Epi 236 Train Smart with Brandon Mullins

This week we have an interview with BJJ black belt Brandon Mullins. This is a great interview and Brandon shares tons of training ideas and tips.

Photo by Mike Calimas

We talk about:

  • His start to BJJ
  • Competing in masters and adult categories
  • Having early success with grappling
  • Training gi and nogi and the diffrences
  • A interesting comparison between learning a new language and trying nogi for the first time
  • Having goals while you train
  • Training ideas to speed your growth
  • Working on both sides of your body
  • How to beat someone that is better at bjj

Links:

Quote of the week: “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” David Brinkley  We also talk about this book “The Obstacle is the Way

Article of the week: When your teammates are in Competition Training Mode and you’re in I Can Barely Drag My Ass to Class Mode

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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

Epi 235 Off the mat training to keep you on the mat with Sam Spiegelman

This is an episode of BjjBrick Extra! Joe has an outstanding interview with Sam Spiegelman. Sam has written a bunch of great articles on Breaking Muscle, and is a wealth of knowledge about BJJ and fitness.

We talk about:

  • His start to BJJ after college
  • Transitioning from Judo to BJJ
  • Starting strength and conditioning for BJJ
  • The importance of rest
  • Making an off season for your BJJ
  • The benefits of off the mat training for your BJJ
  • Cutting weight for a tournament
  • Warming up properly
  • Recovering between matches
  • Tips for people new to BJJ
  • Things a blue belt should know
  • Teaching a kids class

Links:

Extra Tip: We give a tip about wrist locks

Extra Question: Help, my instructor is not showing me the things I need to know

We play a joke on Gary and use as many Idioms as we can. He is always able to laugh at a good prank.

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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

Epi 234 Good to know vs Need to know

Some stuff in BJJ you need to know, while other things fit into the good to know category. This week we have a fun and informative discussion about how things fit into these categories.

We talk about:

  • What you need to know during your first month of BJJ
  • Some off the mat things you need to know about BJJ
  • Being safe on the mats
  • Offence vs defense
  • controlling someone from mount
  • Escapes from positions vs submissions

Links: Coming to America

Quote of the week: “Ask five economists and you’ll get five different answers – six if one went to Harvard.” Edgar Fiedler. Whe change this quote to “ask five black belts and get five different answers.”

Article of the week: Three Rules for Rolling

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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

When your teammates are in Competition Training Mode and you’re in I Can Barely Drag My Ass to Class Mode

When your school is gearing up for a competition and everyone is training at the highest level of intensity prepping for the tournament and you are not, what are you supposed to do? Maybe you think you are not experienced enough to help or get much out of the class, maybe you are rehabbing an injury, or maybe you (like me) are older and not too interested in competition. Is this just a good opportunity to take some time off? Maybe, but probably not, there are many ways you can help your teammates out and still benefit from going to class.

Let’s look first at some things you can do to help your teammates out:

  1. Positional sparring. If your training partner is a much better grappler than you and they are in competition mode you may not be able to offer them “a good match”. Pushing them physically is probably not in the cards, but you can ask them what they’re working on for the tournament and then volunteer to start from that position.
  2. Pace yourself. If you can’t keep up at their pace, set a pace you can keep. Most competitors, I think, would rather a good steady round for the regulation time than to have you gassed half way through.
  3. Don’t spend time in stagnant positions. If you’re stuck, move. If you’re in top position and unable to finish the match, transition to something else and look for the finish from there.
  4. Offer encouragement and (when appropriate) feedback. If you are newer to the game it may not be the time to be offering advice or coaching, but you can still be there for support and encouragement. If you have been training for some time, but are not in comp mode, you may have valuable insights to offer your teammates.

This is great and will be helpful to your teammates, but we know that you are on the mats so you can get better at jiu jitsu. How will going to class for competition training benefit you when you are not in competition training?

  1. You WILL get better. You may feel like you’re just getting your ass kicked, but trust me; you are absorbing information and learning more about yourself and your limits. You’ll get a chance to see how your technique works when your training partners are trying a little harder to win.
  2. You will benefit from the strengthening of the team and the development of a deeper team comradery. These are some of the things that will keep you on the mats and get you through the times you wonder if it’s all worthwhile. These are also some of the things that are, for many of us, at the core of why we do jiu jitsu.
  3. If you are there for your teammates, they will be there for you. One day you will be prepping for a tournament, or trying to polish up some techniques as a promotion approaches, or maybe even having personal issues off the mats and your teammates will remember that you were there for them. They will be there for you.

In conclusion: It’s easy to think if the class or curriculum is not suited to us, that that is a problem….in the words of one of the greatest mariners of all times, Capt. Jack Sparrow, “the problem is not the problem, your attitude about the problem is the problem”.  Go, learn something, have a good time – you’ll be glad you did.

Train hard. Train smart. Get better.

Joe

Epi 233 40 Plus BJJ Stephen Whittier

This week we have an interview with third degree black belt Stephen Whittier. Stephen is well known for his website 40 Plus BJJ, he is dictated toward helping people stay or get on the mat as they get older.

We talk about:

  • How he began to help the 40+ Grappler
  • The difference in training for the older grappler
  • Struggles the older grappler experences
  • Starting BJJ in your 40s
  • Beginners avoiding sparing
  • Teaching a seminar that helps everyone there get better
  • Not all time on the mat is equal for your development
  • Advice for students avoiding unproductive or dangerous rolling
  • The differences between basics and fundamentals

Links:

Quote of the week: “it is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them” Benjamin Franklin

Article of the week: Applying a Growth Mindset to Jiu-Jitsu

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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

Epi 232 Coach of Australia’s BJJ Talent Hotspot Lachlan Giles

This week we have an interview with  Australian Black Belt competitor Lachlan Giles. We have a great conversation and learn about some of his training methods that set him and his team Absolute MMA apart from others.

We talk about:

  • His start to young start to martial arts and eventually BJJ
  • Changing from a hobbyist to an elite competitor
  • Getting his PhD in 2016 and training BJJ
  • Playing a gi or no-gi game
  • Helping people find their own style
  • Using videos to better your BJJ training
  • Off the mat training

Links:

Quote of the week: “A penny saved is a penny earned”

Article of the week:  Purple Belt – The hardest belt in BJJ

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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

Applying a Growth Mindset to Jiu-Jitsu

By: Ron Drumm- Breaking Grips

Intro

What is your attitude to failure? How do you react when you lose a Jiu-Jitsu match or have a particularly bad day at training?

The answer to these questions may indicate whether you have a fixed or a growth mindset. It is not always obvious but generally people tend to have one or the other.  

Applying a growth mindset to your Jiu-Jitsu may help you to improve your game and can be beneficial in many other areas of your life.

Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck is a psychology professor at Stanford University and is famous for her work on the mindset psychological trait.

Dweck’s research challenges the common belief that intelligent people are born smart. Based on this research she has written extensively on the benefits of having a growth mindset.

In a 2012 interview Dweck provided this definition of the fixed vs growth mindset: “In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.“

Ability to change mindsets

The good news is that you can change from a fixed to a growth mindset. Learning about the growth mindset is sometimes enough to put people on the path to changing previous held beliefs.

Here are the 4 steps that Dweck recommends in order to change your mindset

Step 1: Learn to hear your fixed mindset “voice.”

Step 2: Recognize that you have a choice.

Step 3: Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice.

Step 4: Take the growth mindset action.

Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu is a perfect opportunity to test out the growth mindset. Development and progress can be clearly measured though your ability to perform certain techniques, your grade, and your ability to compete with other students.

It is hard not to look around the academy and be envious of others who are perceived as talented. However by adopting a growth mindset in Jiu-Jitsu

Take the example of a white belt that rolls with a purple belt and gets tapped out 4 times in 5 minutes and is stuck in side control all the time. The fixed mindset student might think, “I will never be that good. I suck at Jiu Jitsu“, whereas the growth mindset student might think something like, “I will be that good someday, but need to try and not get stuck like that in my next roll.“

In the case the fixed attitude student is less likely to figure out how to get more and is more likely to quit. On the other hand the growth mindset student will soon figure out how to counter the opponent and may even develop a sequence to get the dominant position.

Getting tapped out regularly and finding weaknesses is your game should be viewed positively. They should be seen as opportunities to learn and develop. 

Examples in other sports

Take the example of the greatest tennis player of all time Roger Federer. Many people credit his success to natural talent. However it is the thousands of hours that he has spent perfecting his technique and refining his game that has made him so talented.

Even as he reaches the twilight of his career he famously continues to put in the hours of training and researching opponents in an effort to win as many major championships as possible. In 2017 he won his first major championship in 5 years at the age of 35 despite most pundits stating that he had come to the end of his reign.

If you are a regular reader of sports biographies you will notice that this is a common trait among the greatest athletes of all time. Many of them give examples of athletes with similar abilities at young age, but what elevated them above their peers was the skills that they cultivated through deliberate practice.

Summary

The phrase “Win or Learn“ has become somewhat of a cliché in Jiu-Jitsu and MMA but if you actually take a bit of time to think about it and apply it to your own martial arts journey you will likely see some benefits.

So when you get your next set back in Jiu-Jitsu try to view it as a challenge and be grateful for the failure. Failure should always be viewed as a springboard for growth. Get addicted to failure! It will make you a better Jiu-Jitsu player.