Feb 202012

You might recall me making fun of the Gracie Rap “G in a Gi” that I posted a while back. Well not to be out done by the Gracies, Eddie Bravo, head of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu has released his own Jiu Jitsu theamed rap.

If the Graices can create Jiu Jitsu, Eddie Bravo thinks he can improve it. If one of the Gracies thinks he can do a rap about Jiu Jitsu, then darn it, so can he. Watch out world, its about to get poorly planned in here.


Dec 212011

As martial artists, it is normal and natural to compare styles. The stand up crowd thinks one way, the ground fighting crowd thinks another, and Chuck Norris just defeats us all. From this video I can tell the the Chuck Norris of our generation is already among us. In Art Marshall’s own words “The Gracies told me while I was training with them that 90% of all fights do end on the ground. My response to that was “90% of people have never fought Art Marshall.”

Its a little long, but totally worth the watch as every moment of this video is worth watching. I really loved how he promoted his student and gave him a double white belt. Thanks to Fitz for the tip.

Continue reading »

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 »

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 »

Oct 042011

The more you sweat in the gym, the less you bleed in the ring. Sounds like common sense. When you see fighters like George St Pierre or Randy Couture, it seems like they are proving the point. Many fighters look like the action figures I owned growing up. Roy “Big Country” Nelson looks more like a dude I would be running from at a rest stop then someone we’d be watching in the UFC (no offense Mr Nelson). Continue reading »

Sep 222011
Gracie pink belt

Watch it fella' I've got a pink belt in ridiculous!

Think that’s a joke? Oh you wish it was. This is yet another awful idea from the Gracie Academy (not to be confused with the Gracie family at large, its just run by some of the many family members). They now run an online qualification course to net you the rare (and not at all demeaning to women) Pink belt!

Yes yes my friends, for low price of $84.99 you can train at home and earn your very own Gracie Academy Pink belt. After all, women don’t have a pretty little thought in their pretty little heads, if they do their lessons like good little girls, we’ll give them a pretty belt. It represents BJJ women empowerment.

Suggestion for your next product Gracie Academy, the polka dot belt of female dignity. It would look nice around your training apron. All the men will be so impressed.

Sep 202011

 Every martial art tends to venerate its founder. Those of us who grew up on a diet of martial arts movies and shows attribute almost supernatural powers to the old school masters. For example Chuck Norris can solve a rubix cube in one turn. Its true, I read it on the Internet. Bruce Lee can apparently defeat anybody at anything. His surviving students claim that if he had wanted to, he would have been one of the top three boxers in the world, and that he was really a great grappler, he just never taught it to anyone. No matter how you look at it, we had a time where there were some really great martial artist wondering the world. The question is always asked, how good a fighter were these men really. We hear about how awesome they were, how fast, how deadly, but who did they ever fight? So I’ve compiled a list of famous martial artists and their respective fighting records.

Continue reading »

Sep 192011

A really weird argument. One school of BJJ claims grappling in our Jiu jitsu gis is the best way to learn to grapple well. The other school of though says that training in the gi only makes you better at fighting in a gi, if you are going to be grappling without it, or fighting in real life/mma, you need to train without it.

So who is on who’s side. Plenty. Most of the Gracies feel the gi is uber important. Eddie Bravo, and who knows how many MMA Jiu Jitsu guys would argue the other way around. It really doesn’t prove anything to go down a list of fighters and tell you what they feel on the subject, there are nearly endless names on both sides. Let me instead lay out why the average grappler feels on way or another.

The Gi guy likes the gi, because it gives him a real advantage on wrestlers who wonder into class. Sure, double leg me, but with these handles we forced you to wear I can coke you out or at least control you. The No gi guy likes the fact that once he gets all sweaty and slick, holding on to him is really hard. There’s no controlling me. I’ll flail until one of us lands in a submission. People who are less flexible prefer gis, people who are less technical prefer no gi. Yeah, ticked both sides off with that one. I don’t mean everyone! 

Once you reach a higher skill level it starts to come down to this, people who have rank in BJJ like wearing a gi, because it goes with their belt so well, heh, makes them look like the boss. People who have bounced around from school to school might be highly skilled, but would never stay in one place long enough for an instructor to tie a belt around their waist, these people hate the gi because it reminds them that they don’t have the rank to wrap around it. Most of the time when you see a school that says “submission grappling” but doesn’t state a style, that’s him.

Personally? I like some of both. I like to roll in a gi against no gi opponents. I always tell them, “Please, use it against me as much as you can, its good for me.” You have to be willing to work outside your comfort zones, and if you have ever rolled for a few hours in an un air conditioned gym wearing a gi, you will be out of your comfort zone. So I guess I’ll go with the very safe answer of “Just train more.”

Sep 152011

Proving that neither brains nor class are needed to be a great fighter.

Well its not new, I am sure you have all heard, Nick Diaz won’t be fighting George St Pierre in UFC 137. He will be switching fights with BJ Penn, and Penn’s match, Carlos Condit will be fighting Pierre for the title. As I understand it, the UFC dropped Diaz as the title fight for his failure to attend meetings and press events. It seems rather thin to me. I think that Dana White is showing him that he needs to do what he is told or else.  In his typically classy manner, Diaz had this to say,
“I’m not trying to make all these little excuses. If I’d have known the fight was going to be off, I would have (expletive) gone to the press conference, or I would have told somebody, ‘Hey, if I don’t make it to this stupid (expletive), I’m not fighting.  I think that people would have gotten me there. I think people would have come and gave two (expletive) and gotten me to that press conference, I didn’t even know there was a press conference. I thought it was some PR thing. People were trying to tell me, ‘You’re going to do this skit’ and that I had this part where I was walking through a hall, kind of like that scene Jake Shields did. I was like, ‘What the (expletive)? Are you kidding?’ So I’m thinking, ‘Somebody better come over here and tell me what I’m doing and get me ready to go do it so I don’t look like an (expletive).’ That’s how I feel when you’re coming to get me ready for something I’m not ready for.”

Yes Diaz, it kind of sounds like a guy who gets fired for missing work. “Dude if I had known you were going to fire me, I would have totally shown up.” And we all agree, someone should come and tell you what you should be doing, we all hope it happens soon, I think they are called managers. Oddly, he blames Pierre for this, saying that Pierre should have fought to keep him as an opponent (of course, he didn’t say quite that, it was longer and had alot more swearing). They asked Jake Shields what he felt on the subject, and he said he really didn’t know what happend. He did say, “I am very happy about the Penn fight, though, because I thought (Diaz) would get dropped. It is a great fight as well. I think Nick has too high of pace for B.J. and think he’ll beat him.”

Condit was asked about Diaz’s chances to beat Penn, “I think BJ probably takes it, I think his stand up is better, but I don’t know. Nick has unorthodox striking that he uses very well, is pretty effective for him. Yeah, I think BJ takes it, but I wouldn’t count Nick out.”
I’m amused at a world where people feel that fighting BJ Penn is somehow beneath them, or where losing a fight somehow makes him a wash out.

Pierre claims that Condit is more of a challenge then Diaz anyway, “I do believe that Carlos Condit is more dangerous than Nick Diaz, I do believe that if Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit would fight, I would put my money on Carlos Condit. For me, it’s even a bigger challenge. I’ve watched a couple of his fights, and it seems to me he has a bigger variety of attack standing up. His ground is very good, just as good as Nick Diaz, and standing up is more dangerous,” he said. “I’m going to have to be worried about a lot more things –- not only the hands. Nick Diaz is mostly a boxer, but Carlos Condit, he’s got a bigger range and more variety of attack. He can hit me with knees, elbows and everything, and he hits harder than Nick Diaz. For me, it’s a fight that I actually believe is way more dangerous. I think his pedigree as a martial artist is better than Nick Diaz. I think he’s a better fighter than Nick Diaz and way more dangerous.”

Ouch, that shot about his pedigree as a martial artist had to hurt worse than any string of obscenities Diaz could have flung. Far be it from me to disagree with GSP on anything, but I would say that anyone who’s training was directly under a Gracie counts as a pretty nice pedigree. In anycase, looking forward to their fights reguardless of who fights who first.

Jul 182011

Helio Gracie with a blue beltMy brother and I had our picture taken with several other bjj guys, and when we were looking at the picture my brother said, “Why are we the only ones in the picture with our bars on the left side?” This of course sparked an extremely dull debate with other online BJJ folks as to the correct side to wear your rank bar.

I’ll digress for just a second for those uninitiated among us. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the ranking structure is a little different from the normal Japanese rank structure that most martial arts loosely follow. Depending on your martial art, you might have ten or more ranks (kyu ranks, which mean steps, or student rankings) before reaching your black belt ranks, (dan ranks which are advanced or instructor ranks). In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there are only three ranks before black belt rank, blue, purple, and brown. BJJ also takes much longer to progress than most (and I am stressing MOST) other martial arts. This is off set by sub-belt promotions indicated by white stripes on a black (or in the case of black belt holders, red) sleeve attached to one of the ends of the practitioner’s belt. As far as I know, they are the only martial that does rank like this.

Wow, that was longer than needed. Anyway we know what the rank bar is, now where do you wear it. A quick google search reminds me why I hate reading online forums. You know the drill,
Person one: Which side should I wear my strips in BJJ class.
Person two: Only an idiot would ask a question like that!
Person three: You are both idiots. You care too much about rank! You need to find a real teacher!
Person four: BJJ is stupid, you train in gi’s, that’s sooo not realistic…
And at some point someone calls someone else a nazi. But from what I can glean, different BJJ schools do it differently. BJ Penn wears his strips on the right side, Royce Gracie wears his on the left. The picture above is of Helio Gracie with some blue belt and they both have their’s on the left, but Carlson Gracie says the right. So ask your instructor and ignore online advice, including this one.