I was first introduced to Hagakure – The Book of the Samurai via the movie Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (one of my favorite flicks). In that movie, the main character “Ghost Dog” (played by Forest Whitaker) carries around the book Hagakure, and the movie is interspersed with passages from the book read by Ghost Dog as narrator. The book is a collection of thoughts by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, compiled after the death of his master, and Tsunetomo had retired to the mountains. In this book he expresses a lifetime of thinking on the nature of what it means to be a warrior, and how to live in a truthful manner (aka, following “The Way”). As martial artists we look for truth in action, and Tsunetomo sought to also find truth in life, indicating that this is how a warrior should strive to live. Continue reading “Hagakure – The Book of the Samurai”
Recently at class our instructor had us drilling technique to improve our double leg takedowns. The drills were focused on improving the penetration step, so that was the area we focused on more so than actually finishing the takedown (though we did get to that by the end of class). It was a grueling workout that caused my legs to burn in a way they haven’t in a long time. At our school we have pretty lengthy mat space, which means that as we did our penetration shots down the mat we were able to get LOTS of repetitions.
Here is the sequence we roughly followed:
We’re all looking for ways to improve our jiu jitsu off the mats. From taking supplements, fixing our diets, exercise and watching YouTube videos there are plenty of different ways to up your game when you’re not at the gym. Arguably a grappling dummy can be a useful tool to help drill concepts and moves when you don’t have a training partner. But what type of dummy is right for you? There are a couple of different types of dummies and a variety of companies making each. Identifying your goals will help you to determine which type of grappling dummy to purchase.
Grappling vs Throwing Dummies
Depending on your goals you may be more interested in a grappling dummy OR a throwing a dummy. A standard grappling dummy is generally more flexible than a throwing dummy, lighter, and easier to practice more variety of movements on than a throwing dummy. You can sit a grappling dummy up in your guard, and you can practice leg locks on a grappling dummy. A throwing dummy on the other hand will allow you to practice some grappling techniques on, but where they really shine is giving you a good way to practice throws. They are heavier than grappling dummies, and more durable. Throwing dummies can give you a good workout and double as a ground and pound heavy bag. I’ve even seen some people hang their throwing dummies similarly to a heavy bag to get double duty out of them.
Masakazu Imanari is a Japanese MMA fighter and grappler who is renowned for his leglock skills. His nickname “Ashikan Judan” means “The Great Master of Leg Submission”, and the “Imanari Roll” and “Imanari Choke” are moves named after this leg lock master.
In the video below Masakazu Imanari shows off the leg lock skills that earned him his accolades as a grappler:
Jiu Jitsu Black Belt and YouTube personality Kurt Osiander is featured in this documentary from Stuart Cooper Films:
Miyamoto Musashi’s Book of Five Rings is a classic text on Japanese Swordsmanship and martial arts philosophy. Musashi was a swordsman, philosopher and ronin who lived in 16th century Japan and was the founder of the Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship. He had an undefeated record of 61 duels.
Musashi’s Book of Five Rings details his strategy on fighting, but as with many martial arts philosophical texts, the ideas can be applied to everyday life.
The book is divided into 5 parts as the title would suggest:
I attended my first Fight to Win Pro event in Cleveland last night, Fight to Win Pro 69. I went to support my team who had a competitor in the tournament (he won his match by Kimura). Fight to Pro Win fights are unlike other Jiu Jitsu tournaments, in that there is only 1 fight going on at a time. All eyes are on the fighters. The event has a UFC type atmosphere, complete with walk out music, flashing lights, and announcers. I was impressed with how well organized the whole event was. Every match started on time and they got the fighters on and off the stage like clock work. The matches were all exciting to watch, every competitor did a top notch job and really gave it their all. We saw some nice takedowns, great submissions, good sportsmanship, and some interesting no-gi apparel.
I’m looking forward to attending the next F2W tournament in Pittsburgh.
We’ve all heard by now that Conor McGregor went on a rampage at a UFC media event at the Barclay Center last Thursday. It appears that McGregor did enough damage to cause the cancellation of 3 matches for UFC 223. But there’s a bright side: we get a video from Master Ken giving Conor some advice on how to properly use a Dolly!
Watch Rickson Gracie rule the mats at this Sambo tournament:
I’ve tried various workout routines to improve my jiu jitsu over the past couple of years. I was a big fan of the Strong Lifts 5×5’s, and was doing that routine for a while, and though I got stronger it didn’t seem to transfer to the mat that well for me. I was trying to get in a few days of weight training, and a few days of jiu jitsu every week, but the 5×5’s were leaving me too tired to train that hard in jiu jitsu. I also didn’t feel that the type of strength I was getting from 5×5’s was what I needed to improve my jiu jitsu game. It occurred to me that what I was really looking for was muscular endurance rather than adding more weight to my max reps. A friend at the jiu jitsu school I attend suggested I try Pavel’s Simple and Sinister program (among other Kettlebell exercises). I tried it and found that it was exactly what I needed. I’ve modified the routine somewhat, but doing this workout has dramatically improved my endurance during jiu jitsu rounds, and the best part is that it doesn’t leave me too spent the next day so that I can actually train jiu jitsu without dealing with DOMS. Here’s what I’m currently doing: