What are your thoughts on BJJ tournaments? Do you compete? Why or why not?
My Answer: I totally respect anyone who steps up to compete at any level. I don’t plan on competing because I’m too concerned about injury. I watch the younger people at our gym go to tournaments and come home with bruised ribs, torn ACLs, and busted shoulders. It takes me too long just to recover from training to even think about competing.
I also know that if I were to enter a tournament, I would probably have to roll with a girl half my age and that’s already tough enough during our after-class Randori.
What are your thoughts on jiu jitsu competitions in general or on your competing personally? Let me know in the comments!
My Answer: I’m so psyched about jiu jitsu right now that I haven’t felt unmotivated yet. Every day I get to train, I wake up excited and ready to go. Everyone says Blue Belt is the time of waning motivation, because progress slows down. Since I’m not there yet, I don’t know anything about that. “We’ll see,” is the only thing I can say.
Do you have suggestions on staying motivated in training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Please comment with your ideas.
What do you like most and least about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
My Answer: I like the people I meet in my school, my teammates, training partners, and coaches. I love the camaraderie, and the concern everyone has for each other. My McHugh peeps are like a second family to me.
I hate missing training because of injury or illness. Like many of my friends, I suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) when I’m not there.
Let me know in the comments what you like and dislike about any aspect of jiu jitsu that you would like to share.
I’ve been busy since Belt Promotion Day working on photo edits of my teammates, who received their new belts. Now I’ve finally uploaded them to my portfolio. Check out my project page to see all the new images. I’ve attached a couple of them here to whet your appetite. I love doing this for my teammates and they seem to enjoy the pictures too. Peter received his Purple Belt and Ali received her Blue Belt.
How did you get started in Jiu Jitsu? Or if you don’t do Jiu Jitsu, how did you get started in your favorite activity or hobby?
My Answer: I wanted to try a class in self-defense and experience a new challenge. I had never done any other martial art before. So I had no idea what Jiu Jitsu was until I stepped on the mat. What a surprise! And now, what a joy!
If you would like to share, tell me how or why you started your journey in Jiu Jitsu or another beloved hobby!
After studying other blogs, such as Dream Big, Dream Often, that offer daily questions, I’ve decided to jump in with my own jiu jitsu-related questions. The best way to learn something is to ask, and I love learning about all kinds of things. Feel free to comment with any thoughts you would like to share, whether they are about jiu jitsu or anything else. Here goes…
Here’s a question for you:
What would you change about yourself or your jiu jitsu game? Is there a way for you to change it?
My answer: Right now, I’m fairly comfortable with who I am and my life in general. On the mat, I would love to be more technical and better at getting out from under bottom mount and bottom side control. Really I should get better at preventing it in the first place, but I get stuck pretty often and strong upas hurt my back. My solution to change it: Keep showing up and training.
As an older member of my Jiu Jitsu Academy, I often wonder if I’m in the right place. Everyone is younger, stronger, faster, and frankly better than me. But this post from BudoBelly points out that everyone, including me, has a role to play on their team. Check it out!
Since I can’t train right now, I’ve been re-reading Professor Chris Matakas’ books that I bought several months ago. I sped through them at the time, as soon as I got them. Now I have the chance to read them more slowly and thoroughly and am getting even more from them. He has 4 books on Amazon and I have 3 of them.
Professor Matakas is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Professor Ricardo Almeida. His blog, Build the Fire is an inspirational look at how Jiu Jitsu can be used as a tool for growth. It’s stated mission
“is to inspire others to continuously develop the best possible versions of themselves mentally, physically, emotionally, & spiritually.”
A couple of months ago, Professor Matakas came to McHugh’s and taught a seminar along with Professor Coach Brian Walter. We learned how to pass butterfly guard, how to sweep from half guard, and how to use “Coach Guard” to control and submit. The mat was packed and the instruction amazing. I’m still trying to use the techniques they taught.
Learning Never Ends
Bettering yourself is the same focus I have found and enjoyed in reading all of Professor Matakas’ books. Each is philosophical but easy to understand. Professor doesn’t offer specific techniques. He shows the reader how different aspects of the Jiu Jitsu journey apply to living a better life. How to become a better person is central to his lessons. As a white belt, I appreciate that I can apply what I’m learning to improve myself now and also later as I progress in my practice. Learning, growing, and “becoming” truly never end and that’s exciting.
New School in New Jersey
Matakas Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is now officially open in Burlington, NJ. Being under the Almeida Association umbrella along with McHugh BJJ, Matakas BJJ is family. Both schools focus on teaching their students how to be better people while becoming better jiu jitsu practitioners. Both Professors live their teachings and demonstrate first hand how to apply the lessons learned on the mat to real life.
If you ever find yourself in south New Jersey, either academy would be a wonderful place to visit and train at. I haven’t been to Matakas BJJ yet, but hope sometime next year, I can drive up and take a class.