Archive for March, 2013

Jiu-Jitsu Control

March 30, 2013

A few years back harness aka over/under was my go-to position for turtle top back. The problem with this was people are still mobile enough from turtle bottom to roll. Yes, to re-counter I could shrimp out and sit them up to recover the position, but for moments in time I was carrying their body weight, not to mention it burning out nub muscles. Still, the control is jackpot if not for cardio and muscle fatigue.

What I use now is spiral-ride, shoulder cup pressure Pablo Popovitch teaches on his NoGi Exposed DVD series. This positioning actually gives you less direct connection and control than harness, but positive flipside is it requires less energy for maintaining positional advantage in preventing and adapting to rolls/scrambles.

Arm muscle reaction to alternative grip:

In conclusion, to link this to the ‘Evolving Criteria’ post, Jiu-Jitsu control is the path of maximum control for least amount of effort. Also, it should be noted that such criteria might not translate as effectively in a 10 minute or less competition setting as it does 20+ minute rolls.

Related post:


The opposite of entitlement

March 29, 2013

All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,

“You owe me.”

What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.”


Praise as a distraction

March 28, 2013

When diving into something you genuinely love, the doing is pretty much its own reward. Praise can be a distraction because it takes time away from further discovery.

Using this blog as an example, compliments are nice, but I don’t fully know what this space is and feel I’m just starting to grasp blogging as a medium.

Can you really take credit for something that’s unfolding, with you both participating and cruising along with it?

Let the stoke guide your work and ride high:

Deep understanding

March 27, 2013

Individuality and deep understanding are synonymous because the way we process things is by nature unique. That is, no two people think the same way.

In fact, I would go so far to say that individual processing is more individual than fingerprints because it constantly shifts to the degree we’re awake.

So, in reference to a few posts down, not only do you have to constantly develop and hone a working criteria for deciding what subject matter is worth creating projects around, there will also be built-in blank pages you have to fill in yourself.

Old school vs. New: Q & A with Dan Faggella

March 25, 2013

Dan: How did you first get into BJJ, what “hooked” you, and what belt rank are you now?:

Me: For sure it was seeing a skinny, physically unassuming brazilian dude work over all-comers in the early UFCs. I previously had an interest in the martial arts, but that was it. WHAAAAMMMMMY!:

I bought the old Renzo Gracie/Craig Kukuk tapes in 1995, but really wasn’t accomplishing much in the way of progress until I started training with Matt Thornton at the original Straight Blast Gym in Keizer, Oregon in 1996.

gracie kukuk

Chris Haueter, who I met through Matt promoted me to black belt in March of 2010, but since I don’t compete and am not into the belt thing, I bought a camo belt off ebay today (seriously, lol) and plan on rocking that bad boy.

I’d also like to point out that I really didn’t start learning some of the self-defense oriented techniques Royce Gracie used in the early UFCs until recently. Part of that had to with the fact that I never really got too much into the MMA side of things.

Dan: What about BJJ has kept you involved for years (what really ENGAGES you about the sport)?

Me: Well let me just say I believe ‘The Force’ exists, and Jiu-Jitsu chose me.

The above being said, I really enjoy slowing things down and work-shopping positions and concepts, in addition to studying instructional DVDs, recorded private lessons, then adapting the material.

Lastly, I see the IBJJF, and other sportive settings like the ADCC as singular expressions within a far-reaching art. As stated earlier, I don’t compete or go to competitions, so these things have very little to do with my day-to-day Jiu-Jitsu reality outside of providing research resources.

Investigative depth

March 23, 2013

Surface examination yields surface findings. Searching for one simple solution that solves every BJJ problem won’t get you far in terms of understanding. You have to be willing to dig deep.

Pointing out tell-tale body langauge signs of migration from pleased to full blown stoke for G$ (Dr. Watson stache)

Pointing out subtle body langauge tells of imminent migrations from pleased to full blown stoked for G$ (Dr. Watson stache)

Evolving criteria

March 23, 2013

‘Positions’ and ‘moves’ are examples of how to deal with specific scenarios.  They are not in of themselves nearly as important as criteria for weighing how effective a particular solution is against another.

In other words, what constitutes a good versus great solution, and why?

Random stoked overdose media

March 22, 2013

G$ contribution and comment: ‘At about 2:40 the stoke becomes palpable, and he’s moving toward an OD!’:

My offering, no brainer in Thelonious Monk:

Honorable mention is this 1982 pic of G$ in Romeo-mode, using triple threat combo of wrist bands, lucky monkey wrench, and charm to get the ladies stoked and possibly more!!:


Have a great weekend and remember to get stoked before training. If you don’t train, get stoked anyway!

The function of fun

March 21, 2013

A lot of people think fun and comfort are related. While of course they CAN be, in the context of skill development you’re going to have to practice good, solid things you’re very familiar with repeatedly (boring reps of fundamentals), in addition to tackling unfamiliar things which can be very uncomfortable.

Where fun comes in is the re-imagining of the above things in new and novel ways, because if you aren’t having fun you’re going to stop, or worse still, have a bunch of skill but be miserable.

The post on the function of commitment ties in a bit here, because if you don’t have some level of commitment there is no reason to come up with alternative ways of doing things. You’re going to stop after one or two road blocks instead of thinking ‘this is where the fun beings.’

The highest of the high is of course the natural zen mindset when you’re stoked on things as small breathing. From this space, something as vast, ambiguous, and fun as Jiu-Jitsu is too much for a mind to fathom. STOKED OVERDOSE because at the end of the day ‘fun’ exists for it’s own sake:

Dude, dude, tries these nachos!!!

Dude, dude, try these nachos!!!

Josh Botkin on Batman

March 20, 2013

“Batman/Bruce Wayne is a pretty f**cked up dude.” ~Josh Botkin

Thanks Josh, the following is just for you. ;o)