Thursday, August 25, 2016

More Maia

With Demian Maia facing off against Carlos Condit this weekend, I can't think of a better time to share the fourth part of BJJ Scout's excellent analysis of Maia's incomparable jiu-jitsu-for-MMA.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Get Lo

With the start of my New Jiu-Jitsu Year right around the corner, the guard passing game of Leandro Lo Pereira do Nascimento is my project for the next fifty-three weeks.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Where I'm Calling From

"The worst is a look you expect - and don't get - from a face you thought you knew."
--Jeffrey Skinner

For the past 10-11 weeks I've been responsible for teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Gracie Barra Seattle two evenings a week while our head instructor recovered first from an experimental knee surgery and then, almost immediately afterward, from a challenging and painful infection of the finger that left him similarly and additionally sidelined.

Teaching classes this summer - fundamental, all levels, Live Training - has probably been one of the most significant experiences in my jiu-jitsu life -certainly since I stopped competing after earning my black belt in late 2011. And while the opportunity to focus on, explicate, and share many of the basic techniques of jiu-jitsu was awesome, the challenge of working with students from a variety of backgrounds and with widely differing skill levels was probably what I appreciated most. I am at root a solver of problems, and there are few greater chances to practice my problem-solving vice than by working to find the simplest way to explain the gentle art to those eager to learn it.

I'm going to leave it at that. I'm looking forward to both continuing to work with students - especially white belts, older students, and those who think they don't have the physical attributes to do jiu-jitsu - as well as working on my own jiu-jitsu game, which has taken a bit of a back seat this summer as the obligations of teaching the best class possible took center stage. I've spent a lot of time thinking very hard about what I want to do with my jiu-jitsu as I enter my 12th year in the art (August 18th, mark the date!). Tonight was the first night of putting some of that thinking to task. Here's to many, many more.

Monday, August 01, 2016

"All Positive is What I'm Trying to Say"

For what must be the tenth time, I found myself last night watching Eddie Bravo's interview with Joe Rogan after his epic rematch with Royler Gracie. But this time, a line from Rogan really stood out to me. As someone who has loved MMA since the 1990s, and is having a harder and harder time of late justifying traumatic-brain-injury-qua-entertainment, I found a lot to like in this:
"So Saturday night rolls around and I couldn't imagine there being any more anticipation in a room for something. And it was a cool anticipation too because ... one of the things I like about jiu-jitsu is, no one's going to get knocked the fuck out. Even if you get choked out, you know ... There's something about seeing a friend fight (that) gets real rough. We've been friends with MMA fighters ... knowing a guy and liking a guy and watching him get headkicked - it's hard to do. So it didn't have, the danger, that aspect to it. But it was all, it was all positive is what I'm trying to say. It was like, holy shit, it's all going down."