Off the Mat
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.
The 4th book that I haven’t read yet is
Professor Chris Matakas
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.