Category Archives: Kids Jiu Jitsu

Community Service: Making & Giving Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

As we enter this season of giving, many of us search for ways to engage actively in giving. How can we truly participate in this process? We can donate food and toys, we can give money to charitable organizations; there are so many choices! As altruistic and generous as the act of donating is, as a parent I look for ways that my family can work together to share what we have with others in a meaningful way. I want to put the food or toys in the hands of those that need them. But how can a family with young children do this? How can a jiu jitsu school with over 100 students ranging from age 4 to 60+ do this?
One way is to host a PBJ event: a simple and easy way to engage your family and community in an act of giving that puts food in the hands of those who need it most!
Step One: Gather your people! Advertise! Shout it from the rooftops! Tell your students and friends to tell THEIR people! All are welcome and the more hands on deck, the better.
Step Two: Gather the goods! Your basic requests are bread, peanut butter, and jelly. Bread is the limiting factor so it’s best to ask people to bring at LEAST two loaves of bread each, along with a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly. Some items to consider: plastic knives, plastic sandwich bags, and paper bags to put sandwiches in. You can request these from participants, you can ask for donations from local stores or companies (grocery stores are great for these types of donations!), or you can provide them yourself.
Step Three: Market, market, market! Social media, local community boards, coffee shops…get the word out! Because this kind of event has no age limit, encourage families to come. Tell them to bring their friends. Local Girl/Boy Scout troops may need a service project and this is perfect!
Step Four: Sling sammys! Set up tables or just lay tablecloths on your floor space. You’ll want each sandwich to go into a plastic bag and then 6-7 sandwiches to go into a brown paper bag. Offer wet wipes so people can wipe peanut butter and jelly off their hands. At about half way through the allotted time, encourage people not to open new jars of peanut butter and jelly until the open jars are empty. Unopened jars can be donated to local food banks, but opened jars need to go home with participants or tossed.
Step Five: Distribute! Go to a local area with a large homeless community. Often, this is near shelters, soup kitchens or other resources. Pack the brown bags full of sandwiches into bigger bags and encourage your participants to walk around and offer sandwiches to anyone who might want some. People may approach you and ask what you have. Offer a smile, dignity, and respect. They are appreciated just as much as food.
Step Six: Regroup! Ask your participants what they thought. How did they feel? Did they notice anything in particular? How would they do it differently next time? You may have heard people asking for certain items as they received the sandwiches…maybe you can do a drive to collect those items next time?
A PB&J event is a unique way to get into the community and give people a way to get to bed with food in their belly and wake up to food for breakfast. You will not walk away from it unaffected by the people you’ve served and it will offer you a jumping off point to talk to participants of all ages about gratitude, perspective, and mutual respect. Participating in this kind of event should leave everyone with a sense of pride in their ability to serve those who need it most, but also questioning how they can help more.

Jiu Jitsu is more than learning technique it’s discovering what works for you

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an interesting blend of learning and training. Students can go online and login to a training website to study movements and techniques. Students can also watch jiujitsu on flograppling, youtube and instagram to learn from their favorite athletes or coaches.

The most important element of bridging the gap from learning a variety of techniques and drilling them methodically to successfully executing them in practice or competition exists in self awareness.

Self awareness for your own personal style of jiujitsu. This comes from multiple places.

  1. Personality
  2. Body type
  3. Athletic ability
  4. Mobility / flexibility

There are universal concepts in jiu-jitsu that exist as a result of human mechanics and physics, but there also exists efficient movements that make a difference in how you are able to move efficiently. While your initial pursuit of jiujitsu might exist in learning the fundamental concepts and the basic understanding of different positions and movements, there will eventually be a need to practice what works best for your body.

At EDH Jiu Jitsu we have a weekly question and answer class that allows students to better understand those unique positions under some guidance from an instructor. While discovering what works for you is an individual development, it is very helpful to have a coach or training partner to ask and think about specific positions. The Q&A class allows the students to ask those questions and from there drill them. In the drilling process more questions may arise and it’s acceptable to ask more questions based on the feedback you receive from your drilling.

Ultimately, what jiu-jitsu is striving for is a higher, enlightened level of awareness. An awareness of the dangers of specific positions and what prevents their execution. An awareness of where your strengths are and how you can bring the “game” back to that position to better control the match. An awareness of the style of jiujitsu you play and the need to embrace that style when you are rolling or in competition.

Therefore, strive for awareness. Take the time to ask questions on the mat. Something to keep in mind when taking steps to better awarenss is the THREE R’s. Something we emphasize at El Dorado Hills Jiu Jitsu.

  • Reflect
  • Review
  • Refine

Reflect on your previous performances and ask questions. Review the adjustments with a training parter or a coach. Refine the adjustments while you are rolling and drilling. This process loops back to the beginning as you refine your technique you should be reflecting on the movements and thinking about the strengths and weakness of the position.

Make Progress

Eliot Kelly

 

Thanksgiving Week Kids Camp in El Dorado Hills Jiu Jitsu

EDH Jiu Jitsu will be offering a kids camp for kids age 5-15 this Thanksgiving week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Our seasonal camp is a fun half day camp with an emphasis on learning and having fun through different activities like chess, jiu-jitsu and origami.

What will I do at kids camp?

Campers will be doing many things during the week. Each camp day is a little different from the other, but our activities include games like dodgeball, snakes in the grass, freeze tag, fireball, and other games. Jiu-Jitsu is also taught with an emphasis on self defense and anti bullying which is a little different from our typical Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lessons taught in the evening classes.

In addition to the physical activities we have with games and kids jiu-jitsu we also have time to sit down and play quietly. We’ve incorporated “no stress chess” for the younger children to learn and play chess, while teaching and allowing the older students to play chess. Other arts and crafts have been incorporated into camp with Japanese origami, Japanese calligraphy being the main activities. The students enjoy making their own ink on the ink stones and practicing different kanji characters with a brush.

Our seasonal camps also feature story telling and speeches or presentations by the campers. The story telling is a great time to talk about a seasonal activity, bullying, the environment, community service, kindness, and more.

  • Games
  • Jiu-Jitsu with an emphasis on anti-bullying
  • Jiu-Jitsu with an emphasis on self defense
  • Chess
  • Origami
  • Japanese Calligraphy
  • Letter writing
  • Speech / Presentations
  • Story telling

What do I need to bring?

Water and jacket. There is no specific attire required, but come ready to move and have fun! In most of our camps we provide a healthy snack so please let us know if your child has any allergies that we need to be aware of. Typically, our snacks are an apple, peach, persimmon, (season fruits) and cheese stick, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, etc.

When does EDH BJJ host a camp?

Camps are held during the season breaks of the year, all year round during the season breaks in the fall, winter, spring, and summer. Please check back during your school breaks if you miss our camp this season!

 

EDH Jiu-Jitsu & Self Defense

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.

Coaching Kids Life Skills Through Martial Arts Skills

Youth sports is intended to have many practical applications. The strongest expectation from youth sports is the ability to learn not only the skills necessary to succeed in play, but also critical life skills that apply to the life outside of the sport. Some of these life skills are; leadership, manners, eq, decision making, ability to digest information, collaboration, communication, etc. While these are skills that parent’s assume their children will acquire when they enroll their children in sports, science has proven that not to be the case.

In fact, coaching for the sake of becoming a better athlete looks different than coaching for the sake of becoming a person with strong life skills. Studies, led by Dr. Daniel Gold have shown that athletes who grew up in an environment where the coach emphasized the acquisition of the life skills along with the acquisition of technical skills required in the sport were the only athletes who actually developed the ability to apply the lessons from their sport to their life outside of the sport.

This is an insightful break through. The valuable life skills are not ACQUIRED merely through the practice of sport. They are intentionally DEVELOPED through the curriculum, and lesson plans designed by the coach. Dr. Shimizu and Dr. Shibamoto have also been leading scholars in the field of applied sports psychology. Some of their research has reinforced the research by Dr. Gold.

There is one more key critical factor in understanding the value of coaching sports skills through life skills. Studies have found that athletes coached in life skills perform better than athletes who have only been coached in their athletic skills. While there is no certainty or little value in learning practical life skills through the practice and learning of sport, there is great value in being coached by someone who truly embraces the idea of coaching life skills through the means of sport. Therefore, it’s essential that as parents we seek out sports clubs and teams that emphasize these life skills in their lessons above anything else and remember that the practical skills we hope our children to acquire through sport only happens where there exists a conscious minded program that emphasizes these things.

Eliot Kelly

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.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: A Martial Art for Kids & Teens

El Dorado Hills Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a Martial Arts school located in EDH off the latrobe exit on the highway 50 corridor. The Martial Art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is traditionally taught to adults for it’s refined skills in the art of physical self defense, but EDH BJJ offers a great outlet for kids and teens to join in on the training.

EDH Jiu Jitsu had separated the kids and adults curriculum so that the kids and teens are exposed in a developmentally appropriate environment for them to thrive. While the classes start as young as age 4, the classes are separated into different age groups: Pee Wee class (age 4-6). Kids class (age 7-9) and Juniors class (age 10-14). This allows the instructors to gradually challenge the students as they mature in age. Not only are the students challenged with their expectations to listen, observe, and think about the technique but their physical challenge is increased with age. With age and training experience students are give more “responsibilities” to lead their peers with their actions. The responsibilities are taught and enforced as a method to build leadership, communication, and teamwork.

For example, when stressing the importance of communication, students are taught that every good encounter and relationship begins with a good greeting. Students are held accountable to follow through with this, by saying hello and introducing themselves when a new students steps on the mat to train. This strategy to communicate is not just something we teach the students to do at the dojo. We also recommend they take what they do on the mat and apply it to their life off the mat as well. “If you notice a new student in your class at school what should you do?” “How do you feel if you don’t know anyone in a group? How do you feel if no one said hello?” “How would you feel if someone came up to you and introduced themselves and helped you feel welcome?” These are some of the questions teachers use to get the students to think about the value of noticing new people in their environment and going out of their way to say hello.

In a time where children spend hours in front of a screen, face to face communication can become less comfortable. We make an effort to teach students that face to face communication is an essential part of a good relationship. Through self introductions, students are better able to establish a channel to communicate with one another. This is one of the key components of not just our kids and teens martial arts program, but our entire program. We believe that the ability to communicate is a skill that needs some coaching and lots of practice. Therefore, our program takes time for a social element to take place.

For more information visit our website: http://www.edhjiujitsu.com

Eliot Kelly

Kids Camp in El Dorado Hills

Kids Camp El Dorado Hills had the first week of camp for kids age 5 and up. The camp is an opportunity for local children to learn jiujitsu, chess, and have fun moving. Healthy snacks of apples, almonds, cheese, and yogurt are provided to the campers are picked up fed and tired. The next week of camp will be JULY 31 – AUGUST 3.   NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY to join the camp! We welcome beginners to jiujitsu, chess, and anyone looking to learn, move, and have fun is welcome!

In the jiujitsu lessons the coaches teach the fundamental movements and positions of guard, mount, side control, back control, a strong stance. These fundamentals give students an opportunity to better understand strong positions that are advantageous in self defense and anti-bullying situations. From these positions the campers learned different movements and submissions to control their opponent. When working with a partner, students not only are learning about the physical space their body occupies, but also how to communicate with their peers. Communication is an integral component of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Campers are taught the importance of communicating with their body as well as their words to convey their thoughts. Developing healthy communication strategies at a young age leads to higher EQ, emotional intelligence.

In addition to jiujitsu and the lessons we are able to teach through it’s practice. The camp also includes the teaching and learning of chess. While jiujitsu is chess with the body, chess is jiujitsu with the mind! After a morning of games and lessons in jiujitsu and self defense, the campers are given a healthy snack and an opportunity to continue working on their communication. Since we have multiple levels of chess players, we incorporate peer mentorship, “No Stress Chess” (a chess set designed to teach the basic game while playing the game of chess). and some adult coaching. This allows all levels of chess players to have fun and keep up with the game. During chess, the campers are given an opportunity to calm down from the previously rigorous games and exercises and direct their focus and attention on the chess board. Even the most rambunctious children tend to focus in on learning and playing chess.

A strong component of our camp is the concept of learn through play.  To do this we design our games with technical lessons and concepts to develop leadership and/or teamwork. One example of a game we play is tug of war. In tug of war, the team concept is developed along with leadership. The leader of the group is responsible for helping to “unite” their group to pull all at once. At the end of the game, the winning team will assign a number to the losing team to practice a technique learning during the jiujitsu lesson. If the number 10 is picked, the losing team will do 10 arm bars (for example) and the winning team will perform half (5 in this case). In this example, leadership is developed by the vocal member of the group to pull the rope all at once. Teamwork is shown and developed when everyone works together to pull the rope all at once. Technical skills are developed after a winner and loser is established to disguise the repetitions practiced.

Along with the practice of jiujitsu, chess, and games we emphasize gratitude. We talk about gratitude at the end of each session and ask the campers what they are thankful for. Through out the day, an emphasis is made of saying thank you, writing a thank you card to take home and give to someone, and thinking about the things that are necessary to be thankful for.

Join us on our next camp experience in El Dorado Hills! We welcome new comers and look forward to having our current members join us for a fun half day of jiujitus, chess, gratitude projects and games! Next camp will be July 31st -August 3rd!

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

Javen Wins Bronze to Start 2017 Competitions

Javen Jones, freshman at Oak Ridge High School, took Bronze in the NABJJF (North American Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation) Kids All Americas on the twenty first of January in Cerritos, CA.

Winning one of his two matches, Javen displayed excellent takedown strategy, scoring a takedown on both matches. He managed to secure the mount position and, just as the timer ended, finished with an armbar — a favored technique, as seen from his preceding tournaments. Javen plans to come back from his tournament experience and hit the mats immediately!  He has big aspirations to continue competing for years to come.

This tournament was held at Cerritos College.