Category Archives: Adults Jiu Jitsu

Time Management leads to Peak Performance

By Aaron Martinez

 Ironically, I’ve been trying to find the time to complete this piece for over a month now, and that ended up being a good thing. I realized the entire point of Time Management was to find organized amounts of time to complete and maintain the priorities in your life. My schedule is a complete mess and my goals rarely coincided together in a convenient pattern. I bet most other responsible people can relate to this. Especially in BJJ there is a constant struggle with your daily life of work, school, family, and routine; constantly getting in the way of your time on the mat.

Prioritize

The first step to organizing your time and deciding when you have the time to train consistently will completely depend on your schedule. Since I started training I have gone through three completely different careers, and with each one a distinctly different schedule to train.

When I first started, it was simple. I worked at a desk in a bank and we did not have kids yet. So, every night after work and on the weekends I was free to train. My training schedule was only limited to what my White Belt level conditioning would allow. I trained every other day.

A few years I earned my Blue Belt, I was laid off and had a completely open schedule to train. My friends teased me, calling me the professional Blue Belt. I trained as much as possible, at least once if not two times a day. I eventually started a small Pest Control business and was able to make my own schedule. I’d schedule work during the day and went back to training at night and on the weekend. Not too long after that we had our first daughter, and for the first time training was not the priority it had been since I started. Training and work now conflicted with helping my wife with the baby, and I had to clearly state my top priorities to myself: 1. Family 2. Work 3. BJJ. I gave up going out drinking with my buddies or making the trip to see a ball game. I had my priorities and I struggled to find time for just those three.

Schedule

I clearly defined my top priorities, and now I had to develop a schedule that would allow me to accomplish my long term goals while maintaining my day to day life as Family man, business owner, and BJJ Practitioner. I’d wake up before 5am and work until the morning classes started. After the morning class I’d work until my wife had to go to her job, and I’d come home and take care of my daughter until bedtime. It was different than before, but I was able to nurture all three Priorities on a daily basis as a result of my schedule.

After earning my Purple Belt my other daughter was born, which altered my schedule again. In addition to my three priorities I had to make sure the schedule made sense. I didn’t want to just take care of my daughters. I wanted to be as present as possible with my attention and awareness. I couldn’t just kill myself at work and on the mats, and then expect to be the best father I could be. I also wanted to make as much money as possible, while still progressing at Jiu-Jitsu. So, the schedule took more thought and planning. I had to make sure there were blocks of time to rest and recover.

Organizing and Optimizing

Once again my belt changed and once again my schedule changed. At Brown belt I knew I had to take training and competing more seriously than I had in the past. I wanted to incorporate weight training into my schedule. Going to a gym was out of the question. My schedule had no time for it. I bought some equipment and found a trainer who designed fitness programs remotely. Is this the best way to work with a trainer? Of course not, but this was not one of my Priorities. I wanted to weight train to help with my priority of being a BJJ practitioner. I had to Optimize the time I had available. Instead of spending 30 minutes driving to a gym and 30 minutes driving back, I could spend that hour working out at home.

My BJJ training schedule was also organized in a manner that allowed for heavy competition training, followed by drilling the next day.  This allowed for recovery, but also kept me on the Mat every day. When I was at work I wanted to focus on work, and it was the same for my time with my family. I made sure I got everything I needed by training at least six days a week. And when a competition was around the corner I would change my schedule accordingly. I’d take a little less work and get a little more help from the in-laws to allow more training.

BJJ as a Priority

The reason I always made BJJ such a high priority behind Family and Work, was that it encompasses so much life into one activity. The physical fitness is obvious, but also the social aspect, and the mental health benefits that come along with training. Training BJJ has helped me prioritize my life, learn to create schedules, and organize time better. I didn’t learn to do all of this to train BJJ. Training BJJ helped me develop this to have a better life

Letting go of the rest

Trying to find the time to write this reaffirmed what I had come up with in the past. There are things that you want to do that aren’t priorities, and that will not get done or will take longer than anticipated. And that is okay. You have to be okay with taking care of your priorities and doing your best to accomplish the rest.

There will also be emergencies and roadblocks that will keep you from maintaining your priorities temporarily, and that is also something you have to be okay with. If you injure your back right before Worlds, there is nothing you can do. Use that time to nurture your other priorities. Spend as much time with the family and when you are healed you have even more attention you can focus on BJJ.

Conclusion

Everyone’s schedule is unique and their priorities might be completely different. If you are finding it difficult to accomplish the things you want out of life, it usually is a matter of managing your time as efficiently as possible.

Comparing a Martial Art like Jiu-Jitsu or Wrestling with Downhill Skiing

I have the opportunity to teach private lessons in jiu-jitsu and wrestling a few times a week. While working with a student who volunteers as a downhill ski instructor, we found some common ground between skiing, brazilian jiujitsu, and judo / wrestling throws.

2017 NoGi Pans IBJJF in New York Eliot Kelly v Jackson Sousa

Through some observation and discussion, we found that the throwing motion in judo or wrestling , the movement in guard retention for jiu-jitsu, and downhill skiing to cross gates all share the same concept of rotating the body. In fact rotation is a very common movement pattern in humans, but our lifestyle of sitting in a car, at a desk, on a couch, and repeat has diminished our rotation ability over the years. The movement is quite simple, where the upper body rotates in one direction while the lower body rotates in another. As a result the body is able to pre-load and powerfully whip through to execute the movement.

Pre-Loading:

This is split second before the load is carried. In this part of the movement the body is getting close to full rotation with the legs and hips facing one way and the chest and shoulders facing another direction. In the hip throw, this would be the entry, with the body rotating at the spine. In downhill skiing a similar effect is desired. The skier maintains the chest and shoulders down hill and allows the lower body to rotate in the desired direction. This is the pre-loading phase for downhill skiing as well.

Loading:

Loading takes place in the split instant of action where rotation becomes undone. In a throw the load happens in the split second  the body goes to untwist and the opponents body goes flying. In downhill skiing, this loading happens the split-second transition from one direction to another, cutting around the gate. The more dynamic the rotation combines with the whipping of the body to unwind the rotation, results in more power being generated.

Promoting & Regaining Rotation:

Using Stick Mobility in Finland

I’m no physical therapist, but I am very movement curious. I’ve recently started using Stick Mobility to work on my rotation and have noticed some quick short term gains. However, I think routine stretching that involves rotation is a good start. I also enjoy doing yoga and other activities that promote rotation; playing catch, hitting  a baseball, tennis, racquet ball. Yoga is also a gentle practice that will promote rotation, but all these things need to be done consistently. While playing sports or martial arts are a great way to maintain rotation, it is also a good idea to promote healthy rotation by using Stick Mobility or doing Yoga on a consistent basis.

Eliot Kelly 

Reflection from IBJJF Pans NoGi

A week after the ADCC, I found myself on the east coast getting tuned up for the IBJJF Pan NoGi Championships in NYC. A BIG THANK YOU to the Armor Kimono guys who have been sponsoring my Gi and some NoGi Jiu Jitsu.

I had one match in the division. Jackson Sousa of Checkmat in the finals. He had also just come from the ADCC tournament with a third place finish. I lost the match 2-0 on points from a sweep. Here are some take aways from the match:

  1. Scoring first sets the pace of the match. (especially when the referees only call double penalty)
  2. Use forward pressure but don’t reach forward to assert that pressure
  3. Pressure works with time. So start using it from the beginning

 

This was my third time facing Jackson in competition. The first two I lost in the gi, one by points and one by submission. This was our first nogi match, but was the closest match we shared. Although I didn’t win, I was able to close the margin, and “improve” from my previous matches. Jackson is a class act, and went on to win the open class later in the afternoon. Congratulations!

In the open class, my first opponent lost his temper when I asked the referee for him to take the grease out of his hair. He gave me the double birdie, and was disqualified.

In my second match, I faced Diego from ZR team. He had a super sticky guard and although people told me I was the aggressor on top pushing for the pass, he won the referee decision 0-0 after 10 minutes. I realize that the guard player is not obligated to stand up, but I find it ironic that the top player is obligated to try and pass but the guard player can defend and counter attack, make no attempt to sweep, and still not be penalized. I don’t questions referee decisions anymore, but I do think there is a need to better define the “lute” call and reward the athlete that is forcing the action in a match. Otherwise the defensive athlete, playing a safe game and conserving energy, is being rewarded for doing nothing. In my opinion, the athlete that is progressing forward, forcing the action to score or submit should be rewarded.

Eliot Kelly 

2017 IBJJF Master Worlds Reflection

2017 Master Worlds Reflection

By Aaron Martinez

Last week was the sixth annual IBJJF Master World Championship in Las Vegas, and several teammates and I made the short trip to Sin City to compete. My first impression of the tournament was that there were a ton of competitors. I believe they had over 20 mats running for three days. After the initial massive line to check in and gain entrance into the venue (a large hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center), I found the tournament to be well executed and organized with even free seminars from the likes of the Ribeiro Brothers and Renzo Gracie. There were two large mat areas to warm up and plenty of space to sit and relax away from the mats. The spectating was a challenge, unless you were able to get a spot right at the fence on the edge of the mats.

The only thing I didn’t like about the tournament was that it was in Las Vegas. I like Las Vegas and participated in the first Las Vegas Open, but for the World Championships I’d rather have had as much focus as possible. Staying on the strip the night before made for a challenge to find a healthy, balanced meal, in order to feel optimal for my fight the next day. I much preferred Long Beach where I could easily get to Wholefoods and stock up on anything I needed the days leading up to the biggest event of the year for me. Of course, after my day of competition, it was fun to walk through the Casinos and go to restaurants with my teammates.

The one thing that stood out about the event, compared to the ones in the past, was the large amount of muscular competitors. I’ve never liked to assume that anyone who is bulging through their clothes with huge muscles is on some sort of PED, but I had several people make comments to me about how they would need to start testing for the Master Worlds. I was so focused on my own matches that I hadn’t really noticed the other competitors until someone brought it up. I looked around, and compared to the adult Worlds, their older counterparts were noticeably more muscular. That doesn’t necessarily mean that more Master fighters are using PEDs than the Adult fighters. Men get bigger as they get older and some of it may have more to do with being a tad older, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to start testing just to make sure it’s a more fair competition.

Michel Miyashita Seminar in El Dorado Hills

Michel Miyashita, will be teaching a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Seminar in El Dorado Hills, CA on August 12th 2017.

9:00-10:00AM (age8-12) $20

10:00-NOON (age 13+) $45

Noon ~ OPEN MAT

The seminar will cover some of his best technical positions. Michel recently finished with a Silver medal at the San Jose IBJJF Open and will be competing in the Master World Championships in Las Vegas in several weeks. Join us for what is going to be a fun and learning event in El Dorado Hills.

The Referee’s Decision: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a Sport

 

 Last weekend I competed at the Pan American Championship in Irvine. The Pan Ams is my favorite annual competition. It’s the only international competition in the U.S. where the entire competition team can participate in; from Juvenile to Master and White to Black Belt. It’s the first competition of the year where I focus all my efforts into being as well prepared as possible beforehand and give it my all when the Referee starts the match… usually.

My strategy going into my first match was to stay on top with either a takedown or letting my opponent pull guard, and then go for the pass. The Master’s divisions are short matches so I wanted to score first and be in the position to ride out the clock and work for Mount or submissions from Side Control.

I’m stretching in the bullpen, taking in the atmosphere of the building. The bullpen is a mix of tension with the fighters waiting to be called for their fights and elation with winning or being done for the competitors who already fought. The ring coordinator calls my name and my opponents and we follow him to our mat. I’m warm, I feel good, and I’m ready. The referee calls us out and I run on to the mat, bow, slap hands and fist-bump. It’s on.

My opponent is careful to engage, and we spend a couple minutes dancing around until I chase him down. We make grips and he pulls to an open guard. “Perfect!” I think. And this is pretty much where the entire match takes place. I feel good with my base and every time he tries to unbalance me I hold strong and ride it out. He has a good grip and Spider Guard on my left arm, but every time I try break it or get in a position to break it, he off-balances me and I have to focus on my base. There were a few instances where I broke the grips or he let go and I was moving and working my passes and then he’d get his grips again and we’d be right back in the same Spider Guard.

I’m watching the clock tick down to zero with the score tied at 0 points, 0 advantages, and 0 penalties. I’m thinking it would be foolish to try something risky to earn an advantage. I was on top and more active. I was more offensive and closer to a pass then he ever was to a sweep. All I had to do was not get scored on and there was only 10 seconds left. My opponent tried extending me one last time, but I stayed low and kept my weight back.

Time ended and we fixed our Gi’s. The referee held our arms and I took a deep breath. He raised my opponent’s arm and I turned away. I shook my opponent’s hand and congratulated him. I bowed to the Referee, thanked him for the job he had done and walked off the matt. I couldn’t believe it. How could I have not earned the decision win?

Well, I let the fight end with a tied score. Was the referee wrong with his decision? No, of course not. They don’t want to make the decision; they want you to score and make it clear that you won. It didn’t have to be in the last 10 seconds, but at some point in a 5 minute match you have to at least score an advantage. Otherwise there is nothing to have hard feelings about, other than your own performance.

What is the referee looking for in those situations? It’s completely subjective, yet completely justified. Every loss is a learning lesson and this isn’t the first decision that resulted in a loss for me, which is why I thought I had won. The lesson I take from it now is that it’s a coin-flip, in terms if you agree with the decision or not. They have their reasons and I’m sure if you ask, most will tell you why they ruled that way… after the fact.

Aaron Martinez

NAGA in San Jose

EDH Jiu Jitsu had three competitors in action at the competition arena this weekend in San Jose, CA. Jamie, Ricky, and Danny all made their show in the NoGi divisions of the NAGA San Jose Grappling Championships. (North American Grappling Association).

Jamie won gold in the intermediate blue belt division and was called up to compete in the expert division for purple belts and above. Overall she made some impressive improvements from her last competition, and challenged herself to play outside of her comfort zone.

In the expert division,  the final score of the six minute match was 8-3. Congratulations to Jamie on her performance and constant improvement. For those who are not in the know, Jamie trains 2-3 times daily both on and off the mat. Her dedication to improvement and pursuit of success is unmatched.

Danny and Ricky competed in the men’s division of the NAGA championships. Ricky fell short in his first match. Danny pulled through to the finals and finished with a Silver medal. He also made some impressive improvements from his last tournament experience at the Grappling X in Elk Grove, CA in November.

Regardless of the outcome, preparation for competition done right always leads to continued improvement. It’s exciting to see everyone give their best in the arena and make no excuses about their performance. We look forward to seeing these competitors in action again soon!!

NABJJF San Diego International Open Gold

Josh Bacon won Gold at the NABJJF (North America Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation) San Diego International Open. Josh competed in the NoGi division for the tournament held on February 26 in San Diego, CA. The NABJJF belongs to the SJJIF (Sport Jiu Jitsu International Federation) and it aims to expand and unite the sport internationally with rules, regulation and style that conforms to Olympic standards and embodies the Olympic spirit.

Josh made an impressive show of heart victory to secure a medal at the Grappling X tournament held in Elk Grove in November of 2016. He had to take a little break from training between the two competitions, but his passion to train, learn, and compete pulled him back out to the competition arena in San Diego. He had an impressive showing, and was back on the mat the following week after his return from San Diego.

Here is the link to his finals match posted on facebook life:

IBJJF San Jose Open Gi & NoGi Results

Zack wins Gold

On January 28th and 29th at the San Jose Community College the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation) San Jose Open took place. The tournament was a two day tournament in the Gi and NoGi. This was a great opportunity to test their skills in a local northern California competition. Probably the biggest tournament outside of the BJJ Tour Championships; US Open, American Cup, and All Star Championships. Members of EDH BJJ, competing as Yemaso BJJ,  finished with the following results:

Gi:
Mark Swisher – Competitor
Jamie Gomez – Bronze
Zack Smith – Bronze
Allan Scott – Silver
Aaron Martinez – Silver
Jerel Tengan – Silver
Eliot Kelly – Gold

NoGi:
Jamie Gomez – Bronze
Zack Smith – Gold
Aaron Martinez – Silver
Jerel Tengan – Silver
Eliot Kelly – Gold & Silver (absolute)

Eliot win Gold

The tournament was a great opportunity to start the year with a competition. A few high lights of the tournament came with Zack Smith taking Bronze in his division but coming back the next day to win the Gold in the NoGi division. This showed great persistence and determination. Another big victory of the weekend came from coach Eliot Kelly winning gold in the Ultra Heavyweight division beating Vinicius de Magalhães of Vinny Magalhaes BJJ in the finals. Vinny is an incredibly talented prize fighter in MMA, Jiu Jitsu and Grappling. He is an ADCC champion, IBJJF World Champion, EBI and UFC competitor.

Coach Eliot Kelly wins Fight to Win Pro 23 in San Jose

Coach Eliot made his second performance on the Fight to Win Professional submission only show in San Jose, CA on January 27th, 2017. The Gi and NoGi profession jiujitsu and grappling show travels the United States showcasing local talent. F2W Pro’s submission only format was one of the most exciting shows of 2016 among grappling and jiujitsu entertainment. The show in San Jose paid out over $30,000 in prize money and with the live audience of over 2,500 and an online viewership over 30,000 the event was a grand success. More on the event can be found here.

Coach Eliot matched up with Kyle Kingsbury, a BJJ black belt and former MMA fighter in the UFC. Their match was NoGi at 230lbs. Their match was one of the anticipated fights of the night along with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu legends, KURT OSIANDER, OSVALDO QUIEIXINHO MOZINHO, BRUNO FRAZZATTO, and RHALAN GRACIE.

ELIOT KELLY (EDH BJJ) VS KYLE KINGSBURY (CHECKMAT BJJ)

The match finished with a unanimous judge decision with 3-0 voting for Eliot’s victory. Needless to say, Kyle and Eliot put on a great show for the audience in attendance with a dynamic display of takedowns, guard attacks, and submission attempts.

Eliot and his family in attendance