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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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