Rigan Machado comes to Utah

I just got news that Rigan Machado will be giving a seminar on January 30th here in Utah.  He is a 8th degree black belt and nephew of Helio Gracie.  He was the first black belt awarded by Carlos Gracie Jr.  I’m really excited to go.  I am still feeling bad that I miss out on Andre Galvao when he came to Unified.  I won’t be missing this one.  Here are the full details:

UCTC in Kearns, UT (4095 West 4715) at 1pm (should last 3 hours).  Cost $50.

KneeOnBelly.com quotes BJ Penn as saying "’Training with Rigan Machado was definitely an experience that changed my life. At one time, I definitely think he was the greatest grappler that walked the earth."

It should be really good.  I will of course blog about it after it is over and share any pictures or video that I am able to get.

Blue to Purple Belt – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

So you got your blue belt, Congratulations!  If you are feeling like me you are excited.  The thrill of achievement has you thinking, “what do I need to do now to get my purple belt”.  The simple answer is time and practice.  This isn’t exactly what you wanted to hear but what you expected, isn’t it?  After asking my instructor and other basic research the average blue belt takes 3 years to get a purple belt.  But you are pumped up right now.  You say to yourself, as I do, “but I’m not average”.  The fact that you are out looking for what the requirements are and trying to start working towards your purple belt helps reinforce that.  After all the average time for a white belt to blue belt is 1.5 years and you did it in less, didn’t you?  So you will achieve your purple belt sooner then 3 years.  This is how I plan to do it.  I hope my ideas inspire and help you to pass your purple belt test early.

  1. Keep a Jiu-Jitsu Journal.
  2. Learn the purple belt techniques. (Pedro Sauer Purple Belt Test)
  3. Create a daily drill routine.
  4. Research the greats. (My favorites Roger Gracie, Saulo Ribeiro, and Andre Galvao)
  5. Attend Another Dojo, School, or Academy
  6. Mentor a white belt.
  7. Set Goals.

By clicking on any one of these you will go to the article that gives specifics on what I’ve planned for myself.

Please feel free to add your comments or ask me questions.

Improve your Jiu-Jitsu through Exposure at other Dojos, Schools, or Academies

When I took my blue belt test I tested at Unified Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Pedro Sauer Team.  I hadn’t to that point attended or trained at any other academy, school, or dojo.  I got to spend some time before the test with a class.  I realized right off that it was good to get a larger perspective on my chosen martial art.  In the half hour I was there for the class and the two for the test I was exposed to new ways of doing things and different approaches to training.  I think my present Jiu-Jitsu instructor summed it up best in his post Fred Ettish was a Frog.  To summarize it, if you isolate yourself to only one group your skills and technique are limited by that group.  You need to get out and experience new challenges and different situations.

I think the idea configuration is that you should have a primary instructor and two secondary instructors.  They should not be closely associated with each other.  Your primary is the one you attend on a regular basis and test with.  The secondary’s you attend only on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.  I think this will help to reduce the “frog in the well” trouble talked about with Fred Ettish.

Once again the goal is to improve your Jiu-Jitsu and have fun doing it.  Not to mention that you will make new friends and get tapped out in new ways.  I hope this help you accelerate your training and enjoyment of Jiu-Jitsu.

Please share with me your experiences.

Pedro Sauer Purple Belt Test – Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Here is the list of purple belt requirements for Pedro Sauer affiliated schools.

To see what Pedro Sauer provides to help you learn and pass the test. Click Here!

or

Please note I am in the process of documenting the name to page in:

Purple Belt Requirements
Pedro Sauer – Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Purple Belt Requirements
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 Armbar (BJJ T&T pg. 162)
7. Sweep from Seated Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 186)
8. Overhead Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 188 or 238)
9. Leg Pinching Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 190) ???
10. Scissor Sweep Standing from Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 226)
11. Hook Sweep from Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 228)
12. Kick over Sweep (Balloon) (BJJ T&T pg. 188)
13. Sweep from Guard (Spider Guard) (BJJ T&T pg. 240)???
14. Star Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 252)
15. Sweep from Guard (Holding the Knee)
16. Sweep from Guard (Stand in Base-Holding the Belt)
17. Sweep from Guard (Stand in Base-Holding the Collar)
18. Sweep from Guard (Hand on Knee)
19. Half Guard to Half Mount (Leg Straight)
20. Half Guard to Half Mount (Leg Bent)
21. Half Guard to Half Mount (Holding Belt)
22. Sweep to Mount and Choke
23. Shoulder Grab (Bent Arm)
24. Shoulder Grab (Straight Arm)
25. Lapel Grab With Both Hands
26. Defense Against Front Thrust Kick
27. Standing Guillotine Defense
28. Both Hands Grab from Behind
29. Standing Head Lock Defense (Taken to Ground)
30. Two Hands Against Wall Defense
31. Under Arm Collar Choke from Guard
32. Mount to Back
33. Achilles Ankle Lock (Passing Guard)
34. Omo Plata
35. Kimura from Cross Body
36. Choke from Cross Body
37. Cross Body to Knee on the Stomach
38. Escape Knee on Stomach (Going to Knees)
39. Armlock from Knee on Stomach
40. Triangle Choke to Armbar (BJJ T&T pg. 176)
41. Ankle lock When Passing Guard (Stacking)
42. Knee Bar from Guard
43. North South Foot Lock
44. Ankle Lock from Open Guard
45. Knife Stab Defense
46. Overhead Knife Stab Defense
47. Knee Bar from Cross Body
48. Neck Crank from Cross Body
49. Choke from Knee on Stomach
50. Straight Armlock from Cross Body (Both Knees Up)
51. Guard to Back
52. Foot Lock from Back Mount (Feet Crossed)
53. Helicopter Armbar
54. Half Guard to Cross Body
55. Escape from North South (Knees Under Armpits)
56. Pass Half Guard to Mount
57. Head & Arm Choke from Guard
58. Choke from Half Mount
59. Knee Bar from Passing Guard
60. Choke from Guard (Holding your Elbow)
61. Double Armlock
62. Arm Trapped Armlock (Hand on Lapel)
63. Squeeze the Bread (Both Hands)
64. Shoulder Lock from Guard
65. Escape Knee on Stomach by Making Hook
66. Escape Knee on Stomach (Using Knees)
67. Escape Knee on Stomach (Holding Belt)
68. Choke from Knee on Stomach (Crossing Hands)
69. Pass Guard & Defend Recompense
70. Counter to Kimura
71. Helio Gracie Choke from Mount
72. Escape from Mount (Two Hands on Belt)
73. Cross Body to Mount (Foot Between Legs)
74. Cross Body to Mount (Holding Your Foot)
75. Cross Body to Mount (Holding Opponent’s Legs)
76. Defense Against UPA (Locking Legs)
77. Mount by Pushing Opponent’s Legs
78. Lapel Choke (Mount Going to North South)
79. Defense Against Lapel Choke
80. Squeeze the Bread from Mount (Nutcracker)
81. Lapel Choke from Cross Body
82. Counter Elbow Escape
83. North South Escape to Choke
84. North South Escape (Foot in Belt)
85. North South to Back
86. North South Escape to Armlock
87. North South Position Fishing to Half Guard
88. Choke from Guard (Using Gi)

How to Keep a Journal for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, MMA, . . .

Keeping a journal for you BJJ, Judo, MMA, or any martial art is a great way to improve your technique, document your progress,  and understand your art.  I’ll talk a little about each of the 3 and give some hopefully helpful ideas to help you start or improve on your own journal. But first some basics on journal writing.

Your journal can be a note book, a digital text file, a blog, or anything you feel the most comfortable with.  Just make sure it is something that you can keep a copy of or that is durable in some fashion.  Why?  Lets say you just received your black belt.  For years you have compiled your knowledge and history of your labors.  It would be a crying shame to lose it all to a hard drive failure or because you left somewhere and it disappeared.

Figure out a recording style you like.  This for you only, after all, so experiment until you are satisfied.  Don’t get discourage when you don’t feel its not formatted correctly.  Try different formats.  In time you will work out a style or system that is pleasing to your thoughts and eyes.

Now what should I write in my journal?  As you start working on it your journal will be come rich with information.  You will start to have ideas and see how you could record information you would like to keep.  Read over your journal often to help you get the big picture.  Don’t be to critical of previous entries, use them in a constructive manner to create a better style in future entries.  Your skills will not only increase in your martial art but in your journaling.

According to a poll conducted on, The Fight Works Podcast,  52% of the 273 people who responded to the poll said they keep a notebook, diary, or journal for Jiu-Jitsu.

Improving Your Technique

The old saying “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” still rings true.  The mistakes you made at your last tournament or in your last class need to be recorded so you can set goal to correct them.  You don’t want to keep repeating them.

We can also alter the saying to be “Those who forget the technique may never repeat it”.  In other words, if you went to that great seminar by Andre Galvao but didn’t journal about the new things you learned you might as well have never gone.  You won’t remember that sweet submission, escape, or sweep unless you record it in your journal and ponder on it.

Knowing your history helps you direct the future.

Document Your Progress

My Jiu-Jitsu instructor wrote a excellent post that applies to documenting your progress.  I will summarize it for you and you can read the full post later called “The Dip and Jiu-Jitsu”.  What it boils down to is you have to go through a learning curve on anything.  While you are in the “dip” or learning you become depressed or unhappy about your progress.  When you reach the top you have learned and now you feel like you are on top of the world.  By documenting your progress you understand when you’re in the dip, you can also look back on other times when you were in the dip and remember what it was like to get out of it.  This will help give you strength to go on and succeed.

Seeing your success over time drives you onward to new heights.

Understanding Your Art

Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, MMA, or what ever it may be isn’t just a series of moves to be memorized.  I’ve often heard people say “Jiu-Jitsu is life.  Life is Jiu-Jitsu”.  The philosophy of your chosen art can change your outlook on life as it did for a friend of mine.  He explains it in his post “My name is Miles and I am a meat head”.  Write in your journal what impresses you and how you feel it changes you as you assimilate it into your life.  When you go back and read your journal you might be surprised how over time you have evolved.

Internalizing correct concepts creates a greater whole.

When all is said and done the point of a journal or diary is to help you as a person and practitioner of your chosen martial art to grow, progress, and enjoy it along the way.  I know it does.  That is why I created my blog JiuJitsuMap.com and why I keep a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) journal.

Please share with me your success stories.

My Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt Testing Experience

Saturday, July 11th 2009 I passed my blue belt test at Unified Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Pedro Sauer Team.  The test lasted 3 hours in the heat of July.  Shawn Weaver and James Gardner, black belts, conducted the test.  There were 12 of us taking the test that day.  The test consisted of 88 techniques.  We divided up into 2 lines of 6, each with a partner.  Shawn would then ask us to do a technique from the list.  He would demonstrate the starting position of the technique with James.  We would all then begin doing the technique we thought he wanted.  He and James would then walk around observing and in some cases instructing.  He would then stop all of us and demonstrate the technique on James that he expected to have seen.  He would point out the finer points and the street application of the technique.  After the test was finished we paid our testing fee of $50 and waited for the results.  Shawn and James came out with belts and we lined up.  The belts were awarded for those who passed and each was given a congratulatory throw.  All 12 of us passed.  Shawn spoke to the group after the test and said he had been looking at our “movements”.  That is how he decided if we understood enough to pass.

My Tips for a successful test:

  1. Have your testing fee in cash.  Waiting after a long hot test for someone to write a check can be aggravating.
  2. Come and warm up ahead of time.  I came a 1/2 early and was invited to join the class in progress.  I took the time to warm up and get ready for the test.
  3. Try to be towards the front of the class during the test.  You don’t want to keep repeating the technique over and over.  You want them to see you right off and “check you off”.
  4. Know the names of the techniques on the test.  It shows you have studied them.  It is impressive when you are the first and only one to know what you are doing right off while the others mill around unsure.  Even if you do a different variation of what they wanted it still says you are skilled and ready to pass as you show them you can do both.
  5. Don’t show off.  Just do what they ask and ask questions only as needed.  Your knowledge and skill will show forth in your technique.
  6. Relax and let your muscles do what you have trained them for. Don’t think just do what you have been doing.

 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt Test – Pedro Sauer

The time has come at last!  My instructor (Mark) says I’m ready to test for Blue Belt.  I’ll be testing July 11, 2009 at Pedro Sauer’s first school, Unified, in Sandy, Utah.  I am feeling ready!  I’ve notice in the past month how much easier it is to pick up new moves or techniques.  I’ve also started to see how things can flow together or transition into something else.

The test covers 88 different techniques.  I have tried to match up every thing on the list with what is shown in Renzo and Royler Gracie’s book: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Theory and Technique (click to see the book).  Here is what I have so far:

1. Tie The Belt (BJJ T&T pg. 30)

2. Roll Forward (BJJ T&T pg. 32)

4. Bridge (UPA) (BJJ T&T pg. 34)

7. Elbow Escape Movements (3 Options) (BJJ T&T pg. 88)

8. Stand Up in Base (BJJ T&T pg. 152) ???

9. Two-Handed Choke Defense (BJJ T&T pg. 38)

10. Same Side Wrist Grab Escape (BJJ T&T pg. 40)

11. Two-Hand Wrist Grab Escape (BJJ T&T pg. 44)

12. One-Hand Lapel Grab Defense (Straight Arm) (BJJ T&T pg. 112)

17. Front Kick Defense (BJJ T&T pg. 60)

20. T-Position Hip Throw (BJJ T&T pg. 46)

26. Upa with Choke Defense (BJJ T&T pg. 58)

28. Basic Cross Choke  (BJJ T&T pg. 50)

29. Basic Cross Choke from Mount  (BJJ T&T pg. 193)

34. Kimura (From Guard) (BJJ T&T pg. 96)

37. Cross Choke Defense in the Guard (Squeeze the

Bread) (BJJ T&T pg. 56) ???

39. Scissor Sweep to Mount (BJJ T&T pg. 64)

40. Armlock from Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 130)

41. Triangle from Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 124)

42. Guillotine Choke from Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 104)

I will add more as I document them.  For now here is what I have of the 88.  I hope this helps.  I will also blog later about what the test was like.  I’m a little nervous.  It would have been nice to read a post from someone who had taken the test at Unified before hand.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Grappling and Submission

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the street fighters best weapon.  You can see all kinds of fights on Cable, YouTube.com, and other media.  It seems like no matter the skill level of the opponents they always end up on the ground grappling.  I decided to take up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for just that reason.  I have a few years under my belt of Kempo, Ki-Shi-Kan, Wa-Daru, and other various forms of Japanes martial arts.  But none of them compare to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ.  Every time I got in a fight my training failed me because I didn’t have Mixed Martial Art skills or MMA.  But with BJJ things are changing.  I’m going to try and blog my rise to black belt.  Let me start with the books that have really helped me get started.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu series)
Championship Techniques (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu series)
Jiu-Jitsu University

“Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique” teach you the very basics and requirements for belts in the Gracie Academy.  This also applies to those affiliated with Gracie Academ like Pedro Sauer .  “Championship Techniques” teaches you more skills and includes drills you can do by yourself.  “Jiu-Jitsu University” teaches you how to survive as a white belt and then how to progress until black.  I’ve found them all very helpful and my study of them has helped excelerate my training.  Its given me a edge in classes.  In my next post I’ll discuss what every what belt should know about gear and conditioning so you won’t start off on a bad foot like I did.