Tom DeBlass Speaks To The Students Who Have Left BJJ

 

Tom offers his thoughts on what it means to have students leave his academy or leave jiu jitsu.

 

 

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Try This Painful Choke To Open Your Opponent’s Closed Guard!

 

A really frustration situation in BJJ is when a long legged person locks up Full Guard, squeezes and doesn’t open.

It can be incredibly hard to open someone’s Guard who has really long legs.

As I’ve expressed in other videos. The full guard was one of my worst positions early on.

In this video our friend Andrea, asks a similar question for her Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training.

She wants to know how to break full guard when the person has long legs and squeezes.

In this video I show a really simple Thrust Choke that can be used in order to get the person on the bottom to open up.

It’s simple, powerful and really uncomfortable for the person on the bottom. And if they don’t respect the submission attempt. It’s possible for them to go unconscious.

And as I explain in the video. From my experience in Brazilian Jiujitsu. When you apply the choke. Guard players will often open up to get out of the position and choke.

So if you’re having trouble breaking full guard in BJJ. Give the choke a try!

-Chewy

 

 

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Renzo Gracie Teaches An Armbar Variation For When The Opponent Tries To Defend

 

Instead of stretching his opponent’s arm, as in the traditional armbar from closed guard, Renzo teaches an attack on the flexed arm in the moment his opponent tries to pull back his arm and close up defensively.

 

 

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Jiu-Jitsu Basics | How & Why We Breakfall

 

Breakfalls are extremely important in practicing Jiu-Jitsu & Judo. The help to develop body awareness, improve movement and mobility and to prevent injury. In this video I show common and helpful breakfalls and proper standing.

 

 

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How Do I Survive The First Day Of BJJ Class?

 

Your first day in BJJ can be overwhelming. One minute you walk into a new academy and then in no time you have some huge guy submitting you on the mat. Often, the first few months in Jiu-Jitsu are about survival. But don’t panic. Stick it out and you will join the ranks of those that absolutely love their time on the mat.

 

 

Put aside you irrational fears about your first class.

 

 

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Why CHOCOLATE MILK Might Be The Best Choice For BJJ Recovery.

 

BJJ is a tough sport and if you are doing it right you are going to be sore and have muscles that need repair.

Muscles are most ready to absorb nutrition within 30 minutes of hard training. The question is, what is the best choice of replenishment to use?

Some might say CHOCOLATE MILK of all things!

Why is this?

What should you choose from all of the options out there? Water? Gatorade, POWERade, or Whey Protein? Endurox R4?

Physiologist Joel Stager, director of the Human Performance laboratory at Indiana University, has even one more potential workout recovery drink to add to the list: chocolate milk. His latest study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, names chocolate milk a optimal post-exercise recovery aid.

For an endurance athlete, Stager’s team sees it as a catch-all workout recovery drink. Compared to plain milk, water, or most sports drinks, it has double the carbohydrate and protein content, perfect for replenishing tired muscles. Its high water content replaces fluids lost as sweat, preventing dehydration. Plus it packs a nutritional bonus of calcium, and includes just a little sodium and sugar — additives that help recovering athletes retain water and regain energy.

So when you are leaving a tough BJJ glass, try stopping off for a nice container of low-fat chocolate milk and replenish those sore muscles!

 

 

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What Do You Do When You Find Out Your Instructor Wasn’t Who You Thought They Were?

 

It is unpleasant and painful to discover your instructor is not the person you thought them to be. This kind of disappointment rattles the foundation of your training and causes too many students to quit altogether. If you find yourself in this situation, how do you deal with your instructor’s shortcomings and stay on your martial arts journey?

Sometimes it’s very simple. If your instructor turns out to be a sexual predator, a scam artist or abusive, you clearly should not continue training where you are. This is a horrible thing to have to deal with as a student, and can make you feel dirty by association. So, get out.

But, not all situations are so cut-and-dried. There can be a slow erosion of your admiration as a circumstances reveal your instructor’s poor character. Gossip, jealousy, pettiness, arrogance — whatever they may be — can turn you off and ruin a good day at the gym.

Facebook certainly has a way of bringing out the worst in people. Posters demonstrate themselves to be cyber bullies, misogynists, racists or just petty and small, and your instructor may very well be among these.

Perhaps your instructor’s messages of honor, friendship, honesty and goodness end at the edge of the mat, and don’t extend to the office. Maybe a family member passes away and you need to go out of town. You ask if you can freeze your membership and an unsympathetic instructor denies your request. “Wow,” you think to yourself, “what happened to all that stuff about helping your teammates?”

Each case has its own nuances, but whatever they may be, here is a general guide to see you through. 🕶️

1. Ignore it.

Is your instructor not meeting your standards because your standards are too high? He or she is only human, and prone to the same errors as anyone else. Ask yourself if your teacher is not who they said they are, or if they are not who you think they should be. This is an important distinction. Integrity isn’t about someone living up to your beliefs and values; integrity is about them living up to theirs.

Maybe the problem isn’t you. Maybe your instructor really is a jerk. If so, can you live with that? Consider the words of the late, great blue-belt Anthony Bourdain.

“Assume the worst. About everybody. But, don’t let this poisoned outlook affect your (training). Let it all roll off your back. Ignore it. Be amused by what you see and suspect. Just because (your instructor) is a miserable, treacherous, self-serving, capricious, and corrupt asshole shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying their company, working with them, or finding them entertaining.”

2. Talk about it.

You may have been training where you are for years and have good friends at your gym who make you feel loved and respected. A good student is always invested emotionally (and financially) where they train. Yet, despite all the warm-and-fuzzies you can still find yourself feeling disenfranchised by the guy at the top.

The right thing to do may be to sit down with the instructor and have a heart-to-heart. But remember this: martial arts instructors always hear complaints, usually from parents who don’t train, and most of them are bullshit. Often they become over-sensitive and annoyed, so it’s a good idea to start your talk with the positives. Tell your instructor what you love about their gym, or at least what you have loved. Tell them you want to continue loving it, but you’re having some trouble with the way things are going. As Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand; then to be understood.”

An open, honest conversation may solve everything. You may understand their position in a new way, or you may alert them to an issue you they were genuinely unaware of. Even if your talk doesn’t solve the problem, you’ll feel better. Whether you stay or go, at least you made a genuine attempt to resolve the issue.

3. Leave.

If you can’t live with or resolve the problem, it’s time to go. Don’t stay in a bad situation so long you start to conflate a dislike of your instructor with a dislike of martial arts. When you leave, make sure you do it the right way. Honor the commitments you made, whether they are contractual or not. Be upfront. Don’t just change your credit card number and disappear.

Sometimes the hardest part of leaving a school is leaving your fellow classmates. This is one reason it’s important to leave with your honor intact. It allows you to remain a good guy, and continue to see friends from your old gym with your head held high. Remember too, you’ll make new friends at your new academy, and if you also keep in touch with former classmates you’ll be growing your martial arts family, not losing it.

Having a high-level coach is great, but sometimes students can overrate its importance. Maybe the coach down the road doesn’t have the technical ability of the coach your with. Yes, you may lose in that column, but is it worth the trade for a more fun, respectful or peaceful training experience? Will some other aspect of your training get better to balance it out? For example, does the new school provide more seminar or tournament chances? Do they have more sparring partners? Consider the full scope of what you’re gaining by making a change. And, don’t forget, it’s likely a competing instructor isn’t getting the credit he deserves from your current school.

Finding out your coach isn’t the person you thought them to be is awful. Leaving a school you love can be a surprisingly painful and stressful experience. But, sometimes it’s necessary. Whatever you do, do it with thought and consideration and not just emotion. Keep your temper in check. Conduct yourself in a way you will be proud of when your emotions have faded and you’ll not only move onward as a martial artist, but upward as a human being.

About the Author: Dan Vigil is an MMA coach and writer. You can find more of his writing at THE FIGHTER’S PEN. (link, https://www.facebook.com/The-Fighters-Pen) Dan is also available to write websites and manage blogs for martial arts schools.

 

 

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How To Avoid Getting Sucker Punched | Jiu-Jitsu Self-Defense

 

By definition, a “sucker punch” is one without warning, or at least without obvious warning. This video discusses not only technical considerations, but also some pre-fight cues to possibly observe preceding violent action by an aggressor.

It is always best to avoid or diffuse a situation before it becomes violent if possible. However, when talking your way out or avoiding all together isn’t an option, it is important to have a means of physically protecting yourself.

 

 

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Do You Ever Feel Stuck In Your BJJ Progression?

 

BJJ Black belt and all around cool guy Jean Machado just came out with a short and sweet video to help you get over the BJJ plateau you’ve been experiencing.

 

 

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White Belt Woes: How Focus Overcomes The Urge To Quit

 

I was thirty-two years old, sitting at Buddy Guy’s Legends, a Blues bar on Wabash in Chicago, the day I quit playing guitar. I was both a new parent and from the Eastern Time Zone so I found myself there early, around 10:30 p.m. It’s the perfect Chicago Blues bar: dim, a little dirty, tables with uneven legs, beer served mostly in cold bottles and jambalaya offered on a paper plate in a red, plastic holder. On stage the opening act was an older black man with a well-worn guitar.

I’d been playing and singing for about six years and managed to land a regular Friday night gig at a local brewery. I played my heart out, but I was mostly ignored. I practiced until my fingers bled, hoping one day to have the skills to make my audience notice me. Skills like the opener at Buddy Guy’s Legends had in spades.

I found out later he taught Blues theory at a local college. He certainly had the chops. His fingers were a blur of precise note choices. He nailed the bends, had just the right amount of vibrato and never misplayed a string. When he sang, it was like heart break spilled out of his mouth and into your soul through your ears. I was impressed, captivated, moved and — alone. The other thirty odd patrons gave just a passing notice to what I thought was a master class in music. But, to be completely honest, I remember neither his name nor the college at which he taught, so in spite of my admiration I would have forgotten him altogether if he had not also inspired me to quit playing guitar.

I quit because I knew I could play, and practice, and learn, and study, and play some more and no matter what I did, I would never be as good as him. As I watched him ignored by his audience the way I was by mine, I knew the likelihood I would ever reach my musical goals was small. If he couldn’t do it, how could I?

Playing guitar wasn’t going anywhere. It was a waste of my time. I quit.

A similar moment occurred in my jiujitsu life. I was a white-belt rolling with Alvin Robinson, a Royce Gracie black-belt who fought both Nate Diaz and Kenny Florian in the UFC, and has a professional record of 13 and 7. Alvin was a great partner who, over my time as a white-belt, taught me more than he probably realizes. As usual in my rounds with Alvin, I was on the bottom, desperately trying not to be submitted. I was doing great. Still a step behind, but managing to thwart all of Alvin’s submission attempts. Or, so I thought. Suddenly, Alvin went to defcon three, and in about seven seconds I was in an arm bar tighter than a gnat’s ass. I tapped. The timer buzzed. Alvin patted me on the chest, “I saw the time!” he laughed.

I hadn’t been defending Alvin trying to submit me, I’d been defending Alvin graciously trying to teach me how to defend. He could have tapped me out in any seven second period of the round, he just chose to wait until the last seven seconds. Alvin is one year younger than I am. I could practice the rest of my life and Alvin will always be better.

But, I did not quit Jiujitsu.

It’s not that I like Brazilian jiujitsu more than guitar, or martial arts more than music. I love both, but honestly there’s a lot less pain and ER visits for the musician. And, I suppose if I ever find a genie bottle and can wish to either do Jiujitsu like Leandro Lo or sing like Justin Timberlake you’d be more likely to see me on the Tonight show with Jimmy Fallon than on the podium at worlds.

The difference is this: Jiujitsu does things for my life that have nothing to do with how good I am at it. I’m in better shape, more focused, sleeping better, eating better, have more friends and laugh like a giggly schoolgirl through every class. Even the ones I get crushed in. Jiujitsu’s impact on my life has been profoundly positive. Being on the mat brings me joy that sneaks its way into every aspect of my day. Playing music was something I did for others. Jiujitsu is something I do for me.

As a white-belt it’s easy to be discouraged. Often it’s not being smashed under mount and continually tapped that does the discouraging. It’s the confusion. You are getting smashed and submitted, you don’t know why, and you’re pretty sure it’s never going to get better. You feel like you’ll always be the worst guy or girl in the class, so you quit. That’s a mistake.

If you want to train jiujitsu for a long time, you have to learn to control your focus. If you become focused on what you can’t do, the tournaments you didn’t win or the people in class you couldn’t catch, you will never feel good about your training. But, your training isn’t about them. It’s about you. Instead focus on what jiujitsu can do for your life. How does training make you a better person? Do any of the benefits have anything to do with how good you are at it?

What do you get by struggling, even in vain, to improve your jiujitsu? Everything I’ve already mentioned. Fitness, friendship, self-defense skills and a few laughs — some of them at yourself. So, don’t worry about how you stack up against everyone in your class. Run your own race. Be happy that you are better than you were and don’t worry about being better than your partner. Focus on what jiujitsu adds to your life, and keep plugging away. One final thought? You are getting better, whether you realize it or not.

 

About the author: Dan Vigil is a writer and MMA coach who runs The Fighter’s Pen, and is available to write websites and manage blogs for martial arts schools.

 

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