(WBBJJ News) Todd Shaffer Earns Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu Association Silver Star

 

WBBJJ.com’s Todd Shaffer has been awarded the Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu Association Silver Star. This award is only given to the most loyal and dedicated students of the association. To be given this honor is emotionally akin to receiving a belt promotion.

 

TODD

 

The meaning of a Silver Star for Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu:

 

The Silver Star is the highest decoration award from the Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu Association. You can achieve it by showing great competition skills, by being a role model student, supporting in projects, being a RJJ representative School or giving extraordinary contribution to the Jiu Jitsu World (Source).

 

Congratulations Brother!

 

(Advice) “The Jiu Jitsu Gods Above” by Aiseop

 

The Jiu-Jitsu Gods Above

by Aiseop

 

I do not know the reason why this particular image of when I was a white belt has stuck with me.  I do remember, though, the feelings associated with it.  I felt awe. I felt small. I felt the desire to be as powerful as that towering blue belt across the mat.  His name was Lionel Perez, and Lionel had what seemed to me to be a perfect-form knee-on-belly on someone.  Lionel nearly upright, above us, but you could feel the knee driving into the torso of his poor partner.  I was a few feet away.  I was rolling with someone else, but, for a brief second, I caught site of what I wanted to be in jiu-jitsu but felt so far from being. Then, I probably got tapped out.

 

Currently, I hold a brown belt at an American Top Team school in Connecticut.  Lionel has since received a black belt from Relson Gracie.  The image of Lionel stuck with me even after I stopped training for awhile because I moved across the country for a Ph.D. program at Berkeley.  I resumed training in jiu-jitsu when I came back to the east coast.

 

The image recently resurfaced a few weeks ago.  I was rolling with someone, and there was a white belt who is older than me sitting off to the side, resting.  I chained a few moves and attacks to tap my partner with a bow-n-arrow, and I heard an emphatic “damn, that was smooth.  I wanna be like Aiseop when I grow up,” followed by chuckles at the joke.  I laughed, too, and was grateful, but what I was thinking about were the errors I made.  I rushed through the mount. Someone like my friend Steve, who’s incredibly good at recovering guard, would have put me in his half; and my other friend, Travis, would have escaped that choke because my initial grip was too low.  What they saw versus what I experienced couldn’t have been further apart.  Yet, I understood for that one moment, I was Lionel to that white belt.

 

As a white belt, you may feel like I felt: that blue belts are awesome; purple belts are lethal; brown belts are gods; and black belts are the Titans, the beings that were here before gods existed.

 

As a blue belt, you may feel that white belts are lucky to be white belts; that purple belts are awesome but have some holes; that brown belts are incredible; and black belts are gods.

 

As a purple belt, you may feel that white belts are spazzes; that blue belts are the best belt because you can still make mistakes; that brown belts are incredible but sometimes slip up; and black belts are still gods.

 

As a brown belt, whites are the best belt; blues are the best belt; purples are the best belt; brown is the worst belt, and black belts are still gods above, and you fear any promotion consideration for another ten years, because you need to work out the massive holes in your stupid brown belt game.

 

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I won’t try to imagine what black belts feel. That’s sacrilege or something.  Think about how someone like red-belt Grandmaster Relson Gracie thinks of all the belts. I dared not put a “coral” or “red belts” slot because I cannot even fathom a language for them. They are the Watchers, outside history and place.

 

Granting a more-than-human aura to those above us in skill and experience is obviously something not limited to jiu-jitsu.  Freshmen students see seniors as kings of the campus.  As an intern at a corporation, you may imagine the manager as a noble of some sort.  Jiu-jitsu borrows from this key error in human perception.  Time is forgotten when comparing two persons.  Then, powers are superimposed on the greater skilled whose origins are mysterious.  Yet, truly, the only real thing that separates the ranks is simply time.  Sure skill and talent and genetics may have a role, but nothing really works like time on the mat, especially with something so intricate as Brazilian jiu-jitsu.  There are no shortcuts and there are no superpowers.

 

In Spanish, there’s a pertinent saying: más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo. Translation: The devil knows more because he’s old than because he is the devil.  Age and experience are the simple ingredients that grant us superpowers.  With the proliferation of information, the idea of a sacred scroll containing a secret martial art technique seems a remnants of a by-gone era.  I remember when I first started training how difficult it was to get information about techniques outside of your school’s curriculum. The best objects were books and all you could do was hope Barnes & Nobles was carrying them.  Today, one can subscribe to Marcelo Garcia’s or Andre Galvao’s website and become a virtual student of their jiu-jitsu a minute after reading this article.  Has this significantly and magically improved anyone’s game overnight?  I doubt it. You still have to get on the mat. You still have to roll.  You still have to put your time in. And in time, you may even hold someone under a knee-on-belly and be that singed, early iconic, image of the power jiu-jitsu holds for a new jiu-jiteiro watching you.

 

Thank you for reading!

 

This blog post was written by Aiseop

Twitter: @edrik17

Blog: www.throughjiujitsu.com

Aiseop has been practicing jiu-jitsu and judo for 7.5 years. He holds a rank of brown belt under Luigi Mondelli of American Top Team. He lives in Connecticut with his two boys, aka future grappling buddies. He is proud to join the WBBJJ team as a blogger.

 

edrik

(Aiseop and son)

 

(Advice) “My First Jiu Jitsu Competition Was Last Weekend” by Lauren LaCourse

 

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“My First Jiu Jitsu Competition Was Last Weekend”

by Lauren LaCourse (Blogger, WBBJJ.com)

 

My coach grabbed my shoulders as I turned to face him. “Okay Lauren, this is it. I want you to keep your hips back and your base low. Remember to keep your head up in the clinch, and fight for your underhooks.” His voice faded away as I looked down at my hands. A giant smile spread across my face as I shook out the nerves. “I should start jumping up and down” I thought. I had seen everyone else doing it before their matches. My feet started to move. “Yeah, that feels good” I said to myself.

 

My coach caught my attention again. He noticed my smile and looked me dead in the eye. “Don’t underestimate these girls Lauren” he said. I shook my head to reassure him, but the smile stayed put.

 

The months of preparation were over. For the first time ever in a Jiu Jitsu competition I heard my name called. I inhaled deeply and stepped out on to the mat. The ref signaled to shake hands. I looked across at my opponent. She had the Batman logo on her rashguard, and a determined look on her face. I was still grinning uncontrollably. “Please let me stop smiling”, I thought, as the ref called us to start.

 

I exhaled.

 

I had been warned of the infamous “adrenaline dump”. I had read and reread the replies to our Facebook post about my competing. Everyone was wishing me luck and offering advice for my first competition. “It will feel surreal” they said. “You may not even hear your coach” they cautioned.

 

During my first match, I was very aware. I remember being very cognizant of my movement and my position. My ears were fine-tuned to my coach’s voice. I remember listening to, and following his directions. I did what I was instructed to do. Next, the referee raised my hand in victory, at the end of my first five minutes of competing BJJ.   However I had almost completely forgot everything that had happened.

 

 

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Here is what I do remember. At the end of the four minute round we were tied, 2-2. An additional minute was then put on the clock. Somehow I ended up in her closed guard long enough to see the score at 4-3 in my opponent’s favor. I saw the seconds tick down as my coach called from the corner, “It’s go time Lauren! Pass! PASS!

 

My hands pressed down on her hips and I arched my back. I felt her guard snap open behind me. I closed my eyes. I kept my elbows tucked to my ribs as I picked my knee up, and cut it across her thigh.

 

When I opened my eyes I was in side control. My weight settled on top of her and the buzzer sounded. I looked to the scoreboard for the results. I had won my first no gi match, my first competition match, by one point. The final score was 5-4. I walked off the mat to stand by my coach, who insisted on making sure I kept moving. “Stay warm,” he warned, “catch your breath.” But I didn’t want to stay warm.

 

I was pretty sure I didn’t ever want to do this again.

 

While I settled on the edge of the mat (and took what felt like my first breath in five minutes) I watched the next match. My coach told me to watch because my next opponent could be one of the two girls rolling. But again, I don’t remember any of it. He was right though, I did compete against the winner of that round.

 

My name was called once more, and I walked out onto the mat. “This is for first and second place”, the ref said as he called me to shake hands with my next opponent. She looked familiar. I had seen her before and wondered if she would be competing that day.  She had been at the Mackenzie Dern seminar I attended the month before, but I had seen her prior to then as well; in a cage fight.  I knew she was a serious MMA competitor and that she traveled competing in Jiu Jitsu as well. To be frank, I felt pretty helpless. As I reached across to shake her hand I saw the muscle ripple under her shoulders. I looked to my coach briefly, who nodded reassuringly in my direction, and the match started.

 

“And when I get there, I will arrive violently. I will rip the heart from my enemy, and leave it bleeding on the ground, because he cannot stop me.”

 

I would love to say that I followed the direction of this encouraging quote (that one of our WBBJJ followers left for me), but if I am to be honest, the only thing violent about that match was my opponent. She ran it on me.

 

It was a scramble I was constantly in defense of. I would get her in my guard. She would go to pass. I would quickly escape so that she couldn’t score her points for passing. She would end up in my guard again, and again she would attempt to pass. At one point she had me in an armbar.  I managed to escape. At another point I made the mistake of trying to pull guard, which she quickly and easily deflected, hulk smashing my legs out of the way. I hung out inverted for a while because it was safe. But as I lingered there I heard my coach yelling toward me. I figured that meant it was time to move so I let my hips swing around into guard, and closed my legs behind her. I knew her next step was going to be to pass (like she had done about a hundred times already) so I let her push down on my hips. I looked to my coach, who was looking at the score. I had 30 seconds and was down 0 to 4. I waited. As the pressure from her arms grew, I slammed one of my hands to her wrist and shot my hips up into what we call “Crooked Guard”. With my other hand, I quickly grabbed my ankle and locked in the best triangle I had ever managed in my life. I could hear my coach screaming from the corner, “Squeeze, Lauren!  SQUEEZE!!!” I reached up and laced my fingers behind my opponents head and pulled down with all the strength I could muster. I watched as her face set in a tight and determined grimace.

 

Then, the buzzer sounded.

 

I unlocked my triangle and the smile once again spread across my face. I looked to the scoreboard and shook my head. My time was up, and she had won 5-1.

 

As I walked toward my coach, whose grin matched mine, I knew I had done well. I will never be sure what might have happened if there had been just ten more seconds on the clock, but I do know that in those four minutes my opponent gave me the most satisfying roll I had ever had. Even though I didn’t win gold, I was reminded of why I love this sport, and the people who practice it.

 

 

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I would like to say that my Gi matches were as exciting, but I was put in against a fresh girl immediately after my ferocious No-Gi battle, and got collar choked like you wouldn’t believe. That was unfortunate. I was dog-tired, sweating and I wondered how anyone competes in both Gi and No-Gi; and does well in both. But as my name was called again I remembered that I had promised myself I would do well in both too. My next match would be for bronze and so I only needed to get through four more minutes to achieve my goal. I could do itI was so close to doing it.

 

In my most boring match of the day I managed to stay on top my opponent’s turtle for quite some time. When I did roll her over, she hooked me in half guard, pinning my ankle between her legs while she was on bottom. The next minute was spent trying to keep my base to avoid being swept (the score was still 0-0) while somehow pulling my foot from her half guard. I hadn’t practiced much half guard, which became apparent as I had struggled with it all day. But as my coach came flying in from cornering another match I heard him shouting, “Get your foot out of there!  Get your foot out of there!” Assuming that meant it was “go time” again, I cut my forearm across her jaw enough to redirect her focus, and pulled my foot into mount position with 20 seconds to spare, making the score 2-0.

 

Like the heavens part for the sun on a cloudy day, I saw it. My arm bar. I had her elbow up, and isolated, in high mount. This was it.  I reached my arm to hook underneath hers and readied myself for the transition I had practiced thousands of times before. Then I heard him yell, “Stay put, Lauren.  Stay put!” I looked to my coach and then to the clock; fifteen more seconds. I locked eyes with my coach again and froze there in mount as the time drew out. I had won.

 

 

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I got my bronze medal and my silver one and I haven’t taken them off since. I called and told my family. I celebrated with my team. All five of us that competed, medalled in our divisions. We had great stories to bring home and great memories from our first tournament. It was truly one of the most significant days of my life despite it being one of my most challenging. Isn’t that how life always goes though? If you wish to have the sea, you must accept it’s mighty roar. The most important lessons that we learn are the hardest, and I learned much that day.

 

I learned that my half guard could use some work. I learned that my coach, with all his screaming and yelling, knows that’s the only way to really get me motivated. I learned that I smile like a fool when I’m nervous, excited, anxious or have any feeling that is adrenaline triggered. I learned that determination, dedication, and hard work are the tools that help you most to achieve your goals. I learned that those qualities, combined with a tremendous amount of passion, can help you accomplish anything you set your mind to. Most importantly, I learned that family comes in all shapes and sizes, whether it is the people you share blood with, or the people you would shed blood for. I also learned that sweat and tears are as thick as blood, and as such become a strong glue to bond people together. I realized that the bulk of the BJJ community realizes this as well. That is why even when we compete against each other, we are committed to supporting and encouraging each other. I realized that sense of family is the reason I fell in love with Jiu Jitsu. It is the reason I will always love Jiu Jitsu.

 

Thank you so much to all those who have supported and encouraged me! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to know you, and to talk with you. Thank you for reading about my crazy BJJ antics. Thank you so, so much! I’ll never be able to put into words how much your support means to me.

 

As always, good luck and keep on rollin’.

-Lauren

 

This blog post was written by Lauren LaCourse

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Lauren’s Facebook Twitter: @LaurenLaCourse

Lauren

 

(News) White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is One Year Old Today!

 

FIRST

 

It was on this very day, one year ago that I decided to make a BJJ Fan Page. I would call it White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, because I am a White Belt. Soon after I met the mighty Todd Shaffer. Now we have 25000 fans and followers across Facebook and Twitter. Crazy! So anyway, Happy Birthday to US!!

 

Thank you all for hanging out with us everyday! Thank you for all of the likes and shares, which help us grow, and thanks for always sending in your promotions and progress. We love to see your dreams unfold! #OSS #HappyBdayWBBJJ

 

meTony Peranio WBBJJ

 

(Matches) Logan Cook strikes again with his signature “Logeoplata”

 

Logan Cook’s first place match in the Intermediate Super Featherweight No Gi division at the Extreme Grappling Open, against a tough MMA fighter named Ronnie Shoemaker! This is his second “Logeoplata” in competition! This one ended up getting finished from the a mounted position which required Logan to make a few tweaks to get the tap.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Here is a video of Logan teaching the “Logeoplata”

 

Click here to Subscribe to Logan’s channel on YouTube.

 

(Advice) “Awkward Pt. 2” by Lauren LaCourse

 

“Awkward Pt. 2”

by Lauren LaCourse (Blogger, WBBJJ.com)

 

Recently I wrote a blog, aptly named Awkward, about the “intimacies” involved in rolling with members of the opposite sex. Most of that blog was written from a completely feminine point of view.  I talked about what it was like for us BJJ ladies to roll with you strapping BJJ lads, and some of the struggles (the awkward ones anyway) that my become involved.  I should have taken into consideration how difficult and uncomfortable it might be for you guys to roll with us girls.  I realized this when I received an email from one of our WBBJJ.com readers named Joe.

 

Joe wrote:

“Hey Lauren! Just read your article on White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and I am happy to know that women like you are out there who understand that things like that happen with dudes.  It was quite encouraging to me.

Some guys try to show off or show dominance when rolling with a girl.  I dislike this attitude and thoroughly try to avoid it.  I consider myself pretty good about it (rolling with girls).  My instructors usually get me to work with girls because I cut myself off from this [attitude].

However, and I’d hope I can get your perspective on this, when doing techniques that require you to place hands on the chest, is there a way to go about it so it doesn’t seem like I’m groping the lady I am rolling with without compromising learning the technique?”

 

After reading Joe’s email, I realized how difficult it must be sometimes for you men to effectively roll with us ladies, and still maintain the sense of decency expected from any courteous and respectful adult.  I was, after this epiphany, instantly grateful for those men that I roll with on a daily basis and those men rolling with and helping us women along on our BJJ journey.

 

As a “Thank You”, I promise to answer any questions you may have about rolling with us women, and to offer my advice for those situations where you have been wondering what it is exactly that you should do.  Joe’s question is a perfect one to start.

 

TATA

 

I discussed this question with a few of my female rolling partners and I have finally settled on an answer that should help you guys out. So you’re wondering, “Where the heck am I supposed to put my hands when I’m told to place them in a place that is normally inappropriate, such as when drilling armbars from the mount?” I remember the first time my instructor called out those instructions.  I looked over to my male partner, who could hardly look me in the eye, and braced myself for an awkward drilling session.  And boy, it was awkward. However I soon found an answer, and after going over it with my female confidante’s, I was finally able to put it in terms that should make things a bit easier.  I must ask you in advance to forgive me for my candidness.

 

A female’s chest is divided into three parts that for our purposes here we will term them, “top boob, actual boob and bottom boob.”

 

Top Boob – the flat area of a female’s chest between the clavicle line and the top of the boobs. 

Actual Boob – that one’s pretty self-explanatory.

Bottom Boob – the area from the bottom of the boobs to the end of the rib cage.

 

When your instructor says to place your hands on the chest, when it comes to us ladies, your safest bet is to place your hands on the “top boob”. The “top boob” is actually not boob at all.  The sturdiest part of a woman’s chest is where her ribs are coming together at the sternum. This will keep her from any pain that would come if you pressed down onto her “actual boob”, and it will provide you with the strongest base that you are going to find in that region.

 

Now you might be wondering, well why not the “ol’ bottom boob”?  The thing about the “bottom boob” is this, if your hands were to slip up or forward, this would result in the accidental “boob scoop”; which is painful as well as awkward.  Trust me.

 

Like I said, “top boob” is your friend.  It is your safety zone and mine.

 

We females are just as uncomfortable and worried about accidental groping as you men are.  We slip up too!  So if it does happen, as long as your partner is understanding and it wasn’t on purpose, this should not be any problem at all.

 

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BJJ is a sport that demands close physical contact.  This is the nature of the art, and most women understand that when they sign up.

 

I hope articles like these will help.  I appreciate that there are men out there not only supporting us women and treating us like equals, but also being understanding and considerate when our differences become apparent.  This goes for you ladies out there rolling with the guys too.  It isn’t always an easy thing to do, but I’m grateful that we all continue to practice together in spite of those brief uncomfortable situations.

 

As promised, if any of you ever have any questions at all, feel free to contact me through Facebook, Email, or Twitter. I will follow up with you as soon as possible. I appreciate you all!  Good luck, and keep on rollin’.

 

This blog post was written by Lauren LaCourse

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: Lauren’s Facebook

Lauren

 

“Diaries of a White Belt Pt. 2” by Isabella Farley

 

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Isabella Farley (center)

 

Diaries of a White Belt Pt. 2

Written by: Isabella Farley

Edited by: Samantha Montague

 

My hands are sweaty and my heart is racing, but I remain calm. My focus is evident. Every takedown, every submission, every guard pass, and every escape is replaying in my head. I am visualizing the details of every technique that would allow me to dominate. I have spent many hours training for this moment, sweating on the mats, and being tapped out repeatedly. I am prepared. The pain of many chokes has caused me to improve my skills. We drill the same positions hundreds of times and start it all over again the next day. During every movement, I must be as flawless as possible, because one mistake can end it all. I believe in myself and in the effort that I have put forward. I am the end result of my blood, sweat and tears.

 

My headphones are blaring in my ears. I jog in place to the beat of the music to warm my muscles up. My pulse beats faster and faster as I wait for my name to be called. There I stand, alone. My thoughts are on my victory. I will succeed. I will stand on that podium. I have proven countless times than I am a champion. I shall succeed yet again because I was born to do this. With every breath I take, I can feel my dreams getting closer.

 

Suddenly I hear my name called. It is finally my turn. I bow in respect as I step onto the mats. I shake my opponent’s hand and then the referee’s. I feel alone however I am in a crowded room, with just my opponent. Our eyes meet as we anticipate each other’s attack. I try to stay focused on the many months of preparation, and all of the injuries, that have led me to this moment in time. The ruckus in the background does not prevent me from hearing my coach’s guidance. The sound of his voice keeps me calm as I prepare to battle for the win.

 

The moment the match begins I see my opening. Without hesitation I go for the take down. She is caught off guard by my quick movement and is fighting to keep her balance. With my adrenaline pumping, I go in for the kill. I achieve full mount after a minute of grappling on the ground. I make sure to stay still for three seconds to get my points. My coach tells me to “get to work” (this being the code to submit my opponent and attain my victory). My coach never calls out the submissions that I am to carry out. My opponent is given no opportunity to anticipate my next moves. We will not assist her in preparing her defense.

 

My prowess is witnessed upon her face when I attack her neck. She reacts by freeing up an arm, to stop me from deepening my choke upon her. The choke however, is a well-constructed and rehearsed distraction that allows me to grab her arm. This strategy comes naturally to me because we have rehearsed it so often. Firmly isolating her arm and head, I can now safely grab her wrist. I squeeze my elbow in the groove of her neck to prevent her head from moving. The submission is mine. I submit her with my favorite technique, the Americana. I feel her hand feverishly tapping on my thigh and a great wave of happiness comes over me.

 

I am a champion. I am on the podium.

 

Thank you very much for reading! Hope that you enjoyed! – WBBJJ.com

 

You can follow Isabella via her Facebook page.