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Archive for the ‘Nutrition/Wellness’ Category

Supple-Leopard-for-BJJ-book-review

Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance by Kelly Starrett and Glen Cordoza is a lifesaver. This book explains how to: a) avoid injuries through correct body mechanics, and b) restore mobility to injured areas. After my experience I consider it essential reading for anyone, especially those involved in body-brutalizing sports like Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo.
[This is an expanded version of the review I wrote for BJJ Legends]
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On November 4, 2012, my Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach, Adam Ryan, took gold in the senior 2 black belt category of the IBJJF 2012 World No-Gi Championships, submitting his opponent with a pretty brutal ankle lock. The Dynamic MMA team were all pretty excited to watch this, and in honour of Adam’s leglock finish, I figured I’d put together a quick compilation of leglock-related articles that I’ve written over the years. These articles were published in different places under different sets of publication guidelines, so there’s some repetition, but they give a good overview. The flow is: introduction, examples of leglocks in action, learning resources, and dealing with knee or ankle injuries.

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Can't do much Brazilian jiu-jitsu without these things

The heart and lungs, a BJJ fighter’s best friends. Image courtesy of Gray’s Anatomy. Public Domain.

Breathing in BJJ is often overlooked. There’s no shortage of information about the visually exciting side of Brazilian jiu-jitsu technique… escapes, submissions, sweeps, counters… the magazines and websites are overflowing with that stuff. But breathing? Boring. Right? Not exactly. When I’m rolling with someone, one of the main things I pay attention to is their breathing pattern.

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Catch-as-catch-can wrestler Neil Melanson performs a leglock

Catch wrestling specialist Neil Melanson demonstrates a kneebar – aka “the king of leglocks”. Photo courtesy of MartialArtsNomad.

Knee injuries are very common in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, especially since it seems like heel hooks, toeholds, and other leglocks are getting more popular. Is it the Toquinho effect? The rise of the 50-50 guard? Rubber guard disasters? Maybe leglock master “Judo” Gene LeBell is to blame. At any rate, the list of high-level BJJ (and MMA) fighters who have been slowed down by knee injuries goes on and on: Kron Gracie, Xande Ribeiro, David Avellan, Dustin Hazelett, Bas Rutten, Roger Gracie, Tito Ortiz, Romulo Barral, Marco Ruas, Georges Ste-Pierre, to name a few. How to these injuries happen? And how do you treat them?

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Children take a break during a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. Photo by kundl.

For many parents, the idea of their children taking part in a martial art or combat sport seems wrong. Who in their right mind would willingly let their children learn to fight? A good example of anti-combat sport sentiment was the recent outcry over the video of two kids in a grappling match at the Reps Retribution event in England.

As it turns out, martial arts training doesn’t generally lead to aggressive and violent behaviour, in fact it tends to do the opposite. Children who practice martial arts like judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, kung fu, or karate generally have strong social skills, fight less often, and perform well in school. And this effect is particularly pronounced in at-risk children or those with special needs. (more…)

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Brazilian jiu-jitsu players can take a lesson from wolves. Photo by Bruce McKay

Martial arts training is good for your body and mind. BJJ, muay Thai, judo, wrestling, grappling, boxing, and all the rest have huge benefits to offer in the area of keeping you in shape physically and balancing out life stress so that your sanity remains intact. A few days ago, WebMD published an article about how to stay healthy by acting like your pets and as it turns out, Brazilian jiu-jitsu addicts have most of the 20 objectives covered just by training regularly. Check it out…

1. Live in the Moment
A Harvard psychology study called “A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind” found that people are happiest when their mind is focussed on a specific activity – like trying to stop someone from tearing their shoulder out of its socket with a kimura.

2. Stay Curious
Brazilian jiu-jitsu training is like participating in an arms race. Your training partners are going to learn to counter your throws, sweeps, and submissions. If you stop learning, you get left behind. Curiosity killed the cat, sure, but it’s also the reason that you learned that new omoplata defense or triangle choke entry.

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