Category Archives: Training

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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Article on the Term “Goon” in BJJ

This is a thing? Really?

Grappler’s Planet has an article about a term that I guess is making its way through the BJJ community- “goon” or “gooning” to refer to someone who uses strength rather than technique on the mats.

….So, if it’s a white belt can we call them a Goonie and demand they do the Truffle Shuffle?

giphy

Anyway, my thought on the matter is that you are always going to have someone that uses strength, and more often than not it has something to do with pride: maybe they have previous experience, or think they are in some movie montage where they should be beating everyone with just a few classes and a highlight reel to show how hard they worked…. Or something to that nature.

The key here, as is also stated in the article, is first and foremost not to be a goon, but also to focus on your technique- one of the nice things about jiu jitsu is that skill will inevitably beat strength. This “goon” will eventually realize that and have a fork in the path of their jiu jitsu career, in which they will have to decide what path they choose to follow: continue with strength and attempting to overpower others, or to change their ways and really learn jiu jitsu and the techniques that are offered.

So, check out the article and have a great day everyone!

 

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The Necessity of Imagination in BJJ

Seems like it wouldn’t have a place in jiu jitsu, right? Having an imagination? Believe it or not there really does have a place in jiu jitsu. You have to be able to imagine what your attempting and the most likely reaction to it. It’s the ability to visualize not just what you are doing now, but the most likely sequence of actions that will follow between you and your partner.

It’s ok if you don’t see that progression now, particularly if you’re at a lower belt. That sort of imagination/visualization comes with time and practice: you start to see the opportunities to act on the techniques you imagined yourself performing. But, as I said, it takes time and practice in order to hone that skill.

Just some thoughts for the day- have a great day everyone!

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Science! Jiu Jitsu is Beneficial for Your Brain

As if we needed additional evidence…

IFLScience has an article about how aerobic exercise is not only beneficial for the heart, but for the brain as well.

Take a look at the article and have a great day everyone!

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The Benefits of Failing in BJJ

No one really likes it, or truly wants to admit it, but there are some upsides to failing on both a smaller and larger scale.

Let’s talk about the larger scale first: you spend months preparing for a tournament. You train nonstop for months to step out on the mat and then… You lose.

Frustrating, to be sure: we like to think we will reap the rewards of the effort we put into something, even something as (frankly unpredictable) as a match. But, in addition to a humbling experience, one that exposes your weaknesses and shows you what you need to work on…you know, if you let it.

In a smaller context, failing at executing some technique for example gives you an opportunity to practice your exit strategy- just how you are going to react when things fail. This is an important skill, learning to recover from a failure. Even if you practice a technique a million times, it’s not infallible, and sometimes knowing how to recover from that failure is just as important as learning how to perform the technique itself.

So, remember to tell yourself that it’s ok to fail now and again. It lends itself to opportunity and other learning experiences you otherwise might not have.

Have a great day everyone!

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Explaining vs. Showing: How Do You Best Learn Jiu Jitsu?

So, anyone who has talked to me for longer than 12 seconds knows that I’m a visual person: I think in very visual terms, when I speak or write I like to build an image for my intended audience, and when I learn something, I need to “see” it with my mind’s eye to understand it. It’s one of the nice things about jiu jitsu class: in addition to explaining the technique, more often than not the instructor will go through the motions of the technique, offering the best of both worlds, showing the technique and then providing additional explanation and focus on certain details.

I’m bringing this up because I know there are some blogs out there that go tremendously in depth in their explanation of a technique, and basically provide a how to: and more often than not it’s all Greek to me. Not that I lack the capacity to eventually imagine what the person is trying to explain, or that the person is somehow failing in their explanation- it’s just I can’t “see” what they are trying to explain very easily.

It’s just a learning preference: I imagine there are people out there who love the step by step, written instruction on how to do something. If so, let me know who you are, and what appeals to you about that method: I’m genuinely curious.

Otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday: Nose to the Grindstone Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

We’re getting ready for a couple of tournaments over here, putting our noses to the grindstone and preparing for competition. Do any of you have a tournament coming up you’re getting ready for? Let me know- otherwise, have a great weekend everyone!

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Drink Up: The Importance of Water

A teammate posted this on facebook, and it’s something we all need to be reminded now and again: water is crucial in general for our wellbeing.

Take a look, grab a glass of water, and have a great day everyone! dehydration

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Happy Friday: An Tribute to Our Beat Up Gi’s and Belts

Happy Friday everyone!

Here’s a little tribute to out worn out, torn, beat up belts and gi’s:

 

Armor

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Crossfit Self Defense Training….Er, What?

Crossfit is offering self defense courses? Really?

Apparently Crossfit athletes can sign up for 1 day specialized self defense course, focusing on awareness  of their surroundings (good), “Defuse and de-escalate common conflicts” (also good), and “use CrossFit movements that mirror simple and effective combative movements” (um, what?).

The site repeatedly claims that athletes (and trainers) are not learning striking, however they keep using the term “combative”. Which I understand is not synonymous with striking, but it still worries me.

Also the fact that this is a one day course also bothers me: that’s like taking jiu jitsu or judo for a day and just assuming that you know everything. I know we’ve talked about this before, but it takes more than just a day to develop the muscle memory, to fully absorb the lessons taught in keeping yourself safe. Sure, it’s an interesting variation to add to your workouts, I guess, but I wouldn’t want anyone to go into this thinking they could handle any situation thrown their way because they took a day of crossfit self defense training.

What do you all think? Let me know-otherwise, have a great day everyone!

 

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