Monthly Archives: December 2014

New Years Plans

Well, 2014 is coming to a close, and academies across the world (I presume) are holding their last holiday rolling session. Last year our team actually did something a little fun and different- when the clock struck twelve, we all slapped hands and started our first rolling session for the year.

Are you attending your academy’s last rolling session for the year? Are you starting off 2015 immediately with a training session, or are you just doing your own thing for New Years and you’ll head back into the gym when it opens up again after the holidays? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day and Happy New Year everyone!


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IBJJF Upcoming Tournaments: The Calendar’s More Full Than You May Expect

I was pleasantly surprised when I started marking tournament dates on my work desk calendar (I’m not the only one that does this, right?) and realized I had to dig all the way into October to mark all the potential tournaments I want to compete in for 2015.

I think it’s great that the IBJJF is getting all their dates together now. While it’s no secret the organization has issues, it really is one of the bigger tournament circuits around, and to have the dates for tournaments set so early will presumably make it better for competitors to plan out the competitions they would like to attend over the year, and smaller tournament circuits that don’t want to compete for registrations by holding a tournament on the same day as a local open.

And on a personal note, it makes it so much easier to plan what vacation days I need to take off throughout the year. Score!

Based on the current calendar, are their any tournaments you are already planning to attend? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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BJJ: The Smooth Art vs. The Gentle Art

Maybe this is just me, but I have heard jiu jitsu, but I have heard jiu jitsu referred to as both “The Gentle Art” and  Arte Suave, or “The Smooth Art”. The most prominent example that comes to mind is Meerkatsu’s Jiu Jitsu Pirate shirt:

arrte suave

You wouldn’t think these terms would cause much confusion, except as a judoka (trust me, I’m using that term pretty loosely here) I’ve also heard the phrase ” The Gentle Art” used in reference to judo.

And if you’ve been thrown enough times in judo, you find the phrase to be pretty ironic.

So which is which?

Well, according to our friend Wikipedia, essentially the term judo is broken down into ju meaning “gentle” and do, meaning “way”. At one point judo was called jujutsu but the founder of Kodokan Judo, Jigoro Kano, decided to change the name:

“… he changed the second character to , meaning way, road or path, which implies a more philosophical context than jutsu and has a common origin with the Chinese concept of tao. Thus Kano renamed it judo…”

Jutsu (which can also be spelled jitsu) can be defined as “means”, “method” or “art”.

…Can I just mention that I’ve sort of had my fill of quotation marks at this point?

So where does the Smooth Art come in? That’s not a rhetorical question, I really want to know. Who decided jiu jitsu would be called “Arte Suave”- do people still use that term, or is that sort of like “fetch” from Mean Girls– someone tried to make it a thing and it never really took off?


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

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Happy Friday: Post Christmas Lazy-Pants Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

Most people in the states and beyond I believe have today off- if not, I’m sorry to hear that. Either way, hopefully you all are having a great day, and if you are training, some great rolling sessions.

Is your academy open today? Ours is closed, but will resume with regularly scheduled classes starting tomorrow. Let me know- otherwise, have a great weekend everyone!

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, I hope your day is a great one. 🙂

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Article from Science of Skill: Be Kind to Your Back

Anyone remember a letter to a graduating (presumably highschool) class that everyone thought was written by Kurt Vonnegut, but really wasn’t- you know the one that started off with advice about always wearing sunscreen and was turned into a terrible song? Maybe I just remember it because we had to perform it in the forensics group I was a part of in Junior High (forensics as in public speaking, not CSI stuff, sadly).

Anyway, there is a part to the speech that I’m sure most grapplers can relate to- “Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.”

The website Science of Skill appears to feel the same consideration should be given to your back as well, and posted an article about the potential risk factors for back injury and ways to possibly avoid it.

Check it out and let me know what you think. Or, feel free to share your distaste of Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”.

Man that was an awful song.

Anyway, have a great day everyone!


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2015 Goals

At our academy we’re starting to talk about our goals for 2015. I know it’s a pretty open-ended question, that can range anywhere from “I want to get better at escaping from cross side” to “I want to compete in ALL THE TOURNAMENTS (!!)”  Personally, some of my goals include continuing to work towards earning rank in Judo, and travel either to train, or to compete in some more tournaments outside of the ones I usually attend.

What are your goals for 2015? Are you starting to put together a game plan on how to achieve them? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Field Trip!

Good morning everyone- today’s post is a short one; I’m headed on a trip outside of the office (field trip! Yay!) courtesy of one of my teammates.

In the meantime, so now black belts have to get background checks if they wish to participate in the IBJJF? My only question is just how frequently these checks need to be done. Not that I mind the check itself, I just think it’s a waste of time to spend $20 every year to confirm that I live a boring, law-abiding life.

Anyone know how often these background checks have to be done? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day!

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Happy Friday: Hindu Squat Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

If you are looking for a way to strengthen your knees and legs, or just want to hobble around for a couple of days, I would highly recommend doing some Hindu Squats.

What’s a Hindu Squat? Basically, it’s a bodyweight squat that requires you to drop your butt all the way down to your heels, as opposed to just stopping when your thighs are at a 90 degree angle, and raise your heels until you are on the balls of your feet. There’s also a circular, sweeping motion you make with your arms, almost dragging the backs your hands along the floor at the bottom, extending your arms in front of you and then pulling them back to your chest as you get up again.



Do a couple of sets of these and then violà! You’ll have difficulty getting up and down flights of stairs in no time 😉

So go work out your legs (or whatever you need to focus on today), and have a great weekend everyone!


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Instant Gratification “Run” in Philly

I happened across this story yesterday- Philly is debuting a 0.0 mile race next year, basically participants sign up for the “race” so they can engage in the post race partying. While I’m all for people getting down and enjoying themselves, the idea of celebrating an accomplishment without actually accomplishing anything really doesn’t jive well with me.

You would think under this logic I would have an issue with people receiving medals for being the lone person in a division, but it’s not quite the same situation. Most of the time you train and prepare for a tournament, and if it’s a blind registration, you arrive with the full expectation that you will compete in a match. Even if you are the sole person in your division, there’s an expectation that (hopefully) you’ll fight in the open. This, however…. it’s like a costume party, but with a sports theme. Really guys, you can’t even make a half-assed jog around the block with booze at different stations along the way?

What do you guys think? Do you like the idea of the instant gratification run, does it rub you the wrong way, or are you just indifferent to the whole thing?

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


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