25.11.14

Interview with Rickson Gracie: jiujitsu master and founder of theJiu-Jitsu Global Federation Part V

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Interview with Jiujitsu Global Federation founder Master Rickson Gracie. Part V

A concise version of this interview was recently published by Blitz Martial Arts, Australasia's leading martial arts magazine. Click here for Part I, II, III & IV

29th July 2014. 10am Los Angeles Time


LW: It sounds like you're trying to create something bigger than yourself, so,etching that can replace you. 
RG: oh man, you know that's exactly what I'm trying to do. If I look back at my life, I did everything I could do to represent, to fulfil my students' needs in order for them to become better. As men, as competitors, as parents or whatever. I feel like I've been dedicating my life to jiujitsu and as my body is physically fading, the best contribution I could do is to create some kind of pattern of quality control for our product and our community because what I see is our product being diluted and weakened. I see that my last challenge, my last fight, as very fulfilling and very motivational. I feel like if I can accomplish half of what I'm thinking, I'll be the happiest guy on earth. I'm out there fighting and providing service, working hard to conquer this challenge but in a much bigger position. For example, instructional videos: I will never, ever put my instructional videos on the shelf for anyone to buy. It's not about the money but for me it's about the principle. It's weakness from me if some guy I've never met pays $50 and takes my knowledge and a piece of my soul and then becomes my enemy. On the other hand, if a jiujitsu practitioner from anywhere in the country or the world, gets in contact with me and says "Master, I'm a jiujitsu teacher from wherever and I'd like to have your programme", I don't feel it's the same as selling it on the shelf to anyone. I feel like I'd be fulfilling that guy's needs as a black belt to become a better teacher. This is a completely different feeling for me because while I can be betrayed, but my intention is to serve jiujitsu  and I'd be giving another jiujitsu practitioner the elements he needs to become better. I'd be working with people who love the art, respect the art and live by the art and the knowledge so it's a. Completely different service. 

21.11.14

Interview with Rickson Gracie: jiujitsu master and founder of theJiu-Jitsu Global Federation Part IV

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Interview with Jiujitsu Global Federation founder Master Rickson Gracie. Part IV

A concise version of this interview was recently published by Blitz Martial Arts, Australasia's leading martial arts magazine. Click here for Part I, II & III

29th July 2014. 10am Los Angeles Time


LW: Many in the community feel that existing or past "federations" carried the name federation but were actually run as corporations. It's embarrassingly visible out there and when there are suggestions for PED TESTING, rule changes or democratic votes, a blind eye is turned to that. What is going to be the organisational structure within the JJGF? Will it have regional / national divisions? Will there be a JJGF-Europe? Etc?
RG: 100%. I agree about the current situation. Our idea now is to create our new circuit and, instead of dividing everybody, to welcome everybody to be completely supported by us. This year, I'm not going to say "if you don't use our rules we don't respect or support you" instead, we want to welcome everybody to the federation. I will promote every tournament on the planet. I will accept and distinguish every champion, no matter the rules. I will try to bring attention to and suggest our new rules in order to create a strong body in the JJGF. the aim is to unify the community and bring major sponsors to the game and TV contracts. 

All this is in my vision for the growth of our beloved art. Depending on the reaction and retaliation from the community, we might end up drawing ourselves back and preserve our own vision and culture for those who share and accept it. But I don't want to try to create that kind of division to begin with.  

I need to talk to the promoters around the globe and get them on board. They need to see that they can't necessarily just double and triple the size of their events so if they can't expand horizontally, through the work of the federation, they can expand vertically through the involvement of sponsor and TV exposure. We'd be creating a very unique and sound business model and a very interesting development for the sport.

18.11.14

Interview with Rickson Gracie: jiujitsu master and founder of theJiu-Jitsu Global Federation Part III

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Interview with Jiujitsu Global Federation founder Master Rickson Gracie. Part III

A concise version of this interview was recently published by Blitz Martial Arts, Australasia's leading martial arts magazine. Click here for Part I & II

29th July 2014. 10am Los Angeles Time


LW: This is fantastic. Jiujitsu has been around for a few years and we have had a few different federation but why do you think we have had these problems arise? Where do these problems come from?
RG: You know, I feel like it's nobody's fault. I feel like introducing advantages into the the game, which is presented like half points but they're not really points. It's like in basketball having a ball hit the ring and you reward the team for that. That would create a situation where the player don't feel the need to learn how to score the ball in the basket anymore. By touching the ball to the ring enough times, they'd already be winning the game. Advantages were meant initially to help resolve grey areas but unfortunately they created more grey areas. The evolution of he rules do the sort has meant that tough guys now don't actually need to go for scoring point anymore. They can just make an attempt at a technique or show the referee a set up, like "hey referee I ALMOST passed the guard" so when they have the advantage it's almost like they gained a point so they stop trying. The game had become so sophisticated around gaining advantages and lost objectivity on who the best guy out there is in passing the guard, gain the cross side, mount and submit. Using the rules to get the medal is now the goal and the objectivity of the fight becomes secondary. In order for is to restore effectiveness, which is part of our culture, we have to definitely make changes in the rules like i, cutting advantages and ii, penalising stalling. By doing these two things, you're going to see a completely different fight because if the fighter cannot stall and hold a position just because they got a few points they have to let go and do something. It brings a completely different action package that's going to be better for the viewers, for the training and ultimately for the fighters. I really believe most of the existing champions aren't going to be too happy with that but I'm trying to favour 85% of the competitive community today who are the white and blue belts who, without knowing, are being misled into believing that they have to use thee stalling positions to get the medal. 

If this keeps going, in ten years from now, jiujitsu will become something like taekwondo  or sport karate which had great athletes with great, explosive expression of athleticism but far removed from effectiveness in real life. 


10.11.14

Interview with Rickson Gracie: jiujitsu master and founder of theJiu-Jitsu Global Federation Part II

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Interview with Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation founder Master Rickson Gracie. Part II

A concise version of this interview was recently published by Blitz Martial Arts, Australasia's leading martial arts magazine. Click here for Part I

29th July 2014. 10am Los Angeles Time

LW: That's great. I know you have mentioned in the past that you want the federation to become a meeting point for the jiujitsu community, very much like Facebook.
RG: That's right, because you know by using those tools I think because the federation is based around service, like I told you, and we focus on three different pillars of work. The first one is the "communication" aspect which I feel like there is a need in the entire community to have access to general information where everything is in the same basket. That means the biggest associations today have their own circuits and their own champions and they don't mix with each other. There is no one federation that represents even 50% of the community. The IBBJF has a good slice of the cake, NAGA has another, Grapplers Quest, DreamJiujitsu, SEVEN, Copa Pacifica, US Open. So many different associations and federation doing tournaments those days and they have no relation with each other. This is creating a divide in the competitor community.  and doesn't give them access to eventually look towards the olympics, or even before that look towards a premium world wide circuit, which would translate into a possibility to appear on TV or put major sponsors into the game. 


5.11.14

Interview with Rickson Gracie: jiujitsu master and founder of theJiu-Jitsu Global Federation Part I

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Interview with Jiujitsu Global Federation founder Master Rickson Gracie. Part I. 

A concise version of this interview was recently published by Blitz Martial Arts, Australasia's leading martial arts magazine. 

29th July 2014. 10am Los Angeles Time

Liam Wandi: How's your morning been?
Rickson Gracie: It's great man. Just waiting for your call and excited about this new endeavour.

LW: Of course, and we are all excited. The whole jiujitsu community is excited. We met a couple of times during your seminars, once in Amsterdam and once in Glasgow and I am curious, were you thinking about forming the federation as far as back then in 2012?
RG: The idea of doing something about the sport is always on my mind and a while ago a friend of mine tried to create a new federation and gave me that idea. But at the time he wanted to have me in it but also to be the main responsible for it which I disagreed with because once I get into a federation, it will have my body and soul and creativity and ideas and I cannot just be his employee so we didn't go through with the idea. Finally, I got into a position to go ahead and create my idea and everything just fell into place.

23.10.14

BJJ / Grappling Tips: Guard passing - Advice from John Will - Getting the most out of each session.

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Guard passing is the other side of the coin of guard recovery and I'd like to share a tip I got from Mr John Will: turn every grappling/BJJ session into a grappling/BJJ private. I don't mean that you should try to hog your instructor's attention for the duration of the session. That's neither fair nor feasible.


Rather, if you are focusing on your guard passing, keep your eyes open and look at what your partners and peers are doing. How do they pass but most importantly what keeps them from passing? Focus on grappling fundamentals like hip movement and hip control rather than the cartwheels and the attribute-driven passes. What are they doing with their hands and where are they touching their partner? Notice also that if someone keeps failing to pass guard then maybe the guard player is the one to watch and learn from.

16.10.14

BJJ / Grappling tips: the Half-Guard. How to avoid getting crushed.

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The half guard is a position that has evolved massively in BJJ / Grappling. The Half-Guard fundamental concepts are:

i, stay on your side,
ii, prevent the Cross Face,
iii, work for the top underhook.

Every time I drill half guard bottom with a partner I'm always reminded that you have three weapons in the oh-so-important fight against the Cross Face. These are, in order of employment:

The bottom-arm paw
The top-arm paw, and
The Heavy Head.

Some people use both hands at the same time but I just prefer giving them different jobs. Most people know about the paw-grip controlling the biceps but looking around the mat I often see a lot of people giving up the Cross Face once their arms were bypassed instead of gluing their heads to the floor, at least until they can re-insert their hands and resume the fight.

Of course, you shouldn't dwell/stall in half guard but rather get deep in and start your attacks, reversals and sweeps but that's moving forward. Giving up cross face is a HUGE step backwards so remember to Heavy Head. It'll save your ass!

If you have the time, I strongly recommend watching this fantastic video by Indrek Reiland and Jorgen Matsi. It's long and extensive, but it will arguably teach you all you will ever need to stay safe and aggressive from the half guard in both nogi grappling and jiujitsu.



--------------------------------------------------

ZHOO ZHITSU IS FOR EVERYONE!

Check for more resources on Amazon.com:

9.10.14

BJJ / Grappling / MMA DVD review: UFC coach Nathan Leverton Super Grappling Seminar - The Turtle

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Nathan Leverton is a great grappling and MMA coach with several fighters from his team, Leicester Shootfighters representing on a scale of MMA shows from local events to the UFC.

I was recently contacted by Nathan to review his latest product:  A DVD instructional on the turtle position, which is a huge part of grappling, jiujitsu and MMA so I was more than happy to oblige. As I am very busy with school at the moment, I told Nate it'd go in the queue and I finally got an hour or two free so here it goes.

You can download Nathan's Turtle Top MMA curriculum here.

Here is a great example of Nathan's MMA / grappling coaching skills: Here he is teaching the Front Headlock - 3/4 Nelson - Darce Choke chain.



2.10.14

BJJ / Grappling Tips: Guard recovery / Escape Game - Folds of the Body

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Recently we drilled Guard Recovery. This is an incredibly important, and fun, aspect of playing guard. After all, what good are your submissions and sweeps if your guard keeps getting passed?

The focus was to get in there as early as possible and stop the passer from dictating where the grapple goes with their grips, following that up with the usage of a number of frames to stop the progress of a guard pass. The frames were against the collar bone / lapel, the hip, shoulder or the wrist, with emphasis on starting early and engaging the whole body in the escape / guard recovery rather than just pushing with the arm.

Check my review of Saulo v Comprido where Saulo uses
the collar bone / lapel recovery tactic he so well teaches in
Jiujitsu Revolution II

25.9.14

BJJ DVD Review: Nic Gregoriades & Kit Dale Concepts.

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Review Nic Gregoriades and Kit Dale Concepts DVD


Two funny guys presenting concepts and techniques that will turbocharge your jiujitsu. Nic and Kit are both very comfortable with the camera and with working with each other. The sound quality is crystal clear and the two black belts wear white and black gis respectively, working on light and dark grey mats so the HD quality of the picture is very high.


Where to buy this DVD:
In DVD format ($59.99) or digital download ($49.99) at: http://www.gobeyondtechnique.com/
Disclosure
I have never met these gentlemen but I have known Nic online for a few years. This review is based solely on my own opinions.


Here are a few words from Nic himself:



You can purchase the BJJ Concepts DVD here.
The DVD starts with the two black belts discussing how the contents will become tools for the learners to develop their own jiujitsu, with technique examples of course.