Friday, 31 July 2015

Training report Part 2: Triangle

This week is guard submission topic.

Serge taught the triangle on Tuesday

While Stu took the blue belts to drill their techniques for our new experimental class.

Warm up drills

Spider guard pass, framing from bottom side control

Throw of the week was Ko Uchi Gari

Normal Tachi Waza sparring and drilling as well

We had our usual one hour of rolling on Tuesday.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Training report Part One: Experiment

This week, we are experimenting a new format for our advanced students (blue belts on wards).

They will get to drill their favorites techniques.

If they do not have a specific techniques to drill, the black belt instructor will supply them with drills.

The idea is to get them to think on their own and develop their own skills.

From blue belts, we do not want to spoon feed our students.

We want to encourage them to learn, research and drill on their own.

If people like this style, we might alternate every week.

See you on the mats.

Below is our introduction program

Below is our introduction to intermediate guard (from blue belt on wards)

Andree Galvao views on drilling techniques.

Below is a video of Kit Dale that does not like drilling.

More write up of drilling pros and cons

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Topic for this week: Submissions

We have completed the positions sequence and are now entering the guard actions (submissions,
passes. sweeps and half guard games).

If you want to learn triangle, arm bars, cross chokes.

This is the week.

See you on the mats.

New BJJ classes in North Shore, Auckland

Fernando is now teaching at ETK Northshore.

Fernando is a BJJ brown belt and also a Judo Black Belt.

So his throwing skills are top notch.

Call Fernando on 021 0453547

60-62 Mokoia Rd, Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand 

Monday, 27 July 2015


I just saw this meme that makes no
sense apart showing how ignorant people are. 
To start with, anyone should learn how to sweep and pass the guard. 
Berimbolo is a technique for sweeping (also known as inverted de la Riva)
Sweeping from your guard is a vital skill just like a passing. 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Last 2 BJJ competitions for the year

  • 19 September 2015 – Gi Nationals
    for Adults & Kids (Auckland)
  • 7 November 2015 – No-Gi Regionals for Adults & Kids (Auckland)
NZ grappler runs the best competition in Auckland. 
I hope they run a double elemination system and also if they have a masters division. 

Start dieting if want to compete and aim for a lower weight category. Do not wait until the last week to make weight. 

Saturday, 25 July 2015

What is Luta Livre?

We do know much about Luta Livre apart the fact they do not train with the GI, that it originated from Brasil and was the rival of Gracie Jiu Jitsu for many generations. Videos of Luta Livre are rare and it is great to see Luta Livre Black Belt Nico Welco released some technical videos on his you tube account.

Luta Livre is a complete Brazilian martial art, which is primarily a mixture of Catch wrestling and Judo. Luta Livre is a Brazilian based martial art that was created by Euclydes Hatem.[1][2] Euclydes Hatem went by the name of Tatu.[3] It was designed in Rio de Janeiro and means "free fight" in Portuguese(cf. "freestyle wrestling") also known as Brazilian Wrestling, or Sport wrestling. There are also striking techniques with hands, feet, knees and elbows. The name "Luta" is Portuguese for "Fight" and "Livre" for "Free", roughly meaning "Free fighting".[4] There are two styles known as "Luta Livre Esportiva" and "Luta Livre Vale Tudo". Both styles are no-gi. Noticeable practitioners are Marco Ruas, Ebenezer Fontes Braga, Johil de Oliveira, Alexandre Franca Nogueira and Renato Sobral

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Mario teaching Self Defense Gracie Jiu Jitsu

Thanks Mario for teaching self defense.

Mario will be teaching this new program under the supervision of the black belt instructors.

Mario joined our club in 2013 from Ecuador.

Mario received his purple belt from the Bidokan Ecuador (Prof. Roberto Bitar Cabezas)

The Bidokan is a Royce Gracie affiliate and teach traditional Gracie Jiu Jitsu with a strong focus in self defense.

We are very happy to offer this important and vital aspect of Jiu Jitsu.

BJJ sponsorship: Fuji Mae

In the previous article, we mentioned that Fuji Mae Martial Arts Supplies store sponsored the first
Artaxias (BJJ subs only event).

I am glad to announce that Fuji Mae is sponsoring more events and teams (that are hosting events): the Maori Nationals, Combat Room, Mai Dojo, Southern Tribes Manawatu to name a few.

The last 4 sponsored competitors are Jay Jay Wilson, Philip Allsop, Steven Matthews, Alex Scott.

Cheers to Fuji Mae to help the sport grow in New Zealand.

If you want look at their website or facebook

The curse of the blue belt and the pyramid of needs

In past articles, I wrote about the curse of the blue belt and the many reasons why people quit training
after the blue belt.

In this article, I would like to introduce the concept of the pyramid of needs.
Yes, it sounds like an Indiana Jones movie title.
It is about understanding what drives the students and at what stage of the pyramid each individual is at.
Therefore you can understand their needs and help them.
You will be able to retain them by helping them reaching to the different layers of the pyramid.
Instead of expecting them to fit in your "mould".
Everyone is different.
You cannot create a unique mould for all your students.

What is the pyramid of needs?

It is actually called the
"Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper "A Theory of Human Motivation" in Psychological Review.[2] Maslow subsequently extended the idea to include his observations of humans' innate curiosity. His theories parallel many other theories of human developmental psychology, some of which focus on describing the stages of growth in humans. Maslow used the terms "physiological", "safety", "belongingness" and "love", "esteem", "self-actualization", and "self-transcendence" to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through."

Level 1 is Physiological.
I do not think we can do much in that part. However, there is couple of cases which come in mind. Jose Also moved to the Favelas of Rio in order to train BJJ at Nova Unio, the instructor realised that he was hungry and fed him. Also, Jacare was rescued from the streets by his BJJ instructor as he ran away from the local mafia from his town. 

Level 2 is Safety
This is where martial arts come to play. The need of the individual to feel safe and therefore seek to protect themselves by learning a martial art. How many BJJ gyms are just interested into sport only and are not interested in self-defence?

Level 3 is love and belonging
This is where BJJ strives the best at. They actually go overboard sometimes. But a strong feeling of friendship, team and family is present to most BJJ gyms. It is a great feeling and intoxicating. The team is stronger than the individuals. Sometimes people do not want to leave their gym in fear to be labelled as a traitor.

Level 4 is Esteem
"All humans have a need to feel respected; this includes the need to have self-esteem and self-respect. Esteem presents the typical human desire to be accepted and valued by others. People often engage in a profession or hobby to gain recognition. These activities give the person a sense of contribution or value. Low self-esteem or an inferiority complex may result from imbalances during this level in the hierarchy. People with low self-esteem often need respect from others; they may feel the need to seek fame or glory. However, fame or glory will not help the person to build their self-esteem until they accept who they are internally. Psychological imbalances such as depression can hinder the person from obtaining a higher level of self-esteem or self-respect"

Level 4 is Self-Actualisation

Every students has different views on self-actualisation. 
One person will like to be a good parent or a good competitor or an instructor. 
Some students just want to stay fit and do not want to get involved with gym matters.
The instructor need to assess the need of each individuals. 
Not everyone wants to be a full time competitor or earn a black belt in order to open a BJJ gym,

If you like this article, you can read the below links

Thursday, 16 July 2015

BJJ Health: take care of your Psoas and BJJ back pain

During my last visit for my Hellerwork treatment/clinic, we worked on the Psoas Muscles.
Allan explained in great details why they are so important for our body movement.
They directly involved into controlling our legs which means our BJJ guard.
The session aim was to "wake" up those muscles as I was not using them as much I should do.
Other muscles were compensating for that negligence.
Over compensating meant sharp pain in affected areas.

The next day, I was rolling using my favorite spider and it was sharp and crisp and no longer felt in pain.

We did one hour rolling and I did not get any back pain the next day.

So what are the Psoas?

Where and What is My Psoas?
The Psoas is one of the largest and thickest muscles in the body. It attaches to the vertebrae of your lower back, and the head of your femur (thigh bone).
The Psoas is primarily responsible for hip and thigh flexion and has a lot of influence over your lumbar posture and the way your hips are positioned.
When you’re sitting for a prolonged period of time, your Psoas is in a shortened position. Leave it for long enough, and it will start to think this is normal. Your tissues want to move into that resting position. Leaving you tight & contracted.
Incorrect posture during standing and walking (which is often caused by a tight Psoas) will leave it even tighter and harder to loosen.

By incorporating poses that strengthen and lengthen the psoas, you can release habitual muscle-holding patterns, improve your low-back alignment, and create a more balanced posture

What Can Cause Psoas Pain or Injury?

"When [the psoas] is not working well, it is a major problem for anyone," says Iannetta. The muscle can cause pain for several different reasons. Tightness and shortness of the muscle are the most common pain triggers. 
A person with a short psoas muscle can find limitation as well as pain in their hip movements. Iannetta warns that sitting for extended periods of time can shorten the psoas, causing the muscles to tense and remain tense. People who live more sedentary lives or work at their desks for hours on end are at a higher risk for psoas pain or injury.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Picture of Tonicao with Flavio Berhing

Great picture of Coral belt Antonio Collares "Tonicao" with red belt Flavio Behring.

Flavio Behring is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Red Belt who was taught the martial art by both Helio Gracie and João Alberto Barreto. Apart from Flavio Behring’s personal contribute to BJJ, he also fathered two of the sport’s biggest stars in the 1980’s, Sylvio and Marcelo Behring

For more posts about Antonio Collares "Tonicao"

Training report: Knee on the belly

Drills to warm up
sit belt control to back control re-composition.

framing from side control

side control escape to turtle roll

single leg takedonw.

Igor who is back from Brasil taught a nice set up to triangle from top side control

Serge taught the knee on the belly: concept, escape and subs (far arm bar, close arm bar and baseball choke).

Then situational rolling from side control.

Take down sparring

Training concluded with 1 hour of rolling

Some students left at 7.30 pm and the rest continued to spar until our new closing time for sparring on Tuesday at 8 pm.

Thursday will be part 2 of knee on the belly
I think we just roll until 8 pm again.

See you on the mats.

Friday, 10 July 2015

NZ grappler Fitness Expo Submission Only Tournament

What to do in Auckland this weekend?

Go down and watch some submission only tournament at the Fitness Expo.

Saturday is Gi and Sunday is Nogi.

ASB Showgrounds
217 Greenlane Road West, Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand 1344

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Once we were warriors part 2: The Gracie Challenge

In order to prove their martial art, the Gracies offered an open challenge to the public.

Carlos Gracie went to the local newspaper and put an ad.

For generations, the Gracies fought challengers from every martial arts styles.

The challenge were fought under vale tudo rules most of the times.

Once Rorion Gracie moved to the USA, he kept the tradition of the Gracie challenge like the rest of the Gracie clan.

Rorion also organised the first UFC in order to promote Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

The videos below are called Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Action.

It is made from videos from such challenge matches.

Training report: single leg takedown and side control

We have a new set of drills for warm up: framing from side control, side control to single leg, back
take drills.

PK visited us from Otorohanga and taught a single leg takewdown,

He also gave some tips on posturing for wrestling and fighting for the underhook.

Topic of the week is side control.

Serge taught the fundamentals (concept, side controls escapes and subs).

While Stu taught the advanced side control, it was more submissions focused and with judo scarf hold as well.

Then we had situational rolling, take downs sparring and normal sparring.

Next week topic will be Knee on the Belly topic.

See you on the mats.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Update on my treatment at the Hellerwork Structural Intergration

I completed 3 out of the 11 sessions.

So far so good.

I went in with a sore back and I no longer feel the pain.

He worked on different body parts and I could see physical difference right after the session.

The changes last as well.

In simple terms, it is a similar concept of the wheels alignment.

If something is out of alignment, it will cause pain somewhere else in your body.

Too many changes to quote but a few that are worth mentioning.

My shoulders are almost sitting at the same height.
Now, I am actually walking straight and my hips swigs in the normal manner.

Before that, I was walking like a duck and it locked my spine.
Breathing has improved as he re ajusted the thoracic cage.

He also worked on my shoulders that went sore after many years of sparring in BJJ.
Apparently, my shoulder blade rotation and hips were ok but he still worked on them.
My posture has improved and my head is sitting a little bit higher that I am used to.

I am actually forward to complete the 11 sessions.

But be aware that some of the sessions can be painful as he works on the soft connective tissue.
Nothing that I am not used to after years of training BJJ but I must admit I was about to tap out a couple of times. LOL

To conclude, I want to spend the rest of my life learning this art.

It is uncanny.

Happy 4th of July for our American readers

Americans are our second highest readers of our blog after New Zealand
We had 29839 page views so far.
Thank for the support.

Some videos of American competitors that won the IBJJF world cup.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

How to improve your Jiu Jitsu skills?

Take control of your learning.

Learn the name of every techniques (sweeps, positions, guards, submissions etc..).

Create a game plan/blue print and use it for sparring.

Analyse the success or failure of your game plan and how you can improve it.

Self analysing can be difficult. So do not hesitate to talk to your instructors and other students. We all have been the up and downs of the learning curve in BJJ. I am sure you can provide you feedback and ideas.

Watch and learn from videos online.
I put videos on our training reports for that purpose.
The idea is not to expect to be spoon fed information like you were in primary school.
I think the videos are great additional tool for learning.
They were not available when I started learning BJJ.

Also a new trend of BJJ videos are coming out which are more concept base than technical based.

Now, one of the pitfalls of watching too many videos or trying to incorporate too many new techniques in your game plan is apparent.
Try to stick to a simple game plan and work from there as you are building the foundation.

After a while, you will notice that you will succeed on your game plan.

But the success will be short lived as your sparring partners will catch on your game plan and will start developing counters to it.
For example, at one time my scissor sweep was awesome until everyone took notice and start to sprawl as soonest I tried to set it up.
It forced me to adapt and I had to come up with a new sweep. It was great because this is how I build an arsenal of techniques. This is what I call BJJ technical warfare.

Our classes are based on a cycle of 12 topics to help out figuring Jiu Jitsu via positions and actions.
Positions are Mount, Back, Side Control, Knee on the belly, North South and Turtle
Actions are Guard subs, guard passes and guard sweeps.
It is not the perfect system to learn as no teaching system is perfect.

They all are pro and cons.
If you are interested in such write up.

Once we were warriors

This is a documentary on the legendary Rickson Gracie. 
That was back in the days when the Gracies fought to prove the art.

A must watch for BJJ fans.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Training report: Back position

This week, we taught the position of back control, back escape and back escapes.

The throw of the week was just  arm drag.

Situational rolling was from back control.

A couple of rounds of sparring for takedowns.

Then training concluded with rolling (sparring from our knees).

If you are free on Saturday, you can attend open mats at Douglas Santos Academy.

Open mats starts from 11 am and usually last for 90 minutes.

You can enter and leave when you feel like it.

It is not a formal class, it is just rolling (sparring).

If you are looking for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Club, we are located in Epsom.

Come down for a free class.

Next week, we will teaching side control.

Have a good weekend

See you on the mats.