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среда, 15 октября 2014 г.

Bruno Malfacine

One of the most incredible jiu jitsu players in the GI today in my opinion. Exceptional mobility, great passer and guard player, very fun to watch.

Nicknamed "Bad Boy" this guy has beaten some of the greatest in the lighter divisions and also has demonstrated in my eyes that really technique can defeat much larger opponents if you have the speed and cardio that you can use to your advantage.

I have to say I am inspired by this guy.

Moscow Russia BJJ Scene

Very exciting to see that the Russian BJJ scene and Moscow in particular is booming. IBJJF is organizing the first ever event in town which hopefully will be a great success and for sure a big step to making the sport more organized over here.

Most tournaments so far focused on BJJ have really lacked the organization structure as well as proper conditions to popularize the sport. Now it seems many Russia-based BJJ players have a great opportunity to compete at the famous CSK Arena in Moscow.

It seems Moscow has already around 5-6 clubs operating and teaching brazilian jiu jitsu and several more in St. Petersburg. With the number of competitors growing, hopefully in a couple of years we see more and more exciting fighters going on to the Europeans to compete with some of the best players from Brazil, USA and of course other European countries.

Some of the top BJJ clubs competing include Gracie Barra, Ribeiro International, Stone Fight and Strela Team.

Come and register for the IBJJF Moscow Open to be held on the 7th-8th of November 2014!


вторник, 3 июня 2014 г.

Competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

While it may have been the original intention of Helio Gracie's to develop a martial art for real life combat, sport jiu jitsu is flourishing around the world and growing at an impressive pace. The United Kingdom is just one example of this. While 10-15 years ago there was almost no opportunity to train the art form/sport, now there is a good selection of clubs to choose from with many of the established teams operating in the country including Gracie Barra, Checkmat and many others. There are dozens of competitions around and there are rising stars that have trained in the UK that are slowly gaining prominenance. Perhaps it will not be long until we see the first UK born black belt world champion.

Whether you like competition or not, there is no denying that the sport aspect of BJJ sharpens skills and the fighter's abilities. To see this, you only have to go to a full-time BJJ academy and spar with a competition-focus player or a blue/purple full time athlete. These guys are often miles ahead of their peers both technically as well as in terms of athleticism. Just remember how Draculino said it about the blue belt - the blue belt is not a joke. Some blue belts submit brown belts!

After all just look at the top players in the game and the ease with which they can man handle even good level black belts. There is a huge difference between a casual jiu jitsu player that trains 2-3 times a week and often teaches instead of training, and a serious player, that is completely focus on his goals, training every day, improving his conditioning and doing all the extras: eating right, getting enough sleep, taking care of the body.

Self defense is part of the curriculum but I think you should have a choice. If I'm 20 or 30 years old, I would rather achieve something on the competition circuit and make my mark. After all I can focus on self-defense aspects later if that is what I'm interested in.

I think there is nothing more fun is to go as a team to a major competition and represent. Your instructor at your side its a great opportunity to learn and understand where you have to improve. At white belt, I learnt that I need to develop my guard. At purple I am now getting more focused on my guard passing game.

The competition environment is very different to a sparring session. After a while you get used to it, but it is important to learn how to perform under pressure and focus on technique.

понедельник, 3 февраля 2014 г.

Classic Quote from ArtChoke Media Book!

"In a comparison of coolness, the berimbolo will always trounce the scissor sweep. The scissor sweep is 
your 1995 Ford Escort. Yeah, it starts, and it’s mostly reliable. It will get you from point A to point B and back again. But the radio only picks up AM stations. The windows are manual. And you are pretty sure your back seat doubles as a stray cat brothel when the sun goes down.

The berimbolo is the Fisker Karma. Haven’t heard of it? That’s the same way most jiu-jiteiros reacted when the word “berimbolo” started loating around jiu-jitsu forums, and no one could decide how to pronounce it. The Fisker Karma earned Esquire Magazine’s award for 2012 Most Gorgeous Debut Car of the Year. Henrik Fisker is a former Aston Martin designer who launched his own car design firm in America. The Fisker Karma is his baby, and Esquire described it as “polarizing, gutsy, and a little unbelievable.” It is the sexiest hybrid in the world. Sleek. Shapely. The body seems to ripple like the muscles of a wild animal and the curves beckon like a siren. "

If you would like to read the book by Artechoke media, here is the link, enjoy!


четверг, 30 января 2014 г.

How Often Do You Train BJJ?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a sport where hard work and dedication matters a lot more than talent. While from time to time you will see guys that have a background in grappling and will come in doing well as white belts, as time goes by if they are not putting in the mat time hours, you will see their abilities relative to you reduce somewhat.

This is what happened from my experience. When I was starting out as a fresh white belt, I trained at most 3-4 times per week, often missing sessions due to work obligations and I think in reality achieving perhaps 3 sessions on average per week.

I would slowly progress, starting out right at the bottom of the food chain. Bigger white belts would have trouble with me and blue belts would really have me for breakfast most of the time, either submitting me or at the very least passing my guard and dominating me.

I really looked up to some of the purples though. We had some very good ones (or it seemed to me so) that had some other grappling style background and who seemed to me invincible at the time.

A few years went by. Got my blue belt but really did not make much of it at the time. Yes I could do ok against most beginners but when you had someone who knew what to do, I continued to have a lot of trouble.

Nowadays as I continue to mature as a blue belt the situation is starting to change and it amazes me how vastly different the improvement is for each bjj student. Some guys who I started out training with and who were a lot more experienced than me at the time seem considerably weaker, with their game no longer as solid as I remember it.

I remember I trained with two blue belts in the beginning that from time to time submitted me even though I would give it my all just to make life hard for them. Nowadays however these same guys, because they did not train regularly would be happy if they can score anything on me at all.

The purples however is a different story. Some of the guys that progressed to purple long ago or were purples when I started now seem tough but in a different way. For me they have lost their invicibility aura somehow. For sure they are still very good, but now as I continue to train I feel they are beatable.

Jiu Jitsu is all about investing mat time to improve. You have to spend the time and you have to train with the best at what they do. You will improve and when you do it will be the best feeling. Training is what gets you from struggling against your sparring partners to anhilitating them and tearing through the comps. It also makes jiu jitsu more fun for sure especially if you are a lighter guy :) there is just that element of enjoy when you can dominate a bigger or stronger dude especially if he has been training longer than you have.

четверг, 16 января 2014 г.

Casual to Serious Training

Most of us are training and enjoying the jiu jitsu lifestyle every day. You come to practice and normally you do ok against guys of the same grade. Some lower grades you can demolish while higher grades tend to beat you in sparring. One day however you meet the bjj competitor breed though....

This is a special breed of sparring partner. From my experience there is always one or two guys at an average decent academy that is just way above the rest for their grade. It might be a guy that trained in wrestling or judo since early child hood but not necessarily. Sometimes its a guy that just trains a lot and by a lot I mean A LOT more than everybody else. 

The thing is no matter how talented you are, or athletic or what you did before bjj, if you train a lot you catch up.. you close gaps in your game and evolve into a fighter that can hold his own against guys that have been doing bjj much longer timewise.

There is just a different approach when it comes to serious players. If casual bjj players would normally train 2-3-4 sessions per week, most serious players would train at least 6 classes a week which is when your improvement speed starts to kick in and you begin to feel that you are developing faster your partners. 

Most serious players would train twice a day every day or more and this makes all the difference. Guys at the top of the major IBJJF stands train often and once you start taking the sport seriously it starts to bring in good results. 

Once you start feeling progress I think its really time to get even more motivated by competing. Competition is an excellent driver. A good start is to take part in the local bjj circuit. Smaller comps is a great start and an excellent incentive for your training. You now have a goal to work towards and something you can work together with your partners helping each other in training and then going out and competing together against guys from other schools. Over time you move forward and progress to bigger competitions and tougher guys and I think this is where it gets really interesting to see for many, how far they can go and improve.

среда, 21 августа 2013 г.

Passing the Guard

Passing the guard in my opinion is one of the most important components of the BJJ game and the reason for the success of such all time greats as Roger Gracie and Rodolfo Viera.

My thinking is that first you need to develop a strong bottom game, a good guard. Which one you prefer is upto you, whether closed guard, open guard, half guard. I prefer the half guard because I have a lot of moves from this position and I give a hard time for my opponents trying to pass me.

The second most important component is passing. 50% of the time you spend on top and here you have to first work your passing before trying to go for any submissions and controlling your opponent.

There are basically two types of passes available - 1) standing speed passes (e.g. Torreando pass) trying to pass the legs from standing and 2) passess from the knees mainly through applying pressure to the opponent

There is a multitude of different passes and I think the trick is to find the ones that work for you and perfect them. Here is a video of Rodolfo Viera passing technique that I found useful and fits well with my passing game: