Category Archives: Personal growth

Kit Dale explains the importance of trial and error in BJJ (Video)

trial and errorIn many fighting systems you learn isolated techniques with no live sparring and you never really learn what works. This is not so in BJJ. Watch the video and train with this concept in mind and you really can’t help but improve. The more you roll, the better you get. Its not easy but it works.

This video by BJJ superstar Kit Dale explains the concept of trial and error and why it’s so important to constantly be rolling in BJJ. I think it’s a really important concept as for me a big factor in why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is so effective is that we actually roll and effectively do live sparring all the time, so there’s no room for ego and you don’t wind up doing the martial art for 4 years only to find you’re completely ineffective.

Why you shouldn’t avoid rolling ‘ the new guy’.

The new guy on the matI went through a short stage where I wasn’t really keen to roll with new guys when they joined the gym as I felt like I really wasn’t learning anything from them because very often, all they do is go nuts and try to force everything with no technique at all.

Many years ago though I completely changed my mind because I found that by rolling new guys, I’m often surprised and learn a lot of things about my Jiu-Jitsu. Firstly, you can be mistaken and find out that the new guy really has game. Secondly, if the new guys really big and strong and frenzied, it provides a fantastic challenge to see how I can handle the intensity and unpredictability which is really what BJJ is about at the end of the day. These days though, I really just roll for the pure joy and I’m quite thrilled to roll with anyone and everyone who wants to as it gives me another opportunity to play the sport I love. I must say though that I came across this video by Jason Scully of Grapplers Guide and he really explains well, the benefits of rolling with the new guy and gaining very relevant and necessary experience. It’s a great video.

Professor Pedro Sauer also has an interesting comment on the topic as shown in this short video by Submissions101.

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

If it’s the first time you’ve come across the sport of BJJ, you might be asking yourself. What is brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? After participating in the sport for 9 years, I just assumed until recently that with the massive growth of BJJ and MMA worldwide, everyone on the planet knows what BJJ is, but I was wrong. Recently a friend of mine who teaches a security class which is mainly comprised of Krav Maga, asked me to assist with a session on ground work which the guys had not been taught. It suddenly dawned on me that the people in the class were well trained in various fighting techniques but had never fought on the ground and had never heard of BJJ. When someone asked me what kind of techniques we were learning, I explained and he asked me, “what is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?”

I didn’t really have time to explain the rich history and story of BJJ in that class but I thought there might be other people out there who are also asking ‘What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu‘? It makes sense then that on a site like this, I should give a bit of an explanation on BJJ for new comers who are just hearing about this amazing fighting system now. Essentially BJJ is a Martial Art that has a very strong focus on taking the fight to the ground and finishing it there using a wide variety of techniques and movements. These techniques allow the BJJ practitioner to make use of leverage and transitions to dominate their opponent in terms of position and apply various sweeps and submissions consisting of a huge variety of locks and chokes.

BJJ has proven it’s self highly effective as a martial art and it is a given that to compete at the highest levels of Mixed Martial Arts competition, being skilled at BJJ is absolutely essential. You can’t really talk about the origins of BJJ without speaking about the characters who shaped it and the environment they found themselves in to create it. The explosion of MMA due to the UFC provided a breeding ground and launch pad for the popularity of BJJ. In order to go deeper you need to do some reading about the Gracie family who founded Gracie Jiu-Jitsu which has spread into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Helio Gracie and his family started learning judo from a Japanese emigrant to Brazil by the name of Mitsuyo Maeda. The techniques were adapted for use by the small to overcome larger opponents. If you’re looking to really understand ‘What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu“? I suggest reading about these incredible characters. But I’m not planning to re-write wikipedia for this article so I recommend the following articles if you’d like to expand your knowledge.

Helio Gracie

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Rorion Gracie

For me, BJJ is really about the following:

    I love the sport. It gives me joy.

    Often compared to human chess, it is a highly complex art that always keeps me learning.

    It’s constantly evolving and is not an art based on ancient forms or Katas that no longer have a basis in modern reality. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching the forms in some of the beautiful martial arts. There’s nothing beautiful to watch about BJJ drills or BJJ training or ‘rolling’ but it sure is effective.

    The ability to force your opponent to submit without hurting them means you can train full contact, making training highly realistic and super effective against a real live and resisting opponent.

    BJJ competition is great fun.

    As a fighting system it so valuable to me, as if some drunk idiot attacks you at a party, you can force him to quit without injuring him but alternatively if you find yourself up against a dangerous attacker, you literally have the ability to break his bones or kill him.

    I’m a security officer and amateur MMA fighter and I fully acknowledge that I need other skills such as those offered by Boxing, Wrestling, Muay Thai and Krav Maga and I train and enjoy them all but when the need arises, BJJ is a critical skill set to me.

    So to answer the original question, ‘what is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?’. When it comes to Martial arts and sport in general, it is my first love. Everyone old and young can and should do it. It has changed the way I think and learn and has radically transformed me mentally, physically and emotionally. You should definitely give it a try.

Awesome video that shows how BJJ breeds respect for our fellow human beings.

respect in bjjOne thing that I have always found so inspirational is the way that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practioners are so respectful of each other. It’s something that draws me to the sport and inspires me to continue this great journey of self discovery. This video by Joshua Halvatzis captures the way I see the spirit of Jiu-Jitsu in a manner that is inspiring and motivational.

How Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can help with autism.

For my first 8 years as a BJJ player, I trained under an incredible BJJ coach who suffers from ADHD and yet who is an fantastic teacher with a unique ability to transfer information. He also has an incredible awareness and sensitivity.

With the sport having literally taught me how to learn and having improved my own sense of awareness, I’m quite fascinated by the positive impact it can have. I stumbled across this video by Shoyoroll who have sponsored an Autism awareness campaign and the autistic man in the video talks about the impact of BJJ on his life and the lives of his children. I found it to be quite inspirational. I’ve shown it below so you can see what I’m talking about.