Category Archives: Training

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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Ladies and the Battle to Make Weight

We all sort of know it, but really don’t have much evidence to quote and back up our claim, and admittedly, we’re usually talking about it in a sort of anectodal way and not in terms of research: it’s harder for women to lose weight than men. Which makes sense in an evolutionary perspective- women need fat to reproduce and ensure the propagation of the human race. A beautiful theory when you look at it from a grand sweeping view of humanity and history in general- a huge pain in the ass when you have a tournament in a couple of weeks and your body decides to drive to mad by holding onto water weight like nobody’s business.

There was an article on Tabata Times about 5 different ways a woman’s metabolism differ from a man’s. I’ve been a little hesitant to post this article, mainly because I wanted to find the studies where these facts were coming from. I really wasn’t able to find much, so I would say which this is an interesting conversation piece I wouldn’t take it as gospel unless you can find the research to back it up, of course. And even then I would proceed with caution and really do what works best for you; for instance it says that intermittent fasting is detrimental to women- maybe you are on an intermittent fasting diet and it’s working great for you, don’t let some article making a generalization sway you from what works best for your body.

One interesting study I did find was the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, conducted in World War II. They found after a period of weight loss soldiers would stop losing weight, essentially going into starvation mode and had the psychological profile of every grappler I have known who was cutting weight for a tournament (well, except for the possibly accidental self mutilation). What forced their bodies to give up the water weight? Eating extra calories, believe it or not. The Wikiepedia article I read didn’t really have much on this subject, but there are articles across the internet talking about the “whoosh” effect, where after the spike in calories the water weight of these soldiers quickly dropped.  So, ladies, holding onto some water weight for a couple of weeks, and you know it’s not from your cycle? Try eating some extra calories and see what happens.

Just some interesting info on a Monday morning. Have a great day everyone!

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Happy (Belated) World Judo Day!

I didn’t find this out until class last night when our Coach informed the class, but yesterday (October 28th) was World Judo Day- so grab your closest judoka and give them a good throw in (belated) celebration!

 

ashiguruma

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Rolling while Rolling (A Camera, that is)

DSTRYRsg posted a video of two guys rolling, one with a Go-Pro camera on his head. It’s a pretty neat video, and as someone who has worn one of those cameras while rolling (I was helping a teammate out with a school project) I am pretty impressed they got the shots they did, and managed not to have the camera fall off their heads. Maybe they had the camera strapped to some headgear?

Anyway, check it out!

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Nothing Tastes as Good as Accomplishment Feels

We’ve all heard the term “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”- I imagine everyone is aware of the backlash in response, the hasty “clarification” and whatever such nonsense that followed that statement. I’ve heard some people mention “nothing tastes as good as healthy feels”, and I would like to add one more variation to the pile- the feeling of accomplishment, whatever your health goal might be. Some could argue that a person’s health goal may be unhealthy, but I am mainly addressing the majority of people who have reasonably healthy goals regarding their weight and overall fitness.

Personally, I have been working towards getting into the lighter division for tournaments like the upcoming Abu Dhabi jiu jitsu pro trials in a couple of weeks. I’m still registered for the heavier division (I have until the 17th to change it) and other than one or two hiccups, including a metaphorical tug of war with some water weight, for the most part I have been on schedule with weight loss and still intend to compete lighter. It’s more of a personal goal I’ve set, and it’s not the ‘skinny’ part that I am concerned with, although admittedly getting into a smaller pants size is a nice side benefit.

There are a variety of health goals out there that people have to adjust their diets for, and typically we use these motivational phrases and slogans when we are in the midst of attaining those goals. For some it may be dropping 10 pounds of unhealthy body fat, for some they may be seriously underweight and need to gain 10 pounds. Whatever the goal may be, I think it’s healthier to focus on striving to meet that goal and the sense of accomplishment when it is achieved. And to be honest, a focus on obtaining a healthy goal is more inclusive- “skinny” is such a vague term and can be distorted in so many ways, while for the most part people typically set goals for themselves- they have an idea of what they would like the end result to be, even if they are a little fuzzy on the details.

So, that is what I propose: let’s encourage people to obtain their goals and support one another in the effort to get there. Just some food for thought. 🙂

Have a great day everyone!

 

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Attending BJJ Class While Injured: “You’re Still A Part of the Class and We do Want You Here”

We have a student who broke his hand during the last NAGA. He still came into class, his gi on and everything, bowed in with us, and sat on the side while the other students drilled. Before class he was encouraged by our coach to stay on the mat and watch class there, and I essentially followed up that sentiment in the beginning of the class I co-teach by telling him “you’re still a part of the class and we do want you here.”

It can feel awkward to attend class when injured, fully aware that you can’t do much. You start to wonder what you are even doing there in the first place: you can’t drill, can’t train, you can just sit and watch as other students hone their techniques and skills.

But if you can, still go to class. Talk to your instructor, explain what’s up, and more often than not I would imagine they would be fine with you still getting into your gi and sitting on the mat, watching as a technique is taught with the rest of the class and observing others drill it. Will it be frustrating because you can’t drill like everyone else? Sure; I won’t lie and say that it won’t- but it sure as hell beats sitting at home watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (Is that still a thing? I don’t really know). Bring a notebook, write down the lessons you missed if you are unable to practice. Then, when you are at a point in your recovery when drilling is possible, you can go back over those moves with a fellow student. That way you can still stay “in the loop” and not have to essentially start from scratch when the technique is taught again, or a more advanced version of the same technique is taught in the future.

Also, it keeps you in the habit of getting into a gi and going to jiu jitsu class. Especially in the beginning it can be hard to maintain the commitment to attend, especially when so many other things can get in the way. By still making the effort to get into your gi and getting on the mat still reinforces that habit, even if you can only watch class.

So, if you are injured in some way, if it’s within reason, still try to make jiu jitsu class when you can.

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