Epi 295 2019 ADCC Competitor Amanda Leve

This week we have an interview with brown belt Amanda Leve. Amanda recently won the ADCC West Coast Trials for the +60kg division. This is a great opportunity to learn about Amanda before she competes in ADCC this year.

We talk about:

  • Opening her own BJJ school
  • Training gi and nogi
  • Having a basic game
  • Starting BJJ with a group of guys
  • Doing the ADCC trials
  • Her school Leve BJJ
  • Doing jiu-jitsu as a kid
  • Her Dad’s influence over her BJJ
  • Training with her brother
  • Doing MMA

Links:

Quote of the week: “The true art of memory is the art of attention” Samuel Johnson

Article of the week: Benefits of Recreational Sports on adults

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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 294 Am I Getting Any Better?

This is a feeling we all have at some time in BJJ. We do our best to tackle this question and give you some advice to keep your growth at a level you are happy with.

We talk about:

  • Times we have not gotten better
  • What to do if you are not getting any better
  • Can you get worse while training BJJ?
  • Adjusting your game
  • Why it is difficult to judge your improvements
  • How to tell if you are getting better
  • Are you holding yourself back?
  • Why a plateau happens
  • How to find direction with your jiu-jitsu

Quote of the week: “If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” Bruce Lee

Article of the week: How I Treat My Blue Belts

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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

The 8th Edition of the AZBJJF’s Copa Bella All-Female Event

By Danny O’Donnell

The Arizona Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (AZBJJF) will host the 2019 Copa Bella all-female tournament at Phoenix College on Saturday, April 27th. The Copa Bella is one of the largest and longest running female only tournaments in the sport, with the first edition taking place back in the spring of 2012. The tournament has attracted some of the top female competitors including Mackenzie Dern, Tracey Goodell, Sophia Mcdermott, Sarah Black, and Tammy Griego, among others. More of the top female competitors are expected to register for the 2019 edition of the Copa Bella as the tournament is offering a $1,000 cash prize for the winner of the combined brown and black belt open weight division.

The evolution of Jiu Jitsu in the U.S. has been very evident over the past decade, with many of the major tournaments attracting thousands of competitors from all over the world. The female demographic has been one that has shown the most growth. Classes dedicated solely to women, full divisions at many belt and age levels, and cash prizes for open weight division champions are becoming more and more common, which has attracted more women to the sport. The inaugural 2012 Copa Bella tournament had 36 competitors while this year’s event is expected to have more than three times that amount.

If you want to be a part of this historic event, please keep the following dates in mind. Early bird (discounted) registration ends Friday, April 5 at 11:59 pm. Normal registration ends on Friday April 19th at 11:59 pm. The late registration deadline is Monday, April 22nd at 11:59pm. Get signed up today at https://azbjjf.smoothcomp.com/en/event/1526 and we look forward to seeing everyone there!

4 Tips for Your First BJJ Competition

If you are a BJJ enthusiast and you trained long enough then you probably thought about going to a competition to test your skills.

However, the competition and preparation can be scary for the first-timers. There are a number of things that can affect your overall experience in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition.

Your first match can be intimidating as the anxiety can overwhelm you and hinder the main reason you signed up for – to test your skills and most importantly to have fun.

But don’t worry, we got you. In this article, we are going to give you 4 great tips for your first competition.

Pick The Right Event

Back in the days when combat sports and particularly BJJ were not so popular, there were not a lot of events and competitions to choose from.

Fortunately, that is not the case in modern days and you have plenty of options to choose from.

When you prepare for your first competition, you should always choose the option you are most comfortable with. This is one of the most important factors to create a good overall experience.

Make sure to check the place, ruleset, and organization before signing up.

For a start, it’s better to choose a smaller local competition and build your way up to bigger ones. This will help you with the anxiety and will build your confidence.

The ruleset should be exactly like the ruleset you use in training. There are a lot of great tournaments with different types of rules but you can test them later.

The most important thing, for now, is to build your confidence and have fun.

Weight Class

One of the most frequent mistakes you can make is with the weight cut.

A lot of novice competitors cut a lot of weight to qualify for the lowest weight class possible. However, this is not always the best tactic.

Of course, you need to cut some weight but losing too much in a short time-frame can be a disaster for your energy and performance. Competing in a lighter weight class won’t help you if you are depleted and far away from your best shape.

Instead, you should try to cut the extra weight in the months before the competition and only cut a few pounds in the last moment.

You should feel strong and energized before entering the competition not drained and weak.

Game Plan

While it is important to be flexible during the match and change your strategy as you go, it is also very important to have a game plan first.

Where are you at your best? How are you feeling most comfortable and confident?

These are questions you need to think about and make a plan that is most beneficial for you.

Of course, things won’t always go according to your plan but it’s good to have a clear goal in mind.

Your game plan should be made around performing your best techniques and getting in positions where you can apply your best skills while hiding your weaknesses.

When you have a gameplan you will enter the mat with a goal of imposing your will and not just reacting to your opponent’s moves.

Know The Basics Of Every Position

An important thing to know before going in your first competition is the basics of every position.

Of course, you don’t need to be a master of it. But you should be aware of what you should do in every position.

For example, you should now at least one escape of the most popular positions like bottom mount, bottom side control, back control, while knowing how to attack from dominant positions.

If you are not familiar with some position – don’t panic. You will have some time to study it prior to the competition.

But it is important to identify what are your weaknesses and work on them.

By knowing the fundamentals of every position you will be able to avoid being hopeless in the middle of the match, not knowing what to do.

Conclusion

Competing for the first time can be stressful and scary. However, try to focus on the positive things, listen to the tips we gave you, have fun and enjoy the moment.

After all is done, you will be glad that you participated.

Remember, you are doing this for yourself and if you are not feeling ready – it’s okay, give yourself some more time because competing should be a good experience.

Have fun training and competing!

This article was written by our friend Asen from fighterculture.com

Epi 293 East Coast Trials Winner Alec Baulding

This week we have an interview with black belt Alec Baulding. Alec is the 88kg ADCC east coast trials winner. You will find Alec training at Valhalla Jiu Jitsu in Göteborg, Sweden.

We talk about:

  • Training in Sweden
  • The development of his game
  • His style of BJJ
  • Training for ADCC
  • Learning how to wrestle
  • His game for gi and no-gi
  • Off the mat training
  • The possibility of doing MMA
  • Learning striking
  • Helping the students he trains with

Links:

Quote of the week: “You can never plan the future by the past” Edmund Burke

Article of the week: Why didn’t you fix it? I didn’t know it was broken!

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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 292 John Combs

This week we have an interview with Amal Easton black belt John Combs. John is the 77kg ADCC west coast trials winner.

We talk about:

  • His start with wrestling
  • His early jiu-jitsu
  • How he studies jiu-jitsu
  • Teaching jiu-jitsu
  • Training for ADCC
  • Making the jump from brown belt to black belt
  • Waking up early as a habit
  • And lots of tips for BJJ

Links:

Quote of the week: “I didn’t think; I experimented.” Anthony Burges

Article of the week: 5 Things Every White Belt Must Learn Before Blue Belt

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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 291 Mason Fowler

This week we have an interview with brown belt Mason Fowler. Mason has recently won the ADCC West Coast Trials for the 99 Kg division.

We talk about:

  • His start to Jiu-Jitsu
  • The decision to do BJJ full time
  • Changing from MMA to BJJ
  • Lessons learned from MMA and rugby
  • Doing both gi and no-gi
  • His performance at the ADCC trials
  • What Mason was like as a lower belt
  • Dealing with a loss on the mats
  • Getting a good warm up
  • Tips for the hobbiest grappler

Links:

Quote of the week: “It is the fight alone that Pleases us, not the victory.” Blaise Pascal

Article of the week: What role do sports play in the mental health of children?

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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 290 Top Game

We talk about:

  • Why play top game?
  • Advantages of top game
  • The types of top games we like to play
  • Passing guard
  • Passing half guard
  • Keeping top position
  • Getting more pressure

Quote of the week: “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language” Dale Carnegie

Article of the week: Ring Bell For Service

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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 289 Chuck Rylant

This week we have an interview with author Chuck Rylant. Chuck has written many books including two about BJJ. His newest book is Success- The Path to Personal Fulfillment Through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Fighters. He has also written Motivation- Stories on Life and Success from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belts.

We talk about:

  • Getting injured in a foot pursuit
  • Teaching arrest and control to police officers
  • Different techniques used for law enforcement
  • Being an expert witness for court
  • His books Motivation and Success
  • Being a good teammate and helping others

Links:

Quote of the week: “Any day above ground is a good day son. I don’t think anyone who was given another shot at life would ever find issue with a rainy day again.” Gary Robbins

Article of the week: Disorder and Chaos

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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

Ring Bell For Service

In my line of work, I am in and out of businesses configured in the following way: A long and narrow building with offices and reception area taking up a small portion of the square footage at one end of the building with the rest of the building being shop/warehouse space. When you walk into the reception area you can see that there is at least one door that leads to the shop with a sign that says, “employees only”.

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Imagine, if you will, that you walk in and find no one up front as often the front desk employees are also responsible for shipping and receiving, inventory, or some other function in back. How do you create an opportunity for you to conclude your business? Maybe you try to call the business on your cell phone hopping it rings in the back, but you just hear a phone start ringing behind the desk. Maybe you poke your head through the door that says employees only, but you can’t see anybody. Maybe you look for a security camera to wave at…. maybe jump around and holler a bit. Then you see it…. A big sign with a big arrow pointing to button on the wall and the sign says, “ring bell for service”. So, you push the button and you can hear a load bell ringing back in the shop. In seconds multiple people show up to see what the can do for you. You could have pulled any number of shenanigans that would have gotten nowhere, but pushing that button and ringing that bell? That made things happen.

There are many positions in jiu jitsu where a fundamentally sound opponent will give you little to no opportunity to mount offense or to improve your position. What do you do when that happens? You gotta ring that bell. You can spaz out all you want under someone’s mount and make no progress, but once you learn how to do a proper bridge and start to develop a sense of timing you are able to make your opponent do things that will create opportunities for you…just like ringing a bell.

Once you learn how to make your opponent post (either with a hand or foot) or make them reach or expose a limb you can launch an attack or execute an escape. So next time you find yourself “stuck”, take a minute to analyze the situation and find the right button to ring the bell.

Train hard. Train smart. Get better

Joe