Grip Training with "The Sleeves!"

Monday, December 31, 2007

I am fond of saying there are three simple pillars to my game. Grip Strength, Flexibility, and Conditioning.

We've already talked a little about my Conditioning practices in a prior post, tonight we are going to talk about Grip Training, specifically my BJJ Gi related grip training.

Before I get started, let's look at what the Wikipedia has to say about types of Grip Strength.

  • The crush grip is what is most commonly thought of as "grip". It involves a handshake-type grip, where the object being gripped rests firmly against the palm and all fingers. A strong crush grip is useful in bone-crushing handshakes or for breaking objects with pressure.
  • In a pinch grip, the fingers are on one side of an object, and the thumb is on the other. Typically, an object lifted in a pinch grip does not touch the palm. This is generally considered a weaker grip position. The pinch grip is used when grabbing something like a weight plate or lifting a sheet of plywood by the top edge.
  • A support grip typically involves holding something, such as the handle of a bucket, for a long time. This type of strength is epitomized by the "Farmer's walk", where the bucket is filled with sand or water, and carried over a long distance. A great deal of muscular endurance is necessary to have a good carrying grip.

Grip strength - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the BJJ Gi game grip is king, quite simply you can't submit what you can't hold. Crush and Support grip play a very important role in your success on the mat. It's not difficult to create non sport specific grip strength, a quick google search will reveal just less than 1/2 a million hits,
among them you'll find all manner of exercises, such as:
  • Plate Pinch Lifts
  • Wrist Curls
  • Farmers Walk
  • Etc,etc...
While good in their own right none of these exercises are sport specific to BJJ, quite simply, you need to build resistance gripping the Gi.

Now enter Grip Dominator Sleeves.

Essentially, Grip Dominator sleeves are Judo or Jiu-Jitsu Gi sleeves with high grade industrial strapping attached.

Last year, June in fact, I attended a Combat Training Seminar at The Institute of Human Performance. Since then, I've gotten to know JC Santana and his Grip Dominator sleeves and improved my BJJ game noticeably. Grip Dominator Sleeves (Image courtesy of

Grip Dominator sleeves can be attached to damn near anything, Kettlebells, Bands, Barbells, Pull-Up Bars, Gymnastics Rings, etc.

Think you can do a few Pull-Ups? Try doing them with the sleeves and see how many you can do. Unless you have tremendous grip I'm guessing that number will be smaller than your traditional pull-ups.

I had been using the sleeves in all manner of functional and traditional exercises for a few months, and while my Gi grip strength improved I wanted more opportunities to drill specific movements. In my opinion, this is where the Grip Dominator sleeves really shine, with a limited amount of time each week set aside for BJJ classes and sparring, I needed something more to practice technique and improve specific movements. That's how I came about the inspiration to develop a few simple BJJ sport specific exercises with the Grip Dominator Sleeves.

I've put together a short video to show off the exercises I use the sleeves for on a weekly basis. The end results have been dramatic, my collar choke game has become much stronger, as has my open guard. In fact, many evenings after class I come home and try to develop new sleeve based drills for techniques I've learned. Some work, some don't, but in the end I couldn't be happier with my investment.

If you want Grip Dominator Sleeves, order them at If they ask, tell them hazmat from WhiteCollarBJJ sent you.

Enjoy, Train Smart.


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Five Fingers Fun

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas came early this year, Mrs. Hazmat got me a pair of Vibram Five Fingers Classic shoes. For those who don't follow the crazy outdoors/fitness/training culture you may have never heard of Vibram Five Fingers. To put it simply, they are shoe with toes or gloves for your feet!

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Now, I'm a big proponent of barefoot training, but don't just take my word for it, check out this quote from The Wall Street Journal.
Some experts now believe that most athletic shoes, with their inflexible soles, structured sides and super-cushioned inserts keep feet so restricted that they may actually be making your feet lazy, weak and more prone to injury. As a result, barefoot training is gaining more attention among coaches, personal trainers and runners.While exercising without shoes may sound painful, the idea is that your feet need a workout, too. Proponents believe running barefoot changes a runner's form and body mechanics to prevent some common athletic injuries. - Is barefoot better?

Ever since I built out the home gym in 2005 I've enforced a personal no shoes policy when lifting. In the beginning it took a good bit of getting used to, I would grab a kettlebell and start doing cleans, the whole time thinking.. if this falls I'm going to lose a few toes. However, as most of my friends assured me, even if I was wearing shoes a 50lb KB was capable of inflicting considerable damage if dropped on the feet.

So I went on lifting barefoot for over a year, worked out great, I enjoyed the lifting and personally felt an immediate improvement in balance and coordination when especially during single leg modalities such as single leg squats, presses, and rows.However, when you train barefoot in a gym where others wear shoes you end up with some pretty dirty feet. The solution was simple, a strong scrub brush to the soles after every session, sure it's a hassle but it keeps the feet in fighting form so it's worth doing.

Then enter the Five Fingers. Mrs. Hazmat and I were surfing the web one afternoon and stumbled across these little beauts. I'm convinced she thinks I'm crazy, but like the great wife she is she keeps those thoughts to herself and secretly ordered me a pair. As you can see she went with the black on black Vibram Five Fingers Classic. Very sharp. Yes, those are my hobbit legs!

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Eager to try them out I slipped them on and headed out to the gym. Well, actually it wasn't that fast, you see putting on "toe shoes" is an art all to itself, it takes time to line up each toe, trust me you know very quickly if you missed one. More importantly it takes time to get the adjustment strap on the heel of each shoe just right. Too tight and it pinches the top of your foot, too loose and your heels will come out of the shoe. The first few times I put them on was a little more of a challenge, a few days into it I'm a pro!

So back to the experience. It really is like walking around barefoot, I can still plant and pivot on the balls of my feet, I can grip the ground easily during explosive movements, I can even push off for steps and lunges with no adverse slipping or shoe movement.

The best part is yet to come, they are 100% machine washable. You know gym shoes get loaded with sweat and develop their own special odor in no time, it's nice to know I can toss my five fingers in the wash and pull them out good as new.

All in all I couldn't be more pleased with my new lifting shoe.

Lift Well, Lift Barefoot (well..sort of)


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Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I want to take this brief moment to wish you and yours a very Merry, Safe, and Happy Christmas.


Guest Blog Post - Traditional Herbs for MMA/BJJ

Saturday, December 22, 2007

We were lucky enough to have a guest post by Josh of Plumdragon Herbs. As you'll recall, Josh helped me out last time I sustained some rather serious Grappling injuries. I've asked him to put together a very simple primer on eastern medicine alternatives to common BJJ and grappling sports injuries. Wow, did he deliver, so without further delay I give you..."Traditional Herbs for the Modern Fighter".

Traditional Herbs for the Modern Fighter

In modern day, martial artists engaging in intense training are aided by a myriad of advantages from the warriors of old. An entirely new era has evolved, whereby a trainer must be familiar enough with their athlete to recommend a customized regimen of supplements. However, while modern times have greatly enhanced supplements for the serious athlete or martial artist, they have almost entirely neglected the area of traumatology, and instead use cortisone shots, archaic ice treatment, and acts such as surgery to solve problems that unfortunately, can (and usually do) cause as much harm as good.

At first glance, herbalism seems an old and outdated form of therapy. But looking through the magnifying glass, we see that herbalism has grown and evolved over the centuries as well, and it is the job of each individual who works with herbs to do their part by continuing to research, verify, create, and most of all in todays world, dispel theories and ideas that are bogus.


Just as each type of food or drink you eat effects your body in a certain way, so do various herbs. If you eat too much greasy food, you may feel tired because of the wet heavy property of grease and fat; if you drink alcohol, you might feel a buzz due to the sweet invigorating properties of ethanol; and fortunately, if you apply certain herbs to an injury, it can help the healing process. There are a few different herbs and herbal recipes that can significantly aid the martial artist or athlete, both with injury prevention as well as healing injury at a drastically improved rate.

I often hear people exclaim, “But Josh! Why not just go to GNC and buy a bottle of each vitamin, mineral, etc and take a bunch of pills?” In America, we have a terribly unhealthy habit of taking our food products, separating it into the simplest parts, and putting it all back together in separate pieces. When we do this, we lose the synergy that the food we make produces as it grows; we lose all the thousands of supporting compounds; and the well-balanced diet that we’ve been evolving to live off of for millions of years is henceforth destroyed. Vitamin supplements are fantastic (especially if your diet sucks), but they will never beat a natural, well-balanced, non-processed diet. Fortunately, herbs fall into this category. So while kids prefer processed white bread, we adults know better!


Your body operates and regenerates at its maximum potential when it has an abundance of the proper nutrients for the task. Just as high quality protein is necessary for muscle development, or glucosamine to maintain good joint health, there are a number of plants that house thousands of important ingredients for overall body health. “Tonic” formulas such as Dang Gui Four and Four Gentlemans Herbs offer a well-rounded battery of compounds necessary for peak performance.

Four Gentlemen's HerbsOrder Four Gentleman's Herbs @ Plumdragon Herbs

These simple recipes, usually made into teas and taken internally, are loaded with vitamins and anti-oxidants and tons of other good stuff that helps to keep your energy high throughout the year, and keep your body operating the way it was intended.

Traditionally, these recipes were only indulged on once every couple of months. This is a good time frame to go by. However, listening to your body is the best way to determine whether that time frame is correct or not. And if you feel you need a general energy boost but don’t have these around at the time, dont hesitate to take a small teaspoon of honey every other day. Honey is absolutely chock-full of good stuff, and aside from being a good energy tonic, its among the best healthiest substances on the planet!


Its so common today for people to ice an injury that you will get funny looks if you tell people its not a very good idea. People grew up with so much acceptance of ice that nobody ever took the time to question it and examine if it was really a good idea or not. Lets do so now. Ice has the following advantages:
  • It is FREE.
  • It lowers inflammation.
  • It can help reduce pain.
However, ice is actually real bad news. Lets take a look at the disadvantages of using ice:

  • Low Temperature: Ice causes the entire injury to become very cold. This causes fluids to become more viscous, causing sinew to not glide properly. Furthermore, in an injury, a priority is to move out waste such as blood, from the site of the injury. Icing causes all this waste to become hard and stagnant, drastically slowing the healing process.
  • Lack of Blood Flow: Due to the low temperatures obtained, there is very little blood flow to the injury. Blood flow is the single most important aspect of healing an injury, to supply oxygen and important nutrients to cells so that they can perform their job.
  • Future Problems: Repeated use of ice on a specific area over time can cause tightness and sensitivity later in life due to the severely stagnating nature of icing.
  • Skin Damage: With over-icing, skin damage can result.

Those advocating ice will claim that ice is better than nothing. While this is probably not true, I wouldn’t leave you hanging without offering a far superior alternative to ice. Its not free, but almost…

San Huang San, or Three Yellow Powder, is a simple combination of three ground herbs that are mixed with water or oil and applied topically to a swollen injury. The herbs have a cooling nature which helps to reduce the swelling and inflammation, but they also have herbs which increase local blood circulation to help heal the injury. The result is night and day.

San Huang SanOrder Three Yellow Powder @ Plumdragon Herbs

Anyone can make a basic version of Three Yellow Powder. All the herbs for a basic version can be obtained from PlumDragon Herbs for only about $1/ounce. We also sell 6 ounce bags of the herbs preweighed. This amount of herb will last you a very long time. The basic recipe:

* Rhubarb Root (Da Huang)
* Scutellaria (Huang Qin)
* Phellodendron Bark (Huang Bai)

Use equal parts of each herb. Mix ground herbs with water, green tea, egg whites, or a carrier oil. Use just enough liquid to turn the herbs into a thick paste. Apply to your injury as soon as possible. Cover with a small piece of saran wrap, and wrap loosely with an ace bandage or similar wrapping bandage. Leave in place for up to 2 hours. Remove and observe change in inflammation. Exclaim out loud, “Ill never use ice again!”


The single most common injury in Mixed Martial Arts competition is bleeding. Wounds or cuts that bleed comprise over 50% of the injuries today. There is one simple herbal based formula that can stop cuts and lacerations from bleeding and has even been successfully tested in laboratory settings for its ability to stop internal bleeding. Yunnan Baiyao is a proprietary formula used to stop bleeding of all kinds.

Yunnan Baiyao

Order Yunnan Baiyao @ Plumdragon Herbs

It is cheap, and it is markedly effective. This is a product that should be in every family’s home first aid kit, and at the side of the mats in every martial arts school in the world.

PlumDragon Herbs sells this product at just above cost because we feel its important to have, and hope that by offering the lowest price that we encourage others to buy it.


We don’t usually look at bruising as a big deal other than a bit of minimal pain; instead we generally shrug them off as a temporary battle mark. However, repeated bruising of an area on the body can lead to problems later on, as simple as muscle/joint tightness, or as serious as blood clots that break off and travel towards the heart.

Fortunately, there are many many different types of herbs that can be applied topically to remove the swelling and pain of minor and serious bruises, as well as drastically increase the natural healing rate of the body. We sell bruise liniments called “dit da jow” at PlumDragon that have herbs which help to stop bleeding, reduce inflammation, and increase the circulation in the area so that cells have a larger blood supply to repair damaged tissue. The result is a much quicker recovery.

Using these types of liniments are easy to apply and cost-effective for the consumer.


In the world of grappling, the more common injuries are not from blunt trauma, but come from the punishment on tendons and joints when training to bring your submissions to the tap countless times, or accidentally pulling something a bit too far when rolling or competing. There are a number of herbal combinations that are well researched for their ability to relax, heal, and strengthen sinew and bone, and fight off achy arthritic joint pain and stretched damaged tendons. Many of these herbs are the natural source of many of the medicines on the market, but the herbs exist in their natural synergistic state which allows them to be effective without causing side effects.

PlumDragon Herbs sells a couple of different recipes that are relevant to the grappler who puts daily strain on the joints, or who has an injury such as a strain or sprain. The JKD dit da jow has healing functionality for bruises but works much more deeply than a basic bruise liniment and for that reason is often used by grapplers who work on a good deal of submission work.

JKD Dit Da JowOrder JKD Dit Da Jow @ Plumdragon Herbs

This particular liniment is used and endorsed by a number of martial artists and training facilities, including the Jeet Kune Do group in the Southern US, which has direct lineage with Dan Inosanto and Larry Hartsell; as such, approximately 1/2 of the curriculum of grappling on the mats.

Using products like this is part of the conditioning process and are often times referred to as “Training Liniments”. Just as a Thai boxer hits the bag to condition their shins and then applies Thai Oil (some serious MMA school however use dit da jow), the grappler should build a habit of applying liniment such as JKD jow to any tendons or joints that were especially stressed, directly after training sessions. This will allow these areas of the body to maintain a fantastic conditioning later in life and allow the grappler to push himself a bit farther in submissions without being forced to tap out. Of course, it will always be the other guy that has to tap out, right?

A popular item that is commonly used in tandem with JKD jow in grappling is the Flexibility Pack.

Flexibility Herbs
Order the Flexibility Pack @ Plumdragon Herbs

This simple recipe is used in Yoga circles to enhance flexibility and is composed of herbs that warm the joints, relax the tendons, and give a small increase in cardiovascular blood flow. When used in conjunction with a rigorous and CONSISTENT stretching routine, many people notice a significant improvement in flexibility over the course of 2-4 weeks.


There are a number of fantastical claims in the world today, and there is no shortage of this in the realm of martial arts, where it is perhaps the most prominent. With that in mind...

The herbal products above *will* help you with injuries and in your training. But they are not wonder cures. They promote the basic functions of the body just like any other training aid or supplement but in many ways are superior to many of the other products available today for injury; they are also much less expensive.

When you choose an herbal product, do so with an open but questioning and analytical mind. Also realize that there are limits and it is unrealistic to expect unnatural results. Most importantly, nobody can tell you what the effect of a given substance on your body is, better than you! So don’t be afraid to try something for your self and test the results for in your training. Try something at different times (before or after a workout, morning or night), use different application methods. Be creative and enjoy the experience of learning more about your body and the use of herbs to better your training!

Happy training to everyone in the New Year!


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Topical Ibuprofen? Wow...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Yeah, you read that right. In my quest to train hard and recover faster I discovered something yesterday.. or should I say Mrs. Hazmat discovered something yesterday.

Mrs. Hazmat works in the therapy profession and happened across a free sample of something called "Ibunex" at the health care provider store. It's topical ibuprofen, sounds too good to be true right? Well I thought so, however after trying it out this morning and reading through the material these guys may be on to something.

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Panacea for the ages, or flimflam in a can?

The research appears to be very convincing...
[Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1999 Apr; 65(4):347-68] University of Erlangen, Germany microdialysis found essentially the entire oral dose of Ibuprofen dose was recovered in urine, but less than 1% of the topical Ibuprofen dose suggesting greater pain relief after topical administration of Ibuprofen accompanied with less systemic side effects.

Core Products Laboratories Research

So, if I'm reading correctly, my bottles of Ibuprofen are really the makings of very expensive urine? Great.

Well Core Products Labs will let you order a free sample (it's good for one usage), I'll tell you what, after an especially rough rolling week (getting in all my time before the holidays) my calf was hurting big time. I rubbed in my free sample and was feel remarkably better in short order. I would say that it was the rough equivalent of 2 ibuprofen after 2 hours of digestion...The key here is I got this effect within 5 minutes of topical application!

So, go get a free sample, try it out, beats expensive wee any day of the week.

Train..heck Recover Smart!


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Learning by teaching?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Last night I had an old buddy of mine over to my gym. He used to practice BJJ a bit a few years back and wanted to get a refresher. So we worked on quite a few different techniques, mainly the bread and butter sort of things that atrophy in disuse, things like Guard passing, Mount escapes, basic submissions, etc.

What is always very interesting to me is how much I learn when teaching. A student inevitably asks me something I had not thought of before, they force me to look at a movement or a technique and remember the details in far more "detail" than I would normally.

So, why am I saying this? Every once and a while it's important to teach a little of what you've learned, when you do it brings your knowledge into focus and drives it home.


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Tea aids in recovery

Monday, December 17, 2007

If you are like me you are often looking to push the envelope, to train just beyond your capabilities. I enjoy this body, mind, and spirit challenge, however it typically results in a nice bout of "overdoing it" as Mrs. Hazmat is found of saying.

So one Sunday afternoon about a year ago I stumbled upon a very interesting finding. Intense exercise increases the production of free radicals. These free radicals may be associated with the inflammation of muscles post exercise. For those interested, here's a selection from the article and link to the whole story.

RECOVERY One of the first steps in recovery from exercise induced muscle damage is an acute inflammatory response at the site of muscle damage. Free radicals are commonly associated with the inflammatory response and are hypothesized to be greatest twenty-four hours after completion of a strenuous exercise session. If this theory were valid then antioxidants would play a major role in helping prevent this damage. However, if antioxidant defense systems are inadequate or not elevated during the post-exercise infiltration period free radicals could further damage muscle beyond that acquired during exercise. This in turn would increase the time needed to recover from an exercise bout.

So I turned to in my opinion the easiest and most enjoyable form of Anti-Oxidant supplementation. Green Tea.

There is archaeological evidence that suggests that tea has been consumed for almost 5000 years, with China and India being two of the first countries to cultivate it. Green tea has been used as traditional medicine in areas such as India, China, Japan and Thailand to help everything from controlling bleeding and helping heal wounds to regulating body temperature, blood sugar and promoting digestion.

Green tea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Now, you can get Green Tea from the supermarket, but to be honest, that's like drinking wine from a box! The purest and most powerful tea come straight from the loose leaf, not from the tea powder and twigs that end up in store bought tea bags.

Having shopped around for the last year I can safely say that has some of the cleanest and most enjoyable teas available. They were even kind enough to put together a side bar widget that will send you a 5$ gift certificate if you put in your email address. No, the address doesn't come to me, I just hope you enjoy the tea and it helps with your recovery!


"Stop that rhyming now I mean it." "Anybody want a peanut?"

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Grappler's Gift Guide

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ok all you last minute Holiday shoppers out there, here's a quick list of gift ideas for that BJJ/Submission grappling/MMA athlete in your life (in no particular order).

1. Clothes - If your athlete is rolling no Gi they'll need something to train in.To me the rash guard is to me the perfect MMA/BJJ shirt. Now sure you can go to the mall and get a grossly overpriced Underarmour shirt, but.. here at WhiteCollarBJJ I recommend a small web only mail order shop... WetEffect's rash guards are very impressive, easily strong enough to take the most aggressive of rollers, plus their prices are steller, $20.99 for a long sleeve rash guard? unheard of. Next, MMA shorts or Fight wear is grossly overpriced, however the guy over at Truth Fightwear puts out some of the highest quality lowest priced shorts on the market. Check them out, very simple, clean, and above all high quality.

2. Instructionals - I really don't know anyone 100% happy with their game, we are all looking for something to add, learn, evolve, and try out. So why not add another instructional to your athlete's shelf? It's hard to know which one they need though....answer... I recommend Great prices, amazing selection, any grappler would gladly accept a Gift card.

3. First Aid - Yes, I know, it's cheesy, but I personally go through athletic tape like water. I've got a buddy who gets Matburn better than any one I know (now that's something to be proud of!). I know another guy whose ears swell up like watermelons after a hard roll. So, when in doubt, most grapplers could use: Athletic Tape, New Skin, Ear Guards

4. Reading Material - So you are laid up with an injury? Stuck visiting in-laws over the holidays, no chance to train? It's late at night and you can't sleep? Time to get some reading material. Here's a few suggestions from my training shelf, basically anything from Victory Belt, those guys produce top quality BJJ/MMA/Submission Grappling material. Some of my favs...

Mastering the Rubber Guard, Mastering the Twister - Eddie Bravo - Like him or hate him, Eddie's got a very well put together game, enjoy the full glossy photos and laid back commentary.

Mixed Martial Arts: The book of Knowledge
- BJ Penn - Amazing photos, very clean, I could spend hours pouring over the material.

Any other ideas? Comment here and let your significant others know, there's still a week left.

Shop Smart!


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The first pillar of my game - Conditioning

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A few years ago, before I was introduced to BJJ, a good strength training coach and friend of mine put on a very intense cardio/conditioning boot camp at my old martial arts school. Having been a casual student of strength training and conditioning at the time, I had never experienced such a sport specific and intense conditioning session. He used Stability Balls, Bands, Kettlebells, steps, hurdles, and more to keep the heart rate high and the interest up.

After trying a few different "boot camp" style sessions with him over the course of a month, I asked where and how he came up with these things. He sent me the The Institute of Human Performance and Juan Carlos Santana. As it turned out, JC was hosting a seminar that weekend on these "Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands:SAID" boot camp style circuits, so off I went.


For those of you who aren't familiar with IHP and IntoCombat let me briefly give you the background. IHP is a world class training facility used by professional and Olympic athletes during the off-season to get them into tremendous fighting form. IHP/IntoCombat is run by Juan Carlos (JC) Santana and his staff, and they know their stuff, in fact, chances are if you have ever worked with a quality functional trainer/coach they've used some of JC's material. They are just that good.

Now the seminar focused on a very unique way of fight/competition training that I found very interesting, so interesting in fact that I wanted to share it with you here. I will however only go so far into the details, as you'd be much better off getting a copy of one of their DVDs (specific to your sport, Gi Grappling/No-Gi Grappling/MMA/Kickboxing/Boxing) for the detailed material.

Here's the basic premise, fighters and martial artists need to train their bodies to provide maximum cardio output for brief periods of time. Most fights/bouts consist of 3,5, or 7 minute rounds. During this time you'll be performing activities at a high rate of speed/intensity with little or no rest. Traditionally the best way to train for this level of cardio output has been either more sparring or more distance running. Neither way really works. More sparring can be very effective at improving skill, but you run a much higher risk of injury during your sparring sessions. Conversely, running builds great cardio, but conditions the body for long periods of stable aerobic output. Hmm, that doesn't sound like a fight to me.

So, Intocombat has put together these very intense circuits of activities. The activities closely mirror those performed in your sport. For instance, they have a light dumbbell punching and lunging exercise that performs over 90+ punches, 18 different lunges, and another 90+ punches. However, these circuits don't stop there, they continue with 3-4 other exercises that also target functional movements with dynamic resistance.

The goal in these "SAID Circuits" is to complete the circuit in a specific time duration, this duration is based on the competition round time.

I can't begin to describe how difficult these circuits are to complete, they tax the body and mind, all in about 5 minutes.

SAID Seminar - 2006
Seminar attendees performing one circuit exercise from the No Gi Grappling Circuit.

I would recommend you take a look at the demo videos on the Intocombat website and see for yourself.

SAID Circuit Training for Boxing

SAID Circuit Training for KickBoxing

SAID Circuit Training for Gi Grappling

SAID Circuit Training for No Gi Grappling

SAID Circuit Training for MMA

Enjoy,  Train Safe.


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Strange Chinese herbs heal my leg!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ok, I'll be honest here, I don't put much faith in non-western medicine. Who knows, maybe it's my family history, maybe it's my harsh analytical mind, maybe I'm just a dull guy. Who knows, the point is I'm not one to buy into stuff that doesn't come from Walgreens or CVS.

Well I got hurt a few weeks back, it was a strange sort of tendon injury in my right calf. Happened...of all things.. when I was tiling the back porch. Don't ask me how, it's a very long and very stupid story. Well back to the injury..

I was pissed, I had just switched to a new, closer NoGi BJJ gym and I wanted to use my skills (meager ones at that). Well my guard game (and damn near everything else) hurt. It's amazing how much you use your lower legs, especially in Jiu-Jitsu.

So, I started taking Advil, copious amounts of Advil. It had a minor effect, but to be honest I was getting concerned at how much I had to take to get an effect. It was time for a change but I didn't really know what.

I'd had this bottle of Dit Da Jow from Plumdragon Herbs (back in my Kung Fu days we used Jow for any minor bruising or injury) for awhile and didn't really know what to make of it. It seemed to work ok on bruises, but I mean really, we can all just wait out most bruises.

So I emailed the owner of Plumdragon Herbs, Josh, he said to soak some Jow into gauze and wrap it on my busted up calf for 30 minutes twice a day. You want honesty? My first thought was.. geez I'm gonna have a stinky leg! But I figured what the heck, I've got the stuff here I'll head over to CVS and get some gauze, maybe an ace bandage and make it happen.

You know what happened? Well after 3 days it felt better, I mean much better. After days 4 and 5 it was amazing, I'd say 90% healed. Remarkable!

Now the doubters are saying that I took time off right? No training.. Hahah those people don't know me, I trained BJJ 3 times that week, and 3 days of explosive weight training, to top it off there was a conditioning session and a Yoga Session.

End result? They've made a believer out of me, I can't imagine some raisin scented herbs in a little bottle would have made me feel so much better.

I've emailed Josh and asked him to guest post here, I'd like him to tell you all about a couple of different traditional herbal and alternative remedies to common MMA/Submission Grappling/BJJ ailments.

Look for his post soon, until then, avoid crazy tiling injuries and train smart.


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Finding your game?

Monday, December 10, 2007

So it's coming up on the end of the year, like most people I'm sure you're considering 2008 goals and resolutions. One of my goals for 2008 is to find my game. I've progressed to the point where I feel pretty comfortable with the majority of positions (Guard, Mount, Side, Knee on Belly, etc) and the real question has become where should I go with my game?

RIght now I'm spending my time looking at great talents in the submission grappling world and looking at their game. In particular I'm looking at guys roughly my size.

Who's on the list?

Marcelo Garcia

Eddie Bravo

Robert Drysdale

Been watching plenty of videos with these guys, all very impressive.

Time to get to work building a plan for 2008.

Until then, Train Smart!


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Making Time...

It's funny, I often seem to have time at the worst times of the day (or night!).

Last night/this morning our lovely 1 year old daughter decided 12am and 5am were perfect playtimes! Yes, that's right, Daddy lets look at books! Daddy lets eat the books! You get the picture. No, she can't talk at one, but she's got a great pair of lungs when she wants to.

So, sitting in the rocking chair this morning trying to get her to doze off with a small bottle I got to thinking about time. How do I prioritize it? How to I plan things out? How do I find the time to "make time" in an otherwise full day?

I think the key is a little bit of scheduling. I know, most of my readers come for the generation of scheduled play times, soccer events, baseball practices, swim meets, etc, etc. Growing up for some meant shuttling from one activity to another, I know as one of four I can remember riding along to many different events.

As strange as it may sound, for me that scheduling mentality has carried over to today. I like to fire up Excel and get open up a nice Monthly Calendar (like these freely available Excel Monthly Calendars!), and start to schedule out my month.

I start simple, I get a copy of the BJJ school schedule and pump in all days and times available. Will I make them all, no, heck I'll be lucky to make half, but I put them all on the calendar so I know what my options are.

Next I put down the times I'd like to go to the gym (we'll talk about this a lot in future blogs, here's a hint...), I only need 30 minutes for my workout so I try to put those down in the morning, very early. Hopefully my daughter sleeps through till I get back.

Next I put in the other training related items I might want to do given plenty of free time. Things like Yoga, Conditioning, Private Lessons, After hours rolling with friends, etc.

I think you get the picture. By now I've got one really full calendar, no way all of this is going to work, besides, if it did it's liable to kill me!

Now I start removing things. For instance, Mrs. Hazmat has us scheduled for holiday photos, off goes that time slot and day. My daughter has a play date, off goes that time. Need to mow the yard, again, strike that off. I think you get the picture once again.

Now, I've got a monthly calendar with plenty of options and marked out areas for family events.

What's next?

At this point I make some goals. How many training sessions do I want to do? Realistically? Once a week, Twice a week? How many workout sessions? etc

I put that number in the comments section of the calendar (you did download your free excel calendar right?).

As the month goes on I total up how many things I got to and how many I missed. The goal is to try and make that number.

Plain and simple.

End of the day, all this planning and scheduling is great if you can make it work..

My advice.. Make time for the wives/husbands and kid(s), you'll find in turn they do the same for you!

Schedule Smart!

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What's your number?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I caught something very interesting the other night on YouTube. It's from an Eddie Bravo seminar at Essentially Eddie talks about finding your number. How many reps does it take before "the little man inside you" knows a movement.

To put it more bluntly, how many times must you practice and escape, transition, defense, submission, etc before it becomes second nature, before you can rely on it in the clutch?

This concept really hits home for those of use without access to frequent training. How do we develop the muscle memory needed when perhaps we only see or try a technique twice a week? Sure, rolling is fun, but it's the drilling and the practice that we need to truly see improvement.

Hmm, seems YouTube pulled the video, you can always go straight to the source and get it..

Eddie Bravo - Importance of Drills (

I'm reminded of the summer time when I was able to put a few things in motion to improve my "practice" opportunities.

First, I gathered email addresses from like minded guys in my class, we were able to get together one night/afternoon a week to try and drill the things we learned the week prior. It worked for a time, however like everything else, busy schedules soon took precedence and before you know it I haven't seen those guys in months.

The next thing I did was look into base movement training, how can I use bodyweight cardio exercises to help build muscle memory? I found a very well put together DVD by Stephen Kesting on Grappling Drills, sure many of them require a partner, however there are quite a few (20+ I believe) that can be performed without assistance. How useful are they? Well they are no substitute for a training partner, but they are much better than doing nothing.

So, to recap, practice is important, getting more practice when you have precious little time in your life is difficult. Try grabbing a buddy from class, or take a look at Kesting's DVD, either one will get you one small step closer.

Train Smart


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Getting Started...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

What is White Collar Jiu-Jitsu? In it's most basic form, WCBJJ is for the working man/woman. The grappler who has kids, a job, perhaps a mortgage, and precious little time to train. In fact, WCBJJ is for the person who would gladly trade money for more time to train.

Who am I? Well I'm a father, husband, small business owner, and BJJ player. I've been rolling for a few years, formerly a GI guy, now training almost exclusively No Gi. During the last few years of training I've learned a good bit about what you can do off the mat to make your time on the mat more valuable. Let's face it, if you are reading this blog it's because you don't have the time to train as much as you'd like, perhaps you are getting a session once a week or maybe twice a week, however you want to make the most of that time and more importantly, the most of your non-training time.

What sort of things am I going to talk about?

Here's a sampling:

  • Good methods of documenting your lessons, how to use freely available software to make the most of your training sessions.
  • Strength Training and Conditioning resources and recommendations to get more out of your gym workouts.
  • DVDs and Books that provided value on and off the mat.
  • Yoga and flexibility resources to improve your game and recovery.
  • Natural herbs, vitamins, and supplements to aid in recovery.
  • And anything else that comes to mind.
You can trust that anything I talk about here I've tried and used for a period of time. If I recommend something it's because it worked for me, not because I get a deal on selling them to you.

With that being said I hope you enjoy the material.

Train Smart