Friday, April 19, 2013
Everyone's buzzing about it. The brown belt absolute final. Short and sweet version: I agree with the referee. Here's why: When cameras are on and you are getting paid, you must entertain. Now that isn't to say the fight wasn't actually entertaining, it was very entertaining just not in the traditional sense. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a huge fan of TCGs(Trading Card Games), so I will use that that premise to explain what I mean. Watch two competitors with the same game is to BJJ what a mirror match is to any TCG. You know exactly what your opponent will do, the winner will be the person who alters their gameplan just enough to give them an advantage. Such as, dragging the arm to arm bar come to the top instead of dragging the leg and taking the 50/50 position as you would usually. Not only the grip placement and angles you use will be vastly different. Watching a mirror match is interesting because it gives you a chance to study these intricate differences you wouldn't normally see, and that is what makes it entertaining. Don't believe me watch Keenan vs anyone else twice(the same match) then repeat that with Keenan vs Paulo you'll see what I mean. Is this a problem for sport Jiu-Jitsu? yes, but it's purely a reflection of the scoring system. The scoring of BJJ tournaments makes pulling guard more profitable. Let's say you pull guard and sweep me landing in full mount. You score 2 for the sweep and 4 for the mount. Conversely, if I take you down and land in Side Control on top I only get 2 points. How is that fair? We both advanced in position twice. You can say you never passed my guard. Well, truthfully, passing guard isn't really my responsibility, my job is simply to get to the next advantageous position. This is why if I'm in your guard and drop back to a heel hook and come out on top when you scramble to defend I score 2 points.(Look up Leg Lock as a sweep) How do we fix this? Pulling guard= -2 points meaning their sweep will put them back at 0. Thus, when they mount as in the previous example they are only up 4-0 instead of 6-0. It's really hard to score in a BJJ competition, especially at the high level doing it twice insanely difficult, doing it twice from a disadvantageous position damn near impossible. Until next time folks
Thursday, March 14, 2013
These last 2 years has been pretty crazy for me. Here's a quick recap for those who haven't been following September 2010, I go into hospital for a surgery that has been routine for the past 11 years, a baclofen pump replacement. It happens every 5 to 7(depending on your pump's battery). I had the 7-year battery. I woke up from the surgery with insane back pain. Now you must understand, I suffer from neuromuscular scoliosis, so if there is anyone who knows about back pain its me, because I deal with it every single day. Needless to say, when I woke up and couldn't stand the pain from simply lying on my back I knew something was wrong. They sent me home the next day and two days following that my incision opened. After countless ER visits and re-admissions to the hospital for infection we finally decided to abandon the idea of a new pump installation altogether. Fast forward Feb 2011 I finally start training again and in December of 2011 I received my black belt. They say when you get your black belt you learn more than you ever learned coming up through the ranks. I've been a black belt for a year, so what have I learned? Well, I'll be the first to admit I've been exposed to a few new positions, but they've all been variations on classic positions like spider guard. What I discovered was more about myself than BJJ. After I finally was finished with the revolving trap door that was the hospital, I learned that BJJ is easiest part of my life. There's nothing those mats can throw at me that I can't handle. In short perseverance is just as important as preparation.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
As you know(if you've followed this blog) I have a YouTube channel. Every discussion video will be posted here just as the previous two have been. However, competition videos will not. Currently, there are no competition videos up, but to be the first to view them when they do go up you need to subscribe to my YouTube. You can do that here:
Friday, October 5, 2012
Truthfully, this would probably go over better as a YouTube video, but I figured that I haven't actually written on this blog in a while, so this is a good excuse to do just that. As the title states, I'm going to talk about being gay in the sport of BJJ. The thing that stopped me from posting this in the past was I didn't want to beat a dead horse. After all, this topic has been done talked about many times over in the BJJ community, but never from perspective(to my knowledge) of someone who was openly gay and active in the BJJ community. I'm that guy. So I will list questions I get both inside and outside the BJJ community as the answers are for the most part exactly the same. 1) What do I do if I suspect my training is gay? Answer: Ask him/her. It really is that easy. However, the manner in which this question is asked is really important. You know your training partner, so handle the situation accordingly(privately is always best regardless of the method or wording used for the question). 2) I'm straight, what if my gay training partner finds me attractive? Answer: There is a huge misconception that gay people(men in particular) lust after man/woman they see. I don't know where this stigma came from. It most likely came from the sexual revolution of the 1970s(google it), but it's completely untrue. While it is totally possible your training may find you attractive the chances of them acting on it or even approaching you are extremely low especially if you've it's clear you aren't interested. You must learn to separate attraction from sexual desire. Yes, these processes are closely linked, but they are vastly different. 3) How do I make sure I don't make my training partners uncomfortable? Answer: When you are in class you are there to learn and get better at BJJ. Keep it that way. If you don't use your mount to improve your grind game you should be fine. 4) Should I come out to my team? Answer: This is a very personal thing and there is no single right answer. It varies depending on many factors such as your training environment and your local area among other things. If you choose to come out after weighing all the factors the method you use is also up to you. I suggest using the same method you would use with family members. In all honesty though, there is a high probability that your training partners are already aware of your sexuality, especially if you are active on any of today's hugely popular social networking websites. That's it guys. In short someone's sexuality should have no impact on how you view them in BJJ or otherwise. Every training partner you have is a valuable key to your progression treat them as such regardless of their differences. This post was inspired by Orlando Cruz's recent announcement. Congrats to him for having the courage to come out. That makes him the first active competitor in pro boxing who is openly gay.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Two of my favorite fighters of all-time are featured in this fight from the very first BJJ World Championship back in 1996. Check out Roleta using inverted guard and turtle guard almost in an interchangeable manner through the fight.