Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Big Chicks: Gabi vs. Marcelo

Whoever did this was a genius. The match itself is awesome, but the music makes it absolutely charming. Seeing Gabi Garcia and Marcelo Garcia? So happy.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

BJJ and Black Hair: Training changes everything

Somehow, while training BJJ, the great destroyer of hair regardless of race or texture, I simultaneously found peace with my mane. My ends weren't splitting terribly and when stretched, it was hitting between arm pit and bra-strap length. Then, a few months ago while detangling my crown (a.k.a. the stubborn area) in the shower, I noticed large clumps coming out into my comb. Most people don't notice, but my previously thick, fluffy, free-form afro had turned limp, patchy and downright sad. I was in denial for a few weeks, but then I had to accept it. The head of hair that had been so resilient ..the one that had survived an accidental switch from ammonia based treatments to lye...it was damaged. Badly. Extra chemical processing, the effects of a long-term texturizer, permanent color and laziness using my balaclava (it's really a great solution for hair protection, check the link out) had resulted in the destruction of my hair.

For those of you unfamiliar with BJJ, even light practice involves a lot of friction with the hair against mats  (have a look at competition here) and hard cotton fabric (you could genuinely exfoliate with some gis). Large chunks of hair are easily pulled out (see horrifying cornrow story below), either getting caught under limbs or unfortunately caught up in an errant grip...and then there's the drying effect of frequent showers. BJJ exposes you to quite a few nasty bugs, so a spongy mass of hair that's gone unwashed just isn't a viable option.

Back when I had hair all over my head...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Leticia Ribeiro: A Short Film

I've really dropped the ball writing about the Leticia Ribeiro seminar I attended a couple weeks back. It was a great experience and she's a really detailed instructor. Well, today, Hywel over at BJJHacks sent over this video on Leticia. What I love most about it is that you can really feel how important the personal aspect of BJJ resonates with her. Sit down and have a look...

Monday, October 15, 2012

A blind man and my British pants

So I picked up a Zero G v2.0 men's last week (BJJHQ is a dangerous place). It's a light gi, but we only get like 3 days of cold in these parts anyway, so a lightweight gi is good year 'round.

One of my biggest gi peeves is pant removal after class (hence my distaste for flat drawstrings, which have left me desperately hopping around the locker room trying to get free of their death-grip). Even though I already own a Midas, these stood out as much more comfortable, mobile (roomy hips and thighs) and generally wearable. Yay:)

Tonight was hard in a good way. Four rounds and I was showing signs of waning by the second, but even that's improvement. Something struck me tonight though. I'm finally picking up moves holistically. Two demonstrations and I had tonight's techniques (well, all but the failed armbar to bow and arrow...that took a second). I want more speed, but that will come with more Ginastica...

...speaking of which, I had a roll tonight that I can only describe as intriguing. GinasticaInstructor decided to do a round with me with his eyes closed the entire time. It was another one of those moments where I had to remember to not stop and watch what he'd do after he got his grips set in and try to actually...defend. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A study on BJJ by the JISSN

I haven't paid a whole lot of attention to nutrition specifically around my training times. I did a stint of FRS energy chews and try to eat carbs with a bit of lean protein after training, but it doesn't go much deeper than that. Since I've been testing a post workout supplement for a friend though, my ears have been perked a bit.

Well today I ran across this study...a rare one since it focuses specifically on BJJ athletes. It's a small and limited sample size at only 39 adult men, but it's good to see some studies focused specifically on what we do. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Asking for a beatdown...

In my supreme excitement over Metamoris this weekend, I've been listening to mounds of podcasts. I'm going to officially claim Ryron as my favorite Gracie, since his "keep it playful" philosophy of training really resonates with me. Well, on an episode out of the UK I heard today, he made mention that your time at White and Blue belt should be spent learning to defend. My heart sank. My defense offends me.

Friday I was partnered with Wuzzup for my first roll, and I asked him a favor.

"I need a favor. If I have to tap 16 times, I have to tap 16 times."
"So go HAM?"
"...maybe HAM-light"

That last bit of reservation on my part...I think threw a wrench into my plans. He went harder than normal, and commented that I'd gotten stronger, but honestly, I wouldn't guess he was going at more than 50% intensity. ...not that I wanted 100%, but this is a man who rolls regularly with Jeff Monson, so I know he's got HAM to spare.

I feel even more lost in how to guide a few of the guys to go harder. Some (especially the new blues) go for broke. The guys I came up with seem to have a harder problem...which does make sense, but is still something I'd like to get past.