5 Habits of Successful BJJ Students

 

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5 Habits of Successful BJJ Students

 

Go to Class Regularly

 

This is obvious. If you’re going to actually develop Jiu Jitsu skill, you’re going to have to show up.

 

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That feeling when your instructor is showing an advanced technique, but you’ve missed too many classes.

 

Apply energy outside of class to improving your Jiu Jitsu

 

When I wrote this originally, I had specific out-of-class activities to recommend. Watch your diet. Do strength & conditioning. Keep a Jiu-Jitsu journal. Take private lessons. But for every single recommendation, there was a person who has been successful NOT doing it.

 

The only common characteristic was that every person was doing something extra.

 

So, my recommendation is to apply energy to an activity outside of class that will improve your Jiu Jitsu. It can be directly applicable or not. Just do something – whether its eating better, studying film, starting a S&C routine, taking private lessons.

 

Ask for constant feedback

 

You get a certain amount of feedback by rolling. You try something and get submitted. You try something else and it works. But what YOU perceive and recognize is not the whole story. Your coaches and training partners will notice other things and recommend different adjustments. So ask them for feedback.

 

A journal is a good way to keep track of feedback. You can record your reflections and compare them to the observations of others.

 

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When asking for feedback make sure to ask your instructors and upper belts – not just other white belts.

 

Fight hard and tap

 

Don’t be afraid to roll hard but don’t be afraid to tap either.

 

Every gym has a guy who refuses to train hard. I’m not referring to someone who suffered a injury or has a “real” reason. I’m talking about the guy who always wants to be “technical”. The BJJ student who believes that if his heart rate gets about 140, he is somehow offending the Jiu-Jitsu gods.

 

Taking this approach all the time is harmful.

 

When I was a Blue Belt, one of my classmates never took it out of first gear when he rolled. He didn’t make a lot of mistakes – but he didn’t have a truly threatening offense either. In retrospect, I think I enjoyed training with him because if he put me into a bad situation, I could out-hustle and out-work him to escape.

 

The anti-thesis of this guy was a student I’ll call “the Russian”. The Russian was 110% all the time. Training with the Russian, you could expect upkicks if you were passing the guard, full pressure regardless of gender or weight, and if he locked on a submission, prepare to scream-tap. This guy was all about getting the tap and not being submitted himself. If he got into a bad position, he would immediately cross his arms and ball up. It wasn’t about escapes – it was about not being submitted.

 

Both guys plateaued at the Blue Belt level.

 

The purpose of skill training is to develop coordination under stress. As you increase speed or weight, it becomes more and more difficult to stay coordinated i.e. have good technique. Being able to execute a beautiful seio-nage in a demonstration is different than being able to execute the same throw in a match.

 

Your training has to reflect this difference. If you give up every transition and refuse to go hard, then you’ll have trouble when you need to transition or go hard (duh). If you go hard all the time, you won’t be able to develop proper technique . So don’t be afraid to train hard – but don’t be afraid to tap either.

 

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Just another training session with the Russian…

 

Learn and experience Jiu Jitsu in an expansive way

 

When I was thinking about this article, I realized that I couldn’t think of any Black Belts that have NEVER competed. I also can’t think of any Black Belts that have NEVER done No Gi or Judo or Wrestling etc.

 

The reason I’m bringing this up is to point out that Jiu Jitsu is a BIG art. There’s lot of ways to experience it and lots of aspects of it to learn. The successful people that I know have experienced it largely in its entirety. Whether its competing, traveling around, wearing a gi, not wearing a gi, training for time limits, dealing with no time limit, doing hard practices, doing technical practices, etc. they’ve done it all.

 

About Julius Park: I am a Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt. I’ve produced BJJ World Champions from Blue Belt up to Brown Belt. My next goal is to get a student to the Black Belt World Champion level and into the UFC. I have an English Bulldog, Ghostface, who has so far resisted all training methods. I teach out of Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts gyms in the Baltimore area.

 

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Julius Park

 

Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts can be found on the Web, Facebook and Twitter.

 

Should Jiu Jitsu Academies Enforce Contractual Obligations? (Opinion)

 

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Should Jiu Jitsu Academies Enforce Contractual Obligations? (Opinion)

 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that is filled with many realities. Fake people, fake belts and fake techniques are recognized with a quickness that is simply stunning to behold. One of the nuanced realities of BJJ is that we train at academies that are operated by business owners. Whether we like it or not, martial arts is a business. Most of us rational individuals recognize this dichotomy and make our adult decisions to be in accord with this dialectic.

 

It is obligatory for an academy to keep its doors open and the business operational in order to properly serve its body of students. To achieve this, capital is necessary. On top of the costs to operate the business, the academy owner also needs to provide for his or her family. Should a Jiu Jitsu black belt live in pious poverty like a guru of religion? Or, should they be allowed to live a comfortable life comparable to others?

 

I am not an academy owner but I can picture what it would be like to be one. You would want to build a gym with a family environment that is based on the concept of a team. Yet you also need money, or none of it will exist at all.

 

BJJ academies make the bulk of their money from monthly membership dues. Cross-fit gyms, regular gyms, yoga studios, dance academies, etc, all have contracts in place to ensure that a continuous stream of income can not only be collected, but counted on. When you are planning for the future it is extremely helpful to be able to gauge how much money will be coming in at a particular time. This is facilitated via contract. Having a contract also serves the purpose of making the contracted person feel obligated to show up to the academy as opposed to just coming a few times than quitting.

 

The sticky part of the situation occurs when a student wants to outright back out of their contractual agreement, that they as an adult, agreed to sign in to.

 

Should the academy owner let everyone who wants to, break their contract? If yes, can we justify a reason to therefore have a contract in the first place? Is there a certain point in time where your friendship with the academy owner supersedes their need for capital? Probably not.

 

In my opinion it is reprehensible and irresponsible adult behavior to sign an agreement that you do not 100% believe that you can oblige. For instance, my academy offers 1, 2 and 3 year contracts. The 3 year is naturally cheaper because the owner can rest easy for 3 years knowing that that revenue will be coming in. The 1 year contract is cheaper to buy out of but is more expensive per month because the academy owner cannot add into the accounting the 3 years of guaranteed income.

 

Most contracts have clauses to help the student if the need arises. If you are injured, more than likely you can have your academy “freeze” your account while you heal up. When you are fit to train, the contract will start back up again. The months that you didn’t attend will be added onto to the term of the agreement.

 

If you are moving, all you need to do is prove it through documentation.

 

If you simply want to quit, most contracts have a buy out clause. You may have to pay a few hundred dollars, but that is what adults do. You made a decision to enter an agreement that you couldn’t handle, so you must absorb some of the financial obligation.

 

Does this mean that you should now be angry with the academy because you were in err? Should you “tell the world” how evil the academy owner is for actually enforcing their contracts the way any other business in the world does?

 

Try telling your mortgage company that you cannot pay and you will lose your house. Tell your auto loan company that you cannot pay and you will lose your car. They will repossess your car, and you will still owe the balance! Why? Because you signed an agreement that says you understand the terms.

 

Your instructor is not faking their friendship with you, nor the family and team environment. If you cannot meet your obligations, you are not a friend, teammate or family member. I like to associate with those who stick to their agreements and those who make wise decisions. I tend to disassociate with those who make rash decisions that they regret later.

 

In summary, I believe that your BJJ academy should honor their agreement to keep the doors of the business open, and to teach me the martial art that they sold me on during the introduction period (giving me full view of the academy and what is taught BEFORE the contract was signed). I also believe that the student should meet their obligation to pay, or expect the penalties included in the contract to be enforced. This could mean court, attorney’s, etc.

 

Consider it a blessing that you only have to deal with small claims court, and not an angry Jiu Jitsu black belt hunting you down.

 

‘Nuff said.

 

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8 Ways To Improve Your Jiu Jitsu

 

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8 Ways To Improve Your Jiu Jitsu

 

1) Supplemental workouts outside of your academyTry doing cardiovascular, strength and endurance training when not on the mats. Doing this will go a long way in helping your Jiu Jitsu. Stronger muscles will help you prevent injury. Cardio and endurance training will help you roll harder, longer.

 

2) Hang around when class is overInevitably when class ends a few people will hang around drilling techniques or talking about Jiu Jitsu. This is a great time to ask questions and learn tweaks for your game that you might not learn if you were to leave as soon as class ends.

 

3) Use what you learned in training that dayYour BJJ coach teaches specific techniques for a reason. They want you to learn how to use those techniques while you are rolling. If your coach teaches a mount escape, go for that particular escape that day when you are mounted. Doing so will give you practice with the technique and show your instructor that your were paying attention in class.

 

4) Increase your training hours per weekTry to squeeze in as much Jiu Jitsu as possible per week. Sometimes there are classes we could attend at our academy but maybe we don’t feel like waking up early or staying up late. Force yourself to get to the academy during those times. You will absolutely be glad that you did. I have never left BJJ class thinking, “I should have stayed in bed.”

 

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5) Rest/RecoverRest and recovery is extremely important in terms of improving your Jiu Jitsu. Gains are not made in the gym. Gains are made during the period of rest. 8 – 9 hours per day of sleep will keep you energetic on the mats and will ensure that you don’t over train your body, which can set you back more than it will help.

 

6) Proper nutrition“You are what you eat.” You have heard this spoken and it is true. Fruits and vegetables are your friend. Processed fatty foods are your enemy. If you adhere to a proper diet you will literally have more energy than you can burn off. Eating the wrong foods will make you feel slow and sluggish.

 

7) Have funSometimes folks can take Jiu Jitsu too seriously. Remember why you started Jiu Jitsu. We started because it is such a fun sport! Try expressing your creativity on the mats on occasion. Forget about being tapped out. Try techniques just for the fun of it! Come to Jiu Jitsu as a child would, ready to have fun!

 

8) Visit other academiesVisit some other academies in your area to get some new rolling partners and fresh perspectives. Visiting other academies will go far in showing areas you areas that you can improve in. You will also make new friendships and form new relationships! This is a huge part of BJJ that keeps us all bound together and enjoying ourselves.

 

Below are some cool videos that offer further assistance in improving your Jiu Jitsu. Enjoy!

 

 

 

How To Increase Your Flexibility For Jiu Jitsu – Ryan Hall

 

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How To Increase Your Flexibility For Jiu Jitsu – Ryan Hall

 

In the video below Ryan Hall details his stretching routine and how it makes his Jiu Jitsu more effective!

 

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9:08 – Shoulder Stretch
12:00 – Lower Body
12:45 – Standing Hamstring
14:10 – Squatting Buddha Stretch
15:20 – Shoulder Belt
16:48 – Forearm & Wrist
18:12 – Lying Pectoral Stretch
20:26 – Sitting Inner Thigh
22:44 – Kneeling Hip Flexor
24:30 – Sitting Sprinters [1/2 butterfly]
27:05 – Sitting Shoulder & Back
28:52 – Sitting Back & Hip
30:57 – Granby Neck Stretch
35:08 – Neck Bridges
36:29 – Upward Dog
37:16 – Hamstring Belt
40:13 – Lying Knee
41:31 – Triangle Hip Stretch
44:13 – MMA Hip Stretch
48:00 – Butterfly Stretch
49:06 – Combo Stretch Routine

 

 

How I Lost 25 Pounds In One Month, For Jiu Jitsu

 

chris

 

How I Lost 25 Pounds In One Month, For Jiu Jitsu

 

First off, and most importantly, let me preface this piece by stating that I am not a medical professional. I do not recommend any diet plan without seeking the advice of a trusted health practitioner. This is simply my story of how I lost weight, and why I did it. Every person is different. What may work for me, may be unhealthy for you. So again, seek a doctor’s advice before making any changes to your diet and lifestyle.

 

When I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 4 years ago I was 170 lbs and in really good shape. My academy has a lot of bigger guys that I would always be paired up with because I had “muscles”. It was frustrating being smashed every time I rolled as a new white belt so I decided to gain weight. I decided to do this the good old fashioned way with beer, steak, pasta and desserts.

 

Before I knew it I was 200 lbs. I still looked pretty good and my guard passing game did improve. My “invisible Jiu Jitsu” game was quite painful to deal with. However my new eating habits mixed with 300 calorie beers everyday caused me to get up to 225 lbs. This is the point where I said, “Oh heck no”. My health could start to be an issue and my guard game was lacking. You shouldn’t be laying flat on your back in guard but with a beer gut it was difficult to do anything but.

 

In order to drop weight I realized that I had to start exercising outside of Jiu Jitsu again, cut my caloric intake, and quit drinking. Every time I tried to lose weight by leaving out one of these components, it did not work.

 

You quickly grow accustomed to having a couple of beers every night and you eventually begin to feel off if you go a night without any. Step number 1 was to comfortably taper down the alcohol intake until I wasn’t drinking at all. This alone cut 1200 calories per day from my regular consumption. Not drinking in the evenings also makes it much easier to do an evening cardio session (which I will get to later).

 

Step #2 for me was to taper back what I was eating as well as find healthy things that I could enjoy eating every single day for a month. For me it was hard boiled eggs, salad mix with plain balsamic vinegar, raw broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and celery, Chipotle vegetarian bowls (that I would split into 3 portions), watermelon and strawberries. The only thing I would drink is carbonated mineral water with lemon and a splash of orange juice. To make the raw vegetables taste good I would dip them into a 0 fat cucumber dill yogurt (tzatziki). I should mention here that I went the vegetarian route for this diet because savory meats seem to make me hungrier.

 

Although people say it is bad to eat late at night, I would try to go as long as I could every day without eating until the evening. Eventually my stomach shrunk down so I wasn’t hungry at all until the evening anyway.

 

I would jog every morning before work on an empty stomach. At first I could only jog a mile or so. Every day I would increase my distance by a little until I was jogging 3 miles every morning. When I got off of work, still on an empty stomach, I would do another 30 minutes of cardio on a treadmill and do some light weightlifting. Finally after all of the hard work, I would enjoy my veggies, 1/3 of a chipotle bowl, and lastly some fruit for dessert.

 

Taking Jiu Jitsu classes were and are great for burning fat. I would easily lose 3 lbs per class. Some of this would return because the bulk of it was water weight, but some of it does stay off each time.

 

Adhering to this regiment was difficult for the first week but became a breeze soon after that. It really all boils down to willpower. It sucks running with a beer gut but I did it every day even when I didn’t want to. Soon you start to see results and it drives you even harder. After a month, the gut is gone and I’m back down to 200 lbs again. I can casually lose another 20 lbs now that the bulk of the hard work is finished.

 

I am sharing my story because it may inspire someone else who wants to lose weight but doesn’t really know how to. You don’t need fad diets, phone apps, fitbits, diet pills, etc. (I did take green tea extract because it has been shown in peer reviewed studies to naturally increase fat burning by almost 20%.) Losing extra weight is easy if you cut out the empty calories, workout, eat healthy and most importantly, do lots of Jiu Jitsu!

 

In just one month I feel so much better than I did before. I sleep better. I have tons of energy as soon as I get out of bed. I look great. At the end of Jiu Jitsu class I still have lots of energy. I have tons of extra money because of the diet and dropping the beer. All is good, and getting better!

 

Hope you enjoyed the read!

 

(New Video) How To Be Dynamic From The Closed Guard In BJJ

 

bjjproject

 

(New Video) How To Be Dynamic From The Closed Guard In BJJ

 

“In Jiu Jitsu, the possibilities have no ending. Here we show you some options against common reactions from your opponents, for you to drill and get more and more dynamic in training and competition!

 

Don’t forget that the tips are just as important as the main steps for this quick guide! And also, this technique we showed in a few minutes, is just meant to serve as a guide for people that practice with an instructor who doesn’t only correct the technical mistakes, but also guides the students with concepts that can’t be explained briefly. These moves were executed in training and/or competition and have worked.” – BJJ Project

 

 

Joe Rogan On How To Improve Your Jiu Jitsu

 

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Joe Rogan On How To Improve Your Jiu Jitsu

 

In this excerpt from the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast #688, Joe lays out what he believes is the best way to improve your Jiu Jitsu.

 

“You’re supposed to be building muscle memory, but the real way to do it after you do that is to practice on people with a limited amount of proficiency. Just to choke the s–t out of ’em. That’s the way to ultimately get better is to practice on people who aren’t quite as good as you.” – Joe Rogan