Archive for the ‘BJJ Schools in Western Mass’ Category

Team Link NAGA New England Champions: Overall Team Champions for 17th time

NAGA New England Champions

Team Link is known for having some of the best grappling in Western Mass and New England. The North American Grappling Association, or NAGA, has posted the team results for New England Grappling Championship from January 25th 2014 that was held at the West Warwick Civic Center in West Warwick, RI. Team Link had an impressive showing winning the overall Adult Team title and the Overall Kids & Teen title. “We want to thank everyone that went to compete and those who went solely to show support for their family, friends and teammates. A chain is only as strong as it’s links. We are not just a martial arts school; here we build champions!!!” says Marco Alvan owner and head instructor at Team Link in Ludlow MA.

Only a fraction of Team Link members actually compete. Competition is not a requirement and most train for different reasons. Some of the reasons are to get in better shape, become stronger, increase cardio, increase conditioning, use time training as great stress reliever, or it is just something they always wanted to do. When you surround yourself with champions it gives you motivation. When you surround yourself with people that want you to become better, there is no other option other than to get better. “We can not progress as whole unless everyone progresses individually as well. Team Link is a teaching school. Everyone is taught how to teach. If you can not explain something, then you do not really understand it. We pride ourselves in having one of the greatest learning environments you can find.” says Marco.

For more info visit us at and fill out the form.  Please mention this article. Have a great day and we hope to see you soon!!

What to do when favorite submission is not working
Submission Grappling in Western Mass


Your favorite submission is not working as often as you would like.


-Most people attack with their best submission first.

-Most often the submission you attempt first does not work.

-Start attacking all the submissions that are not your favorite.

-Your opponent has no idea that you do not like those submissions.

-Use the submissions that are not your favorite to disguise your favorite.

-Take the submission your opponent gives you.

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BJJ Injuries Happen and What to Do

We here at Team Link Ludlow, we train hard, but train smart. Injuries will happen in any sport. We take all the proper precautions. Have fun and go hard!!!!!

common-injuries in Western Mass

A few nights ago I was sitting on the mats talking with a few of my teammates from our competition team, and then I realized we had all actually been talking about our current injuries for the majority of the conversation. No, we certainly weren’t all sitting around throwing ourselves a pity party. We were sharing valuable information with each-other on how to get healthy again. Chances are, the injuries you experience in BJJ are not new. You likely know someone who has experienced the same injury. So it makes sense that you would take advantage of that social capital around you.

When you train hard, train a lot, or simply train long enough, you are bound to develop some injuries. When you’re a jiu jitsu “junkie”, one day away from the mats can become an eternity, so you find ways to compensate for injuries just to make it into class. Unfortunately, some injuries can leave you out of commission, and you find yourself going crazy wanting to get back out on the mats. The good news is that some other obsessed individual has likely already experienced the same thing and figured out the fastest road to recovery. So let’s tap into some common injuries, and see what others have to say about a speedy recovery that will have you back out on the mats in no time!

Note: We are not doctors, so don’t kid yourself. The information below is for educational purposes, and is not designed to diagnose or treat any conditions.

Outside Knee Sprain:

Outside Knee Sprain

As someone that has experienced a fair amount of knee injuries and surgeries, I can say that without a doubt that ice is your best friend. Other things that have made  a big difference for myself when dealing with this particular type of knee injury is the inclusion of collagen and hyaluronic acid supplements. Making sure that your legs are strong and balanced can help prevent future injuries, and when recovering from an injury, nothing helps more than improving flexibility and dexterity. Yoga poses have provided a tremendous benefit to myself. You may also want to look at methodologies like “Ginastica” as well. Loosening up your hips and IT bands can provide a way to address a common root problem. Foam rolling and stretching can be some of the best ways to address this issue.

Jacked Up Fingers!

hurt fingers in BJJ

My close friend and podcast co-host, Jon “the Queen” Perrine, recently shared some valuable knowledge with me about keeping my hands healthy. Jon often tapes his fingers  to save his grips and fingers from unnecessary damage. By taping your fingers correctly you can reduce your ability to squeeze, thus saving your hands and fingers from “over-gripping”. If you are the kind of guy that squeezes every grip as hard as you can, and then leaves class writhing in pain. You might wan to give taping a try. Again, ice is your friend when recovering from almost any injury. Finally, by improving grip strength by performing exercises like: farmers walks, dead hangs, and gi pullup’s, you can build a strong grip that will protect your hands in-of-itself.

Sore Neck

Neck Injuries in BJJ

Have you ever heard anyone say, “I really messed up my neck at BJJ practice, but then “popped” it by twisting it with my hands and it felt 100% better after that!!!!!”? Yeah, me neither, so don’t mess with your neck when it feels sore and injured. It is injured, so treat it with respect. Roll out the muscles against a wall by using a lacrosse ball, and then use ice to help the muscles recover more quickly. Using menthol creams to warm up the muscles prior to exercise or training can also help when you are easing back into activity. Ultimately, you need to make your neck stronger as soon as it’s healthy again. Practicing bridges on the mat before class can help you build and strengthen these muscles.

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Summer is here!!!! Get fit with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Team Link Ludlow

x-guard sweep in action

x-guard sweep in action

Discover the “Little Known Secrets” to Quickly Becoming Stronger, Healthier, More Energized and Confident While Learning Self-Defense Skills That Can Save Your Life!

I’m not sure if you thought Martial Arts were “just a kids thing.” But when you read further you’ll find out that is certainly not the case. Yeah, you’re right, a lot of kids are doing martial arts. But…Guys just like you are discovering that “having it all” and getting in shape can be a reality…
And really quick…I’m sure you’ve heard of MMA, Jiu-Jitsu, and Kickboxing, right? Well, I get questions all the time from professional men just like you who aren’t quite sure if training was only reserved for guys who watch a lot of Spike TV or have tattoos covering a high percentage of their bodies.
I can assure that what you’re about to discover is something that you’ll find to be simply amazing!
What I’m about to describe to you has the answers you’ve been searching for when it comes to getting in shape and adding some excitement back into your life!
First, please take a second to answer these questions….
� Are you interested in managing stress so you can feel better and more accomplished in your business and personal life everyday?
� Do you want to get some balance back into your life so you can feel good knowing that you’re looking out for number 1?
� Are you interested in increasing your self-confidence and personal magnetism to improve your persuasive abilities in your professional and social life?
� Do you want to get in the best shape of your life without being ‘bored to tears’ with your exercise routine?
� How would like to become more flexible than 90% of your peers so you are less prone to nagging injuries that can zap the quality out of your life?


How many ‘dumb dumbs’ do you have to deal with all day? Wouldn’t it be great to get around some goal oriented success conscious people who have the same interests as you?
I know what your thinking… I want to get in shape first.
You DO NOT Have To Be ‘In Shape’ To Get Started!
Face it! You can’t keep waiting until you are “fit enough” to really get in shape! Do you wait until all of the lights are green before you start your commute to work?
Our Martial Arts training is designed to accommodate you!
We have workouts tailored to increase your flexibility, coordination, balance, reflexes, strength … and you’ll get in the best shape of your life. I can tell you some amazing stories of students losing up to 60 lbs, and doing away with bad habits forever! You’ll be amazed. Another common excuse is…
“I’m too busy right now. Maybe I’ll start training three months from now when things quiet down a bit…” Well guess what? Later never comes.
Please don’t get me wrong: if your work and/or family commitments make it impossible for you to train right now then I have a lot of sympathy for you. Although it’s sometimes hard to admit, family does come first.

…if you’re ‘too busy’ to train and still manage to watch 2 hours of TV, or spend your whole weekend playing video games, then you’re NOT too busy. It’s just that you have different priorities. At some point you have to make the decision, “Do I want to learn martial arts?”, and if the answer is “Yes!”, then you have to adjust those priorities accordingly. The bottom line is…
You Can Make A Positive Change In Your Life NOW!
But only if you take action….This is YOUR Moment….
Whether you want to just get in shape, learn self defense, compete or become a Martial Arts black belt, we’ve made getting started very easy and convenient for you. All you need to do is call us at (413) 589-0080 to set up a FREE Introductory Trial and Consultation or visit us at

Injury Free – 5 Steps to follow for BJJ
BJJ Western Mass
Do the warm up and stretch properly.

Everyone says that it’s super important for a reason. George St. Pierre keeps telling his friends and students that the body is like an ‘elasteec’, it has to be warm in order to stretch, if it’s cold it will break. It’s a good analogy and this is something simple that people should keep in mind. Don’t roll until you have at least a light sweat going and you have gone over some functional movements to give your body a stretch. Shrimping, rolling, scooting and whatever other movements are essential to avoiding injury during the training. Also after class, it’s highly recommended that you stretch while your body is at it’s warmest to really help those tight and sore muscles. You will also improve your range of motion that will aid in your use of technique.

Choose your opponents wisely.

Did you just start training? Are you over 35 and some jacked 20 year-old blue belt spaz wants to roll with you? Maybe it’s better to take a rain check if you know the guy has a rep for hurting people or being too rough. The examples I used don’t cover all the kinds of opponent’s you should avoid. There are usually many factors involved, but if you know the guy cranks his subs, spazzes out and accidentally hits people, or if he is much larger than you, then it’s best to preserve yourself and pick someone else. It doesn’t mean you’re a wussy, it means you’re actually smart.

Don’t spaz out.

Just as it’s important to avoid guys that spaz, you also don’t want to be a spaz yourself. The less calculated you are, the higher your chances of tweaking a body part or collision. Headbutts, elbows and knees are some common collision problems in BJJ and the results can be quite gruesome. So play smart and use your technique – if you poorly compensate with strength or speed too often, you may face the consequences.

Leave your ego at the door.

To put it bluntly, tap when you know you’re caught. Who cares if you get tapped. Whether you tap or your arm gets broken, the result is the same, you lost. Except if you tap, you can come back and train the next day and fix your mistake – a much better deal, no? Sure, you can struggle as much as you want and try to get out, but if it’s tight, just tap – especially if you’re in class. You’re there to learn and losing is part of it – surgery and recovery time is not. If you’re in the finals of the Worlds and you’re up on points – it may be a different story (ie. Jacare vs Roger Gracie). But if not, it’s probably not worth it.

Tape is your real best friend, not dogs.

Making the effort to buy tape and take some time before every class to support any injuries can make a world of difference. Proper taping can help strained wrists, ankles and fingers, which are the most common mini injures in the sport. What’s best about it is that it will help avoid further injury and help heal whatever problem you have quicker. Keep a roll in your bag at all times, it’s impossible to do jiu-jitsu and never need tape. and Facebook Page

Team Link Get’s a Second and Third Place Medal at IBJFF Worlds No Gi 2012

Kate Marshall from Team Link NH

Congratulations to Kate Marshall for winning 3rd place in the Adult Female Blue Belt Featherweight division at IBJFF Worlds No Gi 2012.

Also to Ana Carolina Lima (aka Morena) from Team Link NH for placing 2nd in the Adult Female Purple Belt Middleweight division. Only 3 athletes from with in Team Link made the trip to compete and 2 placed. Two out of three is not bad.

Remember you can’t win, if you don’t try. If you are looking to compete in BJJ in Western Mass vistit our website

Directions to Best MMA Training Center in Western Mass

CLICK HERE and will give you directions to Team Link Ludlow’s New Facility on 135 Winsor St Ludlow MA