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  • Sport vs Self Defense-The Pros & Cons of Competing

    Just this past weekend, I attended a sport Jiu-jitsu competition at which several students from our academy were competing. So I thought it would be a good time to talk about some of the pros and cons of sport competition, as well as highlight some of the major differences in training for sport versus training for self-defense. Sport competition represents only a very small part of what Jiu-jitsu as a whole is. Jiu-jitsu, as it was originally developed, is a fighting art. Particularly the brand of Jiu-jitsu developed by the members of the Gracie family out of Brazil, was intended to be a complete martial art for self-defense, which address all ranges and aspects of fighting. ....

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  • The Power of Positivity!

    We're right in the middle of the Christmas season. Along with the holiday music, cold weather, parties, gifts, and snow.....comes STRESS! We all deal with day to day stress, but this is a particularly busy time of year for everyone, and often one of the most stressful times as well. So, I felt it an appropriate time to talk a little bit about the negative effects of stress and how we can combat it! In our Jiu-jitsu academy, we discuss the negative effects of stress in our 7-5-3 code. One of the 5 keys to a healthy lifestyle is "positive mental attitude". While it seems a noble character trait to possess, at first glance, it may seem odd that this attribute is lumped in among other ....

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  • The Top 15 Things That Drive Your Jiu-jitsu Instructor Crazy!

    This month, I want to talk about a few of the top things that are likely to drive your Jiu-jitsu instructor crazy! This is not by any means a comprehensive list, and while some of these may be more personal pet-peeves, many of these are very consistent in most Jiu-jitsu academies. Most comes down to just plain common sense and respecting the rules and environment of the academy that you are training in. Every Jiu-jitsu academy has its own culture, and its own set of rules or protocols, and whether you realize it or not, these are things that your instructor has likely put a lot of thought into and there is a very good reason for each of them. As a student, your job is to do your best to ....

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  • Training With a Self-Defense Mindset

    One of the main elements of a complete Jiu-jitsu system is the stand-up self-defense curriculum. This is an element that is often overlooked, or ignored in many academies, but ironically, is the reason that most average people start training Jiu-jitsu in the first place. Many people start their Jiu-jitsu journey because, in addition to its many other benefits, they want to learn how to protect themselves. Rarely do they start training because they want to learn how to score an advantage point in a competition with the latest inverted worm-guard variation. Don't get me wrong....Jiu-jitsu is infinite, and I believe that you should try to learn as much about all of it as you can. But, you ....

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  • What Does it Take to Succeed in Jiu-jitsu?

    Everyone who signs up at a Jiu-jitsu academy has their own reasons for starting down the path. Many want to learn how to defend themselves, some are looking for improved health & fitness, some may be interested in competition, some may just be looking for a new hobby. No matter their reason for starting, I'm guessing that everyone who steps on the mat for the first time does so with the idea of being successful in their new venture. Now, what defines "success" may vary from person to person, as each student has their own individual short term and long term goals. But anyone who has spent any amount of time on the mat can tell you that you getting good at Jiu-jitsu is something that ....

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  • Verbal Jiu-jitsu: The Art of Yielding

    There are many lessons that we can take from the mat and apply directly to our daily lives. One of the most important of these is the art of yielding. This applies not only in a self-defense scenario, but also in our daily interactions with friends, family members, and business associates. I refer to this as "verbal Jiu-jitsu". The term "Jiu-Jitsu, is comprised of two Japanese characters. The first of these "Jiu" or more correctly spelled, "Ju", is generally translated as gentle. But to anyone who's been on the receiving end of a good throw, armlock, or choke can tell you, it seems anything but gentle! The term is more accurately translated as flexible, pliable, or yielding. This is ....

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  • "But Dad, I Don't Want to go to Jiu-jitsu"!

    It happened again just the other day....I ran into a parent of one of my former Jiu-jitsu students and they said the same thing that I always hear...."Man, I really wish I had never let my kid quit Jiu-jitsu". Any Jiu-jitsu instructor can tell you, there are so many people that come and go through the doors of the academy over the years, and almost without exception, those people who quit training ultimately come to regret their decision. If you're a parent with a child that trains Jiu-jitsu, congratulations! You have already made an excellent decision to enroll your child in something that can have such a positive effect on so many aspects of their lives, and given them something that ....

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  • Thou Shalt Not Pass-Open Guard Concepts


    Often, this blog discusses more philosophical topics. This months blog is going to be a little more technical in nature, and cover arguably one of the most important positions in Jiu-jitsu.
    In my opinion, the guard is the position which really distinguishes Jiu-jitsu from all other martial arts, even including other grappling based arts. The guard brilliantly gives the person on the bottom of the fight the opportunity to not only survive and defend from a seemingly inferior position, but also provides a platform for a plethora of sweeps and submission attacks. This is one of the primary reasons that a smaller person, skilled in the art of Jiu-jitsu, can effectively control a larger, ....

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  • Embracing Discomfort

    If you've spent any significant amount of time on the mat, you've probably heard the mantra "learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations". While this statement is definitely very true, it is often much easier said than practiced. The reality is, we spend most of our time on the mat, as well as in life, trying to avoid situations that cause us pain and discomfort. Now, you shouldn't be regularly experiencing "pain" in Jiu-jitsu training. Obviously, make sure that you protect yourself and tap in plenty of time to avoid injury. However, if you've spent any time at all sparring in Jiu-jitsu class, you have certainly experienced discomfort. It goes with the territory. We've all had that ....

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  • Women's Self Defense Seminar

    Don't be a victim! Learn basic techniques to effectively defend yourself against a sudden, violent assault. This class, based upon the principles of Gracie Jiu-jitsu ,is designed to give course participants instruction in simple, leverage based techniques that will give you the best opportunity to survive an attack against a larger, stronger assailant. The course will cover a variety of the most common types of situations that you may encounter during an attack, including standing & ground techniques. Class is open to any women ages 16 & up. No prior training or experience is necessary. Class space is limited, so pre-register to reserve your spot! Cost $40 (At the ....

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