Always remember that when you miss class your team is improving beyond you, your tournament opponent is improving beyond you, and you lose that much more of an edge against someone that wants to physically harm you in a real world scenario.
Ashton Kutcher is a TV and Movie Mega Star that holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Rigan Machado. Any reader of this page will tell you that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners are very serious about belt ranks. Earning a belt rank in BJJ takes years for the avid practitioner, let alone the casual practitioner, therefore the rapid advancement of anyone causes eyebrows to be raised. In this video from 2010, Ashton admits that he had not had any formal martial arts training up to that point. Because of this statement (and the fact that it seems Ashton is still struggling with tying the belt), some have begun calling his skillset into question. I personally am not included among the naysayers. Rigan Machado is well respected in the Jiu Jitsu community and is not one known to “sell belts”.
Well it seems that Ashton is revving up the engines to compete at the Jiu Jitsu World League Championships on January 17th, 2015. He has been seen recently posing with Machado, and a poster promoting the event (which is among the first of it’s kind to pay it’s athletes). Those are some solid indicators that Ashton Kutcher is ready to prove to the world, that his grappling prowess is on par with that of his acting’s.
Interviewer: “Are you any good at Jiu-Jitsu?”
Ashton: “No, I’m not…Even if I was, I would never say that because some guy could just come up to me in a bar and try to test me. That usually happens when you’re a celebrity. People want to fight you (laughs).”
In regard to the tying of his belt, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players at the higher levels often utilize baiting tactics and other deceptive movements to catch their opponent off guard. Could it be that Ashton is actually very good at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? and that the novice tying of the belt is intentionally done to lull his opponent into a false sense of invincibility?
You didn’t think about that one did ya? Go Ashton!
TMZ Sports Full Episode 2/13/14: Ashton Kutcher — Jiu-Jitsu Badass
Check out Ashton’s BJJ workout routine from Men’s Fitness.
BJJ. It’s Like Pizza.
by Mark Sasser
Spending 20 years as a high level athlete in a different sport before picking up Jiu Jitsu (at the age of 45) gave me plenty of time to learn the ins and outs of being competitive, and how to be better at something today than I was yesterday. This completely went out the window when I started BJJ and was being tapped out by practically everyone at my academy. I had little choice but to look for a mentor to help me make sense of this human chess game that we call Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
My first private lesson was with one of the team purple belts. He hearkened me back to all of the coaches I’d ever had and how they made my previous sports make sense. Those were American sports though, not the hard-nosed Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I was now attempting to learn. I was told that BJJ makes you the hammer sometimes, and the nail other times. I was told that witnessing this personally for yourself can be both shocking, and amusing.
Now let’s fast-forward to later that day. I’m suited up in my new Gi and I’m waiting on the mat for my one on one. The first thing I can remember hearing is,
“You like pizza, right?”
“Well yeah, I like pizza, but what does that have to do with anything that we are doing here?”
“Jiu Jitsu is just like pizza. I know you like pizza, so let’s get cooking!”
At this point I’m pretty sure my “BJJ pizza chef” has spent a little too much time in a triangle choke. However I wasn’t going to bail until I figured out this BJJ/pizza analogy (because I truly do like pizza). So with a raised eyebrow I gave my signature, “oh yeah”.
“BJJ”, he tells me, “is as simple as learning the elements of your favorite pizza. You have your basics which is the crust, defense the sauce, cardio is the cheese; and without all three you are left with something unsavory.” At this point he had my full attention. He rolled into the details of the toppings and how each and every move is just an ingredient. You can pick and choose which ones work to your taste an how much of each you want to put onto your pizza. But, you first had to have all of the ingredients in the fridge, and the crust has to be perfect.
Now when I train it’s a thick crust with traditional sauce, heavy cheese with some collar chokes, a mouse trap and an side of arm bars.
Just don’t expect delivery in 30 mins or less.
(Grandmaster Helio Gracie)
Rare Helio Gracie Footage!
Grandmaster Helio Gracie was born October 1, 1913 and passed January 29, 2009. He is credited with being one of the founding fathers of our beloved sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Helio was not physically a large man. His lack of an imposing physical stature caused him to make adaptations to the Jiu Jitsu that he had learned from his older brother Carlos. Eventually his adaptations would allow for the smaller person to be able to defeat the larger person. Before Helio Gracie, “size mattered” in terms of combat sports and self-defense.
(Helio Gracie’s son Royce Gracie fighting at UFC 5)
Thankfully video camera technology was around to chronicle the rise of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, and thankfully it is all available on YouTube for the world to witness. Much of the footage below is quite rare and would probably have gone largely unseen were it not for this age of video sharing. That being said I hope you enjoy!
Things did not go well for John Fitch last night at World Series of Fighting 16. His opponent, welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares is notoriously known for his leg lock submissions. Palhares was controversially banned from the UFC for holding leg attacks for too long after the opponent had tapped. Holding on to a leg attack has far lengthier potential ramifications than holding on to a choke for a moment too long. Most times your opponent is going to safely wake up from a choke, but a knee bar or heel hook held too long means surgery and many months of recuperation. This latest attack looked painful, but was released in a reasonable time.
Check out the nasty Knee Bar below!
Once you are bitten by the BJJ bug nothing can stop you from missing a class! That being said, check out this crazy vine!
BJJ White Belt YouTube Starter Kit
You could spend a lifetime training BJJ and at the end of your days you would find yourself to be a student still. There are an infinite amount of subtle and slight nuances to be mastered after you spend many years wrangling with the basic fundamentals. Thankfully the arduous journey, is a fun one indeed.
The collective presumption is that the best way to learn Jiu Jitsu, is to join a reputable Jiu Jitsu academy, and to attend the classes there regularly. If this happens to be an impossibility for you, for whatever the reason may be, then video resources would be your next best option. Hopefully circumstances will change for you and you find yourself in a position to train BJJ at a proper gym. If you can find someone to be your training partner until that time comes, (or training dummy!) then you will be that much better off.
YouTube has become a valuable resource for novice BJJ players, as well as seasoned vets. Below are a few important videos to help get you successfully started on your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey:
There are literally thousands of videos out there to help you on your BJJ journey. Hopefully this series of videos was helpful in getting you acclimated to our beautiful sport!
Will Ronda Rousey Ever Face Gabi Garcia In MMA? No.
UFC Bantamweight Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey caused quite a stir in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community when she declared that she could defeat any woman in the world in BJJ. Jiu Jitsu pundits took to the internet to voice there opinion about such an audacious statement. Many female BJJ stars came out to express their opinion on the matter. Most (perhaps all) of those Female BJJ champions who responded would beat Ronda at pure gi Jiu Jitsu. If I was a gambling man, my money would be on Ronda scoring the first take down though, regardless of the outcome. Ok, that is a lie… I do like to gamble on occasion.
There was one BJJ woman champion (and IBJJF Hall of Famer) whose name quickly rose to the top of the list, to be the most probable of defeating Ronda. Her name is Gabi Garcia. Gabrielle Garcia stands at 6’2″ compared to Ronda’s “meager” 5’6″. It would in theory be tremendously difficult for Ronda to defeat Gabi considering Gabi’s size and skill set. It would not be long before Ronda retracted her statement.
Excitement flared when Gabi Garcia announced that she was training to compete in MMA. Individuals began tweeting and commenting that Gabi was coming after Ronda. This is an impossibility unless a “superfight” was made, which would allow for a cross-division MMA fight (that is if any sane athletic commission would sanction a fight with such a weight disparity). Ronda fights at 135lbs, while Gabi claims the lightest weight she could make is 191. Sorry guys, but it’s not happening (and sad for us because Gabi doesn’t plan on competing in the gi for a while).