Archive for November, 2009

“Online Instruction… A great training resource!!!”

November 27, 2009

The latest training resource to hit the markets is “Online Instruction” of Jiu jitsu and while “online instruction” has often received a bit of a tough wrap I must admit, I am all for it and find it to be a fantastic training resource! Of course just like anything, “online instruction” seems to vary in quality depending on who you are choosing to learn from. While I wouldn’t go so far as to recommend that you learn exclusively online, I do feel that it can really complement your regular class training and offer some great insights, techniques and tips in addition to what your instructor is already teaching you! As far as my experience with “online instruction” goes, I have recently signed up for both “Gracie University” (www.gracieuniversity.com) and Marcelo Garcia’s “MG In Action” (www.mginaction.com).

 

I find both to be great learning tools and each has their own particular specialty. “Gracie University” teaches the Gracie Jiu jitsu system in the exact same order as set out by the founder, Helio Gracie. Ryron and Rener Gracie (Helio’s grandsons) have set out to teach Gracie Jiu jitsu in the most highly efficient and detailed method possible so that everyone from a raw beginner right through to a seasoned veteran of the art can pick up the intricate details that make Gracie Jiu jitsu so effective and effortless! The Gracie Jiu jitsu system taught by Ryron and Rener Gracie is based on Self Defence as it was originally designed by Grandmaster Helio Gracie and can be practised by men, women and children of all ages, shapes and sizes. Ryron and Rener Gracie are passionate and gifted teachers and each lesson feels as if you were there taking a private lesson from them! I highly recommend that you sign up at www.gracieuniversity.com, remember it’s free to sign up and you still get access to some basic material and a glimpse of what else is on offer! And while you’re at it sign up for the Gracie insider newsletter at www.gracieacademy.com! 🙂

 

Marcelo Garcia has finally launched his “MG In Action” website and let me say that it was well worth the wait! For those of you who may be interested in competing in Jiu jitsu either gi or no gi then look no further as Four time World Jiu jitsu Champion and Three time ADCC World Submission Wrestling Champion shows you all the techniques, strategy and tactics that have made him into one of the greatest Jiu jitsu Athletes of our time! Get a bird’s-eye view of Marcelo teaching techniques, explainin strategy and sparring in preparation for various competitions! There’s loads of great content and Marcelo is a great instructor! Check it out at www.mginaction.com and enjoy! 🙂

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe

Jiu jitsu Kingdom

Truly Inspirational… World Champion Felipe Costa volunteering time to teach Visually Challenged Children!

November 20, 2009

I’ve said it many times before, but one of the great things about Jiu jitsu is the quality of people who it tends to attract. It’s tough to train in the art if you have an inflated ego, lack of regard for your fellow-man/woman, are selfish and self-absorbed or just have a plain old bad attitude! Jiu jitsu training challenges your ego, tests your patience and problem solving abilities, teaches you to work with and help your fellow-man/woman, pushes you to test your physical and mental limits and helps you to grow as an individual! Jiu jitsu is a life changing art in more ways than one. It’s not just about teaching you how to defend yourself but teaching you how to face your problems, weaknesses and  fears and OVERCOME them!

In a beautiful show of compassion Jiu jitsu Champions Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros, Michelle Matta and Felipe Costa (All from Team BRASA) started a social project dedicated to teaching Jiu jitsu to Visually Challenged children. Now lead by Felipe Costa, Michelle Matta and Joao Marcelo, the trio are dedicated to volunteering their time and skills to help improve the lives of Visually Challenged children in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Below is a clip of Felipe Costa rolling with one of his Blind students. Great technique… Simply Amazing!

I hope you appreciate this clip as much as I have! And for those of you who have made it through to blue belt and beyond, take a moment to think about just how tough the journey was for you, how much time you spent on the mat, the sweat, pain and exhaustion that you went through to learn and now think… These children are doing it all without the gift of sight!!! It is Truly Inspirational! To find out more about this wonderful cause, please visit  http://www.brazilianblackbelt.com/academies_view.php?idAcademies=11 , unfortunately most of it is in Portuguese but I’m sure you get the idea! And these children sure do have some nice Jiu jitsu! I hope this inspires more Jiu jitsu Instructors to reach out and help those less fortunate in the community and share our art!

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe 

Jiu jitsu Kingdom

Time for some updates!

November 20, 2009

Hi people, how are you today? Sorry I have been a little slow with the blog over the last two weeks, I have been extremely busy teaching and trying to build the school! But let me just say I have some exciting things in store for you!!! Starting with:

-A special interview with BJJ/Grappling/MMA Super Coach Lloyd Irvin!

-Feature Technique of the Month! And the first one is just awesome, with credit going to Royler Gracie for teaching it to us during his recent Australian seminar tour!

-Special guest “Cross Training for Self Defense’ article!

-An interview with BJJ Super Star Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles!

-Special guest “Strength & Conditioning Advice for Grapplers” article

-And far too much more to list right now so stay tuned!

Like I said, there’s so many new and exciting ideas in the pipeline and I can’t wait to share them with you! the Jiu jitsu Kingdom Blog is going to get even bigger and better as we head towards 2010! So join us for the ride, help spread the word and lets take our Jiu jitsu to a whole other level!!!!

Good luck with your training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe

Jiu jitsu Kingdom

Dealing with Injuries!

November 13, 2009

Let’s face it, Jiu jitsu is a contact sport and if you train long enough there’s a good chance that at some point in grappling journey you will suffer an injury. Now dont get me wrong, when I talk about training long and hard enough, I dont mean training to win every fight like an MMA fighter or training recklessly. Sometimes you just have a long, tough week at work, you lose focus for a second and bang you post awkwardly on your wrist or ankle and end up with a light sprain. Or even worse you really do a good job of spraining a wrist or ankle that gets caught in the gi or trapped underneath your opponent! Unfortunately for most people, contact sports and injuries go hand in hand but it is how you deal with them that will make or break your career! I’ll start with a waiver, I am NOT a Doctor or Medical Professional. If you are in any doubt or serious pain, please seek immediate professional medical attention!!!

Let’s start with the basics, if something feels painful or you hurt yourself on the mat then STOP training immediately! Tap, scream, do whatever you have to do to get yourself out of danger. Take a couple of minutes to assess, did you just hurt yourself, for example tweak an ankle or stub a toe? Or have you injured yourself? I generally define something that just hurt or hurts a little as a minor type hurt. Where as something that is instantly painful, pops, cracks, snaps or just doesnt feel right is probably a more serious injury. If you hurt yourself, take a few minutes to check that you have pain-free range of motion, that there is no obvious swelling or anything out of the ordinary and alert your instructor immediately! If after the initial assessment you feel ok and it was just a scare, make sure that if you choose to continue training, that you take greater care of the affected area just to be safe and err on the side of caution! If however you feel you have injured yourself more seriously it is important to forget about your ego, stop training immediately and follow the R.I.C.E.D. principle which stands for:

Rest the injured body part immediately

Ice the injury 10 minutes on 10 minutes off until you can seek professional medical attention

Compression if the injury allows it to reduce swelling and inflammation and speed recovery

Elevation of the injured body part if possible also to reduce swelling and inflammation

Doctor! Most importantly, seek immediate professional medical attention!!!

Rhadi Determination

Rhadi Ferguson overcame major knee surgery nine months before the Olympic trials in 2003 to become a 2004 Olympian in the sport of Judo! And in doing so he showed the grit and determination to overcome adversity and become a champion!

Now that being said, if you are training smart with a good group of training partners that you trust and respect and under the supervision of an experienced coach injuries should be a rare event! Most injuries occur because people either get to competitive or are reckless when they are training. If you train under the supervision of a good coach they should recognise this immediately and put a stop to it. It’s okay to train hard as long as you are going about it with control, technique, in a safe environment and devoid of ego! If a student injures others and does not take care with their training partners, they will have no one left to train with or may be asked to leave the gym! It is the duty of care and responsibility of the coach to look after the group’s safety !

Okay you are injured. Think about the injury, does it require time off training? Or can you come into the gym and work lightly on your technique while avoiding using the injured area. If you are able to do this, you will probably find that you will heal quicker due to the increased blood supply through your body brought about by exercise. Also it will help you keep your mind fresh, skills sharp and help to avoid complacency, resentment and even possibly depression. Another thing you will be doing is building your skills, increasing muscle memory and putting yourself in a positive training environment both mentally and physically!

However if the injury is severe and you just cant train then I recommend that you still to attend class and watch. It will probably be difficult at first but it really does help if you can watch, study and learn from your coach. Observe how your team mates move when rolling, find out how they set up their attacks, become familiar with their strongest positions and try to dissect their games as if they were opponents that you were planning to compete against. How would you tackle their strengths, what moves would you use against them? Another thing that you can do to keep your head in the game is watch instructional dvds and competitions, study the top Jiu jitsu players, learn from them and keep your mind sharp! Read books, magazines, watch you tube clips etc and stay focused.

We in the Jiu jitsu community have lost too many talented fighters, instructors and students to injuries who never returned to the mats! Keep your head in the game, be smart and ease back into it while developing and strengthening the injury until it becomes a strength! Believe me, it is possible. I tore my pec tendon completely off the bone a couple of years requiring major surgery and was told that I would never play sports again! Since then I have gone on to earn my brown belt and open my own school so I really believe we can overcome almost any injury if we stay positive and keep our head in the game! 

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe

Jiu jitsu Kingdom

P.S. For information about Rhadi Ferguson please check out his website at www.rhadi.com 

Attacking the legs! There’s more than to it than meets the eye…

November 8, 2009

An often neglected area of many Jiu jitsu student’s training and progression is leg locks. Learning how to attack the legs correctly and efficiently is an important part of your journey. However, many students are too eager to learn leg locks as a source of “a quick tap” instead of taking the time to learn how to pass the guard. Before attempting to learn how to attack the legs, it is important to develop solid base and strong guard passing skills. With that out of the way, I feel that it is still important to learn leg locks relatively early in your training so that you dont develop a guard game overly susceptible to leg attacks and also so that you develop the ability to remain calm when defending and escaping  your opponent’s leg attacks!

The most obvious place to attack your opponent’s legs is when you are in their guard! As obvious as that may sound, being in your opponent’s guard can be a great place to either set up a leg attack or use your leg attacks to create fear in your opponent and set up your guard passing! Using your leg attacks to set up your guard passes can be a very effective way to help you deal with those “tough to pass” and “dangerous guard” players! After a few attempts at attacking their legs, most guard players will become more conservative and defensive while playing from the bottom and that can make your job a lot easier! After all, you are now starting to draw them into your game and that is one of the keys to effective Jiu jitsu!

Cobrinha's Toe Hold (2008 Mundials)

Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles submits Bruno Frazzatto in the dying stages of the Final match of the 2008 World Brazilian Jiu jitsu Championships with a toe hold!

Also realise that this strategy can be used in reverse when playing guard. How you ask? Think about it, your playing guard and your opponent has tremendous base and posture. You cant get any of your attacks going, his base is solid, you cant move him, his posture’s great, you cant make any inroads into arm and neck attacks. This time you attack hard with a sweep to off balance your opponent just long enough to get under him and attack a leg… Your timing is good and have caught your opponent by surprise, he reels, twists, turns, struggles desperately then taps. A look of shock on his face as you touch hands and go again, this time you fake a leg attack he over reacts and all your sweeps and submission attacks become easy! And this is how you can use your leg lock game as another tool to set up your sweeps and submissions as they scramble to defend their legs!

And then there is just those times when you are getting crushed, out scored, out positioned, out hustled and out smarted. Then you go for a leg like your life depends on it and get the submission! Leg locks can be used as a great equalizer. Because so few people train them, more accurately because so few opponents train them correctly they are ruthlessly effective against:

-bigger, stronger more athletic opponents,

-smaller faster opponents,

-more experienced/technical opponents

Frank Mir

Frank Mir submits Brock Lesnar with a knee bar for the UFC Heavyweight title at UFC 81!

A word of caution though, there are two things of fundamental importance when training leg locks. Number 1: Seek Expert Instruction. To really learn the ins and outs of the leg lock game it is important to learn from an expert in the subject. And unfortunately not just any Jiu jitsu black belt will do, as until only recent times leg locks were frowned upon by the Jiu jitsu community therefore they were not taught with as much precision and attention to detail as they rightfully deserved! A great resource to start with is High Percentage Leg Locks by Stephan Kesting (an expert on the subject). I highly recommend it. Number 2: Train Safely! Attacking the legs can be dangerous practise if you and your training partners aren’t careful and respectful. When attacking the legs, there is no room for ego. If your caught, TAP!!! Although the muscle structure of the legs is quite strong, the joints are just as fragile and susceptible to tears, breakage and damage as any other joint. As a matter of fact, what can sometimes make these attacks dangerous is that you often dont feel any pain when caught until it’s too late. So if your leg is trapped tight and your opponent is applying pressure, please tap! It really could save you a trip to the hospital!

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe

Jiu jitsu Kingdom

Renzo Gracie LEGACY…. My favourite documentary of all time!

November 5, 2009

I thought I’d take a moment to share with you a sample clip from Renzo Gracie’s “Legacy” dvd. The documentary “Legacy” is a compilation of training, teaching, behind the scenes and fight footage of one of the greatest Jiu jitsu/MMA fighters and teachers of all time, Renzo Gracie. Every time I watch “Legacy” the hair on the back of my neck stands up as he is such an inspiration to all of us who practise Jiu jitsu and anyone interested in Mixed Martial Arts! Renzo talks about his family, fights, training, teaching, philosophy and life lessons learned in the art! This is a MUST-HAVE dvd for everyone involved in Jiu jitsu, MMA or even Martial Arts in general! 

What’s amazing is that you can pick it up for les than $20US! I cant see why someone would not buy it for that price! It’s a highly entertaining, highly motivating and fascinating look into the mind of a Legend and what makes him tick! Renzo Gracie is one of my heroes… And after watching his dvd, I’m sure he will become one of yours too!

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe

Jiu jitsu Kingdom

Marcelo Garcia’s Demo at 2009 World MMA Expo! Enjoy!

November 2, 2009

One of the things that I am always on the look out for are instructional dvds, books, magazines or video clips that will benefit my students. I really feel that the more time you spend thinking about, watching and training Jiu jitsu the better you will get (And quickly too). I know not everyone has endless time to step on the mats and train so here is a fantastic clip by the Master, Marcelo Garcia at the 2009 World MMA Expo! His technique and movement skills are awesome to watch and he gives a small glimpse into his legendary Guillotine choke game! Enjoy!!!

Marcelo Garcia is a legendary grappler with flawless technique and I hope that you take the time to watch him train, teach and compete anytime that you can. Study and dissect his game, learn how he moves, his techniques, think about why he does what he does and try to understand his strategy!

On that note, I highly recommend that you make a concerted effort to learn from Marcelo in any way possible, be it via classes, private classes, seminars, instructional dvds, books, magazines,watching him compete or even his soon to be released online instruction! You wont regret it and I guarantee your game will improve significantly, as did mine! 🙂

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe

Jiu jitsu Kingdom