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In English history a man of valor and dignity who excelled in the arts of combat and social amenities was rewarded with the title of Knighthood. A designation which let it be known to all that he was a man not only of honor, but also of great fighting ability. This was true in Japan where the same type of men were called Samurai. In neither country was the man nor his rank to be taken lightly. For the prowess and title of each commanded respect! At this time both of these countries consisted of feudal states in which men, like the knights and samurai, were a necessary product of the social conditions in which the lived. A situation which does not exist today. Yet the desire for a man to excel in a martial art, for discipline and self-defense, still exists. Today a man strives initially in the martial arts to become a “Black Belt”to learn to fight or for the sport. But as his training progresses he should become aware of a stronger calling, the molding of himself into a better person, not only in fighting ability but also in dignity and honor. This has traditionally been the goal of the martial arts student. The black belt is an award or honor given to the modern knight or samurai who has sacrificed many hours in disciplining and honing his body and mind to achieve the epitome of physical and mental attainment. The black belt is the symbol of an expert. Originally, the ranking system was established to provide a series of levels by which students could measure...


DRILLING THE BASICS FOR BJJ SUCCESS The best athletes in the world all have something in common.They spend thousands of hours drilling and practicing technique outside of practice. The top basketball players spend hours shooting free throws on top of the work they are getting during practice. Baseball players spend time outside of practice throwing and catching. Unfortunately, most Brazilian jiu jitsu athletes do not take the time to drill outside of practice. Everyone gets excited to roll at the end of class, but rarely does that excitement show for drilling. Yet, drilling is one of the best things you can do to improve your Brazilian jiu jitsu. Types of Drilling and Programming  Drilling can improve many aspects of your BJJ game, including technical skill, timing, and conditioning. Most drills fall into two categories: technical drills or movement drills. So, the first thing to decided is what you want to drill. Some students like to drill the techniques they are learning in class, while others like to drill positions or techniques they are struggling with. After you decide what to drill, you must program it into your  routine I like to program drills using repetition or time:   Repetition drilling: Set a timer for five to ten minutes. Choose one technique and perform five reps each side. Then, your training partner does five reps each side. Keep alternating for the allowed time. Timed drilling: This approach is done for speed and works best for movement-based drills. Set a timer for thirty seconds to one minute and do as many repetitions as you can in that time. Then, your partner goes. This type...


THE 5 PHASES EVERY BJJ NEWBIE HAS TO GO THROUGH Talking with students daily about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has allowed me to look at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from a different perspective. I hear students express their frustrations about Brazilian jiu jitsu. I also hear about their successes. This got me thinking about the phases students go through when they first start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Below is a list of the phases I’ve seen new students experience: Phase One: Just Lost This is the „I have no idea what is going on“ phase. During the first phase you are just lost. You don’t know where to line up, how to tie your belt, or how to perform any of those strange-looking hip escapes. Your body doesn’t want to work as one. Your arms move or your legs move, but moving them at the same time is difficult. You cannot stand up in someone’s guard without stumbling. Better yet, you are unsure what the guard is in the first place. Phase Two: Moving Better During Phase Two, you start to move better. You can make it through warmups without wanting to vomit. Techniques are still difficult, but you are able to understand them better. You still get exhausted rolling, but you try new techniques instead of rolling around not knowing anything. This is also the phase where students get frustrated because they feel their techniques are not working. Phase Three: Feeling Good Once Phase Three hits, you feel good and move better. You are no longer the “new student.“ There are a few students who just started and you get to line up in front of them. When you roll with them you are...