Monthly Archives: December 2020

Happy New Year!

Here’s hoping that all the things that need to happen in 2021, do so quickly so we can back to training and a somewhat normal existence.

I hope you all have happy and safe New Year celebrations!

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Diego Sanchez and his Only Fans Account

So, you may have heard that Diego Sanchez set up and is currently promoting his Only Fans account… If you are not sure what Only Fans is, it’s like an alternative to Patreon- content creators ask fans to sign up and pay a monthly fee for exclusive content. Only Fans however has made a name for itself however by being a site that is popular with online sex workers and content creators who specialize in that niche.

I quickly checked out what I could without signing up for it, and I’m honestly trying to decide if it was an honest interpretation of the platform (oh, this is for only fans, and only my fans will sign up- great!) or if this was a brilliant strategy to get people to check out the site and sign up for his channel…. While I would love to think it’s the latter-just some brilliant publicity move- I would not be surprised if it was just the former.

Anyway, at face value it does not appear Diego is selling anything too salacious on the site, he’s really just offering a space for his fans to subscribe and keep up with his training, interviews, and (I sincerely hope) his “Yes” cartwheels.

Have a great day everyone!

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Merry Christmas Eve!

Is anyone else totally unprepared like I am? Yes? Oh good.

This year has certainly went sideways for all of us in one way or another: while I still think things are going to be sort of….not great… for a while, I do think we are creeping back towards some kind of normalcy which is encouraging.

Have a happy and safe Christmas!

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When Should You Start Rolling in BJJ

Again, I was looking around at questions people were asking on the internet, and this is one that happened to pop up. It’s a totally valid question: just starting out you may not feel totally at ease rolling when you barely know anything, so some may want to hold off on rolling straight away.

My personal philosophy is you should start early- maybe your second or third class in. By then you should have one or two things in your toolbelt, and at the very least start to get used to the idea of rolling around on the floor with another human. I’m sure there are many conflicting thoughts on this and that’s absolutely fine: the way I see it is that rolling that early in your jiu jitsu journey sort of takes the scariness out of it. My concern about waiting too long to roll is the anxiety that may build due to some expectation that rolling is really going to be a bigger thing than it really is. Just rip the bandaid off, jump headfirst into the cold water and then figure it out from there.

Some academies from what I understand have their white belts wait to roll until they are a few months in, ensuring they have some more tools in their toolbelt before letting them go live. And that’s also totally fine: I will admit one of the drawbacks of having someone train that early is sometimes they freeze because they are in an unfamiliar situation and haven’t been taught how to get out of it, or learned how to take advantage of certain opportunities when they are presented, so I totally get why some instructors may want their white belts to wait on training for a little while.

At the end of the day, I would trust what your instructor advises. If they want you to jump in, just jump in and have fun! There’s no expectation to wow anyone or make the highlight reel: you literally just started. And if they want you to wait a little while you build your fundamental skills, great! More time to practice those basics before putting them to use. More than anything don’t build rolling up into something more than it really is: it’s an opportunity to try some things out, and particularly for a white belt, a chance to practice defending and escaping. No one is expecting any flying inverted submission out of you, just that you will follow the fundamentals and work to defend and escape. Just have fun and do your best.

That’s all for now- have a great day everyone!

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Getting Back to Jiu Jitsu: It Takes Courage and Grit

I logically understood the courage it took to get back to jiu jitsu after taking some time off, but when we were able to train, I fully appreciated the guts it takes for someone to get back to jiu jitsu.

Almost every time someone comes back from jiu jitsu it’s because they took some time off to focus on their family or career, or (unfortunately) to deal with some sort of injury or other personal issue. After some time the siren song of jiu jitsu gets them back into the gym, which is great. It is a little however like trying to go through a choreographed dance after years of not practicing it: you’ll remember bits and pieces, but you’ll feel clumsy and your timing is off. Still, people still take all of this and make an effort to persevere.

Over the summer gyms were open to some extend and we were able to attend classes, and man it was rough: feeling out of shape for jiu jitsu, clumsy, the frustration of knowing that you understand how to do something, that you used to do it all the time but your body will not cooperate. And that’s hard for a lot of people- we like to be good at things, and we especially hate when we used to be good at something and now we’re not.

We’re back to a full lockdown now for the time being, but when gyms open back up, I have to say it will take a lot of courage and grit for people to come back. We will, it will suck, and then it will get better. Keep this experience in mind the next time someone comes back to jiu jitsu after all of this covid craziness is over: it’s going to suck for them, but it took a lot of courage for them to get back to the gym and it will continue to take some grit for them to keep continuing, and that should be respected.

That’s all I have for now- have a great day everyone!

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Not Every BJJ Gym is for Everybody

Recently on social media someone made a comment that they had yet to find a gym where they truly felt welcome. That’s absolutely unfortunate, but it does bring to light something that is not discussed that often: not every academy is going to be a great fit for someone. There are some schools that appeal to a certain crowd because the owner has decided- either consciously or unconsciously- to appeal and attract that certain crowd. And, if we’re being totally honest, there’s a chance that some gyms have a culture that was born out of simply what worked for the gym. Keep in mind, for a lot of people this is a business and their primary source of income: while this by no means excuses any less desirable behaviors, more something to keep in mind if you wonder why there may be a dissonance between what a gym owner or instructor preaches and behaves vs what they allow to transpire. Gym owners should take a good look at not only the qualities and values they intentionally promote in an academy, but also what they allow to “slide” in a gym, because that also plays a huge part of the gym’s culture.

Also, all of that being said, there’s just a chance that a gym is not a fit for someone. Maybe they do not agree with some parts of the culture- while of course there are some non-negotiables when it comes to respect and safety, but take for instance there are some jiu jitsu gyms out there who take a more formal approach to classes, while some take a more casual and relaxed approach. Neither of these academies are wrong (in my opinion), and some students are going to be more drawn to one kind of environment than another.

I know there’s the whole idea that it’s frowned upon to switch gyms: and from a teaching perspective, I do have to say that sometimes it’s hard to watch someone that you spent so much time working with, emotionally investing in their success that it does hurt a little when they decide that they want to train somewhere else. However I also don’t believe in trying to fit a square peg into a round hole: if it’s simply not working for you, then it’s not working for you. If you decide to leave your current gym, try to be as professional and courteous about it as possible. It’s kind of like a break up- the more you speak poorly of the other person, the worse you look.

That’s it for now: have a great day everyone!

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Will BJJ Survive Covid?

It’s a valid question: we’ve seen or heard about a lot of schools shutting down due to Covid restrictions, so it’s a concern and fear for a lot of people. Some may see this as a moot point, since vaccines are on their way, but considering the spacing of the vaccines and overall availability, the sport could take a hit over the next few months as cases rise.

We have to keep in mind that this was a martial art and sport that started in garages, and also it’s a sport full of stubborn people. As long as there are at lease two people with a desire to roll on the ground in some fancy thick pajamas, jiu jitsu will survive. At worst in some areas it may need to be paused in some areas, or there could be a shake up in terms of available academies where one can train. This is also a sport though that for some time was practiced in garages. While IBJJF has added a level of legitimacy to academies, that’s really more of a concern for people that want to compete in their tournaments. For a very large portion of the jiu jitsu population, most just want to train without dreams of making it to an IBJJF podium. In that case, a lot of these schools can basically go “underground” while we try to rebuild as the vaccine becomes more available.

lt’s a stressful time to be sure, especially for a lot of small school owners as they are unsure about their future. As a whole though, I think jiu jitsu in general will weather the pandemic and we will be back to trying to choke the living daylights out of one another at some point.

Have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday! Ancestry.com & France Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

So I learned something interesting recently that I would like to pass along: I signed up Ancestry.com a few years ago, and even took one of the DNA tests. It’s been a pretty interesting experience, and even met a second cousin I never knew I had while visiting Las Vegas.

While my results are fairly reasonable- nothing too wild, just a lot of Northwestern European and British Isles- I know from several family stories, photos and documents that part of my family has a fairly strong French background…. that is absolutely not mentioned in my DNA results. Which is strange, considering we have a family document (somewhere) in which either my great or great-great grandmother traced her lineage all the way back to a French soldier who served in Napolean’s army. In looking on Ancestry’s site and checking the section where they highlight all of the areas in the world where they test, there is a big blank spot in the middle of France.

Curious about this, I decided to look it up: according to the site My French Roots, “According to the French bioethics law, DNA testing is only allowed for medical, scientific or judicial purposes. The main concern is that paternity tests and medical DNA tests shouldn’t be done without supervision. But the ban also extends to genealogical DNA tests….Some of the major international companies (like Ancestry) do not ship their tests to France. And most of the companies don’t make advertisements in France.” The article continues to explain that some companies are starting to sell their tests recently anyway, since no one has been fined for purchasing these direct to consumer genealogy tests.

So, for anyone else who might have taken one of these DNA tests and wondered why their own French ancestry may not show on a site like Ancestry.com, here’s your answer. Hopefully someone picks up a new fact for the day or I’ve helped answer a question that may have been lurking in the back of your mind.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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MMA Fighter Israel Adesanya Receives Purple Belt

I know, I’m a little late to the party in delivering the news, but Israel Adesanya just received his purple belt form Andre Galvao. Congratulations! Honestly I really haven’t watched him fight, I’ve just seen his super fun walk out routines. (you can find one of his routines here if for some reason you haven’t seen them) – I’m sure I’ll get around to watching one of his matches…. at some point….

Anyway, I’m sure however that it’s well earned- congrats to him!

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Can Jiu Jitsu Get You In Shape?

I was recently looking at a tool that tells you what people are asking about on the internet, and this is one of the questions that came up.

Well, in short yes, but it depends on a couple of things, including what you mean by “in shape” along with some other factors. In the beginning as a spazzy white belt, you will absolutely lose weight and absolutely feel like you are getting healthier: you’ll start to lose some weight, it may become easier to climb a flight of stairs…. Or you’re so tired from your jiu jitsu classes at first you don’t even notice the changes that are taking place. I can tell you personally I’m not even sure I was aware of the changes that were taking place when I first started jiu jitsu: it was ages ago, but I think I was so focused on just getting the basics down that it wasn’t until my instructors said something about my weight loss that I finally got on a scale.

After that, it kind of depends on what you do with that beginner momentum. Do you use that momentum to change your diet, add some supplementary strength training to your routine (to answer another question on the internet, jiu jitsu may help you build a little muscle but if you are really looking to make gains you’re going to have to find them in the weight room, not the jiu jitsu mat).

There are some people who definitely take the healthy route- and jiu jitsu is definitely a great motivator. You will spar with people in better shape, which can motive you to get into better shape- throw a little discipline into the mix and you have a great formula to getting “in shape”- if that for you means better cardio and losing some excess weight, and maybe getting a little more flexible than before.

But, as with most things in life, results will vary based on experience and of course your personal choices. After a while you will become more efficient at your movements in jiu jitsu, along with your body becoming acclimating to your level of activity. Food also plays a somewhat big part in this: we tend to believe that we can train and then repeatedly way over our caloric expenditure, or food that doesn’t give our bodies the nutrients they need, and that can potentially lead to weight gain: it may take some time to catch up to you, but it will eventually.

This isn’t meant to be preachy- if anything I’m trying to emphasize that you have a choice. Can jiu jitsu get you in shape? Yes, particularly in the beginning: jiu jitsu is a great way to start on the path to being healthier in a number of ways, and it’s up to you to decide just how far you want to go on that journey.

Have a great day everyone!

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