Posts

How Santa Claus Would Beat You in Jiu Jitsu... (Principle #10: Framing)

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  Recommendation:  Watch " Principle #10: Framing " on GracieUniversity.com (Disclaimer: I am not being paid/sponsored in any way to promote "Gracie University". I have found their " The 32 Principles " videos incredibly helpful and I hope you do too. It's not necessary to watch these videos to benefit from this blog.) Would you roll with Santa Claus? I guess that depends if you want to be on his good list, right? As we get older, and Santa Claus looks more and more familiar in the mirror, this is going to be one of the key principles that keeps you rolling. As an older competitor myself, this principle of Framing has increasing value to me to use it as much as possible in my rolling. What is Framing? Framing is when you use your skeletal structure to hold your opponent in position or simply block them from moving to a different position. It's a great substitute for muscular strength, especially when you are up against a larger and stronger oppone

Who Will You Roll with Next?

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  Six people.   That's how many different people I rolled with today in the span of about 30 minutes. But it was a great experience because everyone has a unique body shape with different ways of moving, levels of strength, and abilities. For training it's important to have a variety of partners, so you can get the most out of your practice and deepen your experience. We know that, but sometimes it's hard to accept that, especially when we have our "favorites" that we like to partner up and roll with. Some partners will be more instructional than others, some more aggressive than others, some more passive than others. But all together, it's a great way to practice what you know and learn from what others know. In the same way, God gives us different trials in life to give us the opportunity to deepen our experience and application of what we know. The important thing is to learn from each experience by asking important questions: Is my ego in the way, or was

My First Stripe...

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At the end of class last week, our Professor called my name with a surprise:  I had earned my first stripe! As a newbie to BJJ and a White Belt, this is very exciting for me! Maybe you're reading this and you're a seasoned Brown Belt, or battle-scarred Black Belt, but for someone like me who is new to the sport of Jiu Jitsu, this feels HUGE . I feel humility and gratitude at the same time... Humility -- because I know this is just a first step in a journey that hopefully will last well into my later years of life.  And Gratitude -- because I'm thankful for this opportunity to be learning Jiu Jitsu, especially when there are so many others who would love to do this if they only had the opportunity. This journey is lot like our faith in Christ.  It's one step at a time, always learning, and always training. We are never "there" -- never a completed "Black Belt" in our faith. We are always growing, practicing, and trying to get better. Sometimes we ge

Principle #9: River (Flow with the Go!)

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  Recommendation:  Watch " Principle #9: River " on GracieUniversity.com (Disclaimer: I am not being paid/sponsored in any way to promote "Gracie University." I have found their " The 32 Principles " videos incredibly beneficial and I hope you do too. It's not necessary to watch these videos to benefit from this blog.) Thoughts :  In my younger years, I was an avid marathon runner. I've run the Boston Marathon twice, but my fastest marathon was in Chicago, where I ran a 2:44 for the race. I had trained vigorously for six months and was primed and ready.  I remember running 10-mile training runs in 60 minutes flat, and long runs of about 20 miles. My body was ready, and it was my best marathon performance ever. But I hurt myself in that race -- I injured my IT band in my right leg. It's a tendon-like stabilizing tissue that runs down the outside of your thigh to your knee area.  I remember a few days after the marathon walking in the store with

Principle #8: Clock (the importance of controlling the TIMING in the fight)

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Recommendation:  Watch " Principle #8: Clock " on GracieUniversity.com   (Disclaimer: I am not being paid/sponsored in any way to promote "Gracie University". I have found their " The 32 Principles " videos incredibly beneficial and I hope you do too. It's not necessary to watch these videos to benefit from this blog.)  Thoughts : When I was in middle school, I remember having the timing of the school bells that rang for each hour down to the second! I could count down, and know when they would ring, and get a jump on getting into the hallway to my locker for my next set of books. Now as an adult, I love good timing, especially when I'm driving. When I'm driving and making all the greens, and cruising along, it's a great feeling. But then my heart sinks when I hit a red light that breaks the momentum I had... In our Jiu Jitsu, it's the same way with what is called the " Clock " principle. The idea is simple: you want to disrup

Principle #7: Velocity (always keep your opponent guessing!)

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  Recommendation:  Watch Video " Principle #7 "Velocity " on GracieUniversity.com (Disclaimer: I am not being paid/sponsored in any way to promote "Gracie University". I have found their "The 32 Principles" videos incredibly beneficial and I hope you do too! But it's not necessary to watch these videos to benefit from this blog.) Thoughts : Whoever controls the distance in a fight, controls the damage. But whoever controls the pace, controls the fight. This is why velocity is so important. You must keep your opponent guessing, not just about your next move, but at the speed in which you may (or may not) get there. What is the best speed in a fight? It's the speed that makes your next move the hardest to predict! This makes it harder to prevent, and harder to control or neutralize. The other day for my training, I was rolling with a fellow white belt, and I was learning a lot from her. I would break her closed guard, but without a quick knee sl

Principle #6: Acceptance (Letting go of X to embrace Y...)

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 Recommendation: Watch " Principle #6: Acceptance " on GracieUniversity.com (Disclaimer: I am not being paid/sponsored in any way to promote "Gracie University". I have found their "The 32 Principles" videos incredibly beneficial and I hope you do too! But it's not necessary to watch these videos to benefit from this blog.) Thoughts : Sometimes in our practice of Jiu Jitsu, you find yourself fighting for a losing position. You had a certain technique in mind, a certain hold or favorite sweep, and now for whatever reason the moment or opportunity is gone. You now have two choices: Either fight for the lost position (and burn unnecessary energy), or practice acceptance of the situation and take a fresh look at things.  At this point, when you accept that you are now in a new situation, your mind is free to think more clearly and naturally for what to do next. But if you are still fixated on the old move that is gone, the present moment is will now be los

"Be First and Be Third!" The Principle of Creation in Jiu Jitsu... (Principle #5: Creation)

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  Recommendation: Watch " Principle #5: Creation " video on GracieUniversity.com (Disclaimer: I am not being paid/sponsored in any way to promote "Gracie University". I have found their "The 32 Principles" videos incredibly beneficial and I hope you do too! But it's not necessary to watch these videos to benefit from this blog) Thoughts : This was one of the most meaningful videos about Jiu Jitsu that I have ever watched. It basically reminds us that we are like artists, the mat is our canvas, and we can create our moves on the fly or as some thoughtful strategy. But either way, as you create your move or execute your technique, your opponent will have a REACTION. And it's important to have an idea of what you anticipate your opponent will do as a reaction to your move .  Then, this is where the hammer drops! When your opponent reacts the way you expected, you are then able to execute the move you are REALLY setting up! The trap is set, your oppone

When Your Opponent Has an Extra Leg...

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Will AI ever take over Jiu Jitsu? I recently asked an AI portal to create a picture of a Jiu Jitsu match, and the above image was generated. At first glance, it looks cool, like she's got the guy right where she wants him and is about to get a submission after taking his back. But when you look closer, count the number of legs she has.  Yep! You're not seeing things -- SHE HAS THREE LEGS!  Sometimes in your Jiu Jitsu, you're going to feel like your opponent has three legs. It seems that whatever you do, you get wrapped and controlled and can't escape. And that's how life can feel for us sometimes. No matter what we do, or how hard we try, we are facing an opponent with extra limbs. Here's what I do... When I feel like tapping out, because I'm being tightly controlled and can't get free, I ask Jesus for help. I know that's a simple idea, but I've found it's something he wants to do -- he wants to help. Check out this story in Matthew 9:27-30

Principle #4: Pyramid

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  Recommendation:  Watch " Principle #4: Pyramid " video on GracieUniversity.com   (Disclaimer: I am not being paid/sponsored in any way to promote "Gracie University". I have found their "The 32 Principles" videos incredibly beneficial and I hope you do too! And it's not necessary to watch these videos to benefit from this blog) Thoughts : Back in 1999, I had the fun adventure of staying in Cairo, Egypt, and from there, visiting the Great Pyramids of Egypt. I actually rode on a camel around the famous pyramids, seeing them up close and in person. It was an experience I'll never forget! What makes a pyramid structure so solid is simple to see: it has a secure base . As long as that base is strong and secure, it's very difficult to take the structure down. That's probably why the pyramids are still standing strong after so many years! (about 4,000-5,000 years old!) In the same way, the video entitled " Principle #4: Pyramid " on Gr