Thursday, July 31, 2008

Class Log: July 31 -- Morote Seoi Nage, Sit-up Sweep


Excellent work on the mats tonight! Scott covered a lot of nice technique but the main focus was on two pieces of material required for your Blue Belt exam (for a complete list of this material, look for the link to the right of this page, about mid-way down). They are outlined in two videos below:

Morote Seoi Nage (two arm shoulder throw)

In this video, U.S. Olympic coach and champion Mike Swain demonstrates how to perform this throw. Of course, his technique is second to none.

Sit-up Sweep from Guard

I have a special place in my heart for this particular sweep because it was one of the first sweeps I was able to work in live-time against a resisting opponent. Works well with gi or no-gi. In the attached video, Professor Sauer demonstrates the move with superb precision.

Again, keep the focus on working a technique flawlessly, and slow at first. Build good habits before you increase speed. Rinse and repeat!

See you all on the mat -- this Saturday!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Judo and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Perfect Harmony


Check out the attached video of Dan Camarillo, a black belt in both Judo and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. To say that this guy is smooth would be an understatement! His throws and footsweeps are phenomenal. David has trained in Judo ever since he was four, and was awarded his black belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu by Ralph Gracie.

In 1998, Rickson Gracie, at his tournament, awarded David most technical American fighter.

See if you can tell at what point in the highlight clip he begins to incorporate GJJ into his routine. Hint: it's not at 3:04, but that is my favorite part. Don't blink!

See you on the mat -- Thursday night!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The 5 Black Belt Learning Strategies

“What matters is not how many classes you take, but what you take from each class.”

-R. Gracie


If you don't subscribe to the Gracie Insider, I'd highly recommend you sign up to receive it. Each month, you'll receive an email newsletter from the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California, that has training tips and other educational information.

This month's Gracie Insider featured a video (see previous post) about maintaining the mount position. In addition, the newsletter also contained the first of five learning strategies characteristic of a black belt. Tips two through five will be featured in upcoming newsletters, but here's the first one. To sign up for the newsletter, click here.

The 5 Black Belt Learning Strategies

At the Gracie Academy a black belt is awarded to any person who reaches their max potential in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Although any person who trains long enough will eventually be awarded a black belt, it is fascinating how some people do it in much less time than others.

Because the time varies so greatly, people often wonder what the secret is to rapid progress in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Most instructors would tell you that all it takes is hard training as often as possible. At the Gracie Academy we believe that it is not how many classes you take, but what you take from the classes.

Those who progress most rapidly in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu are the ones who know how to learn most effectively. In the each of the next 5 issues of the Gracie Insider, we will be discussing one learning strategy that will help you reach black belt in the least amount of time possible.

Black Belt Learning Strategy #1: Learn Between the Lines

At the Gracie Academy, we pride ourselves in providing super detailed instruction. The problem is that students of ours tend to believe that by simply showing up to class and absorbing all the details, they are reaping all the benefit of the class, when if fact, this is totally wrong.

What they don’t realize is that in any given class, the spoken details only cover 50% of the valuable information presented during the class. The secret to learning between the lines is to take what is said and see what other valuable information you can derive from it.

For example, if we say, “The most important Triangle Choke detail is to control the head,” most people would only infer that they must control the head during the Triangle Choke while the students with more effective learning strategies would also infer that if you are on the receiving end of the Triangle, the most important thing would be to keep your head from getting controlled by your opponent.

By learning to “learn between the lines,” you will benefit doubly from each lesson which is why this learning strategy will unquestionably put you on the fast track to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu mastery.

See you on the mat -- this evening!

Gracie Insider - Thrusting Mount Escape Counter


Here's a great mount defense tip, courtesy of Rener and Ryron Gracie. Work this into your game!

See you on the mat -- tonight!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Class Log: July 26 -- Standing Throws, Attacks from the Back


Excellent job on the mats yesterday! Scott covered three throws and three attacks from the back, which are all requirements for the Blue Belt test in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Remember, repetition is key to developing technique, so don't get discouraged if you learned the material for the first time yesterday and felt frustrated. Even veterans, when learning something new, can struggle a bit at first!

The throws Scott covered were O Goshi (large hip throw), Ippon Seoinage (one arm shoulder throw) and the leg throw. Your entry is critical with each throw. Make sure your hips are lower than your opponents and you have the proper grip.

The attacks from the back included the Monte Leon (the lion killer), the Ezequiel choke, and the transition to the straight arm bar. With the Monte Leon, it's essential that your elbow is directly under your opponent's chin.

When performing the ezequiel choke, the wrist of the hand you've placed around the neck should always be straight. Extend your arms away from your attacker instead of "ripping" to the sides.

The transition to the straight arm bar from the back requires you to be perpendicular to your opponent. Use the initial foot on the hip to help accomplish this. The foot of the leg you swing over your opponent's head should also be in tight to your bottom.

Again, great work everyone! We'll see you all on the mat tomorrow evening!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt Requirements


Wanted to make sure you saw this on the website so I'm also posting it to the blog...the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt requirements. These are the techniques you'll be expected to execute with and without resistance. In addition, you should also be able to explain the general concepts behind such moves and articulate an understanding of why they work.

This is your foundation. Print out the list and refer to it regularly. Use it to structure your training, particularly during open mat. Focus on solid technique and help each other improve!

Click here for the list.

See you all on the mat -- tomorrow!

Marcelo Garcia Highlight Clip


For those who don't know Marcelo Garcia, here's a little background: He has won the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championships at all belt levels (blue, purple, brown and black), and the Submissions Grappling World Championships (ADCC) three times in a row (2003, 2005, and 2007), in which he was voted the most technical competitor in 2003 and 2007.

Here's a highlight of some of his matches. It's an awesome display of technique and skill:

See you on the mat -- tomorrow!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How to Become a Master Pedro Sauer Association Member


We've discussed this in class but we wanted to formally post information on how to become a member in Master Pedro Sauer's Jiu-Jitsu Association.

Remember, in order to attain rank and attend future Master Sauer seminars you need to officially join his association.

This isn't something you need to do immediately, but please consider joining in the near future, especially if you plan to attend the August seminar. Please also list instructor Scott Smith as your affiliate instructor as you complete the application form.

To sign up, please visit http://www.pedrosauer.com/. I've listed below more information on the application process and the benefits of becoming a member. Please see Scott the next time you're in should you have any questions.

Individual Membership

Whether you are a student at a PSBJJA academy, or independent, you will be able to take advantage of the individual member benefits listed below. Cost of membership is an annual fee of $50.

Individual member benefits include:
  • Ability to attain rank under Master Pedro Sauer
  • Official Pedro Sauer Association Emblem Patch
  • Personalized ID card and number. This card will allow you access to the PSBJJA training application currently in production; due out in late 2008.
  • Official listing in the Association History (including instructor lineage and rank)
  • Reduced member rates on future Pedro Sauer Seminars (Association scheduled events starting in 2009)
  • Free Admittance to the PSBJJA Convention (yearly event gathering beginning in 2008 - location/date TBD)
  • Upon receipt of your membership form we will begin processing your information. By mail, you will receive your emblem patch and ID card with your personal ID number.

Thanks -- and we'll see you on the mat -- this Saturday!

This Month's Recommended Reading


New month, new book! Think of your training as a college course. You not only want to feed your mind in class but also out of the class. With this in mind, each month we'll share with you a different book that will complement your training.

There are so many books out there on Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Some are better organized and more detailed than others. Here's a book that I've checked out recently and really enjoy. It was recommended to me by our instructor, Scott Smith, and now we'd like to share it with you.

Don't let the word "basic" scare you away from this book. Remember, as a house is only as strong as its foundation, so is your jiu-jitsu. Keep your jiu-jitsu simple and practice the basics repeatedly. You'll be more successful and have a lot more fun...and be a lot less confused on the mat!

Borders sells it for about $20, but I've found used versions online at Amazon for as low as $14. In fact, click here to go directly to Amazon's site and check out the book yourself.

See you on the mat!

Leticia Ribeiro in Action


I've posted this one in the past, but it's worthy of another entry. Leticia Ribeiro, multiple times women's World Jiu-Jitsu Champion, discusses her training regimen leading up to competition. There are some excellent drills shown, and her technique is superb. She fights out of Gracie Humaitá, Royler's school in Rio. Enjoy!

See you on the mat -- tonight!

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Combinations

Courtesy of Roy Dean.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rickson vs. Royler Gracie


Thought you guys would appreciate this. The video isn't sharp, but the quality of technique displayed by Rickson and Royler more than makes up for it. This was shot in advance of Rickson's Vale Tudo fights of 1995. It's a relic!

How the Best of the Best Get Better and Better


The attached article excerpt, courtesy of the Harvard Business Review, contains some great tips on how to push yourself beyond your current limits and improve performance -- both on an off the mat. You can read the full article here, but below is the executive summary. See you on the mat -- tomorrow night!

How the Best of the Best Get Better and Better
Compete only with yourself, demand relentless feedback, and don’t forget to celebrate, says this sports psychologist and executive coach.

by Graham Jones

What is the real key to elite performance? According to sports psychologist turned executive coach Graham Jones, star athletes and businesspeople share one defining trait: mental toughness. People who become champions aren’t necessarily more gifted than others; they’re just masters at managing pressure, meticulously tackling goals, and driving themselves to stay ahead of the competition.

Jones, who has advised Olympic medalists and Fortune 500 executives, sees many parallels between the arenas of business and sports, especially in the behavior of people who rise to the very top.

These stars have learned to love pressure because it spurs them to achieve. Inner-focused and self-directed, they concentrate on their own excellence and forget the rest. They don’t get distracted by others’ victories or failures—or even by a personal tragedy off the field of competition. Like Darren Clarke, the golfer who inspired his team to a Ryder Cup victory shortly after the death of his beloved wife, elite performers are masters of compartmentalization.

Superstars rebound from defeats more easily, Jones observes, because they don’t engage in self-flagellation. One of the keys to their success is a relentless focus on the long term and the careful planning of short-term goals that will help them attain major milestones. Competition doesn’t daunt elite performers; they just use it to challenge themselves—and they never stop striving. Even after becoming benchmarks in their fields, stars keep their edge by reinventing themselves.

Star businesspeople and athletes also recognize the importance of celebrating their wins. It’s not just the emotional reward that’s important, however: The very best performers also analyze the factors underpinning their success. That helps them build their expertise and their confidence.

Carlos and Helio Gracie Training Video


Here's an early video on Gracie Jiu-Jitsu featuring Carlos and Helio Gracie. This is a relic!

See you on the mat!

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt Examination


Attached is a video of a sample blue belt test, administered by instructor Roy Dean. This is a good example of the technical ability required to achieve the rank of blue belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. This is what differentiates Mr. Dean's school -- as well as Spencer County Martial Arts -- from many other schools.

We preach repetition and quality technique over flash and sass, and we appreciate your constant dedication to developing and honing your skills. A few of you are getting closer to testing for Blue Belt...let this video drive your inspiration.

Keep up the good work and we'll see you on the mat!

Greetings Students...


Just a quick post to get things moving with the new blog. Scott and I plan to write regularly about the jiu-jitsu classes at Spencer County Martial Arts, everything from class summaries and concepts, to book recommendations as well as our philosophies and approaches to teaching. We hope this generates a healthy dialogue and complements your training as well as the information found on our website.

We want your feedback, too! This isn't a one-way conversation by any means. Feel free to post comments or ask us questions. Keep up the hard work and dedication to excellent technique. Stay focused and continue to have fun.

We'll see you all on the mat -- this Thursday!