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I'm a 25 year old writer(Mostly poetry) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu addict. I have published two books Emotions Volume 1: The Beginning of Turmoil and Emotions Volume 2: Better Days. I also run the blog which can be found here. The blog gives insight on both my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and writing careers.  

What is BJJ?

What is BJJ? The obvious answers are it's a martial art, it's self-defense or it's grappling. If you're reading this blog chances are you already know that. This question is actually much deeper than that. What is BJJ on the most basic of levels? Well, the short answer is: BJJ is art meets science. Art meets physics and bio-mechanics to be exact. Why is this important? It's important because it impacts the way we train and the rules of our sport and due to these things it impacts the way we fight by default. Now before we go further, I have to define the sciences I spoke of in the preceding paragraph. Even though physics as defined by Webster is a science that deals with matter and energy and their interactions, for the purposes of this post I will focus solely on the interaction of motion. Bio-mechanics is defined Webster as the mechanics of biological and especially muscular activity(as in locomotion or exercise); also the scientific study of this. Due to this we can define BJJ as follows: The study of the control of the locomotion of the human body within ground grappling involving submission and usually a Gi or Kimono. Why is this important? Bio-mechanics never really change, however, locomotion is a very individual thing that varies from person to person. What makes us move(bio-mechanics) stays the same, but locomotion the way we move is very personal. Some people are more flexible, so it takes longer to finish a kimura simply because they have a wider range of motion. Why is this relevant? According to a recent article posted on graciemag.com it was stated by the president of the Copa Podio that rules were going to be put in place to "punish the use of the lapel guard." The rule which is alluded to as a penalty in the article isn't explicitly stated, but reason given was in short, stalling. I spoke a little about this where I broke down the fight at the WPJJC(Abu Dhabi Pro) between Keenan Corneilus and Paulo Miayo back when they were still brown belts in April of last year. I do agree you must entertain and stalling is boring, but it really comes down to what you consider entertainment. Let's be honest, Jiu-Jitsu is naturally slow and boring, it excites us(practitioners) because we understand the difference between a 4-fingers in grip and a thumb-in grip. We understand the intricacies within the sport and why they are so important. These sentiments were echoed by Keenan in a follow-up graciemag article also on their website. Lapel guard falls under the art branch that I mentioned earlier. We all need to find our own methods of control based on our personal locomotion. If we ban lapel guard we have to ban any variation of high guard, half-guard, or open guard. That means all have left the standard half-guard and standard closed guard. If we do that, we may as well force every instructor to adopt a Grandmaster text and teach with Katas too. What Copa Podio officials should have said was "We don't like lapel guard because it impedes lateral movement." Lateral movement is the most important in all of Jiu-Jitsu. Without lateral movement you wouldn't be able to maintain side control, pass guard, recover guard, take the back, any sweep where your opponent doesn't go straight back or directly over your head would be out of the question and good luck with your takedowns. Banning or penalizing creativity in an attempt to make BJJ exciting is quite futile and will take BJJ the way of Olympic Judo and detract spectators instead of bringing them in. You don't things more entertaining by making them dumber. Educate don't depreciate.

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Medals

What you see above is my medal wall. Looking at it reminds me of questions I was asked when I helped to plan the first GrapplersHeart tournament. The question was "Should we give out participation medals? The obvious answer to that is no and I've went into detail on that in other posts, so I won't do that here. However, that does bring me to the subject of this post and that is, "What do medals really mean?"

Well, that depends heavily on who you talk to. Keenan Corneilus says he just tossed them all under his bed after a while. I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment as medals medals only represent how good you were on that day. I firmly believe as a competitor you're only as good as your last fight. The only thing on that wall that will forever hold meaning is the certificate itself. Why? Because that doesn't represent just one day or one weekend, over a decade of work went into that. Switching schools, injuries, helping keep a school afloat, being…

Inspiration

There's a line I get a lot that I actually hate. "You're an inspiration." People say it all the time without realizing that it's for that exact reason among others that it means absolutely nothing. It may seem like a compliment but you're really saying when you say that is one of two things.

1) You've given me an idea or 2) I felt sorry for you, but now I don't because you made feel guilty about complaining and being lazy.

Now for the purposes of this post we're going to use and focus on the second use of the word that I listed above. Now to all the able-bodied community I ask you, if after having a conversation with someone they said to you, "Before talking to you I felt sorry for you, but now I don't because made me feel guilty about complaining and being lazy." Does that sound like a compliment? Now is this your fault? Not so much, it's the fault of the media moreso than anything else. After all it's the media who toss the…

Breaks

Lots of us couldn't imagine life without training and would train every day if we could. We'd compete every weekend there was a tournament and travel to all IBJJF regional opens, so we could be ready to compete in the Big 4 when they arrive. Are there guys that do that? Yes. However, most of us can't. And even those that do that, go about the process in a very calculated manner. This to make sure they reach their optimum performance level also known as peak at the perfect time for the event with as minimal burnout as possible, of course no burnout is the preferred result. This involves the athlete doing nothing related to their sport 24 hours prior. This is because we don't actually get stronger while training we get stronger by resting after an intense workout, muscle fibers thicken as they repair themselves. Therefore, they get bigger and us by default stronger. It is rest and recovery that makes us stronger not the act exercise itself. This is also true for the lear…