Tag Archives: Philadelphia Kettlebells

Keep It Simple

Someone mentioned an interesting article about people becoming tangled in the intricacies of dieting, and spend so much time studying different theories and approaches that they never really get started in the first place. There was one particular quote that I found particularly apt to jiu jitsu:

“Do not subordinate fundamental principles to minor details.”

We all love the flashy stuff, don’t get me wrong, but at the end of the day it is the fundamental principles of jiu jitsu that should be the main focus.

I think it is also what overwhelms white belts in the beginning, the higher belts sometimes, and hell, everyone now and again: all the details. Some things look intimidating or downright impossible, and I think part of the problem is there are a many things you are asked to take into consideration.

The trick is really just taking it one step at a time, sticking to the basics, and not getting too caught up the details in the beginning.

Now get to it!



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Potato, Potah-to, Tomato, Tabata….

**I am in no way, shape or form any sort of personal trainer, or any sort of authority on physical fitness. Just wanted to point that out.**

I used to love running. Starting in highschool I would run on a 1/4 mile track by my house, and sometimes through some of the parks nearby. I would read runner’s world all the time, even though it always seemed like they ran the same 3 articles each issue.

“You need new sneakers!”

“Eat these foods!”

“Inspiring story of someone overcoming obstacles and in the process, running!”

Starting in about my senior year of highschool, I started to experience a sharp pain in my left knee. I would ignore it and continue to run. And then the pain became progressively worse, and I believe the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college I finally went to a doctor for the pain.

What can I say, I’m stubborn.

Anyway, I was diagnosed with patellar tendonitis, had some cortisone shot in my knee and was told I shouldn’t run on hard surfaces, and I should wear a knee brace.

And still, I continued to run. Even when I was at my heaviest, I insisted on running at least 2 to 3 times a week, even at a snail’s pace, I ran.

And then I started Jiu Jitsu. And Kettlebells. And Judo. And I stopped running. Which I am sure my poor knee is thankful for, but occasionally I still need to do something that is cardio intense, and something that does not require me to run. Because to be perfectly honest, I really don’t like running anymore. I can do it if required- catching the subway, making weight for a tournament, fleeing stampeding buffalo, etc. But unless it’s a gorgeous trail leading somewhere, running is no longer fun; it is a necessary function, a means to an end. And while Jiu Jitsu and Judo and Kettlebells are great, and Muay Thai is also fun, sometimes, like last night, I look for a little supplemental training- something to sweat more and get my heart rate up.

Someone on Fitocracy  mentioned the Tabata Method, and please, by all means go and read her post about it, but it reminded me it was a nice quick and dirty way to achieve what I was looking for. It is a form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which our good friend Wikipedia describes as, “an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods.”

So, if you feel like doing some cardio without spending a solid half of an hour (or forever and ever, like some people seem to do) on the treadmill or stationary bike, this may be something to consider.


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The Wish for an Outside Mat

It’s warming up on the East Coast, which leads to wishes of being able to somehow train outside. Which anyway you look at it, probably would not work. But, it’s a nice thought anyway.

Just think of the warm sunshine…As it makes the mats blazing hot to the touch. And the nice breeze that would blow dust and dirt onto the mats as you rolled. And let’s not forget you’re outside, so there’s a chance of birds pooping on the mat (or your head), mosquitos nibbling at your exposed toes, and bees.

I really, really hate bees.

So, you could have a tent…With walls….Which kind of defeats the purpose of being outside in the first place.


The things we do for jiu jitsu. 🙂




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Last week was a problem, friends and fans. I was a classic class of overtraining…itis.

What are the symptoms, mayhaps?

1) Exhaustion and irritability

2) Constant thirst

3)Hating puppies, unicorns and rainbows

Friends, when I start to hate puppies, you know things have gotten serious

when things like this do not bring joy to my heart, we have a serious problem, people.

Not only is it bad news for everyone around me, it’s counter-productive. I noticed this as I was taking Muay Thai on Saturday. It was then I decided I would take the rest of the day off and rest. Sunday I made it clear I did not want to train jiu jitsu, drill, or anything of the sort. Instead I did some cardio and bodyweight exercises, went home and relaxed, and even ate a few extra calories to get myself back to normal.

So a word of advice: push yourself, but not to the point where you hate things that normally give you joy, like puppies.


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Video of Our Ladies in Jiu Jitsu

I can’t talk much today, so I’ll let…me… and our other ladies in the BJJ program do the talking.


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Oh No, The Rain!

I don’t know what its like in other parts of the country, but it’s raining and pretty dreary today in the good old Mid-Atlantic region today. Which means, invariably, there will be a low body count in class tonight. While I understand concerns regarding driving in the rain, and other commuting issues, there’s still a small part of me that wonders if my teammates are somehow related to Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West, because when there is water falling from the sky they are no where to be found (I assume they go home, but you catch my drift).

Is it the rain itself, or the environmental ambiance that makes people run home? I have to admit curling up in bed with a book and a cup of hot chocolate sounds tempting, but what is even more tempting is competing at the Pan Games (or is it just Pans now?) and knowing that I took every opportunity to train and try as hard as I could to get my game to its best level in the year between tournaments.

But I can also be a goal oriented over-achiever, so maybe my opinion is a bit biased. Maybe.

So do you find yourself running from the rain, or do you trudge into class anyway? Let me know!

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Ah, nothing makes you realize you have changed quite like meeting up with friends you haven’t seen in years. For some, they get married, have kids, take a life altering trip, find their…whatever the hell they have been looking for, and it has changed them.

I have both alluded to it, or outright said it, but since starting jiu jitsu, judo, kettlebells and now some Muay Thai goodness I’m at least 50 lbs lighter and a hell of a lot healthier than before. I have both pushed, and been pushed out of my comfort zone, and that changes a person.

Has anyone else experienced this? It’s an odd experience to say the least; you are still essentially the same person, but something has…changed. I would like to think for the better.

It’s just one of those funny things in life.

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The Side Effects of a Healthy Lifestyle

So, I have been noticing something not necessarily bad, but a little odd as of late. As time goes on, I drink alcohol less and less: really at this point it’s on a holiday or for some special occasion.

I’m sure my liver doesn’t mind, but when presented with a drink on, let’s just say a normal weekend, more often than not I turn it down. Not that I am ranting against the evils of alcohol or even condemning those who do want a drink, I just don’t feel like drinking. I know that I will try to wake up the next morning and try to workout or whatever the next day, and I just won’t be able to put in the optimal performance: I’ll feel icky and it will effect everything I do, so what’s the point? It’s really only on special occasions or when I have a chance to try something new that I am interested in imbibing.

Has this happened to anyone else?

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday, 1.25.11

While I am not usually a Bruno Mars fan, this pretty much sums up how I feel today:


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My Old Friends, Aches and Pains

While I was on vacation I knew I was missing something.

When I got back to the gym I realized what I had missed, my close friends for the past 5 years: Aches, and Pains.

Aches is a whiny fellow, the friend that will complain the whole time, but will eventually do what is required of them.

“But I don’t wanna go to the gym,” it complains, but eventually does the little child sulky stomp off to its required destination.

Pains on the other hand, is generally passive aggressive, but you need to heed when it wants to have a  real conversation with you, otherwise you have to put up with them constantly telling you all about you grievances, for months if need be. Pains is prone to holding grudges, as I am sure everyone here is well aware.

“Remember that time you…”

“Ow, yes Pains, I remember…you really didn’t need….ow.”

While they are certainly no one’s best friends, you need to at least make peace with Aches and Pains if you are heavily active in any sport, or there will be a long and difficult road ahead in your sport or activity.

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