Apr 122013
 

I love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I had studied other martial arts before learning BJJ, but there is something different about it that changed how I look at, train, and teach martial arts now. Below are some pointers for anyone starting Jiu Jitsu.

1. Don’t tell everyone how much you already know.

One of the great things about BJJ is that you will get the chance to roll with, and tap out most everyone in class, every class you attend. If you are already a grappling wonder, they will figure it out in short order. When you over sell your abilities you either offend the members of your class by appearing arrogant, or at least you will convince them not to offer pointers since they figure you already know, and you’ll spend more time trying to figure things out on your own.

 

2. Don’t try so hard to win, try hard to play.

They say that Jiu Jitsu is like chess. Remember what it was like when you learned to play chess (I don’t know, are kids still playing chess?)? The first few games where more about remembering how the pieces moved then really trying to win. If you are in your first few classes of Jiu Jitsu, you still don’t know the moves of the game. Give it time. Watch how the people are playing against you and learn from that. When you get submitted, ask what just happened. If you spend the entire match hugging your opponent to death, you won’t be learning anything.

 

3. Don’t try to teach other people during the teaching time.

You just started Jiu Jitsu, the other students know this, your instructor knows it too. No one cares what you saw on Youtube and no one wants corrected by someone that isn’t the teacher. Its off-putting and opens you up to being corrected by everyone else. You might even be right, but no one cares.

 

4.  Don’t talk during grappling.

You’re new and nervous, but avoid talking when you grapple. Its confusing to your opponent and breaks up the round. An occasional “Sorry I stepped on your eye.” is fine, but this is not the time to talk about the most recent Ultimate Fighter episode, or even how much you hate getting caught in someone’s guard. If you are the quiet guy (or girl) who just steadily fights every class, everyone will want to roll with you.

 

5. Don’t brag about tapping someone out.

I get it, this might be the first time you’ve ever beaten this person, but jumping up and proclaiming it or bragging to people after class is a good way to make sure it doesn’t happen again. This one sounds like simple good sportsmanship, but it happens. Don’t say ” I took Brian out with that Kimora.” Say something like “I finally caught someone with that Kimora” Just leave Brian out of it. No one minds it when new guys are happy to be doing well, we’re all trying to get you up to speed, but without the good will of your training partners, its going to be hard to progress.

Jul 192012
 

We all know them. It doesn’t matter if you train for MMA competitions, or if you are even in a combat sport. They are everywhere. I like to call them Tapout Kids, and they are spreading. They are a cunning hunter that wants to corner you and waste your time with trivia and options that the Internet would blush to be associated with, but like all true wannabes they have never worked in or trained for the sport which spawned them. They are at your gym, lurking at the mall, employed at your job and they can only be avoided if you know what to look for. Below is a list of signs that the person in front of you is a Tap Out Kid.

 

 

 

Continue reading »

May 092012
 

Depending on what you read, MMA is either human dog fighting, a sport that should be included in the Olympics, what True martial arts should be, or an abomination that needs to be stopped. Therefore when you tell your friends and family that your are training for MMA, it will conjure many different pictures in their minds, here are a few.

This is what your parents think you do when you tell them you do MMA

Thats nice honey, I hear its good for your flexibility

Continue reading »

Jan 232012
 

As a martial artist, you have to be careful what you use your fame to endorse. Well, you might have to worry about this. I’m pretty sure I could endorse kool aid as a weight loss wonder drug and no one would take offense…or be aware of it. Never the less, even local martial arts instructors have to be careful of the what they promote to their students for two reasons, 1, they some times don’t realize you are joking. and 2, sometimes martial arts instructors give awful advice.

When will people learn that being a great martial artist doesn’t imbue a man (or woman) with expertise in any other area? Just like we have all had to realize that being a great martial artist doesn’t make you an actor…well I’ve realized it anyway, the rest of you are just slow.

Anyway today is a list of martial arts stars endorsements that amuse and confuse us. After the break

Continue reading »

Nov 282011
 

We live in a truely wonderous time for martial arts. No matter what anyone says, martial arts has never been healther or stronger then today. Hopefully that will continue for a long time. Strict traditional martial artists lament claiming its the death of martial art, citing the evils that are Combat Sports. The Reality based self defense martial artists don’t care much one way or another, they just point a finger at the passing teenager and say “Don’t you try non of that UFC crappling on me! I’ll put a hurting on you!”

In the past you trained in the style that was near to you. So if you lived in a small town, and decided to learn how to fight, you had no choice but to train at Tom’s Karate school. If you lived in a bigger city, you might have had more choices, but you took your pick from the three choices you had near you, depending on what you could afford. You might have watched a Bruce Lee movie and thought to your self, “Hey I want to do that!” But when the only Kung fu place in driving distance was Hung Gar school, you might not have even known the difference. When the instructor introduced himself as “Grand master of the everlasting flame of divine enlightenment” and told you that he had personally defeated Bruce Lee in a secret underground blood war, you just said “Oh wow!” I am sure he even had a scroll on the wall of the school written in what you guess was…martial art language! Don’t buy the line that things were better or purer or anything in the “good old days” I’d like to take a moment and map out some of the funny trends in martial arts. After the break

Continue reading »

Nov 182011
 

You whaaaat?

I wanted to name this post, “I do not care: The New Tao of Jeet Kune Do: You can’t make me: The Scott White Story” But that wouldn’t fit in the title line. So you ask, hey Scott, why all the unprovoked anger today? And I say, “You’re not my dad! You can’t tell me what to do! If I want to run around the dojo wearing a Gi top and no pants….” er… thats a discussion for another day. But my inbox has been getting hit over and over again about the new updated release of the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, which in case you don’t know (what kind of martial artist are you anyway?) was Bruce Lee’s martial arts philosophy. Black Belt mag just did an interview with Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee’s daughter regarding the recently released and expanded version. I didn’t read it, but I am guessing she didn’t say, “Our family decided that if George Lucus can re-release Star Wars every couple of years for no apparent reason, so can we. After all, why shouldn’t we make money with almost no work and less point?” Which would be a shame, because I really would respect such honesty. I mean heck, it is America, where every citizen dreams of one day being paid for not doing much. Anyway here’s list of the reasons behind the release.

Continue reading »

Nov 032011
 

There are two kinds of fight names. Ones that your training partners call you, and names that only the ring announcer calls you. …oh, and two more kinds, good ones and awful ones. So I guess there are four kinds of fight names. Anyway, regardless of how many types of fight names there are, they always carry with them something about the fighter. Some are easily understand able, for example Roy “Big Country” Nelson, and others are a little more cryptic. Fighters having fight names has long been a staple of boxing, but unless you practice it, you may not know that fight names are really traditional in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It kind of makes sense. After all, Carlos and Helio Gracie were taught Judo by famous Judoka Mitsuyo “Conde Koma” (which means Count of Combat) Maeda, who was the star puiple of Tsunejiro “Guardian” Tomita (In Japanese it was Shiten’nō). Which is a really long way of saying fighters have had nick names in martial arts for along time.

Some fight names sound awesome when you are alone talking to yourself in the shower, or after your friend has kicked you in the head, but when you hear it announced, we all feel differently. Continue reading »

Oct 312011
 

I know, a double post on a Monday? Calm yourselves, the world isn’t ending. Sometimes change can be a good thing.
I guess I should preface this. The best unarmed zombie fighting martial arts. I know you are thinking, “Who in their right minds fights zombies unarmed.” I counter with, “Zombies aren’t real! So logic plays a very loose role here. Idiot!” …Sorry about that last remark, I get emotional when I talk about zombies.

Here are the basic ground rules.

1. If you get bitten, you die and become a zombie

2. To kill a zombie you have to some how destroy its brain, although severing its spine will stop its body.

3. These are running zombies, not the really slow shuffling zombies.

More after the break Continue reading »

Oct 202011
 

When we were young alot of us were drawn to the martial arts because of the cool weapons we saw in movies and comic books. I was always trying to figure out how I could carry a sword for self defense, never mind the stupidity of that thought. Almost all of us have played around with throwing knives and blow guns, some of us even played with three sectional staves and chain whips. Ironicly the more normal a weapon is, the less chance there is that it ended up in your training. So I present Five fairly normal weapons that I and most likely you, never trained with

Continue reading »

Oct 162011
 

No one has ever accused MMA of being too cerebral. One dude punches another until what little sense he has, rolls out onto the mat. However, there is an elite class of dumb that several fighters belong to, and though I would and could never attempt to map all the idiocracy that goes on, I did make a list of some of the funnier idiots.

Continue reading »