Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Your Dreams

I have heard it said that you are truly fluent in a foreign language when your dreams are in that language.

After I started BJJ I spent a lot of time thinking about it and trying to perfect my technique.  The funny thing was I didn’t dream about it very often.  Now that I have had to stop training at the dojo, I find I am dreaming about it more.

Case in point: Last night I dream I was in front of a large public building that had a open forum area.  A man was acting very strangely and began to get violent.  He came by me dragging what looked like a another man he had accosted.  Without thinking about it I hoped on his exposed back.  I got one hook in and my arms in place for a Rear Naked Choke.  My weight pulled him down and he let go of the other guy and tried to get ahold of me.  I was having trouble getting the second hook in but I was still able to cinch the choke tighter.  Then my wife woke me up for work. D’oh!

My dreams seem to point in the fact I feel confident enough to use BJJ in a elevated situation but that my confidence is not rock solid.  In most of my dreams I just can not finish.

I would be interested to hear about others Jiu-Jitsu dreams and their thoughts on them.  How often do you dream about BJJ?

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

My Eulogy for my friend Chris Anderson

Chris I had good times going over BJJ techniques with you on Magic Monday.  Your inviting smile always cheered me.  You showed me concern, friendship, compassion, acceptance, and brotherhood.  I knew you would win every time we rolled but I also knew it would be great fun and looked forward to it.  You were another of my Jiu-Jitsu family that make the dojo home.  I told all of my BJJ family that day in class after Miles’s death that I would be there if anyone needed a shoulder to cry on or cheering up.  How I wish you had taken me up on it instead of choosing to take your life.  I will miss you greatly.  I’ll miss your fuzzy head after one of your buzz hair cuts and your funny little goatee.  I’ll miss chatting with you after class and the distinct sound of your voice.  I hurt, Chris.  I hurt.

Its good bye for now and rest.  I will see you again and maybe then you can help me understand.  I won’t forget you Chris.

Rest in peace, Chris.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

How to Keep a Audio Journal for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Smart phones have become the mainstream.  I’ve found my iPhone is only as limited as my imagination.  I can find new and productive uses for it all the time.  The other day I realized how handy the Voice Memos application is that is standard on it.  To often thoughts come to me and I am no where near my computer or pad and pencil.  But I always have my iPhone with me.  Thus began my audio journaling.  I found it easy to quickly record my thoughts on a voice memo.  It was great because when the thoughts strike me if I don’t record them some how I lose 75% of them.  Its just to busy a world and my memory too over crowded as it is to keep everything in.  Now that I had my audio journal going I came across the problem of “How do I index them so I can find the one I want?”  This lead me to transcription and How to Transcribe iPhone Voice Memos with Dragon Naturally Speaking along  with a free way iPhone m4a Transcribing (Switch Audio Converter and Express Scribe Transcription).  Either way works nicely.  In the end I have the audio recording and a transcript of it that is searchable.  I edit the transcriptions to fill in the gaps and clear up what is said on the audio.  I then reference the audio records that make up the transcript.  All in all I really find it easier and more enjoyable then typing my thoughts up after the fact or at the end of the day.  Please see my first post on journaling at: How to Keep a Journal for BJJ.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

I Keep Seeing Jiu-Jitsu or The Seat Belt Knot


I have been irrevocably changed for the good by BJJ.  I find it funny how even when I’m not actively practicing everything seems to come back to BJJ principles.

My 5 year old was bored on our drive and to cure her boredom she decided to provide her father with a chance to think about Jiu-Jitsu and solve a puzzle at the same time.  As you can see from the picture she pulled the seat belt out tied it in a nice knot and then let it snap back.  Before you say, “oh I could undo that in a moment” let me tell you it took my wife and I a good 15 minutes of combined effort to get this undone.  Without going into to much detail I discovered that the outer strap was holding the inner from losing.  My wife discovered that once the inner was loosened it had to be worked through the whole knot to get the knot moved down were the tension would let it be undone.

This made me think of the intricacies of a roll.  One technique can hide your true intent to submit with another.  It also made me think how simple a technique can look but have may hidden tweaks to it make all the difference.  And last but not lest picking a technique apart like I did this knot gives you a intimate knowledge of its working in the end.  If I wanted to create a knot that would be harder to undo I know now how.  The same applies to a technique.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

My Wife Does Jiu-Jitsu and I Hate It

I keep an eye on different terms and expressions used to find my site.  The other day I got one that had me in stitches.  It was “My wife does Jiu-Jitsu and I hate it”.  My first thought was “how in the world did he find my site with that” followed by “I’ll bet its because he’s tired of being choked out when he won’t do the dishes” and you never hear “My husband does ballet and I hate it”.  In no time my imagination was running wild with all kinds of hilarious anecdotes.  Later after I had a good laugh I decided it must be because she is gone a lot, he feels intimidated, or he doesn’t think she should be rolling with strange men.  Smaller schools only have mixed classes and sometimes there may only be one brave woman in a class.  Whatever the case I hope he sees this and lets us know why.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Full Time Father Part Time Grappler

Liam Wandi of Part-Time Grappler has the correct title for my life.  My boy has arrived.  He weights 9lb and was 20.5 inches.  My wife and I are exhausted.  This is the 4th child in the family but each time I seem to forget all we went through with the last.   You can’t tell your wife you’re “tapping out” when its your turn to change the dirty diaper either.  It feels like a roll that will never end and its only been a few days.

So far I’m full-time-father.  There isn’t any time for grappling or classes.  I know it will all return to normal eventually but its hard to wait.  I’ll enjoy in the future BJJ with my daughters and sons.  I know eventually we will all become one big grappling family but for now its dirty diapers, burping, and feeding sessions.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Signs of Jiu-Jitsu Entering the Mainstream with Games

So I’m walking through the store the other day just doing my usual, you know keeping the kids from walking off or touching everything.  When out of the corner of my eye I catch the word “Jitsu” on some packaging.  It turns out that they have a Disney card game called Card-Jitsu.  It looks more like something from The Penguins of Madagascar meets The Last Airbender. But the fact that the word “Jitsu” was on it makes me think “Jiu-Jitsu” is becoming move of a household name.  Something most kids can identify with thus the game with reference to it.

I think I’ll research my idea a little further.  I think I’ll go right to the source and see what the average 1st to 6th grader thinks Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Jiu-Jitsu is.  I’ll try conducting a survey.  This should be fun and funny.  I’ll post the results of course.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Support Group for Training BJJ at Home

couch-potatoIts almost like you need a support group when you are training solely at home.  Its so easy to put it off for other things.  I don’t just mean being a couch potato.  There is a never ending list of things to do around my house.  My passion for BJJ isn’t diminished.  I just don’t have a priority for it.  When I had classes each week there was a “slot” in my life for it.  Now I’m having to struggle to find a new slot.  The worse part is with the baby coming my whole life schedule will change and it will be a while before it settles again.  So I don’t know if I can even really get in a routine.  That means I have to fill in the gaps ever chance I get.  That really tests my commitment to the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Its not that I have forgotten about it.  Its been on my mind a lot as of late.  Last night I dreamed I got in a fight.  I got the guy in a Triangle but he slipped out.  I was really upset in my dream and blamed it on not training like I should.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Training at Home When You Have No Other Choice

My forth child is due end of April 2011.  What does that mean?  The wife needs me more then ever to look after our three other children and I need more money.  So I have no other choice then to take a sabbatical from BJJ for a while.  That means no formal classes.

At first I started to despair.  When would I ever be able to afford to go back?  My instructor was kind enough to let me know I was welcome to come back now and then for free when I needed to get away.  That is what is great about West Side and BJJ.  Its about the learning and training not the bucks.

I decided the best thing for me to do was fill in the free time, if any, with training at home.  I have my DVD’s and Submission Master Grappling Dummy after all.  I’ve tried to have a routine at home but with regular classes it was easy to let it slip.  I knew I’d get my practice in at class.  Now I’m really going to be tested on my commitment to BJJ.  So I needed something to help me keep going.  Of course I thought of my blog.  I’m going to try and chronicle my training at home.  If all else fails just keeping up this blog will keep the light of BJJ flickering in me.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu “Stories of Jiu-Jitsu on the Street”

I’ve decided to start a new site dedicate to collecting stories of BJJ in action.  I hear so often about the conflict between sport and street BJJ.  All the masters of BJJ always emphasize the importance of why Helio Gracie created BJJ for self defense.  There are tons of sites out there that service the sports side. I don’t know of any specifically about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in practical use on the street or self defense.  Ok, I shouldn’t forget but for the most part you understand what I’m saying.

I got the domain and I need to start collecting some stories to offer for the initial launch.  Please send me your stories.  Fictions great but I want true life experiences.  I have one from a friend who was a bouncer.  I’m sure if you train BJJ you can come up with at least one first hand tale.

Please send them to me by replying to this post and I’ll post them at for everyone to read and as testament to what Helio Gracie wanted Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to be.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu