evolving- but there are some things you do know, and always remember the core, the basics of jiu jitsu and essential principles stay the same. And never stop learning! Just because you can’t learn it all doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least expose yourself to different techniques: you never know, you may find something that will work in your game.

Anyone else feel this way, or starting to feel this way yet? Let me know what you think: otherwise, have a great day everyone!


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Blue and Purple Belt Promotions, Hooray!

Last night some teammates were promoted to blue and purple belts: it’s always great to see people achieve that next, important milestone in their jiu jitsu journey, and last night we got to see 3 of our teammates make that important next step.

Congratulations to Ryan, Makoto and Yousef on earning their blue belts, and one of our favorite old guys, Rich, who earned his purple belt! Hooray!


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Grappling Tournaments are Kind of Like a Box of Chocolates…

Good morning everyone, I have a funny story to tell you…

So, I competed in a NAGA this past weekend. And, on a lark I decided that I was going to compete in the no-gi and gi divisions. I haven’t competed in no-gi in over 2 years, but I thought what the heck, why not give it a shot.

So we went up to…somewhere in northern New Jersey to compete in this thing. While waiting to warm up someone mentioned Sara McMann, Olympic wrestler and UFC title contender against Rhonda Rousey, looked like she was in the venue, and appeared to look like she was going to compete.

Oh, that’s unusual, but kind of cool, I thought to myself, and continued to warm up/freeze in the ice skating rink arena where the tournament was being held.

So, I’m just sort of hanging around, and one of the refs calls my name. I should mention at this point that all the girls and women were told basically to stand behind the ring they were more or less assigned to (they originally had one mat and had to expand to four mats! It was crazy!) so there was just a wall of people  in front of the mat.

I get through the throng of people, get to my mat….and there’s Sara McMann. On the mat. Waiting for me so we can get this party started.

Hahahahaha….oh god.

I hung in there for the entirety of the match: she tried a d’arce choke on me for a while, wasn’t working- I got her into closed guard, broke down her posture a couple of times, kept focusing on messing with her arms, attempted to jump a triangle here and there. Eventually time ran out and she won on points.

I will say though she’s a very nice person on and off the mat, which is cool. An excellent competitor, no doubt about it, but also a cool human being, which is was pretty great.

So, in short, local grappling tournaments are kind of like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get.

How was your weekend, internet? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day!


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Happy Friday: The Informative Edition

Happy Friday everyone,

Unfortunately, sadly, there have been some reports lately of rape and sexual abuse cases in the BJJ community.

Georgette has an excellent post up about how to take steps towards preventing rape, and how to deal with the situation, if it unfortunately does happen in your academy.

Check it out, and have a good weekend.

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Jiu Jitsu and the Case of the Missing Pants

Guys, I can’t find my pants.

Well, not just any pants, my Under Armour compression capri pants that I like to wear in competition. It’s not really the end of the world, I have other capri workout pants like them, but that particular pair fit the best, and (I would never admit this to the other pairs…if they were, you know, animate objects) they are my favorite.

And I can’t find them. And it’s starting to irk me, enough to write a blog post about it.

Have you ever had a favorite piece of clothing or gear that you like to train and compete with, and then you seem to lose? Isn’t it kind of annoying?

Feel free to share your story, otherwise have a great day everyone!


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Website Frustrations and other fun stuff

So I’m on the phone with IT for no, not for this blog, for my job.

So…how you guys doin’? Anything good happening today? Anything frustrating the hell out of you that you would care to share?

Anyway, train hard and have a great day everyone!

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Videos of the WPJJC, Courtesy of DSTRYRsg

Good morning everyone!

So admittedly I did not watch any of the WPJJC matches live. But, if you are just like me and missed all the action, you are in luck: DSTRYRsg was kind enough to post matches from the tournament onto their site.

Unfortunately there are no women’s matches on their page- if anyone knows where we could find those, let me know.

Check them out, and have a great day everyone!

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Jiu jitsu Belt Promotions: Time is Your Friend, Not Your Enemy, and Don’t Panic!

Lately I’ve had some (very kind and well meaning) friends and family who comment that I should be receiving my black belt soon, and I’ve also skimmed an article or two pertaining to getting your black belt in the quickest time possible…

I say this with the upmost love and respect in my heart for all: everybody just relax. Promotions, in general, are given out when the instructor feels you are ready to be promoted, or ready to be tested. Our academy goes by what’s called time and grade: so time is definitely factored into our promotions, and it’s a practice I agree with.

In addition to the skills sets that are learned at each belt, there are also experiences that can’t precisely be taught at each level, and just have to be experienced organically. There also needs to be some time to become accustomed to your belt: sort of like breaking in a pair of shoes. The belt may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, almost like it actually belongs to another student you just happen to resemble closely and someone will realize their mistake any minute now and put you back to your former rank.

So, knowing it takes time to really feel like you belong in a belt, why rush through them? Also, it’s like when you were at school and it’s the last class before the end of the day- the more you obsess over the seconds and minutes that tick by, the longer it will feel and the more frustrated you will become. Just take a deep breath, and focus on what jiu jitsu is really about: the technique, the learning and the sport/martial art itself, not what color belt happens to hang around your waist.

That’s all I have for today: have a great day everyone!


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Happy Friday: Hogwarts Edition

Happy Friday!

First and foremost, congratulations to Janni Larsson on winning gold at the WPJJC!

Ok, now onto Hogwarts. Apparently some Harry Potter fans banded together and made the University of Phoenix equivalent of Hogwarts.

That’s right, friends. You can take online courses in Herbology, Charms, Potions and more, courtesy of the folks over at

I really haven’t gotten into the material itself, but you can pick your house (no Sorting Hat, sorry), peruse the wares over in Diagon Alley, and I’m sure other cool stuff I just haven’t gotten to yet.

If this is the sort of thing you are also into, check it out and let me know what you think- and let me know what your user name is so we can link up!

Speaking of Houses-



Have a great weekend everyone!


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WPJJC, and Your Favorite Foggy Brained Blogger

Happy Hump Day everyone! Sorry, my brain is a little slow this morning, so this is going to be a pretty short post.

As far as I can tell from my Facebook feed the WPJJC (World Pro Jiu Jitsu Championships) happened last night in Abu Dhabi. I’m assuming there was a video stream for the event: did anyone happen to watch the matches?

Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!



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