Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Laura-4 months :-)

'Cause there's a beautiful life to behold
And its the biggest part of my life to unfold'

Monday, 26 October 2009

1 week to go...


The final week: there is little you can do the week before the event that will greatly improve your performance on the day. This week is about listening to your body, letting your body heal and getting your head together for the tournament.
It's important this week not to overtrain, the last hard day of training should be 4 days before the tournament. No more practice matches after today instead just drill techniques and very light rolling with your team mates. Focus on getting good nutrition, drinking lots of water , stretching and getting plenty of sleep.
Do not train the day before the competition and only stretch.
If you have lots of nervous energy, go for a light run or swim to help work it out and help you sleep that night, but nothing to fatigue you or cause soreness.

Making Weight:
I dont believe in cutting weight the week before the event, you risk burning out or weakening yourself before competing. If you are over weight for the bracket you want to enter try lose the weight in the months and weeks leading up to the event by cleaning up your diet and doing it properly.
But dont obsess about the weight and enter the division you can make comfortably.

Dealing with stress:
Even the best fighters experience stress leading up to the event and on the day. It's very normal. Stress places a big drain on the body-poor digestion, sleep and focus.
The important thing to remember is that winning is not everything, there are variables out of your control and the fears associated with both dont matter.
This is an easier thing to say than to believ but by continually reminding yourself you can achieve a positive outcome.

Some advice from Nick Diaz:
The only way to win is to not be afraid to lose. I imagine the worst case scenario. losing in the worst way possible. What is worse than that? I think of all of them and then cancel them out by reminding myself" I can deal with that"
I imagine it's already happened and imagine where I stand afterwards and realise I can deal with it and then I go forward...

Train smart this week, Ill cover preparing for the big day next.
See you on the mat.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Training with Master "Broca"

Fridays workout was great, it was taken again by Master Broca.

Here's a bit more information about Walter "Broca" Jr:

  • 3rd Degree BJJ Black Belt & No-Gi World Champion
  • BJJ Coach of UFC Light Heavy Weight Champion Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida
  • 2x Black Belt Mundial World Champion
  • 2x Black Belt Mundial Silver Medalist
  • 2x Black Belt Brazilian Nationals Winner
  • 6x North & North East Champion
  • 3x Brazilian Nationals Champion
  • Professional Record with 11 Wins
    ALL via Submission
It was a great class with some call warm up drills.Broca then taught 2 techniques, an escape from half guard and then using the same technique to set up am omopalata or gogopalata.
It was then on to an hour or so of rolling.
It was great to get to roll with Broca and to see how smoothly such a big guy moves. He weighes around 120kilos and was playing for some cool deep half guard sweeps, catching me repeatedly with one I could see he was working on, and most impressive of all to me was he used no strength at all. With such a big guy with such awesome technique he must be scary when he does use strength.
Master Broca was great to train with and I picked up a couple of great pointers from him and learnt some new drills. Ill hopefully get to train a bit more with him while he's around.
Ill try post some picks soon.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Friday, 2 October 2009

Friday Inspiration

Hard work will
always beat talent.
When talent refuses
to work hard.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Helio Gracie Day

Helio Gracie Day – October 1

Helio Gracie, was born October 1, 1913. The Gracie Academy has created Helio Gracie Day which will be observed the first day of October every year, starting today, Thursday, October 1. All lessons taught on Helio Gracie Day will end with one minute of silence, so that all practitioners can reflect on the life and legacy of the Eternal Grand Master.
Even if you are not a member of a "Gracie" Academy, if you train Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, it's still worth remembering the Grand Master today and what a huge impact, wether directly or in-directly he had on so many of us.
Have a great day, train hard the Master may be watching!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Competition advice....

Saulo Ribeiro gives a lesson on what competion is.

“It is not necessary for every student of jiu-jitsu to enter into competitions. Some may do jiu-jitsu simply because they enjoy gaining the knowledge. Others perhaps dislike the limelight or just don’t want to compete in this particular sport. I love to do other sports, but I don’t have the desire to compete in those sports. Some people don’t like to compete because they don’t know how to deal with loss. If you win, you’re happy, and if you lose, your world gets turned upside down.

That is a problem. This fear of losing scares some people from competition. Then there are those who live and die by competition, but fail to realize it is just a game. It is a game where you mix knowledge, strategy, timing, health, and attitude. Like any game, the best jiu-jitsu practitioner doesn’t always win. Take the World Championship for example. 30 guys sweat blood in their training, and there is only one winner. What about the 29 who worked so hard? Is the champion really better than all of them? It depends. Sometimes, the person with the best technique gets eliminated in the first round.

If you decide to compete, realize that competition is the art of dealing with pressure. Some people face pressure early in life and others not until much later, but in every case, where there is pressure there is competition. The student who doesn’t compete at the tournament is still competing if the pressure is there. Perhaps he even feels more pressure than the one who does go to tournaments because he fights against himself…competes against his feelings and choices. This is the toughest opponent you can have — yourself.

Ultimately, the opponent you will face in the ring is you, because you cannot compete successfully if you do not address internal issues that will affect your performance. When competing, you will not even be able to think about overcoming your opponent if you are too worried about yourself. However, if you are comfortable with your preparation, you will have the confidence to perform. Becoming the champion is not about your opponent. It’s about you.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Kettlebell Workout

This is a cool workout that places an emphasis on conditioning as well as strength.
Do as many rounds in 20 minutes of 5 pistols (right/left), 5 strict one arm press (right/left) and either 5 one arm body weight rows or 5 strict pull ups as you can.
These types of circuits give you the benefit of heavy low rep strength training, but also give a great cardio conditioning workout, especially if you take no rest between exercises or circuits.
Try and get this workout done 2x a week in conjunction to your BJJ training. A quick warm up of 5 minutes skipping and some joint mobility is always a good idea as well.
Remember your strength and conditioning work is supportive of your jiu-jitsu be carefull not to overtrain.

Monday, 21 September 2009

No Gi Guard

The closed guard is your first barrier in grappling. Because you have your opponent trapped between your legs you have a fair amount of control and can take a bit more time working for attacks.
Once your guard is open and you cant readily close it again you are into the territory of the open guard. This is an extremely effective position to attack from and has many variations such as traditional open guard, De la Riva, Spider, butterfly, x-guard etc...
Ideally when training you need to keep in mind that your guard wether gi or no- is based on fundamental concepts that if you can keep in mind will make your guard much more effective.

You want to have a core set of basics that work for no-gi, gi, mma and self defense with few modifications. Once youve got them down you can then obviously add details and work on some adding details etc to them. Certain techniques dont translate as well to no-gi (such as spider guard) so you need to keep that in mind when working on your game-plan.


1: Always keep your knee's to your chest.
When your knees come away from your body it becomes easier to pass, i.e using a bull-fighter pass. Ideally when in open guard you must be sitting up like getting ready to stand in base,back hand assisting with movement and lead hand working for a grip or defending but knees bent and pulled into your chest.
Always try to keep your partner at 12 oclock and your legs between you.

2.Maintain 4 points of contact with your grips and feet pressure.
You need to be activelycontrolling your opponent with both feet (hooks, on hips, biceps etc) and your grips on his wrists, behind his head, ankle etc...

3: Be Aggressive-constantly looking for either a SWEEP/SUBMISSION/STAND UP
The guard is generally considered a defensive position but to have an effective guard you need to be attacking and applying pressure all the time. Look to link your attacks into simple combo's so that you are always threatening your opponent with something. i.e basic kimura-hip bumb-guillotine.
You also need to always threaten with being able to stand up and out of your guard esp against really big guys with great base a quick escape back to your feet can put you on top of their turtle position ready to attack their backs.
sweep/submit/stand up

4:Guard Retention Early and Late-
Early guard retntion would be techniques you use to defend your guard with your back off the mat.
Late guard retention would be once you are on your back and your opponent is working to control your legs and hips to pass to side control:
-dont let him control both your legs
-dont let him control your hips
- try keep your back off the mat. being up or at least on your side allows you to be able to move your hips and torso out to set up attacks and defend
-dont let him pass an imaginary line in front of your knees. Your foot, knee and shin are an importent barrier in your guard defense.

If you can keep these 4 points in mind youll find youre guard will become alot more effective.
Have filmed some clips and techniques to illustarte each point will upload them soon.
Train hard

Monday Morning Inspiration...

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Sunday morning inspiration...

"Whenever problems seem to get the best of me, whenever I feel them closing in on me, I go to a quiet place that lies somewhere in my soul. I do not reason, analyze or think. Those will come later. I simply go. From this place of silence, I garner strength and inspiration to stand firm in the face of fire, to be calm in the midst of thunder. When I emerge, the world has not changed, but I have. And in changing, a whole new world is born."
---John Harricharan

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Jacare' Highlight...

Cool highlight video of Jacare. Im working on some no-gi guard and open guard stuff which ill put up asap!
Enjoy the clip.
Train hard!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Tones of home...

Sorry for gap in posting been busy two weeks teaching and training. Have some cool stuff for the blog so will be getting it up asap.
Gotto get my ass to the train to make lunch time class on time,
chat to you later, train hard

Thursday, 27 August 2009

16 Tips For Closed Guard

This was an awesome list of tips I came across. Really worth going through and keeping in mind when playing closed guard, with or without gi.

These are very important aspects of the closed guard to remember and practice.

  1. Don't give him space. When having your opponent in closed guard you don't want to give him any space. Space for him means more opportunities to work a pass.
  2. Don't let him posture. When he has his posture he is able to get his elbows in and head up to work out of your guard.
  3. You want to get control of your opponent's hips, head, and upper body.
  4. Climb your legs high up on your opponent's waist, closer to his upper back. When they are higher up it is much harder for him to sit back and get his elbows in. You also have your hips off the ground, which allows for better movement on the bottom.
  5. Knock his hands off your body. When he has his hand flat on your body he has the opportunity to push off of you. As emphasized before, if your legs are higher up his waist/closer to his upper back it is much harder for him to push on your body and regain his posture.
  6. Pull him in with your legs. Do not rely on using just your hands to pull your opponent in close to you. It will not work. Your hands against his whole body are not an even battle. You want to close your legs tightly around your opponent and bring your knees into you: this will cause your opponent to lunge forward.
  7. Control his head. This is a really important point. Where the head goes the body follows, so you want to try to control your opponent's head most of the time, at least until you have moved onto something better. If you have ever experienced someone constantly pulling down on your head while you were in their guard, you would probably agree that it is very frustrating. Also when you pull down on their head you want to pull down on the upper back of their head because that is where you get the most leverage. It is much harder to pull down on your opponent's head once you get closer to his neck area. Don't control directly on the neck
  8. Try to control his arms/shoulders. Immediately after controlling your opponent's head and bringing him close to you you want to get control of at least one of his shoulders or arms. This gives you a lot of control. You can either overhook one if his arms or underhook one of his arms, but always remember to keep control of his head.
  9. After you gain control of your opponent you want to start moving your hips out so you can start working some attacks. Most attacks are going to come from the side or with your hips out, so you need to be a step ahead of your opponent and start moving your hips out right away. Many people make the mistake of not angling out while having a closed guard, but it is very possible to have tight control with a closed guard and work angles at the same time.
  10. You want to stay tight at the same time as making your movements. An example of this would be placing one of your feet on the ground to aid in scooting your hips out, but retaining control of your opponent's head and shoulder/arm as you do it so he can't sit up. Once you get your hips out you want to immediately get your legs tight around your opponent's body again. Think of yourself as a Boa Constrictor, always on the move but staying tight at the same time.
  11. If you feel you can't stop your opponent from getting his posture and opening your legs. then you need to open your leg voluntarily before he forces you to do it. Remember you want to always be a step ahead. If he forces your legs open, he will have the upper hand and will most likely be able to control your legs and hips. Always be ready to react and go into a position if you feel your opponent is going to open your legs.
  12. When he sits back, try to sit up with him. Remember you always want to be tight. When he goes to push you back, lots of times he will open up an opportunity to gain control.
  13. Always practice regaining guard control. During your practice sessions allow your partners open your guard and work passes. Then fight your way back into guard. To do this always practice your hip escapes (shrimps), this is a really important fundamental movement that is used in a ton of techniques involved in grappling. Also do not let your opponent get control of your legs above your knees, close to your waist. You are in a bad spot if your opponent gains control of your legs close to your hips, or even worse gains control of your hips all together.
  14. It's in your hips. Remember a lot of the grappling game, especially on the bottom, is in the hips.
  15. Always practice your backward rolls. These are very important in getting back to your knees if your opponent stacks you up and there is no way for you to stop him from passing your guard. If you can roll back to your knees, you're in a much better position. Also work on getting back to your knees during your grappling sessions so you can increase your reaction time.
  16. Always practice your shoulder bridges. These are very important should your opponent pass your guard and you need to escape or prevent the pin. You can develop the right mechanics and reaction time to bridge into your opponent and back on your knees, or make at least enough space too scoot back into guard.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


Here in the UK and in SA we have pretty good tap water. For some reason people dont drink it. It's true stuff is added to our water but I wonder which is better, chlorinated tap water or "pure spring" water out of a plastic bottle?
Sure maby the water is pure- BUT it's in a plastic bottle.
The stuff used to make plastic bottles includes some pretty scary stuff. Phthalates and bisphenol A, 2 of the most common chemicals used to make them soft and shatterproof are both known to cause endocrine and reproductive system problems.
Plastic bottles are also a huge enviromental problem.
90% of marine debris is plastic!

Once plastic makes it'sway into the ocean it becomes more than just an eye-sore it becomes a hazzard to sea creatures. The plastics mix of petroleum and toxic chemicals also become part of the food chain.

If you dont trust tap water, consider a home filtration system. If you feel you must buy bottled water (or any bottled drink), go for glass containers.

You may be wondering what this has to dowith Jiu-jitsu. Jiu-jitsu and surfing have very strong ties as many top practitioners are surfers or body-boarders.

I grew up in Durban, South Africa where, like Rio the beach is a huge part of our culture and we were blessed with miles and miles of beautifull coastline. I spent most weekends and holidays at the beach with my mom or with my Uncle, body-boarding or snorkeling so the sea is a big part of my life.

Even if you dont surf or enjoy the ocean, water is the essence of life. Our planet is made of water, We are made of water.

Our blood contains the same trace minerals as seawater, only in slightly different proportions.

The oceans cover over 3/4's of the earth's surface, provide 50% of our oxygen and are home to 80% of all known life forms.

I need the ocean, you need the ocean AND the ocean needs us.

For more info on plastic pollution in the ocean: www.algalita.org

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Wednesday Inspiration...

“If you always put limitations on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work, your relationships and into your whole life and you will stagnate. And stagnation is worse than death. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them even if it kills you. Even if it kills you.”

Bruce Lee

Monday, 17 August 2009

Cool De La Riva Guard Pass

The De La Riva guard can be a tough one to pass, especially if the guard player has control of your back sleave. If you stay standing you are at risk of being swept with the basic sweep from here where they kick your back leg out, if you step back to avoid that leg you risk having your back taken.
Here Jacare shows a cool pass.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Part 2...

This was at Rodney King's Pride and Honor II. It was a real pity that these didnt continue as it was a very well run show. Good refs, international rules and the fighters were treated well.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Late night Thursday inspiration...

"To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it."

I thought about this for a while after I read this as I cant dance, play music or write very well but the times I feel closest to this are sliding down the face of a wave or hitting that sweep or technique without thinking that Ive been drilling and working on for a while.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Where it all began...

My first exposure to Jiu-jitsu was Gracies In Action and the thing that most impressed me apart from how incredible the concepts and techniques were, was the absolute belief they had in Jiu-jitsu.

"Jiu-jitsu is perfect and does have an answer to every problem. We as practitioners arent perfect and WE can make mistakes."

We were the only people I knew of practicing jiu-jitsu at the time and we got a lot weird looks and dumb-ass remarks from the members of the kick-boxing gym we rented mat space from. The owner of the club was also a promoter and we managed to talk him into putting a couple of mma events at the end of one of his shows. I was paired up against a Thai-boxer as the last fight before the main kick-boxing match of the evening.
I wasnt too sure what to expect but I believed in jiu-jitsu...

Friday, 31 July 2009

The Tozi Pass

This is an interesting pass thats worth playing around with a little. I first saw Mike Fowler doing it for no gi and it looked interesting.
"Most" guard pass's need you to first establish good posture to open the guard and this is one of the few that doesnt. So definately worth a look, there are a few variations Ill put up as well.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

First and Foremost

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I dont much care where..." said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Cool Cobrinha Highlight Video!

There are some awesome techniques on display here, look out for some slick 'Brabo' chokes, sweeps and guard passes.
Cobrinha is a smaller dude and incredibly athletic, there are some sick clips of him doing Capoeira floating around, so keep that in mind while watching. There is still definately stuff to be learnt here though even for us mere mortals!
Work those basics! Advanced jiu-jitsu are basics done well!
Enjot this clip!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Monday Motivation

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. ~Edmund Hillary

Once again, please excuse gaps in posts but stilladjusting to my new sleeping patternsof 2-3 hours on, 1-2 hours off!
Sleep has become a precious comodity! As I type this Im trying to psyche myself up to get up and get to training.
My gi is packed and Ive had my bfast smoothie but my bed is calling!!!
Had about 4 hours sleep last night but if I dont go now I know Ill regret it, I can sleep later but wont get back the class Ill miss if I dont go.

Have a great Monday! Enjoy full nights sleep if you can :-)

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Do you have these 24? If not get to work!

This was an awesome email by Stephan Kesting of beginningbjj.com that i wanted to share with you. It will help you a lot with your gameplan design, which if you are battling with, this will definately get you started!
Ive been doing Jiu-jitsu now for 12 years and I constantly realise more and more just how important the fundamentals are, and having a well rounded game before starting to specialise in any positions.
Enjoy this email and check out www.beginningbjj.com for some great resources from Mr.Kesting.

Early in your BJJ development you should be a generalist. This means developing basic skills in ALL areas of BJJ. (Eventually you'll probably specialize a little bit more, but that comes much later, usually around purple belt).

So for now you need to make sure that you're covering all your bases. You really don't want there to be severely underdeveloped areas of your game!

One way to figure out whether there are major holes in your game is to use a checklist like the one below.
Try ranking these positions in order of how much you know about them:
  • Closed guard
  • Open guard
  • Half guard
  • Side mount
  • Knee mount
  • Full mount
  • Rear mount
This ordered list then becomes a handy tool to decide which techniques to practice, and what positions you should start your sparring in.
Remember, usually you make your fastest progress by working your weakest area!
Another, somewhat more analytical approach, is to subdivide these positions even further. Lets split each of the above positions into three technical areas:
  1. Submissions from that position.
  2. Transitions from the position to an even better position.
  3. Escapes/guard passes if you're caught in that position.
When we take consider those three types of skills for each of the major positions, we end up with 24 skill sets:
  1. Closed guard submissions
  2. Closed guard passes
  3. Closed guard sweeps
  4. Open guard submissions
  5. Open guard passes
  6. Open guard sweeps
  7. Half guard submissions
  8. Half guard passes
  9. Half guard sweeps
  10. Side mount submissions
  11. Side mount transitions
  12. Side mount escapes
  13. Knee mount submissions
  14. Knee mount transitions
  15. Knee mount escapes
  16. Full mount submissions
  17. Full mount transitions
  18. Full mount escapes
  19. Rear mount submissions
  20. Rear mount transitions
  21. Rear mount escapes
  22. Turtle submissions
  23. Turtle transitions
  24. Turtle escapes
Now I don't normally assign homework, but I want you to try this. Go down that list again and figure out if you know at least two techniques for each area.

To be able to flow and spar and play and feel comfortable on the ground you need to have at least a few good options for each one of the above 24 areas.
This approach also helps you identify areas for improvement.

Hypothetically, let's say that you know 17 different sweeps from the open guard, but you're completely lost when you get stuck in the half guard.
Question for you: if that's the case, should you work on more open guard techniques, or spend some quality time on the half guard?
I bet you just answered the question yourself! Stephan Kesting

Monday, 13 July 2009

Stability Ball for BJJ-part 2

The original Physio Ball Master-Circus Charlie.

Here is part 2 of the physio ball instructional by Roberto.
Hope youve been working on the basics in part1 as this one builds on those basics moves.
The intro is great too where he reminds us that we are using the ball as an adjunct to our bjj training so not to get too carried away with the ball and learning tons of fancy tricks!
Enjoy and train hard!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Sorry for the gap in posts!

"When Science and Art
Embrace — looking at the stars,
Knowing God is real "

Laura Ann Atkinson
11.03 am
6th of July 2009

Have a great weekend,
Micah :-)

Sunday, 5 July 2009


There are times that test our courage; the first time you stepped on the mat, your first competition.

There are times that test our character: accepting wins and losses with equal measures of humility and grace.

There are times that take all our courage and character.

the word Samurai, literally means "to serve." For over 500 years, the Samurai served as warrior knights for the nobility.

Over hundreds of years of battle, a code of honor was developed, called Bushido. "Bushi" for warrior, "do" for way. This way of the warrior centered on: courage, benevolence, and wisdom.

The Samurai believed knowledge must be assimilated in the mind and shown in the character – to know and to act are one and the same.

We should try to apply these principles of courage and character to our lives.

It will give you a new certainty and calmness of purpose. Train jiu-jitsu for you – for your love of the sport.

Not for gold medals, not for instructors’s approval - for you.

I know that sometimes you have to dig down deep to find your courage.

Because for an athlete, the very worst thing is to know that you gave it your all, and your all was not enough.

Facing down that fear of injury and fear of failure takes courage. And that kind of courage can take you a long way in life.

But practicing courage in the small moments, in everyday acts and decisions prepares you for the time that you will have to face down your fear.

We don’t normally think of the Samurai being afraid. But there were times when young knights would ride into battle, hearts pounding and knees trembling. And yet, they rode ahead with the brave ones. And as they fought in battle after battle, eventually their minds would settle and they would become strong, praiseworthy knights, not so different from those who were naturally brave.

And so it can be with you. Because courage is in each of you, in the strength of your character.

We are locked into battle together. Sometimes it feels like we are battling each other.

We draw up alliances with loyalties thicker than blood and we nurse old grudges with photographic memories.

But we are locked in battle together fighting apathy, obesity and drug use.

We are locked in battle together fighting for discipline, respect and tradition.

We have all been knocked down. It takes time to heal. But as an instructor told me long ago, there is a difference between pain and injury.

You must never tap out. You must get back up and keep fighting.

It will take courage.

But it is possible. And it is in you.

Have a great weekend.


Friday, 3 July 2009

Stability Ball for BJJ 1

Part 1 of an excellent series on using the physio ball for BJJ by Roberto Torralbas. He explains applications for the various exercises with a partner and breaks it down really well. (a common trait with Master Lloyd trained students)
Give this a try for a couple of minutes before or after your training this week and Ill get part 2 up next week.
Have a great Friday,

The Good Fight

This is a bit of a long read for a blog but a worthwhile one. I came across this in a passage by the author Paulo Coelho, I got a lot out of this. It may seem a bit preachy initialy but Jiu-jitsu is a great reflection of our lives and there are elements in both that reflect each other and I find myself learning so much about myself every time I step onto the mat.

"Men can never stop dreaming. Dreams are the food of the soul, just as food is to the body. In our existence we often see our dreams come undone, yet it is necessary to go on dreaming, otherwise our soul dies and Agape does not penetrate it. Agape is universal love, the love which is greater and more important than “liking” someone. In his famous sermon on dreams, Martin Luther King reminds us of the fact that Jesus asked us to love our enemies, not to like them. This greater love is what drives us to go on fighting in spite of everything, to keep faith and joy, and to fight the Good Fight.

The Good Fight is the one we wage because our heart asks for it. In heroic times, when the apostles went out into the world to preach the Gospel, or in the days of the knights errant, things were easier: there was a lot of territory to travel, and a lot of things to do. Nowadays, however, the world has changed and the Good Fight has been moved from the battle fields to within us.

The Good Fight is the one we wage on behalf of our dreams. When they explode in us with all their might – in our youth – we have a great deal of courage, but we still have not learned to fight. After much effort we eventually learn to fight, and then we no longer have the same courage to fight. This makes us turn against ourselves and we start fighting and becoming our own worst enemy. We say that our dreams were childish, difficult to make come true, or the fruit of our ignorance of the realities of life. We kill our dreams because we are afraid of fighting the Good Fight.

The first symptom that we are killing our dreams is lack of time. The busiest people I have known in my life had time for everything. Those who did nothing were always tired and could hardly cope with the little work they had to do, always complaining that the day was too short. In fact, they were afraid of fighting the Good Fight.

The second symptom of the death of our dreams are our certainties. Because we do not want to see life as a great adventure to be lived, we begin to feel that we are wise, fair and correct in what little we ask of our existence. We look beyond the walls of our day-to-day life and hear the noise of spears clashing, feel the smell of sweat and gun-powder, see the great defeats and the faces of warriors thirsty for victory. But we never perceive the joy, the immense joy in the heart of those who are fighting, because for them it does not matter who wins or loses, what matters only is to fight the Good Fight.

Finally, the third symptom of the death of our dreams is peace. Life becomes a Sunday afternoon, not asking too much of us and not asking more than what we want to give. So we feel that we are “mature”, leave aside the “fantasies of childhood” and guarantee our personal and professional success. We are surprised when someone our age says they still want this or that out of life. But deep in our heart we know that what has happened is that we gave up fighting for our dreams, fighting the Good Fight.

When we give up our dreams and find peace, we enjoy a period of tranquility. But our dead dreams begin to rot inside us and infest the whole atmosphere we live in. We start acting cruel towards those around us, and eventually begin to direct this cruelty towards ourselves. Sickness and psychoses appear. What we wanted to avoid in fighting – disappointment and defeat – becomes the only legacy of our cowardice. And one fine day the dead and rotten dreams make the air difficult to breathe and then we want to die, we want death to free us from our certainties, from our worries, and from that terrible Sunday-afternoon peace."

2009 is almost half way done already! To avoid all the above have a serious think about what you still want to achieve or do, on and off the mat and go for it!


Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Feeling Jiu-jitsu

"If you think, you are late. If you are late, you use strength. If you use strength, you tire. And if you tire, you die."
Saulo Ribeiro

Sunday, 28 June 2009


There are a lot of "300" inspired workouts floating around at the moment, this is the basic version of the one Ive been using for the last two months or so and Ive had some really good results with.
By using natural body weight conditioning exercises and a unique, non-stop superset concept, 300 workout's unleash your natural growth hormones and jump start your metabolism and as a result help increase fat burning.
Ive made good strenght/conditioning gains and even improved my flexibility by using full range of motion exercises.

This is the basic version of the workout that Ive been doing. I started with this one for my first 3 weeks or so. I wasnt getting to roll as often as Id like then so was doing the workout 3 times a week.
Remember there are no "one size fits all" workouts out there. We need to be constantly assessing ourselves in 3 aspects: technique, physical conditioning and mental prep.
As this article is based on conditioning thats what we will address. As I said we need to be constantly assessing ourselves, do you find yourself gassing in training, lacking flexibility or getting out muscled all the time and by guys your weight or lighter. There are some guide-lines for basic strength requirements for jiu-jitsu, which Ill put up in another post.
It's important to remeber that jiu-jitsu is technique based but when we are talking competition jiu-jitsu attributes become more important but you should never be trying to out muscle opponents as there is always someone stronger, however as a competitor one still needs a base level of strength and conditioning.
This workout is an excellent one in that it hits these requirements really quickly and requires very little time and needs no equipment other than somewhere to do pull ups.

The workout consists of 5 pairs of exercises done back to back in a super-set fashion until you have done 30 reps of each in good form! Each workout you try to improve your time (once you are doing all the reps correctly that is).

Basic 300:

1a) push ups
1b) chin ups

2a) full range of motion, flat footed squats
2b) slow full range janda sit ups

3a) hindu push ups
3b) body-weight rows (i loop my jiu-jitsu belt over my pull up bar for these=good grip work at same time)

4a) wide stance, toes out full squats
4b) slow full range twisting crunch (left and then right = 1 rep)

5a) sprinter lunge (left and right = 1 rep)
5b) basic burpee (full squat palms to floor between your legs, jump feet to push up position then jump back to bottom squat position and then stand up)

Time yourself, keep form very strict on all exercises, and try to improve your time. I managed to get my intermediate version done on Friday in 25 minutes, which i was stoked with as Ive improved my time a lot since I started.
Let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy and train hard and smart!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Friday Inspiration

The important thing is this:
To be ready at any moment
to sacrifice what you are
for what you could become.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Andre Galvao and Leo Viera

Here is a cool clip of Andre Galvao and Leo Viera playing around with the stability ball. The stability ball is a great tool to use to help your jiu-jitsu. It can help develope strength, conditioning and very important dynamic balance which will help with passing the guard.
Ive got a couple of cool instructional clips I found to get you started that Ive been playing around with and I definately recon it's worth a go, it will help your balance and it's a lot of fun!
Use this clip to give you some ideas and to motivate you to get your hands on a ball.
Ill post the first instructional clip to get you started with this weekend.

(Cant let Darell be the only person squatting on the ball :-)! )

Andre Galvao

This an awesome interview and glimpse at some older training footage of Andre Galvao. Ive got some more and will post it asap, also will stick up my current body-weight workout that Ive had a few requests for and that Ive been getting really good results with.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Monday Inspiration...

"If you believe, then you have already taken the first step towards your achievement."

Friday, 19 June 2009

Gracie Diet

Combination Tables

These tables are the heart of the Gracie diet. By understanding and following the matches established in them correctly, the chemical combination of the foods are believed to be respected, always maintaining a neutral pH of the blood.This is believed will make digestion easier, as well as prevent and even combat ailments.
I often get asked for advice regarding the diet as I have have attempted to follow it for several years now and have definately felt healthier for it. I am no expert but these tables are definately the starting point.

Other observations are waiting at least 4 1/2 hours between meals to allow for complete digestion and avoiding incorrect combinations.
  • Egg yolk (raw or cooked), coconut, coffee, brewers yeast, and many varieties of teas are compatible with any food, for they are considered neutral.
  • Avoid: Sweets, canned goods, black pepper, clove, cinnamon, mustard, pickled foods, and vinegar.
  • Never eat: Pork and derivatives.
  • Bread: to be less fermentable, shall be made out of pure or natural flour and eaten 24 hours after baked. Also, it should be eaten as toast or oven warmed.
  • No alcoholic beverages.
  • No smoking.
  • Drinking a glass of water when you get up and before you go to sleep.
Good sources for more info are Master Helio Gracie's book "Gracie Jiu-jitsu" and Royce Gracie's "SuperFit". Royce in his book includes Protein shakes and MRP bars and shakes between meals to increase calories and ensure nutritional requirements are met during periods of hard training.
In a recent interview on the fighters podcast the legendary Rickson Gracie mentioned that he believed life is about moderation, metioning that he ate 6 small meals a day, (still following the combinations) and not taking anything to extreme but maintained his fathers belief that most disease enters through our mouthes.

I have had good results following the diet and believe it's worth experimenting with even if it just leads you to eat healthier, drinking more water, eat more fruit and vegetables and eating less meat.
It's also worth remembering that jiu-jitsu is the ultimate form of self-defence and that self-defence is more than just throws and chokes, it's about defending ourselves against bad habits like smoking and eating crap. Respecting ourselves and others and conducting ourselves with humility and respect.

Thursday, 18 June 2009


Self-respect is the fruit of discipline.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Passing The Guard-Pt1

Passing the guard is a huge part of Jiu-jitsu, and one that you will spend a great deal of time working on.
Ive been fortunate enough to get to train with some guys with really slick guard games so have been making a conscious effort to work on my passing game-plan.
Im a big fan of Mike Fowler and came across this clip on youtube, which is an exerpt from his excellent no-gi instructional dvd set.
It's a worthwhile starting point as he covers some great concepts and principles that apply to all types of passing and have helped my guard passing.

Monday, 15 June 2009


"Size doesnt matter, if it did, the elephant would be the king of the jungle."
Rickson Gracie