Monthly Archives: June 2016

Training for Opportunities, Drilling for Execution

One thing that comes up a lot is what people prefer- drilling or training (or rolling/sparring, if you will). You have people who prefer to roll- they live for open mats, it always seems like they have the unspoken question on their minds, “when can we start training?” 

You also have the people who mostly prefer drilling: they embrace the grind, working tirelessly to perfect that sweep or submission time and time again.

So what is more beneficial? Well, they both are. Drilling perfects your execution of the technique, creating a muscle memory so you can go through the motions without a second thought.

Training however helps you recognize opportunities in real time to best judge when it’s time to execute those techniques: you are rarely going to sweep someone while they are standing still: they are working just as hard as you to advance their position, Training gives you a chance to better recognize when an opportunity for a technique presents itself, so you can execute those things you’ve been tirelessly drilling.

Which do you prefer? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!



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Article on Removing a Stripe When Starting at a New Academy

Hey everyone, Jiu Jitsu Times has an article where a white belt started in a new academy and asked if they should remove their stripe because they felt they were not as skilled as the other white belts in the gym.

My thought is to keep the stripe, and to keep chugging along. It’s not the fanciest or most inspiring piece of advice, but the truth doesn’t always have to be. If you aren’t happy with where you are in terms of your rank, then there are always opportunities to change and improve.

Those are just my two cents: check it out have a great day everyone!

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Article on Women and Bruises in the Workplace

Hey Everyone,

Adventure Journal has an nice little article on women with bruises in the workplace- as someone who frequently walks into the office with at least one or two bruises, I can certainly relate. While there are times I feel a bit self conscious about them, overall my general approach (particularly if they are on my face) goes a little something like this: if I make too much of an attempt to cover them, it implies that I have something to hide- something I am embarrassed to talk about. And that’s totally not the case: ask me what the heck happened, and I will happily tell you how one of my teammates accidentally nailed me in the face while going for some sweep, submission, etc.

Anyway, check it out and have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday! Getting Re-Acclimated Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

Well, a couple days this week were kind of doozies- jetlag, spending the night in an airport, and all other sorts of tomfoolery. But, I’m back now so hopefully posting will get back to a more consistent rate.

As a sort of apology, here’s a photo from my trip:


Have a great weekend everyone!

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Stuck Traveling 

Hey everyone, 

Well I’m stuck traveling back to the city of brotherly love- anyone have a good cure for jet lag so I can get back to training asap? 

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

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BRB: Went to the Mountains 

Hey everyone- posting is going to be a little more spotty than usual this week. I’m spending some time in the mountains in Colorado- yay! 

I’ll try to post when I can, but in case I don’t, have a great week everyone! 

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Article on if Sport Jiu Jitsu is Bad for MMA

Hey guys,

There’s an interesting article from Bloody Elbow on if Sport jiu jitsu is actually bad for MMA.

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

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IBJJF 2016 Worlds Recap

Hey Everyone,

So with everything going on I totally forgot about the IBJJF Worlds.

Check out this article from Bloody Elbow about the results, and let me know what you think- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday: Snorting Chocolate Edition

I know, I’m confused as well.

Apparently this is a thing in Germany: people are snorting cacao powder while at dance parties. Certainly less damaging than other kinds of drugs, but this is just odd.

Check it out, and have a great weekend everyone.


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Grief and BJJ

This isn’t really something people talk about, but I think it has pertinence in a lot of people’s lives and whether we like it or not, as much as we talk about leaving our personal issues off of the mat, it does effect our training and our time at the gym.

Grief can be caused by a variety of situations- it’s the sorrow of losing someone, either (usually) through death, or sometimes emotionally through say a divorce or break up after a long relationship.  Anyway, anyone who knows me is well aware that I hate talking about personal things (in general- it’s not you, it’s me, I promise), but I’ve had experience with both kinds since I’ve started in jiu jitsu. Well, I haven’t divorced anyone- two outta three ain’t bad, right? Anyway, the recent loss of a family member prompted this topic.

It’s interesting because we talk about what to do and how to cope with physical injuries- a dislocated joint, a torn ligament. Sometimes we do talk about how emotions effect our jiu jitsu, but more in the light of how to deal with the dejection of defeat: rarely do we talk about managing the very real and painful loss of someone close to us, and how to come back from that.

Obviously your experience may vary, but personally I have felt a bit of an internal struggle. Physically I’m fine- everything is in more or less working order, no different than it was the day before. Emotionally however the entire landscape has changed:again it could vary depending on what stage of grief you’re in and a variety of other factors, but let’s say for the sake of argument you’re in a place where it feels like that part of your brain that says, “hey, come on, let’s do this thing!” has decided to take a nap and/or has been wrapped burrito-style in a big, wet, heavy blanket.


The ultimate thing is that it’s ok to be sad: it’s ok to acknowledge these feelings. Bottling them up, ignoring them at best won’t make them go away, and at worst will end up creating a bigger problem than just dealing with them in the first place.

It’s also ok to take some time off of the mat: I would say just let your instructor know what’s going on. If you suddenly disappear that’s cause for concern, but I feel at this point everyone knows what it feels like to lose a loved one, and if you let your coach know what’s going on they should give you the space and time that you need. And if they don’t, it may be time to re-evaluate what kind of gym you are spending your time in.

When you feel like it’s time to get back to training, don’t just throw yourself into training just as hard as you were before. Again, experiences may vary but grief really isn’t something you can turn on and off like a faucet: it’s more of a thunderstorm that rolls in, and eventually out. Give yourself time to work back into the routine of things and most of all be patient with yourself: sometimes emotions can take a lot out of you, make you more tired than you may realize. Treat it like coming back from an illness such as a cold or flu- take it one step at a time before you go full speed ahead.

And finally understand that many people, including your teammates, have gone through the same thing. If you feel comfortable enough, talk to some of them- jiu jitsu is a community, and your teammates I’m sure do care. Or at the very least will be a little more understanding if mid-training you suddenly curl up into a ball and start crying out of nowhere.

How have you dealt with grief and training in the past? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone.


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