If Superman wasn’t bulletproof, he would just be “that scared guy that can fly”

 If Superman wasn’t bulletproof, he would just be “that scared guy that can fly”

So, if I know I may only have a few months……. I need to prepare you as best I can. So, in the Basic Curriculum (White Belt stripes 1 & 2) everything is about basic defense.  In the Intermediate (stripes 3 & 4) it’s more about attacking.  Hell, I used to call it “Self Defense” and “Fighting Fundamentals”, because that was a more accurate description of the concepts in each. One was about “not getting beat up”. The other was a little more in the “beat them up” vein.

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The Lost Art of “Safety”

The Lost Art of “Safety”

I can’t tell you how often I pose this scenario to “advanced” BJJ people, and hear “replace guard”, or “go inverted guard” or some such nonsense. Yes, that shit can work. And yes there are dudes in the world that can sweep me on my head with it. But that’s not the fucking point. Christ, Liberace made an excellent living playing the piano, and wearing bedazzled jumpsuits. Doesn’t mean you tell you kid to do that instead of going to school!!!!

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UFC says Takedowns not important . . . except it doesn't

UFC says Takedowns not important . . . except it doesn't

So, is the implication that based on this study we no longer need to learn takedowns?  I am sure some are drawing that conclusion based on the number of headlines I have seen this morning seemingly declaring the death of takedowns in BJJ schools.

Okay, full disclosure.  I am a blue belt, have had exactly zero MMA fights, and have watched exactly zero UFC promotions from start to finish since UFC III.  Where I have some authority to speak on the issue is that I can read . . . and put sentences together . . . and stuff. 

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Jiu-jitsu, Lifting, and the Recovery Boogeyman

Jiu-jitsu, Lifting, and the Recovery Boogeyman

That's not to dismiss the importance of adequate recovery.  However, the concerned is misplaced, and tends to lead to rather absolutist positions grounded in nothing more than one's opinion.  For instance, I recently on the interwebs and read on a comment thread about strength and conditioning for jiu-jitsu that you should not squat more than once per week.  Cannot be done because you will not be able to recover.  And I have to say, I agree with this.  Well, I mean, I did agree with the notion that a person cannot squat more than once per week and train jiu-jitsu.  Well, that is until, you know, I actually tried to squat more than once per week. 

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Lipstick On A Pig

Lipstick On A Pig

For you to realize all the beautiful things that can come from training (or a relationship), you have to learn to love the little things. The deep things. Not just the surface. It's fine to enjoy the "honeymoon" phase in your training. The huge leaps in progress. The "light-bulb" moments where things suddenly make sense. That's super cool. But after a while, they get less frequent. And smaller.

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More Reasons To Do BJJ

More Reasons To Do BJJ

Don’t get me wrong…… I’m not blaming HER. I’m blaming society at large. She probably has no idea that a woman her size could legitimately beat the shit out of a guy his size with the right training. To me this is kind of like seeing a group of people watching someone at the edge of the grand canyon. All the people know the rail is busted, and NOBODY tells this person. And they all watch as they lean on the rail, and fall over. That’s not the victims “fault”. It’s everyone watching.

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Awkwardness

Awkwardness

Ok, this is the number one reason that more women don’t do BJJ. They seem intrigued, interested, but when it comes to actually doing it…. it’s just so…… awkward.

They all ask if there’s any way to do BJJ, or something like it but without all the actual touching of people. Or at least could they just bring their cousin/freind/sister and only practice with them. But basically, they want to make it less awkward.

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Jock Willink: Jiu Jitsu is probably the No. 1 activity that I could recommend to someone to improve their lives overall.

Jock Willink: Jiu Jitsu is probably the No. 1 activity that I could recommend to someone to improve their lives overall.

Jiu Jitsu is a great workout both mentally and physically. You want to be strong for it and flexible for it. You want to have explosive energy and you want to have endurance. So it’s a very good all-around physical conditioning tool. Jiu Jitsu is probably the No. 1 activity that I could recommend to someone to improve their lives overall.

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Why there are no Sensei at my Academy

Why there are no Sensei at my Academy

Man, I just like to keep things simple. I appreciate the fact that people want to show their respect. But, in our culture in America, and around the world in the sports culture, it’s universally “Coach”. And I don’t even insist on that. If you’ve been to my home for dinner, if I’ve held your hand in the ER……. Then by all means call me Jay. But if you’re looking for something to call me cause you feel a “need” to. Coach is about all I can handle. So here’s a list to help remind you.

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Fiercely Feminine

Fiercely Feminine

Our gym is amazing, and it is an atmosphere that enables women to embrace their inner strength; whatever that seems to be. There is not set definition/label or list of criteria you need to display in order to come train at the Academy. We have women who are tall and thin, whose hair cuts and styles are considered "alternative", express ourselves through tattoos, own quirky personalities, and can "hang with the guys". We get to roll with the toughest men in the room on any given day, and pour every ounce of our hearts, sweat and even tears onto those mats in efforts to redefine beauty; to be fiercely feminine.

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Techniques Don’t Matter… Or: How Not To Die Hang Gliding

Techniques Don’t Matter… Or: How Not To Die Hang Gliding

If I take 4 different people and I teach them aerodynamics, and then take them all to different islands and tell them to make a “hang glider”…… Those hang gliders will all A- Work. And B- look VERY similar. They have to. Because the PRINCIPLES of aerodynamics are constant!

If I take a 4 students and teach them HOW to hang glide on the hang glider I built. And then leave them in separate places and ask them to build their own….. It’s a very different story.

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Embrace the Opponent (Empower Women Tournament)

Embrace the Opponent (Empower Women Tournament)

He also remarked that what he saw at the tournament wasn’t what you expect when you look at me. His description sort of trailed off “Based on how she behaves and the way she looks…”  Let me fill that in for you – I am a cheesy dancing late 30-something IT office worker with a tall girl slouch. If you look at a photo or watch me hang around the gym, I am no one’s image of a bad ass. And despite having shorts that say something contrary across the back, I don’t really consider myself a bad ass either. I didn’t consider myself who had praise-worthy heart or gameness.

I struggled with this praise for a little bit. And I still I feel like anyway I describe it might come off badly. My thoughts felt rude or ungrateful. But let me just lay it out:  I felt conflicted because the praise was great, far beyond what I expected, but I already knew I had that heart.

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Recap of my First Tournament

Recap of my First Tournament

A little over a week ago now, I competed in my first BJJ tournament down in Mass. I've always been a competitor of various athletics growing up, so I made the assumption that this event would be very similar. Of course, I haven't competed in several years, but naturally my body would respond the same, right? I mean, how could it not? Surely, it will all come back to me the moments leading up to the mat.

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