Our APP That Will Help You Get Better At BJJ

BJJ APPSo you want to get better at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? We have an APP for that! Well, not really an APP for your phone or tablet. APP stands for Attitude, Plan, Practice- three of the biggest factors that will effect the quality of your Jiu-Jitsu development.

Attitude– Your attitude is a huge factor in your success. A positive attitude will help you get past the many hurdles you will have in learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  A positive attitude will help you get back on the mat after a tough day of training.  Your teammates are more likely to help and coach you if you have a great attitude.  A humble attitude will keep you focused and motivated even after an accomplishment or milestone.

I recommend that you smile more, enjoy the training and make friends with your teammates.

Plan– Invest the time and energy to make a plan. Organized training is more effective than training moves and techniques randomly. Determine what areas of your game need to be worked on, and what areas of your game are already good but could be even better. Are the techniques you are good at complimentary of each other? Take time off of the mat to study the techniques you have selected in your plan. Your best techniques should work together, that way you can funnel your opponent to an area that you are very strong.

I recommend you get even better at your best technique, and it never hurts to add a few more ways to get to that technique.

Practice– Having a great attitude and a well thought out plan are excellent, but they will not get you very far if you don’t practice. Time on the mat cannot be substituted. If you are able to drill the techniques that you have in your plan you should do this. During the rolling phase of class it’s important to work your plan and not just go through random techniques on your training partner.

Make the most out of each time you step on the mat. Time with quality training partners on the mat is valuable.


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:
BJJ Academy: 
Alvarez BJJ (www.alvarezbjj.com), part of the Bastos Association, under the instruction of Danny Alvarez, 2nd Degree Black Belt.