Epi 174 No-Gi 2016 World Champion Josh Hinger

We are excited to bring you an interview with BJJ Black Belt Josh Hinger. Josh is a first degree black belt under Andre Galvao. Josh also recently won the Medium Heavy weight class at 2016 no-gi worlds.

We talk about:

  • How he got to know Andre Galvao
  • Training with and without the gi
  • Cutting weight for BJJ or no-gi
  • His experience at no-gi worlds 2016
  • His thoughts on sub only matches
  • Trash talking in BJJ
  • The growth of Jiu-Jitsu
  • His start in BJJ
  • Competing in the adult division
  • His DVD Hingertine
  • Dealing with anxiety on the mat
  • Mental preps for competition
  • Hesitation is the death of Jiu-Jitsu technique
  • Tips for beginners
  • How difficult it can be to start BJJ

Links:

Quote of the week: “Being angry and resentful of someone is like letting them live rent-free in your head.” George Foreman

Article of the week: No Time Machine … Only Heating Seeking Missiles

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Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

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22 Off The Mat Habits That Will Improve Your On The Mat Performance

There have been dozens, maybe hundreds of these lists made. Some are short and concise (the top 5 things you need to know…) and some are longer, attempting to encompass more of the jiu jitsu journey. This is one of the latter. I have compiled this list based on my own experiences and feedback from my friends and training partners. When contemplating how long to make this list I settled on 22 in a nod to Mission 22 which is an organization that works to raise awareness concerning U.S. Military Veteran suicides. On average 22 veterans take their own lives every day. For more information about Mission 22 check them out here: Mission 22
1) Track your class attendance. There’s a particular number of classes per week that’s ideal for each student. Tracking your attendance will help you find this number and be consistent in hitting it.
2) Journal your class performance. This can be a simple as a note pad app on your phone where you just jot a line or two about the highlights or a more complex approach like using an Evernote template commenting on every technique, drill, and roll.
3) Create a word document that you review periodically. Some things that could be included in this document: Three “go to” moves/techniques from every position. In order, your three best positions to work from. A week area or two you’re working on.
4) Hydrate. All your bodies functions and processes are more efficient when you are properly hydrated. You will process nutrients more efficiently, clear toxins more efficiently, dissipate heat more efficiently, etc. etc. all these things will improve your performance on the mats. Proper hydration will also aid with appetite control.
5) Sleep. Most adults can function at a high level on 6-7 hours of sleep a day. For an athlete that should be considered the bare minimum. During periods of high intensity training 8 hours or more a day may be required. Most people not getting enough sleep only have themselves to blame….you do not need to watch one more episode of the Walking Dead. Turn off the TV and go to bed.
6) Cook your own meals. Cooking your own meals at home is a great way to make sure you’re eating the right portions, eating the right things, consuming the right amount of calories, etc. It will also save you money…..that you can then spend on more jiu jitsu.
7) Eat clean. No big secret here. Foods that are over cooked, highly processed, loaded with preservatives, or containing a long list of ingredients you can’t pronounce are not the ideal base for a healthy diet.
8) Eat the right foods at the right time. What you eat before training, after training, on your days off, etc. matters. Do some research and come up with a plan that fits your training schedule.
9) Supplement. As this is a very personal choice I won’t elaborate much except to say I’ve benefited from smart supplementation as have many of my training partners. If you chose to supplement: do smart research and don’t pay for hype.
10) Yoga. When polling my friends about off the mat activities they do that they feel improve their jiu jitsu performance, yoga was the number one option. Several of my friends advocated for “hot” yoga and some follow a more traditional yoga routine.
11) Stretching. If yoga is not your thing try a 10-minute dynamic stretching routine a few days a week
12) Lift weights. After yoga, this was the number 2 response I got from my friends. Most people I know chose a simple routine based on the fundamental lifts i.e. bench press, dead lift, squats, military press, pull ups, etc. These are compound movements that will build muscle mass and improve core strength.
13) Sprint/HIT training. Short bursts of intense/explosive movements are an excellent way to condition your body for the rigors of high intensity grappling. Most people I know who compete incorporate at least some HIT training in their routines.
14) Distance running. This seems to be the least popular option for off the mat physical activity. There are however some benefits worth considering. If you’re one of the many people who have never run more than a mile or two. Working your way up to a longer distance, maybe 5 miles, will burn fat and improve your cardio conditioning. More importantly it will test your will and prove to yourself that you can do more than you thought you could. It can also help with developing an overall healthy lifestyle.
15) Listen to a podcast. There are literally dozens of podcasts on jiu jitsu or more generally health and fitness. While this may be an off the mat habit that has minimal returns…. It also takes almost no effort. Find a few podcasts you like, subscribe, listen on your way to and from work
16) Watch tutorials/instructional DVD’s. While DVD sets can be quite expensive I know people, who have bought sets and have had their game transformed in as little as 2-3 weeks. If you don’t have the money or time to invest in purchasing and watching full length DVD sets there are many high quality 5-10 minute tutorials on youtube.
17) Watch competition footage. There’s nothing like watching the top athletes at your age/belt level in live action. In this day and age, it is as easy as going to youtube and searching “BJJ blue belt masters” or whatever age/belt/weight you are at.
18) Watch footage of your own training. My wife helps me with this, but if that doesn’t work for you there is almost always someone available that you could hand your phone to and say “can you film my next couple of rolls?”. This is most helpful if you save and date the video files for later review. If you review footage of yourself rolling in Jan, May, and Oct of the same year you should be able to identify some mistakes you’re continuing to make that need to be addressed as well as some areas of improvement.
19) Read something. Reading a little bit everyday will improve the quality of your life no matter what you read. I would suggest biographies of people who have accomplished great things, books on excellence, and motivation.
20) Create a morning routine. Studying the habits of highly successful high functioning individuals I’ve come to find that most of them get up early and follow a routine to get their day started. Here’s what has been working for me: Get my body moving, read something, and clean something. Time depending, I dedicate 15-45 minutes to this. Right after getting out of bed I do some stretches, yoga poses, and maybe some jiu jitsu movements. Next I read a chapter of a book. Then I do 5-10 minutes of house work. That last one really makes the wife happy. It’s amazing how much more productive the rest of my day is when I start with this routine.
21) Have another hobby …. surfing, hackie sack, parkour, etc. Having healthy hobbies is a part of living an overall healthy lifestyle. It will also give you something to do to stay in shape when you are injured or otherwise cannot do jiu jitsu.
22) Mentor another student. It’s common for students who have been doing jiu jitsu for a while to take someone under their wing in the gym—take the next step and take it out of the gym. Get their phone number and/or hook up with them on social media. Text them or message them when you see they’re making progress in the gym and hitting jiu jitsu milestones. Text them or call them if you haven’t seen them in the gym for a few days. Offer them some encouragement now and then and hold them accountable when needed. I saved this for last because not only can it help your jiu jitsu and the jiu jitsu of the student you are mentoring….it could possibly have a much larger impact on the life of the student you are mentoring. You never know when someone may be desperate for a friend or for someone to take a personal interest in their life.
No one is going to take a list like this and incorporate every suggestion into their daily lives. Many people reading this will, in fact already be doing some of these. I’m confident though, especially if you’re new to jiu jitsu, that you can find something on this list that if added to your daily routine will help to improve your jiu jitsu. Good luck and keep on rolling.

By Joe Thomas Find more articles by Joe Thomas here

Epi 173 BjjBrick Coach of the Year Larry Keith

We are proud to have Larry Keith as the BjjBrick coach of the year. Larry has been training martial arts for around 35 years. Larry is a third degree black belt in Kodokan Judo and a brown belt in BJJ. He enjoys mixing throws with ending up in a dominant position. This is a great interivew with a outstanding person that we

We talk about:

  • Starting his martial arts program
  • having a large kids group
  • He is a big guy and he talks about not using it too much
  • How to turn a student into someone who can be more aggressive
  • Starting his own dojo
  • Working with the local boys and girls club helping to prevent bullying
  • Zero tolerance policy in public schools
  • Using a buddy system to prevent bullying
  • The goals he has when teaching kids judo and jiu-jitsu
  • Getting kids to do martial arts for their lifetime
  • Kids and competing in tournaments
  • Giving kids a leadership role on the mat
  • The importance of a family atmosphere in BJJ
  • Learning by teaching
  • His plans for competing more

Links:

Quote of the week: “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson

Lesson of the week: Dealing with traffic and taking a detour to still reach your goal.

The Referee Corner “Epi 2 Sandbagging” starting at 1h33m

Gary’s audio book is called “rolling with ghost- breaking spirits instead of elbows”

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Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

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Epi 172 Six Amazing Black Belts Answer Questions About Blue Belts

This week we have a HUGE episode. We take six well known and respected black belts and ask them all the same five questions about blue belts. There are some similarities and differences within these interviews but the amount of jiu-jitsu wisdom about blue belts in this episode is amazing.

The five questions we asked to the six black belt guests

  1. Do you have requirements for a blue belt? What are they?
  2. How important is it for students to be able to “defend” their belt?
  3. How many intangibles (good teammate, good effort, helps others) come into play when promoting someone to blue belt?
  4. Do you ever regret giving someone a blue belt?
  5. What advice to you have for the new blue belt?

 

Tim Sledd 24m 25s

  1. Tim explains some of the techniques he requires for a student to know before receiving a blue belt.
  2. Tim talks about why some students get tapped by lower belts and if it is a big deal.
  3. Why he looks at character of a student not just technique, and how this can hold someone back.
  4. Why he has no regrets of any belts he has given out.
  5. Advice for the new blue belt.

Matt Thornton 58m 30s

  1. How he evaluates blue belts based on performance, and not looking at particular techniques.
  2. Why it is important for your first blue belts to be very good at a school.
  3. The importance of having good people on the mat.
  4. Why he is confident in all his blue belt students.
  5. Why it is important to relax and work on open guard as a blue belt.

Bernardo Faria 1h 17m 30s

  1. Bernardo talks about Fabio Gurgel’s system to get a blue belt a student must attend 120 classes.
  2. The idea of not tapping to a lower belt is an old mentality.
  3. Having a bad attitude will hold students back.
  4. Not having an actual belt test, and not regretting giving someone a blue belt.
  5. Keep your ego low, and work on learning jiu-jitsu.

Daniel Covel 1h 25m 05s

  1. His minimum requirements of techniques for a blue belt. The responsibilities of the instructor to the students.
  2. The importance of learning from your mistakes, and making adjustments.
  3. Why it is important to have good people and teammates on the mat.
  4. He has no regrets about any of his past blue belts.
  5. It is important to recognise the hard work on the mats.

Henry Akins 1h 42m 50s

  1. Understanding the basic positions and a handful of basic submissions.
  2. Why some upper belts get caught by lower belts.
  3. Why it is important for a blue belt to be a good training partner.
  4. Why getting tapped out is part of the learning process
  5. Why blue belts should work hard to develop a strong base.

John Will 1h 59m 30s

  1. Why he likes having requirements for blue belts but not so many for other belts.
  2. It is rare for a colored belt to get tapped by a lower belt, but it is no big deal.
  3. Why the culture of the gym is so important. The concept of a ox neck and rat’s head.
  4. It is often normal to feel like you don’t deserve a new belt
  5. Ask five simple questions for every technique you learn to learn more details.

Mat Tales 14 Mouse in the House

Quote of the week: “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Lao Tzu

Article of the week: Production Now and Production Long Term

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Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

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Epi 171 The Se7en Deadly Sins and BJJ

Could one of the seven deadly sins be holding you back in BJJ? What we can learn from them to avoid problems on the mat. Today we break down how the deadly sins can be holding you back. The sins are; Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, and Sloth.

We talk about:

  • Pride, and the difference in being confident and having too much pride
  • What is feeling too proud of a tournament or belt promotion
  • Being envious of training partners or coaches
  • Getting mad while training
  • How to tell when you have a passion for something or a lust
  • How being greedy with your knowledge and time on the mat will hurt you
  • How laziness even when you show up can greatly slow your progress
  • The mistake of only doing the fun parts of BJJ

Correction- The 7 deadly sins are not biblical find out more about them here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins

Links:

Quote of the week: “Never settle” Dr. Jen Case

Story of the week: How my dogs can drop everything at a moments notice and chase a squirrel, and how this can related to your BJJ training.

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Mat tales epi 13 Coach Santa

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Production Now and Production Long Term


Recently while listening to Steven Covey’s audio book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People I was introduced to the concept of P/PC Balance, or Production/Production Capacity balance. The idea is that we need to strike a balance between the amount of energy and focus we put into production right now, and the amount of energy and focus we invest in doing the things it takes to ensure we will continue to see production in the future.
In business, it is necessary to invest in capital improvement, employee compensation, training, surplus inventory, etc. One could shift their focus entirely to production, ignoring the need to reinvest and restock inventory, and for a short period see a dramatic increase in production and profit. This of course, would ultimately lead to the failure of the business.
This concept is applicable to almost any pursuit in life including Jiu-Jitsu. There are things you can focus on to see results right now ie. going to class, attending seminars, participating in tournaments, studying video, etc. and then there are things off the mat outside of the dojo that must be attended to for continued progress in Jiu-Jitsu long term. There must be a balance between these two areas of focus.
Maybe the most important off the mat investments we can make is in the maintenance of our bodies. One does not have to be a health nut or stud athlete to be good a Jiu-Jitsu–but if you do not take care of your body, your pursuit of Jiu-Jitsu will inevitably come to an unfortunate end. Spending additional time and money on quality food and meal preparation will not make you better at Jiu-Jitsu today and spending an extra hour a week stretching/doing yoga will not make you better at Jiu-Jitsu today… but these are the kinds of investments that will allow you to pursue Jiu-Jitsu long term. Also, along these lines, when it comes to training Jiu-Jitsu sometimes less is more. Training 5 plus days a week will most likely result in rapid gains–but for many of us it will also result in over training which leads to nagging ongoing overuse injuries, fatigue, and burnout.
For many people, having your family in your corner is a key element in the long-term pursuit of Jiu-Jitsu. I know that’s true for me. My kids are grown, but I still value and need the support of my wife. I strategically choose which classes I’m going to attend so as not to be taking away too much time from her. I could just go to class whenever I wanted with no regards to her, but it would only take a few weeks before I got the “it’s me or Jiu-Jitsu” ultimatum. It’s easy to jokingly say “I sure will miss her”, but the reality is my Jiu-Jitsu would be, at least temporarily, derailed. So making sure that she gets the time she needs is ultimately an investment in my ability to progress on the mats long term.
I’ve seen young people struggle to balance their pursuit of education and career with their pursuit of Jiu-Jitsu. I’ve known a few who put some things on hold to train Jiu-Jitsu. That might be fine if you’re one of the few people who have a legitimate shot at being a top-level competitor or successful gym owner. But for most of us, Jiu-Jitsu will be a lifelong part time hobby that requires ongoing financial investment. Putting your career or education before Jiu-Jitsu now may put you in a position in 10 years to comfortably afford to travel for tournaments, attend seminars, and take private lessons with high-level instructors.
Each person’s Jiu-Jitsu Journey is different. The off the mat investments that you need to make may be completely different than mine, but the fact remains, you will need to invest in “production capacity” if you want to continue to see “production” or progress.

Read more great articles by Joe Thomas here

Epi 170 Black Belt Dr. Jen Case

This week we bring you an interview with Dr. Jen Case. Dr. Case has a PhD in human nutrition, she studies nutrition and sport performance. Dr. Case is a black belt under Renato Tavares and she trains in Kansas City with Jason Bircher.

We talk about:

  • How Jiu-Jitsu has effected her education
  • The idea of passive insufficiency and BJJ
  • Comparing a black belt to a Phd
  • The importance of strength and skill on the mat
  • Weightlifting for BJJ
  • Diet tips for better performance on the mat
  • What you should eat based on the time of day
  • Cutting weight
  • Teaching women’s only seminars
  • Advice to women who are new to BJJ
  • Advice for students going to school and BJJ
  • Goals for new students
  • A women’s only BJJ seminar Feb 4, 10-11:30 that she is teaching

Links: Kansas City BJJ

Quote of the week: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

Article of the week: Meet the 5 worst enemies of the BJJ fighter

We also debuted our new segment The Referee Corner “Epi 1 Most common mistake in BJJ”

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If you are interested in supporting The BjjBrick Podcast find out how here (Now with a $.50 option) 

The BjjBrick Wall of Support is being constructed and you can help

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Catch us next week for another episode of The BjjBrick Podcast

The BjjBrick Podcast is in iTunesStitcher radio, and Google Play Music for Andriod