Archive for May, 2012

Why to start BJJ today in Western Mass

Why does someone who has never done martial arts just decide one day that they are going to sign up for classes? How do they decide what style to take? This is the topic I would l would like to cover today. I think there are many motivators that would make person start martial arts. Perhaps they are out of shape and want some thing fun to learn and lose weight at the same time. Maybe they were not allowed by their parents as a child and now that they are an adult they have no excuse to get started. I big reason I see these days is that people watch the UFC on TV and want to become a professional fighter. What ever reason you may have, I recommend to just get started!!

All martial arts have there benefits, just some have more that others. I am a big advocate for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu(BJJ). It is a big part of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) these days and BJJ is growing in popularity at increasingly high rate just as the popularity of MMA is increasing as well. Be warned BJJ is extremely tough to master. To earn a black belt in most martial arts style can be done in 2-4 years, to earn a black belt in BJJ can take as long as 10-12 years. That is why having a black in BJJ in so desirable. You are not getting any younger. Start training today!!!!

if you want to start you Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training click here


Why Competing BJJ Makes You Better, Springfield Mass

Today’s feature is going to lean on Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) competition, but it can be applied in a much broader term. Here are some benefits to competing, I recommend do it as much as you can.

Learn How to Keep Your Cool in an Unfavorable Situation

This could be one the largest benefactors in one’s own self growth.  This can be obtained while training your school, but competition will be the proving ground of this skill.

You can’t allow your environment impact your state of mind. You have trained as hard you can, remember to remain calm and remember what you have learned.

Everyone wants to win, but sometimes your match can take a turn to worst. Remain focuses, and you may prove yourself in the long run

You Will Learn Your Weaknesses

Win or lose, you can not control how things play out sometimes. You will come across opponents that have trained differently than you and that have different skills.

Use this to benefit your training going forward. Focus more on what you are not good at. Train the things that are hard for you. That means you will get better.

Put Time Into Yourself

You get what you put in. This is true for all aspects of life. You can not expect to be better than the guy that put in an extra mile than you, because he is already that far ahead. You must invest in order to progress.

To start your BJJ training CLICK HERE if your are from Western Mass

Essential Reading for Jiu Jitsu in Western Mass

For this article I thought I would take a few minutes to recommend a few good books for Jiu Jitsu students to read. If you take the time to study these books I really feel that it will help you learn and grow as a Jiu Jitsu student and Martial Artist. The following books have all been selected for various reasons and have something to offer for everyone.

1. “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle

This is a fascinating book on the study of genius and talent in all areas of life. The application of this to your Jiu Jitsu training, competition career or development into a great martial artist will become immediately apparent! It is such a great book that I often buy it as a gift and always recommend it to everyone regardless of their skill set, knowledge or position in life. It will change your perception and understanding of what it takes to be great in your field and really can change your life!

2. “Advanced Jiu Jitsu” by Marcelo Garcia

Does anything really need to be said about this? Marcelo Garcia is one of the greatest Jiu Jitsu competitors of all time and this book offers you an insight into some of the techniques and strategies that make him stand a head and shoulders above the competition.Very detailed and insightful, you will learn a lot about what makes Marcelo tick why and how he does what he does. A great book that you simply must have in your Jiu Jitsu library!

3. “The Art Of Learning” by Josh Waitzkin

An entertaining read into the mind of a chess prodigy who went on to study Kung Fu and even become one of Marcelo Garcia’s first black belts! Although the book makes no mention of Jiu Jitsu it is a thoroughly enjoyable read and offers great insight into the ability to learn, question, solve problems and overcome obstacles.

4. “Submit Everyone” by Dave Camarillo

Finally a book on strategy and the application of tactics in Jiu Jitsu! “Submit Everyone” is a brilliant guide in hunting for the submission. Dave treats the mat as a battleground and teaches you how to wage war on your opponent and emerge the victor! The material taught in this book is not available anywhere else for Jiu Jitsu students. A sensational book, one of a kind and hopefully the first in a series to come!

So there you have it, four of my top recommendations as essential reading for all Jiu jitsu students and anyone interested in the grappling arts! I highly recommend you make these books a part of your own personal library, you will not regret it! :-)

Western Mass BJJ asks you to visit to start training in Springfield Mass area

3 Effective Ways to Use Cold Therapy to Increase Recovery – Western Mass BJJ

In the quest for more performance humans will try just about anything. In the days of the early Olympics athletes consumed bulls testicles in the belief it gave them strength. Early marathon runners drank a mixture of brandy, arsenic, and cocaine to dull the painful effects of the run. And if you really want a glimpse into the darkness professional sports can reach, read Breaking the Chain by Willy Voet, which describes in gory detail the cocktails of drugs used in professional cycling in their efforts to win and cheat the system.

But what if you don’t want to travel down that path? Is there a way to get more out of your body than you currently are?

Training is really quite a simple process. We stress the body, and then allow it to recover from the stress to achieve a new level of performance. You can increase stress by increasing volume and/or intensity. But what if you’re an athlete who is nearly at your limit of sessions per week that can be performed, or you are seeking to increase volume in the short term to peak for an event? You might be a CrossFit Games competitor or a triathlete trying to fit in crazy volume and intensity, but you need help recovering faster to get to that next level of performance.

That means it’s time to get chilly.

You know how if you get injured there’s the RICE recommendation? Rest, ice, compression, and elevation? Well, the ice helps to reduce inflammation, which allows treatment and healing to begin sooner.

And you know that stress I spoke of, that we are deliberately placing on the body? The muscle soreness we get from training is just another type of injury, often called micro-trauma, which results in muscle swelling and inflammation. If you can reduce inflammation, then you reduce post exercise muscle soreness – meaning you can train again sooner!

So cold therapy can be a great tool to allow us to get back into training sooner and here’s three ways to make it work:

1.Cold water immersion – This is exactly what it says and it’s what is being done by athletes when you see them in ice baths and the like. I’ll be honest, this is not much fun, but research shows cold water immersion for fifteen minutes post exercise can lead to maintenance of work output in subsequent efforts.

2.Contrast therapy – The muscle flushing effects of alternating periods of hot and cold have been well documented for some time. Alternating hot and cold for one to two minutes at a time for periods of up to fifteen minutes has been shown to reduce swelling and lead to faster restoration of speed and power post training.

3.Recovery swimming – This may not be practical for many, but is certainly something our train-a-holic triathletes could take part in. If you finish your dry land sessions – run, ride, or gym, it won’t matter – with a recovery swim in a cold pool you will be able to achieve many things at once.Firstly, you’ll achieve all the things that cold water therapy is good for – reduced soreness and inflammation and increased ability to maintain training intensity in the following sessions. Perhaps even more importantly you’ll also add valuable swim time, allowing you to master the technique faster (and swimming is largely technique based, far more than riding and running). It is important not to swim so that you “see rainbows at the end of the pool”, to quote Soviet coaches, but merely enough to work some of the lactic acid out, allow the body to be in the colder environment for a period. (And don’t forget that some aerobic work has been seen to be beneficial in reducing recovery time.)

Western Mass BJJ asks you to visit to start training in Springfield Mass area

BJJ Tips: IBJJF competition rules & illegal submissions: Springfield MA BJJ

 When competing in BJJ it is vital to understand the rules of the event. As more and more events are adapting the IBJJF rules and since two of my friends and team mates are competing at the upcoming British Open this weekend, I thought I’d look at what’s allowed for white, blue, purple, brown and black belts submission wise.

If you scroll down the IBJJF rules document to the page were penalties are outlined, you get a breakdown of what is allowed for which BJJ belt. See the screenshot below*

But that doesn’t really look very simple and straight forward, at least not to a slow fella like me so I decided to flip it around (chart screenshot below):

I simply moved the lines around so the progression of submissions allowed flows better (the green ones are allowed for all competitors from age 16 and above and so on)**

Chokes, armbars, shoulder locks and straight footlocks (which I seem to have put in twich!) should form the meat of everyone’s training.

The next step is to tailor your BJJ competition prep training*** around what’s allowed vs not allowed in your belt category****. It makes little sense to spend the last 3 weeks before a competition getting really good at finishing knee-bars if they are not even allowed at your belt level.

*I doubt there are any illegal straight armbars which is probably why they don’t feature
**And added armbars, and omitted kids rules as we don’t have any at the Labs – Fighting Fit Manchester.
***Obviously when/if you are NOT preparing for an event feel free to diversify your training. Follow your bliss.
****A similar argument can be made for training within the margins of your competition weight category (± 5-10kg). More on that in a post coming really soon.

Breaking News: Dana White Isn’t The Biggest Fan Of Jiu Jitsu – Springfield MA

Shocker:  Dana White Isn't The Biggest Fan Of Jiu Jitsu

I know this may shock some of you, but Dana White doesn’t seem to care what’s going on in the jiu jitsu world. A few of Dana’s followers tracked Dana down on Twitter to ask him about Diaz no-showing at the World Jiu Jitsu Expo over the weekend. Dana not only gave his thoughts on that situation, but also let everyone know that jiu jitsu isn’t fighting. And as for Braulio Estima? Turns out he’s not quite on Dana’s radar.

A fan stated that Diaz shouldn’t be at the expo at all because he’s on suspension. Dana responded with the following tweet:

@Huck_The_Doctor exactly!!! Nick is on suspension right now. He can’t fight at all. BJJ is FAR from fighting.

Color us disappointed. So if a guy finishes in the octagaon via submission, it’s a fight? But if he doesn’t throw punches first it’s not a fight? What if it’s in the UFC and the submission comes before any punches were thrown? Is it still a fight? I guess not.

When asked if Dana had any thoughts on Diaz vs Estima, he sent out the following tweet:

@JackHammerMMA I have never heard of the guy he was supposed to grapple. Lol, guess I am WAY out of the f#$#^ loop

Sorry Braulio. If it’s any consolation, we know who you are. Sure, we may not have millions of dollars to throw at you in contract money, but you have our respect. And what’s worth more than that?

if you want to train BJJ in Western Mass –click here

Is Jiu Jitsu Changing? Springfield MA


What if I told you the answer to that question might be “no”. Most people would say that the answer can’t be “no”- not now at least, not after the evolution that has occurred over the last decade. You can point to the exponential growth of competition and it’s competitors, the availability of high-level instruction, the prevalence of video instruction, and a growing group of professional jiu jitsu athletes as proof that the sport has advanced far beyond where it was just 10 years ago. But, all of those things are elements of the sport, not the jiu jitsu. So again I’ll ask the question, has the jiu jitsu actually changed?

There is no doubt jiu jitsu techniques are hard to hide in this day and age, and that new positions and techniques are available like never before. Now with live streaming of every major event, and YouTube, there are no more secrets, so it forces everyone to evolve and grow. But are the fundamentals that win championships any different than they were 10-15 years ago? Earlier this year when we were out in San Diego visiting Master Royler Gracie, he shared something with us that was sort of eye-opening. He told us that the approach he would take to competition now would be no different than the approach he took in 1999 (discussing technique and strategy). Now you are more than welcome to form your own opinions about this topic, but I can tell you that Royler was very sincere in this sentiment.

Let me submit an argument that perhaps you don’t always have to learn the “latest” techniques (although there is nothing wrong with this) to compete at the very highest level in this day and age. The case would be that jiu jitsu in it’s pure unadulterated form can be learnt and applied the same way today in competition as it was in 1999, and that in fact, jiu jitsu’s effectiveness is not changing, merely it’s competitors.


Exhibit A: Royler winning the Mundials in the late 90′s


Exhibit B: Kron winning the Pans in 2008 with relatively similar, and equally fundamental BJJ


Exhibit C: Roger Gracie,  one of the most dominant competitors in the last few years

I understand completely that it is pretty absurd to suggest that jiu jitsu isn’t changing, especially given what you see the Mendes Bros., Miyao Bros., and other high level competitors doing on the mats, but I would simply like to suggest the idea that jiu jitsu is not evolving beyond it’s own effectiveness.  The premise of this article is that fundamental jiu jitsu is never changing, even though the execution might look different.

How can this benefit you? Don’t always concern yourself with learning everything that’s out there. Learn  proven technique from qualified instructors, and focus on application. All jiu jitsu works, old and new. So study all the above videos, there si something we can all learn from each of them.