Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jiu-Jitsu In Action!

One of my team mates Bill is a cop in a small rural town and was able to use his knowledge of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu recently to get himself out of a really bad situation. He used a series of techniques that enabled him to protect himself and subdue his attacker with out anyone getting hurt.

He was required to bring in an escaped mental patient. The guy is an ex pro surfer who was in an unstable condition and a danger to himself and others. Bill knew where the guy was and went to pick him up. He approached the house on foot armed only with handcuffs in his pocket. The guy calmly came out of the house and met Bill at the front gate. When informed that he had to go back to the hospital he crash tackled Bill to the ground. He had no time to react to the tackle but quickly got closed guard. The attacker then put an arm on the ground and postured up to punch with his other hand. Bill said it was like everything went into slow motion, he attacked the arm on the ground with a kimura and broke the attackers posture down. The attacker then fought real hard to get his arm back and posture up again. Bill used his opponents momentum to pull off the hip bump sweep to mount. The guy then struggled to turn over and get up and Bill transitioned to the back position. He thought about the choke but decided to stabilise the position first and keep the seat belt grip. In the scramble Bills cuffs had fallen out on to the ground so he had to keep control of the guy with the back position and scoot over to the cuffs and put them on his attacker. He then walked him to his vehicle parked around the corner. After he put him in back of the paddy wagon he called me, still out of breath, to tell me that the stuff we have been working on in class just saved him and a mental patient from getting hurt. :-)

My Old White-Belt Minus A Stripe
To acknowledge his proficient use of the techniques under extreme pressure I did an impromptu grading by pulling a stripe off my old white-belt and presenting it to him after training. He's very pleased with how it all worked out and can now truly attest for the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu-Jiutsu in a real life situation. He has also started bringing his two oldest sons in to train with the team.

I'm so pleased that he was able to use BJJ to gain the best possible outcome. Full credit to Bill and his hard work on the mat. He travels a fair distance to come train with us and I couldn't ask for a better team mate.

The way I try to coach is to be a part of the team. I train as hard as I can and try to push the pace, all with a smile on my face. I never want to be the fat instructor with his thumbs in his belt walking around like my shit doesn't stink talking about the old days and how tough I used to be. I want to be in the trenches fighting along side my mates in the battles that are taking place on the mat right now. 
But this style of coaching means its hard to sit back and take stock of how everyone is progressing. So the last couple of training runs I've made sure I sat out a few rounds of sparring to see how everyone is progressing. I was overwhelmed with how well the guys are rolling. Lots of nice movement with some technical sweeps, transitions and submissions. All of them have progressed a massive amount in a relative short amount of time. There attitudes are excellent and they are all trying to make each other better while having fun. I think slowly but surely we are building something very special together here in Gympie and It feels really cool to be a part of it.

C u on the mat!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Did I lock the car..??

Its been just over 3 weeks since my Hernia op and I'm close to being back training at 100%. My rehab has been going excellent. The surgeon and nurses all said to do no rehab at all for the first 2-3weeks. Which to me seemed a bit strange. So with the help of one of my team mates who is an excellent physio I have been working on strengthening up my core without the risk of re-injury. The hard part is, now that I'm back rolling, not going too hard when I'm training with the bigger guys.
I have 4 of my team mates from Terra Luta BJJ competing at the state titles this Saturday. I have been trying my best to help them prepare. 

Coaching jiu-jitsu is almost impossible for me with out being able to be on the mat. I'm still developing my coaching style and trying to learn and refine my own jiujitsu at the same time. The poor blokes I'm coaching are somewhat my guinea pigs. My approach at the moment is to try to be technical and always train hard, and train even harder when we are preparing for competitions. Luckily I've had the help and guidance of my coaches Ryan, Dean and Carlos and my team mates from IgniteSC & Cia Paulista. I am extremely grateful for their help and am very privileged to be part of such a strong team.

Carlos Portugues Viera Seminar 28-04-12,
At IgniteSC

With only one or two hard training runs left before the comp, I believe the team will be ready to do their best. As i've blogged about before, I think competing is a short cut to getting better at BJJ and is a great way to develop as a person. When you're training hard for comps in the gym and on the competition mat, your weaknesses and strengths become obvious. Your mental is put to the test. You will find yourself in really shit positions where no one can help you but yourself. 
With a head like this,
I'm always up against better looking opponents.
You might find that you have no strength left, no cardio left, no one yelling out instructions for you. Your opponent might even be much more experienced, bigger, faster, have a cooler hair cut and be better looking than you. You are alone, its just you and your annoyingly well groomed opponent. That's when the voice in your head becomes very clear. We all have an inner monologue going in our head, it doesn't mean you're crazy. (Unless you start actually doing all the crazy shit your inner voice says) 
When you are in these shit positions and you think you have tried everything you can to escape, that inner voice is all you have left. You will here it say stuff like, shit I'm being smashed, fuck this guy is heavy, I hope no one is watching, how am I suppose to get out of this? did I train hard enough? Did I lock the car? I wonder if anyone is laughing at me? I wonder if Rihanna will get back with Chris Brown?All these things could go through your head. This is why people say that being an athlete is more mental than physical. 
The top guys all have that inner turmoil but they learn to deal with it and replace the negative stuff with positive and react to what is happening in the moment. They develop the ability to stay focused even when they are in the deepest amount of shit on the biggest stages of their sport. 
After a hard session at TerraLuta,
With Coach Ryan & Dean.
Me personally, I have this problem every time I compete. But I'm aware of it now and the last time I competed even tho I was against a much bigger and more experienced opponent, I still stayed in the fight till the very end and only lost by a couple of points. I think the reason for that was I remained focused on the task at hand the whole time. I've gotten smarter with my training I have options from most positions now. It may mean I have to be patient and wait for the right timing and leverage to create some space to execute the technique but I'm much more confident in my skill set. Even in my losses I learn so much about my Jiu-Jitsu and myself.  

I'm very proud of the Terra Luta Competition Team. It takes heart to step on to the competition mat and compete. Just by entering and turning up on the day you become a different person. You are now a Jiu-Jitsu fighter. With that comes the full support of your team and the honour to represent the team patch on your back.

Cia Paulista QLD!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Got The Itch...

This is my locker at my gym,
The logo is the CiaPaulista Australia patch.
When I compete I represent this team.
 I have one more week of training before I have the op for my hernia. I'll be off the mat for 4-6weeks and will not be ready to compete until mid June. I'm so keen to get back on the competition mat and compete for my team. I have always competed since I started doing Jits, just over 3yrs ago. I did my first comp after only 1months training. I really want to do as many comps as I can every season. But due to work, injuries and life outside of jits. I've not been able to compete as often as I want too. I've had a shit start to the year with Illness and injuries but after I recover from this latest surgery I will be looking to hit the competition mats with full force the second half of this year. I believe competing is a short cut to improving your Jiu-Jitsu and to improving yourself in lots of other ways. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you have to compete to be good at jiu-jitsu. I'm saying it helps you develop faster. It really forces your hand. You become aware of your weight, your conditioning, your standup game and your all round comp game. You train harder in preparation for a comp and having set dates give you excellent goal setting time frames. Win, lose or draw, I always take lots of positives and lots of things to work on out of my matches. I'll keep a bit of a track on my recovery programme post op and my preparation for my first comp back on here. Hope someone finds it useful.
C u on the mat,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

In Jits We Trust!

Everyone loves analogies, well I do anyway and the coolest analogies are Jiu-Jitsu related. I think bjj teaches us so much more than just how to pull off a fully sick reverse De La Riva sweep. (see below)

"Life is a lot like Jiu-Jitsu. You never know what ya gunna get." 
Forrest Gump.

There is so many life lessons being learned every time we hit the mat. I think we just need to place them in the right context of what's going on in life off the mat and you have the answer to most of your problems right there. Thanks Jits!
In life, just like in jits, If you work hard and smart at something you are passionate about (eg.. deep half guard.) you start seeing improvements very quickly in that area. Everything starts flowing. You start getting shit done, pulling off some nice techniques. Things are going in the right direction at a good pace, you're as happy as a pig in shit..... then boom!... Out of no where come the dramas.....  it could be as simple as not being to able to pull of your go to sweep for some reason. Or as extreme as a major injury or something else that stops you from enjoying the position. Some problems can spiral. Personnel conflicts, injuries, illness, stress, frustration, finances, not knowing the answers and feeling hopeless. All these things can make you think, is it worth all the effort.

Injuries and Illness suck massive donkey balls. I may need to have surgery on a Inguinal hernia. Which is basically my stomach trying to escape through a hole in my abdomen. I think I initially injured it when I first started doing Jiu-Jitsu. Back then I was 125kg and over exerting every time I rolled. But it has only became a real problem over the last 2 months. The surgery can take up to 6weeks to get over. So depending on when the surgery is I won't be able to train or compete for at least a couple of months. Which stuffs up my plans to compete as much as possible this year.

On top of this I just found out that I have Ross River Fever. It has really knocked the shit out of me. All my joints blew up and I was covered in spots after training Friday night. I couldn't do much physical activity that night and the next day. If I did I would get head spins and have to lay down. So I got blood tests done and boom.. Ross River fever. Apparently it can take ages to get over and some people have recurring bouts of it all there life. So that sux balls!

Money is always an issue in this society we live in. With out it, it's real hard to get shit done. I've overspent already on my little gym. I really want to get some more stuff done but I have to curb my spending. While all my focus has been on getting the club going, my main business has been a little bit neglected and needs some work put in to it now.

So yeah, I'm feeling some stress, but I'm not being a whiny little bitch about it. I'm handling it pretty good. I think I have BJJ to thank for how well I'm handling it. These problems are inevitable but how we deal with them is what truly tests us. My natural reaction is to either blame and resent other people and other things for my problems (known as 'spazzing out' in bjj. It leads to giving up your arms and getting tapped) or, crawl in to my shell and hope it all goes away (the BJJ equivalent is you go limp and give up fighting in the middle of the roll).  I've learnt that spazzing only gets you submitted and giving up or hiding from the guy that smashes you when you roll is for pussy's.

In grappling if a problem occurs while you're rolling you don't panic, you relax and go with the flow.. even if your head is being tea-bagged by a 90kg sweaty dude trying to rip your arm off, you remember the position. Then you break it down later on in your head and try to work out why there was a problem. Then you start taking action to fix that shit. You ask your coach and training partners for some help with the position or you might have to do some research of your own. Then you have to drill it and next time you find yourself in that same spot... boom! You execute the correct move like a ninja.

My new B'fast, bit better than a  flat white
With my Jiu-Jitsu right now I physically can't train but I was on the mat last night helping my team mates as much as I can and I'll be there every night we train.  Hopefully I'll have a gi back on next week, depending on how I feel. But I'm taking the time off, as a positive. It has enabled me to have a better look at how my team mates are rolling. I think I can really help the guys out by focusing in on my teaching right now. Same goes for all my other problems.
While I can't do much manual labor, I'm working a lot smarter. It's forced me to step back and have a look at what techniques I'm using in all the different areas of my life. I'm seeing some holes in my game. So I'm doing some research and asking for some help from my family, friends and team mates. Even though I'm not 100% physically I really feel like I'm still moving forward and kicking arse like a Diaz brother. What bitch!!

I think life/Jiu-Jitsu throws problems at us for a reason. To teach us humility and make us better Jiu-Jitsu players. Things that come with no obstacles or no problems aren't worth getting any way.

C u on the mat.