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

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.

Marcelo Garcia Bares It All

No Marcelo is not becoming a centerfold.  But he is exposing his game.  Marcelo was interviewed on TheFightWorksPodCast.com a while back.  He and a friend talked about his new website MGInAction.com.  I was interested when I learned that they had taken the approach of teaching as a chess master would in studying other masters games.  I was also very surprised that Marcelo would just allow every aspect of his game and technique to be public.  As I was thinking about it, I remembered a old boss of mine.  He would do classes for people on how to hang wallpaper.  I asked him one day, "Why? Don’t you lose business if they do it themselves?"  His reply was "No!  I get more business!  They go and try to do it feeling confident.  Only when they try they realize it takes more skill that is developed over time.  They then remember how well I did and call me."  Maybe it is the same way with Marcelo Garcia’s website.  If you stick with it long enough you should get skilled but if not . . . you might join his dojo or school.  I think I’m going to have to fork out the $25 for a month just to see what it is like.  I’ll be sure to share what I think of it.

Relson, Renzo, and Rener Gracie TheFightWorksPodCast.com Interviews

I like listening to BJJ podcasts when I’m traveling or waiting around.  I have a ample supply ready to go at all times on my iPhone.  TheFightWorksPodCast.com is my favorite place for BJJ podcast radio.  I just finished #189 (Relson Starts the Controversy), #190 (Renzo’s rebuttal), and #191 (Rener’s follow up to the Renzo’s rebuttal).  I have to say that when all was said I think they each had some valid points and flaws.  Some of the things that bothered me where Relson’s insistence on not having butterfly and spider guard.  He wanted to stick with what he was taught and it was pure in his opinion.  I think BJJ evolves.  Isn’t that what made it great?  Helio and Rolls, from my understanding in the 3 interviews, took traditional Jiu-Jitsu and made it into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  There is a distinction for a reason.  If Relson doesn’t want change that is a warning signal to me.  Another interesting note was that stalling in tournaments is because Relson feels the rules are wrong.  They allow for it.  But Rener seemed to be saying that Helio survived because he waited out his opponent and conserved his energy for the key time to attack.  Relson created tournament rules that don’t allow for stalling.  Renzo accused him of doing it so his "kids" could win.  Renzo also was more then willing to fight it out and put his money where his mouth is.  Val Tudo!  Hahaha, those were the days.  But no one wants to see infighting between the Gracies.  I don’t think it will ever come to that.  Just some family squabbles as it gets bigger with each generation.  In time I wonder if they will be to large for it to be a "family business".  This is my opinion from what I listened to.  Please share yours with me.

Gracie Family Tension Shows BJJ History

I just finished listening to the Renzo Gracie interview done by Caleb of FightWorksPodcast.com (#190) on November 29th, 2009.  For a white or blue belt it gave some very important history right from the horses mouth.  For example, I never knew about Rolls.  I didn’t know really about anyone but Heilo. 

Renzo talks about proving the superiority of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu by fighting it out.  Its dojo wars!  He talks about street fighting with another school that was talking trash about the Gracies.  The Gracies of course "beat the crap out of everybody there" as Renzo put it.  This took place in Brazil.  I think it very unlikely that he would follow through with going after Relson when he says "So don’t force me one day to do a visit, because I will do it."  But he seems angry enough to do it.  Maybe it would end up in the ring but not a street fight.  Val Tudo was part of the rise of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and the spirit of it seems very much alive in Renzo.  But I’m getting the cart before the horse.  What started all this was the interview with Relson Gracie (#189).  Relson made some claims about his school that inflamed Renzo.  I won’t ruin it for you and let you listen to them.  As I think on them I’ll have more to post.

Balancing the Family and Jiu Jitsu Training

I don’t want to sum this whole post up in one sentence. You should know where I’m going with this before you even read it.  Family comes first.  That has been the theme for my holiday season, well the entire month of December (as it should be).  Meerkatsu in his post "BJJ Frequency Spousal Happiness Slide" talked about his experience with it.  FightWorksPodCast.com did a poll entitled "To What Extent Does Your Spouse, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Significant Other Support Your BJJ Training?"  that gives some statistics.  They are both very interesting.  When it comes down to it I love my family more then BJJ.  Yes, its hard to hear that any one could love anything more then BJJ when it comes down to us true addicts.  I made 3 of the 10 classes I would have normally made this month.  When I went to those 3 classes I felt like I was already behind.  Those who are single or don’t have an attachment fill their time with BJJ and I feel like I’m falling further and further behind.  But I don’t know what else I can do.  I usually resort to my Submission Master Grappling Dummy.  But even that is of no use when my 2 and 3 year old join in.  Its a good laugh and we have a great "royal rumble" but I don’t get much training in.  When I try to slip away to watch some videos I have to lock myself in my office.  That doesn’t last long before the wife is knocking wondering why I don’t come spend time with the family while I’m off for the holidays.  As a last resort I use my iPhone apps and watch some GrappleArts.com videos.  At least they are quick and portable.  I can snatch a moment to watch them now and then.  If only the itch to do instead of just watch would go away until I had time to try them out.  Oh well, I think the balance is tipped heavily in the direction of the family but for good reason.  When my children get bigger we will all go as a family but until then its catch as catch can.