Episode #88 “What is game planning for BJJ”

This week the boys got a special pro tip from Chris Papandria all about game planning in Jiu Jitsu. This is not to be confusing with building your game, but it has similarities. 

We realize that it’s hard enough to talk anyone into taking notes of any kind, but bear with us. This could help you reach a new level in at least your competitions. 

Chris talks about the importance of having a well defined game plan going into a competition. One that revolves around your A-Game. Think about your core competencies in BJJ and try and impose that upon your opponents. 

This shouldn’t be limited to just your way if controlling the match, but your best defense and escapes from each position as well. We want everything to be clearly outlined before we (by we I mean you) step foot on the mats. 

Your coach should be a part of your game plan as well so he or she is on the same page as you and not yelling instructions that you aren’t trying to implement. On that same token Chris suggests that you have code words for the techniques you want to use so as not to tip off your opponent to what you’re trying to do. 

We think that if you implement and think about game planning before each competition, you’ll see a clear improvement in future outcomes. 

After the boys finish demolishing Chris’s pro tip, they read an email from Paul Elliot about what he looks for before deciding whether or not to promote someone to the next belt. He brings up his car in the email which we found endearing and didn’t give him a hard time about it at all….

After much thanks and gratitude towards Paul for the lovely email, we talked a bit about what’s going on in our own Jiu Jitsu journeys…

Episode #87 “How do I get better at Jiu Jitsu if I learn something new every class?”

the boys talk about a common theme in the Jiu Jitsu community, which is the feeling of not being able to retain any information because we keep learning new techniques in every class. 

A lot of BJJ academies teach various and disparate techniques during each class. Most don’t teach moves that pertain to each other and many don’t teach how to set them up or defend against them. Learning this way can be frustratingly annoying and can take many years to become proficient at anything. 

Kroyler talks about why this is the case by giving some background on the culture of where the art originated from… namely Brazil. He explains the lack of proper education in that part of the world and how that permeates into the Jiu Jitsu academy. Which is to say, nobody really know how to teach, despite the fact that they might be really good at the art itself. 

That being said, he goes into a bit of detail on how to best overcome a bad curriculum and make the most out of your training if you find yourself in such a situation. 

Really tho, he speaks to the instructors out there who may be listening how to better outline your instructions so that your students can learn as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

episode #86 “Elements of progress in Jiu Jitsu”

The boys talked about the three elements of what it takes to make progress in BJJ. They ripped off a friend/fan of the show, Paul Elliot, and his writings on his blog, simplebjj.com for this pro tip. 

One of the most frustrating aspects of Jiu Jitsu is the seemingly slow progress you make from one class to the next or even one year to the next. So how can we more accurately gauge our progress?  How can we insure that we are making progress? What can we focus on to make sure we’re moving in the right direction at the fastest possible pace?

According to Paul Elliot, there are three fundamental elements to proper progress:

1:  knowledge 

2:  dedication 

3:  performance

We need to weave these three things together to make the most out of our BJJ “journey”….

Basically, you really need a balanced approach to progress in BJJ utilizing all three otherwise you’ll have unbalances in your game. 

So, take notes and pay attention and try the moves that you’re learning. Keep showing up despite how you may feel on any given day. Test yourself against all levels of Jiu Jitsu at your gym to both work on improving in and to see where you’re deficient.

Episode #85 “What is the difference between an baby blue and purple belt”

On this episode the boys wanted to ask Kroyler his opinion about the difference in abilities between a baby blue belt and a baby purple belt. 

First they define what each of them are. How should you roll and what your knowledge levels should be respectively. These are just baselines and not the be all end all of what you should or shouldn’t be when you reach or are about to reach these levels, but things to keep in mind and strive for. 

Depending on the culture of your gym and how they handle promotions your experience becoming either belt might be different but more or less the ideas presented by Kroyler holds true. 

When you get your blue belt you realize that the upper belts were just taking it easy on you and the white belts just put a target on your back. 

When you get to purple people just simply stop taking it easy on you because now you should know better than to make stupid mistakes and lesser belts are always looking to tap a senior belt, and because you’re a brand new senior belt you happen to be the easiest target. 

Remember to not hold your ego in whatever belt you have, always roll to the level of the person you’re rolling with despite their rank, and always look for continued improvement. Beyond that, just have fun and enjoy your game at whatever level you happen to be at.

Episode #84 “Why is everyone afraid to try Jiu Jitsu”

Of all the things people can pick up as either a sport, hobby, workout, or way to defend themselves, BJJ is one of the most intimidating to try. 

The boys talk about why this is… or at least some of the more common reasons why people will tend to shy away from giving Jiu Jitsu the ol’ college try. 

Everyone has their own personal reasons for not wanting to go, but a few stand out. A big one is that it simply doesn’t look like fun. What with all the bodies rolling around covered in sweat… They simply just don’t understand the joy of how fun that really is despite how it looks. 

Many people think they simply don’t need any sort of self defense because either they think they’re already tough enough or they’ll never end up in a fight anyhow. Kroyler puts these two thoughts into a better perspective. 

Sometimes even when you want to try it out you’ll show up to a gym to check it out. And when you see some of the savages that are rolling there you might get intimidated. Sometimes many people just look like killers, it doesn’t mean they’re not the nicest people you’ll ever meet though…

Moral of the story is, put you fears and qualms aside and try out a class or three. The chances are good that you find yourself quite enjoying it after you get started.

Episode #83 “Is my Jiu Jitsu getting worse?”

The boys talk about the feeling most people get in Jiu Jitsu after the initial wave of understanding what they’re doing. That is to say, why does it feel like I’m actually getting worse in Jiu Jitsu???

At first it feels like you’re making some pretty good strides in your BJJ learning curve. The “aha” moment come quickly and at least you’re not doing the dumbest of the dumb things you can do on the mat. 

After that initial growth period you sometimes come to a point when you feel like you’re regressing when you roll. This can be contributed to a number of things, but mostly it’s all just in your head. 

Oddly, when most people get their blue belt a couple of things happen. 

1. Blue belts and above don’t roll quite as nicely with you, which has the affect of making you feel worse…

2. White belts try to prove themselves at your expense because they want what you have. That of course makes all your rolls harder. 

Does this mean that you are getting worse at Jiu Jitsu?  Of course not…but with a couple exceptions. They have to do with the quality of your training. Suffice it to say, if you have a good academy and training partners, the chances of regression are slim to none.

Episode #82 “Preparing for a BJJ competition”

Yeah, it’s not their forte, but the boys have enough friends competing and listener emails about Jiu Jitsu competition preparation that they thought it pertinent to ask for a Kroyler Gracie pro tip on the subject. 

While Kip and Paul never plan on doing any competitions, their kids do, so they have a vested interest in how to prepare to set yourself up for success. 

As it turns out, you’ll prepare differently depending on what kind of competition it is, how long you’ve been training, and other variables. 

Many people assume that if I want to get ready to compete then I should concentrate on strength, fitness, and endurance. Turns out this isn’t necessarily true. Not to say that you shouldn’t have a decent base level of all these things, buts it’s not what you should be focused on in your preparations. 

At the highest level most people are generally jacked…but their skill levels are all just about equal and extra athletesism could be just the ticket to get the gold. Chances are though, that extra skills would do them more good…as it will you too. 

Basically, your time is better spend on skill acquisition and less in physical training.