Donate A Gi and Change a Life

We all love Jiu-Jitsu.  We all know how it has changed our lives for the better.  Of course we want others to have that same chance.  That is why Mark, my instructor at West Side, has started a after school, free-of-charge, Jiu-Jitsu class for high school students.  Most of these students don’t have the cash to pay for classes.  They don’t have the cash to buy a gi.  But they do have time on their hands.  Time that can be used constructively in learning Jiu-Jitsu or wasted and potential lost.  Mark posted his plea for help in getting gi’s for the kids in Donate A Gi.  It gives instructions on how to send your old or new gi to the program he has started.

I will start by donating three new gis to his effort.  I’d much rather see a young life become a student of Jiu-Jitsu then a student of the streets.  I’m thinking I will added my patch to the gis too (if I can get one in time).  What a good way to introduce them to the online Jiu-Jitsu community.  This might also be a good opportunity for a vendor of gis.  Something like for every so many bought to help the program they will donate one.  Just an idea.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

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North West Submission Challenge – West Side Rocks!

WestSide-2010-NorthWesternI’ve been on a BJJ sabbatical the past week or so.  But now it is time to get with it.  Winter is over and its time to burn off some of that winter fat and get back into the swing of things.  I’ve started jump roping again.  I’m going back to my daily drill routine.  I’m feeling rested or healed up (they are one and the same to me).  I missed out on our school going to the North West Submission Challenge tournament in Boise, ID this week.  West Side did great from the results I read on NorthWestSubmissionChallenge.com (Click Here For Results)!  Without me,  imagine that!  LoL.  I even noticed a nice complement from Keith Owen on Mark’s Face book page.  Keith said "All these guys are bad ass!"  Thanks Keith.  We had a larger team then last year.  The school is growing.  I’m wondering if we are going to out grow our present studio.  Mark has put his heart and soul into the school and I think he can’t be anything put proud to see the fruits of his labors.  It is the West Side Family.  Alright it looks like its all brothers but there are sisters too.  Come join the family and Jiu-Jitsu.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu Is Effective For All Ages

I doubt she is a world champion like the video claims but she does the job well enough.  I would say Dad taught her the Rear Naked Choke but forgot to tell her about tapping.  I think it is funny how she is only mildly concerned.  She calls out "Mom!" like "Dad’s playing dead again".  All of my children will be learning BJJ for their self defense.  My oldest daughter isn’t to excited.  Maybe I should show her this video?  Then again lets not give her any ideas, just yet.  What this video really demonstrates is the effectiveness of BJJ for all ages.  Even a full sized man can’t evade a well placed Rear Naked Choke.  The girls doesn’t have strength on her side she has technique.  After all isn’t that what BJJ is about?  The little guy having a even chance with the big one?  I’m sure some would say he could have slammed her around if he was a real attacker.  I’m not to sure about that.  It came on fast and he seemed to think he had time.  By the time he realized it was too late the lights were going out.  I myself have been caught in a ankle lock by a 40lb student at my school.  Everyone has their a Achilles heel.  BJJ just gives you a better chance of exploiting it.

A Love For All Things Japanese

It seems like every time I listen to some Jiu-Jitsu interview, the person says they were in a martial art and then got drawn into BJJ when they saw the power of it.  I was that way.  I did Kendo, Kempo, Wada-Ru, Kishin Kan Karate, . . . and the list goes one.  My time in each of these led me to have a love for most if not all things Japanese.  BJJ was just a extension of that.  I am sure others feel the same way.  I’m going to be remodeling my office soon.  I wasn’t looking forward to it until my wife pointed out I could do it in a Japanese martial art motif.  I lit up like a kid on Christmas morning!  Can you guess what my favorite dish is?  Sushi!  I can pack away a few rolls and some nigiri  anytime, as long as it is a good sushi bar.  I will even pick it over a big juicy steak.  I took Japanese in college.  I did better in it then any language I’ve ever tried.  Its so much easier to use then English.  That Japanese just seem to have all the cool stuff, martial arts, food, language, culture.  Maybe that is why we find them so attractive.  One day I hope to visit if not live in Japan for a while.  I love America and Japan would be my second home.

Finding Your “Happy Place” in Jiu-Jitsu

This weekend I listened to two recent interviews done by FightWorksPodCast.com.  They were Royler Gracie (#200) and Chris Moriarty (#201).  I also read Georgette’s World,  her post "Why Compete" along with Liam of Part Time Grappler’s thoughts on her post entitled "On Competition Motivation".  They all had a central theme in my mind, that was happiness and BJJ.  It seems Royler is tired and needs to spend more time with his family.  He has turned over teaching for the most part to others in Brazil and moved to the US.  Chris burnt out on other’s expectations and over training.  He had to scale back and do BJJ for himself and his love of it.  Georgette competes for the rush of it while Liam finds coaching the most fulfilling.  I think all are valid.  I have been struggling with some of the same thoughts.  I especially connected with what Chris Moriarty had to say.  He admitted to being so rabid about his involvement with Jiu-Jitsu and so worried about what others thought of his game that he trained with ringworm on his face and denied it when asked.  Royler and Chris talked about not worrying about winning every time you roll.  Royler said you should prefect a technique against a white belt.  Be willing to take chances and learn during a roll.  You can lose and still win by learning.  This is what I have found to some degree.  If I let my ego go and worked on the technique I had a goal of mastering, instead of worrying about the win, I had a much better time.  I lose now to people that in the eyes of others I shouldn’t but I think I’m starting to see the pay off.  I’ve found my "Happy Place".  I’ve seen the techniques I’m working on improve against more difficult opponents and I want to be in at Jiu-Jitsu each week despite injury.  I hope this helps you find your "Happy Place" in BJJ.  As always . . .

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu.

The Healing Art of Jiu-Jitsu?

I find it ironic that one of the reasons I go to Jiu-Jitsu twice each week is for mental well being but not physical it seems.  What I mean by that is each week I find stress relief in class.  Its like popping the mental pressure value.  The aggression combined with the concentration on technique helps me.  But most of the time I spend the week recovering physically from class.  Yes, I get a good physical work out that helps me.  And yes, we are all considerate and try not to hurt our training partners.  Its just that every week there is something that has to heal on my body.  This week it is a jammed finger (I never even felt it happen) and a huge bruise from a failed Ashi-Barai.  I’m dotted all over with bruises in various stages of healing.  Most of my injuries heal in one week or aren’t painful anymore in that time.  I guess what I’m saying is I wish I would harden up a little or that I didn’t feel so old.  I can’t stop doing Jiu-Jitsu.  I know I’d miss it to much.  I’m a addict.  I guess the best course of action is to improve my technique and healing knowledge.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Blue to Purple One BJJ Step at a Time

Tonight was another night of working on purple belt test techniques.  This time we went over the next six techniques for the Pedro Sauer’s Purple Belt test:

  1. Sweep from Seated Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 186)
  2. Overhead Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 188 or 238)
  3. Leg Pinching Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 190)
  4. Scissor Sweep Standing from Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 226)
  5. Hook Sweep from Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 228)
  6. Kick over Sweep (Balloon) (BJJ T&T pg. 188)

Yesterday we went over the first six and I posted them.  Like I said before they are documented in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu series) by Renzo and Royler Gracie.

I had a great time sweeping people over my head.  I have to say that sweeps are my favorite.  Submissions are cool too don’t get me wrong but a well executed sweeps saps moral or the spirit of the other guy.  He just went from equal or in control to flip side.

Rolling was good too.  We lined up and would rotate the line every 2 minutes.  This gives you a great opportunity to try yourself against everyone.  It also keeps the action going.  I was admirable tonight.  I didn’t tap anyone that was higher then me but then again I didn’t get tapped.  I’ll settle for a stalemate against a purple belt right now.

You Win Some and You Lose Some

BJJ practice went well tonight.  We broke up into whites and blues.  The whites went over the blue belt test and the blues went over the purple belt test.  We are a Pedro Sauer’s affiliated school.  I was surprised that I knew the six techniques we went over as well as I did.  We went over:

  1. Double Ankle Grab Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 74)
  2. Both Hands on Ankle Sweep to Armlock (BJJ T&T pg. 78)
  3. Push Sweep From Scissors (BJJ T&T pg. 80)
  4. Handstand Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 144)
  5. Arm Inside Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 160)
  6. Arm Inside Sweep to Arm Bar (BJJ T&T pg. 162)

These are all in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu series) by Renzo and Royler Gracie.  I have documented the page numbers in the book next to each technique.  I highly recommend the book.  It has most of the basic techniques you will need to get a blue or purple belt.

After that we did some training from the guard.  The object was for the guy on the bottom to get a sweep and the guy on top to get the pass.  I tried out a number of sweeps and managed to kept from getting passed.  It felt great to get may favorite Spider Guard Sweep.

We then did our usual rolling session to close out the class.  I made some mistakes.  First of all I let a guillotine get away from me only to have it reversed onto me.  Inside my head my mind was screaming for me to throw my arm over his should for the escape but my body just wouldn’t respond.  I think I was to preoccupied with the coke.  The next roll was with one of your blues who should be going purple soon.  I held my own for a good while and escaped one arm bar before succumbing to a second.  I had him in a leg bind at one point and was thinking of a Machado leg bar I had been reading about but wasn’t able to pull it off.  All in all it was a good night.  I won some and I lost some.