Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

 

Martial Arts training of any kind runs a risk of injury.  But anyone who trains in BJJ for a while knows that we literally play with fire.  Like small children if you play with fire you’re probably going to get burned.  But training at 40 or 50 plus years old you really have to be extra careful especially at the early stages.  It doesn’t mean you can’t play in the sandbox with the rest of the kids…you can.  You’ve just got to take that life experience that you have been gifted with and use it!

  • Be careful with “Live” Takedowns!  There’s always an inherent risk when two standing, resisting  bodies collide into each other in an attempt to off balance the other and topple them to the ground.  If you’re a hobbyist and have no plans to be on the podium at the next mundials, live takedown training might not be in your best interest.  By “live” I am referring to resisting bodies, not drilling with a degree of compliance.  Mindful takedown drilling is generally the safest option to avoid unnecessary injuries.  Limiting your takedowns to drilling will help you still develop a decent takedown skill-set without destroying your body in the process.
  • Recovery is EVERYTHING! I have personally found that as I approach 50 years old that I have to put more vigor and energy into my recovery than I do at perfecting a technique.  Recovery can include:  hydration, epsom salt baths, ice, massage and of course stretching.  If you follow my blogs and videos you know that I am a huge proponent of stretching as a part of your daily ritual.  I always joke that, “these days I stretch more than I roll!”  I say that because the type of Jiu-Jitsu I like to play usually has something to do with me being upside down.  If you like to mess around with inversions and other challenging positions you will need to create the right vessel to do it safely.  Even if you’re not an inverted, upside down grappler…you still want to maintain a healthy range of flexibility.
  • Foot-locks invite Foot-locks!  I love foot-locks and always have.  Anyone who plays with foot and leg submissions knows that if you attack with a foot-lock the counter is usually another foot-lock.  So if you attack with a foot-lock you also invite your partner to foot-lock you.  Then it often becomes a game of who can squeeze faster and there’s a very small space between tapping and injury.  Once that threshold is crossed the resulting injury is usually pretty bad.  And it’s not your shoulder or elbow either…it’s your leg and now you can’t go to work or pick up your kid!  This doesn’t mean that you have to abandon lower body attacks.  Just be more mindful of who you can safely do them on and who you cannot.  You can also find partners who are willing to play “catch and release” and not, “rip off my leg”.
  • Don’t be a ‘slave’ to your ego! Remember, you joined Jiu-Jitsu to improve your life, not ruin it.  You shouldn’t have to endure injury after injury to practice the “gentle art”.  You can practice and safely train Jiu-Jitsu whether you are 8 or 48 years old.  But you have to set some perimeters on yourself so you are being logical and reasonable and not allowing your ego to guide your decisions.  My number one rule for myself is, “I don’t roll until I’m warm!”  I don’t care how old they are or what belt they are, I don’t roll until I’m warm.  Think of your body as having three temperature settings:  Cold – Warm – and Hot.  The first setting, cold means you just walked onto the mat.  You should never roll cold.  You need to warm up your body by utilizing movement based flow drills that allow your body to be reintroduced to the movements of live rolling…not “traumatized” by them.  Once your body is warmed up and lightly sweating then it’s time to roll.  You also have to be mindful of your partners physical and emotional state.  Are you still cold, but they’ve been on the mats longer and are all hot and heavy?  Therefore you have to be conscious of which partners you can handle right away and those you cannot.  The same goes for knowing when to stop too!  I’ve seen far to many injuries happen over the years from guys doing that “last” round when they knew they should have stopped!  Listen to your gut not the voice of the cocky 20-year old that asks you to roll one more time but you really know better…Remember, the reason you know better IS because you’re 48 years old!

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Harry Houdini was the greatest escape artist of all time.  Even though he could perform traditional card and sleight of hand tricks, he was most famous for escaping from anything and everything.  Whether it be ropes, handcuffs, straight jackets, jail cells, water filled milk cans…Houdini had a successful exit plan!  In your training you are going to find yourself in traps and predicaments that may seem reminiscent of the great Houdini.  If you want to survive and even thrive in these positions you have to first remain calm and poised. One of my favorite quotes by Houdini is, “My brain is the key that sets me free.”  What does a key do?  A key unlocks something.  If you want to unlock an escape door you have to remain calm and focused…you cannot lose your mind.  Remember, a clear mind is your most powerful tool!  This of course can be very challenging since not only are you trying to escape a bad position, but you are doing it in hostile conditions.  For example:  if your partner has your back with a seatbelt and two hooks…not only do you need to escape, but you have to do it and NOT get choked.  So there are multiple layers you’re dealing with.  1.  You need to escape, and 2. you need to do it while NOT getting killed!  So like in life…when you are facing an obstacle, don’t panic…remain calm and poised and let that be your point of focus.

Tips for Successfully Escaping:

  1.  Don’t panic – breathe and deal with the first and most immediate threat.  If they have your back it’s the hand near your throat.  Your goal is to neutralize one threat after the other until you can navigate a successful escape.
  2. Drill your escape plans from every possible scenario.  Start with developing solid, reliable escapes from the four main positions.  (guard, side control, mount, back)  Then move onto escaping from worst case scenarios.  (joint lock / choke escapes)
  3. Drill “Bad day at the office” – Drill your worst case scenarios with your partner attacking you at the same time.  The goal is to escape while under fire.
  4. Be prepared to tap at any time!  Remember the tap is the ultimate escape plan.  Of course nobody wants to tap…But NO BODY wants a broken arm either!

 

Harry Houdini At Work

 

Telephone Arm Bar Set ups!

Posted: January 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

In this sweet little video I show a nice little flow series from the guard. I was inspired by a video sent to me by a blue belt. In the video he showed a cool little series he was working on and I asked If I could add to it! This is what I came up with… The REAL LESSON isn’t really what’s in the video but rather in the creation of it! Always continue molding the clay – regardless where the lessons or inspiration is coming from. You can learn from anyone and the creation never stops at you. Keep creating and keep molding the clay… Happy Training Ninjas! http://www.originmaine.com Check out our sponsor!

 

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This is a concept I borrowed from the “Four Stages of Competence” also known as the “conscious competence” learning model.  This is a learning theory developed in the 1970’s by Gordon Training International.  I have applied this contention to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as it relates to learning and belt progression.

White Belt – Unconsciously Incompetent – you don’t know what you don’t know.

At this stage you’re barely aware of the difference between an arm-bar and a choke…you rapidly learn that there’s normal looking people walking around with super-hero like skills!  You sign up for BJJ so you too can be a super-hero.  As exciting as these skills are…you quickly realize that they are earned through time, hard work and patience.  These techniques are also very dangerous, so TRAIN SMART, tap early and don’t get hurt!

Blue Belt – Consciously Incompetent – you know what you don’t know.

After some time (usually around blue belt) you become “painfully” aware of your deficit.  You realize what you don’t know and you become conscious of the vast space from where you stand to becoming a black belt someday.  This can be a challenging stage as this massive shortfall can seem overwhelming and reaching black belt someday nearly impossible.  At this stage, in spite of how you may feel, don’t give up!

Purple – Brown Belt – Consciously Competent – The techniques require some conscious effort, but you can now perform them with a degree of confidence and success.  

At this stage you’re beginning to develop your own sense of self on the mats.  Your toolbox will begin to take shape as you define your Jiu-Jitsu game.

Black Belt & beyond – Unconsciously Competent – Your skills are becoming second nature.

You can now perform techniques without relying on lower level functions, skills and thought patterns. This is an exciting time as you begin to free yourself from external thought and effort for the first time.

Be careful as ‘auto-pilot’ can be the death of creativity.

Continue to challenge, create, refine and redefine your Jiu-Jitsu experience and this will lead to a state of consciousness free from ‘everything’ called FLOW…

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Multiple Back Attacks! (4 Videos)

Posted: November 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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My ninjas here’s four videos highlighting some of my recent back attacks.  Have fun and stay creative!

Creativity is intelligence having fun. -Abert Einstein

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My ninjas!  Here’s part one and two of a fun, sneaky little collar choke set up.  They’ll fall for this one more than once.  You’ll be shocked that nobody will even see it coming.  Have fun and stay creative ninjas!

 

 

 

 

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The cryangle choke has been years in the making for me.  I’m a tall, thin guy so for me, triangles were a very natural development in my game.  I used to always joke that I “only see triangles”.  Of course nowadays I try to be open to every submission and every reality.  But when I was developing my triangle game I was always intently in search of a triangle (regardless of the position I was in).  As a natural “tinkerer” I always wondered and played with the idea of instead of the arm, what if I used the leg inside of the triangle?  Then eventually I even included the arm along with the legs, as my long legs and flexibility afforded me the opportunity to include them all!  I love this submission because it offers several attacks:  a choke, a leg-lock and an arm-bar – all simultaneously.  Thus the name, the “cryangle choke” an obvious riff on the triangle choke – except this one will make your partner cry!

Check out BJJ brown belt Jeremy Hastings hitting a cryangle in competition recently in the Fight 2 Win Pro-18 event in Colorado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My ninjas here’s a pretty dope interview I did recently with Ryan Ford from the Grappling Central Podcast.  We talk in depth about my 13-years at brown belt and how I finally had my physical and mental breakthrough to black belt.  I also discuss my early beginnings, what inspires me to create my moves and my creative process.

Grab your earphones, find some space on the floor and stretch while you listen and enjoy this great conversation about the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle on and off the mats!  Happy training ninjas.  For more information on the Grappling Central Podcast click here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All right ninjas here’s two versions of the “Snake in the Grass Choke”.  In the third video I show my original version of this choke.  You will notice some changes and adaptations in the latest versions.  I have also included a slick little no-gi version that I came up with too!  Have fun and stay in the flow ninjas.  Speaking of ‘Flow’ be sure to Check out Flow-Jitsu!

Drilling in Four Easy Steps!

Posted: September 6, 2016 in Uncategorized

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All right ninjas here’s a slew of great guard attacks that all connect one to the next creating a continuous flow.  Each technique is designed as a counter to “whatever” my partner gives me.  This mindset allows me to stay calm, focused and in a state of “flow” throughout the roll….versus meeting resistance with more resistance or worse confusion.  I would recommend drilling these moves in several ways:

  1.  Watch the videos and mentally rehearse the moves so that you create anchors and pathways in your brain.  This way when you go to physically drill them you will already have them mentally available to you.
  2. Physically drill the moves on a non-resistant partner.  In this mode you are just trying to translate  the mental pathways you have created into physical movements. Once you feel like you are performing the moves clean and precisely, you will move to step 3.
  3. Drill with resistance and roadblocks.  In this mode you will start with your partner in your guard.  As you set up for your sweep, your partners job is to create various roadblocks.  For example:  you sit up to sweep and they stuff your sweep so you transition to the over-hook from your back and so on.
  4. Randori – Now that you’ve spent some time rehearsing and practicing your counter submissions you will want to put them to the test.  The best way to “test” them is against someone who offers resistance but you don’t have to completely sacrifice your own sense of well-being.  For example:  if you’re a purple belt you can test new moves on a blue belt.  This gives you the opportunity to tweak and play with the moves without paying a steep price for an error.  Be more on staying in the flow… sure to check out Flow-Jitsu today!

To practice any art, no  matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.  So do it! -Kurt Vonnegut