GOAL, GOAL, GOAL!Read Now
Irrespective of what it is, we should always be looking to set some goals that will challenge us and either make us better people or improve the things around you.
Too often we hear people at New Years Eve talk about a resolution, but seriously, how many stick to it and achieve it?
It is said that you can only change a small percentage of your life at a time. How small I hear you say? Well it's way less than 10% (depending on the text you read).
Everyone has 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week, but it's how you chose to spend the time that counts.
Watching Netflix, playing computer games or sleeping in influences your day and how you spend your time. By the end of the day you could be scratching your head thinking what the hell have I done today?!
The biggest guilt a human can have is REGRET. Regretting what you ate, for not taking that opportunity, for sleeping in too late. Regret will always knock you off your perch.
Whether you are looking to lose weight, improve your dwellings or learn a new skill, it is up to you to do it.
I love listening to people such as Jocko Willink, David Goggins or even Zig Ziglar as they all have a similar thing in common; it's what you chose to do that makes you different from everyone else, just make it a positive thing.
Why not start your day off like this;
It doesn't matter what the goals are, just write them down and make every effort to achieve them. Make this a routine and eventually it will become a habit. Then you can expand on these goals and make them tougher on yourself. It could be a financial obligation or a commitment to something new.
Obviously we won't hit our goals all the time or in one day so put them at the top of the next list to remind you of your commitment to yourself. You never know, you might just end up learning a new skill, going on that holiday or winning your next tournament!
Lineage - Where do you come from?Read Now
Lineage; Important or not?
“My lineage is better than yours!” this is one of the things that make grapplers seem like kids more than anything. BJJ lineage is a huge source of pride, or controversy, depending on what the roll of the dice has brought you.
While linage is an age-old thing in martial arts and does hold value, should it really define grapplers as much as some people think? After all, how much does it really matter who gave a black belt to whom? Or how many people there are between you and Helio Gracie, for that matter?
Let’s explore if being a part of a “superior” BJJ lineage is really going to do anything to improve your grappling skills.
The topic of BJJ lineage is not one of those topics that’s always on top of the controversy charts. The BJJ Gauntlet, being a Creonte (cree-onch), and several others seem to be firmly in the lead there. However, from time to time, you’ll see lineage become a huge thing.
Sometimes it is between grapplers, and others, more often, academies.
Don’t get me wrong, paying respect to those that came before is important. It is also important to respect your instructors/professors. However, it doesn’t mean that training with someone is enough to turn you into “BJJ royalty”. Quite the contrary, while there is merit in lineage, let’s take the sensible approach and only try and look at it when it is really important – in the case of fake belts, for example.
What is BJJ Lineage
Looking at any martial art, you’ll notice a system of “lineage”. That means that people who get a certain belt or degree, that most often being a black belt and all further acknowledgments, readily recognise who gave them the highest rank.
Moreover, the lineage is there to honor all the people that came before that immediate instructor that promoted you. In a romantic sense of a way, it is a great way to demonstrate respect. However, in modern times, this is easily taken out of context. And BJJ is no stranger to that as well.
In terms of BJJ, we all know that it all starts with Mitsuo Maeda and Carlos and Helio Gracie. From there on, though, things are so branched out, that there’s no real way of keeping track of all the lineages in existence.
That said, that doesn’t make someone who has a lineage of 12 people a worse black belt than someone who is a Gracie Barra (Baha) member and got a belt directly from Carlos Gracie Junior. The length of the BJJ lineage nowadays can vary greatly, given how widespread the sport is.
IN terms of the legitimate lineage, there are official records that show whether or not someone is a black belt in BJJ.
However, many people tend to simply go with the flow and might never register. In Jiu-Jitsu though, it is not hard to actually discover whether or not someone’s lineage is legitimate. It is all a few e-mails away. However, when comparing two grapplers of legitimate linages, does the origin of it all really help determine how skillful you’ll be. And, as such, is it all really worth the fuss some people make?
How Important is BJJ Lineage Really?
In a perfect world, we’d all start in an academy with a great reputation and an impressive lineage. In an ideal world, you’d be able to start training with a world-renowned Professor and remain there for your entire BJJ journey. However, that’s hardly possible for most. First of all, people that just start training are not really that informed about stuff like BJJ lineage. Instead, they tend to look for the closest spot where they can train. As they start growing into the sport, they might end up in a different academy in quest of a different style, or a competitive career.
In fact, changing gyms/teams/instructors nowadays is pretty much the norm. So, how does that fare in terms of that all-important lineage? If you’re one of the lucky ones that have stumbled upon some of the top coaches in the world then good for you.
However, for most other, changing affiliation a few times, whether it is as a beginner or an advanced student means you’re switching your lineage. In certain cases, people have different lineages for all their belts. Guess what? Some of them turned out to be world-famous names in the Jiu-Jitsu community nowadays. So much for the case of BJJ lineage determining success.
One other thing to consider when talking lineage is how you extend your own. If you’re a brown and black belt, you’re most likely already involved in promoting students. That brings about great responsibility.
Those students will go on to tell everyone that you are the man behind their belt. As such, is linage really key, or is it the style you’ve formed and the way you’re teaching the ways of the Gentle Art? Makes sense, right?
Fake Black (And Other) Belts
One positive aspect of actually knowing someone’s BJJ lineage is important in the case of fraudulent belts.
Unfortunately, this is not uncommon today. There have been several accounts of people posing as black or brown belts.
Although they were exposed and dealt with, that’s not the full extent of it. The reality is that there are also many that remain hidden. Some of them even have successful McDojo type academies where everything is about the profit and nothing is about the art.
In those cases, BJJ lineage can actually help expose a fake claimed belt, as that‘s very ready to check. That’s one aspect of linage that’s definitely irreplaceable.
Let’s drop all the high-school drama and act like adults. No, it shouldn’t bother anyone if you train in more than one academy, as long as that doesn’t involve a competitive rivalry between them. No, it doesn’t matter if you’re a blue and purple belt under the Gracie Barra lineage, brown by Marcelo Garcia and a black by Christian Graugart of BJJ Globetrotters. It won’t matter when your own students tell people that they have a certain belt by you.
So, why should you make a fuss about it? Put a Gi on and go train, and leave all the dumb stuff out of the way. Those more concerned with lineage and creonteism will fade out of the grappling community anyway.
Article written by BJJ WORLD
Are You A Helicopter Parent?Read Now
Helicopter parenting, do you do this?
The term "helicopter parent" was first used in Dr. Haim Ginott's 1969 book Parents & Teenagers by teens who said their parents would hover over them like a helicopter. It became popular enough to become a dictionary entry in 2011. Similar terms include "lawnmower parenting," "cosseting parent," or "bulldoze parenting."
I was a helicopter parent with my son, nothing he did was good enough and everything he wore was terrible. I coached him in Aussie rules footy, so you could imagine how ‘good’ a coach I was to him.
I often say now that I am a better coach than I was a father, as my son and I had a fractured relationship for many years. It probably wasn’t until about two years ago we connected and rekindled a father son relationship. That being said, I have to text him first to see if he can talk otherwise, he won’t pick up.
Why am I telling you this? Too often I see and hear parents either coaching from the sidelines or making comments that are not encouraging for the child athlete.
When we first opened, we allowed parents to sit by the side of the mat as it was a good opportunity to allow them to see how their children train and maybe understand the sport better. But as time went on, we saw this was a negative aspect to the child’s development in the sport as they would forever be looking over their shoulder towards their parent in case they were being reprimanded by either a look or verbally.
When our children are drawing or painting, we don’t stand over the top of them telling them what colour to use or how they should draw. We need to be like this with sport irrespective of the sports they play.
For BJJ, more often than not, the parent has never felt what it is like to be pinned to the floor unable to move let alone stepping on a BJJ mat and feeling what the sport is like.
When the child athlete steps on the mat to train, it’s their time for fun, to learn, get physical and problem solve.
Should the child athlete ‘play up’, well that’s the coach’s job to reprimand and correct the behavior.
I’ve also seen and heard from plenty of parents who find watching their child at training stressful because of the way their athlete interacts. But I’ll let you in on a secret, more often than not they ‘act’ this way because the parent IS there watching.
At the end of the day it comes down to control, and when your child is playing a sport, you don’t have control. We want to guide them and make sure they make all the right moves but we can’t be there all the time and this is where the child’s path of self-discovery is so important.
Let them make the wrong moves, let them learn. But don’t chastise or ridicule them for what happened. Ask them why they did what they did and if they were in the same position or situation, what would they do differently?
Praise them for being there.
Tell them you saw them doing something good.
Ask them about what they did that they felt good about.
Ask them about a technique they used.
Tell them you were proud of their hard work and effort at training. After all, the more you encourage your child athlete to participate in the sport, the more they will enjoy it.
Hydrate or Die!Read Now
Hydrate or Die!
Dehydration And How Bad It Is For Your Body
Have you ever been in the middle of a warm up and felt like you were dying for a drink of water, or as soon as you break from the warm up you race over to your water bottle?
Chances are you are dehydrated.
There’s a nice little saying that goes ‘piss clear, piss often’. Any change in the colour of your urine is an indicator of dehydration.
Dehydration is a major contributor to injury, kidney problems, high cholesterol, constipation and a multitude of other health concerns that will not only affect you Jiu Jitsu but your overall wellbeing.
We require water to nourish the body, get rid of waste and regulate the important functions in the body. Our body comprises 75% of water and every human being requires a certain amount of water every day to survive. Where you live, age, and gender are some factors that influence the amount of water consumption. Here are 11 reasons dehydration is making you sick and fat.
Decrease in elasticity of ligaments and tendons – dehydration leads to the lack of elasticity in your ligaments and tendons leaving them prone to tearing or rupturing in sport. You could liken these as an old rubber band that breaks when tension is applied.
Kidney problems – A dehydrated body accumulates acid waste and toxins, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria. It makes the bladder and the kidney to be more prone to inflammation, infection and pain.
High cholesterol – Dehydration leads to an increase in the production of cholesterol in order to prevent loss of water from the cells.
Constipation – When there is shortage of adequate water in the body, the body draws water from colon to provide fluids for important bodily functions. When there is less water, waste moves slowly through the large intestine or sometimes not at all thereby leading to constipation.
Digestive problems – A lack of water and alkaline substances such as magnesium and calcium in the body can lead to a host of digestive disorders including gastritis, acid reflux and ulcers.
Fat accumulation – When dehydrated the body is unable to get rid of the toxins thus causing them to be stored in fat cells. Also, the body does not release the fat unless there is enough water in the body to safely wash off the toxins.
Affects organs – When dehydrated for long periods, the organs in the body, including skin, the largest organ starts to wrinkle and weaken prematurely.
Skin problems – Dehydration prevents the removal of waste through the skin and makes one susceptible to an array of skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, and premature wrinkling.
High blood pressure – When fully hydrated, the blood in the body comprises 92% water. Dehydration causes the blood to become thick which restricts blood flow, and this result in high blood pressure.
Fatigue – Water is one of the principal sources of energy. Due to lack of water, the enzymic activity in the body slows down leading to fatigue and tiredness.
Joint pain – Joints contain cartilage padding made up mainly of water. Dehydration causes the cartilage to weaken. Joint repair slows down causing discomfort and pain.
Breathing problems – When there is not enough water, the body restricts the airways to preserve the water. This often leads to asthma and other allergies.
A general rule of thumb is to drink at least 2 litres of water a day. The average individual loses around 10 cups of water daily just by sweating, going to the toilet and breathing.
Another point to keep in mind is that most people substitute water with coffee, tea, alcohol and other beverages not realising that the natural thirst in the body is a sign that it needs plain water. Although these beverages comprise of water, they also contain caffeine, sugar, alcohol, chemicals and artificial sweeteners that act as strong diuretics. In some instances, these beverages cause you to be more dehydrated.
Anytime you have a training schedule programmed, you should aim to drink a minimum of a half to one litre of water an hour prior to the session. This way you will be guaranteed to be partially hydrated at best.
You should always have a full water bottle on the side of the mat ready to go so as you sweat and expire, you will be able to rehydrate. On the completion of class, look to drink your fill once more in an attempt to rehydrate post exercise.
The use of electrolytic products such as ‘Endura’ are fantastic to use as they assist in replenishing carbohydrates and elements such as magnesium, potassium and sodium.
At the end of the day, we should always be drinking water for our health even more so if you are active.
Being Aggressive Vs Playing Aggressively
Have you ever heard your coach tell you that you need to be more aggressive and not understood, or they’ve indicated that you are being too aggressive?
Hopefully this article will help you if you are an athlete or a parent of an athlete determine what aggression is in the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Aggression can be defined as a forceful and sometimes overly assertive pursuit of one's aims and interests. Aggressiveness in life is often applauded. However, there are many circumstances where it can be deemed as inappropriate at best and offensive at worst.
Aggressiveness, if not used strategically, can be a recipe for disaster. Few endeavours in life are successful without aggressiveness. The same is true for the mats. There is a right way to use aggressiveness and a wrong way.
There are several ways that aggression can be misused in Jiu Jitsu.
One misuse of aggression in Jiu Jitsu is with strength. While it is fine to use strength in Jiu Jitsu, in the training room, it should be used to compliment technique and not in place of technique. I would argue that one first needs to roll without strength before they add it to their game. We all want to show heart and fight hard. However, at times, especially for the novice, strength is substituted for technique in the training room and the result is not Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu uses technique as a force multiple for strength.
Another misuse of aggression is where an athlete is ‘playing’ in a manner that is really just bullying their teammates. This is evident when the athlete may have tapped to a teammate and as soon as they reset, attempts to impose their will through emotion. Or they lose a position and their temper, and make every effort to reverse the situation and make their teammate ‘pay’ for what had happened.
Rolling aggressively can only be done correctly with the strategic application of strength. If someone wants to win a fight based solely on strength, they are better off pursuing body building and not Jiu Jitsu. Strength is an important component of Jiu Jitsu, however in the training room it is best used as a force multiplier to proper technique.
Other situations people equate aggression to, can be as a flurry of action.
Consider for example, if I am in someone’s closed guard. I can flail around aggressively and accomplish a lot of movement. However, most likely, I will not pass the guard based on these actions.
Technique and strategy need to be implemented aggressively.
One should aggressively implement their strategy for each position. When I’m in a dominant position I want to force a mistake.
Knowing what the strength and weakness are in any position and aggressively looking to exploit the strength is a great example of aggression.
Even beyond having a positional strategy in place for every position, one could use the aggressive threat of submission to advance position and use the aggressive threat of the position to open up the submission. For example; being caught in half guard, setting up a cross collar choke for your opponent to feel threatened, and moving to mount.
So what are some other ways to implement aggression into your game?
First, you should aggressively get your repetitions when rolling. This is the best opportunity as you now have a live opponent in front of you. When you are attempting your chosen technique in training, tapping out to your teammates isn’t a bad thing, especially if you are attempting your chosen technique. This is where refinement will come in to play. You get to see first hand what adjustments need to be made and eventually you will be able to execute your technique with precision using aggression.
There are countless more examples of things that may stop our repetitions in the training room. However, unlike a competition or self-defence setting, tapping out does not matter when training. You should be attempting to get the repetitions in, first slowly, and when you have the movement correct implement more aggression to achieve the goal .
Another way to be aggressive is in setting goals.
Figuring out the skill to be learned, breaking it down to small pieces, practicing those pieces and then obtaining feedback. Goals are huge in Jiu Jitsu. It is extremely difficult to achieve anything of merit without having an idea ahead of time on what the goals should be.
Aggression has its place in this violent art.
Certainly, one can roll aggressively by using a flurry of movement and strength as a substitute of technique. However, that is an example of poor aggression in Jiu Jitsu. There are many positive examples of aggression in Jiu Jitsu. Aggressively implement your strategy for positions. Aggressively seek your repetitions. The value of a roll is not in how many times you tap a teammate, but the quality of practice achieved. Aggressively set goals and destroy them. We should not be passive in Jiu Jitsu. However, we should use our aggression strategically.
In summary, the best way to look at aggression in Jiu Jitsu is; being aggressive requires emotion, playing aggressively is aiming to apply your skill and technique.
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