Whatever Jiu-Jitsu Breaks, It Fixes In Other Ways.

 

by Brooke George
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Since I started Jiu-Jitsu, many things about my life have changed. From broken toes becoming the norm, learning a little bit of Portuguese, changes to my health, free time, and shopping habits… One can definitely say that Jiu-Jitsu has changed my life.

 

Before I stepped onto the mats I was an athlete in other sports, but I didn’t care about my body the way BJJ has lead me to do. This sport has helped me see the amazing things that my body is capable of.

 

Because of this I have begun to eat much more healthy in order to fuel my body to work more efficiently. I enjoy running more now to help improve my cardio and also doing yoga to improve my flexibility.

 

Along with the positive changes in my health, there are some “negative” ones that come too.

 

Broken toes are something I have constantly. It seems as soon as one heals, another one breaks, and there isn’t enough tape to keep them together. A broken nose is also an injury I’ve had to deal with, but luckily it healed fast.

 

My free time looks different than it used to as well. For instance, three days a week I’m at the gym and on the mats. The other four days I’m doing some sort of other physical activity like hitting the heavy bag, running, or yoga (to keep improving my BJJ); with an occasional rest day thrown in there somewhere.

 

Besides being more physically active since I joined a BJJ academy, I also watch different things. Instead of watching college basketball, its the latest Eddie Bravo Invitational; or instead of hosting movie nights, it’s fight nights to watch the latest UFC. When I surf through YouTube I find myself having to do google translations of Portuguese in order to actually understand what they are saying in the videos that I watch.

 

I love shopping. Since I joined Jiu-Jitsu my shopping habits have drastically changed. Instead of buying new jeans and dresses, I’m saving up to buy a new gi, rash guard, or spats (because lets be real, you can never have enough)! If I’m not buying new clothing for Jiu-Jitsu, I’m saving up for the next seminar, buying the latest issue of JiuJitsuMag, or paying gym fees.

 

All of these changes that have come about in my life since stepping onto the mats have had a positive impact, except for draining my bank account and some minor bone breaks…but I wouldn’t change anything about it!

 

Sometimes it’s just a part of this sport. I love this sport and I love this lifestyle!

 

 

 


 

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Jimmy Pedro: Preventing The Kimura From Top Half Guard

 

You finally break your opponent’s guard open and get them in top half guard. Instead of pummeling for the under hook they reach across, grab your wrist, and try to sit up for a Kimura.

 

This can be quite frustrating! In the video below multiple time Judo world champion Jimmy Pedro shows you how to shut this vain attempt down.

 

 


 

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Royler Gracie Explains How The Gracie Diet Extends Life And Mat Time

 

“How you gonna be a world champion without being healthy?” – Royler Gracie

 

BJJ Legend Royler Gracie explains the benefits of the Gracie diet. It isn’t only about what you eat, but what combinations of food that you eat.

 

Royler’s father Helio Gracie created the diet, lived to be 95 years old, and was sick only one time.

 

 


 

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Product Review: MMA PACK – Loot Crate

 

Training is hard. Getting Great gear shouldn’t be.

 

Welcome to mmapack.com! They are a subscription based loot crate service based in the United States. They send $100 worth of premium MMA gear, clothes, supplements and accessories to your door every month for only $39.

 

You sweat, bleed, get punched and submitted every day. And you PAY for it. You are part of a special breed of person that fights for you have. You know better than most men that this training makes you strong in body and spirit. Getting great gear and clothing for your love should be easy and cheaper. We do this for you. Focus on your training and get premium shirts, shorts, rash guards and supplements and a steep discount.

 

Pictured below are the items that I received in the pack that was sent to me.

 

 

For my full gallery of my first MMA PACK click here.

 

To get 20% off of your first pack use code WBBJJ at checkout!

 


 

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How To Mentally Prepare For The ‘Hard Class’

 

by Zachary Phillips

 

Every serious martial arts gym has at least one ‘hard class’. That night of the week where your coach decides conditioning for competition (or conflict) is in order.

 

It’s reputation precedes itself. It is talked about in hushed tones and whispered about in the locker room after class. Some are curious, most fearful.

 

You probably have heard the horror stories. Participants vomiting with exertion, 100’s of push ups and endless rounds of hard sparing. It seems like hell.

 

So you rationalize to yourself that you are not ready, that you are not fit enough or skilled enough. You come up with whatever excuse in the book as to why you should avoid it and that is exactly what you are doing.

 

These feelings are normal. It is understandable that there is some fear or apprehension around the unknown. Nobody wants to be hurt or feel embarrassed, particularly in front of their friends. This class presents a real risk that you may fail, and that is scary.

 

However, if you do turn up and attempt the class, you are victorious. Regardless of your performance on the night, you can claim a victory over your fear. You have attempted something that most people won’t and you survived. You are stronger for it.

 

In these classes, you will be pushed harder then you have ever been before. You will feel like breaking down and giving up. But if you trust your coach, and they are competent, they will push you beyond your own limits and take you to the edge of your ability.

 

In battling your body, you are also taming your mind. It will be screaming to stop, pleading with you to tap out and quit. But these classes will teach you something vital. That that voice is a liar. You can and have gone beyond your perceived limits. You have continued despite your inner protests. You will learn that you are stronger then you think you are.

 

This level of pressure is exactly what you need if you are ever planning on competing. You will find that the ‘hard class’ is actually harder than the competition. Your sparring sessions in the gym are more challenging and forceful than they are on the competition floor. You will realize that becoming acclimated to stress and pressure has tremendous benefits to your performance.

 

Finally, if you are training your martial art for self-defense, this class is a must. A violent altercation is one of the most confronting, stress inducing and emotionally confusing events that most people will ever face. Compared to a real fight, the ‘hard class’ is just child’s play. You would be doing yourself a disservice to believe that you are emotionally ready to defend yourself on the street, if you are not emotionally ready to participate in the ‘hard class’.

 


(Zachary Phillips, photo by John Donehue)

 

To see more of Zachary’s blogs check out his academy page by clicking here.

 


 

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Alistair Overeem Just Earned His BJJ Blue Belt, In Three Weeks.

 

One of the most decorated strikers in the world and UFC fighter Alistair Overeem seems to have been recently bitten by the Jiu-Jitsu bug.

 

He earned his blue belt in just three weeks! To us regular folk this sounds like an abhorrent disregard for the time honored tradition of being a white belt for (what feels like) ever.

 

According to the Valente Brothers system of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, their style is mostly self-defense as opposed to sport Jiu-Jitsu. They even recommend that students who come to them looking for sport BJJ, should perhaps try out other schools more geared toward that in Florida. That being said, it is not unusual at all for a UFC fighter to be fast-tracked to blue belt.

 

Some tournaments will not allow UFC fighters to compete as a white belt. It is assumed that because of their fight experience, they should have some sort of working knowledge of ground fighting.

 

 

 


 

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Blind Athlete Aiming to Win IBJJF World Title

 

“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do”. -Derek Jeter

 

His name is Clinton Davies. He’s a 33 year old athlete and he competes in wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is also 95% blind.

 

This is his story:

 

When I was two years old, I was treated for chicken pox with penicillin. Unfortunately, I had an allergic reaction to this life saving treatment which left me with Stevens Johnson Syndrome. It permanently damage my lung tissue, blistered my body and left my sight with a 1 metre visibility, although I can only perceive shapes and changes in light.

 

I have always believed there’s nothing I can’t do that other sighted athletes can. Although I am qualified to compete in the Paralympics, I choose to test myself against sighted athletes. Why wouldn’t I?

 

People often ask me about my supposed disadvantages and limitations. In all honesty, I’ve been without sight for so long, it’s become all I have known. You learn to adapt. I simply refuse to accept my situation as a barrier to what I wish to accomplish and show. I don’t really think of myself as inspiring, just lucky I have something that I love to do.

 

Although, let me assure you, my martial arts journey has certainly been no cake walk! It’s not like that for ANYONE, despite what Hollywood would like you to believe. When I first began learning to wrestle at 17 years old, I was absolutely smashed and bashed. For a few years. It takes a while to learn things, like how to move, where to be, what not to do, how a technique should feel. I was very lucky to have a compassionate, patient and caring mentor to guide me and give me the time of day. I will never forget him. Getting beaten up can suck, but I am pretty grateful to say that no fully sighted athlete I’ve trained or competed with has ever taken it easy on me, who learns that way?

 

I am currently a ten time national champion in wrestling, as well as the New Zealand champion Middle weight gi and no gi jiujitsu . I was the first blind Kiwi wrestler to compete at the World Champions in 2013.

 

I started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu two years ago. I have so far managed to medal in almost every competition I have competed since then.

 

This year marks another mountain for me. A new journey. I will go to the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship tournament in Los Angeles to compete against the best of the best and I would appreciate any help in realizing my dream.

 

Funds will be used to pay for travel costs, accommodation, entry fees, and training fees while I’m overseas.

 

If you would like to contribute to Clinton Davies journey to Worlds, click here.

 

 


 

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How To Turn Your Fear Of Competing Into Your Strength

 

by Brooke George
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Jumping up and down, pacing the mats, and trying not to throw up is what you would have witnessed at my first Jiu-Jitsu tournament. Nerves or competition anxiety as some people call it, is something that I’ve had to overcome as a competitive athlete.

 

Adrenaline is something I get every time I’m near the mats for a competition. During my first tournament I quickly learned that mental preparation is just as important as physical. If your body is physically able, but you psych yourself out you aren’t going to be able to do as well as you might if your whole body was working together. The adrenaline rush is something that won’t go away, but turning that adrenaline from nerves to excitement is something I’ve had to work on.

 

One way I’ve learned to mentally prepare myself during a tournament is by mentally focusing on goals. You have to set goals for what you’re about to go do. This doesn’t just mean saying that you’re going to win although that is a great place to start!

 

I have learned not to put the pressure on myself to win, but to improve. I want to learn something from every tournament and every match I have. Improving my takedowns, remaining in control, or working on actually finishing my opponent are just a couple of possible goals. For the matches that don’t go my way there are still things I can set out to improve on. Things like not getting winded, escaping from a position, or improving your defense and not getting submitted. When you switch your mind set from wanting to win, to wanting to get better, you take off pressure and the nervousness lessens.

 

Another way I mentally prepare myself is to remind myself that it’s still Jiu-Jitsu. I’m going out doing the same techniques and the same things that I do at class three days per week. I’m simply in a different place, going against different people.

 

Believing in yourself and believing in your game is all going to help keep nerves at bay and help you to perform to the best of your ability!

 

Now when I go to tournaments, I can enjoy myself. I don’t have to pace constantly. I can warm up, get stretched out, and watch the matches before mine without the fear of throwing up! Channeling adrenaline from nerves into excitement makes competing even more fun!

 

 

 


 

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