11.10.10

PART 3: 22 Fat-Loss Tips That Work - But in BJJ / Grappling Terms!


As I mentioned in my last post, one of my favourite books is Anita Bean's "Food for Fitness". A cool section in the book is titled: 22 Fat-Loss Tips That Work and, inspired by the Fightworks Podcast interview with Mr Dave Camarillo where he urges the listeners to read from a wide range of topics and try to apply the knowledge to BJJ / Grappling, I decided to give you Anita's tips, but completely twisted to address BJJ / Grappling training rather than weight loss. As a bonus, I will put the original tip at the bottom.

As promised here is part 3 of 3 posts. I hope you enjoy it.

1. Drink water. I don't even want to joke about changing this one. The water break has both a very important physiological importance but also an important social value. It's a half-time get-together for you and your friends and if you ever can't get a technique/move/the energy and you don't want to feel alone, the water break is a great opportunity to exchange "I'm completely lost here too!" looks.

Original tip: Drink water.

2. Take a holistic approach to your art: I don't buy into the whole "Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu a sport, a self defence system or a martial art?" question. It's everything and that's how I treat it. I love everything about it. The gi, the rash-guard, the MMA, the headlock escapes...the lot!

I remember hearing Marcio Feitosa talk about this on a Fightworks Podcast a few months ago and I completely agree. Why restrict yourself when the art/sport/activity is so encompassing?

Original tip: Eat fruit instead of drinking juice.

3. Beware of scams and empty quick-fix promises: Why oh why would you want this complex art that takes long hours on the mat to master to be easier and quicker to master? It's the equaliser in fights against someone who is bigger, stronger and fitter. It's a joy to share with like-minded people for years and years. It's the next thing to magic! It...takes...time. Let it!

I'm joking (a little) We want it easier and simpler because we are rational beings and because the geography of BJJ / Grappling is different to that of standing, walking and sitting that we are so used to. We think we can solve the riddle, or at least buy the solution on EBay or Amazon (or steal it from YouTube!) and, naturally, that creates an opportunity for people to sell us more and more products, books and courses.

I'm not against books, DVDs or Internet based instruction. I frikkin' love it. I am, however, very selective and don't expect miracles. I expect what I learn in 30 minutes online to still take me hours on the mat to learn and internalize.

Original tip: Beware of "reduced fat" labels.

4. Don't go on EBay or Amazon when your ego is bruised: Nice lead from the previous point. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an art of self development, but we are all guilty of self-Envelopment every now and again.

We are on the mat, we work hard and we get tapped and that's the reality of it. We take it personally sometimes though, especially if there is a question of differing belt colours. Damn them! How dare they! I need to learn how to counter that NOW!

If you go looking online for solutions, they will immediately materialize in the shape of books, DVDs and crystal balls and before you know it you will have a stack of them but no continuation and, chances are, you will still get tapped, just by a new sub!

Original tip: Don't go shopping when you're hungry.

5. Dedicate more time to positional transitions (escapes, sweeps and passes) and less to the cool submissions: Transitions open doors and teach habits. To me, that's the secret of Jiu Jitsu. The way I see a submission (triangle, armbar, footlock...etc.) is as a tighter and tighter position that can't really get any tighter. I have no doubt in my mind that the triangle choke was discovered by mistake when someone escaped mount to half guard, then to guard, then to high guard and then to triangle set up position (one arm in) and then suddenly, the frying pan got hot and someone passed out. Bingo. Focus on climbing the transitional chain and you'll get every submission along the way.

Original tip: Replace half your carbohydrates with veggies.

6. Spend some down time writing a game plan.

Beginning: You shake hands.
End: Someone taps.

Take sometime to fill in the different scenarios of what can happen in between and start working on assigning different solution ideas to the challenges along. Let me get you started:

They establish a good grip on you : break their grip
They pull guard : Hip in and posture up
They open their closed guard : go to combat base, get your grips on the pants and work for a bull-fighter pass (example)...etc.

Why not borrow a start-up flowchart from one of the greatest players: Rickson Gracie's flowchart part one and part two.

Original tip: Match every excuse to a solution.

7. Pack your gym bag the night before and have some spares: This is to avoid excuses to skip the session and to save time. When you get home after the session, don't just take your dirty stuff out of the gym bag. Replace it with clean kit straight away. Since I started doing that, I've not arrived without a rash guard / gi / belt / groin guard / athletic tape...etc. in 5 years.

Original tip: Carry healthy snacks.

8. Use BJJ / Grappling to revolutionise your whole life: I don't mean be a tool towards the rest of the world by telling everyone you meet "Oh I can't eat that / play that / drink that / wear that because a 2 strip blue belt you know!"

However, if starting BJJ / Grappling / MMA is the first move you've taken for your life into a healthy direction then why not compliment it with some early morning stretching, drinking less booze, spending some quality time with loved ones at the dinner table instead of eating in front of the TV...etc. Don't just do something healthy, allow yourself to become a healthier person.

Original tip: Stock up with healthy foods.

There you go ladies and gents. It's been a brain twister for me to transform the diet tips to BJJ / Grappling tips but it was great fun and made me put my own practice under the microscope. I know I can be guilty of, for example, number 4 in the list and I'm working on it. Being poorer helps!

Thanks Mr Recession for stopping me from googling "How to choke frikkin' Wrestler Freaks who pass my open guard!".


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