Category Archives: bjj

Surviving Hard Summer BJJ Training Sessions

It’s super hot and muggy here on the East Coast, and with that sometimes training can feel brutal. It doesn’t help when it’s basically 100 degrees outside, not much cooler inside due to body heat and whatever else- on top of the fact that you are wearing anywhere from 1 1/2 to almost 6 pounds of extra clothing. My general take on these conditions is to try and keep training (because if we all stopped we would have to basically take 3 months off…. inconceivable!) but also listen to your body and make sure to take care of yourself.

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  1. Bring water to class: I imagine there are a couple of academies out there in which there is that one person that doesn’t drink water in between sets. Friend, don’t be a hero, drink some water. Or gatorade- whatever it takes to keep yourself hydrated.
  2. Train with a lower rank: so maybe you’re not feeling great, but not to a point where you need to sit out. This is a perfect time to work with a lower rank- they are still working on trying to figure things out, you need some time to be in a position where you are still working on things, but presumably this will allow you to slow a little bit while you come back around.
  3. Sit out when you need to sit out: You’ve been a brave little toaster up until now, and you are just not feeling well. You’re nauseous, maybe a little dizzy… just sit out. Every jiu jitsu person I know is amazingly stubborn, and it truly becomes a double edged sword: on the one hand its great when you need to “dig deep” and persevere through some bad situations, but it can also become a liability and you can really hurt yourself because you were too stubborn to not stop.

So, those are my main tips for surviving some hard summer training sessions. Hopefully you either take my advice or maybe you’re just one of those people who “love the heat” and can train unfazed in super steamy conditions. If that’s the case, well then good for you: I imagine you lived in either Florida or are secretly a lizard. Hey, I’m not here to judge, just here to provide some tips for others who have trouble with the heat.

Have a great day everyone!

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Chair Throwing? Really?

So as some may have noticed (or not, totally cool) I have been sort of buried under work, life, etc. I’ve still been training, getting ready for Master Worlds, but by and large have been keeping my head down and nose to the grindstone.

I check back in to see what’s happening in the bjj world and people are throwing chairs? Really? And by people, I mean one black belt at the conclusion of a match, at a white belt.

The guy did offer an apology for his actions and I’m sure there was a lot going on leading up to this, but still I think the chair throwing was uncalled for, at any rank.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today, folks- just…. don’t throw chairs at one another, please?

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Happy Friday! Reminder Edition

Happy Friday everyone! Gold BJJ has an article interviewing a brown belt Brian Sheehan with a helpful reminder “don’t roll to win, roll to get better”.

Check it out and have a great weekend everyone!

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Jeff Glover Retires from Competing

I’m not dead, I promise- just in the great work/life/training/writing balance, writing has sort of been taking a back seat.

I just checked BJJnews to see what I missed out on while I’ve been buried under work, and I’m kind of surprised to see that Jeff Glover is retiring from competing in jiu jitsu. When it’s time, it’s time, I guess.

Anyhoo, if you are just a surprised about that as I am, check out the article and have a great day everyone!

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Keys for BJJ Success: Consistency and Accountability

If you really think about it, there’s really no secret formula to getting better at jiu jitsu: the problem often lies in people’s impatience when it comes to improving their skills and advancing in rank.

Consistency is important in a lot of ways: you need to consistently show up for class, drill and attend class on a reasonably regular and consistent schedule. While the results themselves don’t always feel consistent, keeping constant in your efforts to improve will eventually pay off.

Accountability in a number of ways is important: you need to be accountable for your failures- you can’t learn from something if you don’t take ownership for it. You need to hold yourself accountable to making it to class on that consistent schedule, and to get back to class if you miss a day or two. Taking ownership of your lack of knowledge, swallowing your pride sometimes and asking for help or feedback on something you aren’t executing on.

Again, not rocket science, but they are lessons that we logically know, but we don’t always know “heart and soul”. They are lessons that we learn over time before they really start to sink in. Once we do however, the road to improvement gets just a little easier: when we take ownership of our jiu jitsu journey and take consistent steps along it, we will eventually make progress.

Just some thoughts for the morning: have a great day everyone!

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Competitions and Medals: A Tale of Progress

This past weekend a number of teammates and I competed at NY Open. Our people fought hard- won some, lost some, and overall left as better people for it. I had one match against a wonderful fellow black belt, we had a great back and forth match (us old ladies can duke it out!) and I ended up winning by an advantage.

I’m bringing this up not because of the win itself, but because of everything leading up to it: rewind to a little over a month ago, I also competed at Pans, and I did terribly. Like, it was pretty bad, guys. It a beautiful demonstration of jiu jitsu for my competitor (who I also think is a lovely human- absolutely no hard feelings towards her) where I felt I couldn’t do anything right. So understandably, I was pretty bummed about the match afterwards.

So, while it sucked, I also made a conscious choice to not give up. I made a choice, rather than to create excuses for myself that I would work to improve and compete again- with the intention of hopefully doing better than this spectacularly bad performance. And I would like to think that I accomplished that: the medal I received at NY Open to me is not a recognition of winning per se, but rather of progress and perseverance, even when it seemed easier at times to just say “forget it”.

It’s a hard decision sometimes to make sometimes, a commitment to keep pushing forward, and I’m talking on and off the mat. I’m sure we’ve all had those days at work where the minute you step in the door things just go wrong: from start to finish and it feels like you just can’t catch a break. It’s hard to think that anything could ever go right again, and you just kind of want to throw your hands in the air and say “the hell to all of this.”

Regardless of whether you’re on the mat, I would urge you to not give up: the only true failure is when you stop trying. So you’re rolling with higher ranked teammates and you can’t catch a break? Getting choked left and right? Keep trying, keep learning from your mistakes, and keep pushing forward- the only way you will truly stop progressing is when you refuse to try anymore.

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

 

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Training While You’re Injured: We All Know You’re Tough, Just Tap

I’m always a little hesitant to roll with people when they are injured- if I do, I have a tendency to say “if something hurts too much, just let me know” knowing that there is still a chance they will not.

Listen, we all know that you’re tough and a brave little toaster, and that you want to get back to training at your normal speed, but you’re also injured- you hurt your hand/wrist/knee/entire body, and while you may be ready to put it behind you, but your body may not be at that point just yet.

We think it’s great that you’re on the mat, but don’t let your need to roll now impede your future recovery: we’ve all done it, and trust me, it sucks. Still come to class, still drill and train (within reason) but still take your body into consideration- jiu jitsu is a lifetime kind of sport, and you still have years upon years to keep training: a couple of rolling sessions where you take it a little easier won’t hurt, I promise.

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

 

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BJJ and Competing: It Gets Easier, But Never Easy

We had a couple of teammates compete in DC Open this weekend (due to a family obligation I was unable to attend) and afterwards I asked a teammate how they did. They admitted to losing towards the end of the match, and said “I have never been that nervous in my life”

I wish I could tell you that competition becomes a breeze the more you do it: that after doing enough tournaments your heart rate barely raises right before you go out to compete. But then I would be lying, and I respect you all more than to lie to you.

Admittedly, it does get a little easier as time goes on: but you will never quite lose your nerves when it comes to competing. And that’s ok, because it means you care about doing well: totally understandable. It does become a little easier to face those nerves, fears, insecurities as time goes on, because essentially you’re exposing yourself to them, and still competing in spite of them.

So, the bad news is that competing will never truly become “easy”, it will however become easier the more you do it.

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

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Article on How to Convince Someone to Try BJJ (Without Scaring Them Off)

Hey everyone,

Jiu Jitsu Times has an interesting article on how to convince someone to join bii- without scaring them off.

Check it out and have a great day everyone!

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An Article on the History of the Ezekial Choke

Well this is pretty neat- I don’t know about you but I’ve always wondered how the Ezekial choke got its name.

Fortunately someone was just as curious and way more motivated to find the answer to the question, and wrote a whole article about the story- and the man- behind the ezekial choke.

Check it out and have a great day everyone!

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