Tag Archives: jiu jitsu tournament

BJJ and Competition: Do Medals Equal Promotions?

Graciemag recently posted an article asking if tournament titles determine promotions.

Personally, I think the short answer to this is that in general I think there’s a bit of correlation, but no causation. I know a lot of people think there’s almost a formula when it comes to promotions: jiu jitsu player+gold medal at a tournament= promotion. But it doesn’t really work that way. Or at least it shouldn’t- as I’ve mentioned before people (even instructors) aren’t perfect and neither is the system. In general however, promotions should depend on the student and their long term progress, rather than how well they did for just a few minutes on one day in this big adventure we call the journey of jiu jitsu.

Sure, tournaments are a great way for students to test their mettle and to see how well they can perform under pressure, but when looking at the big picture it’s such a small element to the whole thing. And instructors for the most part (I would hope) understand that: they watch you drill and train, what you’ve been learning, what you’re currently working on, your attitude- if you have the maturity to handle a promotion.

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




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Where Does Your Jiu Jitsu Come From?

I understand this is a pretty odd question, but something you should think about while training now and again. To be clear, I’m not talking about what school you belong to, your lineage in the whole jiu jitsu family tree: I’m talking about mentally and emotionally, what is the driving force to your techniques? Where is your jiu jitsu coming from? It can vary from day to day, and different stages in your jiu jitsu adventure (yes, I still prefer to call it an adventure rather than a journey).

For some people, particularly for lower belts, it can be fear or panic. They are primarily reactive or at a standstill- they know things are happening to them that they don’t like and don’t quite have an extensive enough skill set to do much about it at the time. Or, when they do move, they blast through techniques at a lightning fast, spastic pace- probably because they are afraid if they go too slow that their efforts will be thwarted. I’m not saying this as a condemnation- trust me folks, we’ve all been there at some point in our lives. It’s through drilling, sparring and (personally, I think) competition we can get past this panic. After some time you realize really the worst thing that’s going to happen is you lose- you then get up, dust yourself off and try again.

For some people, anger can be their driving force-which as you can imagine has some some (sorta) benefits, but definitely more detrimental than anything. That anger could be directed towards their opponent or training partner, or turned inward at personal frustrations. Again, not judging, we’ve all been there. Sure, you may feel you have more speed, strength, whatever to get the technique done but it’s sort of like tinder in a fire- it burns bright, but runs out quickly- leaving you exhausted and no where near the end of a match.

Sometimes jiu jitsu can come from a place of curiosity- what happens when I attempt this, put my leg here, choose to go there. Sure, it leaves you more than ever in a vulnerable position but can also assist in discovering new positions and helps you think outside of the box.

Finally, sometimes jiu jitsu can come from a place of peace and happiness. Personally, this is my favorite way to train/compete/whatever. Keeping calm, relaxed, and in a good place leaves you open to any opportunities that come your way, and I think gives you a better chance to figure things out even when a position gets a little wonky.  Granted it’s not a place we can always reach, but something I really think we all should strive for: to be calm, confident in what we’re doing when on the mat.

So, think about your training recently- where has your jiu jitsu been coming from? Do you think there’s another place your jiu jitsu can come from so to speak, and if so where? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!


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IBJJF Upcoming Tournaments: The Calendar’s More Full Than You May Expect

I was pleasantly surprised when I started marking tournament dates on my work desk calendar (I’m not the only one that does this, right?) and realized I had to dig all the way into October to mark all the potential tournaments I want to compete in for 2015.

I think it’s great that the IBJJF is getting all their dates together now. While it’s no secret the organization has issues, it really is one of the bigger tournament circuits around, and to have the dates for tournaments set so early will presumably make it better for competitors to plan out the competitions they would like to attend over the year, and smaller tournament circuits that don’t want to compete for registrations by holding a tournament on the same day as a local open.

And on a personal note, it makes it so much easier to plan what vacation days I need to take off throughout the year. Score!

Based on the current calendar, are their any tournaments you are already planning to attend? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Updates on Jiu Jitsu Worldwide League

The Jiu Jitsu Worldwide League has been updating their site, so I would say if you are interested in possibly competing in these tournaments you should periodically check their site.

It looks like they are adding to the rules, updating the weight divisions, and some other updates: I personally would like to see where they are holding the other 11 tournaments throughout the year: again, we’ll just have to check back and see.

Anyone keeping an eye on this as well? I’m interested in seeing how this progresses. Check it out and let me know what you think. Otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday! Flashback Edition

Happy Friday everyone! It’s been almost 3 weeks since I received my black belt, and I am still expecting someone to tap me on the shoulder and ask for the belt back, realizing their mistake. It’s crazy to think 8 years ago I started this whole journey, and just how different I’ve become because of it. I was clumsy, shy, and now I’m…. still clumsy, still shy now and again,  but there’s been so much of a difference it’s kind of amazing.

So, since I’m in this reminiscent sort of mood, I have some good news and some back news for you: The bad news is you’re going to get a lot of photos of me.

The good news however is that I seem to look better as I get older- just like Sean Connery! Yes!


In the beginning….


This was about 2 to 3 months before I started jiu jitsu. As you can probably see, while I was an active person, my diet wasn’t exactly the healthiest… Fast forward about a year later (I’m terrible at keeping track of these things):


This may have been the first seminar I attended, I’m not entirely sure…





Definitely not the first in-house I did but you know, nothing wrong with a nice action shot.



First ever IBJJF Tournament. Fun fact, this year was the first time I have been back to the Long Beach Pyramid (for Master Worlds)


The first documented  podium “Katie Face”- trust me, there are a lot of Katie faces, but this one is tournament specific.


Some more IBJJF tournaments… And developing a sweet streak of gray by this point (I found my first gray hair when I was 15- it was bound to happen).


some training, training and more training….



And more tournaments- at this point I’ve learned I can’t look straight ahead when my hand is raised because I’ll probably have a weird look on my face.


Much like Sarah in this photo, while continuing on our journey we learn to enjoy the ride, laugh a bit and appreciate the time we share with teammates and other fellow jiu jitsu players.


Back to what I was saying: you may think by the time you get your black belt you’ll be super cool, or know everything, or something of that nature…



(this was a photo that was taken for work along with some headshots, btw, not how I hang around the gym out of my gi)


Nope, you’ll probably still be an awkward, somewhat more knowledgable panda, and you have a ton more to learn. That’s one of the great (and for some, frustrating) things about Jiu jitsu- it’s a sport/martial art that constantly evolves, so there is always something more to learn and take away from your time on the mats.

Hopefully you enjoyed (or at least survived) this trip down memory lane. Have a great weekend everyone!


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Jiu Jitsu World League Tournaments: Player 3 Has Entered the Game

I caught this while browsing the internets, from The Ground Never Misses: apparently a new tournament league has been started up by Carlos Gracie Jr. Black Belt Rigan Machado (yup, one of those Machado’s) and his business partner Matthew Tinley, which will pay out prize money and tweak the rules in hopes of creating more interesting tournaments for both the competitors and spectators.

The first event will take place in Irvine in January: what’s interesting is the involvement of Buchecha, a black belt and tremendously successful competitor in his own right. While we can all admit that there are problems with the system, it’s interesting to see someone who is currently thriving in the (flawed) system through his actions not only admit there are problems with the system, but also take action to do something about it. Not rare by any stretch of the imagination, but interesting.

So what’s so different about the rules? Well, there are more points awarded for a “high amplitude throw” as opposed to a “low amplitude throw” and butt scooting can be penalized, just to name a couple.

The website also notes there are 11 more events scheduled to take place throughout the year in different parts of the country: we’ll see how all of this pans out- in the meantime, you can also check out the article on MMAFighting.com, and check out the Jiu Jitsu World League’s website and let me know what you think.

Otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Interesting Post from BJJ Scout about Lo/Cornelius Match at BJJ Pro

Man, BJJ Pro feels like it happened forever ago….

Anyway, I was poking around the internet and found BJJ Scout’s interesting post on the Lo/Cornelius fight at BJJ Pro.

Check it out, and have a great day everyone!

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Braulio Estima Stripped of 2014 Worlds Title and Banned From Competition

I know, I know, I’m late to the party on this news, but according to DSTRYRsg, jiu jitsu competitor Braulio Estima stripped of his title as 2014 Worlds Champion, and has been banned from competing for 2 years, after DMAA or methylhexanamine was found in his system after said tournament.

According to the post, DMAA can be found in a number of energy drinks and pre-workout supplements, which sucks if Estima accidentally ingested the substance, but a banned substance is a banned substance: you should definitely be careful of what you are putting into your body if you know you are competing in a tournament that has a list of stuff that’s not allowed in your system. Personally I think 2 years is a bit harsh, but I do agree with the title strip and a suspension period. I think a year would have been sufficient, considering the nature of the substance, coupled with the face that jiu jitsu is really a year-round sport and a number of important tournaments can go by within that period of time.

Check out the article and let me know what you guys think-otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Lovato Out of Metamoris 5

Not to kill your jive this morning, but unfortunately Raphael Lovato Jr. (who really should dress as that particular Ninja Turtle one Halloween…but I digress) will not be participating in Metamoris 5 due to a tear in his shoulder.

This is the explanation he provided on Facebook:

To all my friends, fans, & supporters, I regret to inform you that I will not be able to compete at Metamoris 5 against Yuri Simoes on November 22nd, due to a serious tendon tear that happened in training this week.

The tendon that connects my pec to my shoulder is torn.

Words cannot express the disappointment I felt when I got hurt this week and realized that I was going to have to step out of Metamoris and cancel my fight with Yuri.”

I truly feel bad for Lovato: not only does he train hard, obviously a top competitor, but the few times I’ve met him he’s just a really nice guy, and it’s a shame to see someone work so hard, they are so close to their goal and then an injury like this pop up, taking them out of the running.

I saw (I think it was Instagram…I don’t remember. Which, btw my username on there is @skirtonthemat if any of you are interested) that Cobrinha is clamoring to take Lovato’s spot: we’ll see how things play out over the next couple of weeks, I guess.

Who do you think should take Lovato’s spot in Metamoris? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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A Return to the East Coast and Article on BJJ and Joint Care

Holy crap, I think that’s the longest I’ve gone without posting for quite some time.

I went to Master Worlds- won one match, lost by points in the final of my division and lost by points in the absolute. A bummer, but I’m also taking it as motivation to get back in the gym and tighten some techniques up, adjust some reactions to things.

Anyhoo, while I get caught up on work and life things, check out this article from the Science of Skill on joint care. Because trust me, even if you don’t think you need to take care of your joints, you totally do.

Check it out, and have a great day everyone!

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