Stephan’s Note: Michael Jen is a BJJ Black Belt based in Northern California. He’s contributed a LOT to the art via his videos, seminars and forum posts, so I was glad to get his input on improving your BJJ skills (and it turns out that it’s all YOUR responsibility). (more…)
Some grapplers think that cauliflower ears are a status symbol.
Others think that it’s gross.
Some people can train for 20 years and still have perfectly shaped ears.
Others need to wear headgear all the time or their ears start getting lumpier and lumpier.
About 10 years ago I was talking to a pioneer of early MMA. This fighter trained all the time, even between fights.
But whenever he had a fight coming up he’d go absolutely mental and grind himself down into an exhausted mess. (more…)
I’ve got to be quick with this blog post. We’ve been in studio almost continuously for three days, filming what might be my most ambitious video project ever.
And we’ve got to get back at it really soon. (I’m super excited about this project btw. (more…)
When it comes to supplements, most people either take nothing at all or far too many!
And most serious grapplers go through a phase of taking tons of supplements in hopes of boosting their jiu-jitsu game. (more…)
Although I take my own nutrition very seriously, I don’t normally get involved in the weight loss field – it’s just not my area of specialization (‘dammit Jim, I’m a grappler, not a nutritionist…’) (more…)
A bunch of people have recently emailed me, basically asking if I’m still alive. I haven’t been sending out my normal volume of grappling tips and beginner lessons recently, and they want to know why! (more…)
I have this thing against Mc Donalds’ Restaurants. It’s partially the taste, partially the poor nutritional quality of the food, and partially because the multinational logo of “billions and billions served” drives me nuts. (more…)
The first time I saw someone choked unconscious it scared the crap out of me. And it was made worse by the fact that it was a friend of mine…
It was many years ago at a local tournament. My friend was winning his match but got caught in a sneaky gi choke. (more…)
How many people do you know who gained 10 lbs or more over a relatively short trip to an all-inclusive resort, or a week of Christmas celebration? The holiday bulge phenomenon is really, really common. And maybe you’ve even experienced it yourself… (more…)
Yesterday I was training my side mount escapes. My partner and I repeatedly started with me pinned, and then we worked until I got out or until someone tapped.
A few weeks ago I wrote about getting an inguinal hernia on New Year’s Day and my subsequent surgery.
(For those of you who don’t know, this type of hernia is when your intestines start protruding through a weakness or tear in your abdominal wall and show up as a bulge on the outside of your belly. (more…)
Here’s a question I received recently:
Q: “I’m 56 years old and in pretty good health except for a few old injuries. My question is whether it is it too late for me to start training in grappling without wrecking my body too badly? (I’m not interested in competition).” (more…)
Well here we are, roughly 5 weeks after New Year’s Eve and resolution-making season. Have you made progress on your goals? If not, then here is a harsh but great quote by Merlin Mann on getting your ass in gear: (more…)
Today I’m going to tell you about one of the sillier ideas I’ve ever had…
About 10 years ago I got interested in functional training and sports specific exercises. I wanted to get away from the Pec Deck and do exercises that more closely mimicked the movements I was using on a daily basis in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo and wrestling. (more…)
Back when I was mostly training in Judo I heard that there were some traditional dojos in Japan where tapping out to a choke was frowned upon – even in club sparring sessions you were supposed to fight the choke right to the bitter end (more…)
Tapping out is sending a message to your opponent. The most common message is “OK, you got me with that submission. Now let me go”
Many grapplers don’t realize that tapping out can also be used to send a different message (more…)
A few days ago, in class, it was time to spar. I walked over to an older white belt, new to the club, who was standing by himself at the edge of the mat. I introduced myself and asked if he wanted to do some rolling. (more…)
The stiff arm on the Heisman Trophy is an iconic posture in football, and it is used by players in every single game. In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, however, the stiff arm has a bit of a bad rap. (more…)
Quick: what’s the most important meal of the day?
If you said “breakfast” then you’re wrong, at least if you’re a hard-training combat athlete. According to Martin Rooney, author of ‘Training For Warriors, the Team Renzo Gracie Workout’, the two most important meals of the day are your pre and post-workout meals.
Several years ago I found myself waiting for a Jean Jacques Machado seminar to start: I was sitting on the mat, watching people train, and chatting with a friend. Jean Jacques, the jiu-jitsu superstar, strolled over to us and told me something that I think about almost every time I train. (more…)
Several tips ago I gave some advice to a reader who had suffered a rather terrible string of orthopedic injuries while training in MMA . I also opened up the conversation to other readers of this newsletter and invited comments on several martial arts forums. (more…)