Monthly Archives: June 2015

Interesting Article About Confessions From a Black Belt Hobbyist

Hey everyone, the author of the Gentle Art published an article regarding confessions of a black belt hobbyist- It’s a good article, and one I think people should read: we often hear about the superstar jiu jitsu athlete who has made the sport their life, but that can be hard to relate to sometimes. I think it’s a necessary perspective to hear from, showing that it’s possible to have that full time job, kids to take care of, and still manage to train and earn a black belt.

Check it out, and have a great day everyone!


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Happy Friday! WordPress Ate My Homework Edition…

Hey guys,

I definitely posted something this morning, and I have no idea what happened to it.

Anyway, I was mentioning there was an article on Grapple Planet interviewing Sophia Drysdale: check it out, have a great weekend, and I’m going to rub wordpress’ nose in this and tell it that it’s a bad….blogging platform. Or something.

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Science! The Misleading “Pee in the Pool” News Story

I’m writing about this because I’m a little annoyed, mainly because it shows how infrequently people actually read the source material of a story. And I’m totally guilty of doing the same, but this is a reminder that we should check the source before sharing articles, stories, etc.

I’m sure you’ve seen the article I’m referring to, probably on Facebook:

“The CDC says it’s not chlorine that’s irritating your eyes, it’s pure URINE! Ewwww!”

Ok, slow your roll there, friend.

If you read the actual article posted by the CDC, found here, from what I understand that’s not actually what’s happening: the article actually talks about poor airflow in indoor pools and the buildup of byproduct created when chlorine binds to sweat, urine, etc to destroy them. Your body is irritated by the chlorine doing its job and disinfecting the pool, essentially.

I’m not terribly familiar with exactly how chlorine molecules work, but I’m pretty sure that’s what the CDC is trying to inform everyone of. If there’s a chemist out there in the peanut gallery, please by all means feel free to correct me, but I’m pretty sure that’s what their article is about. The article is also suggesting to reduce this buildup of byproduct and keep indoor pools well ventilated, and hey, maybe actually follow the rules of the pool and rinse off before jumping in (again, not pointing fingers- I’m sure we’ve all ignored that rule at LEAST once).

That’s all for today folks- now go out there and…don’t pee in the pool. Please.

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Focus on the Fundamentals: No Shame in Your Game

A teammate of mine recently expressed a desire to revisit some basics, and essentially fill in some holes in her jiu jitsu education/training after class once a week, and I offered to help: as both a reference and a drilling partner. It’s going to be a lot basics and fundamentals- firming up the foundation of her jiu jitsu to improve her overall game and knowledge.

Personally, I think there’s no shame in admitting there’s something lacking in your game, as long as you are then willing to do something about it. As much as we want to learn all the things when it comes to the sport, really there are only so many hours in the day, and inevitably something will fall by the wayside. Sometimes there are only so many things you are able to focus on, that one piece of the huge jiu jitsu puzzle will get the short end of the stick, so to speak.

There are some people that realize this, but push it off, ignore the holes in their game and just keep moving along. But I feel the people who will find the most success in jiu jitsu will be the ones who go back, correct those mistakes and fill in those holes in their game. There’s no shame in admitting you’re only human and that you have weaknesses that need to be worked on. Jiu jitsu is all about learning, growing, evolving, and sometimes to go forward you need to look back and fix what may be weak.

Just my thoughts for the day: have a great day everyone!


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Article From Dominyka Obelenyte on Equality in BJJ

I’m sure everyone has read the article from black belt, Worlds Double Gold champ Dominyka Obelenyte on Equality in BJJ. It’s an article I believe everyone should read and serious think about. In the article she makes several excellent points regarding the current situation of jiu jitsu competitions and females, the frustrations many women feel, and the call to action for some sort of resolution or compromise.

Do I think the attitude towards women’s jiu jitsu will change overnight, and we will suddenly have equal prize money, etc? Unfortunately, no. True change rarely comes in like a rushing wave, but rather a slow moving river that eventually transforms the landscape. But I think drawing attention to issues like these is a good start: it opens the door to conversation, negotiations (if both sides are willing) and an eventual resolution that everyone can be satisfied with.

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

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It’s Birthday Beatdown Time!

Good morning everyone!

So we have a tradition in our academy- as a way to wish someone a very happy birthday, everyone in class lines up and throws that person with their preferred judo throw/takedown. I had my beatdown last Monday, and our coach was nice enough to film the whole thing. You’ll notice there’s someone in the back who is also getting thrown- she’s a white belt who is from out of the country (Colombia) and has to move back at least for a while, so it was sort of a send off for her as well.

Here’s part one- there are two videos total and the second one is taking forever at the moment, but here is a taste of it.

I’ll upload the rest when youtube finally gets it act together. In the meantime, enjoy!


Youtube finally pulled through and I can now show you the second part of the birthday beatdown…It’s over 3 minutes long- it’s ok, I won’t be offended if you don’t watch all the way through:


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Happy Friday! Name Game Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

I was just thinking about some of the names we have for guards and techniques- spider guard, butterfly guard, scissor sweep- for the most part they make sense: they remind the person of a particular object, insect, etc. or they are named after the person who most notably used it- for example the De la Riva Guard, or the Kimura.

There are some funky ones out there that just don’t make sense, personally. Like Worm guard, for example. Keenan, dude, why “worm guard”? I guess “Lapel Wrapping Clusterduck” was sort of a mouthful.

And yes, I intentionally used the word “clusterduck”- it’s one of the best autocorrect mistakes iPhone has ever given me.

And let’s not even get started on Eddie Bravo- Electric Chair? The Wizard? Banana Split? I may or may not be making up that last one- I’m not too sure, to be honest.

Who gets to name these things? I’m sure there are multiple names for the same positions- how does one name get to be more popular than the other?

Just some things to think about. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Science! Chocolate Will Most Likely NOT Keep You From Developing Heart Disease and Stroke

Whomp, whomp.

A recent article on IFLScience tries to let us all down gently and inform us that eating chocolate will probably not help in preventing heart disease and stroke- why would people believe this in the first place? The article nails it on the head, actually:

” When it comes to indulgences like chocolate, we want to hear we can eat them without any health consequences, or even better, that they come with health benefits.”

Very true, IFLScience, very true. It’s the same lie I tell myself when I eat an acai bowl with peanut butter and all other sort of “healthy” toppings…


…And by one, I really mean three.

Whatever, don’t judge.

It’s sort of disappointing news to highlight, but also an important reminder: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Check out the article, and have a great day everyone!

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Article from Blogger The Dirty White Belts: Clerks, Millers and Chaucer, Oh My!

I love when people create unusual, unorthodox comparisons to explain jiu jitsu, and this one is pretty great: the author of Dirty White Belt talks about the Canterbury Tales and encourages readers to be more like the Clerk, and less like the Miller.

To fully understand what he’s talking about (it’s a good article, I promise) go and check it out, and have a great day everyone!

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Kids and BJJ: The Anxiety of Reffing Their Matches

We had an in-house tournament this past Saturday, and I was in charge of reffing a number of matches, including the children’s division.

arm bar

My face in this photo basically sums up the anxiety I felt during most of the matches, particularly when it came down to a submission attempt by one of the (tiny, adorable) competitors.

It’s a little nerve wracking sometimes, trying to discern if they are in pain, or they are just trying really hard. These kids know how to tap, but still, I worry (as is apparent in the photo) and tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to reffing matches.

On the other hand however you should let them try to go as long as possible, within reason of course- it’s a fine line between letting them fight out of something, attempt a submission, and stopping a match to make sure no one gets hurt.

I’m sure there are people out there who ref waaay more kids matches than I and have this down to a science, but it’s still sort of nerve wracking, personally.

Have you reffed a match before? How about specifically a kids match? Let me know your experience & thoughts: otherwise, have a great day everyone!


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