Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Does religion has a place on the mats?

Does religion has a place on the mats?

It started with the famous Jesus did not tap t shirts.
At the time, it was more related to the market of MMA fans so it just did not bother me.
But recently, there is a new brand of BJJ gi with a religious message: DeuS Fight Co.

Now my question is does religion has a place on the mats?

As an instructor, should I keep the mats a neutral location for learning of Jiu Jitsu without having to influence and put my religious ideas to the students?

It is no secret that some BJJ instructors openly share their views religious and political views on their Facebook: islamophobia, anti-immigrant etc...

What type of role model are they trying to be? 
Is it just easier to advertise their political and religious and attract students that share their beliefs?

Is it fair for the so called role model in our community to be able to influence young members in such ways? 
If they post on facebook, do they preach their views during training and/or after training?

Back in our Dojo, we do bow at the beginning and at the end of the training to the shrine of the Dojo.
It is a tradition from the Shinto religion of Japan. 

Am I being a hypocrite to denounce someone else religious and political agenda while I easily follow a tradition that started thousands of years ago in some foreign countries?

So why do I feel strange when I see instructors and brand name suddenly taking a religious stance?

I suspect it has to be a throw back from my French upbringing where religion was not allowed in public school.

Maybe I think the mats should be treated the same?

Should it be a sacred location where you can train the art without interference of religion or politics?

Laïcité, a product of French history and philosophy, was formalized in a 1905 law providing for the separation of church and state, that is, the separation of religion from political power.


Monday, 29 December 2014

Time must be hard for some professional instructors!

I just read that this professional instructor made a write up that you shall not promote someone else students! Like he ownes the students! Beware of such mentality, that how it starts. 

Friday, 19 December 2014

Training Fee Query

BJJ classes:
Tuesday and Thursday from 6 pm to 7.30 pm

Judo classes:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Saturday 11 am to 12.30 pm,

How much: $20 per week via A/P.

No contract.

Where: 6 Woodhall Road, Epsom, AUCKLAND, NZ.

First class for 2015 is Tuesday 6 jan 2015. 

Happy New Year

Sorry we are closed and will be back on Tuesday 06 Jan 2015

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Silverdale BJJ

If you live around Silverdale, Check out this club.


Training Report: Questions and Answers

For the month of December, we decided to have questions and answers for all our classes.

It is an opportunity for students to ask any questions relevant to BJJ.

Also, it gives a feedback to the instructors if our teaching program is lacking some topics etc..

Yesterday we covered subs from Knee on the Belly.

Also, we started teaching 2 throws as well: Osoto- Gari

We did some Tachi waza and Ne waza.

At the end of the training, we gave some stripes.

Thursday 18 December will be be our last class of the year (nogi).

Thank you for the support.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Limited Gi Edition: Silverback 2015

We released the new 2015 limited edition at the last graduation.
I will be taking order around Feb 2015.

The gi are made for and sold by AMAS.

I just get some patches stitched directly into the gi.

Gi is from Auckland Martial Arts Shop who is located in Queen Street.

The only gi brand I wear for the past 2 years.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Xmas party and graduation pictures

Thank you for the support and hope you enjoyed your year training with us.

New ideas coming up for year 2015!

Just 2 weeks of training and we have a break.

Last training day is Thursday 18 Dec and first class next year is Tuesday 06 Jan 2015.

See you on the mats.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Xmas Party

Just for the club members that are not on facebook I decided to blog about our X mas party.

Time to start the wood fire pizza!

When: Sunday 7 Dec 2015.

Time: from 2 pm

We will supply beer, dough, mozzarella cheese and tomato base.

You bring yourself, drinks and other toppings!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Training Report from Mario: Ecuador and Seminar with Royce Gracie

My recent visit to Ecuador and Seminar with Royce Gracie
Bidokan (www.bidokan.com) is the club that I attended continuously for 6 years in Guayaquil, Ecuador before I moved to Texas for my PhD in 2009. 

Then for the next 4 years whenever I returned to Ecuador for holidays I still practiced there as no BJJ club existed in the college town where I lived. Years later as part of our circling around the world, my wife and I moved to New Zealand in June 2013 and it was until October of the same year that I enrolled Auckland BJJ.

On October 2014, we all (including our 7-month old daughter) went back to Ecuador for holidays. There was the nice coincidence that, at my old club, Royce Gracie was going to teach a seminar just days after our arrival. This was the third of his seminars that I attended but it was the first one where I did not expect any promotion as I am no longer a regular attendee of Bidokan. Anyhow, as any other expatriate when returning to his country all I felt was nostalgia as it had been almost two years since the last time I rolled with old friends

Regarding the seminar, we learnt 16 techniques all addressed for self-defence. 
First day, after warm-up and stretching, Royce showed techniques for standing fight mainly focusing on preventing attacks and closing distance. Some punches and throws were part of the game. After two hours of this, it was the time of some ground work. 
Basically he showed how to break the close guard but with the variant that punches were allowed so butterfly (or any other open) guard was not a good idea, unless you fancy black and sore eyes. Then some heel locks after opening the guard and mounting. 
Second day: warm-up and stretching again, by then I was astonished with Royce Gracie’s flexibility. After reviewing the 8 techniques of the day before, it was now time for head locks. These included the possibility of being smashed against a wall. By the end of the second day Royce opened a Q&A session mostly related to life style, motivation, and nutrition. It was then that you get to meet Royce as an actual person apart from the legend you used to see in first UFC tournaments.
To my surprise this was the first seminar that did not include rolling sessions, but after three and a half hours of hard work and an average temperature of 35oC, we attendees were very happy with the idea. Top lesson learnt (or reminded): no matter what you learn BJJ for, either for life preservation, self-defence or sport, whatever the reason, enjoy it, love it, make it part of your life and never cease to learn.

From left to right: Roberto Bitar, me, Royce Gracie, Christian Cevallos. I’m the only non-black belt so this situation has to be remedied in the couple of years.

Training with my nephew. I took him to Bidokan for the first time when he was 5 years old.

With my older brother (Telmo Fernandez), BJJ is part of our family

My future black belt

Monday, 1 December 2014

Training topic for December

Questions and Answers is the topic for the next 3 weeks.
Think of a question and we will answer.
See you on the mats.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Friday, 28 November 2014

Training report: Turtle

Drills for warm:

Hip bump sweep
scissor sweep
head snap down

double leg take down

Topic of the day
Anaconda and Darce Choke

2 rounds of Tachiwaza (fight for the takedown)
Situation rolling from rolling
Normal rollling

This was the last topic for the year.

From next week, we will be doing Q & A until our last class for the year which Thursday 18 Dec.

We will restart next year on Tuesday 06 Jan.

See you on the mats.