30 June 2011

Some Good News! (Finally)

Well after they went over my MRI and CT Scan, the consensus is a torn meniscus. I have a fracture in my knee but it will heal fine on its own. My ACL and MCL are damaged, but not torn. I have to do physical therapy to help them heal for the next 4 weeks. After that as long as my knee is improved, I will have surgery on my meniscus. Then more physical therapy. Hey it’s way better than a torn ACL!

I have a kids class again! I am now teaching kids between the ages of 4-7. It just started up this week and it’s been amazing!! The kids are hilarious, work hard, and it’s starting to grow already! I’ll be posting pictures, videos and whatnot from class. If you are interested it’s MWF 5-6, and then Saturday 9-10 am.

My blog has hit over 26,000 view, thank you for all who have subscribed, and all who read! If there is anything you would like to see or  read please send me comments/ suggestions!

And now something BJJ and funny to watch!

28 June 2011

Why Training with a Female can Help your Game

Whether she’s the 130 lb girl in muay thai class kicking higher than you every think you can get, or that girl who whether she’s in or out of a gi seems to be a walking dictionary of grappling technique, that female who always seems to be at the gym can be a wealth of not only knowledge but training that may just help you get to that next level, or tighten your game even more.

1. Touch Your Toes
    The first place those females around the gym can help youn700805304_4164684_1597 is with your flexibility.  Generally while males have the ability to build much more muscle, they start to lose their flexibility. Females stay more flexible throughout life and she may have some pointers.  The more flexible you are the less issues you have with tearing tendons and ligaments,  the higher your kick can get, and the more techniques on the ground you are able to do (think rubber guard, de la Riva, etc…)

2. Details Details Details
    How often does your girlfriend, mother, sister catch things you 38426_900047749940_909420_50057417_6376580_ncompletely miss?  How many more dates do they remember, notice when the smallest thing change like your hair or soap. If she catches and remembers the most obscure things in every day life how often do you think she may catch a detail in a technique you may have not seen?

3.  Different movements
     The smaller a person is the faster they usually move. A female is probably going to be smaller and will move and react differentlygirl kick than a male. Trying to control someone and train with someone who doesn’t move as expected will give you a new set of possibilities.

4.  Use your Technique
    With a female and any other smaller opponent it should become less about strength and more about your technique. Since you have to worry less about them using their strength, your chance to work technique and use less strength helps your game grow. Besides they will be happy you have only decided to use technique as well.. It makes the exchange better.

5. Tighten your game.
    Working with a female will help tighten your game because when their size comes into play you need to keep yourself tighter to erase the gaps. Working to keep tight on a small opponent will work to keep you tighter on a bigger opponent.

25 June 2011

The results....

Well the results are in.

Issue #1although I had a clear X-ray, the MRI is showing a bunch of hairline fractures all over my knee. I have to get a CT scan to see how bad the cracks are.

21 June 2011

My first big Injury

Well I had planned on waiting on getting some form of good news before I started writing about what has recently happened. 3 weeks ago today I was at practice and training with one of the other girls. She went to jump guard and somehow she slippeddown and right into my knee before I could brace myself for her. There was a crazy crunching noise, my leg locked twisted and then I collapsed on top of it. Lots of pain, and I ended up in the emergency room. In the emergency room the x-ray’s came back fine, but I couldn’t straighten my leg, bend it, nothing. photo (11)

I was put on crutches and was told wear an immobilizer for at  least a week. The doctor at the emergency room thought I had just sprained my knee. I had trouble wearing the immobilizing splint and found out that part of the reason for that was I had torn part of my hamstring and the splint wasn’t allowing me to heal properly. I’ll admit while trying to climb the stairs, I fell twice.. not the best feeling ever.

I ended up going to see an orthopedic surgeon after 5 days. The doctor told me that I had most likely torn my ACL/ MCL or both. Not exactly what I wanted to hear. So I had an MRI and now I am just waiting for my results. It’s kind of a horrible waiting game, all I want is the results but instead I’m sitting around waiting. I’m on week 3, and it’s feeling better, but maybe 50% at best. I’m being careful, still wearing the knee brace for most of the day. Occasionally it will hurt out of nowhere, which isn’t fun but it happens.

So I’ve been put on the side for now in bjj. No training. Instead I go in whenever I can and just help. Even on Iorn man days, I will stay and help wherever I can. It’s recently been me explaining and helping new students get the fundamentals down. I also still go in and help with kids, I can show techniques, and fix little things. It’s really humbling to sit and watch and work to do nothing but help, and not do yourself. The knee brace is a good reminder that I’m not supposed to be practicing. Every time I try, it stops me from being able to move into the techniques. Which is good, I need to heal. The worst part is just not knowing. I need to find out what is wrong, so I can take my next step in my plan of action, but without an answer. Its just nerve wracking.

So until I get all healed up, the blog is going to be a recovery mission. What the diagnosis is, what me limitations are, surgery/ rehab as needed, and just staying in bjj. I’m going to keep looking for people to interview, and keep looking for topics to write on but. There is going to be tons on here about working through an injury, once I see hoe severe it may be.

Keep training everyone I wish you well!

09 June 2011

Black Belt Spotlight: Samuel Braga

Ok I am really excited about the fact I got the chance to do this n41701517_30979002_2473interview. Samuel is probably the most decorated  competitor (it  is between him and Helio) that has agreed to do an interview on here! I met Samuel Braga not long after I got my blue belt. He was the referee for one of Helio Soneca’s tournaments. He ended up refereeing all of my matches, and I had no idea who he was. I later found out who he was and was pretty shocked. Samuel is a 6 time Mundial Champion. He is a black belt from Gracie Barra, and even though there has been some controversy surrounding him, he is an awesomely nice guy, and has a great sense of humor.

How old are you?

(Samuel didn’t want to reply to this one, He doesn’t want people to speculate on how much longer he will compete. Also like you saw with Helio, It’s pretty much impossible to get a Brazilian to tell you their age)

208567_124700044271562_100001947021476_164043_720472_nWhere are you from? Where are currently living?

I'm from Brazil , Belo Horizonte MG, I’m living in Knoxville TN .

How long have you been training Brazilian jiu jitsu?

I've been training BJJ for 11 Years

When did you receive your black belt and who awarded it to you?

I got my black belt in 2005 from Vinicius Magalhaes Draculino

What got you into it?n822779886_972098_9410

I got into Brazilian Jiu-jitsu because of UFC watching Royce Gracie fights was really inspiring .

What is your favorite position?

I like using De la Riva guard. (Samuel also mentioned another form of guard that he has been working on but isn’t sure about it yet, granted he could have been joking with me, he kept laughing.)

What do you like about Brazilian jiu jitsu?

Its an amazing martial art , it is actually a life style , one thing really amazes me is that allows the smaller player to overcome the strength and weight difference with technique to beat a bigger opponent .

What has been one of the most memorable moments in your Jiu 15853_172237119886_822779886_2636836_4244644_nJitsu Carreer?

I think winning my first world championship as a black belt.

Do you plan on competing again this year in Mundials?

Yeah , I do pretend to compete :) (Side note Samuel got third Place this year at world Championships in the black belt light feather division)

How do you feel about what Caio Terra said about steroids at Pan Ams after he won?

I think he has good intention on his statement but You always  have to watch to not generalize it.

Where do you draw inspiration and motivation?

I think my inspiration and motivation comes from I want to improve as a person also my BJJ I love to compete and prove myself .215730_124700110938222_100001947021476_164048_650479_n

What is a lesson you have learned from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

You can always overcome hard ship on the mats and in your life as long you believe in yourself .

Are you where you want to be?

I want to have a great school and a family and above all be happy .Turkish--Sammy-Get-up

What is next for you?

I look myself always that someone needs improvements in many ways , I want to become a good instructor and be able to change life in a positive way

Is there anything you would like to add?

I would like to share that you have to believe in yourself and follow your instincts and dreams and pursue your happiness and what would you make you happy that is the most important thing and above all to do the right things in life would not regret later , follow right path god's path .

04 June 2011

My Mini Battle with Cauliflower Ear

Soooo after 4 years, I finally got cauliflower ear. Which stinks….IMG_0533 The good point, it’s not horrible. The bad news, it hurts.  My wonderful fear of needles also made it an entertaining experience. So I had my teammate Joel, who is a medic drain it. Surprisingly it didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would. It felt by far after it was drained. The first day they pulled IMG_0534out 4 cc’s of blood. I immediately started to put pressure on it, and just stared at the needle. Kind of gross. At home I used a finder splint to compress it and keep it from filling with blood again. I also ordered a pair of headgear online to make sure i could protect my ears at least during class. I don’t mind having the little amount of cauliflower ear that I have I just really don’t want it to get worse… Anyway day two I ended up needing it to get drained again, I didn’t have the compression on long enough and it ended up withIMG_0536 another bubble underneath the skin on my ear. Robert tried to drain it this time and never again will I let him… It hurt, and it bled out more than it actually was sucked out. Back to more compression with my awesome finger splint. This time I even wore it at work as long as I wasn’t on deck in front of people. It actually almost looks like a really weird bluetooth. A few days and practices passed and i was doing great but accidentally caught a forehead to my ear and it inflamed again. So I drained it one final time and got the last of the gunk out, my ear is hard now and actually looks pretty normal yay!! That being said the two pictures at the bottom are of my ears, the one that I had to have drained is on the left and the normal one is on the right. Like I said not too bad right? It’s just a little bit different. IMG_0539 IMG_0540

03 June 2011

Women in BJJ

So I am writing this mainly for a good friend Mr. Suleman Yousef. He is the owner and operator of a place down in Miami called Monsters Training Center. He asked me if had anything I had written anything for my blog about the intimidating aspect of jiu jitsu for women or something for supporting women who did bjj. I had two that were close but they hit on specific groups inside women’s BJJ, one on pregnancy, and one on making it past your blue belt. So I’m going to try and do this without sounding too cliché.

Before I get too into keeping women in BJJ I’m going to go ahead and tell why I started. I’ve never written about it mainly because it’s not the easiest to talk about. My senior year of high school I had a close friend that I had known for 7 years try to rape me. He was bigger, stronger, and would have succeeded but when he went to pull off my pants I caught him in the groin with a knee. After it all happened I went through a pretty bad year, was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress, and even after I started college, I rarely left my dorm room unless it was to go to class or work. Sophomore year I knew i couldn’t keep it up and started to look for self defense. A friend of mine had an MMA fight and he suggested I look at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I found a school ten minutes  from my University and wandered in after emailing the man that ended up being my coach for 4 years.

There are plenty of reasons women start, Self-defense, interest in martial arts, social aspect, getting in shape, etc. Whatever the reason Brazilian jiu jitsu is a great way to achieve these goals, make friends, and be in a low pressure situation.

For women it’s not the easiest to get into this sport. Martial arts area male dominated sport to begin with, throw that into rolling around on the ground with guys in really close contact, it’s scary. The attrition rate is high, but schools are starting to target women and trying to help bridge that level of awkwardness. Women are encouraged to come in and there is more cross training that is starting to be done. There are extra classes, women’s only seminars, and when ever possible coaches try to make sure a higher ranked female is around when a new female is coming in to train. All these things help keep women coming back and it helps them get acclimated to training such a close contact sport.

Women will face some adversity in training martial arts, especially BJJ that guys aren’t apt to deal with. My coach Robert was explaining to a new female why she was only rolling with me and one of the higher ranks and no one closer to her size and skill level. He very simply said “The worst pairing I can do is a new young guy and a new adult female. The guy won’t want to lose and will most likely end up hurting her to prove his dominance” Men may not realize it, but how badly do you want to walk into practice and lose to a female every day? Most will claim they don’t care, but it has been engrained into us socially, that the man is dominant and takes care of the woman. Women are the weaker sex. Physically females just don’t have it in their genes to be muscle bound. Along with that mindset, for a woman to come in and here guys at the school say things like “don’t be such a girl”  using overly derogatory language (hey it happens), can be a turn off to a school. Yes you want to portray a real look at the school but if there are kids training there, do you really think the parents want to hear the language too? Finally we seem to notice smells a little more than the average guy. And smells usually lead to fears of dirty stuff, and getting gross diseases like, ringworm, impetigo, etc.

The benefits for joining Brazilian jiu jitsu are numerous for women. It’s great exercise. The camaraderie of your teammates is amazing. Learning something that could help you defend yourself against an attacker, boosts your confidence.  BJJ is a great release for frustration or any pent up energy. When you do find those females in BJJ you’ll find a small community within BJJ that love to support each other and work together to make things better for the whole group.

So guys, get your female friends, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, daughters to try BJJ. It may not suit everyone but those ones that catch the BJJ bug, will thank you for it later!