Monday, July 25, 2011

To Stripe or Not To Stripe in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

I have been to and trained at a lot of BJJ schools and I have noticed that in some Jiu-Jitsu schools they don’t give stripes on student belts. I had trained at the Las Vegas Combat for a couple years when I lived in Las Vegas and they didn’t give stripes to students either.   They even laughed when the mention of stripes came up.

I want to say that not striping students can be a great moral wrecker and a lousy way to keep the  students of your school.  I will even go one step further and say that in BJJ we need to have MORE belts. I know that in a few schools they are starting to implement the green belt right before blue.  I think this is a great idea.  I think we also need to have an advanced blue belt, advanced purple belt and an advanced brown belt thrown in the mix.  This will keep our students motivated.  It’s a mighty long haul from blue to purple and this is where most of the students quit in BJJ.  Why not help them stay motivated?   

If you say “No Way” to the new belt idea then I suggest we get back to our roots and we keep just two belts..the white and black belt.  You can stay a white belt for ten years.  Who needs motivation?

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Thursday, July 21, 2011


I think one of the most difficult things for a human being to do is admit that they have fear in a given situation or for an upcoming event.  American Male Culture seems to act like the absence of fear is a good thing and it makes one a tough person.  I think of MMA  most when I think of this.  The fighters never act scared but I assure you, they are pissing their pants.
I subscribe to the theory that if you don’t have fear, trepidation or concern in certain situations then something is wrong with YOU.  Fear is vital for human survival.  It is a positive thing and is nothing more than our bodies telling us that it is concerned about what is about to happen and we need to pay some serious attention.  It’s like a child screaming.  If a person ignores the child then the child will typically yell even louder bugging us to death.  But if they first acknowledge the child screaming, then one can typically take action and get it to calm down after a short time. The child just wants attention and so does a person’s brain. 
I have been frightened, scared, hesitant, anxious and concerned a multitude of times. I have grappled hundreds and hundreds of people;   I have spoken in front of thousands of people giving seminars and speeches.  I was also a cop having to take people into custody.  I know what fear is!  
The way I handle fear is to simply admit that I’m scared. I admit it quietly and just like the screaming kid, my brain gets the message and my hesitation will subside.  What else can my brain do?  I admitted it.  How can someone keep arguing with me if I admit what they are saying is right?   I also change my word pattern.  I don’t say “Scared, “I change the word to “Excited.”  Works like a charm.  Give it a try…Just admit the fear, change the word around and surprisingly the fear subsides letting you be the hero.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How Many Gi's Should You Own?

I know a lot of my students own at least Six  BJJ Gis (Uniforms) .  They are always buying the latest and coolest gi they can find.  To be honest I like it.  I think being fashionable in Jiu-Jitsu is ok.  I personally have around nine gis of my own and lately I have been buying more but for the longest time I owned only three. 
I would suggest that a student own a minimum of three Gis.  That way he can always rotate and wash them so that the gi remain clean.   Owning only one gi will make your gi old and dirty real real fast.   Do yourself a favor and make the investment in a number of gis.

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