Archive for the Jiujitsu Category

So Real… You just gotta “Play” [repost]

Posted in Jiujitsu, MMA, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2015 by Combative Corner

Ryron Gracie - Gracie JiuJitsuBefore I started saying “Keepitplayful” I would always say “KeepItReal.”  It was something I heard on the radio and liked.  Before long I was saying it on the mat and I noticed that students interpreted that as “go for real” or “go hard.”  When you tell someone to go for real in most cases they will apply themselves at 100% to avoid having their guard passed.

I agree that you should have the confidence that you can keep someone in your guard but I also believe that keeping someone in your guard for over 30 seconds robs you of the side mount survival practice.  Because i know it is so unnatural to only control and attack guard for 30 seconds and then allow space for your opponent to pass I came up with the phrase “KeepItPlayful.”

Only someone with a playful mindset can create the experiences that are necessary for comfort in all positions.

Ryron Gracie

(reposted from Ryron’s post, “It’s so real it requires play.” 3/11/15)

10 Questions with Sally Arsenault

Posted in 10 Questions, Jiujitsu with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2014 by Combative Corner

Sally Arsenault CombativeCornerI (Michael Joyce, CombativeCorner Founder) came across Sally when researching jiu-jitsu uniforms and rashguards.  There were 3 things that caught my eye: (1) She’s a passionate practitioner of jiu-jitsu and it showed in her writings. (2) She doesn’t hype herself up and honestly strives for improvement on and off the mat and (3) she’s the same size and stature of my wife, Jennifer.  It’s always exciting and empowering to see dynamos in action.  After catching up with her on Facebook, she agreed to give us an interview – and we’re overjoyed and honored to add her to our Combative Corner family.

[above photo credit given to Aggro Photography]

What brought you into jiu-jitsu?

There were a lot of different things happening leading up to my trying jiu jitsu. I used to get up every morning at around six to lift weights and it was never much fun. Then my training buddy moved away and it became more of a chore than anything. I used to read some of Tucker Max’s stories on Rudius Media and a couple of the blogs he hosted covered weight lifting and Mixed Martial Arts (a few of those writers cover MMA and for Bloody Elbow now including Ben Thapa and Tim Burke). There was also a blog called The Bunny Blog by Erin Tyler. She had been getting into Muay Thai and wrote about how satisfying her training was so I began developing an interest in martial arts. Around that time I was robbed at gun point a couple of times and felt pretty vulnerable so everything kind of came together. I tried Muay Thai first but quickly switched to BJJ. Where I’m so small, it made sense to learn a martial art that a small person developed to defeat a larger person using leverage and strategy rather than strength.

Tim Burke [website]

Ben Thapa [website]

Tucker Max [website]

Erin Tyler [website]


How does jiu-jitsu add to your life off the mat?

Jiu-Jitsu has gotten me into the best shape of my life.  I’m much healthier now at 38 than I ever was at 28 or even 18.  I also met my boyfriend at jiu-jitsu, but aside from him, I find that spending my free time among people who work so hard to improve themselves has motivated me to consistently improve my life in every way.


If you had to name them right now, what would be your 3 favorite submissions?

My three favorite submissions are the triangle from guard (vide0), the belly-down arm bar (video) and the arm triangle (video).


You’re also a writer for Breaking Muscle.  How did you get that gig and what is your role there?

I injured my knee a couple of years ago and started reviewing some of the gear I had around the house.  BJJ is a sport that’s been primarily practiced by men and where I’m 5’0 and about 105 lbs, there wasn’t a lot of gear that would fit me back in the day.  I wasted a lot of money on ill-fitting gear and wanted to prevent others from doing the same.  I also started interviewing my teammates and other people in the martial arts community that I wanted to learn from so my little blog started accumulating content.  I’ve been a big fan of Breaking Muscle for a long time and when I saw that they were looking for martial artists to contribute, I submitted my blog for consideration.  MY BLOG

Initially I was a guest contributor but eventually I was kept on as a weekly contributor.  That’s actually another thing I learned from Tucker Max.  In his article, “How to: Find a Mentor (and Succeed Even if You Don’t), he said, “To earn a position, start by giving lots of work away for free: If there is a person you specifically want to work for, learn about them, figure out where they need help, do it, then give it to them.  FOR FREE.”  I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Breaking Muscle team and considering how many talented writers and athletes are out there, I’m still kind of surprised they chose me!

Tucker’s article: [link]

One of the articles that I eventually wrote for Breaking Muscle talked about life lessons I had learned.  One of them came from talk show host Kelly Ripa.  On their show one morning she was telling Regis that she was going to be on the cover of a magazine.  Regis teased her, saying wasn’t she special?  Kelly’s response was “Why not me?”  Why shouldn’t she be on the cover of a magazine?  I never actually thought they would say yes when I asked to be a contributor at Breaking Muscle but I remind myself of Kelly’s words in those situations.  Now I always ask for what I want even if it’s likely I’ll be rejected.  You never know who will say yes! Enthusiasm goes a long way.

Life Lessons article:  [link]


What do you like and dislike (if anything) about competing in jiu-jitsu/grappling tournaments?

What I really like about competing is that it’s the ultimate reality check.  No one is going to go easy on you at a tournament and if you have a skilled opponent, they will help to identify the weak areas of your game.  Training with the same people all of the time, you get into a lot of the same battles over and over again, so it’s a great way to get a fresh perspective.  I’m not a huge fan of competing but I would like to go and compete in New York or Boston at some point.  I expect that there would be more women in my division at those tournaments.


Do you supplement your jiu-jitsu training with anything?  If so, what might that be?

Yes, I supplement my BJJ training with strength training and cardio.  My training outside of BJJ varies but I basically read Joel Jamieson and William Wayland’s work and do what they say.  Joel Jamieson has coached UFC Champions like Rich Franklin and Demetrius Johnson.  He actually wrote a book called Ultimate MMA Conditioning and just came out with the Conditioning Blueprint DVD that helps athletes understand energy systems and build a training plan tailored to their performance needs.  I also use Jamieson’s BioForce HRV system to evaluate my fitness level and monitor recovery to prevent over-training.

Joel’s site: [website]

William Wayland is based int he UK and has helped guys like UFC fighter Luke Barnatt to develop knock out power in their hands, in addition to overall strength and conditioning.  He’s the author of Powering-Through and contributes regularly to Scramble’s blog.

Book: [website]

Scramble: [website]


What is your message to women in regards to studying the martial arts (or jiu-jitsu in particular)?

My message to women is to be authentic.  If you want to learn jiu-jitsu, learn jiu-jitsu.  Remember why you are there.  Be a good student and the rest will follow.

BJJ classes are usually made up of 90% men and 10% women, if you’re lucky.  There is so much content available online about women and jiu-jitsu, I would recommend they carefully consider what they buy into.  I feel the most self-aware and well-articulated insight and advice regarding women (and men) training in jiu-jitsu has been contributed by Valerie Worthington on Breaking Muscle.

Val: [website]


Are you a fan of the mixed martial arts? Why or why not?

I love mixed martial arts.  I’ve always been impressed with the innovation and heart shown by the athletes.  The UFC is coming to Halifax in October and I can’t wait!

What are your short-term martial art goals?

I teach a women’s beginner class at Titans Fitness Academy in Halifax, NS.  My short term goal is to perfect my own basic techniques and help the students in my class to do the same.  It’s so fun to learn slick, new techniques but I’m really enjoying drilling the basics again with them.  I did a study on the most common finishing moves since the inception of the Invicta Fighting Championships and it turns out that they’ve been sticking to the basics too! [link]

My women’s class info: [link]

What are some of your favorite things to do outside of the gym/dojo/mat?

I actually don’t have a lot of free time.  I work full time, I write my articles for Breaking Muscle and Jiu Jitsu Style if I have something lined up, I train and teach a few times a week and on weekends I go to visit my boyfriend and train at his club.  I’m also resuming Certified General Accountant certification classes very soon.  It’s hard to find the time to do much else.  I like to shop online if that counts.

Bonus Questions
If you were an anime character, what special power would Sally have?

I don’t know a lot about anime but I think if I had a special power it would be to make myself twice as heavy as a I look so I could squish people at BJJ.

I’d like to give a shout-out to my sponsors, if you don’t mind.

Thank you Jesse Bellevance at Killer Bee Kimonos for the amazing custom gis! You can save 15% on any custom gi with code CUSTOM15.  People can also save 10% with code FACEBOOK10 on all other Killer Bee products.  Bill Thomas at Q5 Combat supplements has also been so supportive, keeping me healthy with their amazing products. The ones I use the most are the Amass Whey Protein, Krill Oil, Joint Armour, Warrior Green, BP8 Stinger and Vitamin D3.  Shipping is free in the US and you can save 10% with code SALLY10.  Finally I’d like to thank Martin Blaise of Aggro Photography for the amazing photos he’s provided me with.

Interview with Jesse at Killer Bee: [link]

Custom Gi Preview (Women’s):  [link]

Killer Bee Gi Reveiew: [link]

Thank you very much, Michael! I wish you and your readers all the best!

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Watch and Learn Jiu-Jitsu – By: Ryron Gracie

Posted in Day's Lesson, Jiujitsu, Philosophy, Teaching Topic, Techniques, Training with tags , , , , , , , on December 3, 2013 by Combative Corner

Ryron Gracie - Gracie JiuJitsuA while back I was sparring with Rener and I remember being in danger of a choke. His attack was relentless. I tried every technique that I knew, but the choke kept getting deeper and deeper.  Seeing no other option, I abandoned the idea of pure technique and used everything I had to twist free from the choke. Let me be clear… I was more than close to losing the battle. What kept me from tapping or sleeping was not technique, but a strategic explosion.

Read the Original Article in Full! (HERE)

Q: Is it better to be technical and lose or explosive and survive?

Ryron’s Answer:

Its more efficient and a better investment of your time to be technical and lose. There is value in exploding out of bad situation to safety, it helps you understand what you are physically capable of.  Be aware of the risk of injury , worsening the position and most of all running away from learning the intricacies of jiu-jitsu.

Originally Posted on November 21, 2013 by

Bullying, Martial Arts and Finding a Solution

Posted in Bullying, Jiujitsu, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic, Training, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2013 by bradvaughn

Vaughn1Like most people who began taking martial arts when they were children I did so because I was being picked on almost daily and I wanted to learn to defend myself. I used to stay up late and watch old kung fu movies and imagining myself using the same moves on the bullies that were messing with me. After hearing me talk about it for a while my mom finally gave in and took me to watch a karate class at the local rec center.  Word of advice

never take a timid child to watch an advanced martial arts class.

The brown belts were having class that night and all it took was me seeing one of them getting thrown over the instructor’s shoulder to stifle any desire to sign up for martial arts. It would be almost a year before I would step foot in another martial arts class.

Lucky for me one of my mom’s co-workers (at the time) had a child enrolled at the local Tae Kwon Do school and gave my mom a pass for a free month. She almost didn’t let me go because she thought it would be a repeat of the rec center, but after promising that I wouldn’t back out again she took me to try out my first class. I was instantly hooked. I took to the classes like a fish to water and found that I actually had some natural talent for martial arts, which for a young boy who didn’t have a single athletic bone in his body was a nice surprise.

I trained at Lee Brother’s Tae Kwon Do in Burlington, NC under Master Sang Ho Lee for almost three years and loved every second of it. Knowing that I could defend myself as well as the realization that there was a physical activity that I was actually good at did wonders for my confidence and self-esteem. I still carry those positive influences and good memories of my first martial arts school and my first instructor with me to this day and use them, as well as what I have learned from my other martial instructors over the years, as a blue print for how I teach and motivate my students.

stop bullyingIt’s safe to say that my experience being bullied as a child plays a large part in why I teach martial arts.

Whenever a parent brings their child to my school and tells me that their son or daughter is getting bullied at school I take it personally.

Children shouldn’t have to fear going to school. They shouldn’t have to walk down the hallway with their head down hoping and praying that the bully won’t notice them. School should be a fun, safe place for them to go and learn and be with friends, not a place that literally feels them with dread. As someone who has been where they have been and gone through what they have through I feel like I have an obligation to help these students just like my instructors helped me.

Having said that, I think there is one crucial area that most martial arts schools are missing when preparing their students to defend themselves against bullies.

While we do a great job at teaching our students how to handle physical attacks by bullies, most instructors don’t address how to deal with the verbal abuse that bullies give.

I ran into the same dilemma after I started taking martial arts. The other students and I were told by our instructor to only use our training if we were being physically attacked. We were also told that if he found out that we had gotten into a fight at school we would not only be in trouble with the school but with him as well. For me that meant that I was often stuck still having to endure the bullies’ verbal abuse because they weren’t actually attacking me physically. As annoying as they are bullies are also smart, they know how to work the system. They will relentlessly bully a child verbally knowing that if their victim does anything to them physically it will be the victim and not they who will get in trouble.

Gracie Workshop 2It wasn’t until after attending a seminar on Verbal Martial Arts by Master Chan Lee as well as studying the Gracie Bullyproof curriculum developed by the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy that I realized just how badly we were failing our students by not giving them the tools to protect themselves against verbal attacks that bullies often use. I immediately updated the anti-bullying talks that I do both in my dojo and in the public schools that I visit to include not only how to handle physical bullying but verbal bullying as well. I now teach that bully prevention starts as soon as you meet someone; in your eye contact, the tone of your voice and in the firmness of your handshake. These are just some of the ways that a potential bully decides whether or not you are going to be a future friend or a future victim.

While these verbal martial arts skills are important they are only half the solution. Studies have shown that students will only use these verbal martial arts to stand up to bullies if they know that they can, if necessary, back them up with physical self-defense without getting in trouble with their parents or their martial arts instructors. We must give our students some clear “rules of engagement” that they can follow when being bullied. Rules that will tell them how to assertively, but politely ask the bully to stop any verbal abuse, tell them what to do when the bully doesn’t stop, allow them to protect themselves using “school safe” techniques when the verbal abuse turns to physical abuse and if need be, how to justify their actions to their teachers and/or principals if physical self defense is required. Most importantly we must let our children/students know that as long as they follow these rules they will have our full support if they ever do have to defend themselves against the bully. Only then will they truly have the confidence to stand up for themselves.

MASTER BRANDON VAUGHN

KARATE INT. JONESVILLE / GRACIE CERTIFIED TRAINING CENTER

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The Evolution of Metamoris

Posted in Discussion Question, Fighters, Jiujitsu, News, REVIEWS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2013 by Combative Corner

Metamoris-II-Gracie-vs-AokiJune 9th

Metamoris II, wrapped up over the weekend and although an amazing and prestigious venue with incredibly talented athletes, many viewers (and certainly many tournament-goers) were left in a state of melancholy.  While I believe most people felt this, I believe that even those people that held the greatest of sadness still feel the same;

The no points, “submission-or-decision” version is a platform to showcase jiu-jitsu skill at the highest level – and we are all glad to have the opportunity to experience it.

Does the ‘Bad’ Overshadow the ‘Good’?

There were some great jiu-jitsu matches: Rafeal Lovato Jr vs. Andre Galvao, Brualio Estima vs. Rodolfo Vieira, and Kron Gracie vs. Shinya Aoki (despite a prolonged “feeling out” process in the beginning).  Things took a turn for the worst in the highly-talked-about match between Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu and Brendan Schaub (video).

Schaub vs. Abreu Metamoris 2Abeu, who did just about everything he could to engage in the fight, was highly disappointed afterwards (despite winning by decision).  Athletes come to an event like this to both test and showcase their skill in grappling.  Abreu wasn’t truly given the opportunity, and Schaub’s “nullification” of Abreu’s jiu-jitsu was borderline disrespectful and his strategy, confusing.

The Will To Survive

Ralek Gracie said, “I founded Metamoris to create a tournament where submissions are the only goal, not points.  With the introduction of judges, we will avoid judges… Someone in a fight is always sharper (link).”

As a student of Gracie Jiujitsu (Joyce) and who has had the opportunity to speak and train with both Ryron & Rener Gracie (Schaub’s jiujitsu trainers), I can say I understand what the Gracie system is all about.  Obviously Gracie Jiujitsu works and is a highly-refined martial art, however when you put a brown belt (Schaub) up against a 12-time Grappler’s quest, 3-time World Nogi Champion (and many more accolades) back belt (Abreu), you can only hope for one thing in my opinion, to survive.

In addition, the thought somewhere in Schaub’s brain, were UFC President Dana White’s one condition for taking this contest, “Don’t get hurt.”  Fortunately or unfortunately for Schaub, it was just his reputation that got hurt.

What Needs To Be Done

The only problem that I see in the Metamoris Tournament is in casting.  I believe that the matches should only be performed by players of black belt level or higher.  Furthermore, the black belt must be in a grappling-based system of martial art.  Metamoris does not need to be in the game to bring in “big names” (such as those in the UFC).  Audiences around the world wish to be riveted by high-level, submission-only grappling and while some competitors can be found in the UFC, Pride, etc, the focus should remain on those whose grappling game holds a high degree of depth and intelligence.

In that light, I am very pleased of the announcement of:

Royler Gracie vs. Eddie Bravo for Metamoris III

Eddie Bravo: “..they want to find out if I got lucky that time.” (Full 1st Fight video)

Royler Gracie: “He got lucky.”

Combative Corner: “We shall see won’t we? Either way, it should be a best outta 3, don’tcha think?”

MICHAEL JOYCE

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Training Tip | By: Ryron Gracie

Posted in Jiujitsu, Training with tags , , , , , on May 14, 2013 by Combative Corner

Ryron Gracie - Gracie JiuJitsuProblem:

Your favorite submission is not working as often as you would like.

Answer:

  • Most people attack with their best submission first.
  • Most often the submission you attempt first does not work.
  • Start attacking all the submissions that are not your favorite.
  • Your opponent has no idea that you do not like those submissions.
  • Use the submissions that are not your favorite to disguise your favorite.
  • Take the submission your opponent gives you.

Ryron Gracie

GracieAcademy.Com

10 Questions with Eve Torres

Posted in 10 Questions, Jiujitsu, Safety, Self-Defense, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2013 by Combative Corner

Eve Torres CombativeCornerEve Torres is not your typical lady – she’s a dancer, model, actress, former professional wrestler (3-time WWE Divas Champion) and now, instructor of the Gracie’s Women Empowered Program

(Combative Corner DVD Review). Click image below to watch.

I had to honor of linking up with her on Skype for an exclusive 10 Question Interview.  Watch and listen as we find out more about Eve and her new-found direction.

Stay in the loop.  Follow the Combative Corner on Facebook & Twitter.

Interviewer: Michael Joyce

*Photos Above used with the Permission of Ms. Eve Marie Torres

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