I’ve Seen 1000 People Quit Jiu Jitsu In 7 Years

 

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This video from a Black Belt ceremony captures the feeling of a Jiu Jitsu teacher who truly cares about his students. An emotional Felipe Guedes of Gracie Barra San Clemente shared his thoughts on why so many people quit our sport and how precious it is to make it to the Black Belt level. He also shared these quotes:

 

“If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.” – John Irving

 

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.” Tommy Lasorda

 

 

 

A Kids Article On Training For Pan Kids Championships

 

I am Michael Garlington. I am 13 years old and am from Annapolis, Maryland, near the United States Naval Academy. I have grown up here my whole life. I have been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the past two and a half years. Currently I am a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Yellow Belt in the middle of training for the IBJJF Pan Kids tournament being held on February 15th, 2015 in California. My goal is to be someday become a BJJ world champion.

 

I used to play several different sports throughout the year like most kids. I played soccer, baseball, basketball, football, and Kung Fu. Even though I enjoyed playing those sports with all of my friends from school, my heart wasn’t all the way into any of them. One day my father and I accidently turned on the UFC channel and saw the one and only Rhonda Rousey break another girls arm. I turned to my dad and said, “I want to do that as a sport”. So he went out and found my academy.

 

After the first couple months of training I fell in love with the art of BJJ. Ever since, there is nothing I would rather be doing then training at the academy. Currently I train 6 days per week. From Monday through Saturday I am at the gym or at a competition. Two to three days per week I train with adults for more advanced technique and hardcore live rolling. Then the other two to three days per week I’m training with other kids which involves a lot more drilling and helping out other children.

 

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(Michael winning gold at NAGA)

 

Four months into training BJJ and I wanted to join our competition team. After watching all the advanced kids competing and bringing home the gold I wanted to try it out. My first tournament I didn’t do so well but that just drove me to work harder and come back next time with the gold.

 

Currently I am the top kid in Maryland for my weight class. After 6 months of training I went out to my first Pan kids and got third. The year after that I got promoted to a higher belt rank which caused me to fight up at the next competition level for kids, and I lost in a nail biting match in the semifinals to achieve third once again.

 

 

To travel across the country to compete with kids all around the world can be very intimidating, but with the right amount of confidence and skill there is nothing that can stop me. Kids that I used to think were unstoppable, I am now beating! I have hit a win streak in my NAGA competition career which has given me a new found confidence! My confidence is helping me to compete and win. With this attitude I just know I can come back from Pan Kids this year with the gold medal!

 

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(Michael cleaning up the mats)

 

Next year I will be trying to get into Dematha high school because it is a school with a great wrestling program which will help me also with my Jiu Jitsu career.

 

This Jiu Jitsu career of mine was not accomplished by myself. I owe my success to my instructors, my parents, and my training partners. I could not have had these successes without Mr. and Mrs. Ives, the owners of Ivey League Mixed Martial Arts. I didn’t think it was possible to have such great instructors and mentors. In addition to great instruction I also have amazing training partners. You can’t get better at something if there is no one to push you and make you better, and at my academy that’s what all of my training partners do. Finally I have to thank my parents. They have spent so much time driving me to tournaments and practices, and their support is what gives me my biggest confidence boost.

 

 

Check out his local paper’s write up about BJJ Youth Fighter Michael Garlington and their family’s battle with autism.

 

If you want to help this future champion get to the tournament and win the gold please click here.

 

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[UPDATE: 2/15/2015 – He won! Thank you everyone who gave their support!]

 

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2015 IBJJF Europeans Streaming For Free Right Now

 

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Get this weekend’s best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu action by watching the IBJJF’s live free streaming event of the 2015 European Championships! The streaming video is below!

 

[UPDATE] The stream is experiencing technical difficulties. Some are suggesting that this is because the IBJJF is only streaming tomorrow. That is incorrect. I was watching hours of the stream earlier. Keep checking back. Hopefully the problem is solved soon!

 

 

Shots Fired! Dillon Danis Calls Out Garry Tonon!

 

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Marcelo Garcia “Brown Belt Dream Team” member Dillon Danis (Alliance) is calling out no-gi phenom Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon for a Jiu Jitsu match. The pre-fight Instagram battle is below.

 

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That escalated quickly! Quite an interesting exchange indeed. I think this would be an excellent match well worth watching! What say you? Excellent highlight videos of both fighters below!

 

 

 

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Jeff Glover: So Nice He Twisters Him Twice

 

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The video below is an awesome “Throwback Thursday” roll between Jeff Glover and Robert “Bullet” Breslin. The match took place between 2005 and 2006. Robert admitted that he was about to tap to the first twister but Jeff had let go before he could. Well, Jeff got it the second time.

 

Jeff Glover is truly one of the most entertaining grapplers that you can watch. He is extremely technical yet his primary focus is always to keep it playful on the mats.

 

 

Testosterone, Steroids, MMA And Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

 

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We have all heard the stories of BJJ and MMA fighters, both male and female, getting busted using steroids. Sometimes we are surprised and other times not so much. Why do these athletes feel compelled to take performance enhancing drugs? The answer is testosterone.

 

Testosterone injections can make male rats more aggressive in marking their territories, cause castrated red deer to grow antlers, and induce female rhesus monkeys to screech like males.

 

 

To put it simply, some athletes believe that taking synthetic anabolic steroids will propel them to the next level. The hope is for stronger muscles, increased aggression and faster recovery times.

 

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu we are taught to focus on technique rather than strength, and leverage rather than force. However some athletes at high levels of competition feel that technique becomes relatively equal on the mats and in the cage, therefore strength and athleticism become important again. It is one thing to beat an athletic, unskilled fighter with technique and leverage. That changes completely once both competitors are the same size and generally drink from the same pool of knowledge. 

 

The question for these athletes than becomes, to cheat? or not to cheat?

 

Both men and women produce testosterone naturally, but under normal conditions women only possess about 10% of what males have.

 

In my researching of this article I found that, ironically enough, studies are now showing that men having low levels of testosterone can be a tremendous health risk. If testosterone levels decline, various symptoms may arise. Men may experience fatigue, weight gain, loss of libido, decreased mental sharpness, loss of motivation, mood swings or irritability and declining muscle mass. Research has linked declining testosterone values to several chronic diseases and risk factors, including heart disease and vascular disease. Lower testosterone also correlates with worsening blood sugar levels in diabetics and decreased heart strength. Other studies have shown worse heart function in men with lower free testosterone levels. Finally, there is an overall increased mortality rate among men with lower testosterone values. One study has even shown that certain men with lower testosterone levels may be at risk for more aggressive prostate cancer than those with higher testosterone levels. [Source]

 

These health issues will certainly degrade and lessen one’s abilities to perform well at Jiu Jitsu and MMA.

 

READ ALSO: Ways That Jiu Jitsu Brings Family Closer Together

 

What are the risks involved with taking synthetic steroids or PEDs? Men may develop prominent breasts, shrunken testicles, prostate gland enlargement, infertility and impotence. Women may develop a deeper voice, an enlarged clitoris, increased body hair, infrequent and/or absent periods. Both men and women may experience baldness, severe acne, liver abnormalities, increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol), high blood pressure, heart and circulatory problems, rage, violence, depression, and drug dependence. Use among teenagers can inhibit future growth. [Source]

 

[WARNING] The video below is graphic and disturbing but it shows how harmful steroids can be.

 

 

It is clear from research that steroid and PED abuse can lead to a host of other problems. It is also clear that having low testosterone can pose significant health risks. The bottom line is talk to your doctor and have your levels checked regularly. There is a ton of information, articles and other blogs out there about steroids and testosterone in BJJ and MMA. This article is simply my non-expert opinion on the matter. WBBJJ.com doesn’t condone any illegal activity whatsoever, especially black market injectable drugs.

 

Are there ways to boost your testosterone naturally? The answer is yes! I suggest checking out this great article from a fellow BJJ practitioner to see how.

 

Also get the truth about over-the-counter testosterone boosters here.