There comes a point in time during your White Belt Jiu Jitsu journey where you realize that you don’t have to resist 100% while drilling. Perhaps when you first join an academy therein lies a stigma to prove that you aren’t weak, and that you are ready to prove yourself on the field of battle. This is understandable, but please White Belt, take heed the following wisdom.
When you are “drilling” with someone and it’s your turn to play the “bad guy”, it’s your job to be a practice dummy. Sooner, rather than later, you need to learn the balance between resisting too much, and resisting too little. Doing so will allow your teammates to improve their BJJ, and your BJJ will also improve. It turns out that when you give your teammates training respect, you often times receive it in return. Contrarily, if you don’t allow me the opportunity to get my reps in, I can also be a horrible training partner.
I have literally drilled with people where it turns into a spontaneous roll session. If we are drilling armlocks from the mount position, for speed and for fortifying that attacks particular neurological pathway, you need only resist 50-70%. No one is watching. It is just you and your teammate. You lose no face in repeatedly succumbing to an attack during a drill. There is no need to show that you can reverse the position and stack me at this point in time. Everything will be ok.
Drilling is about repetition, not resistance. When you are rolling and free-sparring, you can resist 100%! If you were a cool person though, you would sometimes give a little so that everyone can have a good time. That teenager that you just wrecked will appreciate the opportunity to live to fight another day.
Don’t take this as coming from a small person whining about their size disadvantage. I am a 200lb fellow. There aren’t many people who advantageously “outweigh” me. I just find enjoyment in trying to be the best training partner that I can be, as should you.
Believe me, in the end, everyone wins.
Below is an excellent partner drilling video by Roberto Atalla that will serve to give you an idea about proper resistance.
It can happen to anyone. When it does happen it is mortifying and horrific. You just got tapped out by a white belt.
You need to quickly come up with an excuse before being subject to ridicule from your coach and/or teammates. As also, you simply cannot allow a loathsome white belt the satisfaction of knowing that they beat you fair and square.
Below are my top 10 favorite excuses to give when a white belt taps me out. Enjoy.
1. I had a long, tiring day at work.
2. I was testing out my defense.
3. I’m really sore from working out at the gym (or from doing crossfit).
4. The mat was slippery so I lost my footing when trying to hip escape.
5. I was hoping coach would see, so he would know that you are improving and promote you.
6. I was just checking to see if you knew how to finish that submission. Nice job!
7. I saw your kids (wife, husband, friend) watching us roll and wanted them to see you beating up a higher level belt.
8. I rolled with coach tonight and he totally drained all of my energy.
9. I didn’t have time to tell you but what you did was illegal under IBJJF rules. (“You were reaping the knee” works well, or “your fingers were inside of my sleeves” is another good one.)
10. Wow. Looks like I can’t keep it playful with you anymore!
Memorizing these excuses and implementing them into your game will prove as invaluable as shrimping back to guard. Take it from this blue belt! You will thank me later!
It seems that both UFC 183 headliners have failed their pre-fight drug tests. Nick Diaz for marijuana and Anderson Silva for a steroid that is used in cutting weight.
Official statement from the UFC reads as follows:
“On February 3, 2015, the UFC organization was notified by the Nevada State Athletic Commission that Anderson Silva tested positive for Drostanolone metabolites on his Jan. 9 out of competition drug test,” read a UFC statement.
UFC’s understanding is that further testing will be conducted by the commission to confirm these preliminary results.
“Anderson Silva has been an amazing champion and a true ambassador of the sport of mixed martial arts and the UFC, in Brazil as well as around the world. We are disappointed to learn of these initial results.”
Anderson Silva not only tested positive for Drostanolone metabolites in a January 9th out-of-competition drug test, but traces of the banned substance Androsterone were also found in the legendary champion’s system, according to Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) executive director, Bob Bennett.
Drostanolone is a common form of anabolic steroid. Androsterone is a form of endogenous testosterone. Both substances are banned according to the World Anti-Doping Agency code.
Silva, 39, defeated Diaz via unanimous decision on January 31st at UFC 183. According to Bennett, Silva was tested out-of-competition on January 9th, then January 19th with an in-competition test. Another in-competition test was administered on January 31st. Silva passed the latter two tests according to Bennett.
“I think it’s very unfortunate,” Bennett told MMAfighting.com‘s Ariel Helwani. “The UFC have made a tremendous effort to level the playing field in their fight against Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). Credit goes to them for doing the right thing based on principles and they continue to support our out-of-competition drug testing efforts.
“You can’t lose sight of all the other athletes that do what they are supposed to do and fight cleanly. The UFC deserves a great deal of credit for supporting the PED challenge that we currently have. It’s just unfortunate for all of us.
Bennett added that the NAC’s new objective will be to receive out-of-competition drug test results within a week, and that the commission is at this point not aware of Silva failing any other tests other than the one administered on January 9th.
The last two UFC events have been riddled with shocking failed drug tests; Jon Jones for cocaine, Anderson Silva for steroids and Nick Diaz for marijuana (okay Nick Diaz on weed isn’t very shocking). What in the world is going on over there at the UFC? If we find out Ronda Rousey is on heroin after UFC 184 I don’t think I am watching anymore.
We wanted to catch up with Michelle and see how everything has been going since her latest win against Angelica Galvao at the first Polaris Pro event held on January 10th, 2015.
WBBJJ.com: Hello Michelle Nicolini! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me and the followers of White Belt BJJ about your Jiu Jitsu Journey, and your recent bout against Angelica Galvao at Polaris Pro.
Michelle Nicolini: Thank you! It has been a pleasure to have the space here to talk bit more about my BJJ journey. Fight with Angelica was nice. I was training for that fight, sub only for some time, and I could get my goal.
WBBJJ.com: How is everything going with you since your recent win against Angelica Galvao at Polaris Pro?
Michelle Nicolini: Everything is great. Nothing to complain! After Polaris I went back to London and I keeped training at London Fight Factory, my team Checkmat and I was getting ready for Europeans. I fought last weekend and I got another gold medal. Now I’m back in Brazil for the Abu Dhabi pro trials in Natal. I will be fighting on Sunday.
WBBJJ.com: What was your game plan going into the match and what concerned you the most leading up to it?
Michelle Nicolini: My game was the goal of the show: SUBMIT my opponent.
WBBJJ.com: You are known for your footlocks and you won the match with one. What is it that draws you personally to the lure of foot attacks? Is it because they are effective against larger opponents? Or is it more because you feel safe, defensively speaking, when attacking legs and feet? I ask because I am beginning to find my way with them and would like to know your perspective.
Michelle Nicolini: Footlocks are easy for me. I saw it in many different places. But I think the combination of my game make it happens more. I get sweep for example, I end up on top, or I gonna pass or if you start to resist to much I will try to attack your foot.
WBBJJ.com: You have said that you are tired of fighting for medals and that it is time for you to continue with MMA. Are you taking the time to do that now that Polaris is over? or are you training for an upcoming BJJ event?
Michelle Nicolini: I did the Euros cause I was already in Europe. So always nice to fight where BJJ is still growing if we compare with America. But this year, we had so many competitors that maybe this event gonna be bigger than others in US. Polaris was awesome. I’m sure they will have big success in the second edition. And they paid good! I’ve some other things before, but I’m already thinking about Abu Dhabi Pro in April. As I lost last year, I’m super motivated to win this year. MMA probably in June.
WBBJJ.com: Did you watch this season of the Ultimate Fighter seeing as it featured all ladies from your MMA weight class? How do you think you would have done if you were on the show? Who was your favorite straw-weight fighter of the season and why?
Michelle Nicolini: I didn’t watch all the show, but I was following some. I’m super excited to meet one of the finalist girls one day in the cage. They are all good. I think if I had been there I would had learn a lot from the coaches and I could do good too. But when they asked me if I wanted to go in the house, it was too late, I had other plans and I preferred to not cancel. I will be there one day!
WBBJJ.com: You said about Ronda Rousey that “Talk is cheap if you never show up” (referring to Worlds). A fight between the two of you in MMA wouldn’t happen because of the weight difference, that being said, do you think you can beat her in the gi? What would you do to nullify her takedowns and extra 20 – 30 lbs?
Michelle Nicolini: I believe on my Jiu Jitsu. I fought big girls before. I won sometimes, I lose others. Its hard to say the result of a fight before it happen. But I would for sure pull guard and I’m sure she wouldn’t pass! You need have lot of ability to pass a guard without expose yourself.
WBBJJ.com: We have a large following of BJJ ladies and a large amount of white belt followers (obviously haha)? What advice do you have for white belts starting out in BJJ? And then what advice do you have specifically for the ladies who are starting out in BJJ? This is your time to share your knowledge with a lot of new BJJ players!
Michelle Nicolini: White belts, don’t miss the classes. Go as much you can so you will learn the sequence of the techniques and it will be easier to memorize. For the ladies, I know sometimes it’s hard to train with the guys, but I trained most of my time with them. And as much we learn easier and better it will be. Remember to not try exchange power with them, be technical and faster!
WBBJJ.com: Without giving away all of your secrets, when you are rolling with the guys, what adjustments (if any) do you make to your game that perhaps other ladies could use?
Michelle Nicolini: One of my coaches I had, Drysdale, he always used to say for me to not exchange power with a guy, so I learned it so good. Of course BJJ is little bit about power but I’m 100% convinced if you move yourself first then you try to move your opponent you will have a large advantage. So it’s not a secret, I move more than my opponents. I use a lot my legs, cause they are stronger than my arms. And all works good!! I think so heheheh.
WBBJJ.com: Thank you very much for your time Michelle. Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge? Any sponsors you would like to mention?
Michelle Nicolini: Thank you to Tatami fight wear, first year together and it has been so good for me. They gave me a great support. Thank you to my team Checkmat, The House Fight Co., London Fight Factory, all the people who always send me messages and to everyone reading this article. So glad you guys want to know about me, my BJJ career. Thank you!!
WBBJJ.com: Thanks again and best wishes to you and yours!
Michelle Nicolini: Thank you!!
Check out some videos of Michelle Nicolini in action below. In the first video Michelle breaks Tammi Musumeci’s arm or comes very close to doing so. The second one is a fantastic highlight video.