How to Be a Great BJJ Training Partner

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When it comes to the effectiveness of BJJ, many people would say that it’s the techniques that are the key. While this is true, it is incomplete. There are many other styles that teach the same or similar techniques to BJJ but do not have the same track record in MMA or open combat. The key is how these techniques are shaped and sharpened by drilling them against full resistance, and testing them in tournaments against unfamiliar opponents. In this way, it is actually the sport component of BJJ that makes it so effective for self-defense. This means the true value of BJJ is in your training partners. Here are a few tips for taking good care of them:

  1. Understand who the drill is for. In BJJ drilling, usually the drill is more for one person than the other, and you must be sensitive to this. If the class is about mount escapes, it is not the time for you to completely shut down your partner and show how awesome you are at holding mount. It’s easy to counter when you know exactly what the person is supposed to be doing. Let them work through the technique and let the instructor tell you when it’s time to fight.
  2. Focus on improvement. This may seem obvious, but it isn’t. There is a big difference between focusing on getting better, and focusing on showing how good you already are. If you always drill the things you’re already good at and spend all your time rolling in the positions you like, it’s easy to fall into a rut. It’s good every few weeks to assess where you’re feeling good and where you could use improvement, and make an effort to put yourself in those positions you don’t like as much to get better at them.
  3. Communicate. If you have a neck injury or bad knee, don’t be afraid to tell your partner. It is true that BJJ is a tough sport, little aches and pains are always going to be there and you’ll have to work through them but if something is on the edge where you can train with it but it’s at higher risk for further injury, it’s important for your training partner to know. The whole team gets better when everyone stays on the mat and keeps training.

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Give us a call at 780-217-0059 or send us an e-mail at tlarone@arashido.com for more information on joining our team and see the life-changing benefits of training in jiu-jitsu for yourself!
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To Pull or not to Pull?

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Guard pulling in Jiu-Jitsu is a polarizing topic and usually goes hand in hand with the debate over whether Jiu-Jitsu is headed down the path of becoming just another sport martial art with no basis in self defense. It’s clear that in a street fight, you don’t want to be fighting from your back on the concrete no matter how good you are at it. If you are put there, you use the skills of Jiu-Jitsu to return to your feet and preferably put the opponent on the ground.

I find myself stuck in the middle. I personally never pull guard and will always teach my students takedowns first, and always emphasize that in self defense you stay on your feet if at all possible. However, I do think it’s important to recognize that pulling guard may be the best strategy for certain types of fighters, especially in lower weight divisions and success in competition is important as well. If one of my students wants to pull guard, I only ask the following:

  1. Pull guard AGGRESSIVELY. Make sure when you go to the ground, the opponent is off-balance and a step behind so you can immediately attack with a sweep or submission.
  2. Train takedowns as well. Pull guard because it’s where you’re most dangerous, not because you don’t know how to do anything else.
  3. Get the RIGHT grips. Don’t be in such a rush to get the fight to the ground that you take whatever grips you get first. The grips you pull guard with should be the ones you need for the sweep or submission you’re going for immediately afterward.

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Give us a call at 780-217-0059 or send us an e-mail at tlarone@arashido.com for more information on joining our team and see the life-changing benefits of training in jiu-jitsu for yourself!

 

Mind Body Soul

Another year, another great #MindBodySoul tournament. The St. Albert dojo has always had great Jiu-Jitsu competitors but I was also very proud to field four competitors for kickboxing, all of whom did a great job! I was busy reffing most of the day so unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of my own but here are some I collected last night from friends, family and teammates:

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Give us a call at 780-217-0059 or send us an e-mail at tlarone@arashido.com for more information on joining our team and see the life-changing benefits of training in jiu-jitsu for yourself!

Mind Body Soul is Coming Up!

Mind Body Soul is coming up and pre-registration is open! MBS is one of Alberta’s oldest tournaments and one of the largest in Canada. Smaller tournaments are nice for a more relaxed atmosphere, but the major advantage of a larger tournament is that more participants = fairer divisions. You’re much more likely to be fighting people your experience and size at a tournament like Mind Body Soul, which is why it’s such a fan favourite. Check out the details at www.albertabjj.com !

CBJJF Alberta Provincials

Last week we brought three of our juniors to the CBJJF Alberta Provincial Championships and Ethan, Emma and Natalya all put up fantastic performances, taking home a total of four gold medals and one bronze! All three also did a great job of executing their gameplans and staying on task under pressure, the mark of all great competitors. We now set our sights on Mind Body Soul where we will hopefully be bringing a huge team!

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Give us a call at 780-217-0059 or send us an e-mail at tlarone@arashido.com for more information on joining our team and see the life-changing benefits of training in jiu-jitsu for yourself!

St. Albert Stands Tall at April 2018 Grading!

This past weekend Arashi-Do was once again fortunate enough to host the head of our affiliation and a true legend of Jiu-Jitsu, Mestre Sylvio Behring. Over the course of the weekend, many of our students were tested on their skills and participated in several seminars on a wide range of topics from self-defense to competition. Arashi-Do St. Albert was out in force and everyone did very well! Here are just some of the amazing moments from the various sessions:

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The 4-7 group listening intently as Mestre Behring explains the next drill

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Mestre Behring makes an adjustment to Mateo’s positioning

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Sarah and Antoine taking part in the Junior BJJ Seminar

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The 8-10 group (many with newly minted belts!) pose with a very proud Professor Tyson

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Professor Tyson with the second crop of juniors, including St. Albert’s first yellow belt

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Masa and Danya preparing for a race to standing in one of Mestre Behring’s drills

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New Gray/White belts Deegan and Drayson sharing the moment with Mestre Behring

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A tough test, and worth every moment! Congratulations to everyone who received stripes from the adult class

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No better way to cap off the weekend than a record attendance for the Women and Teen Girls seminar with Mestre Behring and Professor Tyson, with lots of help with monitors from a wide range of schools. Can’t wait till next time!

 

Gi vs No-Gi… Do You Need Both?

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At Arashi-Do St. Albert we have several classes in the gi during the week, both mixed and ladies only. Fridays we do submission wrestling in the evening with no gi. One of the more common questions I get from perspective members is what the difference is between gi and no-gi (besides the obvious) and why one might choose one or the other.

  1. Self-Defense – Jiu-Jitsu has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years as a sport, but at its core it is a real world self-defense martial art forged in street fighting and vale tudo first and foremost. This was the first and most important reason for training both with and without the gi. Since we generally not choose the time, place and opponent for a self-defense situation, we never know what kind of clothes they’ll be wearing or if the clothes they may be wearing are strong and durable enough to be used the way a gi might be. Gi’s are essentially designed to simulate normal clothing but also be durable enough to withstand day to day training where normal clothes may survive being used to throw or choke once or twice in a single fight. If your self defense is based purely on being able to grab clothing, you’ll be at a disadvantage against a person wearing light or no clothing so no-gi experience and techniques will be needed.
  2. Sport – When both opponents are wearing a gi, there is a great deal of added friction between them as well as a great deal of different reliable grips available. This generally makes it easier to pin an opponent in a position as well as set up submissions, and as a result it’s much more difficult to simply explode out of something. This sharpens up the defenses and escapes and requires them to be technical. On the flip side, the lack of friction in no-gi makes it much easier to escape so your attacks need to be much tighter and better set up. People who do both will typically have more well-rounded games as a result.
  3. Fitness – The friction and grips of the gi serve another purpose as well – to slow the game down. This means that both fighters will typically spend longer in a given position than they would in no-gi, so you must develop the strength and muscular endurance to maintain your frames, holds and grips. No-gi on the other hand is much faster paced, so it will demand a higher level of explosiveness and aerobic fitness. Training in both will yield the best results for overall jiu-jitsu conditioning.

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Give us a call at 780-217-0059 or send us an e-mail at tlarone@arashido.com for more information on joining our team and see the life-changing benefits of training in jiu-jitsu for yourself!