Sunday, March 30, 2008

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Rulez!

Still loving Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training and I mixed in some standup to build MMA experience. I’d strike more often, but considering all the public speaking it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to show up on stage with a black eye or worse. *Amazing that hasn't happened already.* Still pure BJJ is extremely physically demanding and at the same time incredibly cerebral. Skill and by extension belt levels take forever to increase. For example 3 years in I’m still only a blue belt, one up from white, but I have high hopes of earning purple this summer. My 5 year old girl also comes with me all the time so she can learn the moves. Let me tell you, if you let her take your back, she WILL tap you with a rear choke and don’t even mess with the arm bars from the mount. Makes a father proud. :)

As most reading here know I travel quite extensively which makes keeping a weekly BJJ schedule difficult to maintain. So instead of stopping periodically I decided to travel with my Gi everywhere I go. Over the last few months I’ve trained in about two dozen academies across California, Hawaii, Florida, Texas, New York, Winsconsin, and probably some others I’m forgetting. Every academy I’ve been to the instructors are really cool and experienced , having different strengths and weaknesses, but most importantly have chill students where big egos are rare. What surprised me the most is the varying styles. When I first started grappling I simply didn’t appreciate or even notice the subtle differences that I do now.

When I train in other schools I do my best to refrain from tapping people with higher belts than me because of, well, lets just say I had a bad incident. However under no circumstances am I to get tapped by anyone, let alone someone of the same belt level or lower. My instructor gets really emotional about that sort of thing. :) I'm proud to say that I hold my own with any blue belt or even purple for that matter and hope to prove it in competition soon. The few times I’ve had the opportunity to train with a brown I get my ass kicked bad, embarrassing like. While I enjoy developing my skill, my weight is always on my mind cause I want to enter a tournament. I started off BJJ at 300lbs (136kg) and needed get down to 221lbs (100kg) to enter the super heavyweight class.

Currently hovering at about 240lbs, the last couple of months of weight loss has been painfully slow, even though I'm noticeably thinner. That’s probably because I’ve focused more on fat loss and muscle gain to be stronger, faster, with more stamina. One thing I’ve learned is that most people can only physically train 2-3 BJJ hours a day at the most because after that the body just can’t take any more. This is quite different that what I’m used to in technology where I can burn 12-14 hours a day, week in and week out, until I master a given subject. In BJJ this is simply not the case, so when you are in the gym you better make the most of it. I did find that cross-training helps tremendously for fitness on the mat. While my BJJ muscle scream in pain, I can usually still weight lift, run, stretch, swim, or do something else with only moderate discomfort.

Aussie Rules Football is right around the corner so I have to make sure I running stamina is ready to go.

20 comments:

Drazen Drazic said...

It is interesting how many IT dudes are into BJJ and MMA. I did a poll many years ago on Mousel's forum, pre-mma.tv (underground forum) and Sherdog on what everyone did as a day job and most respondents were "professionals" so to speak. Even Elvis Sinosic is an ex-IT dude.

Well you know becoming a blue belt or any belt in BJJ means something. In my days, 2 years at white to make blue was the norm. In the same time, you could achieve almost black belt in other MAs. :-)

While I haven't had the time in many years to train, I can still tap my 5 and 7 year olds at will!

Aussie Rules....come on...the natural progression is rugby!

Jeremiah Grossman said...

@drazen, yah... its really amazing to see actually. Chris Hoff and I stick have yet to lock horns, but the day is coming. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm bringing my gi to RSA, JG.

I get in on Sunday. ;)

If I can't get to your academy, we'll move the furniture out of my room ;)

But then, I'm just a two stripe white @ 175 pounds. I'm sure you'll do just fine...I roll with the blues and purples at my school 5 times a week and tonight a black belt.

Fun stuff.

See you there, bro!

/Hoff

Jeremiah Grossman said...

Right on! This is going to rock.

Anonymous said...

Wow another IT dude into BJJ - so many! I'm only a white belt, working on it ;) here in aus its not quite as easy to get instructors - for instance our instructor is only a purple belt.. he still rolls us, but that's to be expected :)sif play AFL - american football and rugby are the ways to go ^^

Anonymous said...

I wish all you idiot MMA-wannabe's would get stuck in a room together and have to fight your way out to the death...

btw - XSS is not hacking, get some real exploits.

slideyfoot said...

I wonder if the IT/BJJ link is partly due to the importance of the net to both MMA and BJJ. I don't think its an exaggeration to say that the internet had a huge impact on the growth of both these sports, especially MMA, so it would make sense that people who spend most of their time on the net who also have an interest in martial arts might fall into it.

toby said...

You might check out Scott Sonnon's training blog for MMA. http://www.rmaxinternational.com/blog/feed=rss2
You need to do more than BJJ if you really want to cut and be careful of losing muscle mass.

You might also check out articles from www.t-nation.com and from Mike Robertson's blog: http://feeds.feedburner.com/RobertsonTrainingSystems

sandro said...

I have BJJ near me but am 44 years old and out of shape.Have not trained in 7 years in aikido.I looking for somnething I can still do in my 60's.Is BJJ a good art or go back to aikido.

slideyfoot said...

Whatever age you are, its not too old for BJJ. My favourite example when it comes to this question is Tony Penny. He started training at RGA when in his eighties, earning his blue belt in 2007. So while it's a cliché, it really never is too late to start.

There's also a good thread with discussion of training in your later years (especially how to cope with injury, arthritis etc) here.

You could also check out the Roy Harris instructional BJJ Over 40 (for more thoughts on that DVD, see Bullshido)

Further BJJ beginner advice on my FAQ.

Jeremiah Grossman said...

@sando, there are guys in our academy who are in their mid-forties and kick ass, however grappling is extremely hard on the body. When you first start getting into it, it'll make you feel for months like you've been in a car wreck, no joke. Injuries are also extremely common, at all ages, that's just the reality of it. If that's acceptable to you, go for it, because it is a lot of fun. If you are a different place in your life then perhaps alternatives should be considered.

Either way, it should be simple enough to try it out for a class or two at a local academy and see what you think.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that any new martial art style comes in new schools pop up from everywhere and charge an arm and a leg like BJJ schools..

slideyfoot said...

Supply and demand - its still a new sport, having only gone international from the mid to late '90s.

Once there are large numbers of high level black belts, prices will drop: see judo for where BJJ costs should hopefully be in the future, or the relatively inexpensive training available in Brazil.

Anonymous said...

question I'm 6'5 350lbs is brazilian jiujitsu a good choice i hear it's better made for smaller guys and i'm 44 years old

Jeremiah Grossman said...

Absolutely. When I started I was 300lbs. If you train hard, expect to lose 50lbs easily. When it comes to size, not all the moves are suitable for someone your size, but then again, you'll have advantages the smaller guys will only dream of. :)

Anonymous said...

i started bjj should i weight train or let the bjj training do that for me..Did'ntthe orgin of bjj did'nt use weights

Jeremiah Grossman said...

I think it depends on what you are looking to get out of weight training. While weight training is not strictly necessary for BJJ, I've personally found it useful, specifically circuit training. Low weight, multiple sets of muscle failure reps, separated by cardio. Doing this 3x per week helped me cut fat and increase strength-stamina for sparring without gaining large muscle mass.

Anonymous said...

I just started taking bjj and hav'n fun.During warm ups we had to do rolls i used to do them in aikido for years.After the second roll i banged up my right shoulder pretty bad now i can't bend it a certain way i know it's not broken just discomfort.I ice it for hours at a time.I want to know how long can i get back to bjj.

Jeremiah Grossman said...

Sorry to hear that, injuries are very common in BJJ, even when not sparring. If the shoulder is particularly bad, its a good idea to see a doctor and make sure you didn't tear or dislocate anything. Aggrivating a shoulder injuring can easily make the problem a lot worse. I did that myself and Im paying for it now. Shoulders take forver to heal and its hard to know exactly when that is. In my case, anti-inflamitories medication is helping as is stretching and light exercises. For the long term, increase your strength and flexibility as much as you can. I recommend band training. Hope this helps.

V Ribbed Serpentine Belts said...

Last night was the first time in a long time that I remembered my dreams. When i was training in Gracie Jiu Jitsu, would get lost in new ways to throw an armbar, different transitions to knee on belly, new turtle defenses. These techniques would seep into my dreams. Some actually worked, others were strickly imagination. Last night, I dreamt of a new takedown, a new gi choke, a new way to isolate an arm to set an straight armbar or a kimura.

I must get back into training. now to find a school I can afford thats nearby that i like....