A new adventure awaits Friday as I step on an airplane and head to Florida. This years two week family vacation is doubling as a camp. When I get back I will have just a few days before my next Jiu-Jitsu tournament in Chicago, Illinois, where I will be competing for the second time. I’m looking forward to getting on the mats again for competition and testing myself to see how much I’ve improved in the last four months.
I am going to use this time on the beach to refresh, get focused, and train! I am looking forward to time away from all distractions to be able to make myself my number one priority. I am lucky enough to have a live in training partner and a family that is very supportive of my goals. That training partner is my dad who will also be going on vacation with me. Not only is my dad my sparing partner, but my mom and sister both workout with me and help motivate me. Although I will be away from my gym, as my family and I are preparing to leave, we have out workouts planned out together. This includes morning runs on the beach, drilling by the pool, and lots of other cardio and weight lifting. Not every family is willing to wake up early on vacation to get a work out in, or two, but my family is and I can’t thank them enough for that.
Their support from workouts transfer to the kitchen as well. Normally vacations are the time to eat what you want and not have it matter. I’ve heard it said before that “vacation calories don’t count.” Well that’s just not true. This vacation I’ll be eating my “camp diet” which consists mostly of lots of fruit, vegetables, and lean meats. There isn’t any room for dessert when getting healthy and staying at my weight. That means there is lots of meal prep taking place and it would be much harder without my family doing it alongside me.
This time to focus on training will give me the perfect opportunity to ensure that I’m in the best shape I can possibly be and that I won’t have any troubles making weight. Having two weeks no distraction I will have the perfect to get my mind right and get focused. I will use morning mediation as well as writing down my goals to make sure I am as mentally prepared as I can possibly be, because mental preparation and toughness is just as important as the physical side.
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It is a timeless situation in Jiu-Jitsu, “I am getting smashed by bigger people, and it is not fun.”
It seems like no matter how big you are you always have people larger than you at your BJJ academy. If this is not an issue for you, I recommend reading anyway so that you can walk a mile in someone else’s shoes (or grapple a few rounds in someone else’s wrestling shoes).
What people want to know is, is there a particular technique that I can use to beat a bigger person every time? Yes, and no.
Jiu-Jitsu was developed to give a smaller, weaker person a chance to defend against and even subdue a large aggressive attacker. Good Jiu-Jitsu techniques achieve this through positioning and leverage, and they should work on a bigger, stronger opponent. That means you have the entire breadth of Jiu-Jitsu to look to for answers.
There isn’t a single move, or even a specific series of moves, that will let you easily defeat every single Bigger/Stronger opponent. There are however plenty of resources and tips that will 100% increase your chances of success!
Because of Google and YouTube (and other sources of course) you can simply query how to use BJJ against a bigger opponent and a wealth of videos and concepts will emerge. This is certainly a great place to begin. Some of my favorites are below:
So learning new techniques is helpful, especially early on in your training, but what do you do when you have some skills and are still getting smashed by bigger or stronger people?
Being big and strong is its own advantage and beginners struggle with this problem the most. When you are starting out you want solutions right away, and not getting them can lead to frustration, and possibly quitting. Always remember that BJJ as we know it was mostly designed by a very small, frail Helio Gracie who stuck with the techniques long enough to be able to boast he could beat any man or he’d give him $10,000.00.
The three basic tenets that will help you overcome this common hurdle are to:
– Go to class regularly – Pay attention to your instructor – Spar a lot (especially with big guys, if they are the problem)
Stick with BJJ for at least 6-12 months, even if you don’t feel like you’re getting better. It may even take longer. But one day, you’ll know enough techniques and do them well enough that you won’t be worrying about this any more.
You probably wanted something quicker and easier, but outside of footlocking them every time, believe me all you really have to do is keep showing up!!
WIN A FREE FUJI ELEMENTAL GI!! Follow the instructions and click the contest image!
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In this video the folks at great grappling discuss the slippery slope of having expectations with BJJ. Things do not always go as planned and when things go awry it can have a negative emotional effect on the practitioner.
Perhaps it is more beneficial to operate with an agenda, rather than expectations. This is a great video for BJJ that applies to life in general.
The freshest gi of 2017 has just been released and it is ready to keep you cool this summer and as you will see, will keep your weight lower during competition.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Fuji Elemental.
(Elemental:related to or embodying the powers of nature.)
The Fuji Elemental gi the most exciting release for Fuji Sports and BJJ competitors around the globe.
It is extremely lightweight and the stitching and embroidery are the epitome of classy. You will notice the absence of any gaudy patches on this gi, which I like because I don’t like to compete feeling as if I look like a NASCAR race car.
Here are the details provided by Fujisports.com:
el·e·men·tal /ˌeləˈmen(t)l/: related to or embodying the powers of nature.
Become a force of nature in the FUJI Sports Elemental gi. Designed for training and competition, this uniform combines durability and subtle style for a classic look that will give you years of use.
– Light pearl weave jacket with reinforced seams
– Rubber collar with a cotton/poly blend for stiffness and shorter drying time
– Reinforced cotton blend pants
– Bungee cord drawstring
– Muted decoration for a classic look
– Elemental definition on inside taping
(The first thing you will notice when you try this gi on is the remarkably light weight)
It is a timeless struggle to find the perfect kimono. Choosing a new gi is a long term commitment. The last thing you want to do is spend $100.00 or more on a kimono that is going to tear and begin to fall apart the moment someone grabs a strong grip on your gi. Fuji has been producing the most durable Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gis much longer than the competition…
The gi on the above left was my favorite gi to wear prior to the elemental. It is a soft gi and is also very light, but it is not shockingly light. To prove that I wasn’t crazy or was simply hoping that this gi was a lighter gi, I decided to weigh them.
Here are the results! I invite anyone to perform the same test! When you are weighing in for competitions every little bit helps!
I made a quick video of my teammate Logan wearing the white one. Check it out below!
TO GET ONE (OR MORE) OF THESE BRAND NEW FUJI ELEMENTAL GIS FOR $109.65 (Use code wbbjj)! CLICK HERE!
I seriously have only one qualm about this gi. I love black gis the best and there is no black option available (at least at the time of the writing of this review). However on the bright side (no pun intended) I have been wearing the white one, and have been quite enjoying the way I look in white now. I almost feel like I can release my Kron Gracie spirit totem when wearing it.
DISCLAIMER: I am sponsored by Fuji Sports. They sent me two of these gis for free to review. That being said, there is no way that I would be dishonest with my White Belt BJJ followers. Fuji was my first pick to work for BECAUSE of their innovative products like this one.