Why Am I Writing About Gi vs. No-Gi?

If you have been in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) or MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) for anytime you will have heard the gi vs. no-gi debate.  So why am I writing about it?  Because I want to hear some real arguments for no-gi as your foundation technique. I see no-gi technique as a subset of gi (kimono) technique.  If you use a gi to train, you learn a larger set of techniques that can be applied on the street.  Its true people don’t go around in gis.  It is also true they don’t always wear shorts, short sleeve shirts, and are all sweaty.  Winter is coming on and your typical person will be wearing what?  A heavy coat and long pants.  These are a perfect substitution for a gi.

It is my opinion that first you should train in the gi and only after achieving a belt or two worry about doing no-gi.  You want to improve your arsenal with no-gi.  You want a solid base to start with.  That is why you start in gi and later add no-gi classes.

Not convinced?  You don’t fall into the pride category then like this blog entitled Be Proud, but Humble on Tap or Die suggests, I hope?  I am going to put my money where my mouth is and go to a no-gi tournament having never done no-gi.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  In the mean while, let me hear your side of the debate.

 

The Eight Stages of Recovery After Being Choked Out

We practice choking someone out all the time in BJJ but no one ever tells you what happens when you get in a real world situation and what it will be like.  Here is what I have gathered from sources that have choked some one out in real street fights.  This is step by step what happens from what I’ve gathered.

  1. The person being choked starts to be sluggish.
  2. The person goes limp.
  3. The choke is released but there is no response from the person.
  4. The person starts to come around in a minute and may go ridged.
  5. The person becomes conscious after a couple of minutes.
  6. The person slowly regains muscle control.
  7. The person experiences some temporary memory loss and is confused.
  8. The person is back to normal.

Because Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the “Gentle Art” the out come should be that both parties are unhurt when it the conflict is over.  This seems to be the case in all fights I have heard about where choking was involved.  As for Arm-Bars that is a whole different topic.

If you have some insight or stories to share that add to this please do comment.  I’d like to know more finite details if you have any to share.

Five Early Warning Signs of Jiu-Jitsu Addiction

  1. You can’t go to sleep at night because you keep thinking about your last roll and how you could have dominated if only you had . . .
  2. Your shirts are all something related to or about Jiu Jitsu.
  3. You have a gi or kimono for every day of the week, not to mention your lucky one for tournaments.
  4. Your Facebook or blog would be blank if you removed all your posts about Jiu Jitsu.
  5. Some how all your conversations lead back to Jiu-Jitsu.

If you can say “yes” to even 4 out of 5 of these it may be too late.  You see there isn’t anything like AA for those of us who have the Jiu-Jitsu addiction.  It is terminal.

So what should you do?  Follow the tired and true saying “Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu”.  Jiu-Jitsu isn’t just a martial art its a philosophy for life.  Try applying it to more then your time on the mat.

All kidding aside for all of you who don’t understand the fascination with the art born of the Gracie’s and Japan.  I’ve never heard that it solved hair loss or cured cancer but it sure beats sitting around feeling sorry for yourself.  Take for instance a young man with only one leg that trained at Unified Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Pedro Sauer Team.  He adapted it to fit his needs both physical and mental.

There is a reason it is so addicting.  Try it, you’ll like it!

Don’t Make These Six Common Mistakes When You Begin Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

  1. Don’t pick the first school you see.  Not all Jiu Jitsu schools are created equal, shop around. Visit the schools that look interesting.  Most schools offer a free class or two.  Take them up on it before you sign up.
  2. Don’t start with a gi or kimono that doesn’t fit. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gis or kimonos are cut for Jiu Jitsu not Karate or Judo.  You first kimono can be inexpensive but should fit properly.
  3. Don’t start without purchasing a mouth guard.  Chances are you are going to get banged up at first.  You don’t need a chipped tooth or dentist bill to remind you that a $5 mouth guard would have saved you a $1000.
  4. Don’t start without purchasing some knee sleeves.  They are cheap and save on bruises around the knees which come with being inexperienced and having your guard passed frequently.  Know one likes knee pain.
  5. Don’t start without purchasing a rash guard.  It acts like a work glove and helps keep bruising to a minimum plus protects you from skin to skin contact.  Some unsavory opponents could have ring worm or some other fungus.  You only want them to share their technique with you.
  6. Don’t think you are going to be Helio Gracie in the first month.  You will get tapped all the time at first.  Tell yourself you are going to try for a year before you decide if you are going to stop.

Jiu Jitsu is life and life is Jiu Jitsu.  By avoiding these six common mistakes you will enjoy both more as you begin the thrilling and rewarding path to BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) enlightenment.

Going For the Submission

In BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) submission is king!  To win the mental and physical game of chess is everyone’s goal.  Every newbie to the mat starts out with only one thought “MAK’EM TAP OUT”.  I include my self in that statement.  I didn’t think about cunning and technique to start out.  I only wanted my first Arm Bar or Triangle Choke.  I focused everything on it.  Now that I have my blue belt you could say I’ve seen the light and I know I’ve just started on the path to perfection.

If going for the submission is your first goal you will succeed in being submitted.  If your thought process follows:

  1. Transition
  2. Position
  3. Submission

You are on your way to true enlightenment.  Submissions come as a end result of well laid foundation.  Its true that the thing the untrained eye sees and remembers the most is the finishing blow or frantic tap.  Once that mind is trained you begin to see the lead up that makes the submission a natural sequence of actions.

I’m going to call it the Jiu-Jitsu pyramid.  Start out with your thoughts focused on transitioning from where you are into the position you want to be in.  Once that is accomplished think about bettering your position.  When and only when you have your satisfactory position think about submission.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Submission Techniques – The Triangle Choke

I’ve been studying the Triangle Choke in order to improve my success ratio with it.  By teaching you retain and learn better yourself.  I hope by sharing with you what I found out we both benefit.

To start with I reviewed the Triangle Choke in four different books and two different videos along with instruction I received in class.  The books I used were:

The videos I looked at where:

Here are the keys to locking down a successful Triangle from my study.

  1. You don’t want the leg over the neck to be on the shoulders at all.  The leg on the neck must be only on the neck and tight against it with the leg perpendicular to the line of the neck.  You are making a cross.  As you position your leg across the neck you don’t have to worry about them slipping out because you have control of the arm.   Here is a video that illustrates my point: Flying Triangle Choke.  He does get the Triangle but its a sloppy one and had the guy not panicked I think he could have worked his way out.
  2. Your hips should align with his neck.  You are creating a collar.  If your hips are to far past his neck or below you are creating space that keeps you from locking.  Walk your shoulders out or in to get your hips under his neck.
  3. Get the arm across.  Eddie Bravo is the odd man our that doesn’t move the arm across the body.  Control of the arm and its position are critical to the success of the Triangle.
  4. Grab your shin not your foot when pulling the leg across the neck forward to get it perpendicular .  The instinct is to grab the foot.  This puts pressure on your own ankle.  It is better to grab the shin which is solid and not give yourself a sprain or ankle lock.  If you can’t sit up enough to get the shin your hips may be not be aligned correctly.
  5. Angle your hips to get the strangle.  You do this by pulling your upper body to one side or at the same time you hook the leg over the neck.
  6. Lock the leg over where your knee bends while pointing up the toes.  If your Triangle technique is correct you should be able to drop your other leg over the leg across the neck.  This completes the Triangle.  I’ve found that sometimes you don’t even need to get the lock in place if it is correct.  Your arm pulling on your shin with the leg correctly over and tight against the neck can have the same effect as the lock.
  7. Squeeze the legs together, lift the hips,  and pull the head down to get the submission.  Once the lock is in place if that isn’t enough to make them tap then add the fine tuning to put the hurt on fast.
  8. Sweep a stack!  If he starts stacking forward reach over and hook his leg opposite the arm that is in the Triangle.  You have control of his head and arm making his base only one leg.  You have now locked his leg and what can he do as you push with your hips against his upper body?  He will fall over and maybe you will end up in a mounted triangle.  Talk about going from the frying pay into the fire for him.

Gracie or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Freak Injuries

As in any sport or rigorous activity injuries happen.  With BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) it seems that they are the strangest, freakish, or weird.  For example, while rolling I attempted to do a escape and some how caught my upper lip with my thumb.  I scrapped my gum with my finger nail and had to struggle to untangle my hand from my mouth.  My instructor told me of a time where he got his eye lid turned inside out and got a rug burn on it while grappling.  Until it healed it hurt every time he blinked.  You don’t know how often you blink until have a rug burn on you inner eye lid.  The latest one I heard was from a friend.  While rolling he arched or upa’d.  Some how his pinky toe slipped into a mat seam and got caught.  As he finished the move it broke his toe!  Maybe it is just the nature of martial art made famous by the Gracie’s.  I don’t know.  In all the sports I’ve ever done I’ve never heard so many funny injuries.  Regardless of the injuries I am addicted to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.  Viva la Jiu-Jitsu!

Please share with me your stories!

 

Jiu-Jitsu Insomnia – A Love-Hate, Relationship

Its 2:00am and I can’t sleep.  Why?  Well, Jiu-Jitsu of course!  I was awaked for another reason but when I tried to go back to sleep I started thinking of my passion, Gracie or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  The next thing I know I am tensing up.  I keep thinking of things I could do or would like to try out.  To make matters worse I missed my last two classes due to the Labor Day holiday and a cold.  I didn’t get my Jiu-Jitsu fix for the week.  In short, I’ve got a case of Jiu-Jitsu Insomnia. 

When you lay awake at night you can think up some grand ideas and they all seem plausible.  With Jiu-Jitsu you want to try them out.  If I tried this sweep could I transition into this position, and so forth.  The problem is you can’t try it out!  You find your self all excited and tense wondering if your ideas will really work and  excited for your next practice to see.  None of which is conducive to sleep.

I thought if I got up and blogged about it, I might be able to clear my mind and go to sleep but I’ve decided I’m a Jiu-Jitsu nut.  Blogging hasn’t helped.  Its time to get a grappling dummy so that I can release my inner Jiu-Jitsu tension with a little late night grappling.  I don’t know what else to do to help release the tension and get some sleep.

Please share with me some thing you do to turn off your Jiu-Jitsu mania at night?

Jiu-Jitsu Mind Block – In the Slump

Have you had a training session where you got the equivalent of writers block?  For a period of time you are doing so well.  While rolling you have a easy time envisioning what move you should do next, how to stay ahead of your opponent, or what to do in a tight spot.  You function smoothly.  Then one day you come to train and you are like a blank sheet of paper.  You just can’t think of what to do.  You end up holding closed guard for dear life.  Its as if everything has slipped away from you.  Even your favorite moves you screw up.  Its very frustrating.  Its kind of like a slump.  I had one of those last night.  It really upset me.  I got a more aggressive guy to roll with and I just couldn’t formulate what to do.  The only think I can think to do is study hard this week and hope it breaks me out of it.

What do you do to break out of a slump or block?  I need a escape to break this choke on my mind, to put it into Jiu-Jitsu terms.