Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dope Mount from Side Control

This is one of the best demonstrations of this "legendary" attack popularized by B.J. Penn that I've come across.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Professor Rodrigo Lopes in Action

It is hard to describe how inspiring it is to see my professor since 2005 back on the competitive tatame again.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Joe Rogan Interviews Rickson Gracie

Some great insights into jiu-jitsu past, present, and future from one of the art's greatest ever. Also featuring Eddie Bravo. Especially love Rickson's separating MMA from vale tudo, and his comparison of no time limit vale tudo fights and five-hour long professional tennis matches.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Omoplata from Spider Guard

Love the omoplata, but lacking a high percentage set-up? You're in luck!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Training By the Numbers

Even if I trained every day for the rest of the month, it still looks like the 2014 training year* will be my weakest since I began keeping track back in the late summer of 2008 (beginning of the 2009 training year). I could probably do the leg work all the way back to August 2005. But I think this gives me a good sample of my training since getting a few stripes on my blue belt.

2014: 98 - 108
2013: 162
2012:  161
2011: 135
2010: 162
2009: 139

Another reminder of how brutal this training year has been in terms of mat time.

That said, what I like is that even though 2014 is shaping up to be a pretty lousy year in terms of training frequency, I still managed to make my 2x/week minimum. I also have to take a step back and pat myself on the back for what is a pretty impressive history going into 2014. 

It goes without saying that I want the 2015 training year that begins in August to be one of the best years ever. My dream is to make personal records for every month of the year or, failing that, to top 196 training sessions in a year, which would represent essentially the same thing. The travel in my new job makes this kind of goal-reaching more than a challenge. But what I wouldn't give to hang a "200" on the board before I'm through ...

*Since I began training jiu-jitsu in August 2005, my training year begins in August and ends in July.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Matter over Mind

I've never been impressed by exhortations to "will." One of my favorite poems, "Ruby Bates," makes the point this way:

"The Reds are virgins. They wear business suits
And talk a shrapnel-proof logic. They will all die
Of biology ..."

It makes us feel good to tell others that "it's all in your head" or to suggest, implicitly or explicitly, that wishing can make things so. As a materialist, I can't help but feel that this is yet another way that we are dishonest with ourselves and each other, inevitably keeping us from truly becoming what we can be by focusing on that over which we have far less control of than we think.

All that said to say that I think this article sums up the point very well, and does so in a martial arts context that I think most of us can appreciate. The intro alone is worth your time.

Resolutions based on “Will Power” FAIL 80% of the time; Resolutions based on changing the Systems you work in SUCCEED 80% of the time. 
Remember, it’s well-intentioned SYSTEMS that make us fat and lazy. You never walk anywhere because it’s too easy to drive your car. Your car, and all the roads you drive on, are a system.
 STOP saying to yourself “I’m going to try harder” and instead, this weekend just spend one solid hour seeing the systems that reinforce your bad behaviors. And then change them. ”

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jiu-Jitsu for Chael

What a Q2! With any luck, things will pick up now that the summer has begun in earnest.

I'll admit that there are times when the life of a middle-aged black belt who doesn't run his own school or compete actively has its discontents. The balance of 2014 will involve me trying to figure out what exactly to do with myself when even the white belts are starting to look dangerous.

In the meantime, have some Chael Sonnen, courtesy of Gracie Barra Portland, Gracie Barra Seattle, and Metamoris 4.

"Nothing beats wrestling. Except jiu-jitsu." Mark Schultz, wrestling coach for Chael Sonnen