Monthly Archives: July 2014

Rickson Gracie Introduces a New BJJ Federation

So according to Fightland Rickson has in fact put together a new group, the Jiu Jitsu Global Federation (there’s not much on the site at the moment other than their social media accounts).

According to the story, Rickson looks not only to give more points to submission attempts, but to actually penalize players for pulling guard. I think that will certainly make matches more interesting- the highest amount of points are set on a bit of a gray area though. I mean, just how far along in the submission attempt does someone have to be before they are awarded points? I would like to think we are going more along the lines of what an advantage is supposed to be: an honest, legitimate attempt to submit your opponent, but it just doesn’t happen. I just hate the idea of someone throwing on sloppy, lazy armbars left and right because they know the ref has to give them points because “it was a submission attempt”. Still, it looks to be an interesting concept and I will certainly keep an eye out for how this progresses.

Check it out and let me know what you think- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Newcomers and Visitors: Just Teammates You Haven’t Met Yet

You know the phrase, “a stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet”?

I don’t usually adhere to this phrase: I’m polite and respectful to people, but I don’t go particularly out of my way to introduce myself or strike up a conversation. It’s a habit that has cultivated from decades of living in urban, and not always the safest areas (my hometown was recently named the most dangerous small city in the US…yay :-/)

Anyway, there is one place where for the most part I will make an exception to this rule: our academy. If a stranger comes in for a visit, or there’s a new student on the mat, I do try to walk up and introduce myself before class. I’m not saying I get every new person that walks on, but I do make an attempt.

Jiu jitsu people can sometimes be a clique-y bunch. Not intentionally, but the way the whole system works a person can become very prone to being wary of outsiders. You have, for the most part, the same people you train with every day in a sport that’s not that terribly common, and for some academies even within the group there are separations- higher belts not getting too involved with the white and lower blues, to avoid investing a large amount of time and energy into someone that may decide one day to quit. I’m not saying this is right, but I imagine it totally happens in some academies. But, remember that a stranger, a newcomer to your class or team is really a potential teammate you haven’t gotten to know yet. They may be just as dedicated as you, just as hard working and just looking for a smile and a place to feel welcome, but you won’t know that unless you put yourself out there.

And think of it from the other person’s perspective. It’s difficult to put yourself out there and stick yourself in the middle of a bunch of strangers, even if it’s to do something familiar to you. And even then familiarity in the beginning is not guaranteed: warm ups can differ between academies, particular drills, etc. So while someone may be a master at the drills they perform in their own academy, now they are forced into different drills, and may be all knees and elbows. It can be a nerve-wracking experience, and I imagine a huge relief when someone walks up to them to introduce themselves.

So, if there’s someone new in your academy, visiting or just a new person, definitely make and effort to introduce yourself. Who knows, they may be a teammate you just haven’t gotten to know yet.


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In House Tournament

Hi everyone- how was your weekend?

On Saturday we had an in-house tournament, and everyone did reall well! They worked their techniques- passes, sweeps, submissions, and win or lose everyone tried their best and put themselves out there.

Great job, guys!

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Happy Friday: Beating the Worm Guard Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

It seems lately everyone on the internet lately has contracted “Worm Guard” fever, passing lapels left and right under legs and such.

DSTRYRsg just posted a video from a jiu jitsu guy, Isaac Doederlein (try saying that name 5 times fast) and his take on how to beat the worm Guard.

Check it out, let me know what you think- otherwise, have a great weekend!

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Metamoris 4 Trailer: Dean Lister vs Josh Barnett

So I just watched the trailer for Metamoris 4 promoting the Dean Lister/Josh Barnett fight. It looks pretty interesting. Both guys are great grapplers, and this should be an interesting match.

Take a look and let me know your thoughts, including who you think will win…Otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Jiu Jitsu is Feminine…

When a female does it.

It’s masculine when a male does it- or any gender, when any gender participates in the sport. It’s the student and their interpretation of the techniques that dictates how the sport is perceived: man, woman or otherwise.

I bringing this up due to two pieces: first, there was an article in Jezebel about how a male newspaper columnist was bothered by watching two women compete in Judo, and said that fighting wasn’t very “womanly”. While I’m not usually a fan of Jezebel articles, mainly because I feel like they are just trying to pick a fight rather than present an opinion, there was an line in the article that I completely agree with:

“…Anything on earth that a woman is capable of doing is womanly. It is impossible for a woman to be unwomanly because a woman is a woman. Therefore anything a woman does is womanly by default. Fighting is womanly. Winning fights is womanly. Bruises are womanly. Savagery is womanly…Athleticism is womanly.”

And then there is the Always commercial, which I’ll post but I’m sure you all have watched (because you all keep an eye out for the latest commercials about pads and tampons, obviously):

The point here is that we as a society tend to interpret doing something “like a girl” as weak and ineffective, and there needs to be a massive overhaul in the impression of the term.

I think for some woman that leads to their hesitance to join jiu jitsu: they see it as a “man’s sport” because frankly, a lot of men practice jiu jitsu- there’s no use in denying it- and so may have the conscious or unspoken aversion to it because they will lose a part of themselves to adopt the masculine culture of jiu jitsu.

But it doesn’t have to be that way: you don’t “lose” your femininity, because you are a female (if that’s how you choose to identify yourself. What, I’m not here to tell you how to live your life.) Jiu jitsu can be just as feminine as it is masculine, or both, or neither, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s one of the reasons why jiu jitsu is for everyone: there is (or can be) a grace and beauty to the sport and martial arts that is not gender specific and can be embraced by all, and made their own.

Anyway, that’s my opinion on the thing. Let me know what you guys think, agree/disagree/whatever. Otherwise, have a great day!

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BJJ: Getting Mad, and Stupid

“I’m getting mad- and when I get mad, I get stupid.”

Recently my mother apparently dropped this gem in the middle of rush hour traffic when talking to my stepdad, and it’s a feeling that we all can relate to. It’s also one of the bigger reasons why you should keep your cool on the mat. Think about that time someone did something that pissed you off, and you just got so mad that you stopped concerning yourself with technique and just started thrashing around. Did you win the match? That’s really a trick question, because win or lose, in my opinion the answer is still no.

No, because you lost the match to your emotions- you became reactive, and instead of your opponent taking control of the match (or hell, maybe they did in the end), you let your own emotions dictate your actions and strategy.  You throw technique out the window and you are reacting- to your opponent, to the situation, to yourself. Admittedly there is a burst of energy that comes from that anger- a quick burning rush of adrenaline that can give you a burst of speed, strength, whatever. So you burn through that exhilarating 30 seconds of energy….soooo, how are you going to survive the next 5 minutes of your match with your teammate or opponent?

I’m not saying there isn’t a time to put the pedal to the metal, go all out, try something. But it should be a conscious decision, and still maintaining your technique- not just basically lashing out at the person you’re rolling with. And more often than not you end up leaving yourself more vulnerable to your opponent than if you had just kept your cool.

Anyway, those are my thoughts- do you have anything to add? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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But That’s None of my Business…BJJ Themed

I just found this meme recently of Kermit the frog pointing out everyone’s hypocrisies and finishing with “…but that’s none of my business”. it’s pretty funny: frankly I am practically always giving people the benefit of the doubt so I’m not all that great with coming up with these, but you have to admit there are some pretty good ones if you think about it long enough.

This is the one I came up with:

None of my business Kermit

….And already I’m playing devil’s advocate with myself, essentially already thinking of how I would defend or justify the actions of this fictitious person.

…sigh… I’m not very good at this game.

Send in your own (please keep in mind this is all generalized, no picking on anyone in particular) otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday: Fourth of July Edition

Happy Friday everyone, and for Americans, happy Fourth of July!

Did anyone train today? We had a small training session, I’m just curious if anyone else is celebrating America’s birthday with some Jiu jitsu.

Let me know, otherwise have a great weekend everyone!

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BJJ Etiquette Tip: Wash Your Hands Between Petting Your Animal and Training

We all know the basics: shower, wash your gi’s on a regular basis, keep your toenails and fingernails clipped, etc. But there is one that we don’t really talk about, and to be honest I imagine those affected feel a little awkward bringing it up: please wash your hands in between petting your animal and training.

You may gawk a little at that statement, but I can tell you as someone who loves animals, but has a pretty sensitive allergy to cats (which sucks, but what can you do) I can count a handful of times where I have trained with someone and then minutes later felt my eyes itch, along with an itchy rash on my neck or jawline…And finding out my training partner owns a cat. The thing is, this doesn’t happen with all training partners and cat owners. Either their cats produce less of the protein that causes the reaction, or my personal theory- they’ve washed their hands in between petting Mr. Fluffy and getting on the mat.

Why don’t I take allergy medicine? Because frankly it makes me feel groggy- I’m going to start experimenting with some different allergy meds to see if there’s something I can take other than Benedryl every 4 hours. Oh, another tip: don’t take Benedryl before bed, or you may have  nightmare where you’re being chased by a T-Rex…..that’s engulfed in flames.

….Maybe. Results may vary. Just saying.

I would also mention trying to keep your pets off of your clean gi’s, but we both know that’s pretty much impossible so I’m not even going to approach that subject.

So, that’s my BJJ Etiquette tip for the day: anything anyone want to add? Let me know, otherwise have a great day everyone!




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