Category Archives: jiu jitsu

Article on Relaxing in Class as a White Belt

We all know White Belts are sort of like puppies that get the zoomies (you know, the zoomies)- they are super amped to do all the things, and at times have a hard time concentrating at the task at hand even if they really want to.

The author over at BJJ Self Help has an article on what it means to “relax” as it relates to a white belt in class.

Check it out, and have a great day everyone!

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Slow Down if You’re Skipping Forward

So we drilling a sequence of techniques last night- you know, practicing A, then A to B if A is countered, and then going to C if the first two were shut down, etc., etc. I found myself trying to skip the first couple and trying to get to the end of the series. Admittedly the first couple that I was forgetting to practice were the more basic elements leading to the more difficult, but still it’s no excuse. Even if you think you are the master of the basics…you still need to practice the basics. There are so many little details and elements to even the fundamentals of jiu jitsu it’s hard to remember and execute on all of them. And who knows, practicing those fundamentals will open the opportunity to see how other techniques may relate, in addition to whatever it is you are drilling.

Also, unintended side effect, if you are a higher belt there is a chance there is some lower belt who may watch you go through the more basic moves for tips- not that they have a specific question per se, but they want to see someone more skilled at the particular technique performed by someone at a higher level. So in going through the basics, there’s a chance you’re not only helping yourself, but another teammate as well.

So, if you’re like me and you find that you are trying to skip to the end- stop. Take a breath, refocus, and work through all of the techniques, even if you may consider them to be more basic and would rather focus on the more complicated items. You could always use the review of the basics, and you never know who else you could be helping in the process.

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

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Giva Santana Seminar Review

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A couple of nights ago we had a seminar at our academy with Giva Santana- owner of One Jiu Jitsu, great jiu jitsu player, and overall a nice guy.

We went over a good deal of spider guard, sweeps from del la riva, some nifty armbars and a couple of cool other tips to think about adding to one’s game. Overall the seminar was fun and informative, with plenty of laughs and information that a student could take with them. I was happy to see our guys from all skill levels- from the guys that have been at the academy for over 10 years to some students that have been there for less than 30 days. Giva took the time to help everyone, and offered different levels of difficulty for techniques, so the white belts wouldn’t get lost and the more advanced guys had something to sink their teeth into. All in all if was a good night and we were glad to have the seminar in the academy.

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

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Training, Coaching and the Like

Hey Everyone,

I know last week was a little bit of a doozy- rest assured I’m still training

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….and still working on trying to be photogenic. Also, contrary to what the photo may suggest, I do not have jaundice.

I’ve also been helping to coach/support our team:

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Just haven’t been posting much: I can’t totally promise that I’m back on the wagon, but I’m making an effort.

This past weekend we had a group of competitors raise money and compete in Tap Cancer Out: it’s a great tournament for a great cause, and if one’s coming through your area I would highly suggest checking it out.

Have a great day everyone!

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Coaching and What it Means to You

So I’ve had a professional coach for the past few months, and frankly I’ve been having some trouble really finding a groove with that coach. I’m starting to wonder if at least part of the problem has to do with what a “coach” means to me, especially with my background in jiu jitsu.

While I’m not expecting the coach at my job to show me some new, slick submissions, I think there are some expectations that I may be bringing in to the relationship due to past experience. For instance, your coach is also usually your instructor- for the most part, anyway. They are usually intimate with your struggles because they have seen you train, they have rolled with you on occasion and have watched you roll with others, pointing out certain positions or sticking points and offering suggestions how to get around them.

To be fair, that may not be everyone’s experience when it comes to coaching. Maybe your teacher and your coach to two entirely different people- the coach being there to lead and motivate, while the teacher is there to perform more of the day to day tasks.

Do I think a coach needs to be there every single time you train? No, but I think they should be around on a fairly regular enough basis to understand your style, so they can aptly and accurately offer suggestions on how to better your game. Or really work to get to know the person by asking questions about common sticking points, and seeing what sticks in order to work on common problem areas, brainstorming or offering suggestions that the person being coached can then put their own spin on.

What does having a coach mean to you? Just curious. Let me know- otherwise have a great day everyone!

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Results and Thoughts on EBI 12

Last night was the 12th Eddie Bravo Invitational, or EBI 12. This one was particularly interesting because it was an all women card. I was only able to watch the first round and two matches in the quarter finals (because of that whole pesky “work in the morning thing”) but it seemed to be a pretty exciting event.

The eventual winner was Erin Blanchfield over Gabi McComb via armbar in overtime- good for her.

The only other thing I’ll say about the event is that while combat jiu jitsu- striking while on the ground- seems like a good idea in theory, watching it in practice I’m not totally sold on it. I think it’s more appropriate if the match is being stalled one way or another, but in the little I saw, it seemed like competitors were trying to strike one another while a legitimate submission attempt was going on, which was a little silly in my opinion.

Those are just my thoughts. Also, having an event at 9pm on a Sunday night would not be my top pick for an event. Especially while Game of Thrones is running. Just sayin’.

For those who watched, what were your impressions? Also, for anyone who missed the event, you can find them here.

Have a great day everyone!

 

 

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You Will Never Compete Feeling 100%

It’s something we always hope for, but rarely (if ever) actually happens: feeling phenomenal for a tournament. No injuries, well rested, ready to go. I’m sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but if you have been in the sport for longer than say 8 months to a year, chances are you are going to compete and not feel your best. There’s going to be some nagging injury that is enough for you to go “huh, that doesn’t feel awesome”.

That’s not to say you should go into competition with a serious injury- as much as you may love competition, there comes a point where the risk simply isn’t worth the potential reward, and really you are benefiting yourself in the long run if you just sit this one out and wait for the next competition.

What I’m saying is that there are times when people may feel ‘off’- not seriously injured, but they still train- and that’s sometimes the price we pay when training. It’s a full contact sport, and with that often comes smaller bumps and injuries just from day to day training.

Ultimately it’s up to you, the competitor: if you are in enough pain and you are worried about it enough, then by all means, sit that competition out and wait for the next one to roll around. But keep in mind the times where you are completely, 100% pain free will be few and far in between.

Have a great day everyone!

 

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Sometimes You Need Exaggeration for Practical Application in Jiu Jitsu

Seems a bit counter-intuitive, no? Jiu jitsu is pretty much centered on the premise of what one would realistically do during a fight (for the most part- if someone did the worm guard in a back alley street fight I would both annoyed and just a little bit impressed).

Exaggeration of movement in a technique does have its place, in some situations. I remember one of our old instructors explaining this concept to us: in live training and in competition it is tremendously rare to fully, perfectly execute a technique, such as a sweep. So, by training the body to “learn” that muscle memory of exaggeration, you are priming yourself to be more successful in a technique in a live situation, rather than minimizing your movement and then wondering why that sweep/etc. never works when you are rolling or competing.

I’m certainly not saying to do this for every technique, but in some cases, particularly techniques that require a big movement on your part, it’s better to go big.

Have a great day everyone!

 

 

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Things to Remember When Learning Jiu Jitsu

For all the techniques that people show, share, expound on, there are some key things you need to remember when it comes to learning techniques (that will “change your life for forever”- or something of that nature).

  1. Do what works best for you. There are going to be certain sweeps, submissions, positions that just make sense and you are going to take to them like a fish to water. You’re going to find your groove, and not only is it natural, I think it’s something you should embrace.
  2. Don’t be afraid to try new things. While you find things that work the best for you, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore everything else and only work on the things you’re good at. How can you know what to add to your repertoire if you only do the same things over and over again?
  3. You don’t have to master everything, but you should at least be acquainted with them. This is related to the previous point, but it’s an important one. You are not required to master every single position in jiu jitsu- it would take several lifetimes to do so, and therefore kind of an unrealistic expectation. I would strongly encourage people to at least be familiar with the positions, sweeps and submissions so you’re not blindsided by them down the road.
  4. Have fun! This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I think in all of our effort to succeed in jiu jitsu, this one gets a little lost sometimes in the struggle to advance.

While these items are not the secret to success in ultimate mastery in jiu jitsu, at least it may make the journey a little easier.

Have a great day everyone!

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Experimenting in Jiu Jitsu: Let’s Get Weird

Basics and solid fundamentals are key in jiu jitsu, to be sure. But I fully believe it is beneficial to occasionally put yourself in unusual positions- to get a little weird with your jiu jitsu sometimes. Well, weird in a safe way, I guess I should mention.

There are a few benefits to putting yourself in unusual situations: first and foremost, there’s a good chance it will fail and will give you the opportunity to figure out an exit strategy. It’s all fine good if it actually works, but putting yourself in less than advantageous positions also has value, as it helps you figure out how to squeak out of a sticky situation.

Second, it can possibly help you see opportunities for different sweeps or submissions. There’s more than one way to break an egg, and there are multiple ways you can initiate a technique. It doesn’t have to always be simply “A+B=C”. Play around, see what works best for you and the game you like to play.

And finally, it adds fun to your jiu jitsu! Changing up your game and approach, experimenting adds a bit of variety to your training sessions, which can be a lot of fun.

So go out there and get a little weird, everyone!

 

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