20 January 2011

First tournament in the PAC northwest

GeoTagged, [N47.00239, E122.82702]

So Saturday will be my first Jiu Jitsu tournament in a new area. I am doing an Oregon sub league tournament. It's submission only which should be fun, I've never done a sub only tournament.

I am excited to be able to compete again, it has been a few months. With everything that seems to be going on I am excited to compete, excited to go to a tournament with my new team out here and do my very best! I will definitely keep everyone posted!

16 January 2011

The Blue Belt Triangle Part 2.

In Part 1 of the Blue Belt triangle I focused on the females. This section is all about the men that train BJJ and pass the white belt and get to Blue belt. I like to call it the Blue Belt Triangle because it is just like the Bermuda Triangle in the ocean. Tons of BJJ’ers enter this area like a ship into the Bermuda triangle, and like many ships, some are never seen again. The ones that make it out of the Blue belt Triangle, tend to be a little battered, hardened but in the long run much better jiu jitsu players for the time put in. In the first half I theorized that the point for women to start dropping in rank is white to blue. There is a fraction of females competing at blue belt then there are competing in White belt. For men though it is a little different, the big separation seems to come at the end of the blue belt.

My coach Marcello says that other than your black belt, (which you will spend most of your jiu jitsu career at, if you make it there) you blue belt is the place where you will spend most of your time. Sherdog and other online forums are littered with with ‘Blue belt blues’  forums. This is of course different for everyone but blue belt is a huge step. It is also where the biggest difference in skill is at. Think about a brand new blue belt, a few days in, he’s definitely not a white belt, but compared to a guy who is about to get his purple belt. The difference can be staggering. So why does this happen? And how can we maybe get more people to stick with it so the field becomes deeper, and the competition, as well as the technique become better?

Go to almost any local BJJ tournament and the vast majority of the male competitors are white belts and blue belts. At any given NAGA event  the Adult Male White and blue belt divisions can have over 20 competitors. The purple belt division is much smaller with some combining of weight classes to make divisions, and by brown/ black if they aren’t a local coach willing to compete, there isn’t a match. At the national/ pan and international levels, there are so many white and blue sometimes the absolute divisions are restricted or removed of the tournament. Purple belts and above are less restricted, all of the way through the black belt divisions.

To combat the drop off that seems to happen in the blue belt level some schools have started using a green belt in between the white and blue belt level. Green belt by IBJJF standards is only for students under 16. So what division does an adult green belt compete in? I am actually at a loss for that question and would love to know if anyone out there does have that answer for me. Is it fair for these guys to compete against white belts, or should they be forced into the blue belt division. It seems almost like a no man’s land…

So how do we stop it from happening? It’s true that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not for everyone. That because of us as Americans like that instant gratification it becomes hard to sit a belt for months and then years without seeing any form of reward. The last thing I would ever want to see is the is the belt system getting watered down. So we need to just push through it.It is a journey that doesn’t have an ending. It’s always growing and evolving. Remember your belt only covers an inch of your butt, you have to cover the rest..

05 January 2011

Black belt Spotlight: Mike Reyna

Mike Reyna is someone I just recently met. He was refereeing at a tournament I ended up refereeing at (there weren’t any female purple belts) Whenever there was some down time I talked with Mike, he ended up helping me when a few black belts tried to say I giving away points. Mike had my back and saw the same thing I did. Actually, until the argument, I had no idea he was a black belt. He never mentioned it he just talked about jiu jitsu, techniques who he trained with. Mike is a pretty unassuming guy, he is very laid back, you would never think he had grown up in the area he had, that he has travelled all over the world competing in various martial arts competitions, or that he was even a black belt. After working at a few tournaments with Mike I wanted to interview him. He has found a way to use his martial arts to see the world and to spread his passion for martial arts.

How old are you

I am 30 Years old   

What team do you train with and who is your coach?

I train with Champion Jiu Jitsu, and my coach is Assou Harvard.

How long have you been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

I have been around jiu jitsu for 10 yrs but total time I have put into sport jiu jitsu is 4yrs.

What belt rank are you?

I am a black belt29073_134327266580969_100000110903786_394252_3549206_n

When did you earn your black belt?

I got my black belt at this years Mundial 2010

On the topic of Mundials, where have you gotten to compete because of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

I have gotten to compete in Brazil two times, California 4 times, Ohio once, and Amman Jordan once

What other martial arts 8819_103007356379627_100000110903786_68627_946656_nhave you trained and competed in?

I have trained in wrestling ,boxing , and muay Thai.

Where have you gotten to go because of your other martial arts training?

I have gotten to go to  Egypt ,Spain, Great Britain , Canadia, Maui, Mexico, Panama, and Texas.

I have also been to Morocco, North Africa. and fought in a K1 tournament (muay Thai) in which I was runner up . It was call Morocco vs. The World

What got you into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? What Kept you in it?

I have always been a fan of Judo . My father is a brown belt in Judo. I would always ask him if he would teach me. He would at times teach me and my brother some things. But he never wanted to show us too much, he thought we would pick figh8819_102964099717286_100000110903786_66967_341817_nts with people. Since my dad didn’t want to show us. I joined wrestling in middle school. I learned really fast and was a natural at it. My first year of wrestling I was 25-1, not to bad for my first year! I continued to wrestle in high school. After that I did a few freestyle tournaments a did really well.

My brother started going to this guy Assou, whom I didn’t know at the time. He was teaching my brother jiu jitsu on the northwest sub. My brother was coming home and beating on me with this jiu jitsu stuff, and I didn’t like that at all. So I started going to Assou and it has been the best thing I have done in my life. I had been wanting to get my black belt since I started that was my goal. Now it is to be a World Champion and be one of the best black belts in the world.

8819_102964029717293_100000110903786_66961_1000803_nWhat do you like about bjj?

I like how it is so effective for small guys and women.

What weight class do you compete at?

I fight at the 141 Weight class.

Who are some bjj practitioners that have influenced you?

Some guys who have influenced me are Terre, Andre Galvao, and most of all my coach Assou.

What are your future goals with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

One is to be a World Champion and be one of the best black belts in the World. I also want to open my own gym in the next year.

What advice can you give BJJ practitioners?

Don’t stop training. The moment you think you are good, that is when you get beat.

Do you plan on competing again any time soon?

I am planning on competing in the Pan- Ams in March. I also hope to compete in an MMA match in Brazil afterwards.

03 January 2011

The Required New Years Resolutions

So it’s the New Year which means I need to put up my resolutions… I’ve had a few days to think about them and I think I have a good list…

1. Compete at IBJJF Nationals, Pan Ams, and Mundials. Be comfortably ready for all three and make a good impression.

2. Keep my body weight low so I do not have to cut as much to make my division. This will just be over all helpful since there is no way I can make the next lowest division..

3. More weight trraining, more running… I hate running…

4. Positive attitude all the time, even on bad days, just keep up the happy thoughts!

5. Teach my bjj Kids as much as possible and help any of them compete that want to.

6. Teach a few seminars for the local girl scouts on bully proofing and  stranger danger topics.

7. Get back to writing on the blog, post things people want to read and things people enjoy, check out my older stuff and give me any feedback!.

01 January 2011

Big shout out to BJJ Santa.

So Apparently BJJ Santa got at least part of my Christmas list this year. And I was honestly stunned! So here is a quick breakdown of what I got…

I got a new gi, correction 2 NEW gis! One white Keiko Raca, and one pink association gi!!! The pink one is somewhere in the mail. big thank you to a mister Michael Proctor who got them for me.


Second I got a t-shirt! Thank you to Jonathan from MMAshorts.com for hooking me up! I will be posting a little blurb about them. It was really cool because he stumbled across my post emailed me and offered a shirt! it also came with candy canes so that was pretty awesome too!!

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Thirdly, I got a slug of viscous vixen fight soap… not the fort I was hoping for… but there is rumor that I may be getting more Fight Soap… Kind of excited, I am a nerd/ clean freak like that….

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So yea there is a little bit of excitement there. I was definitely not expecting to get this stuff so it just made everything better!