Self Defense Knoxville Tn, Don’t Neglect This In Your Bjj Training!

Don’t Neglect This In Your Bjj Training!

Here is the situation: a new student visits your academy for training. They reveal that they have no bjj experience, but have come from another athletic background. Bigger, stronger and heavier, they have no bjj technique, but a mountain of ferocity and raw athleticism carried over from football or weight lifting.When the rolling starts they don’t use conventional bjj strategy and can do some very unpredictable things.

You see, an untrained person is playing by different rules. They don’t understand that it is not a wise strategy to try to choke their opponent from inside the opponent’s guard.

read also: The 5 Expressions of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Against an experienced bjj practitioner, trying to choke them inside their closed guard will quickly get someone arm locked. The problem is if the student on the bottom is not prepared for this type of unorthodox attack they can be exposed and tapped by a larger, stronger opponent.

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If you are expecting the opponent to play bjj with you and their only strategy is to squeeze your head until it pops, you might have a hole in your game exposed. As a white belt (don’t ask me how many years ago that was!) was once paired against a large, athletic complete newbie. What I later found out was that he had been an elite level international rugby player and wrestled at the national level.

He could not pass my guard and then over the next 5 minutes, tried to choke, strangle, squeeze, crank and pressure me any way he could to submit me. Not a bjj strategy, but difficult to survive an onslaught by a bigger, powerful opponent!

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With this type of scenario in mind, one must also learn how to defend unorthodox attacks as well as developing ones spider guard and De la Riva sweeps. When you roll with your classmates in the academy, you both are trying to do jiu-jitsu to each other. The raw beginner is not, as he is unaware of what he is supposed to be doing.

I have witnessed students unaccustomed to these non-bjj attacks overwhelmed by the intensity of the opponent and forced to submit. I recently taught a class in Fundamentals about How to defend against a bigger, stronger opponent who is trying to squeeze your head or choke you inside your guard.

When I demonstrated the thrust choke (also known as amassa pao in Portuguese) several students were shocked that they could be choked out by an opponent inside their guard. One must spend time early in their study of bjj learning how to defend against common street attacks and the situation presented in this article.

Don’t neglect this part of your bjj training and get exposed!

read also: “You Are Using Too Much Strength!”

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Self Defense Knoxville TN, Gassing Out? 3 Tips How To Not Get Exhausted During Training

Gassing Out? 3 Tips How To Not Get Exhausted During Training

Gassing Out 3 Tips How To Not Get Exhausted During Training

How often have you heard this statement from a newer student of bjj, exhausted after a roll:
Oh man! I need to get better cardio!” The specific student may or may not be in need of extra running or cycling outside of the academy, but many times the individual gasping out that statement is already a very physically fit individual!

read also:5 Great Methods of Physical Conditioning for BJJ

Why are they getting so tired?

The common factor for most is that they are tensing too much. Arms fully extended, stiff and every muscle in the body rigid and flexed, holding their breath and expending WAY TOO MUCH energy to accomplish little.

One old boxing coach asked rhetorically to a new student who was extremely tense and stiff during a roll Tell me how many sports you can play that stiff and tensed!?” So how does the student who is gassing out badly during a roll help to correct this problem?

Here are 3 suggestions to help you overcome this common problem:

1) Breathe!

While this suggestion seems obvious, many student unconsciously tend to hold their breath while executing movements. Observe new students shrimping during warm ups. Many will hold their breath down the entire length of the mat. I emphasize that the students exhale deliberately while performing fundamental movements like shrimps and bridges to teach the body to use their breath in concert with their body movements.

Anyone who has seen the documentary Chokewith Rickson Gracie remember the scenes of him demonstrating diaphragmatic breathing in a yoga pose. Breath control is used to relax the entire body and mind in stressful situations. The ADCC Champion Kron Gracie stated in an interview that correct breathing was one of the very most important aspects of his bjj.

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2) Spend Time in Bad Positions

When you are stuck in a bad position on the bottom, your energy can rapidly drop. Any time you are in an unfamiliar position, you tense and burn energy at an accelerated rate. The MMA fighter Frank Shamrock said that one of the keys to his legendary endurance was that he spent time in training fighting from bad positions. He was able to relax when most others were freaking out trying to escape because he had been there a million times before in training.

Comfortable in these bad positions, knew where the submission threats would be coming from and not have to defend EVERY imaginary threat. He could relax the muscles that he didn’t need, breath and plan his escape at the correct time.

We see otherwise skilled bjj fighters quickly become fatigued at bjj tournaments in the standup portion of the match. They have not spent nearly as much time training their standup and therefore are not as comfortable. If they spent more time standing in their training, they would not feel as far out of their element and be able to relax more.

3) Use leverage and posture instead of pushing or pulling

Grandmaster Helio Gracie developed ways of performing the techniques of jiu-jitsu in such a way as to employ more leverage and body positioning and less muscular strength. You need to examine your own positions and ask yourself if you are using far more muscles than you need to. Your black belt professor can likely observe your escape or sweep and provide some advice on how to use more efficient leverage to do the same move.

A great example is using frames on the bottom of side control to prevent your opponent from applying their bodyweight to you. Using frames means constructing structures using your arm bones to support the opponent’s bodyweight. The alternative is to use triceps and shoulder strength to attempt to muscle off your opponent. Some students are strong enough to bench press their opponents off of them,..once or twice. But this rapidly empties the gas tank! And an exhausted opponent is much easier to submit than a fresh one.

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read also: Position Before Submission

I had a first year student tell me after class that he had just rolled for 20 minutes without fatiguing! He explained that he was learning to relax in some bottom positions, breathe and try his escapes when the timing was correct. My response? Now THAT is jiu-jitsu!

If you are getting exhausted during rolling, you may not need more time on the exercise bike. More likely the answer is somewhere in these 3 tips.

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Self Defense Knoxville TN, Self defence vs. sports bjj : How Important is Self Defence Training in BJJ?

Self defence vs. sports bjj : How Important is Self Defence Training in BJJ?

How Important is Self  Defence Training in BJJ

Visit any bjj internet forum and there most certainly will be a debate on learning jiu-jitsu for the street / self defence vs. learning pure sports jiu-jitsu. Grandmaster Helio Gracie himself believed that the most important part of learning jiu-jitsu was for a smaller, weaker opponent to be able to defend themselves against a larger attacker.

Also read: The 5 Expressions of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

And if you ask the average new student to bjj why they decided to start learning jiu-jitsu, hitting berimbolos in bjj tournaments is not high on the list. The most common answer is that they wanted to learn some personal self defence.

Old school professors stress the street application of jiu-jitsu more so than many of the modern sports bjj centred schools. It IS important to retain the REAL fighting aspects of bjj, lest it devolve into a game with little relation to the jiu-jitsu developed by the Gracie family.

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But a black belt instructor asked me the question Just how important is it for the average bjj student to emphasize self defence in their training?

The black belt stated his opinion that he felt if you could get good enough at bjj to control and submit and larger, heavier training partner (with bjj experience!), then it would be relatively easy to overcome an untrained attacker in a street fracas.

Respected Renzo Gracie Academy black belt John Danaher stated flatly in an interview that we vastly over estimate the fighting ability of the average person and that it was ridiculously easy to control and defeat an untrained person.

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If you are an educated, civilized individual, stay out of the trouble areas of your city (and avoid night clubs where intoxicated confrontations are most likely to happen) that you can likely pass through most of your adult life without ever having to having to use your bjj training in a street fight.

One may also derive confidence from the knowledge that the live nature of bjj rolling, against a fully resisting, unpredictable opponent is the best training to prepare oneself for a possible street encounter.

By training sport, in addition to learning specific techniques, you are developing athletic attributes: strength, balance, agility, speed and thinking in stressful situations (like a training partner trying their best to strangle you!). You ARE developing excellent tools to defend yourself.

The older generation bjj professors would likely recommend that you emphasize the basic fighting positions such as mount and rear mount, escaping from the bottom (and don’t forget takedowns!) as a way of keeping it real with your jiu-jitsu.

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Unless you are a serious tournament medal chaser, the majority of your jiu-jitsu training will be focused on rolling with and trying to submit your weekly training partners. We all have friendly rivalries in the academy and it adds to the fun of our training.
Therefore, it is ok to spend time training and using those sports bjj techniques that you would use in the academy but are not suitable for a street self defence scenario.

Just don’t forget the self defence roots of brazilian jiu-jitsu and keep those real fighting skills sharp!

read also: “You Are Using Too Much Strength!”

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Self Defense Knoxville TN, Experiment! Your Own Jiu-jitsu Laboratory

Experiment! Your Own Jiu-jitsu Laboratory

Experiment! Your Own Jiu-jitsu Laboratory

The instructor has a large role in the student’s progression of bjj, especially in that first year of training. As the student gains experience, they should take on a larger and larger role in their own development.

Read also:Your Role in learning to Roll – The Bjj student’s responsibility in self learning

Between exchanging ideas with other advanced students and what they learn in class, they develop a solid understanding of the basic techniques. Now, from the starting point of sound basics, the students should look to experiment with their jiu-jitsu.

I am fond of saying that blue belt is the belt of experimentation. This is a point where the student has enough grasp of the basics, enough mat fitness and positional knowledge to be able to roll effectively.

What do we mean by experimenting?

1) Nowhere is this more true than in the variety of guard styles!

Once you have an understanding of closed guard and at least one or two variations of open guard, you can explore the other guard styles. Consider how many guard styles there are in modern bjj with the kimono:
Butterfly;
De la Riva (and reverse!);
X-guard;
Spider guard;
Sitting guard;
Closed old school;
Lapel guards;
Z-guard / 93 guard;
Rubber guard;
Cross guard;
and it goes on and on

Dive in an pick a new style of guard and try to start from that position in your rolling. Observe how your opponent tries to pass; what mistakes are they likely to make? What openings for sweeps or submissions will present themselves?

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2) Variations of your favorite positions

For every basic bread and butter position there are multiple variations. One of my earliest training partners was so crazy to learn every variation of his favorite positions that our head instructor laughingly started referring to him as The Mad Scientist of Jiu-jitsu”! He was always on the lookout for new variations on old themes that he could find to catch his opponents by surprise.

You can scour many sources for new ideas on your existing favorite positions and some black belt channel on YoutTube will have what you are seeking.

This is especially applicable when we consider individual differences in body type, height, leg length, etc. Many variations have come about in response to different body types. Helio Gracie was famously known to have adapted techniques to work more efficiently to work with his smaller frame.

In fact, whenever a group of senior belts is clustered on a corner of the mat, all you need to do is go over and demonstrate your basic position and the others will get excited and offer have you seen this way of doing the same technique?

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3) Tweak it until it breaks!

One of the ways that you can learn the underlying principles of WHY your favorite techniques are so effective is to deconstruct the technique.
Example: If your guard scissors sweep works well with a sleeve grip near the wrist, what happens when you try an elbow grip? If you grip still higher near the shoulder?

You will undoubtedly find your technique is more effective with a certain grip and requires less energy to execute. At some point when experimenting with the grip changes, the technique will break. That is to say your experiment will fail. You have discovered why the technique needs specific elements in order to work properly. If those essential elements are not present, then you can now diagnose why your technique is not working in rolling.

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How do you experiment in your own bjj game?

Read also: Developing Your “A” Game – Tips on Finding Your Strongest Positions

Credits: Mark Mullen

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Self Defense Knoxville Tn, The Secret To Getting Better At BJJ

The Secret To Getting Better At BJJ

After rolling in the academy last night a student (with more than a year of experience) asked me how I felt he could get better at bjj at his level (3 stripes white belt). I told him that there was a secret to getting better at bjj and he could write this down if he wanted.

His interest immediately spiked and he moved in closer to hear the secret revealed. I said in a quiet voice so that only he could hear what I had to say. Do you want to improve your bjj skills? Here are the secrets.

1) Train at least 2-4 times per week

You must put in the mat time above all else. I don’t care if Grandmaster Helio Gracie is your professor, if you are not on the mat with him several times a week, you can not develop your skills.
Acquiring a complex skill like brazilian jiu-jitsu requires multiple sessions within a specified period of time or the knowledge and movement patterns fade from your memory and are never consolidated in your muscle memory.
Sure you can watch video to study technique or do your running or kettle bells, but you can’t learn to swim if you don’t get into the water can you?
There is no substitute for getting on the mat and sweating your gi!

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2) Develop your physical conditioning

Regularly attending bjj class will dramatically improve the general fitness of many people. But if the question is how can I improve the fastest possible? then you are going to have to make the extra effort to be as fit as you can.

Yes, strength is not the most important factor in growing your jiu-jitsu skills, but show me a flabby and soft elite level competitor?

When you are fatigued, it is difficult to execute your coordinated motor movements precisely and retain your technique
The reality is that you DO need to have cardio vascular endurance, muscular endurance and strength to perform at your best.

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read also: 5 Great Methods of Physical Conditioning for BJJ

3) Focus on the techniques and positions that your instructor shows in class

A black belt has been training a LONG time in most cases and knows the road of the journey of bjj very well.
I tell the students that I don’t teach fluff techniques: those that look cool or flashy but don’t really work against skilled opponents.
The basic techniques WORK!
The techniques that your instructor shows in class are very likely the ones he sees as appropriate for your level of experience.

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4) Have proper attitude towards rolling

Roll with the mind set to try your techniques and seek to employ a technical solution in each position.
The alternative view is to roll with a competitive mind set to WIN each roll. To merely survive (hold your arms in as tightly as possible!) against a more experienced opponent or dominate using only your A Game against lower belts.

In an interview with a top MMA coach he defined the purpose of training was to DEVELOP and LEARN your techniques. To save the need to dominate every roll for the competition.
This frees your jiu-jitsu and opens you to experimenting and learning.

What?!?
These are NOT secrets!!! you say.

Correct.
The truth is there are NO secrets to getting better at jiu-jitsu.

Train regular, be in shape, be coachable and have a learning attitude is how you get better.

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Self Defense Knoxville TN, Fake It Til You Make It

Fake It Til You Make It

Fake It Til You Make It

This is one of those catchy sayings from the world of sales that came to mind when I thought about this article. For our purposes, it is not about assuming the exterior appearance of financial success but instead using fakes when attacking in bjj.

This is a piece of advice that I often give when a student has started finding it increasingly difficult to catch submissions in training especially when the rest of the training partners are now wise to their favorite attacks!

Direct, straight forward attacks are difficult to catch on opponents when they can identify the technique you are doing and know the defence. It is time to use deception, subterfuge!

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read also: Got “Jiu”? What is the “Jiu” in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

While on a training trip to Rio de Janeiro I took several privates with some highly ranked black belts.You might ask what techniques one black belt would look to learn from another black belt?

You might be thinking some advanced variations that involve multiple passing of the lapel and intricate maneuvers. Can you show me the inverted reverse spinning berimbolo into gogoplata?!Not so!

I concentrated on basic techniques and positions: The closed guard, cross choke arm lock from closed guard, knee on belly. All positions that you might encounter in a Fundamentals class at Gracie Barra.

While the positions / moves themselves were recognized by any new white belt student, the application of those same techniques was performed with advanced details that exponentially increased their effectiveness.

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The most important tip?
Use fakes!

Begin every sweep attempt with a fake in the opposite direction of where you actually want to sweep. When the opponent shifts their balance and weight defensively, it will help you sweep in your true direction.
Want to choke your opponent? Fake a sweep and they will post their hand to retain balance. With the hand posted, they can not defend the collar and your choking hand can be inserted deep for the choke.

The applications of the simple principle of the fake (also referred to as a concept) are innumerable.

In your own rolling start to look how you can employ this principle in your favourite attacks.
Use a fake to deceive your opponent and slow their reaction time and defence to the attack that you really want to catch them with.

TIP: The next time you are attempting to pass the guard, first fake a guard pass to the right.
When your opponent switches their hips and sets their defence to that side, suddenly switch your pass to the opposite catching them by surprise.

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Self Defense Knoxville Tn, 3 Suggestions to Help You Break a Slump

3 Suggestions to Help You Break a Slump

3 Suggestions to Help You Break a Slump

Anyone who has trained bjj for a length of time has encountered the dreaded training slump. Even though you may be attending class regularly, your progress has ground to a halt. And even worse, you may feel that you are getting worse and your training partners are overtaking you on the mats!

You ask yourself What is happening and what can be done?!?

First of all, realize that training slumps happen to everyone. Even world champions and the elite of the sport endure periods of what feels like stagnation in their training. Our improvement in bjj does not follow a smooth, uninterrupted upwards progression.

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Here are 3 ideas to help you crack that slump.

Read also: 5 Extra Things That You Can Do to Help Your BJJ

1) Take a brief break

In a previous article on overtraining Overtrained? 5 Signs That You Are Overdoing It in Training, we discussed how a failure to recover from intense training sessions can cause several physical problems. In chronic cases, a short layoff may be required to allow the body and mind to regenerate.

Most other sports have an off season. This allows the athletes a break from the constant strain of training and competition. In bjj, we have no such off season and thus students will tend to be training continuously year round.

It is up to the student to recognize the signs when they need a a break to recharge both mental and physical resources. The term active rest refers to the idea that even though you are not at the academy, you are still engaged in physical activity which will allow you to maintain your conditioning during your break from jiu-jitsu training.

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Don’t worry, you won’t forget all of your bjj during a brief break, but you will recharge those batteries.

2) Try softer

In our enthusiasm to be our best, we can become overly intense in our mindset and view even individual training sessions and rolls like the finals of the Worlds! Sports psychologists use a term levels of arousal that describes the optimal level of being psyched up for any given athletic activity.
An archer, for example, needs a calm mind and steady hand for best accuracy.

At the opposite end of the spectrum the power lifter needs a level closer to blind rage to deadlift 500lbs. off the floor. Bjj is somewhere in between and being too tense is a common problem for students.

Ask yourself if you are getting too mentally tight and wound up for your training sessions? If you are listening to death metal at an ear-splitting volume for two hours before training to psych yourself up, you might be guilty of trying a little too hard!

Are you subjecting yourself to so much internal pressure that it is causing you to tighten up mentally and prevent your jiu-jitsu from flowing?

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3) Are you consistent?

In seeming contradiction to point #1, you have to be honest with yourself if you are really being consistent with your class attendance and attention to the other important factors like your nutrition and physical conditioning.

Success in any difficult endeavor doesn’t happen overnight and in reality is the cumulative result of sustained, consistent effort over a longer period of time.

If you have been spending more evenings playing video games than getting on the mat at the academy, should you be surprised that your skills are not improving?

If you are approaching your training in a haphazard fashion, not applying your mind to what you are doing on the mat, you are likely not getting all of the benefit from your time on the mat.

Ask your professor what the secret is to improving and they will likely respond with something along the lines of Just attend class consistently!

Read also:6 Steps to Fix a Hole in Your Game

What are your slump-busting tips?

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Self Defense Knoxville TN, The Emotional Roller Coaster of Jiu-jitsu Competition

I spent four days watching the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in the world compete at the IBJJF World Championships. Each fighter has his or her own story to tell. They come from all over the world with the zealous belief that they can become World Champion. It’s a daunting task when you think out of the thousands that travel to Long Beach, CA to fight; only one world champion will emerge in each division. Yet statistics have never stopped those with the desire from trying. I believe it takes a special type of person to compete at this level. So many people who are extremely talented, confident, and hungry still fall short of their goal. Others will rise higher than anyone ever expected them too.

Emotional are High

There are so many emotions and around the mat. As fighters check in you already see nerves building up. After they weigh in, the waiting starts. Many warm up; do their best to relax their nerves by listening to music, closing their eyes, or making conversation with other competitors.

Ana Laura Cordeiro

Ana Laura Cordeiro

The fight itself is the shortest part of the competition process. You will spend weeks training, hours waiting, and will not actually be fighting for more than 10 min at any given round.

With every win there is celebration, but there are more losses than victories at every jiu-jitsu competition. Loosing is part of any sport. It can be an emotional experience. Fortunately fighters never fight alone. They have the support of their coaches, family, friends, and teammates. As they will be there for you, always be there for them.

Braulio Estima and Bradley Hill

Braulio Estima and Bradley Hill

When victorious, competitors will be equally as emotional. I’ve seen competitors jump for joy, yell at the top of their lungs, and even break down in tears after a win. It’s everything they’ve been striving for, and sometimes the feeling of arriving at your destination is overwhelming.

Fabiana Borges

Fabiana Borges

For your team, it can be equally as overwhelming. As they watch your fight, they go through the same highs and lows. They cheer when you get those points, and become worried when you get stuck in a submission.

Equipe GB

Equipe GB

Jiu-jitsu competition can be an emotional rollercoaster. Strap yourself in and enjoy the ride!

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Self Defense Knoxville TN, A Look Through my Lens: IBJJF Worlds 2015

Last month the IBJJF World Championships were held at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach. Gracie Barra competitors from all over the world represented the red shield. I am proud to be part of such a diverse team of very talented individuals. The days were long and the competition fierce. Here are some of the photographs from last month.

I just have eaten four bowls of Açai, and heard “BOA!!!” a couple thousand times behind me. The event is a fun to watch and is an emotional roller coaster for those competing. At every competition I get to experience both the joys of victory and the agony of defeat. It’s a physically and emotionally taxing experience for all those involved.

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Day 1 – Thursday, May 28th 2015

The first day of the IBJJF worlds has the white and blue belt divisions. These ranks are always fun to watch because of the wilder style of jiu-jitsu many white and blue belts have. These competitors may have been training for several years but are still in search of that definitive style that begins to define their jiu-jitsu.

Anthony Agazarm

Anthony Agazarm

Joshua Valles

Joshua Valles

Orlando Sanchez – Gracie Barra Pasadena - The picture explains itself better than I ever can in words…

Orlando Sanchez – Gracie Barra Pasadena – The picture explains itself better than I ever can in words…

Carlos “CJ” Souza with Professors Zé Radiola and Marcio Feitosa (left to right)

Carlos “CJ” Souza with Professors Zé Radiola and Marcio Feitosa (left to right)

Day 2 – Friday – May 29th 2015

As a purple belt myself, I fully enjoy watching these matches. The level of technique is a step up from the previous day. Competitors often display a refined level of control and precision while still making small mistakes. It becomes an interesting battle of who can capitalize on those errors first.

Oliver Lovell – Gracie Barra Nottingham

Oliver Lovell – Gracie Barra Nottingham

Chad Shaule – Gracie Barra Vancouver

Chad Shaule – Gracie Barra Vancouver

Coach Jamie Dietz-Vélez – Gracie Barra Diamond Bar

Coach Jamie Dietz-Vélez – Gracie Barra Diamond Bar

Kelly Nakagawa-Oliveira from Gracie Barra Chino embraces her opponent after a grueling match

Kelly Nakagawa-Oliveira from Gracie Barra Chino embraces her opponent after a grueling match

Day 3 – Saturday

Many of the best jiu-jitsu competitors on Earth step foot on the mat Saturday. These brown and black belts are top-level athletes who often train full time to satisfy an illustrious hunger for gold. It’s easy to sense how much is on the line for many competitors with the level of competition being so high.

Edwin Najmi wins his division as a brown belt.

Edwin Najmi wins his division as a brown belt.

The match was tied but all judges awarded Najmi the victor. After receiving his gold medal, Professor Romulo Barral awarded Edwin his much-earned Black Belt.

Head instructor of Gracie Barra Irvine, Philipe Della Monica defeated Megaton Dias in the featherweight division

Head instructor of Gracie Barra Irvine, Philipe Della Monica defeated Megaton Dias in the featherweight division

Fabiana Borges from Gracie Barra San Antonio submitted Angelica Galvao by armbar and eventually went on to take home silver in her division.

Fabiana Borges from Gracie Barra San Antonio submitted Angelica Galvao by armbar and eventually went on to take home silver in her division.

Day 4 – Sunday – Finals

The arena is converted to only 2 mats. Like the ancient coliseum of Rome, all eyes become focused on two competitors, fighting for the chance to claim the title of World Champion.

Victor Estima from Gracie Barra Nottingham had a series of wins including one by his signature Estima lock.

Victor Estima from Gracie Barra Nottingham had a series of wins including one by his signature Estima lock.

Otavio Sousa – Gracie Barra Huntington Beach reminded his opponents why they call him the “Steamroller.”

Otavio Sousa – Gracie Barra Huntington Beach reminded his opponents why they call him the “Steamroller.”

Ana Laura Cordeiro – Gracie Barra Upland took home another gold medal to earn her third world championship!

Ana Laura Cordeiro – Gracie Barra Upland took home another gold medal to earn her third world championship!

Gracie Barra took home two team awards placing first in both the novice and juvenile divisions. Accepting the awards were Professors Zé Radiola and Braulio Estima

Gracie Barra took home two team awards placing first in both the novice and juvenile divisions. Accepting the awards were Professors Zé Radiola and Braulio Estima

Gracie Barra Nottingham and Birmingham - Top row (Laura Barker, Bradley Hill, Sean Coates, Xabi Eguskiza Prado, and Jamie Paxman). Bottom row (Oliver Lovell, Vanessa English, Gret Zoeller, Victor Estima, and Leoni Munslow).

Gracie Barra Nottingham and Birmingham – Top row (Laura Barker, Bradley Hill, Sean Coates, Xabi Eguskiza Prado, and Jamie Paxman). Bottom row (Oliver Lovell, Vanessa English, Gret Zoeller, Victor Estima, and Leoni Munslow).

These events are always a memorable for me. Many athletes competing at this event will cherish the days as once in a lifetime experience. Experiences they will remember the rest of their lives. It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of that.

Till next time Gracie Barra!

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Self Defense Knoxville TN, Drilling. How To Do It Right

Drilling. How To Do It Right

Drilling. How To Do It Right

Want to drill?
The students will move to the edge of the mat during rolling, to drill their techniques.

It quickly devolves from executing repetitions of an arm lock to rambling discussions of moves they say on YouTube that went something like this.

While there is benefit to students deconstructing techniques to learn the how and why it works, that isn’t the real purpose of drilling.

I recently read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography titled Total Recall. In the book, Arnold relates his secret to success in all things: Sets and reps.

Arnold was not only talking about bench presses! He was referring to his learning of English as a new immigrant, his acting exercises and even speech-giving as a politician.

So how does this apply to bjj drilling?

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You need more than one method of training to improve your bjj. Not only free rolling although that is beyond debate in its importance.

Especially at the earlier stages of bjj, you need to perform repetitions with a partner to burn those grooves into your mind and body on how to execute the mechanics of your techniques.

After each set of repetitions, your body moves a little more easily into the position.

You stop tensing muscles that stiffen your body and the movement is more fluid.

You learn (both consciously and unconsciously) where to apply your bodyweight in order to move more efficiently.

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This is not accomplished by performing ten reps on either side and wiping your hands and announcing Ok, got it!

Behind every black belt with a razor sharp arm lock from the guard or lightning fast double leg takedowns are thousands of repetitions.

Want to get the most out of your drilling? (Especially in the earliest stages of learning a new technique!)

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Resolve to perform 100 reps of your technique with a partner. You may in turn, offer to dummy for him so he can perform reps of his own technique.

Sets of 10 to 20 reps before switching.

It may not be as fun as rolling, but if you want to get a new technique into your body and muscle memory as fast as possible it must be sets and reps!

read also: Top 4 Things In Your First Year of Training

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