Journal Your Training and Journey with Evernote!

By Erik Beyer
 
I started doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the first Monday of this year, 2015, and was instantly hooked! (Alvarez Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Arlington, Tx – www.alvarezbjj.com, Danny Alvarez)  I had been looking for something for me, since my wife is a runner, and doing marathons and ultra-marathons, and I felt I needing to do something active.  The gym by itself wasn’t doing anything for me, I explored some other striking martial arts, but nothing really grabbed me.  One day I was watching something on YouTube and an Alvarez BJJ video ad popped up and I realized I didn’t know anything about BJJ. 
 
I started searching BJJ on the internet, watching YouTube videos, and then signed up for the academy’s 30-day free trial!  I signed up for the year during the first week, got my first GI, learned how to tie the belt, and haven’t looked back.  I am almost 6-months in, still pretty green, I have watched one tournament, and I am  planning on competing in September, the IBJJF Dallas Open.  I am a sponge!  I am soaking in everything I can related to BJJ to help me to better “get it” and understand it.  I train at the 6am class Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I will be adding one or two evening classes a week depending on my work schedule.  I am at a point where I crave Jiu Jitsu.
 
When I started, Mr. Alvarez Sr. (Danny Alvarez’s father) told me about keeping a journal.  It was a pretty quick mention but it stuck.  I researched the “how” and “what” of keeping this kind of journal and decided to get a classic composition book and started keeping track of every class.  I wrote down the day, date, time of class, who the lead instructor was, what we drilled, what techniques we went over, detailing the moves the best I could, and then an overall thought of the class, roll time, how I felt, or maybe a mention of a new person starting, and names of people so I could remember everyone.  It was a journal!  And I have kept it up since day 1.
 
evernoteNot too long ago I began using Evernote (www.evernote.com) for work, personally keeping track of websites I liked, articles, and meeting notes for work.  Then it dawned on me, why don’t I use Evernote for my journal?  I watched YouTube videos on journaling with Evernote, and read some how-to’s.  I scanned in (with my iPhone) all of my previous entries from my handwritten journal and logged them into Evernote, and now I use Evernote exclusively.  I know there are other journaling apps out there, even specific to BJJ (like www.bjjtrainingjournal.com), and other electronic options, but here are the benefits I found for using Evernote.
  1. You can access your notes on any device and computer, via a web browser, a downloadable application on your computer, and an app on your smartphone.
  2. I have separate categories for resources, articles, and my journal, and can add as many other categories as I want, maybe even “Gi’s Researched” if I am learning about Gi brands.
  3. I can save pictures, full articles, clip articles with the Chrome plug in, keep track of receipts, etc.  So, if I get a newsletter from Stephen Kesting for example, and it has an embedded photo I just highlight the email, copy and paste it into a new note in Evernote and it retains the formatting, and I can save it for later use.
  4. Search keywords!  So, I plan on going back and typing in my old handwritten entries someday so I can search keywords and phrases!  This way I can search “armbar” for example, and see all of the entries that I typed armbar, showing me how often we drilled that in class. 
  5. You can also tag posts for example.  You can tag posts with “sweeps”, “guards”, “bottom”, “top”, if you are working on those specifically.  It allows you to view all posts tagged with sweeps to review what you were taught at one point, especially, if you are working on picking your 2 techniques to focus on. (Listen to Byron’s audio book, http://bjjbrick.com/your-first-year-of-brazilian-jiu-jitsu/)
  6. If several of you in your academy are using Evernote there is a feature called Work Chat, where in the BJJ environment, students can share techniques with others, and get feedback.  Instructors can use this for planning classes even.
 
If you are at all like me, you have accounts with many different social networks, apps, programs, emails, and so on, and it can get a little daunting to keep track of.  I have pushed myself to commit to using Evernote as one source for my journaling, work notes, bookmarking links and resources for techniques, and articles I find and want to save or share later.
 
Other people will find different benefits of using Evernote.  I wrote this review in Evernote so I could review and edit it on my computer or my iPhone later.  I didn’t realize the benefits of this tool right away, and I am still learning new tricks to maximize my use of Evernote, but I know the act of journaling my classes, general entries about my overall progress, and using it as an outlet and a resource has been amazing and made the process of journaling much more efficient and even inviting.
 
I know I am a newbie for sure, only 6 months in, but journaling is a key training tool, and key to personal development, and Evernote offers a wonderful platform to customize how you want to keep track of your classes and overall Jui Jitsu journey.
 
 
Evernote Plans:
  • Basic – Free.  This is a great place to start and is usually plenty for the average or basic user, especially for journaling.
  • Plus – $24.99/yr: Gives you some more remote capabilities, plus more!
  • Premium – $49.99/yr: Allows business card scanning (which links with LinkedIn – very cool!), annotate PDF’s, shows related notes to the one you are writing, plus more!
I don’t get any kickback or freebies from Evernote for writing this.  My intent with this review is to explain and provide a great tool for individuals to use in their daily lives, and add to their BJJ routine.
 
Try it out, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain! https://evernote.com/
 
 
About Erik:Erik Beyer
Erik is a 37-yr old white belt who just started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the first of the year, 2015.  He is a husband, father of two boys, volunteers for the Boy Scouts of America currently as a District Commissioner.  Erik’s day job is a Regional VP of Sales for a large commercial Audio-Video-Lighting design and integration company with an office in Dallas, TX.  Erik is also a small business co-owner for a boutique craft glue, and designs and manages websites and business email management.  When not on the mat or at work Erik enjoys being outdoors, road trips, camping, exploring new places, or just relaxing with the family.
 
Contact info:
 
Facebook:
 
BJJ Academy: 
Alvarez BJJ (www.alvarezbjj.com), part of the Bastos Association, under the instruction of Danny Alvarez, 2nd Degree Black Belt.

Epi 89 Atos Black Belt Tim Sledd Part 1

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This week we have an interview with Tim Sledd. Tim is a 1st degree black belt under  Andre Galvao. Tim not only runs his own gym Small Axe BJJ, he is also the Director of affiliates for Atos. Tim shares lots of information about what is going on behind the scenes at Atos.

Tim Sledd

Tim Sledd

In part 1 of this interview we talk about:

  • His training history
  • Washing your belt and what your belt should mean to you
  • Who helps you get better at BJJ (not just coaches and teammates)
  • Leaving his job as a prosecutor to do BJJ full time
  • Real world lessons matching up with things learned on the mat
  • The name of his gym Small Axe BJJ
  • The idea of a chain saw vs an axe
  • Check out the Bob Marley Small Axe video
  • His thoughts about the berimbolo
  • Building systems in BJJ
  • How purple belts begin to speak the BJJ language
  • Comparisons of BJJ to learning a new language
  • Organizing your jiu-jitsu

Links:

Quote of the week: “The most important thing you can do to get better at jiu-jitsu, is jiu-jitsu” Presented by Eduardo Telles

Article of the week: “Focus on the Fundamentals: No Shame in Your Game” by A skirt on the Mat

First year of BJJ

Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

“Small Axe” Bob Marley

Why boasteth thyself
Oh, evil men
Playing smart
And not being clever?
I said, you’re working iniquity
To achieve vanity (if a-so a-so)
But the goodness of Jah, Jah
I-dureth for-I-ver

So if you are the big tree
We are the small axe
Ready to cut you down (well sharp)
To cut you down

These are the words
Of my master, keep on tellin’ me
No weak heart
Shall prosper
And whosoever diggeth a pit
Shall fall in it, fall in it
And whosoever diggeth a pit
Shall fall in it (… fall in it)

If you are the big tree, let me tell you that
We are the small axe, sharp and ready
Ready to cut you down (well sharp)
To cut you down(To cut you down)(To cut you down)

These are the words
Of my master, tellin’ me that
No weak heart
Shall prosper
And whosoever diggeth a pit
Shall fall in it, uh, bury in it
And whosoever diggeth a pit
Shall bury in it, uh (… bury in it)

If you are the big, big tree
We are the small axe
Ready to cut you down (well sharp)
To cut you down
If you are the big, big tree, let me tell you that
We are the small axe
Ready to cut you down (well sharp)
To cut you down
Sharpened

” A choke in the hand is worth two in a book”

This is an adaptation of an old saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. In modern day thought, this means that it is better to have a sure thing than to risk the sure thing for more.

A choke in the hand is worth 2 in a Book

A choke in the hand is worth 2 in a Book

A choke that you know well and can perform at a higher level compared to your other techniques is worth two (well way more than two) in a book. In this day of BJJ and the internet, one of the biggest mistakes is for students to perpetually switch from learning different techniques and never mastering any of them. This style of learning is a mistake, and a common one.

Falconry

Now for the original meaning of the phrase. This phrase comes from medieval falconry. The bird in your hand is your trained falcon, this falcon hunts other birds for you. The skills and tools you posses are worth way more than the rewards of a days work. Your skills, on the mat, at work, with people… falconry :) are important to your successes. Spend time collecting powerful skills, not an overflow of knowledge you can’t use.

What are your thoughts? Modern meaning or original? BJJ related or off the mat?

Byron

Epi 88 Eduardo Telles is full of surprises

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Eduardo Telles

Eduardo Telles

This week we are excited to bring you an interview with Eduardo Telles.  Eduardo is well know for his creativity on the mat, he is always trying to surprise his opponents. Check out more of Eduardo’s Bio here.

In the interview with Eduardo Telles we talk about:

  • Training in both Sao Paulo and Rio
  • Starting BJJ at 17 years old
  • How having fun was so important to getting good at BJJ
  • The use of the turtle guard
  • The benefits of using the turtle guard
  • Common mistakes when using the turtle guard
  • How he attacks someone that is using the turtle guard
  • His ideas about how points can distract opponents and lead to more submissions
  • The idea of giving points for side control
  • Advice for a first time student competing
  • What he was like as a blue belt
  • Some of his most favorite matches.
  • Watch his match with Felipe Pena
  • His online training academy

Links:

Quote of the week: “The goal of Jiu-Jitsu is not to be undefeated but no to lose” Presented by Brian Freeman

Article of the week: When rolling with a visitor be aware of these rules of etiquette

First year of BJJ

Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

Epi 87 Brian Freeman, He is No Ordinary Blue Belt

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Brian Freeman is back on the BjjBrick Podcast! His last appearance was episode 16. Brian is a disabled vet with a T4 spinal cord injury with Brown-Sequard syndrome. He is from Rockingham, North Carolina. Brian is now a blue belt under Renzo Gracie.

Brian Freeman and Xande Ribeiro at IBJJF PAN 2015

Brian Freeman and Xande Ribeiro at IBJJF PAN 2015

We talk about:

  • What caused his injury
  • Getting started in BJJ
  • Doing some techniques in his chair, and training to not get separated from his chair in a self defense situation
  • What it is like to be part of a BJJ team
  • Competing with able bodied competition
  • His game and strategies that he uses
  • Why some techniques are difficult for him to defend, and how he deals with them
  • His experience at IBJJF Pan 2015
  • How everyone adapts Jiu-Jitsu to their bodies
  • How he moves around differently off the mat because of Jiu-Jitsu
  • His story of getting his blue belt
  • Competing two weeks after getting his blue belt
  • His goals when he competes
  • Competing in the expert division
  • His plans of teaching motivational and educational seminars
Brian Freeman getting his blue belt from Renzo Gracie

Brian Freeman getting his blue belt from Renzo Gracie

Links:

Quote of the week: “You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room” Dr. Seuss

Article of the week: “Injury Prevention in BJJ: Put the Odds in Your Favor

First year of BJJ

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Epi 86 Submission Series Pro- The Takeover

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Submission Series Promotions is the biggest submission only host in Canada.Their second event “The Takeover” takes place Saturday, June 20 in Halifax Ns.  In this episode we bring you interviews with two of the athletes that are competing in this event.TakeOver bjj

Jason Gagnon– Jason is a brown belt under Cobrinha.  You can find Jason training at Genesis Martial Arts in Abbotsford, BC. He will be competing against Hood Rich of Zuma MMA.  Jason’s Facebook page.

Josh Wincey– Josh is a black belt under Kevin Taylor.  Josh trains at Titans MMA.  His is competing against Andris Brunovskis on The Takeover card.  Josh’s Facebook page.

Quote of the week: Presented by James Puopolo “True strength is not always shown through victory.  Stand up, try again and display strength of heart.” Rickson Gracie

Article of the week: “The One Secret Trick to Getting Good at BJJ

First year of BJJ

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Epi 85 James Puopolo Can Make You Laugh and Tap

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James PuopoloThis week we have a interview with Rafael Lovato Jr black belt James Puopolo.  He has been doing BJJ full time since leaving his middle school math teaching job.  He can be found on the mats at Salem-Keizer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy. You can find out more about James here on BJJ Heroes.

We talk about:

  • Running his academy
  • His ever changing style of BJJ
  • Training with out the use of a timer
  • Fitting your BJJ into many different rule sets
  • The importance of finishing your opponent
  • His training schedule
  • Training other grappling arts
  • Training with Luke Tirey
  • His first training experience with RLJ
  • Doing 14 competitions last year
  • His future goals
  • Keeping a training journal
  • The process he goes through before a competition
  • Basic meditation to get you in your zone
  • Advice for a students first tournament

Links for James Puopolo’s sponsors:

Keep up with James on his Facebook page

Quote of the week: Presented by PJ Waicus “The big, strong, tough guy goes to class, and he keeps getting tapped by the skinny, technical guy. It begins to change him. It makes him humble. That’s what Jiu Jitsu does to you. It makes you humble.” Relson Gracie

Article of the week: “What Can The Stock Market Teach You About Jiu-Jitsu?” From Jiu-Jitology

First year of BJJ

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Epi 84 BJJ and Life with PJ Waicus

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunes, Stitcher radio, and RSS link for Andriod

PJ Waicus joins us this week for an interview.  He has been training BJJ for about 5 years.  He trains at South Jersey Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy.  PJ has two children that have Angelman Syndrome.  This interview we talk a lot about BJJ, learn about Angelman Syndrome and we face off the mat challenges that life presents.

WaicusFamily

We talk about:

  • Starting BJJ at the age of 39
  • Size differences on the mat
  • How Angelman Syndrome is passed on
  • The effects of Angelman Syndrome
  • The Angelman community
  • Bipolar Disorder and BJJ
  • Training with a busy schedule
  • How BJJ is like a church to him
  • Training BJJ for the long term
  • Advice for parents that have kids with Angelman Syndrome

Pj Waicus BJJ

Links:

Quote of the week: Presented by: A double quote! Presented by Mark Mullen.

  • “It is not who is good, it is who is left. It’s hours on the mat, if you put in the time natural athlete or not, practice the art you will be a black belt. “Chris Haueter
  • “I don’t have talent, I have tenacity. I have discipline, I have focus. And I know without any illusion, where I come from and where I can go back to”  Henry Rollins

Article of the week: “When Jiu Jitsu is Like Brushing Your Teeth”  From A Skirt on the Mat

First year of BJJ

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Epi 83 Going International with Mark Mullen

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunes, Stitcher radio, and RSS link for Andriod

Mark Mullen

Mark Mullen

Mark Mullen is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in judo from Canada, now based in Taipei, Taiwan.

Mark Started training in judo in 1995 and inspired by Royce Gracie winning the early UFC’s he became obsessed to learn BJJ.

When Marcus Soares 7th degree coral belt of the Carlson Gracie Team moved to Vancouver in 1997 (the first black belt to teach in Canada) Mark became on of the earliest students.

Mark discovered an early aptitude and love for teaching BJJ when head instructor Soares would return to Brazil and Mark would teach the class.

Mark started Training with Gracie Barra black belt Josh Russel when Josh moved back to Canada after training and living in Rio De Janeiro for several years.

Mark was one of the original founders of Gracie Barra Calgary and graduated to purple, brown and finally black belt under Josh Russell 3rd degree.

In 2014 Mark accepted an offer to relocate to Taipei, Taiwan to be the BJJ coach for 2 MMA gyms (Marital Armor and Tough MMA in Taipei and Hsinchu) and runs the BJJ program for the schools as well as coaching the fighters.

Mark writes for popular online BJJ blogs Gracie Barra Blog and Grapplearts.comMark is also available for writing on other blogs.

We talk about:

  • What got him started in BJJ
  • Changes in BJJ over the years
  • The 3 types of BJJ students (Competitors, BJJ lifestyle, Fitness)
  • His travels to Taiwan
  • Why most students come to his BJJ school
  • The differences between teaching and performing BJJ
  • Teaching class as a blue belt
  • Traveling to Brazil
  • BJJ master minds that change and advance the sport
  • BJJ before and after youtube
  • Making complex things simple
  • Doing BJJ as a life style
  • Mario Sperry – Day of the Zen Documentary
  • Life as a Jiu-Jitsu Bum
  • Diet advice
  • The development of BJJ in Asia
  • How overwhelming BJJ can be for beginners
  • Advice for white belts
  • The importance of movement drills

Links for Mark Mullen: Twitter, Facebook

Quote of the week: “it’s not supposed to be easy” Samuel Spiegelman

Article of the week: “3 Important Questions to Help Recalibrate Your Training Focus” By Valerie Worthington

First year of BJJ

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Epi 82 BJJ, Strength, and Conditioning with Sam Spiegelman

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunes, Stitcher radio, and RSS link for Andriod

Sam Spiegelman

Sam Spiegelman

Sam Spiegelman is a author and strength and conditioning coach.  Sam is a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Mark Vives, he trains at New Breed Training Center.  He has written a bunch of great articles on Breaking Muscle.  Sam is also available for online consultations.

We talk about:

  • What brought him to BJJ
  • Strength and conditioning for BJJ
  • Strength and conditioning for people who are new to the mats
  • Training differently for your particular game or style.
  • Off the mat training for BJJ
  • Doing a self assessment of your strength
  • The importance of having your body strength balanced to help you be efficient
  • Why people gas out on the mats
  • Increasing your cardio for BJJ
  • Staying motivated with your off the mat training
  • The importance of having a healthy diet
  • Starting BJJ after having a sedentary lifestyle
  • Advice for doing your first tournament
  • Goals for students their first 6 months and year

Links for Sam Spiegelman:

Quote of the week: “Know your why? Chris Easter

Article of the week: 5 Competition Essentials

Support Amber as she chokes cancer out!

Your First Year Of BJJ artwork

Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast