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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Happy Friday! Isle of Dogs Edition

Happy Friday everyone! It’s been a crazy week, but I was able to catch “Isle of Dogs”- the movie about a pack of dogs and a young boy who are trying to escape an island…. That’s a gross oversimplification of the plot, but it’s a cute movie that you should check out.

screen-shot-2018-02-05-at-2-45-42-pm

Have a great weekend 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 Learning Jiu Jitsu

I do love when people talk about the brain and jiu jitsu- Breaking Grips has an article about how we learn jiu jitsu: check it out and have a great day everyone!

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Update- I’m an Idiot Who Fell For an April Fool’s Day Joke

This is why you need to pay attention to what you read, folks. Particularly around the first of April.

Someone wrote an article on April 1st about IBJJF allowing heel hooks and reaping-and not bring fully caffeinated and alert, decided to share that post. It sounded a little fishy to me, so I checked the IBJJF website- no mention.

I went back to the article and then I saw the date it was published- April 1st.

Whomp, whomp.

Moral of the story- read critically, and always check for primary sources.

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IBJJF to Start Allowing Reaps and Heel Hooks At Brown Belt and Above

Well, this is pretty interesting: starting April 7th (funny enough, the weekend of the DC Open), Brown and Black belt competitors will be allowed to reap the knee and go for heel hooks.

Check it out and have a great day everyone!

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A Podcast on 12 Black Belts Giving Advice on Starting BJJ

Hey everyone, Grapplearts has a podcast up on their site with 12 Black Belts giving their advice about starting bjj. My own? I guess just the Dory (from “Finding Nemo”) philosophy- just keep swimming, just keep swimming….

Anyway, check it out and have a great day everyone!

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Science! Study Suggests “Learning Styles” Approach is Nonsense

Well this is kind of interesting: we all have heard the premise that people need to learn things in different ways- visual, audio, reading and kinesthetic. A recent study suggests however that there really is no difference to how the information is presented, and rather more effective strategies include,

“giving practice tests, encouraging peer teaching, and working through problems and examples out loud.  It also helps if students can connect what they’re learning to information they already know, fitting new knowledge into their understanding of the world.”

So, putting this into a jiu jitsu context would include rolling, sharing ideas and thoughts with other students to work certain positions out, and for instructors it means taking what your students should already know and building on that knowledge. Neat!

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

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Dana White to Added As a Playable Character in UFC Videogame

So I don’t really play video games (anymore), but I found this to be pretty funny: apparently UFC promoter Dana White is now a playable character in a new UFC game. My favorite quote about this so far is how you can watch a scene of “Dana squaring off with Dana while Dana holds them back.”

Beautiful.

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

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