Monthly Archives: January 2015

Happy Friday! Fundraiser Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

We’re having our annual fundraiser for Pans this Saturday which should be a good time.  In addition to the diamond necklace we raffle off:



Competitors this year are putting together gift baskets to raffle off at the event. So what did I put together? Essentially, cookies and chocolate and all the sweet things. Because who doesn’t love chocolate and stuff?


Unfortunately, I did not pack insulin with my basket.


Have a great weekend everyone!

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Jiu Jitsu + the Suffrage Movement= Awesome Comic Book!

So what do jiu jitsu, the suffrage movement and comics have to do with one another? A lot, apparently.

I think I mentioned this before, but it was brought up again by The Grumpy Grappler– two authors put together a graphic novel about female bodyguards during the suffrage movement, which was really a thing.

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

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BJJ and Competition: Do Medals Equal Promotions?

Graciemag recently posted an article asking if tournament titles determine promotions.

Personally, I think the short answer to this is that in general I think there’s a bit of correlation, but no causation. I know a lot of people think there’s almost a formula when it comes to promotions: jiu jitsu player+gold medal at a tournament= promotion. But it doesn’t really work that way. Or at least it shouldn’t- as I’ve mentioned before people (even instructors) aren’t perfect and neither is the system. In general however, promotions should depend on the student and their long term progress, rather than how well they did for just a few minutes on one day in this big adventure we call the journey of jiu jitsu.

Sure, tournaments are a great way for students to test their mettle and to see how well they can perform under pressure, but when looking at the big picture it’s such a small element to the whole thing. And instructors for the most part (I would hope) understand that: they watch you drill and train, what you’ve been learning, what you’re currently working on, your attitude- if you have the maturity to handle a promotion.

What do you guys think? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!



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The Snowstorm That Wasn’t (Not in Philadelphia, at Least)

So as a precautionary measure our academy cancelled some classes last night in preparation for a hella-ton of snow.

… That didn’t happen.

It can be frustrating, especially when you’re getting ready for a tournament or itching to get into the gym to train and try some new stuff, but we do have to keep safety in mind. Or whatever. The bright side to this however is that since the snowstorm in Philly is so relatively mild, that means pretty much everyone who was planning to come to class still can-hooray! (within reason- I’m sure some people have to deal with more snow than the majority of us in the city).

Does this happen to you often? Or enough times that you can remember- cancelled classes due to a bad weather fake-out? Let me know: otherwise, have a great day everyone!


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BJJ: You Don’t “Get” a Rank, You Earn It

Blogger John Will down in Australia had a good point about rank in a recent post:

“Getting a black belt is easy – becoming a black belt is something else entirely…”

Our coach is fond of saying that rank isn’t given, it’s earned. And it’s something that I agree with: a student has to prove they have progressed far enough, and has worked their way into the next rank. Which should also explain why everyone’s time at certain belts so greatly varies. Everyone’s journey is different: circumstances change, people change, techniques are learned at different paces- there shouldn’t be one set, standard schedule for a time at a belt. It takes as long as it needs to take, essentially.

Granted, some instructors are “more strict” when recognizing students and their advancement in rank. Conversely, some rank is recognized in what would be considered a ridiculously short amount of time. And the cold hard truth is sometimes rank really is “given” for reasons other than the student’s skill and progress. No one is perfect, and neither is the system. The biggest thing you have control of in this whole process is yourself and your advancement. Keep with your training, continue to drill, train, learn- because regardless of rank, no one can give, or take that progress and knowledge from you.

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Happy Friday! Talent Showcase Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

Today I’m not showcasing my own talent, but rather one of my roommates’ talents. She didn’t want to take the Christmas garland off of our mantle, and so rearranged/added a couple of things and whipped this up instead:


The antlers are actually handmade (with chicken wire and….stuff), and actually she also made the art piece above the mantle.

I just wanted to show off her talents to the rest of the world. That’s all.

Have a great weekend everyone!


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Science! Update on Ebola

So, everyone remember when we were all holding our breath waiting to see what happened with the Ebola virus? IFLScience has an article containing an update on the virus, and what scientists anticipate down the road.

Check it out, and have a great day everyone!

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BJJ Class: “Less Talking, More Drilling”

I say this now and again when running class. Granted, it’s great to have students who want to help one another but sometimes you need to just let your partner fumble through things a little so they can figure it out.

Think of it this way: there’s a story out there (probably somewhere on the internet) about a man who sees a butterfly hatching, and struggling to get out of his cocoon. The man, feeling sorry for the butterfly, cuts the cocoon open and expects the butterfly to just do his thing and flutter away. But instead the butterfly continues to have shriveled up wings and an underdeveloped body and really never achieves flight. It was the struggle to get out of the cocoon that was supposed to help the butterfly develop and strengthen itself, to help it mature into a strong adult. It’s through our struggles sometimes that we truly learn and develop into what we are supposed to become- in this case, a jiu jitsu player who can perform these particular techniques.

Another way to think about it, not to detract from the help of a partner, but to be honest we tend to feel more accomplished and value certain lessons and facts more when we learn them for ourselves. Admittedly sometimes a partner needs an occasional, subtle hint, but for the most part talking should be kept to a minimum.

So let your drilling partner become a butterfly…or something…

Have a great day everyone!



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BJJ: Rolling and Music- Yay or Nay?

So when we drill and roll, sometimes we have music playing. Most of the time it’s in the pop/rock genre, unless one of the younger guys gets a hold of the music and then it can be dance music, or Rage Against the Machine. Now and again our coach feels like everyone is too amped and will put something slower and more soothing during class.

My question is, do you feel that music really effects the way you drill and train? Personally, I think if you’re sort of a middle place, music can sway your emotions one way or another. If you’re in one extreme or another however, I don’t think it has much of an effect.

Do you even like when music plays during class? It can be nice in the background, but sometimes it’s so loud I can’t hear our coach, or the timer when a match ends. That’s when I feel like there’s a problem.

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




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Being Exercise-Drunk

You know when you’ve worked out so much that you are absolutely exhausted, almost to the point where you feel (and act) like you’re drunk? I’m only mentioning this because my roommate exhibited these symptoms after going to the gym last night.

It wasn’t me this time (for once)! Yes!

I did feel a little bad for her though: unless people around you have gone through it, it’s hard to explain the feeling, and how no, you really weren’t sipping martinis on the elliptical- you’re really just that freaking tired.

Anyone feel this way? Just so tired from exercising that someone looked at you and asked if you had a few after working out?

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

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