On Training

Your Unconscious Opponent: Don't Lift Their Feet, There's A Better Recourse

Your Unconscious Opponent: Don’t Lift Their Feet, There’s A Better Recourse

See the video here, to learn the basic procedure for moving an unconscious (but regularly breathing) person from their back to the “recovery position.”  In the recovery position, their airway is cleared, any danger of choking on their tongue is lessened, and they are in a safe position in which to awaken. There is no research […]

Take The BJJ Intensity Personality Test

Take The BJJ Intensity Personality Test

On an intensity scale of 1-10, what number do you spend most of your time rolling at? Not in competition, where it’s understandably high, but in class, where most of your growth happens. Which of these is your intensity level MOST of the time? 9 or 10 Only an unwise, or high level, few dare […]

The Circle of Safety, or, the Pizza of Peril

Where On This Chart Do You Spend Most Of Your Sparring Time?

Think of your time in BJJ sparring is thought of in terms of when you’re safe, and when you’re in danger (with tapping being an irremovable piece of the game). This graph came in my head the other day, and I thought it useful: Any beginner would agree, it’s hard to feel safe anywhere. They […]

Lisa and me with Professor Pedro Sauer

I Went For My Brown Belt, And All I Got Was This Faixa Marrom

Last Friday, I received my brown belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu from Professor Pedro Sauer. It was the first time I had ever tested for a belt, and the preparation and test itself were grueling, but very worth it! I hadn’t tested before because I was a student of Royce’s until last year. Royce doesn’t […]

How To Make Every Day A "Good Training" Day

How To Make Every Day A “Good Training” Day

I was talking to one of my students lately about her occasional frustration with training. The more she described her frustration, the more I realized that the problem was with her goals. What Is A “Bad” Day Training? For my student, bad days were described, in part, as “being helplessly stuck on the bottom for […]

"Oss" In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

“Oss” In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

When Lisa and I were training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Brazil last summer, Rolker Gracie led a class, and many American and Australian students in the room were saying “Oss,” as I have heard it appear and be used for the last few years: to acknowledge the instruction, and indicate a collective affirmation that we […]

Returning From A Jiu Jitsu Hiatus

This post originally appeared on submissionsinc.com on 2/18/11, when I had freshly returned to the mat. Over 3 years later, I’m happy I found a way to return with a good attitude, and didn’t quit, which is so easy to do when faced with the tribulations of a less-than-triumphant return. It was just about the […]

The BJJ Curriculum: Structuring The Chaos

The BJJ Curriculum: Structuring The Chaos

When I was a white belt, I yearned badly for a move-by-move BJJ curriculum, and also for sign posts to let me know where I was on my path (toward advancement). Not having one, and, in fact, being told that having one would be a mistake, was frustrating to me. I agitated to be given […]

How To Beat The "Brat" On The Mat

How To Beat The “Brat” On The Mat

Be this kid for a second… Scrunch your nose up. Turn down the corners of your mouth. Now, with the most shrill, child-voice you can muster, say “BUT I WANNA!” Really punctuate “wanna” with a foot stomp or a crack in your voice. Struggle with your arms like a 3 year old wrenching free and […]

"Beltlust" ... How Much Do You Think About BJJ Belt Promotions?

“Beltlust” … How Much Do You Think About BJJ Belt Promotions?

We hold great respect for those with higher belts. They are our teachers, our best training partners, and the sparring opponents our pride sometimes fears we’ll be paired with. It’s only natural that we seek to become like those we hold in high regard, including their snappy cummerbund. I’m pleased to say that last weekend […]