Ego check-up

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wow, it's amazing what a few surgical incisions and almost 2 months off can do to your game.. and perhaps even more important, your perspective.


like mine with a helping of "Just Win Baby!" Syrup.

Like most people in sports I suffer(ed) from a sort of "Win at all costs" attitude. Yes, it's not for lack of trying, but frequently the "old Ego" gets it's way and decides that a loss is.. well it's just plain unpleasant and must be avoided at all costs. Even more so, heaven forbid that loss actually occur, the Ego will start in on me the moment I stop.. things like..

"How could you let that happen? I thought you were better than that."


"Sigh, your game is sucking wind today, heck when was the last time it wasn't?"


"I've seen octogenarians with better moves!"

Yes, as you can see the Ego still plays a roll in my "rolls", and today was no different. You'd think having just returned to my first full week of activity since painful Hernia surgery I wouldn't mind "losing a few to get back into the groove". Oh no, that same old Ego crept in and the berating tone was there before I could get up..

Now, here's where things changed, months ago if something like this happened I would have avowed to double my efforts, spend more time practicing, grab a friend on a weekend, try to hit a private, etc, etc.

You know what happened this time?

I smiled and thought, I don't have time for that any more, I have a daughter that's rapidly growing up, a business that is expanding into foreign markets, I have language lessons, and home improvement work, I have to spend time with my wife, and make sure my customers and clients are happy.

Bottom line, I just don't have time to "worry" about my Jiu-Jitsu anymore.

And you know something, I think that might not be such a bad thing after all, it's time to just have some fun for a while and see how things go, I promise I'll give my body more leeway as things gradually improve, but most importantly, no more worrying about my game, it's time to just play again.

Go "play" and have fun!

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I'm back Baby!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I am the Phoenix

I am the Phoenix.

"A phoenix is a mythical bird with a tail of beautiful gold and red plumage (or purple and blue, by some sources [1]). It has a 600-800 year life-cycle, and near the end the phoenix builds itself a nest of cinnamon twigs that it then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self."

-Source Wikipedia Phoenix (Mythology)

Ok, so I'm no phoenix, but I "rolled" for the first time in 6 weeks on Friday.

Wow, there was so much rust you could break it off with your hands.. but.. well, Good Lord it was good to be back.

Here's what I did (and I was clearly very happy with the outcome).

I called one of our instructors and set up a private lesson for Friday morning. Sure privates are more expensive, but here's my logic.

1. I still have small surgery scars on my abs, making certain passes/sweeps difficult, I wanted to roll/train with a professional that would have the utmost in control.

2. It's been a while, and anyone with a few years of experience know that when the "more experienced" guy is injured or recovering he can look just like chum to a gung ho newbie, a new ruptured hernia wall I DO NOT need.

3. I wanted to have fun and get up to speed on what I missed.

All in all, great session, no real rolling as I would describe it, but a few impromptu flows that were at perhaps 40% strength, bottom line it really felt great to move, turn, roll, and spin in a manner that 4 weeks ago I thought I'd NEVER be able to do again.

Does this mean I'm back to 100%? No, not hardly, it means that starting Monday I go through two weeks of conditioning and perhaps one "live fire" class where I act smart and say "no" when needed to maintain the continued recovery.

So, interested in my "return to conditioning" training for next week? I'll post some stills/videos or something to show what I'll be doing, everything comes from my good buddy JC Santana's materials, all of which you can find here.

Nice to be back, and even nicer to be able to share it with you guys.


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Week 3 in the books.. 1 more to go

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Good stuff guys and girls, today starts my final week of "no substantial training".

Last week was a great milestone, I built up from long walks to 30-40 minutes per day of medium resistance Spin Bike training. After a hernia operation it take a little while for the lower core to start feeling up to "snuff" as it were, so being able to get a few 30-40 minute Spin Bike sessions with no before/during/after pain was the stuff of celebration.

So far the recovery plan is progressing nicely.

Phase 1 - Rest and no activity, Vitamin C, eat well, 1 nap per day (Week 1).

Phase 2 - Walking (20-30 miuntes), Vitamin C, eat well, 8 hours per night (Week 2).

Phase 3 - Walking + Spin Bike (Low to Moderate resistance), Vitamin C, eat well, 8 hours per night (Week 3).

Phase 4 - Walking + Spin Bike + Low resistance Stretching, Vitamin C, eat well, 8 hours per night (Week 4). (Planned)

Now, once we hit the "Return to Training" week I'm going to be scheduling a few private lessons with one of my instructors. This isn't so much to clear the rust (of which there will be plenty), it's more to control the intensity, if anything goes "south" while training I want to be rolling with a professional that will stop immediately.

Also, Weeks 5 & 6 will be bodyweight style training only, we'll gradually bring the intensity back up, but that should let me evaluate my body's response to resistance training on a day to day basis, and again if something goes south at least it won't be under load.

Oh yes, before I forget, all this time off has taught me a valuable lesson.

Short breaks (1 week) every 6/8/10 weeks of training is an excellent way to encourage growth and healthy muscles/joints/bones.

Thanks for listening guys.. 1 week left!

Recover Fast!


2 weeks down.. 1/2 way to full recovery

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's true what they say, the body is amazing at it's ability to adapt and heal itself.

I'm at the two week point and today my 40+ minute walk was 95% pain free, contrast that to a week ago when I was feeling beat up by the time I hit the 15 minute mark!

Today marks two complete weeks of doctor mandated healing and recovery, and while boring and at times unpleasant, here's a few things I've learned that I thought would be good to share with you should you ever find yourself in my situation.

1. Read more, and I'm not just talking BJJ books, I'm talking all sorts of books you'd never normally pick up. So far I've read "Three Cups of Tea" and "The Road", both completely different, but both enjoyable when there's not much else you can do.

2. Take your vitamins, in particular Vitamin C, everything I've read indicates Vitamin C is a great nutrient for assisting "tissue regeneration", which after surgery is plenty important.

3. Spend time with your family/wife/girlfriend/etc, use this as a chance to reconnect with your loved ones, trust me, we all could use to do a little more of that from time to time.

4. If you are completely obsessed with "doing something" try to learn a new language. I've been learning Mandarin for work, and sure it's challenging as all get out, but it's good to at very least challenge your mind if not your body.

5. As soon as you are able.. WALK! Get's the blood flowing and helps the recovery process speed along.

6. Stop spending so much time reading silly blogs and go get some rest!

See you all in a week..

14 days to freedom!


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Brand New Day

Friday, October 10, 2008

Just a quick note today guys, I had my post op appointment with the surgeon. True to form we talked Twisters and underhooks for a good bit of the "meeting", in the end he pronounced me well on the road to recovery.

In fact he even approved distance walking a week ahead of schedule!

So today I fired up the mp3 player and set out for a nice 30-45 minute walk along the bay.

The majority of the walk I was consumed with my mp3 lessons in spoken Mandarin, my work is taking me to China in December so I'm trying to improve my "survival chinese!", but after the lesson ended Sting's Brand New Day came up..

Very appropriate.

It's the starting of a Brand New Day!

8 days of healing complete, 2o more to go before I'm back to lifting, BJJ, and more.


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Where's Hazmat? The Long Road to Recovery

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Yes, it's been a while, and for that I'm sorry, but I think after you've read my story you'll be happy to cut me a little slack.

About a month ago I was rolling and experienced "eye-popping" pain in the "groin" area. From now on I'll refer to this area as the "man-basket" just to keep this simple and above board. At first I assumed that the athletic protector (read "cup") caught something and applied some pressure. Now we all know what a kick in the crotch feels like, this was a good bit like that, but it seemed to last a good bit longer than I can ever remember one lasting in the past.

Nevertheless, like a good man I decided it was fine and that it would just "heal up on it's own after a relaxed weekend".

And it did.. sort of.

The very next week it happened two more times while rolling, now the pain was more intense, and there was.. hmm.. how do I say this.. more "goods" in the man basket.

A few days later the swelling became too much to endure so I went to see a doctor. Poor guy had to end his day checking out the "goods"..

Short aside.. once you inject yourself into the medical world you can toss out your modesty, pride, and sense of privacy..

Anyway, his diagnosis.. Inguinal Hernia

I'll let you google that up, as I'm sure you are going to, I'll wait here for you to read a few things, look at some pictures (only if you are crazy!) and then come back to read on.

So? Had enough? Unpleasant eh.

So, now I had to go get an ultrasound of the man basket. Yes, just like it sounds, just like your wife experienced when she was pregnant with your child, I was about to have my equipment scanned.

That experience in and of itself was very interesting, in fact the ultrasound machine crashed during the scan! Yes, it blue screened and crashed. Some guys get all the luck... sheeez.

After my ultrasound was complete ( and I had giant glossy photos of the man basket) I was off to meet with a surgeon.

The surgeon meeting was equally difficult to get to, thankfully my wife knows many people in the business and was able to get me in quickly.

The surgeon was a consummate professional, in fact he was a high school and college wrestler, so after he checked out everything we spent a few minutes talking about BJJ and how quickly I could get back to my sport. I felt very good knowing he understood my concerns and motivations.

Now.. the surgery. Not too bad, but the recovery has been a bit harder than I expected. I'm still not sleeping and moving around as well as I'd hoped. My future return to BJJ is marked on the calendar and I'm following my surgeons recovery plan, sleep, rest, eat well, no lifting over 15 lbs, etc, etc.

So bottom line, I hope to be back on the mats in November, my plan is to go back in and have fun, as I'm sure my game will take a hit.

Thanks for reading guys, perhaps I'll come back with some video suggestions from my recovery.

Recovery Fast!


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The Great Debate - NoGi vs Gi

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In the proven tradition of such well thought out and timely debates as “ tastes great” vs “less filling” I bring you.. Gi vs NoGi.

Miller's timeless classic

Yes, it's true, I sent a friendly email to Steve asking him to give his thoughts on the merits of Gi training vs NoGi training. Just like poking a hornets nest or dropping a weight on someone's toe, this was bound to get interesting.

Hazmat recommends no poking here.

So, before you get too interested in Steve's “Ode to the Sweat Suit.. er Gi”, I'd like to share with you my thoughts on NoGi training and while I believe it is a very enjoyable and sound training method.

To begin, I was originally a Gi only player. In fact I trained with the Gi until I was awarded my Blue Belt. I enjoy rolling in the Gi, frankly because I had no other experiences to compare it with, all I knew was Gi, so that was all I practiced. Then, as luck would have it, a very well respected NoGi school opened up less than a mile away. This was destiny, I was clearly meant to experience NoGi training, in fact within one week of rolling NoGi I became a “convert” and sung the praises of this new fast, agile, explosive, and realistic game.

Alright, let's get down and dirty, Steve gave you his ten reasons, it's only fair that I should at least hold serve.

  1. With the Gi your offense can be “less efficient” and still succeed.

Now, I say this out of experience, with the Gi, provided you have a sound and solid grip and position it's very difficult for your opponent to slip, slide, or otherwise spin out of your attack. Without the Gi, your submissions must be very tight, they must rely on pressure, position, and speed. There is very little room for error without the Gi, making many NoGi submission attacks difficult to defend.

  1. The Gi can create a dependency on the “handles” most importantly the arms and wrists.

Why aren't all door handles this cool?

You don't have to become a proponent of the Rubber Guard system to understand how difficult much of the Gi guard passing and grip game becomes when you lose the sleeves and long pants. When you do not have such well established handles you are often forced to learn a game based on underhooks, overhooks, pressure, and position.

  1. Quite simply, speed kills

Faster than a 56k Modem!

This is most true when dealing with small, fast players. Steve used Marcelo Garcia, an absolutely amazing player in his post, some I admire very much. However, watch him closely, his speed in the NoGi matches is remarkable, in fact many of the smaller players benefit greatly from the NoGi game as it accelerates the action and allows them to take advantage of their God given talents.

  1. NoGi board shorts are practical and stylish.

Yep, it's true, while Gi players may get more patches, we get to wear our board shorts anywhere. In fact I've used NoGi board shorts at the beach, out in the yard, working out in the gym. You name it, NoGi board shorts allow you to “double your wardrobe” which in this economy is a must. Which leads to my next point.

  1. Gi's can be super expensive

While can be argued that MMA styled board shorts aren't cheap, it's very easy to drop by a discount store and get inexpensive board shorts, try doing that with a Gi. No way, not going to happen. Besides if you roll often enough, you might need multiple Gi's, now the prices really start to add up. Oh yes, belt too, don't forget about the belt. What does the NoGi player need? A few old t-shirts and maybe an inexpensive rash guard, plus a handful of board shorts. I'd bet bottom dollar you'd be hard pressed to get into the Gi sport for less.

  1. Realism

Sure, sure, you aren't going around fighting other people outside of the gym, in fact as a whitecollar bjj reader you are most likely working long hours and spending time out side of the gym with the family. You don't expect to really use your BJJ skills for self defense, but you hope you can if you need to. In all fairness, BJJ regardless of training clothes is a very realistically trained sport, you practice and spar at full (or just less than) speed frequently. The problem I see is that with the Gi you may begin to favor techniques that just don't transfer as well with the Gi off. For instance I was a big spider guard player in my Gi days. Early on in my NoGi sessions I found myself looking to setup my spider guard only to find that.. well no sleeves, and you can't play wrist control spider guard consistently, trust me, I tried. NoGi forces you to streamline you game and practice techniques that work regardless of your opponent's chosen apparel.

  1. Save your hands

Years of Gi training..

Back in my Gi days I consistently worked the Gi based chokes (another thing that disappeared when I move to NoGi), however I also frequently suffered from busted up hands and fingers. The Gi is not a “forgiving” material, if you get your fingers caught in it during a roll you risk jambing them pretty bad. What's that? It's all part of the sport you say? True, maybe, but I prefer to keep the money makers in good shape, without functioning fingers and hands I can't get a whole lot of work accomplished, heck I doubt many people can.

  1. It's not traditional? It's a new tradition!

Yes, yes, No Gi training is not traditional, but you know, all traditions had to start somewhere. At sometime someone was saying.. “Gi” no, we use a traditional “X” no Gi, not traditional. So you see, every tradition starts somewhere. Who knows, when my daughter is old enough perhaps they'll be talking about NoGi as traditional and rejecting whatever comes next.

  1. It's fun

Yes, that's debatable, but to me training without the Gi is just plain fun, it's fast, it's free flowing, and it constantly keeps you guessing. It's like a chess game where the moves must keep up at a brisk pace, gets the mind going and blood flowing. All in all it's a great way to spend an evening.

  1. It's different and worth a try

If you've never rolled NoGi before, give it a try, I think you'll find it opens you up, it forces you to think “outside the cloth” and gives you a fresh perspective on the game.

Now, with all of these being said, I have great respect for Gi players and the Gi game, in fact if it weren't for them there would be no BJJ and that would be a tremendous loss for me and my readers.

So, in closing, thanks Steve, it's been fun, anytime you want to roll NoGi down here in “The Swamp” I'm all for it.. what? What's that you say? Get my Gi and visit you in the “Arctic Tundra” hmm.. right.. gas is pretty high, have you seen the price of plane tickets.. besides wouldn't your family love a nice tropical vacation?

Come visit me, I promise it is NOT like this.

Train hard, with..or without the Gi!


Challenges + Effort = Growth

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Today's math lesson is very simple.

Challenges + Effort = Growth

Shells grow.. yes, not my best illustration

Or, as I like to say to my wife and daughter (yes, just because she is barely two doesn't save her from her Father's soap box speeches!), "It is only through challenges and obstacles that we find real growth and advancement."

Think about it? When was the last time you were truly challenged? Whether on the Mats, in the work place, or even balancing the budget.

Children are a great teacher of this lesson and my daughter is no exception, a few weeks back we took her to a water park for little kids. She was immediately drawn to this swirling vortex of water park entertainment, the crazy slide!

She loved it, but each time she climbed up the steps she would slip and bang something.. either her head, her arm, her knee.. you get the picture. So at first I tried to be the good Dad and help her climb up..However, I quickly noticed something that made me immensely proud. She engineered her own little method to get up that slide without banging anything, she would find a rail, plant her feet, and take it one step at a time, pulling on the rail whenever necessary to maintain her balance. She learned something that morning, and so did I.. my little equation just might be correct after all, only when challenged do we truly grow.

So, how do I translate this to BJJ? Simple, it's time to put a little challenge back in your game. It doesn't have to be competitive, your challenge could simply be to only work submissions from a certain position, or to start from your weakest position. Alternatively, you could talk to the "better, faster, stronger" set and get a few rolls in with someone who "challenges" you.

Take these lessons in moderation though, as challenging yourself can easily tax the body, mind, and spirit well beyond what they are accustomed to.

However, given a touch of challenge, I think you'll appreciate the growth.

Ahh life lessons from a two year old, ok.. almost two year old.


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Roy Dean's Blue Belt Requirements

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

First off, the honesty, Roy Dean is a stand up guy and sent me a copy of his latest 2 disc DVD to review. Roy Dean's Blue Belt Requirements

These DVDs brought me back to a few years back when all things grappling and BJJ were foreign to me. I can recall many frustrated evenings trying desperately to remember some hand placement, foot position, or trying not to panic as guys twice my size with ample skill to boot got me in a submission hold.

There were plenty of nights when the only thing I really remembered was a not so pleasant sounding Brazilian accented "Posture!" shouted again and again from what seemed like start to finish.

At that time I can remember searching the web trying to find a good "basics" or "starter" or "what the heck please help me remember these techniques" videos. It's too bad Roy hadn't released this back then, I'd have been a whole lot better off.

Essentially what Roy has done is outline the pure basics that any blue belt worth their snuff should know (as well as a few more advanced things that I didn't learn until long after I had my blue...) and presented them in a methodical and easy to follow process.

Roy mentions he received his Black Belt by Roy Harris, so in my mind that alone qualifies him for potential DVD creation prowess. It's remarkable how Harris, Kesting, and now Dean have such a straight line analytical style that translates well to video.

Not everyone can do this, just watch a few BJJ instructionals and I'm sure you'll agree.

Now, let's get to the meat of the DVDs.

Production quality is high. The audio levels are very clean, as is the video. At no point did I have to jump up to turn up or down the volume and risk waking up the baby, nor squint to see the techniques.

Roy has broken the DVDs into the following sections:

DVD #1


Here we learn Roy's feelings on BJJ. Having never met Roy nor attended any of his seminars I found it very interesting to get his views and opinions on BJJ. In fact, I wish more BJJ Instructionals provided this sort of "behind the roll" information, sure it isn't technique or drills, but sometimes you learn something valuable just by getting a different perspective.


Very much "bread and butter" style escapes, Roy shows Mount, Side Mount, and Sweeps. Nothing on here that a blue belt shouldn't know, use, or at least seen before. While not all of them follow my personal preferences, they are all useful techniques.


This section surprised me as it included Arm Locks, Chokes, and Leg Locks? Wow, that's interesting, every school is different, however many schools don't show any leg locks until after blue. My first school followed that logic, which is both good and bad. The good was the lower percentage risk of injury and increased emphasis on guard passing, the bad? I got leg locked often when I moved to the new school. So perhaps Roy's on to something by teaching a few of these techniques earlier in the "bell curve" of BJJ education.

Guard Passing

Roy appears to be a proponent of more seated style guard passes, however he does blend his techniques well so it's difficult to tell. Again, solid material here, if you don't know this material you'll want to stop thinking leg locks and start working on your guard passing game.

DVD #2


Ahh breakfalls, I'll be honest I had no idea what Ukemi was when I popped in the DVD, so I jumped straight to that section, alas, breakfalls while an important portion of the game just aren't that interesting. I will however use this as an opportunity to mention that Roy's training center as well as all the backgrounds used in this DVD appear to have a significant Japanese inspired decor. Reminds me of a very traditional martial arts "dojo", very nice, clean, and non-distracting.


Your standard Judo/BJJ takedowns, again, while nothing here should be new to a more seasoned player, you should use this material as a re-enforcement and/or refresher.

BJJ Guidelines

Very smart addition. Much like the "Welcome" section, Roy provides some very good "general rules of thumb" advice about BJJ. My favorite.. "Slow down". Lord almighty, did I hear that a lot in my early days, and he's right, my cardio didn't really improve so much as my patience and conservation of effort. So, my advice, don't skip this section, it has some valuable "tips" that the earlier you learn the better off you'll be.


In the grand tradition of Roy Harris and Stefan Kesting, Roy Dean includes "competition footage" and demonstrations. This is one of my favorite parts of any truly good instructional, sure it's great to see techniques with a compliant drilling partner, but it's so much more fun to watch them in real-time against an unwilling "and motivated" opponent.

Before I wrap up, the DVDs aren't perfect (Is there even such a thing?), however my complaint is rather minor.

For some reason my DVD player would not "play all" and I was forced to return to the menu at the conclusion of each segment. Yes, not a big deal, and may have nothing to do with Roy's DVDs, my player is from the late 90s, but it is something I figured my readers would want to know.

Bottom line, if you are a white belt or 1st year player (particularly Gi based) these videos are a great way to reinforce basic (yet very important) techniques. They do this in a clean, well thought out and organized presentation that is enjoyable and easy to follow.



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Getting better by doing less?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Thought I'd fill you guys in on something I've noticed recently, sometimes the best way to get ahead is to take as step back.

With the recent success of my business I've found I have less time to get in my patented "High Intensity" workouts. My new schedule has me working around the clock in some cases ( I have clients on almost every continent now) so I just don't have the energy to train at 100%, let alone 90%.

Well after a bit of soul searching I opted to cut back a morning or two of high intensity training and put in mandatory Yoga or Prayer/Mediation, I make sure to get a minimum of 30 minutes a few times a week.

The results have been dramatic.

I feel refreshed, focused, and in some cases energized.

Sure, I wish my "prayer/meditation" was like this..
Sadly no, it's often more like this...
When you start to research this concept a bit you'll see that most major religions and philosophies have embraced some form of meditation. Wikipedia is a great source to go for finding out more information, you'll see most major religions and secular religious traditions represented.

So I encourage you to go, read, learn, and try it out, perhaps you'll be surprised at the results.

Marana Tha!


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My Summar Reading List..

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Been working late nights and weekends, which as you can imagine has cut into my rolling time considerably, so I'm filling in with a little extra "summer reading list".

Yes, growing up I was one of those geeky kids that 'enjoyed' the summer reading list, why do you think I started BJJ? Had to stop getting beat up :)

So, let's jump into what I've been pouring over.

The Grappler's Book of Strangles and Chokes by Steve Scott

I grabbed this one along with "Vital Leg Locks" which I'll talk about in a minute. All in all I was pleasantly surprised. Steve does a great job outlining many of the "typical" chokes, he even throws in a few that I hadn't seen before that might work.. however some are clearly lower percentage movements. Overall I really got the best value from this book matching up the chokes and techniques with instruction I've received over the years. I found myself remembering techniques from classes I thought I'd long sense forgotten.

Overall: B+

Pros: Majority of the techniques are basic and most BJJ students will know these instinctively.

Cons: The black and white pictures can be difficult to follow, but you won't mind that much.

Vital Leglocks: 65 leglocks for jujitsu, judo, sambo and mixed martial arts (Paperback) by Steve Scott

Yes, another Steve Scott paperback, what can I say, the price was right and I enjoy studying the leg lock game. So, what did I think? On the whole this book is laid out very much like the prior chokes book. It's primarily loaded with techniques your average BJJ/MMA student should have heard of, seen, or experienced. However, with this book you'll be seeing a larger number of "lower percentage" leg locks.

Now, let's be honest, there are a very large number of leg locks period that just don't have a snow ball's chance in hell in a match, and sure this book covers some of them, but take it for what it's worth, it's a great summary of the important leg locks, the ones that win matches (Knee bars, Heel Hooks, even Straight Ankle Locks). Take this book together with Stephan's High Percentage Leg Locks and you've got something great to work with.

Overall: B+

Pros: Nice coverage of the important locks (Knee bars, Heel Hooks, etc)

Cons: The black and white pictures, and some lower percentage locks.

So, get yourself a nice summer reading list, chances are if you've got kids they have one..

Read up!


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Let's talk Training.. Strength Style

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Let's talk for a minute about one of my favorite pastimes.

Strength Training

Arthur Saxon was "The Man"

I've been "lifting" as it were for 10+ years, but it wasn't until the last 3 that I actually learned how to lift smart and make the most of my gym time.

But before I get into that, like all things White Collar BJJ, it's time to tell a story.

For the better part of the last 10 years I've been plagued with some manner of repetitive stress injury, tendonitis, nerve pinches, impingement, etc. Basically I chalked this up to part of the process of strength training. You train, you get injuries, it's impossible to avoid.

Well I learned something three years ago.

Strength Training should not involve injuries, in fact if done right it can be virtually injury free.

How did I learn this?

Well I was invited to a cardio conditioning training session by a local trainer, after years of strength training I was amazed at how "ineffective" my power generation was when really put to the test in a functional setting. This guy had me doing all manner of challenging activities, from jumps and lunges to explosive push ups and all manner of band pulls.

You get the basic idea, thank you Mr. Wikipedia

End result I was beat to hell, but loved every minute of it. So I asked him where he learned this stuff.

He then walked out with a set of VHS tapes from Juan Carlos Santana and said "Watch these, you'll learn something."

So I did, I watched them all, I learned a bunch, but didn't really understand how to put it together into a cohesive plan.

That's when I purchased "The Essence of Program Design" and attended a Combat Training Seminar at IHP. This was all well and good, I learned a lot from my time with JC and his team, but the "Essence" still  wasn't perfect, it really wasn't built for the needs of a Combat Athlete.

Well JC solved that problem.

Enter "Strength and Conditioning for the Modern Gladiator".

JC sums up the entire training plan development process from "Essence of Program Design" and provides examples and plan guidance geared toward the combat athlete.

I could sit here and type on and on about the quality of JC's planning process, or the success I've had using his methods, but in the immortal words of Napoleon Bonaparte,

"Un bon croquis vaut mieux qu'un long discours,"

Or.. "A good sketch is better than a long speech."

In this case it's Hazmat before meeting JC and training in his circuit style...and after 1 year of intensity circuit strength training..

Thanks JC!

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If I could save time in a bottle...

Monday, May 5, 2008

First, the exciting news..

While it's a bit pre-mature to be saying this, Mrs. Hazmat and I are looking at the very high likelihood of Haz-baby number two!

Yes, yes, thank you for your congratulations, we are both very excited.

Now, it does raise an interesting question, is it possible to maintain your training and dedication while still being a great husband, father, and provider?

Whew.. no pressure. :)

Well, let's go over what I've learned during the last year with my daughter.

1. Find a school with lots of scheduling options.

This is so important it has to come first, if you don't have class options then you are going to be stuck missing a lot of mat time. I'm lucky, my gym is stocked with options so I'm in good shape... when I can make it.

2. Remind yourself that you AREN'T a professional athlete and your health is very important.

I like to train, I like to train hard, in fact, until my daughter was born I was willing to roll with almost anyone. Since then.. well, let's just say I'm much more  selective. Hey, it's simple, I must be a Dad, Husband, and Provider first, so going all out 100% with spaz-tastic people is just not an option. I've even gone so far as to simply refuse to roll with people I don't trust. I really don't care what they think anymore, it's a matter of personal health and safety, both of which are much more important than someone's bruised ego.

3. Carve out a little space.

Ok, here's where I have a distinct advantage, I own a second garage that doubles as my office and gym. Yes the floors are padded and I have enough room in there to roll, lift, or work. It's my oasis 15 feet off the starboard bow. Now not everyone is going to have an option like that, but I know plenty of guys that invest in some fold out mat and carve out some space in their garage. Whatever you have to do, find the space and you'll find that you can find the time to use it.

4. The wee hours

I find that there are times when "all the world's asleep" and I can often grab 30 minutes of time and get some one-on-one training with Harvey (Submission Master Dummy) taken care of. When are these times? O'Dark 30. Or, more often than not, very early in the morning or very late at night. No, you aren't going to have access to a buddy to train with, so these are going to be conditioning, lifting, or drills time, but if you found the space, this is when you find the time.

5. Find more friends

Now that you've got a mission, recruit more guys/girls from your gym. Find people that are in a similar situation and can meet up at odd times for Open Mat. If you are really lucky, look to get your spouses together. If that works you are in great shape, as the spouses can often "co-share" with the kids and it makes everything easier.

6. Have fun

Yes, enjoy yourself, no, you aren't going to excel faster than that college kid who spends every waking moment training, but you aren't in that phase of your life anymore. Enjoy the phase you are in, accept the ups and downs it offers, and have fun.


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Beginning the Week of Leg Locks with a Bang!

Friday, April 25, 2008

I just had the pleasure of watching Stephan Kesting's "High Percentage Leg Locks".

I've said this before, but it bears saying again, Kesting, much like his Jeet Kune Do brethren is an analytical master.

It's guys like Kesting that while I may never meet in person, let alone train with, take my game to a new level with each professionally produced instructional.

So, enough hero worship, let's get down to business.

Much like every DVD from the production quality is top notch, menus are clean and well laid out, content is organized and very easy to navigate, and the video is clearly filmed with professional grade equipment.

The content? Consider this a tour-de-force on Leg Locks broken down as follows:

Introduction and Principles

Just like it sounds, a very well laid out introduction to leg locks. Kesting outlines the mechanics, positions, mistakes, and even spells out some of the potential dangers inherent to Leg Locks (in particular Heel Hooks).

Interestingly, one of the knocks on Stephan is his often times monotone voice and methodical delivery, in this section he shows a bit of his humorous side while covering some very serious topics. It's clear to me he's become very comfortable teaching to the camera.

Lastly, Kesting covers a common argument in the submission grappling and BJJ world, Leg Locks vs Guard Passing. While I won't spoil the experience by filling you in on his opinion, I think he sums it up very well.

Anklelock and Heel Hook Entries

Very interesting section, most of the Anklelock and Heel Hook entries I've ever seen have come from Guard Passing, however, Kesting puts together a more varied collection of entries here, including Side Mount, Escape from Mount, and Standing Clinch. While I will mention it again later, this section truly matches up with the content in "Dynamic Kneebars" perfectly. You could build a very effective leg lock game by blending and using entries from both DVDs.

Anklelock and Heel Hook Counters

This section is full of counters and re-counters. Let's take the most basic Anklelock escape, the hip hop. Kesting breaks down the hip hop counter, then provides three nice re-counters to the hip hop. It's material like this that really makes the DVD shine. If you've ever watched some of the old school Roy Harris VHS BJJ tapes (Hint: BJJ 101 Vol 3 - Leg Locks is coming up next), you'll notice how Kesting continues Harris's tradition of teaching in lock flows. This is something I wish more instructors would do, while techniques are nice, watching them in semi-live flows is extremely valuable.

I recommend watching this section a few times, you'll appreciate it.

Bonus Section: ToeHolds

Wow! This is a bonus section? I'd guess it's practically 1/4 of the DVD! That's a lot of material for a bonus section, and frankly worth every "bonus" penny. The Toehold seems to be gaining momentum in last few years in submission grappling circles and Kesting breaks down the ToeHold mechanics, then gives you 11 Entries and 5 Counters. Most of the entries are based off the ever useful rolling Toehold. I can attest to effectiveness of the rolling style entry, I've personally won more than a few sparing matches with that submission.


After watching this DVD I felt an immense need to go straight out to the gym, grab Harvey (The Grappling Dummy) and get to work. Good thing Harv's knees, ankles, and legs are made of heavy padding!

So, we've officially started the "Week of Leg Locks" with a bang, Kesting's DVD is just that good, perhaps he'll offer a package deal and sell "High Percentage LegLocks" with "Dynamic Kneebars", the two go together like peanut butter and jelly.

With those two DVDs under your belt you'll have an impressive array of lower body submission options.

Next up, we'll dust off the VHS Player for an oldie but goodie..

Until then, Train Smart and learn some leg locks!


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The Desert of the Real?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wow, this is truly a first for me.

Tonight I was walking into the class and I'll admit there was this guy giving me what I thought at the time was "the stink eye". First off I'm thinking.. hmm, do I know this guy? Did I injure him in a roll (not likely, he was 30+ lbs heavier than me) Is he just one of those people that doesn't like you for one reason or another? Who knows.

At least he didn't open with this gem.

Well then it got weird. He walked right up and said. "Hey, you write that blog right.. WhitecollarBJJ?"

I damn near fell over.

A READER! Hot Damn! This is amazing.

So we started talking, turns out he's a damn cool guy (which makes sense since he is a WhiteCollarBJJ reader!) he was impressed with the blog and we discussed the Week Of Leg Locks coming up.

So here it is, lesson for us all, the real world and the "digital" world do collide, and it's always nice when they do and bring solid stand-up people together.

Anyway, working up that Leg Lock material, keep posted, until then go train!


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When life takes priority...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hey guys and girls, wow, it's been a very full last few weeks.

I've been painting, putting down hardwood, and doing a handful of other home improvements, precious little time left for blog posts and training.

But, I do have a few things on the plate for the coming weeks.

I've been scouring the Internet to expand my book and DVD shelf for new Leg Lock material.

I do so love the leg locks.

So, look for a summary of the "good" materials here soon.

Thanks for being patient.


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Training Partner Appreciation Day?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Now here's an idea that crossed my mind today..

What about a Training Partner appreciation day?

Think about all those guys (and girls) that you have trained with over your career..

Some of them have pushed you to evolve your game, try new submissions, new escapes, new transitions.

Others have grown your conditioning by leaps and bounds through intensity and fierce competition.

I don't know what this is, but it looks like good conditioning.

Still others have gotten you to tap (perhaps frequently) and shown you that yes.. you are human and can lose.

Been there buddy, been there.

So, perhaps it's time to say "Thanks!" to all those who have helped make your game what it is today.

I hereby decree that April 4th is "Training Partner Appreciation day".

Next time you wrap up rolling or drilling, be sure to thank your partner, they deserve it.

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Try something new.. Green Eggs & Ham Edition

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

First and foremost, sorry it's been a little while guys and girls, the last few weeks have been quite full with work, training, and holidays.

No excuses though, time to get back to it.

So, why am I calling this the "Green Eggs and Ham" Edition?

I'm betting Sam I Am's Jiu-Jitsu was stout.

Because it's all about trying new techniques.

I've noticed my game has gotten rather..stale lately. Sure there's a handful of guys I beat readily, on top of that there's a handful of guys that I can't beat to save my life. From what I could tell this monotony was going to continue until I figured out some way out.

Funny enough the solution came during a reading session with my daughter. We were sitting in her chair and reading her a favorite book, Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss. For those of you living under a rock, Green Eggs & Ham is a great little kids story about a young child, "Sam I am" trying to convince a friend to try Green Eggs and Ham. As the story goes "Sam I am" goes to extraordinary lengths to get his friend to try them, while I hate to spoil the ending for you but Sam's friend finally decides these Green Eggs and Ham are pretty darn good.

Wow, well that caption says it all.

So what does the mean for us?

Well if you haven't been hit by the obvious 2x4 of commentary here, let me spell it out for you.

1. Try new things, escapes, submissions, counters, etc.

2. Don't be afraid to lose, because it's going to happen when you try new things.

3. Repeat.

Now of course trying new things isn't smart when you are training for a tournament or a competition, but the rest of the time it's fair game.

Still need more help making this happen, let me give you a few more suggestions.

1. Start is a bad position, go ahead start giving up the back, or with your partner mounted, maybe bottom half guard (unless you are Eddie Bravo!).

2. Pick a new submission (Knee bar maybe? Toe hold? Head and arm Triangle?) and make it your goal to get one during the roll, even if you see something else, ignore it, go for you goal submission.

So go out, have fun, try something new, winning on the mats while training is pointless, learning, that's what matters.

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The magic of Muscle Memory

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Over the weekend Mrs Hazmat reminded me why we are married.. she set the DVR to record a very interesting new show on Discovery Channel (My Favorite Channel) because she thought I'd like it.

The show is called "Human Body: Pushing the Limits". If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend you do.

Human Body..Nifty computer animations..

The essential premise is as follows, the Human Body is amazing, it's capable of truly astonishing feats when pressed to the limits.

While the episode I watched covered the adrenal response that comes when the body senses immediate harm (great section on a true life story of a Police Officer escaping a fire storm!), it also covered something much more mundane but nevertheless very important to the white collar grappler..

Muscle Memory.

In the episode they talked about the process of muscle learning. While no, your muscles don't have memory as it were, the brain records the action and reaction of each movement, the subtle nuances of the action the resulted in the proper or desired outcome.

Essentially with each successful repetition the brain becomes more efficient, better able to achieve the same outcome with less "thinking" or cognitive processing.

So what does this mean for us?

Drills baby! Lots and lots of drills.

Again however the answer just results in more questions.

How do we get more drilling time without taking too much away from the family, work, etc?

Sure when I was younger and had 1/10th of the responsibilities I have now I could have trained as often as my body would allow, but those days are long gone.

So what have I found that gives me the opportunity to drill techniques early in the morning before the family wakes up or late in the evening after the baby is in bed?

Let me introduce you to "Harvey".

Submission Master Grappling Dummy AKA "Harvey"

Why do I call my Grappling Dummy Harvey?

Well for my older set of readers, old grandma Haz used to watch "Harvey", a 1950s film about a guy whose best friend is a 6ft tall invisible rabbit. When I was little I can remember watching the film with her. Harvey was the name of that "invisible rabbit". Somewhat fitting when you think about it..

"Harvey".. Takes a decent portrait.

For the more geeky readers...

Farscape lead character John Crighton and Scorpius (aka "Harvey")

The entertaining SciFi Channel show, Farscape, featured a character that existed as a figment in the mind of the lead.. his nickname? Harvey. As you'll see in the above picture, perhaps this Harvey and my new grappling dummy Harvey are distant cousins. :)

Anyway, all kidding aside I couldn't be more happy with this dummy. I'm going to put together short review on it soon, however in the meantime head over to Submission Master and check them out for yourself.

Also, check out "Human Body: Pushing the Limits" on Discovery, I think you'll enjoy it.

Until then, it's time to go knock out some reps.


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And the winner is.....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wow, first off thanks for being so patient guys.

Turns out Mrs Hazmat decided that this was the weekend to have the old Hazster repaint the interior of the house.

Oh, and did I mention she wanted the ceiling done as well?

So off she went to my in-laws (with my daughter) and left me and a good friend with..hmmm.. 28 hours to get it done.

It was a long weekend.

Now, here's how the contest went down.

With a list of each contestant's name written down I sat down to an early breakfast and pestered Mrs. Hazmat out of her Crossword and said..

Me - "Hey.. pick a number between 1 and 5.."

Her - "What's this for? Is this for your blog?"

Me - "Yes"

Her - "Can I win anything?"

Me - "No"

Her - "Sigh.. ok.. umm... Two."

Me - "Congratulations Steve."

Her - "Great, can I get back to my Crossword Puzzle?"

Me - "Sure."

Her - "Thanks."

So there you have it. Our winner is Steve!

Congrats bro, send me your contact information and I'll have it sent out this week.

Also, a special thanks to Stephan Kesting for making this possible and to all WhiteCollar BJJ readers for making this blog a success.

Now it's back to our regularly scheduled programming.

More reviews, posts, training, and commentary coming up.

Until then, Train Hard.. and Steve, Drill Hard!


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Contest Update

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Don't forget to email me directly (whitecollarbjj _at_ with the subject "Grappling Drills Contest" if you posted a comment during the last week, if you don't I can't add you to the contestant list. (Steve? Tom in DE? KingIndian? No emails?)

Currently we've got Five people! That means each person has a 20% chance of opening their email Saturday morning and seeing a message from me saying they've won the brand new sealed in the box Grappling Drills DVD.

Good Luck, remember you only have until Midnight Friday March 14th to post your comment and send me an email about it.

Get to it!


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Training when you can't.. Enter Grappling Drills

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ok, I know I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but it's been crazy around here and frankly I was waiting for the traffic to build up a bit before I announced the exciting news at the bottom of this post.

It's a well documented fact, I'm a husband, father, and business owner, sometimes those three roles consume 100% of my "training time". What do I do? Well I try to schedule my day so I have an hour of gym time every morning, I want to use that time to work on my game, however I'm hard pressed to get a training partner interested in drilling and rolling in the pre-dawn hours. Answer?

Grappling Drills by Stephan Kesting

Yes, this DVD has been reviewed countless times on the web, so honestly there's precious little more I can add, however let me share with you a story from my teen years.

Back when I was a Senior in High School I felt like I was in pretty decent shape, I trained off and on, had moderate stamina and conditioning, so when a somewhat, we'll say, chubby friend of mine invited me to partake in a game of racquetball I jumped at the chance. Sadly, even though I knew he'd been playing for almost a year I figured my "athletic" prowess would let me win out handily.

The place of my first sports life lesson.

I could not have been more humiliated.

He had me running all over the court, up one side and down the other. His placement was impeccable, sure I could hit harder and run faster, but that meant very little when he kept me constantly off balance with his strokes and serves. lesson didn't end there.

Over the following weeks he continued to dominate me, try as I might I just couldn't seem to shake his precision game.

Then it happened.

He left on a summer vacation with his family, that meant I had 4 weeks to "prepare" for his return. The first step was an honest appraisal of my game, that meant reviewing the shots I made, and the shots I missed. The next step was a review of his game, what if anything was difficult for him? High backhand? Great, how do I exploit that..

Then, you know what I did? I drilled. Not just any drills, I went to the backboard and drilled the weaknesses of my game and his. I spent hours in the hot Florida sun, I drilled each morning until my shorts were soaked to the tips with sweat.

Four weeks went by quickly and my friend returned, and you know what?

He never won another match that summer.

What am I teaching here? The supreme importance of drills, and the ability to look at your game and admit your weaknesses.

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
Sun Tzu - Wikiquote

Sun Tzu.. How was his Racquetball game?

So take Sun Tzu's advice, look at your game honestly, look at your opponent's game, and find the drills you need.

Where are those drills? In your copy of Grappling Drills by Stephan Kesting.

Yep, you heard it right, read on to learn how to enter the contest for your own sealed in the box copy of Grappling Drills by Stephan Kesting.

Step 1 -> Post a comment on this or another post on WhiteCollarBJJ, be smart or creative, inane posts don't count.

Step 2 -> Send me an email at (_at_ = @) and tell me which post is yours, put "Grappling Drills DVD Contest" in the Subject so it's easy to identify.

Step 3 -> Cross your fingers! I'll randomly pick one winner Saturday March 15th. Once the winner has been selected I'll email them to get an address to send the DVD.

Good Luck, and start commenting!


PS - Past comments don't count, only comments posted between today and March 14th Midnight EST.

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Skin.. your best defense.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hywel Teague of Notes from Ringside put up a very interesting post the other day.. I'll save you the gory details, but I encourage you to check it out along with the rest of his blog.

Essentially he was covering the dreaded "Staph" in particular the "MRSA" or medically resistant staph ("The Superbug"), almost sounds like a bad movie plot eh?

Thankfully, just like Injury prevention 101, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce your chances of contracting this nasty disease and enduring the treatment process.

Step 1 - Keep your stuff clean, this includes your bag!

I like to keep all my equipment (mouth guard, towel, ear guards, first aid stuff, tape, etc) in a cheap nylon mesh bag. That way when I'm done training I can shove everything in there, and then when I get home I can shove everything (bag included) into the wash. Of course I don't put my ear guards in the wash, I toss them into the shower and scrub them off while I'm showering. However the bag tends to collect assorted nastiness making a run through the wash cycle important, no sense putting clean stuff back in a nasty bag right?

Simple, efficient, cheap and easy to clean.

Step 2 - Pack a very simple first aid kit and keep it in your bag.

Ok, you don't have to be an Eagle Scout to understand this, frankly it's common courtesy to cover up cuts and scrapes before you resume training with someone. What do I keep in my bag?

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide Gel, Very cool stuff, foams and stings without the mess, it's like a highly targeted germ RNC.
  2. Neosporin, simple, powerful, and straight to the point, a little goes a long way, toss some on then bandage that thing up.
  3. A handful of bandaids (No I don't buy name brand)
  4. Extra Tape, wrap the whole thing in athletic tape and you are good to go
  5. (Optional) - Liquid Bandage, I've got some, but I don't use it that often, I find it too easy to rub off or tear again.
Your Mom was right, put some in your bag.

Step 3 - Get some decent soap

Grab a stack of Dial Anti-Bacterial, first off, it's Dial, so it's cheap and good quality, second it's plenty strong enough for your bacteria ridden skin. Now, you might be one of those people who say that Dial is too strong and hurts my skin (you'd be saying this to yourself as sharing this with others would severely impact your manliness quotient) try Tea Tree Oil soap. Think of it as the "more friendly, green" version of Dial Anti-Bacterial, you can get some here from Puritan's Pride for a decent price.

Now, to close, a bit of showering humor, "How to Shower: Women vs. Men"

Embedded Video



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A Gift from Mrs. Hazmat

Thursday, February 28, 2008

This is really very cool.

Mrs. Hazmat is quite the gift giver, she takes her time coming up with a very well thought out gift, this time was no exception.

Imagine opening up the box expecting another starched shirt or silk tie, only to find this..

Yeah, that's right, Mrs. Hazmat had a special Nike Rash Guard custom made for "Hazmat" himself!

Once I saw the gift and tried it on I knew I had to check out the website, turns out NikeID is a slick little flash application that lets you build your perfect rash guard, along with shoes, gear bags, etc.

So what do you think? Pretty slick gift eh.


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WhiteCollarBJJ at Copa America 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Well, as promised, Chewy and I traveled to Lakeland, FL yesterday to take in Copa America.

No competing for me, my nasal cavities were still under blockade by the viral forces occupying my body.

Because no one expects a Nasal Blockade!

First impressions? I was quite surprised with the turn out, there must have been at bare minimum 70+ competitors there, with coaches, family, and friends it was a great showing.

Chewy and I were there on a mission, first and foremost one of our long time training partners was competing in the Flyweight division (and yes, for those of you interested, Hazmat himself walks around in the Flyweight division) and we were there to support him.

Also, while there we figured we'd check out the competition, sort of get a feel for whether we'd both like to compete in the next Copa America.

So, what did I learn?

One of the things my coach mentioned last week really hit home today. Watching most of the matches (Gi and No Gi), it truly is more often than not the most basic submissions that win the match.

Now don't get me wrong, there was some exotic stuff on display yesterday, I personally witnessed both a Gogoplata and a Flying Triangle. Sadly neither of them worked, however what did work?

- Triangle

Yes, the simple triangle, the "day two  Jiu-Jitsu" submission of choice certainly appeared by and large to be the submission with the greatest frequency of occurrence and percentage chance of success.

- Kimura

The simple bent arm lock made famous by Masahiko Kimura, was on display at Copa America yesterday. Yet again further driving home the point that simple submissions are quite effective in tournament play.

Thank you sir! May I have another!

- Guillotine and Rear Naked Choke

Lastly, as if we needed the reinforcement, head hunting continues to be a very effective fight ender (and does wonders for French Monarchy)

While different.. the theory is still strikingly similar.

So where does that leave us?

Well if Hazmat is going to man up and compete in one of these tournaments there's a few training modifications he's going to make.

1. Drill the heck out of the basics (and their defense!)

2. Make sure my SAID circuits are effective at developing top cardio conditioning.

3. Tighten up the meal plan based on JC's suggestions at the last seminar.

Now, the real key will be making all of this fit into the otherwise hectic work a day life of a professional with a wife and child..

Well if it were easy they wouldn't call it life.

Compete Smart!


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My Family.. The Biohazard?

Friday, February 22, 2008

We're going to make this post short, as tomorrow morning chewy and I will be headed to Copa America to cheer on some of our training partners and fellow students. We'll post some photos and notes from the tournament as soon as possible.

No, your's truly won't be competing this year, timing just didn't work. My loving daughter and wife brought home the bubonic plague of head colds last weekend and it appears to have taken up residence in my nasal passages.

No Rolling for you!

Speaking of family and colds, my readers who are Moms or Dads understand the almost magical properties of small children and contagions. It's not uncommon for first and second year parents to contract numerous viruses from their children (especially if your child/children are in any form of daycare or pre-school).

What can we do to avoid the colds and not miss out on mat time? Sadly, not too much, but the following has helped for me from time to time.

1. Sleep

Ahh beautiful, majestic sleep. It's a more rare than gold and more valuable than diamonds when you've got small children, plus it's the single best defense against most immune system weakening agents.

2. Did I mention Sleep?

Yes, that's right, I did, can you tell the little hazzy has been keeping me up lately?

3. Eat right and/or take a multi-vitamin

I'm a big proponent of vitamins. I like to order mine online (GNC is just too ridiculously overpriced), for a great Mens or Womens multiple, check out Puritan's Pride. Good prices, insane sales, and high quality.

4. Consider herbal remedies (Echinacea, AirBorne, etc)

The jury is still out on this stuff, I train with a guy who thinks Airborne and similar products are a racket and exist only to empty out your wallet. I train with another guy who swears by their effectiveness at preventing and shortening the duration of the common cold.

Typical Herb Products


Echinacea, commonly called Purple coneflower, is a genus of nine species of herbaceous plants in the Family Asteraceae. All are strictly native to eastern and central North America. The plants have large showy heads of composite flowers, blooming from early to late summer. Some species are used in herbal medicines.
Echinacea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


1. What is Airborne? Airborne is an effervescent dietary supplement that was created by a school teacher to boost her immune system so that it could help her body fight against the germs that abound in the classroom. Airborne contains 17 natural ingredients, including 7 herbal extracts, antioxidants, electrolytes and amino acids. Airborne provides added support to the body's immune system by providing needed nutrients and herbs, which help to strengthen the immune system.

Airborne Health | FAQs

Q. Is Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel and Gel Swabs a "cure" for the common cold? A. Since the common cold is a self-limiting condition (research shows that most people get over a cold between 10-14 days). the term "cure" is not scientifically applicable. However. unlike most over-the-counter and prescription cold remedies that have been designed to temporarily suppress the symptoms of the common cold. Zicam Cold Remedy is clinically proven to help reduce the duration and severity of the common cold.


What do I think?

Personally even if it works through "placebo effect" I'm all for anything that helps me get back to the mats quicker.

So, try like the devil to keep from getting sick, but if you do, consider trying alternative cold remedies, and please Stay off the Mats until you are better!


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Injury avoidance 101

Monday, February 18, 2008

The other day we talked about career ending injuries. If you haven't read that post yet, check it out here first.

Today or should I say tonight we are going to talk about a topic near and dear to my heart, injury avoidance.

It's quite simple really, here at WhiteCollarBJJ we understand you've got a life off the mats. Most of my readers are fellow white collar professionals, Moms, Dads, people that work the 8-6 and understand that limping from meeting to meeting just doesn't cut it.

Yes, it's impossible to prevent all injuries, unless you stop rolling all together, and since we both know that's not going to happen then we need to focus on some simple rules of thumb to avoid the preventable ones.

So, let's get started.

Rule 1

Never roll with someone until you've watched them roll with someone else.

I can't tell you how many times this simple rule has saved my bacon. it's quite simple, you don't know if you are dealing with a poor soul afflicted with "lethal spastic flailing" or if you've got an opponent who is "tap def", and either way it's in your best interest to know BEFORE you consider rolling with them.

Rule 2

Wear a mouth guard.

I only have to put one link here, just go ask "chewy" about wearing a mouth guard. Honestly, if you don't like the boil and bite then suck it up and go to the Dentist and have one custom made. I did that early on and absolutely love it. Be sure to request the mold when you are done, that way if you ever lose your guard you can have a new one made up quickly.

Rule 3

Wear a cup.

Unless it's not allowed (ie competition) Need I really say more?

Rule 4

If you have a tendency to get "the ear" then get some ear guards.
We all know how unpleasant Cauliflower Ear is, it's truly nasty, don't take my word on it though, check out the nice summary at "Why We Not Hit Hard".

Rule 5

Final Rule, get some simple wrestling knee pads, because you only get one set of knees.

This one is a hazmat signature, I've been wearing knee pads since back in the Gi days. Early on in my game I found I could "create weight" with knee on belly, but conversely that meant I was shooting my knees all over the place. End result? Lots of bruises on my knees. Thankfully switching to a pair of wrestling knee pads has greatly reduced this problem. Be sure to try a few sizes on though, as when you get to rolling they'll start sliding on you very quickly if they aren't sized properly.

Well that's about it in a nutshell. So I'll close with Mrs Hazmat's favorite quote..

"Have fun and don't get hurt!"


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