вторник, 31 октября 2017 г.

Does Jiu-Jitsu Make Us Better People?

The traditional martial arts have a mythology that one’s character is improved by training, and that a bad apple can be set on a more virtuous path by sweating it out in the dojo. It is a very attractive idea, but is it true?

I recall a BJJ podcast from a few years back where a university psychology student ran some personality tests measuring certain positive and negative aspects of personality. The researcher was looking for any measurable increase in positive aspects of personality that could be attributed to training BJJ. Disappointed, he found no conclusive cause and effect relationship after reviewing his data. His findings were that he could not say that training jiu-jitsu improved people’s personalities.

I’ve never been in a jiu-jitsu gym where the students gathered around a master to absorb lessons about spirituality and higher levels of human consciousness. But there are benefits to our personalities that do extend beyond the walls of the BJJ academy.

I believe that some who are timid can build some self-confidence by confronting their private, inner fears on the mats.

I believe that having jiu-jitsu as a healthy way of venting our stress from the pressures of our jobs, school, and relationships is far better for our mental health than alcohol and drugs (prescription or otherwise). I think we become easier to get along with after we are relaxed and happy after a BJJ class. Our problems seem smaller.

The way I personally benefited from BJJ was it helped me learn other, unrelated career skills. Starting to learn a new set of IT skills was very daunting, daunting in the same way that learning BJJ was at one time. Little by little, as I showed up to class, I improved and eventually received my black belt.

 Why couldn’t I apply that same mind set and approach to my next career challenge? Many, many times frustrated at trying to wrap my brain around a difficult programming concept, I paused and remembered how confused I was at one time by the triangle choke. But after many repetitions I could now do a triangle with my eyes closed. I just needed to work through it.

The model for learning a complex task that got me through jiu-jitsu was able to apply to a completely different area of my life.

Why Do People Quit Jiu-Jitsu?

Why do people quit Brazilian jiu-jitsu? Renzo Gracie black belt Shawn Williams gave his experienced opinion:

“From what I’ve seen in the past I think primarily people quit training because they feel like they are not getting any better. There is a sense of frustration. And they feel like, “Aww man, I feel like I’m not getting better. People that I’m training with are better than me. Or I train with that guy and he is now better than me.”

 They don’t look at it as literally a lifelong journey. They compare themselves with others, and I think that is a real big problem. If you took belts out of the equation..I love belts. I’m not the biggest fan of stripes to be honest but I love belts. We didn’t have stripes when I came up.

 But I think that the age in which we live in, people need instant gratification. Everything is at our thumbs. You want something you get can it on Amazon. Here in LA you can get it in like two hours. Instant.

 That doesn’t happen with martial arts. It doesn’t happen. It takes time. And it takes a lot of time…If the stress of “That guy is better than me!” and add that into the amount of time that it takes you to learn and get better at jiu-jitsu, it just isn’t a good thing.

 I think if more people had the open mind of just, “You know what? I just want to get better and be the best that I can.” And every day, day in and day out, they make good use of their time. They come in, they learn, they train, they don’t sit on the wall, they don’t rest unless you absolutely need to rest. You just make full use of the time that you are on the mat.

 Not comparing yourself to your training partners in a negative mind set. Understanding that achieving a high level of skill is a long, painstaking process are keys to staying in jiu-jitsu. Progress comes from sustained and applied effort over the long haul”.

четверг, 26 октября 2017 г.

CONFIRMED: Order Given To Submit Jiu-Jitsu As An Olympic Sport

News emerged today that a major international sporting body overseeing grappling has ordered its member federations to prepare for Olympic accreditation.

The news was first reported by jiu-jitsu commentator Mohammed Al Housani, who is an analyst and presenter for Abu Dhabi TV.

Al Housani wrote on his Instagram page,
​​"Breaking News: The President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation issues instructions to prepare a file in which all conditions are met in preparation for submission to the International Olympic Committee for accreditation to participate in the 2024 Olympics."
"It's actually the President of the UAEJJF, HE Abdulmonem Al Hashemi, who has directed the local federation to go ahead with preparing the Olympic File in association with the JJIF.

"HE Abdulmonem Al Hashemi is also the President of the Ju-Jitsu Asian Union (JJAU) and Senior Vice President of the Ju-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF)."
How long before ju-jitsu gets into Olympics? 2024 would be the absolute earliest, but this is unlikely. The Olympics is the gold standard of all international sporting events, and the number of sports that feature at the Games is tightly controlled and hard-fought for.

Preparing for submission for Olympic accreditation is more of a long-term move to inspire regional and national federations to adequately prepare for important international tournaments, which could eventually mean (but does not guarantee) the Olympics.
Organizations such as the IBJJF are private companies and not governing bodies. That excludes them from government funding or support. 

The JJIF is comprised of four continental federations (Asian, African, European, and Pan American Federations). What exactly is required by them to prepare for submission for Olympic accreditation is unclear but would likely involve initiatives such as development of federations for individual countries, anti-doping measures, and so on. 

вторник, 17 октября 2017 г.

5 Things Every BJJ White Belt Knows All Too Well

It’s not easy being a white belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Well, it isn’t going to be easy at the beginning of anything, really. To all the BJJ white belts who have been training for some time now, know that you’re not alone when it comes to your obstacles! 

1. Using strength instead of technique to overcome opponents
At some point, you might have encountered that one training partner who was able to use strength against you – and succeed. Perhaps this might have led you to believe that BJJ is about strength. But the thing is, BJJ is actually designed to help smaller people overcome bigger, stronger opponents by using technique and leverage.
So if you’ve been working on your strength instead of technique, it’s time to shift your focus! 

2. Getting submitted faster than you can say “Americana”
It’s normal to roll with partners who can execute their moves and submissions very swiftly and smoothly. The result? You end up having to tap out before you can even react in time. This might cause you to doubt your ability and get disheartened, but before you throw in the towel, it helps to remember that every BJJ practitioner has gone through this. Fortunately, you can always talk to your partners or higher belts and find out what went wrong – so that you can learn from your mistakes and make the most of every roll.

3. Feeling like you don’t deserve that new stripe
Whether it’s your first or fourth stripe, you might be surprised to get it. And you may even feel like you don’t deserve it because you think that you’re not performing well enough on the mats. Well, one thing you need to understand is that promotions aren’t solely based on your skills. Your professor will also assess you based on mental toughness, character, consistency, as well as your personal progress. So don’t doubt any of your stripes! After all, everyone’s journey is unique, and we should learn and progress at our own pace.

4. Watching some of your peers advancing faster despite starting at the same time as you
As mentioned everyone progresses at a different pace. Hence, it’s normal to notice that some of your training buddies who started at the same time as you are getting ahead at a much faster rate. The thing is, you shouldn’t make it a competition and constantly compare yourself to them – because this won’t do you any good, and worse, might end up making you feel more disheartened than ever. Instead of beating yourself up, why not work on your weaknesses so that they eventually become strengths? 

5. Struggling to understand a technique and just sitting there with your partner
This pretty much happens to everyone at some point. Yes, this includes black belts! After all, there are just so many different techniques and variations of those techniques to master. So don’t be too disheartened if you find yourself staring blankly at your partner because not every technique is going to come to you easily. The good news, however, is that you will eventually get it – as long as you don’t give up and keep drilling. Whenever you find that you don’t understand what your instructor just demonstrated, don’t hesitate to ask him or her to break it down and explain it to you.

Jiu-Jitsu changes modern society. Terere Kids Project

Nico Ball has recently left her life of teacher in order to train mixed martial arts full-time in Brazil. Originally from Pennsylvania, she attended George Mason University in Virginia and received her Master’s degree studying the impact of martial arts-based social projects. Now she is living the fighter’s life and pursuing her dream to become a pro mixed martial artist. 
Additionally, Nico has found a way to continue her interest in creating social changes by helping in organization of the “Terere Kids Project”. It is a nonprofit project for children who live in poverty in the favela of Brazil. It was founded in 2012 by the World Champion Fernando Terere da Silva. The main idea of the project is to use the “soft technique of art” in order to avoid criminal life.
Fernando Terere is an equally inspiring and tragic figure in the world of martial arts. Terere’s fighting style was incredibly creative but his career was interrupted in the early 2000s. Terere’s world started crumbling after he was arrested supposedly for shouting abuse towards an air stewardess. So then Terere fell into a massive depression with drug-taking that led to dependence. In a few years he returned to the mat. He is alive and confident and he is the owner of a BJJ black belt.
“I had no idea who is Terere. I met my friend who looked for Fernando Terere and wanted to train with him. He told me that Terere is a great guy and I have to look at his training. In the end, I found him. I just fell in love with his trainings, so we began to train and work together,” –Nico Ball says.
“I think this is exactly that case when a social project really works. It is focused on the development of many people. It should be noted that Terere devotes himself to this project. He has free trainings for various children from the Cantagalo community, his motherland.”
“We are working on a social project.  A lot of sportsmen have been released from the community of Cantagalo with our help. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu plays a great role in Cantagalo and it is popular among different social groups. A lot of children visit the Academy every day after school and spend here nearly 4 hours. And all of this is free for children! Jiu-jitsu is what they need. Now, more than ever, it is important for kids to have a safe place and strong mentors to keep them off the streets and away from the ever-present drug trade”.

пятница, 13 октября 2017 г.

ADHD – My Biggest Enemy and How Jiu-Jitsu helped me defeat it

The Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Sean J. L. Bermudez told us his story:

“First, I want to give a back story. At the age of 5 I was diagnosed with and began treatment for ADHD. Getting myself under control and being able to act “normal” was a daily struggle.

The medication helped a bit but not completely. I struggled with outbursts and at times uncontrollable need to act out. Teachers didn’t know how to deal with me, even having one who would make me walk to the end of the hall and touch the walls 5 times.

Believe it or not it helped. There were many times when kids would make fun of me for not having control. Added on to the hyper activity, I had a very short fuse. 

Kids who I wanted to be my “Friends” would manage to get me to be violent towards kids they didn’t like. (Which for that I am truly sorry as I know some may be reading this.) School was always an interesting adventure, as I didn’t know which Sean would show up that day, the focused one or the one that couldn’t pay attention for more than 5 minutes at a time. This lead to bad grades, suspensions and even almost being left back a grade!

After my enlistment in the Marines I found Jiu-Jitsu. The focus required to improve is so great that you really can’t give in to the ADHD. You have to fight it and conquer the need to lose your attention. My desire to reach my goals in Jiu-Jitsu helps keep me in line. The training helps expel the surplus of nervous energy and I am able to focus on other things. 

I never could make it through an entire book, now I can, I had a hard time having a conversation about one thing and that is easy for me now.

The accomplishments I have had on the mats are far more than the medals I have won. I have been able to use Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu too defeat my biggest opponent in life. Many say it is not a disease. It might not be. But it is a major disorder, maybe even a disability. But I can say this, I won.
I defeated it and as long as I have Jiu-Jitsu it will stay that way.”