Blind Athlete Aiming to Win IBJJF World Title

 

“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do”. -Derek Jeter

 

His name is Clinton Davies. He’s a 33 year old athlete and he competes in wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is also 95% blind.

 

This is his story:

 

When I was two years old, I was treated for chicken pox with penicillin. Unfortunately, I had an allergic reaction to this life saving treatment which left me with Stevens Johnson Syndrome. It permanently damage my lung tissue, blistered my body and left my sight with a 1 metre visibility, although I can only perceive shapes and changes in light.

 

I have always believed there’s nothing I can’t do that other sighted athletes can. Although I am qualified to compete in the Paralympics, I choose to test myself against sighted athletes. Why wouldn’t I?

 

People often ask me about my supposed disadvantages and limitations. In all honesty, I’ve been without sight for so long, it’s become all I have known. You learn to adapt. I simply refuse to accept my situation as a barrier to what I wish to accomplish and show. I don’t really think of myself as inspiring, just lucky I have something that I love to do.

 

Although, let me assure you, my martial arts journey has certainly been no cake walk! It’s not like that for ANYONE, despite what Hollywood would like you to believe. When I first began learning to wrestle at 17 years old, I was absolutely smashed and bashed. For a few years. It takes a while to learn things, like how to move, where to be, what not to do, how a technique should feel. I was very lucky to have a compassionate, patient and caring mentor to guide me and give me the time of day. I will never forget him. Getting beaten up can suck, but I am pretty grateful to say that no fully sighted athlete I’ve trained or competed with has ever taken it easy on me, who learns that way?

 

I am currently a ten time national champion in wrestling, as well as the New Zealand champion Middle weight gi and no gi jiujitsu . I was the first blind Kiwi wrestler to compete at the World Champions in 2013.

 

I started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu two years ago. I have so far managed to medal in almost every competition I have competed since then.

 

This year marks another mountain for me. A new journey. I will go to the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship tournament in Los Angeles to compete against the best of the best and I would appreciate any help in realizing my dream.

 

Funds will be used to pay for travel costs, accommodation, entry fees, and training fees while I’m overseas.

 

If you would like to contribute to Clinton Davies journey to Worlds, click here.

 

 


 

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How To Turn Your Fear Of Competing Into Your Strength

 

by Brooke George
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Jumping up and down, pacing the mats, and trying not to throw up is what you would have witnessed at my first Jiu-Jitsu tournament. Nerves or competition anxiety as some people call it, is something that I’ve had to overcome as a competitive athlete.

 

Adrenaline is something I get every time I’m near the mats for a competition. During my first tournament I quickly learned that mental preparation is just as important as physical. If your body is physically able, but you psych yourself out you aren’t going to be able to do as well as you might if your whole body was working together. The adrenaline rush is something that won’t go away, but turning that adrenaline from nerves to excitement is something I’ve had to work on.

 

One way I’ve learned to mentally prepare myself during a tournament is by mentally focusing on goals. You have to set goals for what you’re about to go do. This doesn’t just mean saying that you’re going to win although that is a great place to start!

 

I have learned not to put the pressure on myself to win, but to improve. I want to learn something from every tournament and every match I have. Improving my takedowns, remaining in control, or working on actually finishing my opponent are just a couple of possible goals. For the matches that don’t go my way there are still things I can set out to improve on. Things like not getting winded, escaping from a position, or improving your defense and not getting submitted. When you switch your mind set from wanting to win, to wanting to get better, you take off pressure and the nervousness lessens.

 

Another way I mentally prepare myself is to remind myself that it’s still Jiu-Jitsu. I’m going out doing the same techniques and the same things that I do at class three days per week. I’m simply in a different place, going against different people.

 

Believing in yourself and believing in your game is all going to help keep nerves at bay and help you to perform to the best of your ability!

 

Now when I go to tournaments, I can enjoy myself. I don’t have to pace constantly. I can warm up, get stretched out, and watch the matches before mine without the fear of throwing up! Channeling adrenaline from nerves into excitement makes competing even more fun!

 

 

 


 

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How Can You Prepare For Your First Sparring Session With A BJJ Black Belt?

 

by Daniel, The Dad Blogger
http://thedadblogger.co.uk/
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Quick answer: you can’t.

 

As a white belt, you are fairly clueless. Sure, you may have watched some YouTube videos and tried to memorize some basic moves. Perhaps you have some childhood experience in Judo or another throwing martial art. Can you count on your fitness, your age or anything to give you even a glimpse of advantage? Ultimately all that is going to disappear as soon as you hit the mat.

 

“Everybody has a plan until they get hit” – Mike Tyson

 

The truth is, as a black belt your instructor would have committed to hundreds of hours on the mat and to qualify for a black belt they must have sparred with their peers and higher belts repeatedly. So, they have seen and done it all. No matter what simple submission you aim for, they are two or more steps ahead of you and can change the play of the game in an instant. My advice is to enjoy it. Smile and ask for feedback. Your instructor will not injure you and will give you enough time to tap without applying any pressure. Let’s face it, if you end up in an arm bar, you are not getting out of it.

 

If there is one thing to take away from this, it is that the experience counts more than defeat. Thinks of it as a springboard, reflect on how your instructor moved, could you have done some things differently. You may never defeat him or her but you will defeat others as you learn and grow as a practitioner.

 


Daniel The Dad Blogger

 

 


 

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The Soul Of Jiu-Jitsu

 

Youtube Description of this awesome video:

 

In 2013 Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood joined with filmmaker Stuart Cooper to create the ‘Spirit of Jiu Jitsu’, a short-film about the BJJ lifestyle that was shot in Phuket, Thailand.

 

The film became very popular and there were several requests to create a sequel.

 

After much planning and preparation we managed to get to Japan in late 2016 to shoot ‘The Soul of Jiu Jitsu’.

 

This time Stuart was not available, so we went with Doug Rothwell. Doug is a talented, young videographer from Australia with a lot of experience making martial arts films.

 

A huge amount of time and effort when into creating this video and we really tried to show the essence of ‘the gentle art’.

 

If you enjoy it please share it with those you feel would appreciate.

 

Filmed by Doug Rothwell

 

http://dougrothwellmedia.com

 

 


 

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I Do Not Have A Fear Of Being Attacked

 

by Brooke George
brookebjj.wordpress.com
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“I could take you in a fight”, or “Come on, just fight me!” are both things I commonly have people say to me in the hallway at school or in other social settings. Other kids know that I train in Jiu-Jitsu and they automatically assume I want to fight them. When they say those things, I just smile and keep walking.

 

Being in Jiu-Jitsu has given me confidence in many areas of my life. Confidence in being able to protect myself, confidence in myself; it has changed me.

 

As I run alone I don’t have to fear being attacked.

 

As I run the trails I don’t have to grip pepper spray in fear, because the techniques I have learned in Jiu-Jitsu. I know I can protect myself. As I leave a sporting event at night I don’t have to clutch my keys between my fingers as a makeshift weapon as I walk to my car either. That doesn’t mean I go down the dark alley at night while I’m running, or park next to the windowless van, just because I think I’ll be fine. Being aware of your surroundings is always important! That’s another important element I have learned from BJJ and from helping with women’s Jiu-Jitsu self-defense seminars.

 

Self-confidence is another thing I have gained from doing Jiu-Jitsu. As the quote goes, “Jiu-Jitsu teaches men that their strength doesn’t mean as much as they thought it did, and it teaches women they are stronger than they think.”

 

It is so true.

 

I never realized my body was as strong as it is, nor did I realize all of the things that it could do. From holding my own at class against men (that are quite literally double my size) to competing at tournaments and getting my hand raised. Jiu-Jitsu has definitely raised my level of self-confidence.

 

I wasn’t joking when I said I get people asking me to fight them all the time, but Jiu-Jitsu has given me the confidence to be able to just smile and walk away. Because of this sport I don’t need to prove my strength or self worth to anyone else. I don’t except when people ask me to fight, and I definitely don’t go out looking for them.

 

I know what I can do and I have nothing to prove to them.

 

 

 


 

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She Gets Surprised With Her Purple Belt DURING A Roll!

 

Active blue belt competitor Morgan Beverly just received her belt in one of the most unique ways, during a live roll. This can only be pulled off by an expert coach.

 

The belt action takes place about 7 minutes in, but I recommend watching the whole thing because the prior minutes of rolling are narrated by a motivational coach!

 

 


 

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BJJ Black Belt Helps Police Train By Resisting Arrest

 

DenverMartialArts.com in conjunction with LightningKicks.com and Centurian Modern Law Enforcement Subject Control utilizing modern hand to hand combat tactics to train police on real world scenarios.

 

This sort of training gets the officer to a state of fatigue and adrenaline where they then have to make critical choices on the use of deadly force. The officers have to make many decisions on who and who is not a threat and be able to detain the threat with the appropriate amount of force. These scenarios were carried out at the Kalamazoo Valley Police Academy in Michigan. These types of training are vital for the officers safety and for the community, so the officer is less likely to prematurely use deadly force.

 

 


 

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Do Any Other MMA Academy Staff Members Notice The Prevalence Of ADHD In Kids?

 

I sure have.

 

First off, let me start by saying that I am neither parent, nor doctor. What I am is an MMA academy membership consultant in an academy with a thriving kids program.

 

What I have been noticing far too frequently, is that when discussing our program with the parents, they will at some point become visibly distraught and lower their voices to tell me that their child has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

 

I could understand it being a one time thing, or even a relatively infrequent anomaly. It is almost getting to the point where I feel the need to break the ice with nervous parents by saying:

“Martial arts are great for children with ADHD”.

After finding out their children have this “disorder” they will then tell me that their child is being medicated for it.

 

This blows my mind.

 

I hope I am not making any parents who may have ADHD diagnosed children feel uncomfortable, especially due to my ignorance; but children do not want to pay attention to that which is “boring” to them. A pill isn’t going to change that, and if it can, that should be troublesome.

 

Children are also “hyperactive”. Just because some decline into lazy people, does not mean that those who have a zest and thrill for life (children), should be subjected to medications to destroy their youthful energy.

 

So what in the world is really going on here?

 

In 2011, the CDC reported that the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children ages 4 to 17 years was 11%, with 6.4 million children diagnosed with ADHD and 4.2 million taking psychostimulants.(1)

 

 

These findings represent a dramatic increase from more than 30 years ago, when the rate of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was estimated at between 3% and 5%.(2)

 

What is more concerning is that the prevalence of ADHD increased by about 35% just from 2003 to 2011, and there is no indication that this increase leveling out. More than 20% of high school-aged boys have been told they have ADHD!(3)

 

So we have a real problem here. Medicine isn’t slowing the epidemic rate and someone is making a lot of money selling these drugs. In my opinion, I would rather err on the side of caution that my kids will grow up just fine, practicing martial arts, rather than subjecting them to psychostimulants for perhaps the rest of their lives.

 

I again admit that this is an unqualified opinion.

 

References

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): data & statistics. New data: medication and behavior treatment. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html. Accessed July 28, 2015.

2. Miller RG, Palkes HS, Stewart MA. Hyperactive children in suburban elementary schools. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 1973;4(2):121-127.

3. Visser SN, Danielson ML, Bitsko RH, et al. Trends in the parent-report of health care provider-diagnosed and medicated attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: United States, 2003-2011. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2014;53(1):34-46.

 


 

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