Archive for BJJ

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

Sport Jiu-Jitsu, Combat Jiu-Jitsu and Attitude

Posted in Discussion Question, Jiujitsu, Miscellaneous, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2012 by chencenter

There was a lot said and a lot of opinions expressed after the 20 minute long jiu-jitsu match between Andre Galvao and Ryron Gracie.  One of the best quotes came via Rener Gracie’s tweet/instagram:

“I don’t know why Andre was so upset… I can’t tap Ryron either and I’ve been trying for 28 years.”

The fact is: There are different types of jiu-jitsu being played.  Players of jiu-jitsu have different motivations for taking up the martial art… And there are also different approaches to the art.  When jiu-jitsu becomes a spectator sport, is there or should there be one kind?  Some say yes.  I certainly say, no.

Watching Ryron (in the match above) reminded me of boxer Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker in his prime.  Whitaker was a masterful, defensive boxer that many fans disliked watching.  Those that knew boxing saw genius and couldn’t look away.  There is an obvious genius in Ryron’s game, mixing outstanding defensive maneuvering and thoughtful attack.

After the allotted time was over, Andre spoke with commentator Rener Gracie and spoke his mind.  Many were disappointed over his lack of humility, and although I didn’t care for it, I found it understandable.  Andre is a person whose drive is competition and he was up against someone whose drive is to “Keep it Playful.”  Even though Ryron had it in him to win (submission only), his nature, training and goal was to show HIS jiu-jitsu – that is to say, his family’s jiu-jitsu.

Andre said (wanting to set up a rematch), “…I could set up a fight on my rules and see who wins.”  And although “the rules” are unclear, the fact remains that a submission was never achieved (which reminds me of the famous Helio quote, “If you don’t lose, you win.”).  But my personal thought is this, “Everyone has their arena.”  Those that want tournament style can join or watch the tournaments.  Those who want to test their might in the arena of fighting can join the UFC.  But if you want to test your jiu-jitsu – the way YOU play jiu-jitsu – this event was such a platform and I am looking forward to watching more.

I can’t wait.

I’d like to leave you with the words of my friend and jiu-jitsu extraordinaire, Ari Bolden who said (in regard to this event),

“Jiu Jitsu isn’t some philosophical concept that is to be debated over and over on Internet forums (like that means anything at all). You DO it. You live it. It makes you a better person.”

Michael Joyce

Golden Thread Workshops, NC

RELATED POST:

Keith Owen’s Blog: From The Ground Up: Metamorphis

The Journey to Blue Belt in BJJ | JTBB # 1

Posted in Jiujitsu, Martial Arts, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2012 by chencenter

“I am a shark, the ground is my ocean, and most people don’t know how to swim.”

Jean Jacques Machado

Like many martial artists before me, Brandon and I came to jiu-jitsu by way of the ‘Shark Tank.’  Growing up in the martial arts that were available to us, we learned how to protect ourselves standing up.  For years, in our minds, that’s all that existed in our world, and in our training.  Obviously, when the Gracies came around and the UFC started, we got our glimpse ‘behind the mountain.’  When we finally got to roll with someone with jiujitsu experience, we found ourselves struggling to stay afloat.

Life takes people in different paths.  Brandon came by way of Karate.  I came by way of Taijiquan.  Where the road would lead (for us) would be at ‘Jiu-Jitsu Junction.’ This double-lane road is paved with excitement and we proud and eager to explore this journey with you.

Stay tuned to these articles via Twitter #JTBB

In This New Series…

Together, we will explore the lessons, the pitfalls, the mindset (and more) of the student on the quest to blue belt.  And like every journey, the writings herein are not solely for the beginner.

Those of you experienced in Jiu-Jitsu…

we encourage you to comment, add, and/or reminisce with these posts.

Thanks for reading and enjoy our future posts from our List, or by following this site.  (Bookmarking or Subscribing by email helps)

Brandon Vaughn & Michael Joyce

10 Questions with Keith Owen

Posted in 10 Questions, External Arts, Jiujitsu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2012 by Combative Corner

How did you become interested in learning the martial arts?

I grew up in a single parent household and my mom couldn’t make ends meet.  I had wanted to do martial arts since I was 7 but we just couldn’t afford it.  I saw a karate demonstration at my school at that age and knew that I “had” to do martial arts.  I didn’t start taking martial arts lessons until I was 16 when I got a job and started paying for them myself.  I never looked back.  In the early 90’s after I got my black belt in Kung-fu I saw an article on the Gracies and was intrigued.  They were beating up everyone.  Later I saw Royce Gracie tap out Dan Severn with a triangle choke and thought that’s the martial art I need to train in.  I found Professor Pedro Sauer in Salt Lake and I never looked back.

What personally drove you to learning jiujitsu?

A small guy can beat a big guy using technique. Think of what a big guy like me could do using Technique? I thought this was “the way!”
If you had to pick 3 of your favorite techniques, what would they be?
  1. The Fog Choke-Keith Owen “Lights Out”
  2. The Triangle Choke and the 10th Planet “Gansta Lean”
  3. Deep Half Guard
  4. Hip Compression- Keith Owen Favorite Moves Vol 1
  5. The Biermbolo -I’m playing with this-I suck at it
  6. The Twister and the truck-10 Planet
  7. The Eziquel choke-Keith Owen “Lights out” via James Foster
  8. Arm in Guillotine

A little more than three..sorry.

Who are a few of your mentors and what impact have they had on you?

I don’t know about many mentors but I have numerous people who have had a profound effect on me so since you asked I’m going to share.
  1. My Wife Shirlane- 21 years and going strong.  She should have divorced me a long time ago.
  2. Professor Pedro Sauer-The best instructor in the world. He has forgotten more then I know.
  3. Sifu Joesph Cowles- My Wu Wei Instructor and former student of Bruce Lee
  4. Tren Long- One of my purple belts who has produced all of my videos and my toughest student.
  5. Matt Owen (no relation) One of my purple belts.  He and his son Dylan are the rock of my school.
  6. Dean Heileman who got his black belt before he died of Cancer.  Got me motivated in Jiu-Jitsu.
  7. Royce Gracie for showing me “The Way.”
  8. Allen Hopkins-One of the most technical black belts of the Pedro Sauer Association-He helped me out a lot going up the ladder.
  9. Professor Sergio Penha in Las Vegas for being a great example and giving me another perspective of Jiu-Jitsu.
  10. My Mom-The most emotionally tough women I have ever met.

and I’m forgetting my friends, Damon Tong (My business mentor), Rob Smith (one of my instructors) and Rob Namer (my firearms business partner).  I would not be where I am without the help of these people.

How do you feel about martial arts for: the dojo, the street, and for competition? 
You asked about Martial arts and not specifically BJJ so I’m going to give you my opinion of the Martial arts in general.  I think a lot of martial arts are practiced in the dojo and then the instructor brags about how street lethal their martial art is.  They never test anything out to verify.  I often say that most martial arts instructors have four years of martial arts training repeated three or four times over. Competition is a little closer to the street because you are going up against another human being – but the rules of the contest can make a person lose their edge and fight by the rules. For instance,  MMA doesn’t allow groin kicking or eye gouging.  Kicking the guy in the groin and eye gouging are great self defense techniques for the street.  Just look at the guys who get kicked in the groin or eye gouged in MMA they typically need time to recover.  I’m a big fan of martial arts for the street and for competition, you just need to put it in perspective for what you are doing and know that there is a difference.  Just because you have one down doesn’t mean you know the other.

Are you a big fan of competition fighting? Why or why not? (and if so, who do you like to follow)

After having said my previous comments- I love competition bjj and I love MMA.  My favorite BJJ competitors are Marcello, Saulo, Jeff Glover and Roger Gracie.  My favorite MMA fighters are Johny “Bones” Jones, Anderson Silva, Nick and Nate Diaz, Clay Guida and GSP and my son Alex Owen (laughs).

What is your stance and/or concerns about online learning?

Well, since I have a lot of videos and an online download site  (www.keithowenonline.com)   I think it would be a bit hypocritical to say that it’s a bad thing (laughs).  Seriously,  I think the internet has made bjj more accessible then ever to the masses.  It really helps in getting students everywhere better.  I do think that the best way to train for the average person is too have an awesome bjj instructor to show you the technique, then you go to as many seminars as you possibly can and then you top it off with online or video training.  I think that would be the perfect regimen.  This is a great time to be alive and training in BJJ and Martial arts in general.

How effective (do you believe) jiujitsu is in self-protection?

This comment is going to piss a lot of BJJ guys off but Jiu-Jitsu is not my first martial art for the street.  It’s my back-up martial art – done if I’m taken down, slip or take someone down if I get attacked.  The pavement, parking lot, side of the road, gravel, snow, ice, wet grass or a field of stickers is no place to ground fight.  I want to knock that mutha out or be able to evade and escape if a weapon is presented or their is multiple attackers.I also don’t think in many cases that arm bars are very effective in ending a fight in a life or death ground fighting situation.  You could break a dedicated opponents arm and in many cases he could keep on fighting.  It’s far more effective to use some kind of choke that would make an opponent pass out.  I think on the other hand if you are just a stand up fighter and you get taken down then you are in a world of hurt, so Jiu-Jitsu is important but for me it’s my last resort in a real fight. I’m not going to put up my dukes and then run over and jump into the guard (laughs).I would also like to add that the gi is a very effective tool to practice self defense.  Many attackers are wearing coats and pants and the more opportunity you have to choke a dude out, the better.
What elements of jiujitsu would you teach your wife/daughter or loved one for self-protection?

Collar Choke, Arm Bar and Triangle Choke from the Guard because that is where they will likely be in an attack situation.  i know I said that the arm bar wasn’t very effective but it’s hard for an attacker in a rape situation to get aroused when they have a freshly dislocated or broken arm and anyway, the police can have a free clue as to who the attacker was.
What is one thing that you’d like to emphasize to the beginning jiujitsu student?
I don’t have just one but the first “things” I would emphasize is to have fun, play around and get better.  I want my new students to work on getting rid of their ego so that getting better is the goal and not having to win at any cost.  Many guys don’t like to tap out and they take it personal.  They will often quit because they think they are lousy at Jiu-jitsu and since they are lousy it’s no fun.    We also can’t afford injuries at this level because shoulder and knee surgeries are expensive and people’s spouses aren’t too keen on letting them come back after a sever injury, It would be a shame if a potential world champion quit at the beginning because of ego or injury.    I promise that if they get rid of ego, do their best, keep an open mind, come to class, take care of their partners, get addicted to BJJ and stay loyal that I will take them to Black Belt Jiu-Jitsu Mastery, I promise.
Bonus Question
You’ve got 6 months to train… the money is on the table, who would you personally like to “have a go at.” (it could be anybody, living…dead. just a fantasy questions)
I would  train (friendly) with any bjj black belt for free as long as they have good technique.  I would super fight anyone for money though, What the hell (laughs).
·
Mr. Owen, we thank you greatly for giving us this interview. 
Readers – if you’d like to learn more about Mr. Keith Owen, please visit his website by clicking the picture at the top of the page.  For his instructional videos, click here.

Protected: FREE PRIZE #1 – JIU-JITSU E-BOOK

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2012 by Combative Corner

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