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Watching someone, from their first lesson and with each lesson building up the confidence, skills and Jiu Jitsu “mindset” is really cool.

While I would be the first to admit that I am still working on each of these aspects of my Jiu Jitsu myself, I really enjoy seeing the improvements my training partners are making.

From the one who has always been able to handle me easily, continue to stay one(more likely two or three) steps ahead of me while rolling is very inspiring.

To the person who only had a little exposure to Jiu Jitsu when they first started at 8020 and in a few months they are using Jiu Jitsu to shut down my game. Forcing me to learn, this is what it is all about!

Watching people use their bodies efficiently and effectively is awesome, when I first started I had this belief that weight was irrelevant in BJJ, that in BJJ skill was EVERYTHING, well in some ways that is true, for example, someone who is well trained, going against someone who is a lot bigger and stronger but completely untrained my money is on the Jiu Jitsu dude.
But this advantage gap is made much smaller once both people have Jiu Jitsu training.(ignoring the brown/higher belt vs white/lower belt both have jiu jitsu training but one is basically a wizard!).

Now, I wonder this:
Because of how much I enjoy seeing my training partners improve, what must it be like for an instructor to see people come off the street with simply no understanding of BJJ and slowly after time build an understanding of the art, watching as a person turns into a better version of themselves, as that is what I see happening.
I know that a big part of improving at Jiu Jitsu is from working with your fellow training partners but that ignores a very important aspect of this whole thing and that is for proper improvement and self development to take place you simply need more than training partners, even if they are the best training partners(which I say 8020BJJ guys are!) you need:

  • A place to train.
  • Structured training.
    • Days dedicated to a single aspect of BJJ for example.
    • Also an instructor that links concepts together(and is able to explain them well).
  • Top down influence (basically setting the atmosphere of the gym) and a SAFE place to train, 8020BJJ made me welcome from my very first contact with the club.
  • And guidance, not just telling someone what they want to hear.

We have that at 8020BJJ. That is our instructor, an instructor who encourages us to experiment, an instructor who encourages us to develop our own style, who will stay after class and answer our questions, provides us with material/resources/links to study based on our own body types, styles and abilities.

An instructor who is always helping us to become a better grappler and I think as a side affect of that, a better person(there has been a lot said about how training Jiu Jitsu can make someone a better person).

As someone who only knows Martial Arts from what I saw when my father was active in Karate while I was a child, on TV/UFC/YouTube and primarily 8020BJJ. 8020 has had a deeply positive impact on my life.


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Turn up and train and you will get better…slowly.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is HARD, hard on the body, ego and mind.

Hard on the body, because we are basically attempting to hurt each other and the physical nature of it means injuries are a very real possibility.
Hard on the ego, because your going to get smashed, one thing that’s said a lot is that an ego wont last in Jiu Jitsu because you have to be able to give in and admit you are beat, for some this may be hard.(one of my first rolls I was tapped out by a lady, which is completely normal in Jiu Jitsu and totally convinced me how epic it is, but there would be some males that may not cope to well with that, although someone with that mindset I wouldn’t want to train with)

Hard on the mind is the interesting one and could be lumped into ego, but I think there is a difference.
regardless of someones ego, training Jiu Jitsu is going to push your mind and this is one of the true positive aspects of Jiu Jitsu, quite often I have heard Jiu Jitsu described in term that it is the “thinking mans” martial art or that is is human chess.

All of these points are the positives that Jiu Jitsu provides, but the positives only come as a reward for hard work, put in the hours and you will get better.
Put in the hours and then some, train hard, roll as much as possible and you will get better a tiny bit faster, and it will be rewarding, your ego will inflate as moves you previously thought impossible become easier, then something happens and you feel like you have gone backwards, things are not coming as easily, techniques you could rely on now just get you into bad positions. You have hit your plateau.

Google “BJJ plateau” and you will find many blogs, articles and forums discussing this phenomenon, since I have been training I believe I have had at least 3 plateaus and I’m pretty much a noob!
The good news is, its normal, last night I asked my instructor if he has these “plateaus” and he does, this is just the way Jiu Jitsu is, I think the major instigator of these flat spells is that fact that you are using your team mates to measure your development(not entirely as I think its best to compare yourself against the you of say 1 year ago or even the you of a few months ago).

I think it comes down to ego aswell, you have to try to not compare yourself to your teammates as that is going to be driven by ego, instead look at your own improvements solely against yourself.

well, that is what I’m telling myself at the moment, as I believe I am in a plateau, which is quite amusing considering my last post just yesterday was titled “motivated”!


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Back to training ! work has smoothed out and I’m feeling motivated and my groin strain/injury or whatever it is, is not causing me to limp around, while it is not perfect, it is workable and I am able to roll pretty much normally(No Williams guard with my right leg and I’m still restricted in some open guard techniques)

Last night I had a great time at 8020BJJ, we worked a nice take-down(throw-down) from a clinch, which was lots of fun. We moved upstairs to the “softer” floor and I had a great time being flung onto the mat.
My stand up sucks, easily my weakest aspect to my bjj game, mostly because I love the ground work so much I just don’t have the willingness to work for a take-down, I’d rather get taken down quickly/pull guard than to spend too long working for a take-down(I know I need to work on this as it really is not the best approach).

Then we worked legs locks, man do I feel sorry for people who don’t get to practice leg locks early in their bjj training, considering you have main attack points, being arms, neck and legs(also spine but that usually comes with the neck) eliminating one point of attack is very limiting and this was highlighted by our instructor last night.

Also, I love the guard, playing guard and being on the bottom has always appealed to me, the fact that someone can be on the bottom but still be in control has always impressed me. (but saying that I know that most submissions come from the top position not all subs but generally it is easier to get the sub from the top) Leg locks can be kryptonite to guard players, a few people at 8020 really make use of this against me when we roll and it has really helped my game.

Last nights leg lock(straight ankle) was a very good attack for the unsuspecting open guard player.

I also had a great lesson learnt last night. For a long time, I have not really had much respect for calf slicers or bicep crushers etc. To me, they were something that came on slow and were only “effective” when you had really tied up your opponent and I figured if I had tied up my opponent that much something else would be available also I considered them opportunistic attacks. I was basically ignorant of them.
Then I got bicep sliced, while in the top position(kind of a sloppy side control)…wow, they are legit! can be applied quickly and effectively.

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Because I have been very lazy not updating my blog in a fair while!
since the competition I have been really focusing on the aspect of my game that was highlighted by my loss, it has turned out to be a great learning experience, I also have a niggling injury which I assumed was just a pulled muscle but it is taking a lot longer to heal than I would have expected.

The “pulled muscle” was something that I felt after the competition and I kind of ignored it, its a groin muscle and because it has not really gone away it has impacted on how I roll.

We have finished up our top game/passing Wednesdays classes and now moved on to leg locks, which is always a favorite(this will be the second leg lock focus that I have been present for)
Leg locks rock, toe holds were such a help for my guard game, as it really forced me to be active, as someone(Slade) could just grab my feet and toe hold me, it happened a lot!
toe holds have now become one of my favorite submissions.

So far we have worked the straight ankle lock and also the heel hook, leg locks rock! we are lucky we have an instructor who is open to leg locks as it would suck to not learn them, adding in toe holds seriously changes how someone plays open guard.

as I mentioned in my last update, there is a few competitions coming up, I am excited about competing again but want to do it without a niggling groin strain/injury.

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Dion sent out the upcoming competitions for the rest of 2014.

10th August BJJ4LIFE – Gi Submission only

16 & 17th August BJJ posibly Gi & No-Gi during a fitness expo.

21 September No-Gi AFBJJ (IBJJF Points tournament)

wow, pretty stacked few months

10th of August, bjj4life tournament I will sign up for. and I would love to do the Fitness expo ones also and well if all goes well maybe the AFBJJ one, it would be a great to have something to really focus on and with all the stuff I have to work on this is literally the best way to really put it to the test.

I need one thing though. a Bull-Terrier Gi I’m pretty sure they give you +1 berimbolo


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