Blue Belt Challenge, Advanced Class, and Submission Month

Hey Everyone!

Blue Belt Challenge:

It’s time for another blue belt challenge!! As many of you know, Jon is one of the tougher people to submit or dominate positionally. As a reward, he gets to fight a bunch of people back to back without any breaks. But that means we need as many of you to show up as possible!!! It will be held Saturday, November 21 throughout the open mat (10:30am – 12:30pm). The open mat will be FREE for anyone who is not a member or not on the monthly payment plan. So invite your friends, or stop by yourself even if you haven’t been in for a while.

November is SUBMISSIONS month!

Yea, that’s about all we can say about that. If you’ve been having a hard time with submissions, or just want to get better at them, come out at least twice a week throughout November and you’ll get pretty darn good at them. We will go through submissions from Mount, Side Control, Bottom Half-Guard, and Bottom Full-Guard.

Advanced Class (Invitation Only):

Beginning this month, we will be starting an advanced class that is invitation only (don’t ask to attend, we’ll invite you). See further below for how to get invited. We’re going to call it ADCC Hopefuls, because the goal is to going to be to get whomever comes to that class good enough to hang with the ADCC crowd (if you don’t know what the ADCC is, it’s basically the olympics of grappling. Here’s a cool highlight from the 2011 championships). We are starting off by holding this class twice a month, every SECOND and FOURTH Thursday of the month, starting this month (Nov. 12th and 26th), beginning at 7PM and ending when we feel like we’ve had enough (probably an hour and a half or so). We’ll start class off with some wrestling, move on to advanced Jiu Jitsu training, and then end on some intense open mat rounds.

The requirements to be invited to this class have nothing to do with your skill level, but rather how good of a training partner you are. Here are some criteria for being a good training partner:

1) You are more worried about your partner’s safety and health than “winning.” For example, you might have a darce or guillotine on your partner. You notice that he is not tapping, so instead of cranking it harder, you ask “is your neck ok?” If they give you a thumbs up, you STILL DON’T crank harder. Instead, you slowly apply more pressure, making sure you’re not going to hurt the person. Another example might be if you are applying a can opener. You don’t simply crank it with the goal of getting the opponent to open his guard. Instead, you apply slow pressure, making sure they are not going to be out for the next few days with a sore neck.

2) You control your strength, speed, and weight. For example, if you are doing a knee slide pass, you don’t just drive your knee through with no regard for where it’s going or where gravity is taking you. Instead, you carefully angle the knee so that there’s no chance it will smash your partner in the face, and you make sure you are in control of your weight so you don’t fall full force onto your partner’s head, ribs, hand, etc. If you are escaping a position or going for an armbar, you are controlling your speed and strength so that you don’t smack your partner with an errant elbow, knee, or ankle.

3) You listen well and do what you are asked, no more and no less. If we are working on an underhook escape from side control, you shouldn’t be doing a knee recovery escape just because it works better for you. You should struggle and strive to improve the technique you are meant to be training. Similarly, you shouldn’t be spending the round talking to your partner about this or that. Struggle through the technique and call us over if you need help. Don’t waste your partner’s precious training time.

4) Be friendly and encouraging to others. It’s always funner training with friends than some person you barely know. Your goal should be to have fun and get your partner better so that we can all grow together.

5) You are willing to tap often and tap early. We are doing advanced and intense training. If you are caught or about to be caught in a submission, don’t be that person who gets hurt because they are to proud to tap and learn. Tap every chance you get and learn something from it.

These are just a few examples of how to be a good training partner. If you aren’t there yet, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. You just haven’t had enough time to work on these skills. And yes, being a good training partner is absolutely a skill.

October Competition

Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to post this as a reminder that NAGA will be coming to Jacksonville on October 24. NAGA has been pretty popular over the years, so there should be a decent number of people in various divisions. Just let us know if you’re interested in competing and we’ll be sure we make it out there to help you!

Here’s a link with divisions, weight classes, times, pricing, etc.

July 18 Special Event Open Mat, Competition Thursdays, and Weekday Morning Classes Schedule Change

A few important things to announce for July:

First and most importantly, we are going to be having a promotion of sorts for one of our students on Saturday, July 18. This is one of the few times that I am asking all full-time students to come to the open mat, even if only for 15-20 minutes. The open mat will be free to all others who don’t train with us full time. So, please save the date now so you can come out and support your fellow students. There might even be food!

Secondly, many of you have expressed a desire to compete in the upcoming submission only competition on August 1. So we will be dedicating some of our Thursdays to competition training during the month of July. There will be some instruction, but mostly just hard training. The only catch is that we will only be training if at least 2-3 of those of you competing can commit to attending on any particular Thursday. I’ll send out texts and/or messages the day before to confirm attendance and class time.

Finally, as many of you know, I often teach courses in Religion at Florida International University, and I was lucky enough to be assigned some courses for the summer. However, this means that I will have to suspend weekday morning classes for the time being so that I can dedicate my mornings to grading papers, answering student emails, etc. This DOES NOT include the Saturday Open Mat. That will remain on the schedule and will run at its normal time (10:30am-12:30pm). The last weekday morning class will be held on July 1. After that, it will be strictly evenings. I’ll be updating the schedule accordingly in the near future.