This IBJJF Referee Did Not Get The Memo!

 

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It seems as though someone forgot to remind this IBJJF referee that the “Estima Footlock” is now legal at all belt levels. This is because it is a straight ankle lock variation.

 

Check out the IBFFJ rules here.

 

What do you think after watching the video? Did the DQ’d gentleman attack a heel hook, or was it a legal technique?

 

 

“The Four Pillars of a BJJ White Belt” by Mike Bidwell

 

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(Photo Credit: Richard Mossotti)

 

“The Four Pillars of a BJJ White Belt”

by Mike Bidwell

 

Everyone starts at white belt but quickly forgets exactly how that feels.  It’s an amazing time where every class brings new information and what seems like a constant stream of “ah ha” moments.  Along with all the excitement comes endless frustration and confusion.  Why is BJJ so challenging at the beginning levels?  Part of it is that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is just a tough martial art: physically and mentally.  It’s not like other martial arts where you can sort of trick yourself into thinking you are better than you really are.  Here’s a good example:  If two adults take a striking class they will hit pads, throw kicks and punches in the air and maybe even spar with a partner.  (In most cases, people don’t spar 100%.)  Why because of injuries, safety concerns, etc.  But in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu you can actually “spar” or grapple at 100%.  Why?  Because the “tap” gives you the “out” when you need it.  In other words, you can grapple your partner at 100% effort and resistance and when you get into “trouble” you can tap and exit the match safely.  If you were doing standup sparring at 100% the only real measurement of absolute success is an actual knock out.  Now of course you can spar 100% and see what happens…but that probably isn’t the safest way to train!  So my point here is that BJJ gives you instant, 100% feedback.  You grapple someone and they catch you in a submission and you tap out.  Immediately you know that you lost.  There’s no question or debate or “what if” scenarios…you lost period!

 

When you are a white belt you will more than likely tap out way more than you will ever tap out others.  For the most part this is as it should be.  If you’ve never wrestled or grappled before your expectation shouldn’t be that you would be good right away.  Nobody is ever good at anything at first.  Have you ever tried snowboarding?  You will spend more time on your ass than a Miyao brother (I actually like them a lot that’s a compliment really).  Snowboarding like BJJ, it is very difficult at first.  Like most things in life, you have to suck at it before you can be pretty good and you have to be pretty good before you are good… and so on it goes.  In order to progress on your journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu you will need to build a solid base early on in your training if you are to survive.   In this blog I will cover what I believe are four pillars that are vital to a beginner BJJ student.

 

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(Photo Credit: Richard Mossotti)

 

Pillar I:  Tell your narrative and stay committed to it.

Why are you starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and what do you expect to get out of it?  These are very important questions that will act as your guide and beacon throughout your first year of training.  Your narrative is your story.  What do you want your story to look like?  Sit down with a notebook and write (in the present tense) what you expect to gain from your first year of training.  Start it like this…”Now that I’ve been training BJJ for one year I have lost thirty pounds, got two stripes on my white belt, competed in my first tournament…” This will help you clarify your goals and objectives regarding your training.  Take your time and be as specific and detailed as possible.   Why one year?  You can’t start BJJ thinking that you might quit.  Make a commitment with yourself that no matter what you will stick with it for one year!  This gives you time to create real momentum.  Remember, unless you’re seriously sick or injured, you have to stay committed to your original goal to train for a minimum of one year.

 

Pillar #2:  Have an accountability partner

Not knowing anyone in your BJJ class can be very intimidating and for some people a path to quitting.  Your accountability partner can be anyone who you train with that helps you adhere to your goals… and you do the same for them.  How do you find an accountability partner?  It can be something as simple as recruiting a friend or family member to attend class with or maybe you befriend someone from class. Having someone to share your BJJ excitement with is very important.  It gives you someone to train with outside of class, someone to share rides with and most importantly someone to help you stay committed to your goals.  If you can get your significant other to train with you then kudos!  That alone will prevent future arguments over your “insane addiction” to BJJ!

 

Pillar #3:  Take copious notes

Go and buy a notebook for your BJJ notes.  Bring your notebook to class with you and take notes during class.  By taking notes you will extend your attention span, recall information more effectively later, and allows you to be a more active learner.  If you were taking a college course taught by an important speaker you would take notes right?  BJJ isn’t cheap and you are learning one of the most complicated martial arts on the planet from someone who is an expert…why wouldn’t you take notes?  In addition to taking notes in class it is also important to take notes after randori (live sparring).  Ask yourself two important questions:  What did I do right? And what did I do wrong?  This will help you set goals and benchmarks.  In addition, take specific notes on specific partners.  Your grappling partners are your truest benchmarks.  Write down how you think you did?  What is working and what’s not working?  This will help you mark your progress and record your first year of training.  Which will also be valuable later on in your training when you look back and reflect on your time as a beginner.

 

Pillar #4:  Ask for help!

Remember, your instructors are there to be your guide.  You have to always trust that they have your best interests in mind.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Also don’t be afraid to trust their judgment! You never ask; “when am I getting my next stripe?” Let your instructor be your instructor.  Other than that, your instructors are more than happy to answer your questions.  Of course don’t take advantage of their time. If you have a lot of questions or just need some help with your training, schedule a private lesson.  Private lessons are a great way to get some extra guidance from your teacher.  If you cannot afford private lessons, ask some of the upper belts in your school.  Most decent blue belts can answer most “white belt” questions.  Blue belts are also great because they just spent a great deal of time not too long ago as a white belt.  Take advantage of this excellent resource.

 

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(Photo Credit: Richard Mossotti)

 

Additional Tips:

  • The more you train, the more you’ll get out of it! You can either “dip your toes” or “jump in headfirst”.  BJJ is a very complicated martial art.  You will never “get it” by training once a week.  Make a commitment to train a minimum of 2-3 times per week.  Like the saying goes, the more you put in the more you get out of it!  How deep down the rabbit hole do you want to go?

 

  • If you’re over 40 or coming off an injury etc. Be smart with your training partners.  Don’t grapple with the crazy 20-year old that tries to rip everyone’s head off!  If you’re attending an open mat then pick safe, trusted partners you feel comfortable with.   You’ll quickly figure out who the crazy ones are and who are the safest students.  Don’t be afraid to ask the upper belts to grapple with you (especially brown and black belts).

 

  • Attend Open Mat. Don’t be afraid to attend open mats.  Some of your most valuable lessons will take place in live training.  Plus this is where you will develop and hone your grappling skills, improve your cardio and really experience the most exciting part of BJJ training!

 

Check out this crazy technique video from Mike!

 

Mike Bidwell is a BJJ Black belt by day and aspiring Ninja by night.  Mike is a Black Belt under Ken Kronenberg (Team Tai-Kai / Balance).  Mike competes regularly in the masters divisions and also runs the popular www.BJJAfter40.com website.  In addition, Mike’s 8-year old daughter Valencia runs the www.TheGiProject.com website where she collects and sends new and used gi’s to “at risk” and underprivileged kids throughout the world so they can participate in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

 

Anniversary of the Day Royce Gracie Changed it All

 

It was on this very day that UFC 1 took place 21 years ago! This was the day that Royce Gracie shocked the martial arts world with his “new” art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Shortly after this event people began seeking Jiu Jitsu schools and instructors. Over the years our sport has blossomed. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is now a sport, an art as well as an all encompassing self-defense system practiced around the world.

 

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RE: Five Types of Jiu Jitsu People

 

RE: Five Types of Jiu Jitsu People

by Tony Peranio

 

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Last week an article came out called, “Five Types of Jiu Jitsu People”. After reading the article I thought the author seemed a bit jaded, but I understood that the article was intended to entertain, and not to denigrate all of the practitioners of Jiu Jitsu. I found that the article would make for an interesting read among our audience, so I posted it to our various social media outlets. The article reached more than 20,000 people on Facebook alone. It was “liked” and “shared” more than other articles generally are, and the comments were varied and bountiful.

 

The purpose of this article is to give our response to the original article, as well as to address the comments that we received after posting it.

 

To begin, there were in actuality 6 types of Jiu Jitsu practitioner listed, when the article touted that there would only be 5. This was not a problem for me to look past. I doubt that the original blogger was paid for their work. Most bloggers spend their time writing to help others, and because of their love of our sport. That being said, a simple error or two isn’t going to invoke a “fire and brimstone” reaction from myself. We all make mistakes.

 

Below are some of the comments we received about the original article:

 

“Well…that was actually 6 and not 5…and there must be other types, because these are all negative, and I have met alot of cool people on the mats who are nothing like any of these “types” 🙂 Oss!” – Jared O.

 

“Not funny. Where are the descriptions of people who inspire and motivate us? Or the great teachers, the people overcoming physical or mental handicaps? I’d be ashamed to put my name on this piece.” – AJ M.

 

“Disappointing article, especially for such a positive account to post. So much good and good people in Jiu  Jitsu, is this what you really want to share as a portrayal?” – Alexander H.

 

Another important fact is that the original blogger did not say that this was an all-encompassing list. Many were ready to pound the drums of war and unleash the hounds of hell because they read the title of the composition wrong. The title insinuates that these are 5 (or 6) different types of Jiu Jitsu practitioner that exist among the totality of practitioners. So let us all bring it down a notch in terms of assuming that the original blogger was saying that we all fit into one or more of the 6 stated categories.

 

Now I am going to respond to the article in the way that I feel many of you would.

 

1. The Meathead –

I personally feel cheated if I think someone is taking it easy on me. It’s ok to go with the flow sometimes, but I always want 100% force. I feel I learn a lot from the guys who act with strong force. It becomes my duty to control them, tire them out, then submit them. I would much rather spar with the Meathead, than the lackadaisical.

I doubt anyone uses more force when rolling with children or women. What gym, or gym members would tolerate seeing that happen?

 

2. The Teacher –

Again the original blogger mentions “sparring with too much force”. Clearly the original blogger has had too many run ins with forceful sparring partners. To me that sounds like poor gym management.

The original blogger shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss people’s advice. Granted, some of it might not be the best advice, but if you make it a habit to be dismissive you may one day miss out on a piece of advice that could have changed your entire game.

If the person is a “Teacher” they more than likely appreciate white belts joining the gym, so that they can help them along in Jiu Jitsu. Some people actually enjoy helping other people. Not all Teachers are crossbred with the Meatheads.

 

3. The JIUJITSU4LIFE Guy –

So the original blogger doesn’t like to see people who are just as enthusiastic as they were when they themselves started Jiu Jitsu?

I don’t know anyone that has every Gi you can imagine. Could it be that the JIUJITSU4LIFE Guy is simply not trying to be “The Gross Guy” mentioned below? It appears that the original blogger does not like stinky Gi’s or new smelling Gi’s. Is there perhaps a smell somewhere in the middle that would be pleasing?

I love reading my friend’s posts about Jiu Jitsu! Some of what my friends post, becomes content for this blog. Why be such a downer because of people’s enthusiasm? Would you like to keep Jiu Jitsu all to yourself? Does the enthusiasm of others threaten your own perhaps?

 

4. The Gross Guy – 

If you think other humans are gross, Jiu Jitsu could be the worst sport for you. You should be thinking about technique, not superfluous superficialities. We are not all supermodels and movie stars. If someone stinks to you, or is gross, simply avoid them.

 

5. The Just For Show Guy –

Some people have families to attend to. Some people are injured. There are many reason why friends of the gym show up but do not train. It is not because they want to be seen at a gym. It is because they love our sport and more than likely have a relationship of some sort with people at the gym. Perhaps their bond with the gym was established before you showed up there.

You are angry that they fake injuries to avoid rolling hard, but when people roll hard they fall into “The Meathead” or “The Teacher” categories. Which is it? Roll hard? or do not?

 

6. The Flirty-Flirt –

Saying that girls who come to the gym to flirt with guys is like saying every guy that goes to Yoga smelling good and looking good, is there to pick up girls.

Societal pressure applies a force upon women to always look their best. So now a cute, “made-up” girl comes to the gym and wants to make a desirable impression by not being “The Gross Girl”, and she is in the wrong? Or could this be a classic case of jealousy?

 

In Conclusion –

This article was in no way, shape or form intended to offend anyone. The audience of White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu demanded a response to the original post. When I wrote this article I tried to put myself in our audiences shoes to speak their unified voice. I’m in no way offended by the original blogger, nor the original blog. More power to all of you I say.

On a personal level, I don’t care about the different types of people in Jiu Jitsu. I welcome them.

 

I hope you all enjoyed the read!

 

meTony Peranio WBBJJ

 

“Meditation and Competition” by Lauren LaCourse

 

“Meditation and Competition”

by Lauren LaCourse

 

This last weekend I traveled to Chicago to compete in a tournament put on by the North American Grappling Association. I lost all of my matches and left fairly disappointed in my performance.

 

Mulling through every detail on the car-ride home, I came away with only one proud accomplishment: I had conquered the fabled “adrenaline dump”. Not a single time during or after one of my matches did I feel completely spent and upon this realization I turned to my boyfriend sitting next to me and proclaimed, “I didn’t even break a sweat!”

 

As he turned to look back at me I noticed his expression wasn’t nearly as amused as mine was. His brow furrowed as if to say, “And you’re happy about that?”

 

Which got me thinking, is this something I should be happy about?

 

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Rewind a few months ago, I’m watching a documentary on Keenan Cornelius that Stuart Cooper had just released. As the camera closes in on Keenan, he describes one of the key components necessary to unlock in order to become a good competitor: the mind.

 

“Technical mistakes are fine ’cause you can fix those, you know? It’s when you beat yourself that it’s a problem. That’s hard to fix. Your mind is much harder to fix than a technical error.” – Keenan Cornelius

 

And that’s when I knew what I had to work on. In previous competitions, I certainly had the physicality down. But my mind was desperate. In fact, in training so hard and putting so much pressure on myself before those competitions, I had lost a lot of love for jiu jitsu and for myself. So I took a break from competing and decided to focus on training my mentality. I started meditating, I started making an effort to talk positively to myself and others, and I started having fun with jiu jitsu again. So when it came to sign up for the tournament November 1st, I felt my mind was finally ready to compete.

 

The night before the tournament, I slept like a baby. The day of, I meditated before each match and experienced little to no anxiety. I walked onto the mat in peace and walked off of the mat in peace, even after getting armbarred, kimura’d, and guillotine choked. As disappointed as I was in my physical performance, my mind held strong that I was there to learn and have fun. And so I did.

 

What I didn’t do, was win any of my matches.

 

But I thought I had finally figured out the formula?! Shaolin monks are always meditating! I had remained calm and centered and kept focused! My mind was right! I should be a champion now shouldn’t I?!?

 

No. No I wasn’t. Not even close.

 

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So where did I go wrong?? Turns out, there’s actually a biological answer.

 

All of us humans have something called a central nervous system (CNS). The CNS is divided into two sub-systems: the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the somatic nervous system (SNS). The autonomic nervous system controls all of our involuntary functions (i.e. heart rate, digestion, etc.) and is also further subdivided into the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system.

 

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(If you’re a picture person like myself)

 

The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for controlling homeostasis in the body. It decreases the heart rate and enacts a state of calm so that the body can rest, relax, and recover.

 

The sympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, is responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response in our bodies. It tenses up the muscles and makes the person more alert and aware. It also is responsible for the increase of adrenaline and helps muscles convert energy more quickly.

 

Both sound great, and both are absolutely necessary, but looking at the two, it’s pretty easy to pick which one you’d rather have working for you in any sort of exercise, training, or competitive situation. And since the two do not work at the same time, you essentially DO have to pick.

 

So if you’re looking to throw down BJJ style, you don’t want to grapple with the parasympathetic system as your wing man. Sympathetic for the win!

 

Literally…

 

Now, what I did by meditating before each match only worked to deactivate my sympathetic nervous system response. This in turn, allowed me to avoid the “adrenaline dump” and remain calm, but sacrificed my heightened awareness and muscular endurance, which kept me from performing at my prime.

 

That’s not to say that the parasympathetic nervous system (or meditation) has no place at a competition. In fact, it’s as necessary as its opposite. If our sympathetic nervous ran on high at all times, our body would not be able to recover. Being able to engage the parasympathetic nervous system after each match or competition helps to ensure that we are able restore our body and its ability to perform at an optimal level every time we step on the mats. Research shows that meditation helps engage the parasympathetic nervous system and therefore can help with recovery.

 

So, whether you meditate or not, being aware of the systems that control our bodies can be a huge help and offer a significant advantage as you approach the stresses of competition and the stresses of life, working to make sure you perform your best at all times.

 

With much love — as always, Good luck and keep on rollin’.

 

– Lauren

 

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: Lauren’s Facebook

Twitter: @LaurenLaCourse

This, and other blogs from Lauren on her Live Journal page.

Lauren