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JT Torres : The Essential Road To ADCC

In this episode, Atos Black Belt JT Torres talks about motivation for competing, training, and finally opening up his own academy.

He is one of the most well rounded Jiujitsu competitors out there and has had notable wins over some of the best including Lucas Lepri, Murilo Santana, Clark Gracie, and Michael Langi.

The ADCC Bronze medalist returns this year to try and take gold as he competes in one of the most difficult brackets we have ever seen, EVER!

Website: http://www.showtheart.com
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Video edited by Kyvann Gonzalez
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The Art Of… Helio Gracie

Before Brazilians knew anything about jiu-jitsu, the Japanese developed the gentle art. Japanese jiu-jitsu/judo was officially introduced to the Gracies when Japanese martial artist Mitsuyo Maeda and Gastão Gracie met ringside at a fight on November 5th, 1916. Maeda was traveling around the world with his friend and fellow fighter, Satake, demonstrating their techniques by defeating a hundred plus men of other disciplines. Gastão Gracie was a businessman and helped Maeda find his footing in Brazil. In return, Maeda taught Gastão’s son, Carlos, the techniques of Japanese jiu-jitsu. Carlos took what he learned and began to teach Brazil.

While Carlos was busy throwing people around on the mats, his brother Helio sat on the sidelines, under doctor’s orders. Helio was skinny and weak for no reason anyone could find, so almost everyone was cautious to allow him to train.

As the legend goes, a student showed up, looking for Carlos one day. Helio saw an opportunity and decided to offer to teach the student what he’d memorized watching his brother train in jiu-jitsu. But Helio’s technique was a bit different; he modified movements as needed for his frail frame. Helio’s new student was hooked and said he’d like to return to the mats under Helio’s instruction instead.

Carlos and Helio knew they stumbled on something. They worked together to make sure they modified the techniques of Japanese jiu-jitsu/judo to leverage the weakness of Helio’s frail body. They found strength in weakness and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was born.

To put their technique to the test, Helio took on challengers. While the size of Helio’s opponents and the results of his matches over the years were correct across the board, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu survived. A large part of the legacy was born out of their publicity. In 1925, Carlos opened an academy in Rio and one advertisement supposedly read, “If you want your face smashed and split open, your backside kicked and your arms broken, contact Carlos Gracie at this address.”

The story came full circle when Helio caught wind of some Japanese challengers in Brazil. Under the leadership of Masahiko Kimura, the Japanese fighters were visiting from the Imperial Academy. Kimura offered Helio the chance to fight his disciple, Kato. The two tangled for the first time on September 6, 1951 in front of a crowd of tens of thousands. While Kato threw Helio around like a ragdoll, their first fight ended in a draw. They came together again for a rematch on September 29, in São Paulo, when Kato found himself caught and choked unconscious. The weak had won.

Kato’s defeat was enough to convince the larger and strongest Kimura to challenge Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and take on Helio. Kimura claimed he would defeat Helio in under three minutes but when the match went much longer, Kimura was dumbfounded. The bout ended in the second round after Kimura briefly put Helio to sleep, and upon waking up, trapped Helio in the arm lock we now know as the kimura. Carlos tapped the mat to surrender and save his brother’s arm from being snapped. Nevertheless, Kimura returned to Japan impressed with how far and advanced the Gracie family had brought Jiu-Jitsu.

Even as jiu-jitsu continues to grow around the world, there is no denying Helio Gracie was integral in the evolution. It was never about winning as much as it was about expressing the art and the technique through embracing weakness and vulnerability. Understanding your limitations brings clarity and Helio transformed the gentle way for the better.

What weakness helps you show the art?

By Daniel Scharch

References:
http://www.graciemag.com/en/the-saga-of-jiu-jitsu/
http://grantland.com/one-hundred-years-arm-bars-gracie-jiu-jitsu-mma/
https://www.bjjheroes.com/bjj-fighters/helio-gracie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo6sG1UqQAs

FINISHERS Sub Only 4 Event!! Live August 26

Show the Art Presents:

The Finishers Sub-Only 4

www.showtheart.com/live

www.youtube.com/xshowtheartx

August 26th

**Updated Start time: 12:15pm first match will begin and it will be live streamed on the Show the Art Youtube page for free

Venue: Pure Mixed Martial Arts – 41 Pine St #12, Rockaway, NJ 07866

Weigh ins begin at 9am

Winner takes 2,000 per division

$250 – Fastest Submission

$250 – Best non-leglock Submission

Prizes from Lanky Fight Gear, 93 Brand, Death Set Apparel, Rainha Fightwear, Vape Bright, Show the Art, Rolsom Brand, Checkmate fightwear, Phalanx and more…

Show the ART FINISHERS 3 Countdown: JM Holland

JM Holland (10th Planet Bethlehem) is a Brown Belt under Eddie Bravo. He will be competing for the third time at STA Finishers! He always brings an exciting match and will be competing in Combat EBI in March.

He will be competing in our 145lbs division.

This event will feature two 16 man brackets at 145 and 170 with the winner taking 2 grand for first place. We will also debut 4 kids/teen match ups. All live from Pure MMA in Rockaway, NJ.

We will be streaming the event LIVE from our youtube page!

Video shot by Samuel Rivera Films
Video edited by Show the ART

Show the ART UFC205 Pick Em’ Contest | Make Your Picks, Win Prizes

The historic UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden is upon us and we have put together a contest to spread the excitement!
___________
Our UFC 205 Pick Em’ Contest! Starts today….ends 7pm November 12, 2016.
___________

All you have to do is:
-Pick the winner of each fight
-Pick the round the fight ends in
-Pick the manner in which the winner will claim victory

___________

Rules:
-You get 1 point for every correct answer
-Picking the WINNER rules all
-If you incorrectly pick the winner, but the round and finish were correct…you DO NOT get points
-You only get points for round/finish if you pick the correct winner
-If there is a tie in points, we will go buy who selected the MOST correct winners
-If there is still a tie, we will go by method of finish… then round
-You must enter by 7PM EST (NYC time) the night of the fights 11/12
-The winners will be announced the next day 11/13
-We will be contacting the winners personally via email first, so please submit an email address you frequently check. Also, make sure we don’t go to your spam folder

__________

Prizes:
FIRST Place:
-STA prize pack include our NEW rash guard and tee shirt
-A bag of coffee from KIMERA KOFFEE
-93 BRAND prize pack including shorts and a rash guard
-A prize pack of soap from THE ARMBAR SOAP CO

SECOND Place:
-STA tee shirt
-A bag of coffee from KIMERA KOFFEE
-93 RBAND tee shirt
-Soap from the ARMBAR SOAP CO

__________

We appreciate everyone’s support and participation! Lets make this thing blow up the inter webs!

Make sure during the fights you tag us and confirm your picks!!!
Just use the hashtags on FB, Instagram, & Twitter: #showtheart

__________

Click on link to make your picks and enter the contest:
https://goo.gl/forms/cp3EOdzRINx1gEXR2

Thank you to our sponsors KIMERA KOFFEE, 93 BRAND, and THE ARMBAR SOAP CO.

Of course check out our website for all our latest podcast episodes, teeshirts, hoodies, rash guards, and social media posts! www.showtheart.com

Show the ART “artist” Giveaway and Contest!!

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Each month we will be giving away free gear to ONE random subscriber. All you have to do is subscribe to our newsletter. As long as you are subscribed, you have a chance to be selected. Literally we will select at random, so everyone has an equal chance to win. This month we are giving away a free Show the ART Mandala tank top! Winners will be notified via email so make sure we aren’t in your spam list!

Next month, in addition to our monthly giveaway, we will be launching contests to win much more. Stay subscribed and we will keep you updated!

We hope you enjoy our podcast, Instagram, Facebook, Blog, gear, and anything else we put out. It’s all for the love of jiujitsu and MMA.

Good luck!

Abe
STA clan
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Itunes, Stitcher…..

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson on his fight with Macdonald, ‘I knew he was gonna do it’

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is a man of spinning back flips, spinning back kicks, and super shiny gold championships in his future. After his exquisitely technical win over Rory MacDonald (UFC Fight Night), he will tell you the title shot is inevitable.

“This was the most nervous I’ve ever been before a fight,” Thompson said on the most recent episode (#38) of the Show the ART Podcast. “Just because I really wasn’t sure exactly what he was gonna go out there in the octagon and do.”

A few years back, Wonderboy traveled up north to the famous TriStar Gym, to train with one of the elite coaches in the world, Firas Zahabi. TriStar is the home of legend and long time welterweight king, Georges St Pierre, and his ever evolving protege, Rory MacDonald. So the story goes they had trained together and were always cordial, but had never sparred together. The important thing to point out is that both guys learned about each other’s fight strategies, which played an important role in their highly anticipated fight on June 18, 2016.

“Three weeks before the fight, we were rolling and I was like you know what…watch him try the Ryan Hall flying heel hooks,” Thompson said. Ryan Hall comes from a prestigious Jiujitsu pedigree and is well versed in leg lock attacks. (Google Ryan Hall BJJ matches, he is an incredible grappler!)

“I knew he was gonna do it because I know he’s a heel hook guy,” said Thompson of Rory MacDonald. “I was like watch him go out there, try and throw one of those flying heel hooks in the first round and try and make a statement.”

Rory attempted a couple of solid Imanari roll attacks on Thompson and it truly did make a huge statement in the fight. The first one in particular was very precise and in my eyes, Thompson escaped by the skin of his knees. (If you don’t know what an Imanari roll is, google it haha! Seriously, google it.) It is used mainly to set up heel hook submissions, which are dangerous to the knee. It was popularized by a former MMA fighter by the name of Imanari Masakazu.

“I’ve done some training with Ryan Hall and I knew Ryan would go up to TriStar and do some training up there as well,” Thompson said. Referring to the heel hook (Imanari roll) attacks, Thompson said, “thats something they were working on.”

All in all, Rory MacDonald put up an excellent fight and showed how skillful he is. He did an excellent job complicating the rhythm that Wonderboy likes to fight at, which forced both fighters to become extremely methodical in their “in-game” strategy. In the end though, Thompson’s striking proved to be too much for MacDonald and he won via unanimous decision.

If Wonderboy doesn’t get the next W.W. title shot, it will be a crime against humanity and all that is right with the world.

If you are a little more interested in what Wonderboy had to say, please check out the rest of this podcast episode by visiting iTunes or Stitcher and searching Show the ART Podcast : MMA & Sports.
You can also visit our website and watch all the episodes there!

-Abraham Awad
showtheart.com

Denny Prokopos on EBI 7 Prep, ‘I’m making the best progress’

Denny Prokopos is a man that may be flying below the radar as a favorite in what seems to be one of the most star studded “sub-only” grappling events of the year.

Preperation has already started,” Denny said on a recent episode of the Show the ART Podcast. “I had a European tour where I did a seminar tour…right when I got back, Eddie (Bravo) told me, he’s like…GET READY.

Denny is an EBI (Eddie Bravo Invitational) veteren and EBI 2 Champion. He is coming off a loss from EBI 5 and looking to redeem himself after suffering from a terrible staff infection two weeks before the competition. He is back now and has a laser sharp focus on the gold.

Denny went on to talk about his preparation and how visualization and note taking play huge roles in his progression.

I’m very happy with the results I am getting in training,” Denny said. “Especially when I look at all the years of how I was doing in training, when I look back at my notes, as I’m reflecting…I feel that I’m making the best progress on the jiujitsu, the wrestling, the strength & conditioning coming together.” “I have copious notes since the age of twelve. …how I’m doing in training, and how I’m learning, I can learn quicker now.

He explains how his consistent note taking before and after training has helped him improve his game. Going back and reading notes on how he was feeling can benefit him by understand what was going through his mind during the good or bad sessions. He can then harness these feeling to future sessions and/or competitions to help be at his best. His notes also help him track his progress on how he was moving and training with all his training partners.

When you’re fighting, you need to be clear,” Prokopos continued. “The more clear you see things, the more clear victory is.” “Victory is more clear to the one that knows himself better.

His mental clarity is at an all-time high and in his mind is the champion already. It will be a tough task, as he facing some of the best grapplers in the country. People like EBI Champs Eddie Cummings or Geo Martinez will be waiting for him before he can claim the throne. He will have to get passed the dynamic Jose Gutierrez in the first round and the competition will only get increasingly difficult from there.

Click on the video above to listen to the entire interview or download it now (& subscribe) on iTunes.

The Art of War in the GENTLE ART: Part 2

The following is a segment in a series of examinations. Jiu Jitsu, being one of the modern dominant martial arts, can be defined as a struggle for power. The struggle for power is a widely studied concept by sociologist spanning across many cultures. No other resource is more adept at illustrating the struggle for power than Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.

WAR is not defined in the conflict of nations that we know it for. War is defined by the day-to-day struggle for power. Power in relationships experienced in professional environments, between families and other social institutions. The better we understand this struggle the more power we posses in our lives. To understand we need comparisons by which to illuminate the concepts of war. Illumination will improve application and for this purpose The Art of War will be applied to the Gentle Art.

2

DOING BATTLE
“When you do battle, even if you are winning, if you continue for a long time it will dull your forces and blunt your edge; if you besiege a citadel, your strength will be exhausted. If you keep your armies out in the field for a long time, your supplies will be insufficient.” (57)

The battle-fatigued fighter is a poor fighter. Prolonged time spent on the mat during training may be beneficial, but will eventually prove counter productive if rest is not incorporated. The time increased during battle bares only scars, while time taken outside of the tatami creates reflection on the paths taken. Rest is the only effective deterrent to injury and must be accepted in the balance. For these reasons, in battle, the fighter should seek to end the fight as fast as possible, dragging out matches only illuminates the fighter as ineffective and inefficient. Train to decrease time in battle.

“Therefore a wise general strives to feed off the enemy. Each pound of food taken from the enemy is equivalent to twenty pounds you provide yourself.” (62)

Force your opponent to exert strength, while you rely on frame and structure to provide yours. To be abundant in breath while your enemy is found to be gasping is the signpost to victory. Conversely, if you find you are scrambling with all your might while your opponent is calmly latched on for the ride waiting to strike, gather yourself, focus on the breath and realise it is you who is feeding his strength.

“So the important thing in a military operation is victory, not persistence.” (64)

Be clear of your intentions, training to fight only benefits the pursuit of fighting. In training the goal should always be victory in competition. Losing in training and tapping often is of no real defeat when each tap progresses your knowledge as a fighter: your knowledge to victory. Training aimlessly, with no clear sight of the ultimate goal, results in the contradiction of the ultimate goal.

References

Cleary, T. (1998) The Art of War Sun Tzu, Shambala Publications, Boston.

Author bio

Cristiano Del Giacco is a well travelled, health conscious martial artist, and a keen observer of life.

A freelance writer and guest blogger, he offers examples of his work and contact details at www.cristianodelgiacco.com and www.howweroll.com.au

Your Promotion Is Not Your Report Card

…Think about that for a second. Let it marinate. Your promotion is not your report card. Your promotion is recognition of your progress in your journey that is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It is earned through your effort. But, it does not communicate the details of your game and it does not provide constructive criticism regarding your game. As much as we are all guilty of pining for the next promotion day at our schools, we should be ever proactive about seeking out feedback from our partners and our professors.

Every 3 months (just like grade school) I take a moment after class to grab my professor (Marcos Duarte, Subforce BJJ) and ask for an assessment on my progress. And it has been crucial to my growth. A class or two later, I sit with him for roughly 15 minutes and it’s an ego-less download of his critique on how well I am rolling, my attitude in class, where I am versus the expectation of my belt rank, and whether or not I am focusing on the right things. It’s candid nature is impactful and sometimes the wake up call I need to refocus and stay on track. At other times it is an affirmation that I am concerned with the right things and am developing the right attitude and approach to BJJ.

But, I don’t just rest on the opinion of my professor. It is the perfect supplement to seek out the “teachers” in the upper ranks as well. I quote “teachers”, because we all have our own BJJ personality, but it is evident that some lean more to a teacher’s mindset than others. These are the opinions I try to tap into after we bow out. In obtaining these different view points, I can begin to identify common themes to either address or emphasize. But it’s that qualitative collection of data that is worth it’s weight in gold.

Another benefit to this process is the avoidance of “burn out”. Since beginning this practice, I am simply less frustrated. I used to be the type that would set my goals and blindly work to achieve them on my own assessment. I got there. I hit the marks I set. But on arrival, I was mentally burned out. I was devoid of the ability to enjoy my accomplishments, because I had worked feverishly and obsessively to get there. And I had many inner tantrums along the way, because I had many days where I was not progressing the way I thought I should be. And the only measure I was using, was promotion day.

This report card process changed the entire game for me. It chunked up the process and took much of the weight and pressure off my shoulders. The discussions I began having varied from “Bro, you’re killing it right now. You’re getting so much better and you never stop.” to “Yeaaa, I see what you were thinking. But, I had control of your leg. So you have to deal with that first.” These micro conversations brought both reassurance and critique. And that guidance provided for smaller, more progressive corrections, along with confidence boosts when I needed them most.

Essentially, the opinions and insight you gain from 1 on 1 conversations with your peers and your professor is invaluable. It should be a integral part of your training and the foundation of your development focus as you progress on your journey. Stay excited for promotion day. Do not lessen the joy and accomplishment you feel when receiving a stripe or belt. But, understand that recognition and critique are 2 separate things. We will receive recognition when earned. And we will receive critique when sought after. Seek out latter to help earn the former.

Happy Rolling!

Christopher “Biscuit” Bousquet

How to BE-come GREAT

How to BE-come GREAT

 

What do Mozart, Bruce Lee, Mia Hamm, Michael Jordan, Bob Marley, Steffi Graf, Michelangelo, and Muhammad Ali all have in common? Besides being considered all-time greats and worldwide icons, legends, and prodigies?

The BEST athletes, musicians, artists and thinkers have ONE Universal concept in common:  Consistent, Diligent, Purposeful Practice

 

Purposeful Practice was the only factor distinguishing the best from the rest.

– Matthew Syed, Bounce.

 

These people are eating, breathing, and living their art forms.

 

It is said that it takes 10,000 hours, or 10 years, for one to be considered a master/expert in their field… whatever that field may be. Mozart had clocked in an astounding 3,500 hours at the piano by the age of 6.  His first Masterpiece “Piano Concerto 9” was created when he was only 21 years old!  That’s 18 years of Consistent, Diligent, Purposeful Practice.

 

So what makes one’s practice “purposeful”?

 

Simply put, it is practice that is focused, honed in on enhancing strengths, minimizing weaknesses, acquiring more knowledge, and refinement of technique.

 

The world sees the Michael Jordan’s, Mike Tyson’s, and Bruce Lee’s as phenoms, prodigies, extraordinary masters, but no one SEES the astronomical quantities of practice that take place behind closed doors.  Muhammad Ali up at 4 am running 10 miles. Steffi Graf training 4-5 hours every day since the age 4 and turning pro at 13. Tiger Woods hitting 600 balls a day from the age of 6.  Mia Hamm debuting in the U.S. National soccer team at the age of 15. Anderson Silva training martial arts consistently since the age of 14… and he is in his 40’s today.  That is some hardcore years of specialized, pain staking, purposeful practice!  The snotty nose prepubescent ultimate fighter poser kid knows Anderson Silva is an UFC champion, but not Anderson the 22-year-old amateur boxer, or Anderson the BJJ blue belt.

 

It’s the people that come in early, skip out on the mundane gossip and train before class starts.  The people that stay after to get a few more sparring sessions in and put 50 reps in on that tricky De La Riva sweep, armbar, or thai kick, that progress the fastest.

 

Becoming great is a byproduct of Consistent, Diligent, Purposeful PRACTICE.   It’s one thing to drill 15 reps on a Monday and 15 reps again on Friday, and quite another thing to do 60 reps a day for 6 months straight.  Drilling 15 reps 2 times a week in a 6 month period comes out to 720 reps.   Drilling 60 reps a day, 5 days a week for 6 months comes out to 14,400 reps… DAMMM! Who do you think will have the better chance at the tournament? The person who put in 720 reps over 6 months? Or 14,400 reps?

 

The bottom line couldn’t be simpler. If you want to be GREAT at something, employ Consistent, Diligent, Purposeful PRACTICE.

 

-Marcos Murky Deep

 

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The Art of War in the Gentle ART: Part 1

~The following is a segment in a series of examinations. Jiu Jitsu, being one of the modern dominant martial arts, can be defined as a struggle for power. The struggle for power is a widely studied concept by sociologist spanning across many cultures. No other resource is more adept at illustrating the struggle for power than Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. War is not defined in the conflict of nations that we know it for. War is defined by the day-to-day struggle for power. Power in relationships experienced in professional environments, between families and other social institutions. The better we understand this struggle the more power we posses in our lives. To understand we need comparisons by which to illuminate the concepts of war. Illumination will improve application and for this purpose The Art of War will be applied to the Gentle Art.~

Part 1

Strategic Assessment

“Military action is important to the nation-it is the ground of death and life, the path of survival and destruction, so it is imperative to examine it… Therefore measure in terms of five things, use these assessments to make comparisons, and thus find out what the conditions are. The five things are the way, the weather, the terrain, the leadership, and discipline.” (Sun Tzu, cited in Cleary, T. 1998, pp. 41-41)

—As military action is important to the survival of a nation, preparation is vital to your growth as a martial artist. Though at first glance the five things that Sun Tzu mentions may not immediately appear relevant to your journey in the art. Converting the literal elements into understandable metaphors will provide more insight and a better application of The Art of War.

“The Way means inducing the people to have the same aim as the leadership, so that they will share death and share life, without fear of danger.” (43)

—The way should be applied to your selection of academy, training partners and coaches. The army whose members differ in goals or cannot agree on the purpose for war is an army that will implode on itself. The selection of a coach with the knowledge for your best interests is vital. The techniques that suit your style and work well for you must also be supported and understood by your coach. A coach who refuses to nurture your development is like an overzealous gardener pruning a rose bush, stunting its growth. Supportive training partners equal the selection of your coach in importance. Training partners with goals that include the improvement of others will promote greatness, while those with intentions alternate to this will see you suffer. Find the way.

“The weather means the seasons.” (44)

—The weather is your condition. The aches and pains you feel each day, the illness that you may succumb to. Know these in relation to your limits. Do not fight a war when doing so will be detrimental but do not cease to fight because the weather is mild.

“The terrain is to be assessed in terms of distance, difficulty or ease of travel, dimension, and safety.” (44)

—Gi or NoGi. Know the terrain and know the differences. One must realise that different approaches to each must be taken in order to be successful. Navigating the land is much different to navigating the sea. Know the differences both subtle and extreme and you will be no stranger to the terrain.

“Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and sternness.” (45)

—Conduct yourself in a manner that encourages others. Speak through actions and less through words. The more you inspire those around you the more they will come to your aid. Constantly injuring training partners or speaking ill of others will only create alienation. Remember, there is no shadow boxing in Jiu Jitsu.

“Discipline means organization, chain of command, and logistics.” (45)

—Be disciplined in your training. Use all of the elements mentioned here to efficiently plan you path. Follow it never falling by the way and be as economic as possible. Do not make decisions that will benefit your journey in the short term only to steal from you in the future.

“Every general has heard of these five things. Those who know them prevail, those who do not know them do not prevail.” (45)

—These concepts are not foreign. Though knowing of something is completely different to understanding it. Understanding will encourage application. Never is it heard that beneficial result came from a lack of application.

“Therefore use these assessments for comparison, to find out what the conditions are. That is to say, which political leadership has the Way? Which general has ability? Who has the better climate and terrain? Whose discipline is effective? Whose troops are the stronger? Whose officers and soldiers are the better trained? Whose system of rewards and punishments is clearer? This is how you can now who will win.” (46)

—Being a master of this application will enable you to recognise its application in your opponent. Your preparation will illustrate the holes in the preparation of others. You will see the masks donned by your opponent for what they truly are, masks. Your application of the way, the weather, the terrain, leadership and discipline will create an immovable foundation while others will be sinking in the mud.

-Cristiano Del Giacco

References

Cleary, T. (1998) The Art of War Sun Tzu, Shambala Publications, Boston.

How Jiujitsu is Like Moving Into A New Neighborhood

Think of Jiujitsu like moving into a new neighborhood…

-You don’t know the area, you don’t know the streets, the routes, nothing.

-You ARE lost.

-You start by just learning how to get to work.

—1 route.

-Next, you learn how to go to the organic grass fed super duper market.

—2 routes.

-Then you learn how to get to a friends house. (the new friend you met at the market!)

—3 routes.

-Eventually you start exploring the area and learning new places to eat. New, quicker, more efficient ways to get to work. You learn shortcuts and new pathways. Detours..etc

—Many routes now!

~You’re not lost any more.

~You’re comfortable.

~You are familiar with the area and have been and seen almost every route.

~Now think of Jiujitsu using the same concept.

~In jiujitsu, you started out lost. You didn’t understand a thing.

~First your instructor taught you all the positions.

~Then the goals of JJ. Get the submission. Learn to pass to get to the sub. Learn guards to prevent bad positions and to nail subs. and so on…

~Next the submissions and passes and sweeps are transitions and …. you get where I am going here right!?

~The point is to be open minded. Try to learn as much as you can, or at least be introduced to as much as you can.(jiujitsu)

~Learn and get introduced to all these new techniques and pathways.

~Even if you won’t use it in your game immediately.

~It’s important because you will have been everywhere, and not be lost when you land in a rare (for you) position. Or get confused in a rare transition.

~Because when we get lost. We freak out. We panic. We waste energy. Efficiency is bye bye. We lose our focus. We forget our plans.

Now, in your neighborhood if you got dropped off somewhere randomly, you won’t panic because you have been there before and can find your way.
Jiujitsu needs to be the same.
If you experience as many things as possible…you learn or drill as many transitions, subs, passes, and escapes as possible…
You will always be able to find your way back to your “game” and know how to calmly deal with any problem.
On the mat, it’s not the things that we know (or drill) that we worry about…its everything that we don’t.

oss.

Co-founder STA ~ Abraham Awad

Why “defense mode” can be a good thing!!


It’s an interesting thing, how one can feel that their game on any given day is akin to being dealt a a new round of poker cards. There are days where I feel loose, nimble, and my cardio is with me. Then there are days where I am feeling calm, focused, and precise. But, still there are days where I simply feel like I’ll be in defense mode all night. And no matter which way I am feeling, it doesn’t seem within my control. I can’t simply decide which mode I will step onto the mat with. I step onto the mat with whatever hand I am dealt.

To be quite honest, I actually prefer the “defense mode” hand. Starting from a disadvantage brings out so much growth. When I feel my worst I am left with the technical skill I have developed. It’s as if I feel like I’m starting the night having already rolled 4 or 5 rounds. I don’t have much of a gas tank and I feel somewhat weaker. Without those elements, I am left with a need to be technically proficient to survive.

For the most part on these “defense mode” nights, I know I’m heading into deep waters. I know that I will be out paced and out muscled in addition to technical challenges. I know I’m getting passed and swept… often. But my “win” on these nights is in defending submissions and frustrating my opponent. My “win” is recapturing a guard and working towards the sweep. It’s reaffirming that I can control my position, defend against my opponents attacks, and stay mentally present. In other words, I am reaffirming to myself that I can safely weather storms and persevere.

“You’re playing safe. I get it. But what do you really get out of that?” – Well, when the night is done and we all bow out, I come away knowing that there were rolls where I maintained a complete sense of control. There were rolls that I learned missing nuances to keep my guard or prevent submission. And throughout each roll, I took active notes on how my opponent moved, shifted, flowed, attacked, and defended. My opponent is my Professor for that round. And because I am not concerned with “winning” or “losing”, I am more open to learning and exploring. I am more open to critique and constructive criticisms. My curiosity will feed to questions that I will ask my opponent. My senses open up to be more aware of the movements and the chess plays being made.  The reward is confidence through so many new lessons learned.

The “defense mode” night is an opportunity to explore and study. They’re the nights I truly appreciate most.  And, they’re are the nights to watch out for. The calm before the storm. Because you can bet your belt, I’ll be applying every bit of confidence and every note taken at the next class.

Happy Rolls!
Christopher “Biscuit” Bousquet

Group Mentality & Martial Arts Regression -or- It’s US vs THEM!


I never like to believe of myself as a unique individual. I know I am a little different, many people with attest to that. I accept that I have basic needs, desires and aversions that I share with others across many societies. This is not to say that I am (or you are) carbon copies, but that we do have some commonness that we are aware of on some subconscious level even if not on a conscious level.

One common concept or phenomena that we share, and the main point I am alluding to, is that of the need to belong. Let me break this down a little more. I believe that we as a race, rather than a society, have evolved to survive better in groups and tribes. Now that we have evolved from our cavemen tribal ancestors into the sophisticated civilisation we live in today our sense for belonging to a tribe has been diluted into the need to belong to subcultures. This may not be necessarily for survival but I do believe that the subconscious safety found in acceptance is somehow linked to this feeling of survival. That this is actually what fuels our passion and love for teams. Whether it be a football team to support, the company you work for or, in better relation to you the reader, the Jiu Jitsu school you belong to. I believe this primal search for a tribe to promote survival is what subconsciously fuels our loyalty for one team against another. What sparks disdain for the competition as the enemy and for those that may leave the tribe? I mean have you really considered it? Have you really thought about the situation we are in? Today I will say that most people (not all) partake in BJJ as basically a hobby. Though addictive as a lifestyle it is still a hobby or form of employment. This is not the feudal ages. We are not battling for the gain of land, riches of our enemy, to see them crushed and driven before us or to hear the lamentation of their women (Yes! I got to jam a Conan quote in there!). I highly recommend detaching mentally from situations where this feeling starts to occur. Step back and assess the situation. We are only training, maybe competing in a sport. Just like members of the other school. Their training sessions just take place in a different building to us. Is this a real need to hate them? I know you may be thinking “In our case its different man, they f*&^ing disrespected our coach in the past man, respect needs to be paid BRAH!” Ok cool, but just think about this, they may have disrespected your coach but doesn’t that mean that they are also under this illusion of us versus them? That all the disrespect they displayed is linked to this idea?

I see this idea not only experienced in battles from academy to academy but in discipline to discipline. I hear strikers saying “No Jiu Jitsu fighter’s gonna be able to get me to the ground and get their cuddle on!” I hear wrestlers call strikers dancing Jackie Chan wannabes. BJJ guys and wrestlers arguing about who wears the corniest outfits and MMA guys (who comprise components of each style) throwing hybrid jabs at all of them while sifting through their iTunes files for their next walkout song. And further down into the subculture: Gi vs NoGi, Leg lock etiquette and old school vs. the Berimbolo culture (berim#yolo).

Though to be honest as far as life or death fighting goes all of these marital arts mentioned in recent times have evolved to the rules of their sport. They all have referees… all of them! To discuss which one is the best in a fight when a gun, knife or multiple attackers are brought into the fray is a conversation flavoured in delusion. Recently I was in a bar having a conversation with another marital artist and a friend who had been serving in the army at the time. The question came up from my fellow martial artist to my army buddy, “What would you do if I did this bro?!” My army mate replied sternly “I would shoot you in the head.” My martial artist friend replied, “No, you can’t because you don’t have a gun.” Which was then calmly countered with “Yes, I do have a gun.” Talk about an awkward silence.

What I’m getting at is I don’t understand why we restrict ourselves to just one style? Why let the team and tribe illusion limit us to practicing one style, regressing as martial artists back to the era pre UFC 1 (ummm actually lets change that to a later UFC. I still can’t get over that guy with the one boxing glove). But it doesn’t stop there! This illusion then flows to supplementary components of martial arts. “To do strength and conditioning or not?” “To train for traditional athletic improvement or find a movement coach?” “Be a strict vegan or just devour meat to Brock Lesnar capacity?”

What ever these life choices are we seem to find the need to gang up with others following the same pattern and talk shit about those who have chosen a different path. Yes, I have been guilty of this believe me. But now looking at the white hairs on my head and in my beard I feel it’s time to mature a bit and take a more thought out and logical stance on the matter.

So who’s with me? Who wants to sign up to my way of thinking and revolt against the old ways and ……..ah crap.

-Cristiano Del Giacco

All About The Journey


When I first started Jiu Jitsu, I remember hearing about BJ Penn getting his black belt in 3 years, and winning the mundials the week after he was promoted. I figured “ok, I’m probably not as talented as BJ, so it’ll probably take me 4 years to get my black belt”. Wrong! Six years and only two promotions later, here I am, still having more fun than I ever thought I would.

I’m pretty sure every practitioner of the ART has had similar thoughts about belts and promotions, and it’s only natural. WE ALL WANT TO GET A BLACK BELT. Many of us may have even googled (yes, googled is a word!) ways to shorten the time in between belts, as if there was a substitute for hard work and time spent on the mat.

At every promotion day in all the academies across the world, there is always going to be that guy who sulks around afterward, feeling a little sour that he didn’t get promoted. First off, his attitude shows that he wasn’t ready for the promotion. The immaturity, negativity, and ego is something that he (as we all do) has to deal with on his own. On a side note, I do appreciate instructors who promote not only based on skill and ability, but also take into consideration the personal growth of the individual.

Secondly, where is the trust in your professor? You chose to train at your academy probably because you like the program, the coaches, and the atmosphere. With that said, you’ve got to trust that your professor knows what he’s doing. You’ll find that your coaches and professors know your game and abilities better than you think.

And thirdly, how are you going to let the color of some belt dictate your worth to yourself? Have you forgotten all the good things that have come into your life because of Jiu Jitsu? As if all the great people you’ve met at your academy that have made you a better person isn’t enough! How about the confidence that comes with knowing how to defend yourself and a loved one?

Time IS precious, I get that, but we get so caught up with the end result or lack thereof, that sometimes we forget to appreciate how far we’ve come and the fun we’ve had along the way. When I look back at my time as a white or blue belt, I don’t think about how long it took me to get promoted, instead I end up reminiscing about all the road trips my buddies and I took to go to competitions, the (not so fun, but fun when you can look back at it and laugh) weight cuts, the good matches, the bad ones, the cool academies I’ve visited and the cool people I’ve met along the way. It’s unfortunate to think that people can forget about all the good Jiu Jitsu has done for our lives, and the awesome experiences we’ve had because of it.

We’re so fortunate to not only take part in this beautiful martial art, but also because it affords us opportunities to grow as individuals. Joe Rogan says that the “martial arts are a vehicle for developing your human potential”, and I think he’s right. Each and every training day poses a new challenge for all of us, whether it be mental or physical, and these challenges are opportunities for us to grow. Many times we’ll walk away defeated, and sometimes we’ll walk away feeling triumphant. Regardless of good days or bad, its always a learning experience.

Every training partner you’ve had, all the rolls in class, all the wins and losses, contribute to your very own unique Jiu Jitsu journey, and that journey is your own, so enjoy and take pride in it. Don’t get so caught up in the time it’ll take you to get to black belt. The time should be irrelevant, it’ll pass anyway, so just let it run it’s course. Instead, soak in all the experiences to be had at every belt level, and realize that life, like Jiu Jitsu, is not so much about the destination, but moreso about the journey.

-CHAS MAKK

93 Guard Armbar

Slick, Sick Armbar capture, when your opponent tries for the Underhook in your 93 Guard.

Slick Technique courtesy of Dan Covel(Marcelo Garcia Black belt and Scramble sponsored Athlete)

Dan’s partner in crime is 2014 No Gi Pan Am Champion and Marcelo Garcia Brown belt Philzinho Balmant
Continue reading “93 Guard Armbar”

Cross Choke Variation From Closed Guard

The first installment of Show the ART Basic: Cross Choke Variation by Renzo Gracie Black Belt Alan Teo.  The premise behind Show the ART Basic is to  show variations/setups/delivery of the basic, fundamental techniques we all know and love.

Continue reading “Cross Choke Variation From Closed Guard”

Paper Cutter Choke from 7 o’clock North South

Paper cutter  choke from 7 oclock North South brought to you by 1/2 of the Main Brothers Mike Main. Brother of Ultimate Fighter veteran Andy Main.  One of the gems in this technique is the killing of the opponent’s arm.  Rendering opponent’s arm useless makes for less resistance and better probability of sinking in the paper cutter choke:). Continue reading “Paper Cutter Choke from 7 o’clock North South”

Lincoln Sweep/ Toe Hold from Foot and Hook Guard

This is a  COOL sweep reminiscent to Buchecha’s knee bar attacks from half guard.
Lincoln slips in a hook while keeping a foot on the hip. He then baits his opponent to smash his legs down by placing his foot across on the hip. This is the beginning of the end.  Take the sweep for 2 points or the Toe Hold for the win.
Toe Hold option and details at the end.

Continue reading “Lincoln Sweep/ Toe Hold from Foot and Hook Guard”

Loop Choke from Guard Transition

A Kron Gracie inspired death choke! Kron is notorious for unconventional loop choking!

You can get this choke from many different positions. It is extremely versatile. Collar drag position, butterfly, spider etc.  Be creative:)

Continue reading “Loop Choke from Guard Transition”

Inverted Armbar

Sick Armbar from De La Riva Guard courtesy of Inverted Gear CEO, and now, new Alliance BJJ BLACK belt Nelson Puentes.

This is an arm bar from De La Riva guard. You start off with double sleeve grip in the DLR guard. You then elevate your opponent, faking a tomoenagi overhead sweep, and allow them to plant their hands for balance. Once his weight is transferred to his arms, then swing your hips and snag the belly down arm bar.

All details enclosed in the VID as always:)

Continue reading “Inverted Armbar”

Forearm Slicer

This is a Forearm slicer for when the opponent resists the armbar.
Snag the FOREARM SLICER instead!

My absolute “go to” for when my opponent has the super duty vice grip clasp.  This technique is super high percentage.

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Performed by Murky and Acai-inho Continue reading “Forearm Slicer”

Wrist Trap Armbar

This sneaky little armbar was done to us in training one day courtesy of Nuno Macedo :). This was one of those occasions that tapping was WORTH it.

This is an armbar you would get in side control when your opponent is framing against your hip. A pretty common action when being under sidemount,,, excellent >:)

Trap the Wrist.
Next, use your free arm to fold their legs to the mat.
Lastly, windhield wipe and throw your over his head and fall towards the legs.

This sneaky little armbar was done to us in training one day courtesy of Nuno Macedo :).  This was one of those occasions that tapping was WORTH it.

This is an armbar you would get in side control when your opponent is framing against your hip.  A pretty common  action when being under sidemount,,, excellent >:)

  1. Trap the Wrist.
  2. Next, use your free arm to fold their legs to the mat.
  3. Lastly, windhield wipe and  throw your over his head and fall towards the legs.  Continue reading “Wrist Trap Armbar”

De La Riva Shin Sweep

This sexy sweep was taught to me by my instructor, Lucas Lepri. I loved this sweep a little too much and carried it with me through the ranks. This sweep is available from De la Riva guard when your opponent attempts to pass your guard. They push your foot down and step over. You then intercept their leg with an underhook, switch your DLR hook to a Reverse DLR hook and deliver the sweep. You then pass the guard with a single under pass.

Lucas Lepri has put me on to the “TOTAL” game. He is complete EVERYWHERE. Can pass a mean guard, sweep a base god, and submit a sabretooth, double caralho!!

This sexy sweep was taught to me by my instructor, Lucas Lepri.  I loved this sweep a little too much and carried it with me through the ranks. This sweep is available from De la Riva guard when your opponent attempts to pass your guard. They push your foot down and step over. You then intercept their leg with an underhook, switch your DLR hook to a Reverse DLR hook and deliver the sweep. You then pass the guard with a single under pass.

Lucas Lepri has put me on to the “TOTAL” game.  He is complete EVERYWHERE.   Can pass a mean guard, sweep a base god, and  submit a sabretooth, double caralho!! Continue reading “De La Riva Shin Sweep”

Straight Foot Lock / Side Control

This is a sneaky foot lock from side control when your opponent puts their leg up to protect from getting mounted. Perfect opportunity to snag :). In this scenario, you will set them up by applying uncomfortable pressure on their throat, shifting your knees towards their hips, lifting a leg up, wrapping your arm around their ankle, then falling to your side with a foot on his hip for escape prevention. To finish, apply pressure to the back of his achilles with the blade of your forearm and lean back.

Notice the Leg Drag position? Foot locks all daily!

This is a sneaky foot lock from side control when your opponent puts their leg up to protect from getting mounted.  Perfect opportunity to snag :).  In this scenario, you will set them up by applying uncomfortable  pressure on their throat, shifting your knees towards their hips, lifting a leg up,  wrapping your arm around their ankle, then falling to your side with a foot on his hip for escape prevention. To finish,  apply pressure to the back of his achilles with the blade of your forearm and lean back.

Notice the Leg Drag position?  Foot locks all daily! Continue reading “Straight Foot Lock / Side Control”

Reverse Triangle Choke from the Back

I first saw this wicked technique on Cyborg’s DVD. You may ask, “Why show it?” Answer: “Cause i love this technique!”

I drilled this move feverishly. It became my primary attack from the back, next to the RNC(rear naked choke, for noob practitioners:). We are not opposed to showing a technique done before, ESPECIALLY if we love it, believe in it and use it.

Thank You Roberto”CYBORG” Abreu for the super fresh technique.

I first saw this wicked technique on Cyborg’s DVD.   You may ask,  “Why show it?”  Answer:  “Cause i love this technique!”

I drilled this move feverishly.  It became my primary attack from the back, next to the RNC(rear naked choke, for noob practitioners:).   We are not opposed to showing a technique done before, ESPECIALLY if we love it, believe in it and use it.

Thank You Roberto”CYBORG” Abreu for the super fresh technique. Continue reading “Reverse Triangle Choke from the Back”

Baseball Bat Choke Variation

This unique baseball cat choke variant was founded out by Acainho. I say “founded” because he did this particular baseball bat choke variation one day in rolling when his opponent was fending off the grip. Sooooooo,, he switched the grip:) ALL Details enclosed in the video.

This is a Baseball Bat choke variation in which you switch grips and sides when in the knee on belly position. Also, to finish, instead of performing the classic step over the head finish, we used the rolling over the shoulder finish.

This unique baseball cat choke variant was founded out by Acainho.  I say “founded” because he did this particular baseball bat choke variation one day in rolling when his opponent was fending off the grip.  Sooooooo,, he switched the grip:)  ALL Details enclosed in the video.

This is a Baseball Bat choke variation in which you switch grips and sides when in the knee on belly position. Also, to finish, instead of performing the classic step over the head finish, we used the rolling over the shoulder finish. Continue reading “Baseball Bat Choke Variation”