The Omoplata vs the Marceloplata vs the Baratoplata

Stephan Kesting BaratoplataMy daughter is growing fast in her jiu jitsu practice and she found this great video where Stephan Kesting shows variations on the Omoplata by transitioning to the Marceloplata (created by Marcelo Garcia) and the Baratoplata (created by Rafael “Barata” Freitas)

How To Do The Perfect Triangle Even If You Have Short Legs

Danaher TrianglesJohn Danaher and Bernardo Faria share details about how to strongly finish a triangle. Some great details here from Danaher regarding what actually makes a triangle work vs. what can interfere with the success of a triangle strangulation.

It sounds like they’re filming a new installment to the “Enter the System” series, and this one may be focused on triangles, from all positions. Exciting stuff!

Book Excerpt – Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai – Sharpen Your Blade

Hagakure - The Book of the SamuraiAnother excerpt from Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai that struck me as especially relevant:

A certain person said the following.

There are two kinds of dispositions, inward and outward,
and a person who is lacking in one or the other is worthless.
It is, for example, like the blade of a sword, which one should
sharpen well and then put in its scabbard, periodically taking
it out and knitting one’s eyebrows as in an attack, wiping the
blade, and then placing it in its scabbard again.

If a person has his sword out all the time, he is habitually
swinging a naked blade; people will not approach him and he
will have no allies.

If a sword is always sheathed, it will become rusty, the blade
will dull, and people will think as much of its owner.

Sharpen your blades my friends!

Supplement BJJ Training with Yoga

Yoga for BJJRecently I injured my left foot, where the toes meet the pad, it feels like it pops in and out of place when I stand up, with sharp pain each time it modulates. I talked to the doctor about it and he said likely a fracture, I should have come to him sooner, not much to do about it now except wait for it to heal up. Okay.

So I’ve been off the mats for two weeks, started training this week again, but no rolling, just technique. Skipping any chaotic parts of class so that my foot can get back to normal.

It’s working. The foot is getting better. But I’m feeling anxious about not getting the same level of physical activity that I’m used to.  Doing any weight lifting that requires bearing too much weight on my legs is out. So I thought I’d give some simple Yoga a try.

I’ve been thinking about trying Yoga for a while. My wife has tried dragging me to her classes. But with jiu jitsu, work, and everything else going on, there just hasn’t been time to give it a shot.

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Jiu Jitsu Holiday Gift Guide 2018

bjj christmas ornamentIt’s that time of the year again, and you’re trying your best to drop hints to your family and friends about the cool jiu jitsu gear you’d like. But you don’t have an easy list to point them to. Well I got you covered. Here’s a list of the coolest jiu jitsu gifts I’ve found this year, all in one place so you can easily send your mom this link so she knows what to buy for you.

Leglocks: Enter the System by John Danaher  – This highly anticipated DVD series was finally released, and it is a treasure trove of information. We’ve been working through the system at our school and each lesson is a game changer.

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John Danaher Leg Lock Instructional

John DanaherIt’s no secret that John Danaher and the whole Danaher Death Squad are leg locking machines. Danaher, the philosophical instructor at Renzo Gracie’s Academy in New York City, has been instrumental in developing his fight team’s leg locking skills.

John Danaher tells the story of how he began learning leg locks:

Dean Lister had been invited to their gym, and was having success submitting people with Achilles locks. This was new to Danaher at the time so he spoke to Lister after class.

Danaher: “That’s interesting what’s your doing with these Achilles locks, I don’t really do that at all, it’s not something I do”

Lister: “Why would you ignore 50 percent of the human body?”

According to Danaher,  that one sentence completely changed his view on jiu jitsu.

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What are Jiu Jitsu “Boyd Belts”?

Boyd BeltsThe term “Boyd Belts” in BJJ refers to a philosophy of training that Rener Gracie came up with in regards to rolling with people of different ages and weight classes. After having a conversation with black belt John Boyd, Rener realized that he had to come up with a way to describe what it’s like to roll with people of different ages and weight. Boyd had been having trouble grappling with a blue belt that was 20 years younger, and 60 pounds heavier than him. Boyd, feeling like he should have been able to submit the blue belt,spoke to Rener about it, and Rener came up with this concept that he later coined the “Boyd Belts”

Who was John Boyd? Boyd was a jiu jitsu practitioner and teacher at the Gracie Academy in California. He studied under Rorion Gracie (check out Rorion’s book on the Gracie Diet), and received his black belt 11 years after he began. Boyd started training in his 40’s, and when Helio Gracie saw Boyd training he was impressed to see someone of his age on the mats. Helio offered to teach him a private lesson which Boyd videotaped and you can see below:

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7 Easy Protein Snack Ideas For You

Beef JerkyDialing in nutrition is important for any athlete, and since jiu jitsu is such a physically demanding sport, your diet will determine your performance.

Protein seems to be one of those dietary sources we just can’t get enough of. I know, I’ve heard the arguments that we over-inflate the importance of protein, and that it’s likely that many of us get the necessary amount of protein in our diet without giving it any special consideration. But I find that I just feel better when I eat more animal-based protein. It boosts my energy, clears my brain fog and gives me more endurance. I also tend to recover from workouts better and grow stronger if I eat more protein.

Animal-based protein can be expensive and hard to find for a snack. Ever since experimenting with the carnivore diet, I’ve been trying to find easy snack ideas that include animal-based protein.

Protein snacks are actually relatively plentiful. Where I live, there are a few grocery stores that carry a pretty good selection of beef jerky, so that’s a good start.

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Book Excerpt – Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

Hagakure - The Book of the Samurai“One should be careful and not say things that are likely to cause trouble at the time. When some difficulty arises in this world, people get excited, and before one knows it the matter is on everyone’s lips. This is useless. If worse comes to worst, you may become the subject of gossip, or at least you will have made enemies by saying something unnecessary and will have created ill will. It is said that at such a time it is better to stay at home and think of poetry”Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai.

I was re-reading Hagakure last night, and this passage struck me as being especially relevant for the times that we live in. I was thinking that with the internet being such an integrated part of our lives, and with social media consuming most of the attention on the internet, it is easy to become lost in the  negativity that is so prevalent online.

Of course this applies to “real life” as well. Gossip around work, family disagreements, neighborly conflict, all these scenarios can easily consume one’s thoughts and dictate one’s mood.

It is interesting to me that many older texts written by philosophers in regard to how to live as a martial artist tend to put a premium on distancing yourself from conflict. It might be that training in violence removes the veneer of glamour that most of us associate with fighting. With this enlightenment comes an understanding that the best way to win a conflict is to avoid it all together.

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What is the BJJ Lifestyle?

bjj shakaYou often hear people in jiu jitsu talk about living the BJJ lifestyle. But have you ever wondered what it means to live this way? Many of the pictures and articles online bring forth images of surfing in the morning, rolling all day and eating acai bowls for every meal.  That sounds great, but clearly not tenable for the majority of us working stiffs.

When I think of what it means to live the jiu jitsu lifestyle the first thing that comes to mind is the “mindset” that you develop once you start training. Prior to starting jiu jitsu if you’ve never trained martial arts before, or even if you haven’t been doing much physical activity at all, you may have spent the majority of your free time chasing temporary distractions from your day-to-day grind. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the vast majority of people are stuck in a cycle of working, eating, and finding some way to be passively entertained before heading to bed on a daily basis. I was certainly that guy. But when you start doing jiu jitsu, there is a shift in this mindset.

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