What is Jiu Jitu

June 4, 2015

Man sometimes I sit back and lurk on these internet forums, being the jiu jitsu geek that I am and cannot believe some of the things I  read. People putting each other down and denouncing certain elements of jiu jitsu or other grappling styles. Gets me thinking to myself what is Jiu Jitsu to me.

First and foremost I consider Jiu Jitsu to be an art, a martial art. As an art form it will have many interpretations as what it will mean to one individual it will defer from person to person. Lets start from the most obvious and try and drill down to find a definition of what is jiu jitsu. Martial arts in general have many different emphasis. Maybe true when first created all arts where truly martial in application and the benefits derived from them whether it be physical or psychological we can see were secondary. Today martial arts are looked for health, self defense, sportive, and also have military or a more combative application to them. So depending on your goals the way you practice an art can very depending on which one of the above categories you emphasize in your practice.

We can further drill down and categories jiu jitsu not only as a martial art but as a grappling emphasized  art. Today when we talk abut Brazilian Jiu Jitsu . In general most BJJ schools focus on sport orientated IBJJF Jiu Jitsu and some will incorporate a more MMA style based jiu jitsu. Schools where self defense or even more combative emphasis are few and far between. Between those choices you will have people from so many walks of life, ages, motives for practicing the gentle art. You may be a young gun who is training twice a day training to become a world champion on the same mats with a professional in his 40’s looking to relieve some stress after work and get some exercise. Man the more I think about it the more this question of what is jiu jitsu gets convoluted.

Short long story bro! To me jiu jitsu is just a beautiful art form to express myself. It has taught me and continues to teach me many lessons about life, and myself. It has given me strength mentally and emotionally. Taught me to be patient and resilient. To stay calm and be comfortable being uncomfortable. Jiu Jitsu is my life!

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K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid)

May 13, 2015

Been a blue belt for about a year know. So please whatever I write on this blog do not hold it against me. I know nothing. I am always trying to learn, improve, think and reflect on how I can get better in the most efficient way possible. Often most of my learning, like most of you probably comes after class on the mats. By just talking, going over techniques, reflecting on rolls and situations that just happened in class I have been able to improve my jiu jitsu with the help of others. Whether it is me asking a higher belt or my instruction a question or somebody asking me for my opinion, taking the time out to reflect, question and journal my experiences is one method I have found useful in improving my jiu jitsu. One of the biggest takeaways I have received is to keep things simple. Thus the acronym K.I.S.S.

Keep it simple stupid. Often times it is ourselves who get in the way of our own progression. I know myself starting as a beginner and catching the jiu jitsu bug we cannot stop for wanting to check out everything jiu jitsu. Whether it is the latest magazine, online forums, YouTube clips, the list is enormous we often do ourselves a disservice by not trusting those who have come before us like our instructors and senior classmates. This apparently has not been as clear to me as it is now, but my game did not start to immensely improve until I simplified my game. Not ask to many questions when drilling a techniques just learned in class. For example as an uke and letting a partner drill how to recover guard, ask the instructor, how can I attack from here or stop him from getting guard. Trying to move way to fast before I understand how to execute a technique smoothly. We should all use our precious time wisely, focusing our energies at the task at hand. There usually is a method to the madness and the reason why the instructor is teaching you and asking you to drill how to get your guard back from half guard instead of  focusing on top half guard attack. Personally I find it a lot easier in my daily life when I have less choices and when my game or objective is more defined. Have you ever been to a restaurant and have so many delicious options to choose from that you just freeze up, space out, oat all the options available. The same thing happens in jiu jitsu all the time. Information overload. You are thinking and your opponent is reacting, attacking, always one step ahead, two steps ahead, or maybe even three or four! Best way to speed up your decision making speed is to just limit your options to A or B choices and keep it simple. Just like going to a burger joint where the only option you have is a hamburger or cheese burger. Anyways this rant is long and im getting tired its late. Just remember to keep it simple stupid! Peace love and chicken grease.

Strength and Conditioning for Jiu Jitsu

April 28, 2015

OK….So lately I have been trying to make a commitment to myself and for my jiu jitsu that I will begin some kind of strength and conditioning for jiu jitsu. Just go ahead and type in strength and conditioning on a search engine and the information that you can get is limitless.  Everything from advertisements, articles, workouts, etc etc. Try finding something more specific for jiu jitsu  and boom you will find two camps of thinking. Camp numero uno says will say that strength and conditioning is a must if you want to push your jiu jitsu to the next level and depending on who you ask will have varying workouts. Camp numero dos will say that jiu jitsu is such a  specific sport that you are better served working on your jiu jitsu. You should develop you strength and conditioning by just doing jiu jitsu and pushing your self while training!

Personally  I would say that I fall somewhere in between. I remember whenever I began a strength program I would always be to tired to preform my best during  my jiu jitsu training sessions.  So if I do workout it to lift weights or do some extra conditioning it is only because I cannot make it to jiu jitsu. I never want to miss a  jiu jitsu session for a S&C session.

Here is one of the greatest to ever do it on the mat Marcelo Garcia opinion on S&C.

Peace, Love, and Chicken Grease!

I’m back! Again

April 22, 2015

So  I it has been since December 13th of 2013 since my last blog post so I guess now is just a good of time as any to write up a new blog. So what have I been doing this whole time? Well I am no longer a white belt. I received my blue belt a year ago April 09. Competition wise I have not been that active. A tournament here and there. Something I hope to change this year and hopefully get a chance to compete a little more this year.

Coming into this year I told myself that I would compete more. I always noticed win or lose whenever I signed up for a tournament that I find my game improve immensely. I think is due to the fact of having a goal and holding myself accountable to make it to practice, eat right and rest, and make weight because I paid money the reason for my progress. Funny thing is that its just hard! More than anything I find myself having to psych myself out mentally just to push myself in practice and to make sure that I am feeling uncomfortable in training as well.  Making sure that I make sure that I am rolling with people who can push me, tap me, make me work like hell and force me to get better instead of choosing an easy roll with a newbie. I am not sure if everybody struggles with these same mental battles as I do. Anyways my theme for this year, be comfortable in uncomfortable situations and to train hard fight easy! Until next time! Peace, Love, and Chicken Grease!!bow and arrow

Taking the back!

December 1, 2013

Trying to clean up my jiu jitsu game by going back to the basics. I love learning new techniques and peoples interpretations of the same move. Often for myself when I find myself doing well and finishing, as well as a white belt can do, I often find it is from a basic position and submission. Often times I am finishing using the same basic technique from different positions. Weather it be an armbar, triangle, or bow and arrow choke. So today, this month actually, will be dedicated to controlling and finishing from the back mount. Time to study my Ryan Hall Back Attacks!

 

 

Movement

September 14, 2013

Jiu jitsu is awesome,  nuff said, but why do you suck so bad? Looking back at my career, I am a white belt still and ave been introduced to jiu jitsu years ago but have only got under two years in of training., I have noticed a certain progression an individual new to jiu jitsu goes through. Unless you are super athletic or have been wrestling since you were five years old, you will go through these stages to.

First stage:

you are going to be fresh meet for all the other seasoned white belts and higher belts. At this stage you will be focused on survival. Even though in class you will be learning basics such as armbars and cross collar chokes. Chances are you will be spending your time rolling trying to breath.

Second Stage:

You will be learning how to move. No longer will you feel like a fish out of water but it will still be hard for you to control your opponent in certain positions. Finishing submissions might often be difficult. This is where I am at right now in my training. I just feel like i am slowly coming into my own and understanding some fundamental movements. Recently  I have been focusing on my guard passing. One aspect of guard passing and movement in bjj which has me fascinated is the intricate leg work. Especially of those high level competitors watching them move in and out of half guards, Spinning to the back of their opponents, windshield wiping  etc. Its just an awesome site to see.

here is a little inspiration, sit back relax and watch.

old school

July 28, 2013

4:37 a.m. cannot sleep; maybe just maybe I shouldn’t have had that late night cup of coffee but who cares anyways. I have been up now watching jiu jitsu on you tube and some of my DVD’s all night.  I am starting to believe my father when he said that I am addicted to jiu jitsu. Well, I guess better this than alcohol right. There are worse addictions, believe me I know but I digress. Today’s guard pass of the day we will keep it nice and sweet. Something from the old school style pass brought to you by none other than Kurt Osiander.

Here is a little bit of  Old school style, Check out Ralp Gracie rolling up Budo Jake at the 24 min mark. Beautiful!

Guard Passing 2

July 15, 2013

Guard Passing 2

Continuing on with my last guard passing post I just want to reiterate again that there are so many different guard passes how does one keep from being overwhelmed? Whenever I personally feel like something is too much for me I like to go back to the age old wise acronym I learned in 8th grade while playing basketball. K.I.S.S. keep it simple stupid! To me there really is no good or bad passes. Every pass can be used at a specific time and place and there is a reason for everything good and bad. For example when I do my toreando pass should I grab at the knees or closer near the ankles. When approaching an open pass should I step inside the middle using an A frame to cut through or begin by
reaching for the pant legs or I can initiate a toreanda? Whether you like pressure or speed, passing on your knees or standing up, you should get familiar with a couple of basic passes, mix them up , and find which ones work for you best. Passes I believe everybody should be familiar and I consider fundamental would be:
torreando, knee slide pass, double under pass. Majority of the other passes will be variations of these three main passes often used and combined together, mixed and
matched with all kinds of grip variotions etc.

For myself I am light and lanky and like to use my personal attributes when passing such as the ability to maintain distance due to my long limbs, and my speed. Therefore I use a lot of toreando passing often moving from one side to the other trying to tire my opponent or keep him flat on his back. I often try to use Leandro Lo’s variation of the pass, I feel it is quick and an aggressive style thigh fits my body type. I am still learning the nuances of the pass and my options; being a white belt I still have a lot to learn and more rolling to do. So enough banter lets see the man himself in action!

 

Guard Passing

July 8, 2013

The curious case of Samson Hayilu! How come my blog is all over the place? How come now I am  writing about so many different martial arts? Ok I admit it I am  a martial arts whore, I love it all from the traditional to the contemporary styles, even MMA. Mostly my evolution as a martial artist has lead me to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, my new girl friend!  So I am just going to be using this blog to get stuff on my mind, to think, and try to understand whatever it is I am thinking I am studying. Don’t take my writing as dogma; my thoughts, my ideas are always changing from one day to another. In addition I am just a white belt so I just might be flat out just wrong…it happens but yea. So  here we go.

Lately I have been focusing on my guard passing. Watching a lot of people  at my gym, online, on instructional etc I have came to the conclusion that there is just way to many freaking guard passes. Even looking at the basic various guard passes such as toreando or cut through passes it seems that everybody has their own variation on how to do it. What I have been trying to do is understand why they are doing what they are doing. Why person x has one grip and person why has another for the same pass. The underlying principles of what is happening, what I am trying to accomplish and my opponent trying to defend.

One of the conclusions I have came to is trying to chain certain passes together and maintaining the same grip for those chained passes. I feel that in doing this it allows me to stay one step ahead of the guarder, giving me the allusion that I am actually faster than I really am by knowing his possible reactions and already having a game plane based on his reactions. Here are  a couple of videos that show this in action.

http://www.graciemag.com/2013/07/gui-mendes-breaks-down-a-grip-that-makes-a-knee-slice-long-step-leg-drag-possible/

August 22, 2011

So last month I went into a used bookstore in my town and found a martial arts book to add to my collection. I don’t know what happened to me but for the rest of the month I was stopping at just about every single used bookstores I saw looking for books even going out of my way to find a couple of stores. Here is what I have picked up for my collection.