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Old 06-26-2007, 06:52 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Also on the Parkour, watch David Belle(the creator) and Cyril Raffaelli.
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:30 AM   #72 (permalink)
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Jitters

A friend of mine has his first Vale Tudo match tomorrow (yes, it's the same night as Stacked, but it's early enough that we'll be able to watch it afterwards).

He was asking me about pre-fight jitters, and it's something that, even though it's not part of training, is something that good to think about during training.

The fact is, I have a hard time believing that anyone doesn't get jittery their first few fights. After all, it's not a day at the office the first time you step into a ring or a cage. Even if it's a judo or jiu-jitsu competition, it can be a little unnerving.

Rickson Gracie used to talk about building up his hormone levels to increase his anger (his explanation was that he wouldn't masturbate or have sex for a couple of weeks leading up to a fight and it made him want to kill somebody).

I don't think that anger is healthy going into a fight, and neither is a hormone imbalance. Personally, I find I perform best when I'm relaxed and not worried about competing. It keeps me from getting hurt competing and it keeps me focused on what I'm doing, as opposed to what I'm feeling.

Soicism is a value in grappling (especially for the Gracies), but I think that mistaking stoicism for cold anger is a stupid mistake. That's not a pot-shot at Rickson, just something that works for me.

My solution to jitters or butterflies or whatever the f*ck you want to call them is to release any and all visceral energy that I am holding on to.

I do some boxing drills where I just swing hard, and I do some takedown drills where I try to slam my opponent back into their mother's womb.

What I mean is that I try to expell my emotions in the locker room, so that the jitters don't effect my performance. There's a medium between doing that and tiring myself out, but a little bit of blood flowing doesn't make you tired, in fact it prepares you and gets you warmed up for the real work.

People talk about emotional energy being physically and mentally draining. Maybe that's the case for them. I'm not them. For me, it doesn't make me physically or mentally tired, it just keeps me from being on edge, which keeps me from making mistakes.
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:03 PM   #73 (permalink)
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You have a nice training routine.

Wish I had the facilities enough to train like that.
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:48 AM   #74 (permalink)
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A Day Off

Generally, between school, training and work, I don't have much time off. I spend alot of time trying to figure out how to use my time, but every once in a while it's good to take some time off.

If you're dieting and training for competition, like I'm doing right now, it's good to take a day off, or maybe a few. So that's what I did this weekend.

Rules for the Day-Off

1) Get away. Your muscles need time to recover, but so does your mind. Watching a UFC event might be relaxing for your body, and it might be enjoyable, but it will just lead your mind back to training and thinking through techniques. The time off will allow you to come back refreshed, not stuffed with new ideas.

2) Break diet a little bit. It's good to have a small vice, because you appreciate a little alot more. Resist the urge to dive into a quart of icecream. Have about a sake cup full (that's how I do portion control), that should be enough to keep the diet from wearing you down psychologically.

3) Don't do anything that will hurt you tomorrow. Personally, I stay away from alcohol and drugs, just on the basis that I don't want to deal with the hangover in the morning. Remember that those things can impare your ability to train for the next few days, and that's not what you want.

4) Be around different people. Sometimes you see the same people every day at the gym. It gets to be a part of your routine, and the whole purpose of a day off is to get away from your routine. Hang out with people who you don't spend time training with, because it will keep you from talking about and thinking about training too much.

5) Have a good time. If you enjoy the day off, it makes the thought of training alot more bearable. No one likes the daily grind, and as much as I love the sport, doing the same stuff day after day takes it toll. Breaking it up is what's really important. It makes it easier to focus and easier to retain information.

Keep on training. Keep on fighting.
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Old 09-16-2007, 06:00 PM   #75 (permalink)
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Upcoming Tournament

I've started to move on to the next stage of my training for the Jiu-Jitsu by the Sea invitational. I'm past worrying about weight (I'm safely within my weight range, so that fluxuations will still keep me under weight).

Jiu-Jitsu By The Sea is an invitational Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition hosted by Claudio Franca's Santa Cruz school. It's a tough competition, so I'm focussing on the competition like I would for a fight.

There is always a question about how I train for a BJJ competition. Since most of my focus in training is on MMA and practical combat training, there was always a question about whether I should change up my training regimen for a tournament in a different style.

As an athlete, I don't change my workout too much. I still do kickboxing and I still do submission grappling without the gi. As much as I like competing in BJJ, I feel like the overarching focus is practical application, and my conditioning definitely stays up when I'm transitioning from style to style constantly, as each style requires use of different movement patterns and different combinations of muscle movement.

I have been working with the gi on alot more, replacing some of my nightime no-gi sessions with gi BJJ sessions, so that I can work on defending collar chokes and using grips on my opponents gi to be more effective. I still focus on the joint locks that I'm used to using in MMA competition and the rubber guard that I'm used to using to set up my favorite technique combination: armbar/omoplata/gogoplata.

Primarily, though, I'm getting acclimated to the weight of the gi and awareness of it. I'm running in a gi, with extra body weights, and doing some of my kickboxing workouts (the non-sparring ones) without the gi on, so that I get used to standing workouts.

I have a hard time with the idea of having a gameplan for an entire tournament, since I don't know my opponents, and so I'm not focussing on one area of my game as much as I'm focussing on developing and increasing my fundamentals. Keeping my weight on opponents while on top and breaking down opponents posture while they're in my guard to set up the rubber guard.

I'll keep you guys posted on how I do in the tournament. It's coming up on the 29th of September.
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Old 09-16-2007, 06:30 PM   #76 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMan
I've started to move on to the next stage of my training for the Jiu-Jitsu by the Sea invitational. I'm past worrying about weight (I'm safely within my weight range, so that fluxuations will still keep me under weight).

Jiu-Jitsu By The Sea is an invitational Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition hosted by Claudio Franca's Santa Cruz school. It's a tough competition, so I'm focussing on the competition like I would for a fight.

There is always a question about how I train for a BJJ competition. Since most of my focus in training is on MMA and practical combat training, there was always a question about whether I should change up my training regimen for a tournament in a different style.

As an athlete, I don't change my workout too much. I still do kickboxing and I still do submission grappling without the gi. As much as I like competing in BJJ, I feel like the overarching focus is practical application, and my conditioning definitely stays up when I'm transitioning from style to style constantly, as each style requires use of different movement patterns and different combinations of muscle movement.

I have been working with the gi on alot more, replacing some of my nightime no-gi sessions with gi BJJ sessions, so that I can work on defending collar chokes and using grips on my opponents gi to be more effective. I still focus on the joint locks that I'm used to using in MMA competition and the rubber guard that I'm used to using to set up my favorite technique combination: armbar/omoplata/gogoplata.

Primarily, though, I'm getting acclimated to the weight of the gi and awareness of it. I'm running in a gi, with extra body weights, and doing some of my kickboxing workouts (the non-sparring ones) without the gi on, so that I get used to standing workouts.

I have a hard time with the idea of having a gameplan for an entire tournament, since I don't know my opponents, and so I'm not focussing on one area of my game as much as I'm focussing on developing and increasing my fundamentals. Keeping my weight on opponents while on top and breaking down opponents posture while they're in my guard to set up the rubber guard.

I'll keep you guys posted on how I do in the tournament. It's coming up on the 29th of September.
What weight and division you competing in?
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Old 09-16-2007, 08:53 PM   #77 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wukkadb
What weight and division you competing in?
152s under 18. I'm around 145 with the gi on right now, so I should be okay not cutting and a small weight fluxuation should keep me right where I want to be.
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Old 09-23-2007, 01:40 AM   #78 (permalink)
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Pain Conditioning: It's Where the Nickname Comes From

No one's ever asked about the monoquer on the forum, but I was looking through the log and saw that it was something that I had never brought up or mentioned. It comes from the most unique part of my training routine.

I was watching a video when I was 12 on Bruce Lee strengthening his abdominal muscles using a medicine ball. Besides free weights and a pull-up bar, a medicine ball is the only real workout gear I have around my house, and it sees the most use.

As I got older and started to really work on my striking and dealing with power takedowns I realized something:

No school of fighting in modern MMA teaches you how to handle pain.

Everyone seems to agree that there's a difference between the pain caused by the microscopic tears in muscles during a workout (or lactic acid build-up and other side-effects) and the kind of pain of having a guy smashing your face in or cranking a submission.

I've seen ball-smash drills and other things, but I developed my own drill that I do with myself that has, among my friends and training partners, gotten me my nickname.

I start with doing Bruce Lee's abdominal drill. It gets me focussed on handling body shots and helps me get into the mindset I need to be in to start really hurting myself.

I then move on to a standing version of Lee's excersise, where I have a training partner throw clinch distance punches to my stomach. It has been proven that correct breathing relieves the pain, but that isn't the goal in training, so I focus on handling it regardless of where I am in my breathing, sometimes letting the wind get knocked out of me, just so I'm not phased by the sensation.

I then move on the jaw and head warm ups. I start these on my own and practice it when I'm at home. I bounce the medicine ball off of my forehead and catch it, then I toss it again and catch it. This can be a little bit dizzying for those getting started, but eventually the threshold gets higher for that feeling and you can focus while dealing with strikes more easily.

Then I train my jaw. Whether using hand strikes or the medicine ball, I strike the side of my jaw so that the striking surface lands flush. Don't clench the jaw, as you want to maximize effectiveness of the excersise. That part of the jaw is the most sensitive, where the cheeck bone and higher up areas have a litter more substance behind them.

Then move on to sparring. I use the headgear sometimes, sometimes I don't. While I usually practice movement patterns and weaving, when I'm doing pain-conditioning, I choose to stand in front of my opponents punches. I tell my training partners to counter punch and I just focus on my strikes to counteract the natural instinct to get out of the way. I find that when I get used to taking punches while I'm throwing strikes, I can walk through some opponents.

Then I move on to chest drilling. It's the same as the head or stomach drilling, I just bounce the medicine ball off of it. This gets me used to the pressure of a slam.

While I do ball-smash drills, I also train for the initial impact of the slam, not just the pressure afterwards. I have some training partners that are bigger than me and very good wrestlers. I just have them double-leg or throw me, depending on what they feel they want to work on, and I try and stay focussed on getting to guard. I get to closed guard, and then I move on to the next opponent. If he passes or mounts, I get up and deal with the next guy.

Personally, I do this on top of grappling and striking training to refine technique, because I believe that technique is important, but I believe that if your opponent can't hurt you, then you've already won.

Keep on training.
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:20 PM   #79 (permalink)
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BJJ in Mixed Martial Arts

I posted this on my blog a couple of days ago, thought I'd re-post it here.

BJJ in Mixed-Martial Arts.

As a BJJ practioner and a fighter I constantly get questions from guys who don't train about what it means to have a blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu as an MMA fighter.

Now, like most guys, I don't have a BJJ blackbelt. I train in gi grappling much more than alot of other practioners, but I am by no means a master.

First, there is the understanding that gi grappling is an art all it's own. Fighters who train in gi grappling and compete strictly in those competitions are athletes, many of them are professional just like mixed-martial arts fighters. MMA fighters usually just dabble.

Having a blackbelt in BJJ is a serious accomplishment, especially for someone going pro outside of BJJ, competing in other arenas. Most guys compete in BJJ too to keep their skills sharp, but it's still impressive to be at black belt level and fighting professionally.

Black belts have an enormous arsenal of techniques, sweeps from every position and submissions that we aren't used to seeing in MMA. With alot of BJJ practioners that's noticeable even in the middle ranks, like when Nick Diaz fought Takanori Gomi. As good as Gomi is as a fighter, he doesn't have the technical Brazilian Jiu-jitsu backround to really use techniques like gogoplatas (which is how Diaz won the fight). It's a complex submission, and Diaz's superior knowledge of technical grappling gave him a huge edge once the fight hit the mat. And Diaz is only a purple belt.

That said, BJJ isn't the be all and the end all, it is only a single style of fighting that is used in MMA alot, and there are different styles of BJJ that make it more complicated to adapting to MMA. Some power grapplers who specialize in joint locks, like Jeff Monson (a BJJ brown belt who has won world championships in the similar sport of no-gi submission grappling) transition fairly easily, but guys who utilize alot of gi chokes like Fabiano Scherner might not work so well without the gi.

BJJ isn't everything, but the black belt is a huge symbol in the sport and it commands respect, because you know that when that fight hits the ground, there is going to be some skill.
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:27 PM   #80 (permalink)
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Nick Diaz is a black belt, he received it on May 8th of this year.
YouTube - Nick Diaz Blackbelt Ceremony
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