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Think performance, not weight class

Think performance, not weight class

One big mistake many people make when training for jiu-jitsu is trying to remain in a certain weight class.

One big mistake many people make when training for jiu-jitsu is starving themselves because they want to remain in a certain weight class. However, the most important aspect of competing is your performance, and it’s most important to tailor your diet to ensure that you do well when you compete. Eat a balanced meal of proteins and carbs before and after training so that you replenish any nutrients you’ve lost. You can raise or lower the amount of carbs you’re eating based on whether you’re trying to gain weight or lose it. Just keep your protein intake up, as you need it to support extreme workouts.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is one of the world’s most difficult and demanding martial arts. It’s no surprise that it takes a strict and comprehensive regimen to train for it. Here is the complete list of nutrition tips for your training.
Eat three square meals a day
A famous diet created by jiu-jitsu experts is called the Gracie diet, and it relies on eating three well-balanced meals per day. The meals consist of vegetables, meat or seafood, fats, starches, sweet fruits, raw bananas and milk.
The Gracie diet was developed to help Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters get enough nutrients to replenish spent nutrients and to maintain weight. You can find advice online for adjusting it while you attempt to change weight classes.
Drink water
Drinking water is important for anyone in the world but particularly for Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors who train hard and sweat copiously.
To stay properly hydrated, drink regular water and not sports drinks throughout the day. Try to drink about a gallon of water a day when training (three-and-a-half to four litres), and you’ll be sure to not only replenish what you lose but give your body an ample supply so it can function at its best.
Eat only lean protein
Protein is the key to rebuilding muscles after you train, but you don’t want to eat greasy, fatty protein like burgers or bacon that can slow you down and add pounds on.
Instead, when you go for protein, choose only lean choices like chicken breast, tofu, or fish, so that you resupply your muscles without putting any strain on your heart or body weight.

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Yoga & Jiu-Jitsu: A Natural Symbiosis

Yoga & Jiu-Jitsu: A Natural Symbiosis

It almost seems as if the arts of yoga & jiu-jitsu were designed to complement each other

Original article courtesy of Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood 

There are so many similarities and mirrored truths between the two of them. It’s not surprising that they both have roots which are entwined with buddhism and ancient india.
Besides having been proven to alleviate depression, high blood-pressure and a host of other physical ailments, yoga will also help your bjj is many specific ways, several of which I have outlined below:

CORRECTION OF IMBALANCES
Jiu jitsu often causes poor posture and and skeletomuscular imbalances. The upper back is often rounded as you are holding onto your opponent, the hip flexors and psoas are usually tightened because the knees are tucked up towards the chest, and as for the neck and shoulders.

Regular practise of the various asanas and vinyasas is the best remedy I’ve found for this imbalanced state, due to their twofold effect of lengthening and opening the body. As an added bonus, many of your submissions will also improve. Very often your effectiveness with these movements is hampered by the imbalances mentioned previously, and you can see how addressing those with yoga will allow you to generate more power. Regular and consistent practice can also help with back pain.

IMPROVED FLEXIBILITY
Although you can get away without being flexible in jiu jitsu, it’s an attribute that’s unquestionably beneficial. The greater the range of motion in your joints, the more options you will have in each position. In fact, some parts of jiu jitsu will be completely inaccessible to you until you develop the required suppleness, the rubber guard being a good example.

INCREASED STRENGTH AND BALANCE
My first coach used to say ‘One of the best things a fighter can have is balance’. Over the years I came to understand just how true that was.Yoga is exceptional for developing balance. Many of the standing asanas are done unilaterally (on one leg), which not only improves stability but sport-specific strength as well.I’ve seen professional athletes challenged by the most simple of these postures. Mastering them will massively improve your top game by making you far harder to sweep. It’ll also improve throws and takedowns.

BODY AWARENESS AND BREATH CONTROL
One of the most valuable ways this is achieved is through breath control. Not only will the vinyasas teach you to coordinate your movement and breathing, but yogic techniques such as pranayama will enable you to engage your diaphragm and utilise your lungs to their full capacity. This will greatly improve your stamina during rolling.

POLISHING THE MIND
Besides all the numerous physical benefits, yoga has extensive, positive mental effects. Some of the more challenging asanas require immense concentration, and sychronizing the movement and breathing during vinyanasa cultivates a certain focus and stillness of the mind which is invaluable during the heat of a a difficult sparring match. I’ve also noticed that memorising the sanskrit names of the various asanas as well as their correct alignments has much overlap with learning bjj techniques.

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Can Jiu Jitsu Help With Mental Illness?

Can Jiu Jitsu Help With Mental Illness?

According to One Expert, The Answer is a Resounding ‘YES’ – Jiu Jitsu Helps Mental Illness

Original article courtesy of Jiu-Jitsu Times by Averi Clements

When you live with mental illness, your greatest opponent on the mat isn’t the person you’re rolling with. Instead, you find yourself grappling with your own mind… and it’s a fight you won’t always win. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that nearly 19 percent of U.S. adults experience mental illness in a given year. For 1 in 25 adults in the United States, that illness will “substantially interfere” with daily life and activities, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Basically, you’re not alone. Not even close.

Those of us who do jiu-jitsu know just how much this sport can help in the fight against illnesses like depression or anxiety. What might be a bit harder to understand, though, is why it helps so much. Sure, we’ve all heard about how exercise releases endorphins— a.k.a. the “happy hormones”— but let’s be honest: if brief spurts of happiness were all it took to get better, mood disorders wouldn’t be the third most common cause of hospitalization in this country.

As a clinical therapist and a black belt in jiu-jitsu, Durango Martial Arts Academy professor Nick Maez knows a thing or two about mental illness, BJJ, and how the two are connected. Whether on the mats or in therapy, he’s dedicated his life to helping people. He once worked as a case manager, but these days, he focuses on an integrated health model concentrated on how people can make their physical and mental health work with and for each other.

The idea behind integrated health care is that a healthy mind equals a healthy body and vice versa. Maez explains that a common situation seen in mental illnesses is that the patient’s neurons aren’t firing properly, creating a sort of “dead zone” in the brain. But when we get physically active, our brain has no choice but to start firing those neurons. “You see it a lot with people who work in computer-based jobs,” he says. “They’re brilliant. Their brains are great, but because they sit at a desk all day, their bodies suffer from things like inflammation, and as a result, their brains get cloudy. Eventually, they have to get up and move.”

While most experts in the mental health field will tell you that exercise is crucial to a healthy mind, it’s rare to find one who knows just how much the art of jiu-jitsu can do for the brain. But Maez was so curious about it that he did his grad school project at the University of Denver on the link between jiu-jitsu and mental health. Since then, he’s learned quite a bit about how our time on the mats can help us cope with whatever life throws us.

One of the most prominent ways jiu-jitsu assists in helping us stay mentally healthy, says Maez, is in the way it teaches us to survive under pressure. “If someone is smashing you in side control, you learn how to shrimp out and get them back in your guard. Juxtapose that with life situations like financial struggles or marital problems, and it’s the same idea. You’re dealing with both internal and external pressure, and you have to learn how to survive under that,” he explains.

As anyone who has ever rolled can tell you, jiu-jitsu also has a special way of helping us learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. According to Maez, such an important lesson is crucial for people who live with disorders such as social anxiety. “Jiu-jitsu also teaches a lot of communication skills. People [with social anxiety] don’t want to go there, but jiu-jitsu teaches you how to flow. You learn new positions, you learn that sometimes you have to go to places you don’t want to go. It teaches you to be a flexible thinker.”

“With diagnoses like depression, anxiety, or PTSD—the ones that rule the mental health world— you’re going to find that your mind isn’t in the present. It’s often in the past or in the future,” he continues. “You’re re-living or anticipating some kind of event that takes you out of the now. But in jiu-jitsu, you can’t be ‘somewhere else,’ or you’re going to get choked or armbarred. You have to be fully in the present.” By training our minds to concentrate on the right now, jiu-jitsu can help us stay focused on what’s happening in our lives today rather than last year or next year.

That doesn’t mean that we should only think about the present, though. Whether you attend jiu-jitsu, traditional therapy, or both, you’ll notice that goal-setting is an important part of getting better. Unfortunately, our own doubts are often the things holding us back from achieving what we want. “I think of exercise like therapy,” says Maez. “If you’re 40 pounds overweight and you walk into a gym and judge yourself or get scared, you won’t succeed.”

The key to ensuring that your mental health is getting the most out of your gym routine, he says, is to create an internal dialogue with yourself and stop worrying about critics. “You need to say to yourself, ‘I’m here for my goals. This is my journey. However I need to get there is personal.’ In jiu-jitsu, in therapy, in whatever, don’t be afraid to ask for support. Ask for private lessons at the gym. Ask for more homework in therapy. You have to be as open as you can to the experience. There’s so much growth in vulnerability.”

Although team sports are great for the social aspects of mental health, Maez — who has also played football and baseball— insists that part of the reason jiu-jitsu is so good for our minds has to do with its individual nature. “The mats don’t lie,” he says, explaining that it’s easy to point the finger in team sports and blame others on things that went wrong. Jiu-jitsu, however, creates introspection. “If you mess up in a competition, you can’t blame your teammates; you have only yourself to blame. But that’s good, because it makes you look inside and be honest with yourself if you want to get better.”

Maez connects this with the roadblocks that many people experience in therapy. “A lot of people look back on past experiences and blame their parents or their spouse for their problems when they should be learning from them and asking themselves, ‘How can I change this now to be a better person tomorrow?’” When we’re forced to constructively criticize ourselves on the mats, we learn to do the same throughout other aspects of our lives. And oftentimes, recognizing our own shortcomings instead of blaming others is an important step in breaking away from the mental illnesses that hold us back.

All of this sounds just fine, but it doesn’t do us any good if our mental illnesses are holding us back from getting to jiu-jitsu class in the first place. How are we supposed to reap these benefits if our depression won’t allow us to get out of bed or our anxiety is keeping us from live rolling in front of our teammates?

“I’m a big advocate of there being two truths. For example, in this case, the truths are, ‘I want to go to class’ and ‘I don’t want to go to class.’ So you have to think, ‘How do I walk that middle path? How do I find that balance?’” Maez encourages those of us who battle with our minds to “act opposite” of what our illness is telling us to do. “If you have depression, you can probably tell what thoughts are coming from you and what thoughts are coming from your depression. So if you feel like your depression is telling you to stay home, but you have the tiniest desire to go to class, get up and go.”

Not only will going to BJJ help you get all the benefits that it offers, but getting in the habit of doing the opposite of what your mental illness is encouraging you to do can help you reclaim your life. When your illness has you stuck in an emotional pit, being able to stand up to it in such a way can act as the first step up onto the ladder that will lead you out of the darkness.

Your jiu-jitsu obsession can be a great sidekick in your fight towards better mental health if you allow it to be. I’m a staunch advocate for adding traditional therapy to your self-care plan as well, but if you can’t, it’s important to be aware of all the ways your time wearing your gi or rashguard can help you stay healthy inside and out.

“Research shows that a healthy mind and a healthy body go hand-in-hand,” says Maez. “When you do jiu-jitsu, you’re working towards both at the same time.”

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7 mindset tips to improve your Jiu-Jitsu from white belt to black belt

7 mindset tips to improve your Jiu-Jitsu from white belt to black belt

Use These Tips to Improve Your Jiu-Jitsu

Original article courtesy of GracieMag by Graciemag Newsroom

GRACIEMAG.com serves up seven lessons for practitioners of any age or level. Stick to the seven and to improve your Jiu-Jitsu right away.

1. Consistency means not making haste: Use your mind, not your body’s strength. After all, it’s better to practice Jiu-Jitsu three times a week for an entire lifetime than seven days a week for three years and then quit. Balance is an important ally in your evolution as a practitioner. Don’t overuse your muscles and ligaments and you’ll go far!

2. The most important muscle: The most important muscle for anyone who does Jiu-Jitsu is the heart, the endless desire to tap out but be back the next day to learn some more. Another vital part of our body is the ear. Keep your ears well trained to listen for and respect the pointers from all your companions at the academy, especially those older and higher ranked than you but also rookies and white belts.

3. There’s always a way out: If your game has reached a plateau at the academy, that doesn’t mean it’s time to make a stink about it or think the gentle art’s not for you. All black belts have been through that and persevered until they reached a solution.

4. The path to fighting on automatic pilot: repetitions: It’s the greatest Jiu-Jitsu lesson, cultivated as much by your instructor as by the superstar Rodrigo Minotauro: you only get the finish on automatic pilot if you repeat the position ten, 50 times. Invest time in creating a solid foundation by repeating basic moves during warm-up. With the basics firmly entrenched, you’ll be able to build solid Jiu-Jitsu with no openings.

5. Believe in yourself until it transforms you: To improve, you need to be the first person who believes you can do it. Trust in the art, believe in your efforts, turn Jiu-Jitsu into your conviction, and the changes will occur quicker than you’d ever thought possible. Don’t think before going to training, just stick your gi in your backpack and head to the academy.

6. Flood your body with health: You can never have too much fruit, fresh water and pure air. Cut the stuff you KNOW is bad for you. Take good care of the instrument that is your body. Only thus will you be able to age and still do the same activities you enjoyed in your youth.

7. Nourish your hobby with good reading!: Want to find out more about the gentle art and have fun with some intelligent, interesting and at the same time laid-back reading? GRACIEMAG’s the magazine for you, the Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Subscribe to GRACIEMAG for a special price by clicking here.

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5 Ways Jiu Jitsu Will Help You Live a Longer and Happier Life

5 Ways Jiu Jitsu Will Help You Live a Longer and Happier Life

Incorporate These to Live a Longer and Happier Life

Original article courtesy of GracieMag by Ivan Trindade

We all know how powerful Jiu-Jitsu is for changing anyone’s life. The gentle art is an awesome tool to help one abandon unhealthy habits and work on a cleaner lifestyle. On GRACIEMAG #151, we dove into the actual ways BJJ can help you live a longer and happier life.

Here’s what we came up with after we searched the wisdom of Master Carlos Gracie Jr.

1. Philosophy: We all age (if we are lucky). There’s no pointing in fighting the passage of time. What we have to do is adapt our lifestyle to each stage of life. Our body will tell us what we are capable of doing and what we are not capable. once we do that, we can achieve a state of mind where we search for pleasure without incurring in hedonism. What you have to seek is satisfaction.

2. Sleep: Sleeping is rebooting your vitality. The more active you are, the greater is your need for rest. Master Carlos Gracie Jr. is know for not allowing himself to sleep less than 8 hours a night. The lack of sleep is the entry way for illness, bad performance and a shorter life.

3. Breathing: Anxious, tense, jumpy people breath like they are constantly drowning. On the other hand, people who project confidence breath in a calm and constant rhythm. Master Carlos Gracie Jr. performs a breathing warmup prior to every roll. It consists of a series of perfectly paced breaths that compress the diaphragm followed by a long intake of air to fill up the lungs.

4. Nourishment: It is simply impossible to be healthy if you don’t mind what you put inside your body. Master Carlos is a fine example of how the wholesome attitude promoted by the gentle art can influence our entire lives. he likes to choose and prepare everything he will intake. Also, he learned how to read the signs his body is sending. You need to know when your organism is telling you it is satisfied, full, hungry, thirsty, etc.

5. Exercise: Looking good is great, but not enough to stimulate you to have a continuous routine of physical activities. The true incentive, according to Master Carlos, needs to come from how you feel on the inside and not how you look in the mirror. As you get older, you will fell more and more the results of your choices. So, if you haven’t started to live a healthy lifestyle yet, do it asap.

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October Health Tips: 7 reasons why Jiu-Jitsu really helps kids deal with bullying

October Health Tips: 7 reasons why Jiu-Jitsu really helps kids deal with bullying

7 reasons why Jiu-Jitsu really helps kids deal with bullying

 Original article courtesy of GracieMag

Bullying is a real problem in our society today. Left unaddressed, it can lead to serious consequences and sometimes, unfortunately, tragedies. It’s well known that Jiu-Jitsu can be a tool to help kids stand up to bullies, but how? Here are 7 reasons why the gentle art actually helps kids to deal with abusive colleagues.

 1) Self-confidence repels cowards

A bully is a coward. He or she identifies those who lack self-confidence and prey on it. Jiu-Jitsu gives kids the self-confidence to stand up for themselves at the moment of the first approach, usually a verbal one. Once you know that you can defend yourself, you will let the bully know right away and they will usually back off.

2) An antidote to fear and insecurity

There are two main ingredients to bullying: fear and insecurity. The fearful is usually the victim and the insecure is usually the aggressor that seeks confrontation to hide their own feeling of weakness. The gentle art will teach kids to defend themselves when necessary and help them deal with fear. At the same time, it will address insecurity and help that aggressive kid to be more confident, polite and respectful.

3) Respect for differences  

There’s no room for prejudice on the mat. As you have to actually prove yourself against all sorts of people, you quickly realize that we are all equal in our shortcomings and potentials. The difference lies on how much work we put in to neutralize one and boost the other. This notion will most likely accompany the child outside the academy as well.

Stop Bullying

4) The bonds of friendship

Bullies go after kids who have trouble making connections, feel different and don’t relate well o the group. Jiu-Jitsu will work as a mediator and help the child make friends. Being a contact sport, the gentle art is a channel to make everyone fit into the group. If you don’t fear the group, being part of it becomes much easier.

5) Self-esteem balance

Having low self-esteem is the gateway to an isolated, fearful and unhappy life. On the other hand, too much of it can turn you into a cocky obnoxious person, child or adult. Jiu-Jitsu will quickly give that issue the balance it needs so much. As kids win and lose, as we all do on the mats, they learn that it’s your actions that prove your value, instead of what you or others think of yourself.

6) Help for the parents 

Nothing can replace a good upbringing by the kids parents. If a child receives the right values, he or she is on the right track to be a good person. Jiu-Jitsu will help with that, as it teaches the value of hard work, respect for others and the right way to deal with victory and defeat, pleasure and pain, reward and punishment.

7) Pressure release

Life is full of stressful moments for kids and adults alike. We all have to deal with little unpleasantness on a daily basis. Once again, Jiu-Jitsu will teach you how to deal with those less than peaceful moments of life. On the mat, the number one lesson you learn is how to deal with discomfort.

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September Health Tips: Classic Gracie Diet Acai

September Health Tips: Classic Gracie Diet Acai

Change Your Concepts and Try the Classic Gracie Diet Acai

 Original article courtesy of GracieMag

The acai, fruit that is found in large quantity in Pará, north of Brazil, is already known worldwide for its energizing properties. It is a traditional meal for Jiu-Jitsu athletes and other sportsmen. In a bowl, juice, ice cream or jellies are some of the ways people consume this fruit nowadays. But the question that GRACIEMAG brings you today is: How do you prepare your acai at home?

The form most commonly found in restaurants, markets and juice stores in Brazil and here in the U.S. is a combination of acai pulp mixed sometimes with some other fruit (bananas, strawberries, etc.) and guarana syrup, which is made from a Brazilian berry found in the amazon, or honey. Now, how about trying the classic Gracie Diet Acai and, once and for all, review your concepts about this fruit’s flavor?

Following the diet compiled by Carlos Gracie, the guarana syrup does not enter the recipe, since it’s something processed and rich in sugars. Instead, just use dates. And to give a little more flavor to the acai bowl, how about a few apples? Check out the recipe below:

Ingredients:

2 sweet apples

12 dates

250ml pure Acai (unsweetened)

Preparation:

Pass the apples in the juicer to separate the juice. Instead of water, mix apple juice with the acai pulp, already crushed. Then add the dates, already pitted, and beat everything in a blender.

Now just enjoy your Gracie Diet Acai and good training!

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August Health Tips: Start Living Better Today

August Health Tips: Start Living Better Today

10 Tips For You to Start Living Better Today.

Based on the teachings of Grandmaster Carlos Gracie. Original article courtesy of GracieMag

 

Tip 1: Do not leave soft drinks in the fridge or candy in the cupboard. Break the temptation at the root.

Tip 2: Do not sleep in rooms without air circulation and renewal.

Tip 3: Sleep in loose, comfortable clothing.

Tip 4: When you awake, stretch well before getting up, and always think positive before getting out of bed.

Tip 5: Walk barefoot more to exchange energy with the ground. When you need to wear shoes, avoid rubberized shoes with soles that do not cause isolation of your body to the ground.

Tip 6: Always look for the food of the season and the area where you are.

Tip 7: Before you act, think.

Tip 8: Do not eat more than you need.

Tip 9: Eat more honey, açaí, avocados and nuts. Foods with plenty of calories are sometimes necessary — don’t shun them!

Tip 10: Shun white food. Usually white foods, such as bread, rice and potatoes, have lots of sugar — which is energy that is burned quickly and soon makes you hungry again.

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