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.

May 182012
 

Rank was one of the best and worst inventions of martial arts. As a teacher I’ve seen people reach whole new levels of martial proficiency because of the encouragement the pursuit of rank gives them. But everyone knows a few people who either bought their rank online, or simply ordered themselves a black belt and started referring to themselves as “master”. This has been rampant in traditional martial arts for years, but it has even started to bleed over into the combat sport side of martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I personally like to make fun of the Gracie Academy and their online belt testings as well as their Pink Belt they offer women, but I saw this ad in a magazine lately.

I have no doubts that Marcel would twist me into a knot if he wanted to, but I laugh so hard at the fact that if you fly out and train with him they guarantee you will get a promotion. Not that you will increase your skills, not that you will see results in your training, no, you are guaranteed a belt promotion. I have no idea how much training for two days with Marcel Louzado would cost (his site says he charges $135 an hour), but I am grateful for the honesty in advertising. So please send in your donations, this blog writer has belt to buy

Mar 122012
 

Tying your belt is one of the simplest things a martial artist learns to do. This skill will help you with nothing in real life. I can think of nothing other then your martial art’s belt that you will use the knot you learn, but ironically, any martial art touched by Japanese martial culture ties them pretty much the same.

For a few martial arts, the belt (obi) is used to fight with, but for the rest, its a cheap piece of cotton that mostly says “Dude, I am better then you.”
Of course sensei’s around the world will gasp and mentally round kick me in the head, but lets face it, if it wasn’t to rub the fact that you are higher ranking in someone else’s face, we would all receive a card to keep in our wallets, that way we could identify ourselves in the rare event that someone cared what rank we were and allow us to avoid the deadly sin of hubris (that’s pride for those of you who slept through school).

No matter what your rank, and no matter what your skill, nothing kills your martial arts credibility like tying your belt wrong. Its like writing a wonderfully well reasoned and eloquent paper, no matter how awesome your thought, your point will be dismissed out of hand because you misspelled a word. As a public service to you, I am presenting you with skills that will blow the socks off your martial comrades.

Three different ways to tie your belt!

After the jump

Continue reading »

Dec 242011
 

Sorry for all the videos lately, but with the Holidays, every spare moment has been filled. I am sure that the three fans I have forgive me, so I have this tid bit for them. Alot of Stick fighting school fall into the reality martial art side of the martial art continuum. I mean, if we want to be realistic, who wants to fight someone bare handed in the first place. Well in the video below, two crazy stick fighters beat the tar out of each other in the woods, in one of the more realistic sparring matches I think I have seen.

Ouch. I am not sure it was worth it. Kind of funny how it turned into a grappling match at the end. And they say BJJ is unrealistic.

Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.

 

 

Dec 202011
 

Um…wow. Its a rap about jiu jitsu by MMA fighter Ralek Gracie.

He is the son of Rorion Gracie, he has a short but undefeated MMA career, and he teaches out of the Gracie acadamy, the orginization that brought you the online blue belt, and the pnk belt. They now bring you “G in a Gi”. This will finally bring BJJ the street credit it had been lacking before.

Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Tell me that isn't kind of cool...in a fat kind of way.

Am I weird for wishing that more Sumo would come and fight MMA?

Don’t answer that.

I look at Sumo Wrestlers and I see martial artists with alot in common to today’s Combat Sport fighters. They live in their training camps, they focus solely on training and…heh…shaping their bodies to compete, and they are plagued by accusations of corruption and steroid usage. You may remember my article on them earlier this year

People like to point out that they haven’t done very well in MMA up until this point, but I want to point out that there have only been three Sumo to try so far. That really doesn’t give you a good picture of how the fighting style would do. I mean heck, pro wrestlers manage to do well, yes Brock, I am thinking of you, so why not Sumo? More after the break

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Nov 112011
 

I felt a little guilty. I found my last post to be interesting, but as far as posts go, I felt like I was being the dude who sticks his head into a discussion just to tell you that the liver is the largest internal organ. Its totally true, and as far as organs go, its a pretty cool organ, but no one cares. Its like math jokes: If you get them, you don’t have friends. So to get rid of my personal sense of guilt (and to display my impressive knowledge of human anatomy), I offer you this clip.

 Bas brings up a good point in dealing with a very real problem in “street fights”. You don’t want to go to the ground, but unless your kung fu is soo good that you can be 100% sure of not going there, you really should know how to win from the bottem. With Chael Sonnon picking on Jiu Jitsu this week, I thought it would be nice to have something positive to say.

Nov 102011
 

Exclusive to From the Guard. In the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet Style have created quite a stir. If you aren’t connected to BJJ, it might be mildly interesting to you anyway, heh. Anyway, Eddie’s main claim to fame (wow, I’m on a roll here), was defeating Royler Gracie at the Abu Dabi World Championship. After this win, Eddie went on create his modified BJJ system. He is also known for his favorable stance on marijuana, he feels that it is performance enhansing in Jiu Jitsu.

All that to get to the question, what do the Gracies, the founders of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu feel about these…tweeks to their system. Since I happened to find myself eating a late dinner with Royce Gracie I figured I would ask. More after the break. Continue reading »

Nov 082011
 

Funny, I remember being told by a karate instructor the exact same thing about Mixed Martial Artists. Chael Sonnon, noted first for his almost stand up comedian level trash talking, and second for being the only fighter in remembered history to almost beat UFC Champion Anderson Silva, has ramped up his rhetoric to include the whole fighting style of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Sonnon: I’d say that I have better things to do than beat the guy across the cage from me with an inefficient and unsophisticated modern fad that help effeminate men feel tough. Jiu-Jitsu, Tae Bo, no difference. I prefer the ancient sports, like wrestling. If it wouldn’t show up in a Ridley Scott movie, I won’t do it.

Well Chael, you didn’t have to tap out… I mean you have been submitted 8 times so far… maybe they know something you don’t…

Sonnon: (When asked about his tendency to talk trash) I would call it divine inspiration. I am moved to rage poetry by the idiocy, hipocracy, and flat-out laughable people and situations that I see in MMA these days. I can’t NOT call them for what they are: idiots doing idiot things because they’re idiots.

Rage poety…heh… its like when I have to dance out my anger. I really wish I had a video to illistrate, but you are going to just have to picture it for me.

And my personal favorite

Sonnon: I would ban the triangle choke, the refuge of cowards everywhere.

I think that Sonnon must be cross training with Charley Sheen these days, because there is a simular…I don’t know, breed of crazy to their metaphor.
I’ve hit the highlights, but if you want to read the whole interview you can find it here. Thanks once again to Brandon for the tip!

Nov 072011
 

 

 Brent Alvarez runs Twisted Web MMA in Eugene, Ore., and Billy Denney is his student. They were in LA for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament and as they were walking through the hotel lobby the clerk yell for help. Alvarez and Denney jumped on the robber, and while Denney controlled his wrists, Alvarez sunk in a rear naked choke and a body triangle. Got to love how they seem a little sheepish that they didn’t knock him out. But hey, the way I score things, they get 2 for the take down, 3 for rear mount, and the opponent had a gun, so I’d still call it a win.