This week we have a great interview with adaptive athlete Jess Munter. During birth Jess suffered a Brachial Plexus injury, as a result of this injury she is unable to use her left arm. Growing up Jess tried several sports but they did not fit her and they ended in frustration. A couple of years ago Jess found Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the benefits she is getting and passing on from BJJ is an inspiring story.
We talk about:
Training BJJ on a busy schedule
Her Brachial Plexus injury to her left arm
Other sports she tried before jiu-jitsu
How she discovered jiu-jitsu was good for her
What jiu-jitsu has done for her off the mat
What it was like training during her first month
Her goals to help people
How BJJ has helped her become more positive
She shares stories about doing tournaments
Dealing with frustrations on the mats
How she stays safe on the mat
How good communication is key to her safety
Jess on instagram
Quote of the week: “A fight is not won by one punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard.” Bruce Lee
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.
This week we talk to Dwane Clifford about training BJJ and how supplements can be a tool to help you reach your goals. Dwane is a friend that we met on the mats. He has a passion for supplements and helping people reach their goals. Dwane has a philosophy of discovering the customers goals and then helping them find the right supplement or training to help.
We talk about:
Supplements that help with flexibility
Supplements that aid with stamina
Why Jiu-Jitsu players should steer clear of products with a lot of caffeine
Taking care of your joints
How supplements can help lubricate your joints
What fish oil does and does not do for you
Some tips for cutting weight, and how using supplements is really a last resort
Tips on cutting weight without using supplements
Gaining size and strength
How to tell if you are in a bad supplement store
Common myths in the supplement industry
Some of the bad things that happens in the supplement industry
Advice if you are new to taking supplements
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At the age of 35 John found himself in the business world and lacking the fun and excitement of a sport. John started BJJ with Roberto Maia, and the fun and excitement was put back into his fitness. John eventually got his black belt in 2006 from Roberto Maia. John is now 51 years old and is very active on the mat and he also has a passion for coaching.
John Connors talks with us about:
Meeting goals off the mat
Coaching BJJ and MMA
Grappling for older people and not getting hurt
Making a game plan for competition
Developing key moves
Limiting your training to get better faster
Making the most of your training time
Coaching during a match
Setting different goals for your competition
Sparing like it is an actual match with a referee and a coach
Dealing with an adrenaline rush
Getting better at winning scrambles
The advantages to getting a fast start to a match
Advice for the non competitor
Setting new challenges outside of your comfort zone
How competition can help you get better at BJJ
Advice for someone’s first day at BJJ
Quote of the week: “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” John Wooden
From time to time it is important to take a step back and look at your grappling game. Are you in a mode where you are trying to accomplish a goal? Or are you trying to get better at BJJ in a particular area?
Some examples of the goals mode that we talk about:
You have a tournament coming up that you want to do well in.
Achieve the next belt in BJJ.
To drop some weight.
Your goals should be:
Have a time frame
Some examples of some areas that you might consider for growth:
Get a better defense.
Get a better offense.
Experiment with a new technique of strategy.
Ways to help develop your growth:
Go in to a deep study of the area you are growing.
Use rolling as an opportunity to try your new stuff.
Ask upper belts for help.
Make sure you are growing in the correct ways, get some guidance from your coach.
You may need to try your new techniques on lower level opponents.
Quote of the week: “you can never defend someone else belt, that is their job.” Sean Roberts If you catch a higher belt in a submission you should go for it, and there should be not revenge.
Article of the week: “How to be a BJJ Soccer Mom”This article was sent in by our friend Mat, thanks buddy! This is a great article that gives you some advice on how to support your team at a tournament.
This calendar was left blank to help you reach any goal that you have. I hope some of you will use it to achieve your goals in BJJ!
Fill out the legend with activities that you can do to help you reach your goals. Everyday cross off the date with any of the marks that you did that day. After a few days or weeks it will be painful to skip a day or two. After a month or two these activates will become a habits and you will be doing the things you need to accomplish your goals.
1) Personal- More time with family, strengthening relationships.
2) BJJ- Build a solid defense against most Black Belts (I am a Brown).
3) Work- Take two relevant classes to develop my firefighting abilities.
I feel that all of these goals are attainable and worth doing.
There are many benefits to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. For many students weight loss is a primary goal for their BJJ training. BJJ combined with a good diet is a great way to lose weight and keep the weight off. The first step to using BJJ to lose weight is to just get started.
Start BJJ– Many people feel the need to get in shape before they start BJJ. This is usually a mistake; just start training, there is no need to get in shape to exercise. It is better to have a slow start than a delayed start. Sure it will be difficult being on the mat with extra weight. If you wanted to lose weight the easy way you would be talking to a doctor for a quick fix, not a BJJ coach.
Doing BJJ– After you do BJJ for a while you will get hooked. This is the sweet spot for losing weight and keeping it off. For many people, they have to force themselves to workout. For people who are hooked on BJJ, they have an internal drive to be on the mat, the exercise is just an added benefit. If you continue to do BJJ you will live a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy will be easier to do, because eating poorly will slow down your abilities on the mat. You may find after you lose some weight you might need to change your style from grappling like a heavier person to that of a lighter person.
Quitting BJJ– BJJ is difficult at times, but it is imperative that you stick with it. Not quitting BJJ is your ticket to long term weight loss, and a healthy life style. It sounds simple, but one of your main goals should be to not stop training. Make sure that you are having fun as you train. If you are busy, put BJJ on your schedule. Injury causes some students to miss class and ultimately stop training all together; get healed up and get back on the mat. You might feel like you hit a plateau and you’re not improving; just remember you are still getting an amazing workout.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can bring a lot of great things to your life. Being fit is just one of the many benefits. People who are hooked on BJJ have a lot of fun and get a full body workout.