Quick Q&A with Mathew Tinley of the Jiu-Jitsu World League. Rigan Machado and Mathew Tinley are the cofounders of the JJWL.
BJJ Legends: What is the Jiu-Jitsu World League? Mathew Tinley: The Jiu-Jitsu World League improves Jiu-Jitsu for all belt levels and ages, men and women, and kids too. We will "professionalize" Jiu-Jitsu because top athletes are professionals. Equally important, we will make the Jiu-Jitsu experience better for everyone. We must build the foundation of Jiu-Jitsu so it's important to develop our sport for white, blue and purple belts.
The Jiu-Jitsu World League returns Jiu-Jitsu to its essence as a combat martial art. Our Aggressive Rules encourage moves one uses in combat and prohibit artificial tactics that don't happen in combat. There’s no advantages or stalling in combat, and usually combat ends in submission, as our Aggressive Rules encourage.
BJJL: Any plans for the east coast? -Kenneth Brown MT: We will be bringing both GI and No GI events to the East Coast including NY/NJ, New England, Mid Atlantic, Toronto and Florida. We also will visit Northern California, Southern California, Las Vegas, Texas and Chicago and several others.
BJJL: Is Buchecha competing? MT: Buchecha will compete in several events and if he does well, he will qualify for year-end World Championships (every competitor must qualify with points for the World Championships, just like other global sports).
BJJL: $5000 for absolute, how much do 2nd and 3rd get? -- RA MT: The biggest prize money comes from winning the year end World Championships. World Champions at all belt levels will earn cash and other prizes. Of course everyone knows the two black belt open class winners (heavy and light) win $5000 each per tournament.
BJJL: How will the prize money be divided? 12 cities and a quarter of a million dollars MT: We deliver amazing rewards to all winners. Winners of every bracket in every regular tournament win over $1240 in prizes each, that's unheard of. People say we're crazy but we are committed to rewarding our community.
We also are committed to giving back to academies and instructors because they give so much of their energy and exceptional talent to our beloved Jiu-Jitsu. Go to http://www.jjworldleague.com/gyms/ to learn how you can benefit without any cost.
BJJL: Do the women get $5000 for two divisions in the Absolute class? MT: Our tournaments will have women's absolute class. We encourage all women to participate in our events. We will offer prize money for women once their registration numbers approach registrations for men. As Jiu-Jitsu is equally exciting and fulfilling for women, we are committed to improving Jiu-Jitsu for women.
BJJL: Will you offer a Referee course so people can become certified JJWL refs? MT: One of the things competitors tell us that they are disappointed by the quality of referees at Jiu-Jitsu competitions. So we decided to totally change the selection, training and evaluation of our referees to ensure quality. Our referees are carefully selected based on their background and character. Then they undergo thorough and comprehensive training by Rigan Machado and other experienced black belts. Then, each referee will be graded on their performance. The top referees will be promoted to referee higher level matches and earn more money. The referees who do not perform to our high standards will be dismissed. The quality of referees is one of the major differences of the Jiu-Jitsu World League.
We are humbled by the overwhelming support we continue to receive from our community. We've received calls of support from the legends of our sport as well as current world champions. Our first event will have 1000 competitors. We have people registered from all over the world from Japan to England, from the top black belts to white belts fighting in their first tournament. This positive energy motivates us to produce the best tournament ever and to continue to innovate to bring our beloved Jiu-Jitsu on par with other global sports.
Thanks for the opportunity to answers your questions for our community.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson Gracie shares his profound and humble personal story of change through Jiu-Jitsu.
BJJ Legends: It's different for everybody. Can you share with us how that transformation came over you? What was your personal experience?
Rickson Gracie: My transformation is -- I mean, before I was born I was already in the DNA of Jiu-Jitsu. So for me, I was born and raised in the family. When I was kid, "Oh, you wanna be like your dad. Oh, you wanna be a fighter too." So I was born in the family. I was born fighting, competing since six years old. But actually, the transformation became, first, I was trying to be a good fighter. And then I become a good fighter. And then I fulfilled my ego. Okay, I'm good. And then what can I do with that? And that becomes the biggest part. because I started to be a reference for people. I started to teach people to try to become like me. And this process of learning makes them feel like they're improving. And I felt like it's a huge positive component and feed people with what they need. And that's my transformation maybe is from egocentric levels of trying to make it to be important in the community and then to pass that knowledge and to fulfill people and motivate people to excel. So the transformation is from an athlete to a teacher.
Tomorrow: Rickson tells us if he has struggled because he was born into a fighting Jiu-Jitsu family.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson Gracie will discuss why so many people's lives are changed by Jiu-Jitsu.
BJJ Legends: This is very consistent with other things I've heard you say, other members of your family. Robson Gracie was attributed with the statement that Jiu-Jitsu... he believes Jiu-Jitsu is fantastic and that its a form of education.
Rickson Gracie: Yes.
BJJL: He felt it was transformative. Do you feel that same way?
Rickson Gracie: I'm sorry.
BJJL: He felt it was transformative. It changed people, that Jiu-Jitsu had the ability to change people and that was one of the things that made it fantastic and the fact it had an educational component to it. Do you feel the same way, that it's very transformative for these reasons?
Rickson Gracie: I'm positive, but not because Jiu-Jitsu transforms you. Jiu-Jitsu gives you the opportunity for you to know what you are made of and how you adjust yourself to get better. You don't have to be panicked in those situations. Jiu-Jitsu proves that. You can be more relaxed here. You can have your leverage to instead power. By understand about your leverage, your weight distribution, your techniques, your elements of emotional control, you definitely become a different animal. You become a much more complete animal in terms of strategy, in terms of courage, in terms of capacity to handle emotions. So that transformation, coming from within, based on the exposure of Jiu-Jitsu.
Tomorrow: Rickson tells us how Jiu-Jitsu changed him personally.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson Gracie describes how the JJGF will be of service to the Jiu-Jitsu community and the community at large.
BJJ Legends: You were talking about the three pillars.
Rickson Gracie: Yes.
BJJL: You talked about communications, competitions.
Rickson Gracie: Competitions.
BJJL: We talked about the rules a little bit. And the third?
Rickson Gracie: The third one will be, maybe, the most important in service, of all. Which is, feed those. For example, I just talked about the teacher, who coming from a competitive school, training, system. It becomes a black belt with good recognition. Then we opened the school and it has no teaching programs from our traditional aspect. The education aspect is exactly created to provide knowledge. To provide programs for those teachers become more effective in the way they teach. By having those programs...becoming a certified instructor, training, he becomes much more knowledgeable with the elements he can use to fulfill the needs of the community. That will be very, very important for him to have more students. It will favor the instructor. It will favor the school honor. It will favor the students because more people can learn. More people can enjoy the math. The teacher will be happy to favor more people. The school honor will be happy because it can retain more students. Education is a very important tool for the federation to spread the concepts, to spread the knowledge, to make our culture have a reference for the future. Without that, any school can teach anything without having the idea of what is our backbone.
Tomorrow: Rickson will discuss how it is that Jiu-Jitsu has changed so many lives.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson Gracie: Stalling is an Efficient way to win a fight but it is not very Effective in a real fight.
BJJ Legends: Let's talk about that for a moment. This isn't the first interview that you have done and I managed to see one or two of them, and you talked about the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.
Rickson Gracie: Yes.
BJJ Legends: I think you've been circling around it here a little bit in terms of the things you and I have been talking about right now. Let's stop for a moment and talk about how the Jiu Jitsu Global Federation, the JJGF, is going to promote efficiency.
Rickson Gracie: No.
BJJ Legends: Effectiveness.
Rickson Gracie: Effectiveness.
BJJ Legends: Excuse me, effectiveness over efficiency.
Rickson Gracie: Yes, because efficiency is how many packages you do a minute. Effectiveness is what's the purpose of this. So efficiency to get medals, I mean, I can see the guys consistently win medals by doing very boring game, like very bored. It's just the way they fight. It's very efficient to get the medal. But the effectiveness of this in real life, is almost close to none. So I don't believe in that kind of efficiency. I really pray for people understand. Jiu Jitsu is something we have to have for effectiveness. To result, to be able to survive, to be able to protect, to be able to create elements for you to feel good about yourself. Not only when you compete, but when you walk on the street.
Tomorrow: Rickson will talk about JJGF's service goals.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson Gracie believes you have a responsibility to your community to teach the minute you put a black belt on your waist.
BJJ Legends: I noticed that you said you wouldn't be a Jiu-Jitsu fighter without self-defensive aspect, will not be a complete fighter or inability to teach. What responsibility do Jiu-Jitsu artists have to share the art, to share the sport, supportive aspects of the art and the self-defensive aspects of the art with others?
Rickson Gracie: I think, I mean, you can compete, you can have no responsibility of anything. But at the moment, you become famous, you put a black belt in your chest, I mean in your waist, and you open a school. You should have the compromise to serve the community in a complete way. I think if you just gotten, I mean, I heard another day, a student coming to his teacher, his Jiu-Jitsu teacher and asked for self-defense. And he said, No, if you want a self-defense, you learn Krav Maga. We hear training Jiu-Jitsu competition, and I feel like this is just like killing the sport, that's killing our traditional culture. Because the first generation, the second generation of the Jiu-Jitsu family, when they go on the street, they feel comfortable while they're competing. And why this doesn't translate anymore? Is just because the competition becomes so specific, so much detailed in grips and stalling, which doesn't translate in effectiveness anymore.
And on the schools, the programs of self-defense have been forgotten, just because 'let's train, let's roll, let's have fun.' But the community service, the need for the community is much more than just having fun, or get sweat or get busted ears. You have to know how to protect yourself from a slap, or a knife or a gun or something. You have to have chances, nobody is going to be unbeatable, nobody is superman. But more elements you have to fulfill the need, the more you going to feel better, walk around, talk better, everything will be better for you. And the Jiu Jitsu I learned all my life, the Jiu Jitsu I teach all my life, has none of those strategic elements to the medal.
It's all bout effectiveness, it's all about what works for you on the mat, on the street or in the cage. And that's I feel like, that's crucial for us to preserve our culture and leave Jiu-Jitsu to the future with some kind of reference. Because now, or a few, the Jiu-Jitsu is going in that direction. And the roots and the effectiveness and what we believe is being forgotten. And Jiu-Jitsu maybe ten years from now, will be like Judo, with great athletes, tough guys, but doesn't translate to reality anymore. It's like Taekwondo, which same thing, great athletes, super moves, but completely unrealistic if you put the guy on the cage or in a self situation, on a self-defense.
Tomorrow: Rickson gives us one of several gems not to be missed: Effectiveness (being able to protect yourself) vs Efficiency (winning tournaments)
If we're only living the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle during the time we are on the mat, then that might amount to about 10% of our weekly routine, but if we take the lessons from that 10% and apply it towards the other 90% of our life… WOW! Now we've found a way to embrace that Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle. -- Eliot Kelly
Community Service is a powerful tool used to improve the quality of living in society. No matter how big or small the service it’s contributable efforts play a major role in raising awareness for taking a selfless action in making the world a better place to live and play. The principles emphasized in martial arts are one in the same as the endless passing of knowledge from one’s experience supplies the recipient a positive outlet to enhancing their lives. BJJ black belt Eliot Kelly success as a competitor and personal growth showcases the results that Martial arts produce. Giving back Kelly has taken part in various community service outreaches with a fusion of martial arts doing his part in uncovering a solution to a problem.
BJJ Legends got the opportunity to speak with Kelly has he touches on the influence community service has played in the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu community.
When you think of community service & Martial Arts what comes to mind?
Kelly: In my opinion, most martial arts have an element of community service built into their practice. The core of martial arts is about development and growth. Conceptually, martial art is about facing the challenges we have to better ourselves and the people around us in the dojo,and applying the lessons from those challenges into our daily life off the mat. I feel the spirit of martial arts is about leading the person in front of you to a better, stronger place, and as a result of that you become better and stronger. I see community service as just that. Facing a challenge to better the people around you andhelp them grow. The result is in a better community for everyone!
How is the focus on community service used in the BJJ community?
Kelly: I think Jiu-Jitsu has an excellent reputation for including community service in their practices, and I don't think this is a coincidence. The act of training makes us humble, helps us express humility and gratitude for where we are in life. As a result the Jiu-Jitsu community gravitates towards finding ways to better the people around them through service. When people talk about living the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle, I think community service is a key component.My Professor, Marcos Torregrosa, for example goes all over to teach seminars, but he will also teach a community service like seminar to raise money for a good cause and bring awareness towards certain topics. I recently attended a roll-a-thon even in Rocklin at Professor Gustavo’s Infinite Jiu Jitsu Academy where they raised awareness and funds for Autism. Professor Claudio Franca hosts a food drive seminar every year in the fall to help feed the hungry and the price for the seminar is "food." All these Jiu-Jitsu related community service events are great examples of the BJJ community getting together to collaborate, contribute, and enrich those around them.
Being a very active competitor alongside your duties as an Instructor, what inspired you to take that role of becoming a charitable contributor to society off the mat?
Kelly: I'm still just striving to become a successful competitor and instructor... But through that process I've come to realize that the general public doesn't really understand Jiu-Jitsu and the unassuming power of Jiu-Jitsu. Jiu-Jitsu is not just a sport, it's not just a martial art, and many people refer to Jiu-Jitsu as being a lifestyle. My inspiration began with the desire to better understand and better communicate to the general public, and those involved in Jiu-Jitsu, about the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle we talk about but don't necessarily define. After lots of blogging, thinking, and talking, I feel the lifestyle we refer to isn't just about the training, but applying our training into other areas off the mat. Sam Calavitta, Gary Merlo, Tom Callos, Chad Robichaux, Marcos Torregrosa, and Adisa Banjoku are people that have helped me better understand this idea in application.The Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle begins with stepping on the mat and challenging yourself and the people around you to become better. When we take those lessons from challenging ourselves on the mat and apply them into other areas of our life off the mat, then we begin to live the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle.
If we're only living the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle during the time we are on the mat, then that might amount to about 10% of our weekly routine, but if we take the lessons from that 10% and apply it towards the other 90% of our life… WOW! Now we've found a way to embrace that Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle. Many of those lessons are basic things Jiu-Jitsu people might take for granted, patience, tranquility, humility, gratitude, communication, strategy, creativity… I could keep going! ;)
What are some community service projects you've participated in ?
Kelly: We try to host a community service related event atour school in El Dorado Hills, California every month, a self-defense workshop, anti-bullying workshop, law enforcement workshop for people to get on the mat to better understand the potential of Jiu-Jitsu. Every year I go to the local high school in El Dorado Hills to help the P.E. teachers teach their combative lesson to their freshmen class. These are events that help bring people off the mat on the mat.
Professor Chad Robichaux of Gracie Barra formed the Mighty Oaks Warrior Program, a program to help combat veterans adjust back to life stateside.Through his own experiences in marital arts, Chad and his wife Cathy have structured an incredible program to serve veterans with PTSD and Physical Trauma.
Last year students in El Dorado Hills hosted a 24 hour roll-a-thon event to contribute funding and awareness towards prostate cancer and the Might Oaks Warrior Program. This was a huge project for them to schedule, organize, network, and implement. A great example of taking the lessons and challenges from training and applying to other areas off the mat.I've been really lucky to have partnered with a few very dedicated members of the community that have helped set up scholarship opportunities at our school. In designing our scholarship program we’ve included a section on community service. Students on scholarship create their own project, on their own hours, and make it happen! In the future, I would like to be involved in creating a non-profit organization that incorporates the power of Jiu-Jitsu and community service in educating our community.
Can you talk a little more about this?
Kelly: I'm thinking a 501c3 would be needed to get things going, but the idea is to create a community outreach program for people who are already involved in Jiu-Jitsu to educate others on the idea of self-defense and get others involved in Jiu-Jitsu. I might be getting repetitive, but I think getting people to live and understand the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle is important. From the challenges on the mat, we are better able to challenge and contribute off the mat. We've thought of a few names and ideas to get things moving, but I don't want to share too much just yet. Maybe another interview in the future ;)
In your experience what have you gotten out Of your charitable deeds?
Kelly: A couple sandwiches.... LOL! Just kidding... I feel my experiences have helped me better understand the arts. Definitely the art of teaching and Jiu-Jitsu, but also the art of communication and the art of organizing events. Every time these things take place, I’m humbled by the power of people wanting to help. All these experiences help me have an attitude of gratitude.
Finally any advice for people looking does start up their own community service outreach through Martial Arts?
Kelly: Yes! Seek out Tom Callos and his organization called, The 100. The 100 is a gathering ground for those dedicated to developing the community through martial arts, and a catalyst to promote many types of community service based events. Tom was the catalyst for the Penn Foundation in Hilo, Hawaii, an outreach program for the youth in the area. Another example is the "Alabama Buildvention." Where martial artists gather from all over the world to fully fund and build a home for the less fortunate. We've only done some fundraising for this community service project, but I would like to attend one of thesedays... Another great person to seek advice from is Adisa Banjoku of the Hip-hop Chess Federation. I had the opportunity to participate in a collaborative event with the HHCF and the KO Finisher down in Anaheim earlier this year, and can't say enough great things about their organization and integration, application, and communication of the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle with hip hop and chess. Most importantly, get moving! Just like Jiu-Jitsu, the best way to get started with jiu-jitsu is to get moving. We might fail at first, and many times after that, but keep moving, listen to your coach, and surround yourself with like-minded people that will embrace that Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle.
Any final thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson answers is it still practical in the application of self-defense Jiu-Jitsu to control my opponent until help arrives?
BJJ Legends: It's been said that in a self-defense situation, a realistic consideration of holding on until help arrives is a viable option. What are your thoughts on that?
Rickson: Depends. I mean, if you're talking about self-defense in a situation where I'm in a regular equal situation, I can hold the guy for the cops arrive or whatever. But if I know, by holding the guy, his friends will come, or if I'm a fragile woman who has just gotten space and get out of there, it's a completely different feeling of how you have to protect and survive. I feel like jujutsu's capable to give to the opponent a very complete spectrum of the possibility, either to deflect the energy and try to escape, either to kick the guy's butt, whatever it is, the need. In some cases, the opponent is bigger, stronger, meaner, you wanna just the deflect, get space and get out of there as quick as possible. The options are there and the way you're gonna use it will depend of the need.
Tomorrow: Rickson answers the question, Do we still need self-defense taught in Jiu-Jitsu Schools?
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series: Rickson answers the question, Do we still need self-defense taught in Jiu-Jitsu Schools?
BJJ Legends: I spoke with a Jiu Jitsu black belt who told me that he felt that self-defense, the self defensive aspects of the art, were no longer necessary. His opinion, the capable blue belt would be able to handle themselves on the street in a self-defense situation, if they had experience competing under the supportive elements. This sounds like to me that you don't believe that.
Rickson: I definitely don't believe that.
BJJ Legends: Why, why not?
Rickson: Because you know, I've been doing seminars all over, and they may know how to [inaudible 00:00:38], how to guard, how to be the action, but they don't know how to avoid punches in the guard. They don't know how to feel comfortable in a stand up situation. They don't have no ideas of how to use the side kick, the blocking. So the fight doesn't start and or end on the ground. A lot of things can happen in between and I feel like, not only for the competitor, because if you think every guy going to go in your school to learn how to compete, you're very wrong. I mean, the self-defense program is to feel women, children, who has sometimes like a little intimidation, they feel like shy or insecure.
So you cannot expect this kid will be a great competitor. You have to feed them with what they need so they don't get bully on the streets. So just by learning how to not be pushed or not fall easy is already a great positive valuable thing for him to learn. The elements Jiu Jitsu has to favor the community cannot be just forgotten because somebody's just had [inaudible 00:01:43] years and try to compete. I think competition is a great aspect of the sport to develop the atheletics by the competitive result of the athletes, but not to fulfill their needs of a different purpose like a law enforcement, women, and so on.
So I'm totally disagree with that. And for me, the Jiu Jitsu who don't know self-defense, he's incomplete, he may even can handle himself, but he don't have no elements to teach his daughter or his weak cousin to be what he does. So for me, our culture is based on self-defense.
Tomorrow: Is it still practical in the application of self-defense Jiu-Jitsu to control my opponent until help arrives?
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series Rickson tells us if he will award points or advantages for sub attempts.
BJJ Legends: In Budo Challenge, you set up a situation where competitors are awarded points; eight points, I believe, for attacks, near submission attempts. We saw this many years ago. There was a similar rule in there that rewarded attempts at submission. Will you look to incorporate something like that in the current rules into new rules?
Rickson: No, the idea of Budo Challenge was make something even more sensational for TV was like extreme, only for top athletes, not exactly for like the academic, not for competitions, not even visualizing amateur sport. So we highly… pushing the guys to go for submissions and let everything out. The time limits are smaller, pushing one to explosiveness, so the idea was to create a very dynamic explosive grappling action. I mean, the results are great and this 75% of the fights were finished by submissions. So we have great result at the time. But this concept for the federation is completely different. It is more like attending the vision of becoming Olympic, attending of one vision of unifying the sport and making all the great grapplers. Kind of feel like they belong to one important community which ranking them is a unified system and giving to them the possibility to grow including to a bigger medium, you know.
Today in the our Rickson Interview Series Rickson describes us what is wrong with the current tournament rules for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
BJJ Legends: Interviewer: So lets talk about the rules then a little bit because this is obviously something that is a concern to you and you feel it's at the heart of what the problem is currently at least in jujitsu, where the division lies and an element of the artistic aspect. The rules as they exist now, do you feel that they facilitate or promote stalling?
Rickson: Definitely, I feel like the rules are a big problem for us today. Because the intention of the rules are the best, but people start to use the rules in their favor to become more confident to get the medal. So they start to develop, within the rule, situations to be legal and still be able to keep the pace under control. I feel like this is completely against the actual progressive aspect of the fight. So the rules, I mean, I don't want to reinvent the wheel, so the classic points will stay.
The advantage has to go, because the advantage is a very gray area which now they are being used by the top fighters as a point. It's like imagine basketball game where the ball in the rim counts or a soccer game where the ball on the post counts. So people are not going to be paying attention more to making the basket. They will, if anything, touch the ring, okay, it's a point, so they start to play with this kind of advantage as a solid point. And sometimes, you see a ten-minute fight be decided by one advantage. So that kind of downgrades our expectations in terms of action. So by taking that advantage off, keeping the points, the real points on and also penalizing stalling by warning, minus a point, minus two points and DQ, we completely give the athlete the compromise to move, to act, instead of just waiting in a holding position which has no purpose in real life. We develop, we push him to keep moving and if he's in a bad position, make sure to get out of there. If in a good position, make sure you escalate, but you cannot just stall and just jeopardizing the sport, the patience of the audience and so on. So the sport has to be a continuous dynamic action. So I feel like that adjustment in the rules, you create a different, progressive, dynamic fight, which is better for everyone.
Daily Rickson interview series 1of24: What is the Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation?
BJJ Legends: Hi, Rickson. My name is Mafu Kobus. I'm here for bjjlegends.com. Welcome.
Rickson: Thank you, my friend. It’s a pleasure to be here with you and with the audience.
BJJ L: Thank you very much. Look, if you don't mind we will just jump right in this. Lately you’ve been promoting the JJGF. Everywhere I have seen it, on the internet. Anywhere I go I see your face, talking about the JJGF. Why don’t you give us a brief introduction to what the JJGF is?
Rickson: Nothing can put me on the position to be more motivated than have this kind of special feeling of work for the sport and for the community. I feel like JJGF got me in a very needed time because we are not here to compete with any assistant, federations, associations, or so on. We are here to provide a very important service to the community and to the sport. I think service has to be our mission in order to fulfill the need, to resolve our biggest problem which is losing effectiveness. So in order for us to restore effectiveness in our beloved art, we have to work in a very complex way, and that is what the JJGF had been doing. We create a very nice digital platform to cover three different aspects of three different pillars of action. The first one is communication. Included in that communication aspect, we are going to try to inform the community with all the elements in jiu-jitsu from tournaments, to what is going on.
We’re going to have a master's council. We are going to be there to be the voice, be active for the community. We are going to have a development council which made not from the high masters but from the guys are hands on, guys with many schools; they know what the problems are. So we are going to listen to them. We are going to create a personal profile for every athlete who would like to be involved a Facebook-like kind of thing because we believe by having their voices and asking to the masters, talking about what they feel about the community, about the sport, that will improve our sensitivity to get there. We will also create a very important element of not only communicating and listen, but also, like a directory. A free directory for every school and a paid directory for affiliated schools. But I believe the federation has to be compromised to expose everybody who do jiu-jitsu.
So if you have a jiu-jitsu school, you will be listed in our federation. So based on that communication aspect, I feel like these unifies the community and give a voice for everybody who has some kind of passion about the sport. That is the first important pillar for our federation. The second one is the competitive aspect which like for today is no matter if you are association, if you have a federation, or if you are just an independent promoter, in the today's global competitive aspect, it is a big split. I mean, some associations or federations have tiny events a year. Some has 20 or 30. Some others have 10. So it is always split like a cake. And because they are not unified, because they are not thinking the growth of the sport, they all become different corporation. Which translate them and a good business for them but does not translate in the unified view of the sport. You cannot create a ranking.
So everything makes difficult for the sport to grow for the next stage. So I believe in order for us to reach the next stage which is unified rules, like for example, from the IJJF, they have 30 events a year. We can pick maybe 5 events, the top events they have. We can pick 5 events of NAGA. We can bring 2 or 3 from grappling class and U.S. Open. So we can get a bunch, maybe hundred events a year we produced. We may get 10 or 15 events to make our worldwide circuit. And giving a different flavor because if we can get in, that’s big sponsors, major sponsors like Galax, Nike, Bench, whatever. So in that way, if the sport is unified in a sense, we can grasp the possibility for Olympics. We can grasp all the possibility to make our huge growth, not only for the fighters as a premium top selected group of athletes, but also for the promoters, also for the audience, everybody who want to take advantage of it.
In order for us to create that unified rules, it is important for us to think about the future of jiu-jitsu. And if we are talking about the rules today, maybe this is the biggest element that jeopardizing the quality of our beloved art. Because, like I said in the beginning, our problem is restore effectiveness. Why I say that is because from the last 20 years or so, the evolutionary process of the tournaments, made the athletes be very strategic, very smart in a way for the medal. But that efficiency into going to the medal, does not translate an effectiveness in real life, in the cage, or any other self-defense situation. So what I try to bring back is the concept of training in tournaments is a good step to make you comfortable in life, to make you comfortable in any self-defense aspect which does not translate today. I mean, I love tournaments, I love to see fights, but at least 8 in 10 fights, I feel boring to them.
It is just positions, I call anti jiu-jitsu moves which are developed to give to practitioner more control to the situation, more capabilities in one's move, able to get advantage or get a point or whatever, and then they stall again, and then they win the tournament. It is great for that medal but that is jeopardizing our culture which is dynamic action, motions, going to the cue, and by getting this progressive way. It does not matter if you would fight in the tournament or if you will fight in a real life situations. That is kind of very similar. But if you start to add those anti jiu-jitsu moves which are developed to exactly to stall the motion, and to keep everything in that visible control situation, you’re definitely jeopardizing the effectiveness of the sport. So, my intention is to bring back a new rule which keeps the fighter progressively looking for submission. And that hopefully would change the dynamic of the action and makes the effectiveness back to the sport.
It was a frenzy that got out of hand,…The certifications calmed things down. –Steve Goldman
A Brand New Frenzy
Gi Review: Banboo Frenzy is super soft but sizing seems to be an issue.
Submission Fight Company is releasing its newest limited edition kimono “Bamboo Frenzy” with some notable features that sets it apart from any other kimono being marketed to competitors. Ultra Soft & Comfortable, IBJJF Approved, Light 10oz pants. The smallest kimono (A0 2lbs 12ozs) the largest kimono (A5 is 4lbs and 5ozs). Comparable with the Submission “Sensation” kimono you will have the pleasure of being nice and cool due to soft fabric yet this time it comes courtesy of a blend of rayon and Bamboo. However, to say the kimono is perfect would be a bit of a stretch. We tested it and unlike many these days it is not pre-shrunk but a shrink to fit kind of Kimono. The A1 was tested and is for a male ranging (5’2-5’5 110-145). We used a male (5’4 145) and the results were not exactly as advertised. After multiple attempts to (shrink the item to accommodate) the item still did not fit. Suffice it to say, if it doesn’t fit, it won’t be IBJJF approved. It is absolutely comfortable and the exorbitant amount of perspiration one is prone to doesn’t seem to affect the kimono’s ability to keep you cooler and dryer than before. [Click here to read more about bamboo and bamboo fabrics]
All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Piet Wilhelm is the founder of Triton Fight Center, and he is a first degree black belt under Renato Tavares.
Over the last few days, I've watched several of his videos on Youtube, and I've noticed a few things. The first is that he's passionate about Jiu-jitsu, and that's evidenced not only by the words he speaks but also the volume of work that he has done.
He also sees its potential to influence lives for the better. So he takes his role as a mentor very seriously. You may catch a glimpse of that in this interview.
What do you consider the basics of Jiu-jitsu?
I consider understanding the closed guard as a good starting point for jiu-jitsu. Knowing what posture and base is inside someone's guard is essential for both participants.
Knowing where you are safe and when you can engage is also important. The survival aspect is where it all is in the beginning phases.
What would you recommend as a strategy for learning those basics in a short period of time?
I would recommend for anyone wanting to master anything to video tape techniques taught and drill them throughout the week before and after class with a training partner.
If possible schedule a private once a month with the instructor to review everything that was taught that month using your notes as reference. Also during the private lesson the instructor can cater the technique to fit an individual best as opposed to what was presented to a group of 30 plus people. The private lesson will give the student the individual attention that he/she may need.
What's your criteria for blue belts? What's the bare minimum of conceptual and technical knowledge that they should have?
I require my blue belts to have mastery and proficiency in 2 takedowns, 3 sweeps, 3 guard passes, 4 subs from top, 3 from bottom, mount escape, side control escape, sub defense top and bottom, and combining the techniques.
As an individual moves up the belt system the amount of techniques go up along with level of proficiency. I also require each student to at least do their minimum time in each belt rank (as per ibjjf) before they are considered for promotion.
What are some aha moments you've had both as a student and as a teacher of our art?
Things started to click for me as a purple belt. As a white and blue I just rolled without thinking or setting things up. My understanding and growth began as a purple.
That is when things began to click.
Now as a black belt things make more sense. I don't have to drill something nearly as much as I did when I was a purple belt in order to understand what I was doing. I still keep my game simple. Being 40 I don't try anything to crazy. I want my technique to work when I am 70 and 80 along with my body still being functional.
Given your experience, what would you do differently if you were a white belt all over again?
If I was a white belt all over again I think I would be more patient rather that worried about the next belt color. The color of your belt means absolutely nothing if you don't have the knowledge and understanding to back it up.
Too many people still get caught up in that. They expect to be promoted rather than truly earning it. For me my students have to show consistency along with proficiency. I have some awesome grapplers that have all the talent in the world that I have yet to promote due to their lack of attendance.
I reward those that work hard.
If you had a student who could only make it to class once a week, because of other commitments, what would advise them to do outside of class in order to still progress?
I think training jiu-jitsu once a week is like trying to become a body builder lifting once a week or going on a diet once a week and expecting to get a six pack. I believe if someone has a good foundation and skill set that once a week would be sufficient if they are able to go home and drill and practice. But with limited knowledge by themselves, growth and progression will be extremely slow. Kind of unrealistic in my opinion. You could invest in DVDs, Youtube, books, online training but nothing truly can replace hitting the mats with a credible instructor.
When you compare how you were taught with how you teach now, what have you changed for the better?
When I was taught techniques in the past it was a lot of moves in one setting. Some of my instructors never talked to us after class. It was just a job.
I have learned through the years that it is important to develop a warrior ethos and espirit de corps. I keep my instruction short. Then I have them practice the move. I bring them all in again to point out some of the details that they may have missed and then I make them practice it again.
If the technique requires multiple moves I have them drill it in parts then moves are added along with the necessary instruction rather than teaching the complexity for 15-20 minutes. That has a tendency of losing people's attention. So short and sweet is my style.
At the end of class I like to talk to my students about LIFE. I feel it is important for them to know me and know where I am coming from. It also lets them know what I demand of them in their journey to black belt. Character - Live a healthy life - technique. It that order. I have learned over the years that when you promote someone who is a douche bag that now you have just made that individual a douche bag with rank and others will think it is okay to conduct themselves accordingly.
It's essential to focus on survival early on.
Devoting time to learning the art outside of class pays dividends.
Consistent effort is the only way to truly progress.
Of the videos I saw, the one Piet created about his jiu-jitsu journey was the most interesting. I saw several similarities between him and my own coach, Mike Moses, and it's also interesting to learn why different people are drawn to the art.