In life it’s funny what ends up making a lasting impression on you. An offhand comment can stick with you for years and years, and have an effect way beyond anything the original person intended.
There’s a phrase like that that pops up in my mind often when I’m thinking about BJJ. But it originated in a very different place.
In fact this comment got stuck in my brain more than 20 years ago when I was taking a biochemistry class at McGill University of all places… (more…)
So I’m touring Casa Loma recently, the famous castle in downtown Toronto and the largest private residence ever constructed in Canada.
Just the usual touristic wandering of the halls, climbing the turrets, and exploring the never-ending parade of lavishly decorated rooms.
All of a sudden I heard something beautiful drifting through the marble and hardwood hallways. (more…)
An Article by Mark Mullen
Back in 2009, I wrote a brief article about my first trip to train BJJ in Rio de Janeiro. That first article generated a decent amount of comments and so, 4 years later after another trip to Brazil, here’s Part 2!
On my most recent trip I stayed for 2 months. (more…)
I saw something amazing in the pool where I was hanging out after a workout today.
First I noticed that there was a group of about 7 men jumping off the highest part of the diving tower, again and again.
This wasn’t a dinky little diving board 1 meter off the water. They were throwing themselves off the 5 meter board, which is high enough to make anyone’s heart go pitter-pat. (more…)
New Year’s eve is just around the corner, making this the traditional time for drawing up plans, making resolutions, and setting your goals for the upcoming year.
“This year I’m gonna do this… I’m gonna stop doing that…”
Goal setting is super important and I’m all for it. I hope that you have your goals for the year clearly written out and displayed in a prominent place. But the problem is that people want have their cake and eat it too.
In the popular new age Oprah conception of the world the only thing stopping you is your imagination or – alternately – your lack of belief in yourself.
I always say that this jiu-jitsu stuff is a marathon, not a sprint.
Partially this is because it takes time to remodel your body so that it can do the things you want it to do. It’s also because you need to find and incorporate hundreds of little tricks, tweaks and techniques that work with your body and your ever-evolving style on the mats. (more…)
I just watched a really cool documentary called Jiro Dreams of Sushi (available on Netflix, iTunes, etc.). This 2011 film paints a fascinating portrait of Jiro Ono, an 85 year old master chef who’s been making sushi for 75 years.
Jiro – the protagonist – is a single-minded perfectionist workaholic who hates national holidays because they keep him away from his obsession, which is working on creating the perfect sushi experience for his customers. (more…)
An old training partner sent me a short email yesterday. Here’s what it said:
Several years ago I was discussing the sports psychology and Jiu-jitsu with a friend. We were debating what makes grapplers like Rickson Gracie truly great – what is it that sets him apart from the rest of us? (more…)
Maybe you travel a lot. Maybe you live in a really small town. Maybe the club you used to train at closed down. Maybe it’s just too far to go to train regularly. In any case, training partners or good training environments are sometimes hard to find. So what do you do? (more…)
Stephan’s Note: The following FAQ was first published on the mma.tv forum by ‘The Stewed Owl.’ I thought it was so valuable that I contacted the author and asked him if I could republish it on Grapplearts. He kindly agreed, so here it is!
This FAQ is a work in progress, since the topic of ACL injuries comes up so often. I will refine it and add links when I have time, including the posted experiences of other MMA.TV members such as eabeam and tyrian. (more…)
An Article by Mark Mullen
As I lay gasping on the cold pavement of the Trans Canada Highway, the 18 wheeler that had just plowed me over belching diesel exhaust into my face, my life essence slipping into the next plain of existence, my last thoughts were “Shit!! I never made it to Rio de Janeiro!” (more…)
We sweat, strain, get injured and spend money in order to roll around on the ground with men wearing pajamas.
(Or worse: men wearing spandex…)
So why do we do it? What’s behind this bizarre fascination with grappling? (more…)
Obviously I’ve been building up content on Grapplearts for quite some time now.
Nevertheless I was recently surprised to see that there are now more than 500 articles, tips and blog posts on here now! Not all of them are by me – some are articles by guest authors – but that’s still a heck of a lot of content! (more…)
I found this short Youtube video and voice-over really inspiring and wanted to pass it on.
It has nothing to do with martial arts.
But in a way it has EVERYTHING to do with martial arts! Plus the sports-specific training footage is pretty cool too, and might give you some good ideas for your own conditioning!! (more…)
Life is a balancing act, and most of us have multiple priorities. We have to juggle BJJ with work, family life, relaxation time, etc. A couple of days away from training never killed anybody. In fact, we’re usually refreshed and eager to get back at ‘er when we return! (more…)
There’s nothing quite like watching a smaller, lighter, weaker person use their technique to defeat a bigger, heavier, stronger opponent.
And when it comes to tapping out bigger, stronger, heavier opponents there’s nobody quite like Marcelo Garcia. (more…)
I just got in from an awesome training session, but before I head out and enjoy the sun for a couple of hours I’ve just got to share this with you. You see, a couple of days ago I heard a great quote that’s been rattling around in my brain ever since because it’s totally applicable to BJJ, MMA and submission grappling. (more…)
Erik Paulson is an MMA Master Coach. He’s trained tons of fighters competing at the highest levels of Mixed Martial Arts. And he held the Shooto light-heavyweight title in Japan for 5 years.
He’s also my friend and a mentor. (more…)
I got some good feedback on the last post (Advice for a Frustrated, Clumsy and Uncoordinated Grappler) and want to share a couple of tidbits with you today.
Here’s what one anonymous Australian BJJ student in his thirties had to say (more…)
Fair warning: what I’m talking about today has absolutely nothing to do with martial arts training. But – in keeping with a previous theme – it has everything to do with deliberately facing self-imposed challenges, whatever they may be. (more…)
This may sound a bit weird coming from a guy who runs a grappling site, but I want you to ask yourself a question: why on earth are you spending hours and hours rolling around on the ground with men wearing spandex and/or pajamas? (more…)
A few days ago, while traveling, I made my way down to Dartmouth’s Fitplus gym. That’s where I participated in a BJJ class taught by 6th degree Carlson Gracie black belt, Alexandre Penao. (more…)
One of the tenets of JKD is that one should keep an open mind with regard to other styles. After all, “absorb what is useful, reject what is useless” is a classic Bruce Lee quote.
In general, I find that most BJJ practitioners are relatively open minded when it comes to learning from other styles. (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…)