3 Sneaky Jiu-Jitsu Attacks

Posted by admin

Feb 5, 2015 10:00:00 AM

 sneaky

 

 

There is no shortage of sneaky moves that can put your opponent in unexpected positions, so it’s impossible to really list them all. But here are a few really specific situations that have put even the most experienced practitioners in some bad spots.  There is no doubt that many of you will have more to add to this list! But here are three to start: 

  1. Loop Choke from half-guard.

The loop choke is a long time favorite for a lot of athletes especially starting at blue belt. You’ll very often find them using the loop choke as their go-to emergency move. It can be applied from many positions, but the sneakiest version is when you’re playing half-guard. You get your cross-collar grip and loosen your half-guard to give your opponent a false sense of security. When they commit to the pass, the often dip their head too low, allowing you to loop their collar around their necks and throwing yourself under them, tightening the choke.

Often when you see someone attempt this in the black belt division, both athletes will keep rolling together, usually until they are out of bounds. This is because one of the escapes is to roll with the choke quicker than your attacking opponent. Marcelino Freitas is one example of an athlete who loves doing this attack and has had some crazy rolls (literally) in competitions. They can be found on Youtube.

  1. Ezekiel Choke against deep half-guard.

In late 2014, Renzo Gracie revealed some dirty little secrets at his seminar at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo. He told the story of how he grew up around the man who invented the half guard, Gordo, and his uncle, Rilion, who was known to have a killer guard. Being around two such dangerous guard players, Renzo admitted that it was hard to really survive when rolling. But over time, he had become immune to these guards and found one simple solution to avoiding deep half-guard problems.

The answer to this dilemma was the use of an Ezekiel choke over your opponent head when they try to tuck their heads beneath your base to enter the deep-half guard. Renzo called it “putting the bag over the head”. He gripped the inside of his sleeve and wrapped his forearm around his opponent’s head to apply pressure for the tap. You’d be surprised how simple it really is to get the catch. The beauty of this technique is also that it can be applied for a bunch of other positions – like escaping from north-south.

  1. Lapel Choke from armbar.

In a recent popular instructional video from Jits Magazine, Nova Uniao professor Cesar Rezek demonstrated what may be one of the sneakiest and easiest techniques to pull off on your opponent. It is a lapel choke for when your opponent is trying to escape your armbar attempt.

In the traditional armbar, you usually have one leg over your opponent’s face. To escape, they must remove that leg from their face and make their way backwards over that same leg. At this moment, you can pull your lapel around their neck. To make the explanation simpler, below is the link for this very awesome technique.

http://jitsmagazine.com/video/sneak-choke-from-armbar-position-cesar-rezek

 

 

 

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Topics: Training Hints and Tips

Beware of Overtraining

Posted by admin

Jan 29, 2015 10:00:00 AM

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As we get more involved in our jiu-jitsu training, our desire to improve grows. With every belt level, new challenges arise: improving the timing of old techniques, learning the mechanics of new techniques, or even improving overall conditioning. All of this not only requires more time from you, but also more effort and physical stamina. The harder you push, the more it will drain you. And the more it drains you, the better your nutrition and resting periods need to be. This is where the boundaries of professional training and recreational training are created. 

The general outlook is that the only real difference between a professional and a recreationalist is the amount of time and effort you dedicate to something. A recreationalist can train once a week or once a month. They can train as often or as little as they’d like because they do it for fun as a hobby or passion. 

On the other hand, professionals must train as often as possible to achieve their goals of winning. Because in jiu-jitsu, if you don’t win, you don’t make any coin – it’s as simple as that. Being a professional has its perks. When you dedicate yourself one hundred percent to something, you are able to manage every aspect properly, such as conditioning and nutrition. This type of full-time management makes it much less likely for full-time athletes to over-train. Of course it still happens, but they are able to gage their abilities much easier than the recreational enthusiast. The “part-timer” has a much higher chance of overtraining - something that can have quite dire consequences. 

For the recreationalist, jiu-jitsu is not the only thing they have on their plate. They most likely have to work a separate job for a living, study in school, deal with family, and whatever else they may have going on in their lives. They don’t have that much time to dedicate to training, let alone the maintenance that’s required for it. The more you train, the more maintenance you will need. Some recreationalists who have the time may train just as much as professionals, but lack the time or knowledge to really focus on the maintenance. This can easily lead to overtraining. 

Overtraining is when you’ve pushed your body to the limit and you can feel serious fatigue afterwards. This can linger for some time. If you don’t properly rest and recover, not only will you feel significantly weaker in the next training session, your immune system can also become compromised. That’s why many trainers recommend taking a day off after a strenuous session. You have to listen to your body - professionals do the same thing. 

To help yourself recover, there are many things you can do: napping during the day and/or going to bed early, eating proper foods, staying completely hydrated, and taking the proper supplements. Proper supplements does not mean steroids. Although it should be common knowledge, it is worth mentioning again that steroids have serious side effects and consequences in the future. Not to mention it is ethically wrong – it’s cheating. 

All levels of practitioners should be mindful of the amount of time they train and how much energy is expended. Train smart and listen to your body.

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Expand Your BJJ

Posted by admin

Jan 15, 2015 5:00:00 PM

CTSanJose

 

 

Expand Your Jiu-Jitsu World

 

The world of jiu-jitsu is far larger than you think. When we try to measure the size of the international community, we usually refer to its presence on online media. But the truth is, this online BJJ community is only a fraction of the size of the actual population of people who train in the world. You can see this for yourself if you visit a few gyms in your city. If you ask around how many people follow jiu-jitsu via the internet, you will be surprised. Many people don’t bother with it outside of their academy. Even if these people have Facebook, they don’t have any particular interest in following the larger jiu-jitsu scene. 

There is nothing wrong with this as it is their personal choice. However, by being removed from the rest of the BJJ world they do miss out on many aspects that will not only enrich their jiu-jitsu, but could add a lot of fun to their lives as a whole. It’s also bad for the jiu-jitsu industry to have practitioners who are absent. This means less customers for BJJ events and brands. 

Outside of major jiu-jitsu areas like California and New York, you will be surprised to know how many people don’t know of Roger Gracie or the Mendes brothers. In many cases, practitioners don’t bother to follow the sport outside of their own community. They can train five days a week at their gym and compete/attend local tournaments but still have no idea of what exists outside of that small bubble in which they live. Many of them don’t even know what the IBJJF is and to them, the reality of who is a top athlete in BJJ is skewed. Sometimes they will think that because someone won gold at a local tournament, they are at the top level of BJJ. This does exist - it’s not an exaggeration. Most everyone has run into this at some point in their time in the art, especially if you’ve been doing BJJ for many years. 

The issue is that if these people don’t get exposed to this larger BJJ world online, it is up to other people in the gym (the serious competitors, teachers, and senior students) to educate others and excite them about the growing world of jiu-jitsu. 

Jiu-jitsu is quickly becoming a sport that people can train both casually and competitively. They pick it up for similar reasons that yoga has become so popular – relaxation, fun, and developing strength and flexibility. So many people are satisfied with just those reasons. However, when these people are shown videos of big tournaments and are told about the abilities of the top athletes in the sports, they will hopefully develop an interest in learning more about the jiu-jitsu world. There are so many details to learn and areas to study. There are tournaments, products, magazines, websites, and videos out there that can only help more people to love the sport. This is also important for unifying the international community and building connections within.

 

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Topics: Training Hints and Tips, BJJ in Everyday Life

How Many Gis Is Enough?

Posted by admin

Dec 31, 2014 11:30:00 AM

3W5A8239

 

 

In jiu-jitsu, the kimono is the thing we use most. It’s our uniform, our tool and our image. But there has always been the question of how many gis one should own. This is, of course, a question with a very subjective answer. One can obviously have as many gis as they’d like, assuming they have the space and money to accommodate them. However, is there an ideal number of gis someone can own? A number that represents having not too many and not too few kimonos? Let’s explore that question a little and think about it. 

You first have to take into account what the gi means to you. This basically breaks down into a combination of three different parts: rolling, collecting, and styling. ‘Rolling’ refers to someone who doesn’t care about the aesthetics of a gi, he just wants something that is fitted and gets the job done. Every gi owned will be used and washed on a regular basis. So then it really depends on how often you train. If you train on average three times a week, a rotation of two gis is enough, assuming you don’t train three days in a row, in which case you may want more gis since you possibly won’t have enough time to wash them. So it’s good to have those two gis, plus one more for emergency. If you’re a professional and you train everyday, or even multiple times per day, you could be looking at needing a rotation of several gis to be comfortable. 

The next category is “styling”. This is for the gi lover who is not quite a collector, but he looks at gis beyond just practical use. They pay attention to design detail and are picky about the colors they wear to class. The style aspect of the kimono is important to them. This also includes attention to the weave, the lining color and even something like that type of drawstring. This type of practitioner has a higher chance of owning more gis than most because they buy gis according to their mood as well. They could easily get bored of a gi and find the need to buy a new one to replace it. This is obviously a path for someone who is a little more financially stable but it adds a different level enjoyment to their jiu-jitsu experience. 

The last category is that of the gi collector. For this individual, there is no limit to what gis they can own. Collections can range anywhere from ten to a hundred gis. Collectors usually choose a certain style or brand that they like most and buy every possible model. Most brands eventually change the styles of their kimonos, or release limited edition models, so this creates the collectability factor for practitioners. This is a really expensive endeavor, but that is usually the case with anything related to collecting. Relative to things like collecting cars or watches, collecting gis is a far cheaper option. It’s also a very small and unique community for gi collectors, so there is some pride in that exclusivity.  

 

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Topics: Training Hints and Tips, BJJ in Everyday Life, Gameness Gear and News

How Necessary Is It To Compete In BJJ?

Posted by admin

Dec 24, 2014 2:30:00 PM

Qbjjpro

 

How Necessary Is It To Compete In BJJ?

 

This is a debate on which many people have had contrasting views. On one hand, we have practitioners who argue that competitions are necessary for improvement and the awarding your next belt, whatever belt that may be. On the other side, you have people who argue that although competitions can help your game, they are not essential to your jiu-jitsu journey. So what is the truth? How essential are competitions to a jiu-jitsu practitioner? 

No one can really say that competitions are of no benefit to the competitor. It allows you to test your skill under extreme pressure and intensity. Between the physical and mental challenges, you have a lot to deal with. Often, especially in the beginning, people crumble under the stress. They forget the techniques they have practiced in class and/or physically do not perform because they did not anticipate that type of intensity. However, with time and consistent competitive training, athletes are able to overcome these challenges and keep their cool under such circumstances. They are then able to look back on their matches and return to their academy to make improvements. This kind of process definitely helps improve someone’s game quicker. However, this still does not show that competitions are essential to someone’s development in jiu-jitsu.

There are many who don’t enjoy competing for many reasons. The stress, in addition to other difficulties in life, may be too much. Cutting weight, spending extra time preparing, and the performance pressure is not an easy weight to carry. Not to mention that going to many tournaments can really add up financially. So does this mean that they cannot improve as well as some casual competitors? Obviously, professional competitors (those who train multiple times a day) are not as relevant to this discussion because they are able to put so much time into their training that they will almost always improve at an astronomical rate. But for casual competitors and practitioners, that are the majority of jiu-jitsu practitioners in the world, can they improve greatly without competing? Of course! 

There are a lot of ways you can test yourself in a similar fashion as tournaments. Each option is a little different but essentially has the same benefits. Firstly, the training you do at your gym should be sufficient enough to always prepare you for your next belt, even without competing. When you face your teammates, these are people that already know your game - they will force you to always innovate and change your techniques. In a tournament, you will usually face fresh and new opponents. So your game, for the most part, should be more effective and surprising for them than your teammates. 

Secondly, travelling to drop in at other academies either in your city or abroad will also give you a similar experience as tournaments. Although it’s probable that they won’t go as hard as competitors in a tournament, practitioners at new gyms will offer you new styles and body types to test your game against. Overall, it does help to compete at tournaments, but in no way are they essential to the improvement of your jiu-jitsu or being ready for your next belt.

 

 

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Topics: Training Hints and Tips, Tournament/Competition Tips, BJJ in Everyday Life

Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Attend Jiu-Jitsu Class Regularly

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Dec 18, 2014 1:22:47 PM

IMAtraining2

 

Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Attend Jiu-Jitsu Class Regularly

 

  1. Maintaining Sharp Technique

    Technique does not develop itself. Neither is it downloaded into your brain and muscles when you practice it only five times. Repetition is the key to your brain and body remembering anything. There have been studies stating that in order to be an expert in any field, you must dedicate one thousand hours to it. Whether it’s true or not, the message is clear - you have to practice, practice and then practice some more. That’s why so many BJJ champions and coaches claim that drilling is the key to success in jiu-jitsu. Remembering it in your mind is not enough since jiu-jitsu requires your full body motion - you have to train your body to remember the techniques so you can execute them without thinking. This is also a great way to remembering details, which are usually first to leave your memory when taking time off of training.

     

  2. Shows respect to your instructor

    Are you thinking that you may be ready for your next belt? Even if you feel you are technically sound and talented, if you’re missing in action most of the time at your academy, it is less likely that you will be promoted. People forget that jiu-jitsu is still a martial art, no matter how sportive it has become. You need to come to class regularly to show your professor discipline and dedication. When a professor gives away a belt he is entrusting you with upholding his reputation and also expects that you will be in the school to help the other students improve. Coming to class regularly doesn’t mean everyday, but it does mean coming in at least a couple of times per week on a consistent basis, without several month gaps.

 

  1. Helping your teammates improve

    As mentioned in the latter point, coming regularly to class is important because you help others in your academy improve as well. In cities where jiu-jitsu is not yet so popular, it is hard to come by good training partners or even many partners. Once you join an academy you are part of the team and you are dependent on each other to improve. Likewise, while you help your teammates improve, they will help you improve. Teammates motivate each other by being there to help each other train and also there are non-training factors that add to giving the academy a good vibe and having larger classes.

 

  1. Staying in shape

    People forget how great of a workout BJJ really is. Probably one of the worst feelings is taking time off exercising and then realizing that not only have you gained weight, but you’re also grossly out of shape. Conditioning fizzles away quicker than technique, so it’s a horrible feeling when you return to BJJ and realize that even though there are techniques that you remember and want execute, your body will not comply because your cardio has diminished. It also makes it harder for you to come back to training after feeling like this - it will really take some serious motivation. Try to avoid taking time off, unless you’re treating an injury. Coming back to training and being out of shape is one of the worst feelings to endure.

 

 

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Topics: Academy Etiquette, Training Hints and Tips, BJJ in Everyday Life

The Importance of the Instructional DVD

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Dec 11, 2014 10:30:00 AM

CaioRockwallSem

 

The Importance of the Instructional DVD

 

Whether it’s snip its off YouTube, buying DVDs or reading books - all these streams of knowledge will help benefit your game. 

DVDs are the best of these three options. All the techniques are organized in a way that helps you better memorize the concepts. Usually each position has several options for you to practice. This also helps you develop a deeper understanding of the technique. In jiu-jitsu, you never want there to be a shortage of options in any position. So the more you know from every angle, the more dangerous of a practitioner you will be. 

Contrastingly, Youtube gives you a very shallow understanding of each technique usually. Most techniques are way too fancy and will not work on live opponents. That usually can just be considered a waste of time. You want to learn techniques that have the highest hit rate of working and suit your physique. DVDs are especially made to show you practical techniques that actually work. You will almost never find these kinds of techniques on Youtube. The details of these techniques are well protected by their instructors and they will only give it away for money, such as a DVD. Even then, many instructors on DVDs don’t like to go into too much detail. 

Books can be a good source of information, but in a way, it’s an outdated form of communicating concepts as visual as BJJ - videos are the way to go. So although DVDs do cost money, it’s worth it. You have to make sure you choose a DVD with an instructor that has a game that suits your own. If you love spider guard, there is no point in investing in a Bernardo Faria DVD that focuses on half-guard when you should be buying a Cobrinha DVD. If you’re a white, blue and even purple belt, I would recommend consulting with your professor to decide which instructional will help you most. Many DVDs are not all encompassing and they may focus on small specialties. 

One good way to make this decision is to think about the biggest holes in your game. Obviously none of us are perfect and we have many things to work on, but pick something that has been frustrating you the most. For example, have you been having serious trouble escaping from side mount or mount? Then perhaps you should find a DVD that specializes in escapes. Or perhaps you keep getting your partners’ back, but you’re having trouble maintaining the position or finishing your opponents – then you should find a DVD on back taking and control. 

Think about some world champions that you admire and what type of game they use in competition. As I mentioned earlier, Bernardo Faria is a deep half-guard bottom player, Cobrinha has one of the best spider guards, Marcelo Garcia has many specialties – over the years he has shown that he is a master of the x-guard, guillotines, armdrags, back control and rear naked choke. The Miyao and the Mendes Brothers have been amazing at using the Bermibolo. Caio Terra has a sophisticated fifty-fifty guard amongst some other deadly guard techniques. 

So although DVDs can cost anywhere from thrity to one-hundred dollars, it may not be a bad idea to see what they can do for you. Some say that they may not have the time to see all the techniques that are on one DVD, but that’s not true. No one is asking you to sit and study the DVD like you’re preparing for a PhD. Before every class, look at one technique and try to remember it. When you go to your academy, try it out with some friends, play around with it and make it your own. If you find it too difficult to do, or your body doesn’t work well with it, then you can always try another technique the next day. If you can really absorb two to three techniques from each DVD into your game permanently, or at least until you find something better suited for you, then they money was well spent. You can’t put a price on useful BJJ techniques.

 

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Topics: Training Hints and Tips, BJJ Technique Videos

Injuries: The Jiu-Jitsu Plague

Posted by admin

Nov 6, 2014 10:00:00 AM

caio3

 

 

Injuries: The Jiu-Jitsu Plague

 

Injury is the biggest annoyance in jiu-jitsu, even more so than something like skin infections that can usually be treated a lot easier than most injuries. It’s all too often that people get injured in sports in general, but it’s especially annoying in BJJ because we utilize our entire body. Even the smallest joint injury, like a finger, will cause you pain and discomfort during class. So for example, soccer players would not really feel the effects of finger injuries or even an elbow injury.

Injuries also cumulate over the years. Depending on how old and cautious you are, they may never really go away. A small wrist sprain that was not properly tended to could become a heavy mental burden every time you roll. Not only is there pain, but you will also have to change your jiu-jitsu game every time you have an injury to help protect it.

There is some silver lining in injury, because if it’s not super severe, and you can still train lightly, you can work on new techniques so that your body can adapt to the conditions. This is how the half-guard was ‘invented’ and popularized by Gordo from Gracie Barra. Gordo had an injured leg but continued to train. Since the bottom leg in the half-guard is more idle than the other, it wasn’t a problem for him to continue training and develop that position. Perhaps you can invent some new positions yourself!

One of the keys to keeping this jiu-jitsu plague at bay is learning how to minimize the risk of injury and also how to properly recover if you are injured. There are many people who do not take their injuries seriously. They continue to train even after a doctor tells them they should take a break and it only worsens the problem. Eventually, either the pain becomes unbearable and the practitioner can no longer train because they just don’t enjoy it anymore, or their body becomes so weak that progress stops and their jiu-jitsu just fizzles.

To minimize your injury rate, it’s best to avoid partners much larger than you and also to always tap when submitted. Although many larger partners may roll gently, sometimes their size alone could be an issue for injury prevention. If they slip by mistake, the consequences will be much more severe than if they were your size.

You would think that tapping is something that everyone understands, but we must all be guilty at one point or another of delaying the tap because of either pride or we thought we could still get out. That’s why you have to leave your ego at the door - it’s okay to get tapped and it’s also a boatload better than getting injured in training. The regret you will have from not tapping will outweigh the shame of getting tapped.

The most painful thing about stopping jiu-jitsu training because of injury is that it’s something you can control to some extent. How injured you get is up to you, most of the time. You can avoid those stupid instances where injuries happen. So if a dumb injury does happen and you can’t train, you have only yourself to blame (which can be quite harsh, mentally). The major lesson here is to really be mindful of situations where injury can occur so you can keep yourself in the sport as long as you can. Jiu-Jitsu is a marathon, not a sprint.

 

 

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Topics: Training Hints and Tips, BJJ in Everyday Life

Is Money an Issue in BJJ?

Posted by admin

Oct 30, 2014 10:00:00 AM

money-1

 

Is Money an Issue in BJJ?

 

In this world, money is the means to most things and Jiu-Jitsu is not an exception. You need money to train and jiu-jitsu is not particularly cheap, especially for younger practitioners and students.

Academies nowadays charge up to five or six times more than regular fitness gyms. This is because you have a specialized instructor teaching you very useful and desired skills, unlike a gym when you go by yourself and use weights. Regardless of why your academy costs as much as it does, people have to pay and support the academy as a business, whether it’s easily affordable or not. But the truth is, for students, making consistent payments is difficult and this can easily interrupt progress. A lot of times people say, “well why don’t your parents help out” – that’s a bit of a naive view since not everyone has that luxury, they have to do everything on their own. Some gyms offer student discounts, but even in this case it’s difficult to make the payments. This becomes a real test of conviction for these practitioners since they have to decide whether they should sacrifice something else to make training payments or just train when they can afford it. People do stop training because of money issues and it is an unfortunate shame.

In places like Brazil, where poverty is a lot more prevalent than in North America, there are actual free jiu-jitsu programs available in favelas (slums) for residents, usually run by the kind and more fortunate practitioners in the region. Kyra Gracie, Ricardo Vieira and many others have taken on this type of project to allow less fortunate people train jiu-jitsu when they can’t afford membership or even a gi. 

Usually these practitioners don’t even have their own gis. Instead, there is a community stash of gis available for the classes, all donated. Gis are taken from the pile at the beginning of class and returned at the end to be washed for the next day. Also, many teachers in Brazil are kind enough to allow those who are serious about training to even sleep at their gyms. These housed athletes usually choose to become pro jiu-jitsu competitors, so by living in the gym all they want to do is train. Julio Cesar at GF Team is one of these kind souls and has bunk beds on the mezzanine of his gym to allow serious visitors and less fortunate practitioners to live and train there.

In North America this kind of charity is less common, mainly because far less people need that kind of treatment. But even then there have been many talented young students ruin their progress because they couldn’t make payments every three months, or whatever the payment plan was for them. The solution? Perhaps instructors and gym owners need to identify the student’s situation and really decide if they deserve some charitable treatment – perhaps even give them some credit and have them pay the loan months later.

 

 

 

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Topics: Training Hints and Tips, BJJ in Everyday Life

Top 3 Reasons Why People Stop Training BJJ

Posted by admin

Oct 23, 2014 12:00:00 PM

caio4

 

 

 

Top 3 Reasons Why People Stop Training BJJ

 

In theory, jiu-jitsu is for everyone. The many benefits from doing our art is well known to those who practice it and we know it can work for everyone. However, there are many people who end up dropping off the grid, even before they reach blue belt. This is most frustrating for instructors who scratch their head and always ask, “But why?” In a few separate articles, I will go over the five most common reasons why practitioners choose to turn their backs on the sport. Depending on your life experience, you may find some of these reasons as excuses for something else, understandable or inapplicable. So let’s take a look at what I’ve heard and experienced over my time with BJJ.

  1. Poor Time Management

    Proper time management is one of the most important skills that any person can have. It allows people to reach their full potential by accomplishing as many things as possible on a daily basis. If you choose to start jiu-jitsu, you will quickly learn that it’s not something that can be taken lightly, especially if you become addicted. It requires dedication, and that means being on the mats as much as possible.

    One of the most common excuses I’ve heard when people decide to stop training is “man, I just can’t find time, I work too much and I have my family.” The truth is, if this is your excuse, then you just don’t like jiu-jitsu enough – which is your choice, but don’t use that as an excuse. Many of you reading this now probably have full time jobs, children, or are full-time students. Yet, you are finding time to train. The truth is, you can find ways to make it work. Sure, you don’t have to train every day, that’s true. But even three days a week can keep you progressing and in shape.

    In Brazil, I have seen some of the most dedicated guys in my entire life. These were not competitors or guys born with genetics from Hercules. They have professional jobs and a family. So what do they do? The most extreme of these every day guys, wake up early in the morning to catch the early-bird class, shower at the gym and go straight to work. They train again right after work and go home to their families. They repeat this Monday to Friday and then use Saturday and Sunday to relax with their families. That’s ten training sessions per week. Now, not all gyms have this kind of vast schedule available, but if your gym does, and you still use this as an excuse, then shame on you! You don’t have to train as hard as the guys in the example I gave you, but you can definitely squeeze three classes a week…if you really wanted to. So the real question is, how badly do you want it?

    Many of us have probably heard in the past; “if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way”. Well, it’s true. How far are you willing to go? That’s another question that only you can answer.

  2. Lack of Motivation

    Motivation is what we all need to accomplish anything worthwhile. Considering the amount of dedication that jiu-jitsu requires in order to reach the ultimate goal (a black belt for most of us, if not a championship medal), a lack of motivation can easily lead to a person dropping the sport altogether.

    So what causes a person to lose motivation once they are enrolled in an academy? There are plenty of things that can go wrong and we don’t even realize. One of the major factors is a lack of leadership.

    The job of the head instructor, or any instructor for that matter, is to not just teach, but to lead. Jiu-Jitsu is more than just a sport - it’s a way of life. The best way to demonstrate this is for the professor to be the example. If your instructor just pops in to just show some techniques and then leave, you are going to see a decline in how many students renew their membership. Students shouldn’t just feel like they are part of a club or gym, they need to feel that they are part of an institution that helps them live their lives to the fullest, because that’s one of the lessons that can be extracted from jiu-jitsu. The behavior of the instructor is detrimental to the motivation level of his students. So one huge reason why people stop doing BJJ is because their instructors are not doing enough to keep them interested.

    Another thing that can cause someone to drop the sport is when they hit a plateau for too long. Plateaus happen to all of us – it’s the wall you reach that blocks your path to improvement. Once again, it’s your instructor’s responsibility to find as many ways as possible to help you push through it. But there are many cases where someone loses motivation when they don’t see an improvement. It’s human nature. The differentiating factor between those who quit and those who do not is sheer willpower. There are those that get angry and push harder when they don’t improve, some people just give up. So the truth is, if you decide to quit because you feel you haven’t improved in a while, then you’re doing something wrong. Perhaps finding a new school, or taking a new approach to your training is needed, but quitting should be the last option. If you’re the kind of person that will quit on something as great as jiu-jitsu, it just shows how you probably treat the rest of your life.

    One last thing that can destroy someone’s motivation is the vibe that an academy has. A lot of overly competitive schools fail in this area because they make casual practitioners feel self-conscious and unappreciated. Competitions and competitors drive our sport in many ways - there is no doubt - however, things can easily go overboard when someone underperforms and feels rejected, or if the standards are set so high, that people feel immense pressure from their teacher and teammates. Even when that pressure actually doesn’t exist, many competitors and casual practitioners can imagine it because that’s the vibe that is set by the instructor and his students. So what is the solution? Make everyone feel welcome. Winning is important, tapping folks is important too, but it’s not the most important thing. Students need to feel great about themselves, whether they win, lose or even if they don’t compete.
  3. Ego

    This particular reason for quitting BJJ seems more like a myth for people but it’s a reality. It applies more to very ripe beginners who may have only been training less than a year. If you’ve earned your blue belt, or even if you’re close to blue belt, you’ve definitely already swallowed your pride at some point in your training. You have been embarrassed by the higher belts and have been able to accept this in order to improve and develop, not only as a jiu-jitsu practitioner, but also a person.

    However, some people just can’t handle the heat. It’s true. I’ve seen it and I’ve heard the stories. I think generalizing is usually a bad thing, and I’m guilty of it from time to time, but it seems that there is a ‘type’ of person that fits the shoe in this case. These guys are usually people who consider themselves ‘alpha’ males before they even step foot into the gym. They are either very successful in another field of their life and have received a lot of praise for their achievements. They think that the respect that they earned in these other fields translates into automatic respect elsewhere. The truth is, on the mats, the only things that count is your skill and how you treat your partners – that’s how you earn respect. Your money, your status and your background are utterly useless - no one cares. Once you put on the gi, the closest thing you can find to status is your belt. So when these ‘hot shots’ come to the gym, they receive a rude awakening like never before. Big muscle-heads get controlled by men and women half their size.

    I’ve seen people with egos so inflated - they couldn’t even last until the end of their first class. Yes, it’s true. People have barged out of jiu-jitsu class because of frustration and never returned. Sometimes these people even try to bend the rules and find excuses, and you would be shocked at the things they say sometimes. These excuses usually include the famous “What? Why can’t I grab his fingers or throat? These rules are ridiculous.” All the way to “It’s stupid that there is no striking. If there was striking, it would be different”.

    Clearly they didn’t read the description of the sport or maybe they did, and they don’t even care. You will often find people who have such little respect for jiu-jitsu (sometimes it will be higher belts from traditional martial art backgrounds) that they think they could walk in with no experience and defeat black belts. Again, those people are in for a rude awakening.

    ---

    The cases I have mentioned so far are the most extreme. Usually, people do give themselves more time to see if they can adapt. But they don’t realize that jiu-jitsu is a marathon, not a sprint. You won’t drastically improve and beat everyone within several months. And this delusion is what causes very egotistical people to train more and eventually give up. They just can’t handle the shame.

    Almost any seasoned jiu-jitsu instructor has experienced this to some degree throughout their careers. It happens – it’s part of human nature. It’s the instructor’s job to obviously implement the lessons of the

 

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Topics: Training Hints and Tips, BJJ in Everyday Life

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