8.1.15

BJJ academy visit: Elements martial arts - Brighton & Hove

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BJJ back belts Yousuf Nabi and Miad Najafi (CFS BJJ / De La Riva International) run a very smooth operation down in Brighton and Hove. The academy offers a range of martial arts that reflects the two competent black belts' own rich background and breadth and depth of knowledge:


 



I was recently in Brighton, a seaside city in the very south end of England, to celebrate a friend's birthday but I couldn't face coming all the way down here and not hook up with these guys for a session, so I packed the uber light "Globetrotters Travel Gi" that Christian Graugart sent me along with my Sunday best. 



4.1.15

BJJ / Grappling TIps: Exercise balls and balance training

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Yes I'm a great advocate of Unstable Base Training but I must admit I've never seen anything like this:

Mr Abmar Barbosa training on the Swiss-Ball



This is the man who (amongst many other accomplishments) beat Kron Gracie 11-0!

Can you see why?


23.12.14

Kron Gracie MMA Debut: Breakdown Analysis

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Jiujitsu and grappling phenom Kron Gracie, son of the founder of the Jiujitsu Global Federation, the legendary Rickson Gracie and grandson of the co-founder of Gracie Jiujitsu grand-master Helio Gracie, recently fought his MMA debut against Kim Hyung Su of Korea in the Japanese promotion "Real Fight Championships". You can watch the fight below:



Here's my breakdown of the fight as I saw it:


BJJ tips: How to defend the Baseball Bat Choke

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How to defend the Baseball Bat Choke
The Baseball bat choke from the bottom (and from the top) is a very devestating jiujitsu technique that has put many BJJ fighters to sleep. If you are not sure which one I mean, here is a great demo by Relson Gracie black belt Robin Gieseler from Gracie Ohio:



A fantastically hard working blue belt at our academy has been catching eveyone lately with this great choke so I did my research into ways to counter this, other than all the tapping I've been doing and this is what I have come up with:

Jiujitsu master Caique shows how to use body positioning and weight placement to counter the choke:




17.12.14

BJJ / Grappling Tips: Prevent the guard pass - Ari Galo shows how he developed the best guard ever (no hands)

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How do you prevent someone from passing your guard in jiujitsu? Without using your hands? In the video below that has been making the rounds on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, Carlson Gracie black belt Ari Galo shows us his method called "Balling Guard"
 
 
 
That's nice, but how does he do it? How does he move his legs and hips to nullify the passers attempts to get by? In this second video, he explains how he balls up to always be one step ahead of the opponent.

7.12.14

BJJ Gi review: Submission FC Aura pants and assorted hemp TShirts.

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These gi pants sold by Submission FC are by far, BY FAR, the softest gi pants I've ever put on. In fact, they just might be the softest thing I've ever worn.

Embroidered logo

– White with Navy Blue Contrast Stitching
– Pre-Shrunk Polyester / Cotton blend Gi Pants
– Rope Draw String
– Heavily Reinforced
– 5 Draw String Loops



3.12.14

Fear in Jiu-Jitsu. Fear in life.

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I recently went to dinner with my friend and jiujitsu instructor of many many years and, as always, our conversation revolved around the topics of training, women, upcoming events and the psychology of combat. Incidentally, we talked a lot about fear.

I'm surrounded by fear. The podcasts I listen to talk about fear, both the martial arts ones and others. In my day job as a secondary school maths teacher, I constantly hear students and teachers alike talking about their fear. I even catch myself lost in a web of fear far more than I'd like to. Even at the gym I see and hear my friends talk about fear, act from fear or freeze and surrender to fear, as do I.

Notice that I refuse to pluralise it. Fear.

From what I've seen, there is only one true type of fear: the fear of not reaching some theoretical, usually positive, outcome.

Martial artists are afraid they won't achieve what they set out to. They set hypothetical goals and targets and work hard trying to reach the next milestone, whatever that may be. Often, however, it is not the challenge that breaks them but the fear of failing to conquer it.

29.11.14

Interview with Rickson Gracie: jiujitsu master and founder of theJiu-Jitsu Global Federation Part VI

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Interview with Jiujitsu Global Federation founder Master Rickson Gracie. Part VI

A concise version of this interview was recently published by Blitz Martial Arts, Australasia's leading martial arts magazine. Click here for Part I, II, IIIIV & VI

29th July 2014. 10am Los Angeles Time

LW: Looking at the information on the JJGF website, I saw a distinction between "black belts" and "elite competitors". Can you please describe the difference and how practitioners can go from one category to the other?
RG: We aim to create a ranking system within our circuit, just like sports like surfing, tennis and others. Ideally, once we have everybody in that ranking system, we can look at the elite who may be the top 50 athletes. We will have premium events within the circuit which will have the elite athletes, which will become a professional tour much like in tennis and surfing. That, however, is a vision for the future ahead. We have to divide the average black belt competitor from the premium black belts who for instance already have sponsors and dedicate their whole life to training. We're trying to create a high level of competitors who will become like the professional reference for the rest. We are hoping that this worldwide premium circuit will bring our sport to the next level.

25.11.14

Interview with Rickson Gracie: jiujitsu master and founder of theJiu-Jitsu Global Federation Part V

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Interview with Jiujitsu Global Federation founder Master Rickson Gracie. Part V

A concise version of this interview was recently published by Blitz Martial Arts, Australasia's leading martial arts magazine. Click here for Part I, II, III & IV

29th July 2014. 10am Los Angeles Time


LW: It sounds like you're trying to create something bigger than yourself, so,etching that can replace you. 
RG: oh man, you know that's exactly what I'm trying to do. If I look back at my life, I did everything I could do to represent, to fulfil my students' needs in order for them to become better. As men, as competitors, as parents or whatever. I feel like I've been dedicating my life to jiujitsu and as my body is physically fading, the best contribution I could do is to create some kind of pattern of quality control for our product and our community because what I see is our product being diluted and weakened. I see that my last challenge, my last fight, as very fulfilling and very motivational. I feel like if I can accomplish half of what I'm thinking, I'll be the happiest guy on earth. I'm out there fighting and providing service, working hard to conquer this challenge but in a much bigger position. For example, instructional videos: I will never, ever put my instructional videos on the shelf for anyone to buy. It's not about the money but for me it's about the principle. It's weakness from me if some guy I've never met pays $50 and takes my knowledge and a piece of my soul and then becomes my enemy. On the other hand, if a jiujitsu practitioner from anywhere in the country or the world, gets in contact with me and says "Master, I'm a jiujitsu teacher from wherever and I'd like to have your programme", I don't feel it's the same as selling it on the shelf to anyone. I feel like I'd be fulfilling that guy's needs as a black belt to become a better teacher. This is a completely different feeling for me because while I can be betrayed, but my intention is to serve jiujitsu  and I'd be giving another jiujitsu practitioner the elements he needs to become better. I'd be working with people who love the art, respect the art and live by the art and the knowledge so it's a. Completely different service. 

21.11.14

Interview with Rickson Gracie: jiujitsu master and founder of theJiu-Jitsu Global Federation Part IV

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Interview with Jiujitsu Global Federation founder Master Rickson Gracie. Part IV

A concise version of this interview was recently published by Blitz Martial Arts, Australasia's leading martial arts magazine. Click here for Part I, II & III

29th July 2014. 10am Los Angeles Time


LW: Many in the community feel that existing or past "federations" carried the name federation but were actually run as corporations. It's embarrassingly visible out there and when there are suggestions for PED TESTING, rule changes or democratic votes, a blind eye is turned to that. What is going to be the organisational structure within the JJGF? Will it have regional / national divisions? Will there be a JJGF-Europe? Etc?
RG: 100%. I agree about the current situation. Our idea now is to create our new circuit and, instead of dividing everybody, to welcome everybody to be completely supported by us. This year, I'm not going to say "if you don't use our rules we don't respect or support you" instead, we want to welcome everybody to the federation. I will promote every tournament on the planet. I will accept and distinguish every champion, no matter the rules. I will try to bring attention to and suggest our new rules in order to create a strong body in the JJGF. the aim is to unify the community and bring major sponsors to the game and TV contracts. 

All this is in my vision for the growth of our beloved art. Depending on the reaction and retaliation from the community, we might end up drawing ourselves back and preserve our own vision and culture for those who share and accept it. But I don't want to try to create that kind of division to begin with.  

I need to talk to the promoters around the globe and get them on board. They need to see that they can't necessarily just double and triple the size of their events so if they can't expand horizontally, through the work of the federation, they can expand vertically through the involvement of sponsor and TV exposure. We'd be creating a very unique and sound business model and a very interesting development for the sport.