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The Workout to Burn Off Belly Fat

The Workout to Burn Off Belly Fat

Original Article: Men’s Journal

“You can rip out ab exercises all day long in the gym, but without the right combination of high-intensity fat-burning cardio along with specific abdominal-strengthening exercises that build your abs rather than break the tissue down, you won’t ever show off the results of your efforts,” says Liz Lowe, C.S.C.S., owner of Scorch Fitness, a high-intensity interval training gym in Sarasota, Florida.

Spot training doesn’t work, but this workout does. It’ll burn off the layer of fat hiding your chiseled “show” muscles, strengthen your core, and build muscle density so your abs really “pop,” Lowe says. “Strength exercises such as the front squat, overhead plate walking lunge, Bulgarian and counterbalance squats will work to build deeper core muscles since your abdominal wall is being used to stabilize your entire body during each exercise,” she explains. “The Russian twist, suspension trainer crunch, and decline crunch act as fine-tuning exercises, giving your abdominal wall the shape you want.” What’s more: You’re continuously moving in this workout, so it sky-rockets your heart rate, scorches calories, and burns fat long after the workout is over.

Prescription: This workout can be done 2-3x per week max since muscle recovery is extremely important with any muscle-building and fat-burning routine.

The Belly Fat Elimination Workout

Directions: Complete three rounds of each group of superset exercises. Take no rest until all three rounds are completed, then use the prescribed time to recover before the next superset.

Superset 1
1a. Heavy Front Squats x 6-8 reps
1b. Single-Arm Kettlebell Swing x 10 reps each arm

60 seconds rest

Superset 2
2a. Dumbbell Plyometric Step Up (on a box) x 10 reps each leg
2b. Overhead Plate Walking Lunge x 10 reps each leg

60 seconds rest

Superset 3
3a. Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat (dumbbells in front position) x 8 reps each leg
3b. Jump Rope x 45 seconds

60 seconds rest

Superset 4
4a. Plate Counterbalance Squat x 12 reps (As you lower into the squat, your arms should simultaneously raise. Once your thighs are slightly below parallel, the plate should be extended in front of the eyes. Push through your heels and return to the starting position.)
4b. Medicine Ball Russian Twist x 15 reps each side

60 seconds rest

Superset 5
5a. Rope Slams x 30 reps
5b. Suspension Trainer Oblique Crunch x 15 reps per side (Start in a suspended plank position with your feet in the TRX straps (toes pointed down) and your shoulders directly over your hands. Bend both knees at the same time, drawing them together toward your left elbow. Extend both legs straight to return to the plank position. Draw both knees toward your right elbow. Extend both legs straight and return to plank position for one rep.)

60 seconds rest

Superset 6
6a. Decline Weighted Sit Up x 12 reps
6b. Treadmill Sprints x 50 steps (The treadmill is OFF. To move the tread, push off the tops of your feet.)

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Adulting and BJJ: 8 Ways to Impact Your Training When You Have Limited Time

Adulting and BJJ: 8 Ways to Impact Your Training When You Have Limited Time

Original Article: Princeton Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

For most practitioners of BJJ there comes a time in life when shit gets real. After many years of putting your BJJ before everything in your life other than making some sort of paycheck to cover the most basic expenses (in this order): tuition, online training resources, training gear, tournament fees, ramen noodles and cell phone fees, we start to feel like maybe we are missing out on something.

Oh, I don’t know, friendships, romantic relationships, career advancement, family planning, home ownership, financial planning (what’s that? you mean I can’t just clean mats to train for the rest of my life?) suddenly start to feel like they might matter too.

But what then of your precious training time? How on earth will you get better at BJJ if you have to devote time to your long-term existence and success?

It’s a careful balance when you have to consider shifting your priorities. The first and most important battle is admitting to yourself that something else may become more important than BJJ. Now I firmly believe that everyone has a right to be a little selfish in their life because our selfish needs are what makes life worth living. Without our personal ambitions, we may be living for other people vs. living for ourselves. But moving on from the familiar rhythm of training day in and out and regimenting your entire life around your gym schedule is a very scary thing for many people because you feel like you may be lost without training, or you may feel like it means that you don’t love BJJ as much as the next person.

So before you begin to feel guilty about all the time you won’t be able to dedicate to training anymore, remember that your relationship to Jiu Jitsu is 100% yours. You practice for your own reasons, so don’t let anyone else’s goals or routine make you feel inadequate about yours.

Here are some ways to think about your training and exercise your passion when you are constricted for physical time on the mats:

1. Quality, not quantity. When you consider the hours you can actually train per week, no matter how minimal, seek out the best way to spend those hours. If you only have 2 hours a week to train, look at your gym schedule and zero in on the classes where you really jive with the teacher or you have access to the most helpful training partners. Don’t just go to any class on the schedule. Make your time special and make it matter.

Another scenario is that perhaps you don’t have a lot of good schools around you. If you know that there is a good school further away, it may be worth your time to train 2 times a week at a really good school vs 4 x a week at a low caliber meathead club.

2. Put effort into what you train and with who. I often hear the complaint, ‘I’m a brown belt and the school I go to only have white belts and 2-3 blue belts. They don’t push me hard enough.’ This is bullshit (most of the time). Be accountable for your own training and think about what you need to get better. We don’t walk into a clothing store and say, ‘Dress me, I’m here!’ You go pick out the things you like. If you want to work on sweeps, pick out techniques you want to work on and then just hit them on everyone you can. You’re lucky to have another body in the room. It’s up to you to make use of them. It’s also your responsibility to help make them better and mold them into the training partners you’d like them to be. The overall outcome is that you can get what you need out of whoever is breathing and moving around with you. If you have the opportunity to travel to a different gym from time to time where they have more belts at your level, go test yourself out. Take ownership of your practice, everyone is useful in some way.

3. Watch BJJ. A lot of it. If you can’t get on the mats a ton, watch a lot of matches on the internet. Enroll in an online academy. There are so many online resources now. If you’re a visual learner, watching matches may help you emulate movements on the mats. MGInAction has an ‘inaction’ feature where you can watch Marcelo Garcia hit particular techniques in live training over and over again from varying entries. I loaded up a whole bunch of these once and mysteriously found myself trying to hit these moves in sparring a week later. It gave me more motivation to study the techniques more closely. Sites like the Grapplers Guide give you the ability to build flowcharts and link videos. There are a ton of great tools out there to help you methodically piece together your game or help you think about how to push your studies forward.

Alternately, go support a teammate at a local tournament. Watching tournament matches is a great way to see what is trending.

4. Go to a BJJ camp or retreat and consolidate your learning. If you can’t go to class 5 x a week, how about dedicating 2-3 days to training 1-2 x a year? There are some incredible camps and seminars that are being marketed these days with stellar instructor lineups. Find a camp or a seminar series with a solid reputation and in 2-3 days you will probably take in enough technique to keep you going for 6 months or more. This is especially helpful if you are an instructor yourself and you don’t have the option of being a student much because you have to be the responsible leader on the mats most of the time. Going to a camp or seminar allows you to take everything in and be a student again.

5. Stick your nose in a book. Read a BJJ book. Read an autobiography about a fighter your admire. Read about performance psychology. Reading or listening to an audiobook can greatly influence how you think about training. This in effect can affect your physical time on the mats. Perhaps you begin to drill more efficiently or implement routines that you learned about in your exploration.

6. Grab a grappling dummy. For some people, drilling is super effective. Building muscle memory helps you take the thinking out of execution in the moment. If you need hours but don’t have bodies and time, grab a dummy and put in some reps each day on your own time.

7. Create feedback loops. Film your training. You can study your footage and critique your strengths and weaknesses. Then when you get on the mats you can specifically ask your partners to set up training situations that will address your problems.

8. Invest in a periodic private lesson. I see some students on a regular basis and others on a more periodic basis. Working with your teacher or another teacher you enjoy can be a great investment in time and money. They can help you troubleshoot areas you are getting stuck in, or teach you a stylistic series of movements that you’ve never seen before. Either way, you are getting personalized attention for a full hour (typically). This is a big bang for your buck.

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A Few Words On Belt Promotions

A Few Words On Belt Promotions

Original Article: https://graciebarra.com

I read a social media post by Prof. Brent Littel who is a GB black belt that I thought was worth sharing with the GB blog readers. Prof. Brent teaches some classes at Gracie Barra HQ in Irvine, California and has a frank and refreshing perspective on belt promotions.

“A little bjj rant during this promotion season:

Promotions are simultaneously the happiest and most frustrating events for professors.  They are the happiest when seeing the joy in the students who advance. They are the most frustrating when listening to the resentments from those who do not.

So here is a little note to all who do not get that promotion this time: ranks are not objective.  Winning this or that title doesn’t guarantee promotion. Also, beating this or that guy in the gym doesn’t. And, being better than the guys who did get promoted doesn’t guarantee either.

Why? Well, people have different potentials.  Some come in young. Some come in strong.  Some come in with experience, and others come with poise.   A persons rank is reflective of their skill in relation to their potential.  It is not a comparison of skill between two different people.

Thus, when you are held at a rank, it’s not because we do not see your accomplishment. It’s because we see you can accomplish so much more at that rank. So, don’t compare yourself to the guy next to you; compare yourself to the person you can become.  We all are on our own unique journey.”

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Hygiene Guide for Jiu Jitsu Athletes

Hygiene Guide for Jiu Jitsu Athletes

Original Article: www.gbgardengrove.com

While addressing hygiene issues might stink, it’s a crucial part of safety in martial arts. Here are several guidelines to keep our academy sanitary and members healthy:

Wash all equipment after every class. This includes, but is not limited to your kimono, rash guard, shorts, and other protective gear. Besides the obvious benefit of eliminating odor, this can help prevent dangerous infections like staph. Make sure this becomes as natural to you as your martial arts techniques because this is the first and most important hygiene training rule!

  1. Ensure fingernails and toenails are trimmed short before each class.
  2. Shower and use deodorant before and after training. Jiu Jitsu hygiene products like Defense Soap are sold on the web and possible local MMA/BJJ stores like On The Mat in Huntington Beach and Budo Videos in Fountain Valley
  3. Brush your teeth and use mouthwash before training to eliminate bad breath.
  4. Experience, the more likely you are to acquire and keep high-quality training partners!
  5. Treat dandruff with products like Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo.
  6. Cover cuts and scratches before training.
  7. Never train if you are sick with common communicable sicknesses such as the cold or flu.
  8. Skin issues are a common but serious part of any martial art. It is especially important in grappling arts like BJJ to be able to recognize issues like staph and MRSA and consult your physician for further assistance.
  9. If you suspect a staph infection, get medical attention immediately. These fast-spreading illnesses can actually be fatal if ignored.
  10. If you suspect ringworm, consult a doctor right away. As with all grappling infections, wait to confirm it is completely gone, even after your symptoms appear to subside before resuming training.
  11. Wear compression shorts or Under Armour-style athletic underwear. Boxers and briefs are not only uncomfortable to train in, but they aren’t designed for this kind of activity.
  12. Take everything you brought to the gym with you home when you leave. Leaving these around causes odor and fosters bacteria growth.
  13. Put on footwear when you’re not on the mat. This is absolutely necessary if you have to use the restroom before, during or after any training session.

This simple guide is very effective, but is by no means a “master list”. If you want to go the extra mile in self-care, that’s great! You can never be too clean and your gym will definitely notice your effort.

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Guillotine Choke – Basics, Secrets and Variations to Make it Perfect

Original Article: www.bjj-world.com

Guillotine Choke
How many submissions do you know that you can get from both top and bottom positions as well as from standing? Arguably, there’s only one that ticks all these boxes. And it’s a tight one if the mechanics are in order. The guillotine choke is a mainstay in Jiu Jitsu, granted, more on the No-GI side. It is, however, just as effective in the Gi. Actually, it might be even more effective, seeing how lot’s of people seem to disregard it on account of it being a No-Gi move.

The guillotine choke has long been regarded as a strong man move. People involved in BJJ looked at it as just a one-off move useful mostly to MMA fighters. It was probably the emergence of Marcelo Garcia that started to change that impression. Marcelo managed to fine tune and modify the guillotine to deadly effect. That resulted in a greater awareness of the finer technical aspects of the choke. Today, guillotines can be seen in almost every competitive grappling environment done at every level of Jiu-Jitsu.

Guillotine Choke Variations

As simple as it might seem, the guillotine choke is had complex mechanics that require long-term practice. This is opposite to it being a brute choke that can be learned in a few classes. Shocking, I know, but if you want a Daniel Strauss-like guillotine, you need to learn the technical nuances.

The guillotine choke has two “main” varieties when it comes to execution. The original version involves trapping the opponent’s arm while going for the choke. That’s the “arm-in guillotine”, which acts as an air choke. The second variation is done without the arm and can be both a blood and an air choke.

Both guillotine variations revolve around the same basic principals. The most important part is to utilize the correct part of the arm for the choke. To avoid mistakes, it is best to place your thumb on the outside of the opponent’s neck. This allows for correct placement of the wrist and easy transitions between the two variations. Strapping the chin offers a very tight controlling position as well.

There are several grips available, with the Gable and S-grip as favorites. Besides arm placement and grips, finishing relies on using the correct power source. A crucial principle of finishing a guillotine is to always push the crown of the opponent’s head towards their hips. To do so, one has to close both elbows towards their body and push with the hips while shrugging the shoulders. In the high elbow guillotine, the supporting arm’s elbow is placed upwards on the opponent’s shoulder.

The arm in guillotine requires an appropriate angle of the trapped arm. Namely, it should always extend past the head of the opponent. Opening up the arm allows the choking arm to correctly apply pressure on the windpipe.

Top Position Guillotines

The half guard and the mount are the two primary positions for executing a Guillotine choke. Since attacking it from the top half guard often leads to a mount transition, we’re going to focus on that.

In order to get into position for the guillotine from top half, the hips have to be in the reverse Kesa Gatame position. This allows the knee of the bottom leg to control the opponent’s hips. At the same time, it positions the upper body correctly in order to wrap the head up. The torso is used to place pressure on the top of the head while the choking mechanics are applied. Although both versions of the guillotine can be done, the armless variation is used more often.

For the mounted guillotine, the focus should be on two main principles. First, the head has to be pulled towards the opponent’s hips. Secondly, you have to be placed in low mount, putting direct pressure on the opponent’s pelvis.

Attacking From The Bottom

The closed guard is the bread and butter position for the guillotine. It is a very strong finishing position due to the high control of the hips. Having both legs locked behind the opponent prevents any counters ensuring a high percentage finishing rate. Basically, the most important part of the closed guard set up for the Guillotine choke is breaking the posture. Once the head is placed in the armpit and forced back, it’s all about choking mechanics. And we already covered those, right?

In open guard environments, the butterfly guard is the best position for Guillotine hunting. Arm-dragging is the most usual route to setting up the butterfly guard guillotine. From there, having the control position can lead to a direct submission or a sweep. The sweep might even end up with you in position for a mounted guillotine finish. That way you get both the sweep and mount points as well as the sub.

Standing Guillotine Choke

Knowledge of the guillotine choke is going to solve a lot of your wrestling related problems on the feet. It is the perfect double leg counter, both because it stuffs the takedown and leads to a submission. The arm of variation is superior here, though both variations apply. The only extra detail that is crucial is timing. Even if the takedown is completed, the Guillotine has to be timed in order to land at the correct choking position.

In a more offensive manner, the Guillotine choke can be used from the snap-down or via an arm drag. The most direct route is the snap-down since it leads to greater control that can end in either a takedown or a finish. While going to the back is effective, looking to end up in the top half guard or mount is a more strategic approach. The choke can be finished while standing as well. Again, the emphasis is primarily on tight control by way of correct mechanics and secondly on finishing details.

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An Open Letter Thanking Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Original Article: www.medium.com

Five years ago this last month I started a path and journey that has been harder and more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. If you didn’t know me five years ago (or earlier), here is a little story I wrote about the first chapter of this adventure;

What I gave myself for my 40th birthday ( https://www.facebook.com/notes/10150350263106966/ )

open letter to brazilian jiu jitsu

This video montage puts it all in perspective of the next few years ( https://youtu.be/dwq2K50dozg )
In 2014 I wanted to take over the world; Goruck Challenges, Tough Mudder, Rugged Maniac, Krav Maga, Alpha Challenge Contests, climbing fourteeners, Boot Camp daily, and lifting daily. I had a great community of friends I did all of these events with and we had fun. Each of these events were physical challenges but did not challenge me mentally. One of my good friends and a trainer at the gym I went to was Gigi Good. I would hear her talk about dirty Gi’s and trying to keep them clean and forgoing a happy hour to go train, little did I realize that I would do those same things a few years later. Jessica Weckle that did a bunch of these events with us invited me to come try jiu-jitsu on a monday night at Lifetime Fitness with Isiah Wright. He taught a no-gi beginner level class. I had a ton of fun. Then just a few months later in July of 2014 I walked into the Kompound Training Center at 3034 Larimer Street in Denver, CO. I recently read a post by Anthony Bourdain which summed up the challenge you meet from the first day you step on the mat.

“I do it because it’s hard. Because it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And because it never ends. Every day presents me with a series of problems that I spend the rest of the day thinking about how I might solve — or at least chip away at. Next day same. And the day after that.” — Anthony Bourdain on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (jiu-jitsu) took me back to my childhood and wanting/trying to wrestle in Iowa as a kid. I lived on a farm (didn’t have time), I had terrible asthma (not helped by living on a farm), and my family’s priorities weren’t fitness and training. But there was something about wrestling that I aspired to. Walking on the mat as a little kid you didn’t know if you were going to get tossed on your head or pin your opponent. But with the anxiousness came an amazing high from connecting with another human being in a sport that goes back to the original olympics. There is an energy from the moment you touch. As Saulo Ribeiro, the sensei of Ribeiro Jui-Jitsu Association, puts it “You don’t know which wolf is stepping on the mat. The good wolf or the bad wolf. You always need to be ready for either.” That moment of finding out who your competitor is can be some of the most exciting moments of your life.

Finding such a connection to a style of sport I hadn’t touched since middle school has been one of the most satisfying things I have done as an adult. In high school we had a tough wrestling teams, but I had chores to do on the farm. That choice was made for me. I joined the debate team instead. In no way do I regret that choice since debate scholarships in college were as good as sports scholarships and it helped pay for a good chunk of college.

Stepping back to 2014, I met some great coaches in Mike Martin and Ty Hudspeth who inspired me to do and try more every day. What started as one class a week turned into two, turned into three, turning into multiple times a day. I was hooked. The hardest part was my body adjusting to the constant trauma if you decide to train hard. It was only a matter of weeks until the big pains dissipated. The other big adjustment is learning to be calm and relax as you train which takes much less of a toll on your body. I trained everyday at lunch and again after work and I loved it.

In November of 2014 I went to a local Fight2Win BJJ Tournament put on by Seth Daniels. I watched a few of my teammates compete. Winning a few and losing a few. I was drawn into the game taking place in front of me. In the gym you train so you can train tomorrow taking care of each other. in a tournament your goal is to break the other guys arm/shoulder/leg, choke them out, they tap out before that happens, or win by points. This human chess match I watched unfold was the most amazing thing I had seen. Grown adults being able to test them in the same ways as wrestling was as a kid. I had to try this.

The lead instructor and professor at the Kompound is Brad Nicolarsen. The way my schedule worked I did not have much time to spend in Brad’s classes since he taught mostly at the Littleton location. I spoke with him about trying a tournament and the next one coming up was the IBJJF Long Beach Open in December of 2012. I spent the next month getting ready for that tournament. Mike Martin and Ty Hudspeth helped me put in as many hours as I could each day practicing and working on a game plan. The hardest part about this tournament is that no one else from my school was going to be attending and I was on my own. I researched who was in my division and as I looked at the Facebook page of Nolan Archer, the only other competitor in my division, his cover photo was a medley of medals he had won in the last year.

As I arrived at the tournament I looked around for Nolan and realized that he just didn’t have a pile of medals but was a giant. When our turn arrived to head out on the mat I played through all of the training I had. The referee shouts “combate” (fight in Portuguese), and you connect with the other person. In this case Nolan the giant with more medals then I knew existed. We went back and forth on grips and about 30 second in I pulled him into half guard where I fought from the remainder of the time. I didn’t win the match, but I didn’t lose. I learned a lot about myself. Even through the anxiety of going into the match I felt like winning and losing had less to do with Nolan and a lot more to do with myself. Getting past fear, remembering things from training, getting in bad positions and working back out of them, finding small success and trying to build on it, and so many other things that occur in a matter of minutes. I finished the match and survived.

open letter to brazilian jiu jitsu

In those few minutes I learned more about bjj than I had in the 5 months I had been training. I also learned that I wanted to do it again!

Fast forward a year later and I have repeated that same experience with 89 tournament matches since. I now have my own pile of medals. I can remember almost every match with vivid detail. The least memorable are the wins. The most memorable were the ones where I nearly left a limb on the mat or the matches were moving my hand even 2 inches would have given me the advantage instead of the loss. But that is why I love this. These matches were not just about who had the best cardio or who had benched the most in the gym. Those help, but the mind matters as much as the bicep or hamstring. Any single type of move has offensive variations with at least as many defensive variations. It really is like a game of human chess.

Those 89 matches have taken place all across the country with people of all sizes, levels of experience, and gyms. But they all had one thing in common, jiu-jitsu.

I spent the last week at a training camp in Costa Rica ( http://subandsurf.com ) led by Henry Akins from Dynammix MMA in Santa Monica. Henry teaches jiu-jitsu that is simple and can be practiced by anyone. His focus is very much on self-defense rather than competitive jiu-jitsu. The things he taught were mind blowing. But during a question and answer session on Friday he was asked about what makes for the best jiu-jitsu students. His answer was, “the best students are passionate about the art of jiu-jitsu. They don’t just show up and train, they will think about mistakes they make and how they can constantly improve.” That answer inspired me. In life and jiu-jitsu that is how I aspire to be. There were also 20 other people which felt that same way at that camp. There was a common bond which brought us together for a week in paradise and will be friendships we will share the rest of our lives.
Jiu-jitsu is the only sport I have found that you could travel almost anywhere in the world and be welcomed to train in a gym as if you were part of their group. You may have a target on your back when it comes time to train but that is all apart of the mutual respect of trying what you know and seeing how it holds up against someone new. When training is done you have have earned another friend. I don’t mean to say there aren’t assholes or egos in jiu-jitsu, but most places weed them out pretty quickly.

Since that first day I asked Brad for his support in going to a tournament he has supported me in every way. From being on the other end of a text when I’m at a tournament asking for advice, celebrating after a hard tournament, coaching from the sideline telling me to get on my side, and most importantly helping me dissect what I can do better next time. I have a ton of respect for the work Brad has put into building the Kompound and building a great team that looks out for and supports each other. The quality of competitors he builds is amazing and I feel so fortunate to be able to rain with them every day. I heard a phrase out of Brad one day that sticks with all of us on the team, plus ten. Anything you can do, you can do it ten percent more. Competing, training, partying, or sparring all of us are chasing that plus ten.

I intended for this to just be a quick post thanking jiu-jitsu for what it has given me so far but also to share the excitement and passion I have found and hope others can find. It’s not for everyone.

One thing I always try and do is say “thank you” everytime I tap from a submission. If you submit me, you have taught me about a mistake I made leaving something open. I will leave it open again until I learn not to, but everytime I say thank you it’s because I am one step closer to not letting that happen. So this post is a thank you to the whole jiu-jitsu community for your support and your friendship. I look forward to many more years of saying thank you.

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Michelle Waterson Awarded Purple Belt in BJJ

Original Article: www.bjjee.com

Michelle Waterson has an interesting story. A karate student since the age of 10, Waterson holds a black belt in American Free Style Karate and has also trained in WuShu, Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing and wrestling.

Waterson rose to fame as a contestant on the Muay Thai-themed Fight Girls reality show on the Oxygen television network. She was also featured as one of the fighters in the MTV/MTV2 reality show Bully Beatdown.

She has notable victories against Angela Magana and Paige Van Zant.

Still, her most recent loss came by way of rear naked choke as performed by the new division champion Rose Namajunas. As such it’s no surprise Waterson is kicking up her bjj training a bit. She was awarded purple belt over the summer under Rafael Freitas:

michelle-waterson

Waterson is also booked to fight Tecia Torres – girlfriend of bjj black belt and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes December 2nd.

Waterson hasn’t fought since April – which she recently addressed to mmalatestnews:

Anytime you’re not fighting you should still be training, those are the times when I feel like I learn the most. We had so much going on this year after my fight with Paige (VanZant), we had the ESPY’s, we went to Singapore and Mexico, and I was on MTV’s reality show “The Challenge” to raise awareness for one of my favourite charities, MVP.

MVP (Merging Vets with Players) is a charity that was founded by Jay Glazer in 2015. Their main aim is taking former military veterans who are struggling with adjusting to civilian life, and match them up with former professional athletes, to create a new community.
In her fight against Namajunas at UFC Kansas City, the scores were even until Namajunas landed a head kick that dropped Waterson. Shortly after, Namajunas secured a rear-naked choke that forced Waterson to tap. I asked Michelle whether her memory of the fight was clear, or if the head kick altered her recollection.

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15 Tips For Being The Best Jiu-Jitsu Parent

15 Tips For Being The Best Jiu-Jitsu Parent

15 Tips For Being The Best Jiu-Jitsu Parent

Original Article: jiujitsumag.com

Being a good jiu-jitsu parent will help your kids get the most out of their jiu-jitsu, in both the short-term and for the rest of their lives. This list shares many of the things found to be the best for kids, not only in jiu-jitsu but in any new endeavor they take on.

01 Be encouraging
02 Stay calm
03 Don’t fret over bumps and bruises
04 Help your kids be prepared
05 Let the instructor do the coaching
06 Lead by example
07 Help them avoid junk food, encourage a healthy diet
08 Remember your commitments to them
09 Don’t push too hard
10 If you have a complaint, bring it to the instructor, don’t burden your child with it
11 Focus on the positives
12 At tournaments remember it’s about them, not you
13 Don’t argue with the referees
14 Don’t do anything that would make your kid not want to go to jiu-jitsu class
15 Jiu-jitsu for kids should be fun, don’t forget that!

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A Guide For The Novice: Competing In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

A Guide For The Novice: Competing In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

A Beginner’s Guide for Competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Original Article: breakingmuscle.com

Competition can be a big part of the grappling experience for practitioners who are so inclined. The conventional wisdom is that competition helps expedite progress and enables practitioners to test what they think they know in a martial arts competition, first time competing in grappling, competing in BJJ more realistic environment, under duress. For the first-time competitor, the experience can be daunting. The stimuli fly fast and furiously; the noise of the audience, the referee’s instructions, your coach’s voice, and your own nerves are all elements to deal with over and above the matter at hand, which is trying to grapple well, at a heightened intensity level, against a likely unknown adversary.

I’ve heard it said the ability to compete well is a skill in itself, and as with grappling technique, it’s a skill we can work at. For those of us at the beginning of our competition journey, here is a non-exhaustive list of suggestions that might help the novice competing in brazilian jiu-jitsu have a more enjoyable experience.

Keep it business as usual:
Right before a competition is probably not the best time to alter your usual training routine radically. On game day, try to do what you normally do before you train. Stretch, warm up, eat, listen to music, etc, the way you have in the time leading up to the competition. This has two benefits. First, it helps you feel it’s just another day, which may help calm your nerves. Second, it ensures your body won’t react adversely to a new smoothie or bar you decided to try (though any butterflies in your stomach may wreak their own havoc).

Weigh in ahead of time:
Competitors are grouped according to experience level and weight. In many tournaments, if you are too heavy, you are automatically disqualified. So make sure you are “on weight” BEFORE you have to weigh in officially. There are usually scales available for this, so you can find out if you are where you need to be or if you have to do a little running to sweat off some ounces.

Double up:
Bring two sets of gear. If you are competing in a gi tournament, bring two gis and two sets of whatever you wear under your gi. Many tournaments measure the fit of the gi to make sure it meets regulations. If your gi does not, you will not be allowed to wear it in competition and may be disqualified. Bring a second set of gear so you don’t have to run around asking your friends if they have a loaner for you.

Arrive early:
Especially if you have never been to the competition venue before, arrive a couple hours before your scheduled competition time. While it is unlikely the tournament will be running early, arriving with some time to spare will give you the opportunity to case the joint and develop some familiarity with the goings-on, identify a place to warm up, and, if you’re me, use the bathroom at least a baker’s dozen times.

Have a game plan:
Chances are, if you are competing, you have had some strategy sessions with your coach prior to competition day, both in terms of what your plan is for your matches and in terms of how you will work together. Touch base with your coach to make sure you are still on the same page.

Choose your state of arousal:
Apparently, anxiety and excitement register similarly in the body on a physiological level. It is our mindset that gives them an emotional association. Thus, to some extent, you can choose whether you are going to be excited or nervous to compete. Whenever I feel nerves creeping in, I have taken to making myself smile. It sounds crazy, but it actually works—it makes me feel more eager and fortunate that I get to compete, rather than scared and subdued.

As I mentioned, this is a non-exhaustive list. World class competitors are likely to have developed their own personal routines over time; as you become more experienced as a competitor, you, too, can create your own strategies. And if you have the opportunity to learn from any of the best about how they prepare for game day, do it!

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Proud to be Part of this GB Family

Unity, Pride

Original Article: graciebarra.com/red-tsunami/

How we dress identifies us as a group and sets, for many people, the values we represent. What we use transmits to the others an idea about who we are. Wearing the red shirt is representing the GB Family.

The “Proud to be Part of this GB Family” is stamped on the red shield. And have you ever wondered why the red color?

“I want the red color because it represents the heart, the blood and love. All my fighters fight with heart, give their blood in trainings and, above all, they love our GB family and our Gracie Barra team”. – Master Carlos Gracie Jr.

Wearing the red shirt is saying it loudly to the world: I believe in Gracie Barra.

The Red Shirt seeks to promote a sense of unity among the members of the GB team around the world. It promotes unity, support, equality, identity, philosophy and proud of being part of GB team. Wearing the red shirt is saying: I am part of GB Team.

The Red Shirt seeks respect, brotherhood, friendship, loyalty and love to the GB TEAM. Wearing the red shirt is having it on your chest: I am Gracie Barra.

“When I put the red t-shirt on and drive to the tournament…I automatically become someone stronger, faster, and unbeatable…because I know that, there will be hundreds of GB brothers wearing the same t-shirt, representing the same values, and supporting me on the battlefield by either competing along side with me, or cheering from the stands. That’s Gracie Barra!”- Prof. Philipe Della Monica

Around the world people are faced with the GB red sea. They identify our uniform and know that there exists a family member from Gracie Barra defending our mentality, representing our philosophy and our values. Wearing the red shirt means keeping our legacy alive.

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