Tag Archives: bjj

El Dorado Hills BJJ Results Grappling X & Jiu-Jitsu in El Grove

We had 6 members of our Competition Team fight from El Dorado Hills BJJ & Self Defense last Saturday, at Elk Grove High School, in the Grappling X tournament. All six competed well past my expectations, all six noticeably improved between their first and second matches, and all six made it to the podium!

Gold:

Jordan (Adult- Blue Belt) competed for the first time and won both of his matches by double-digit point deficits.

Slater (Kids- Yellow Belt) had five matches and 5 finishes! 2 matches were in one division and 3 matches were in another, for two 1st place finishes!

Silver:

Danny (Adult- White Belt) competed for the first time in a Gi and won his first match by points.

Mateo (Kids- Grey White Belt) fought a very tough opponent, but was able to greatly improve between his first and second match.

Ben (Kids- White Belt) competed for the very first time and made instant progress between his first and second match as well.

Bronze:

Josh (Adult- White Belt) fought with an injured ankle. His black and blue, swollen foot was wrapped tight in a soft brace, but he went out and won his first match. He later had a fun exhibition-style match with Danny. 

It was a great day for the team and the medals were certainly well deserved, but everyone was very coachable and listened well during their matches and between. We had simple game-plans the competitors and coaches came up with. As a group, the fighters did an excellent job of staying disciplined with their goals and medaled as a result.

Submission Pro Tour Sacramento Results


El Dorado Hills Jiu Jitsu had 3 competitors compete in the Submission Pro Tour at Foothills High School in Sacramento, CA. The tournament was a Submission only tournament with EBI overtime rules. For the kids divisions, instead of the EBI overtime rules, the competitor the scored first (takedown, sweep, pass) was declared the winner.

  • Kids Division: Slater (Yellow belt)  – Gold
  • Adult + Aaron (Blue belt) – Silver
  • Josh (White belt) – Silver

All competitors had some great matches! It was a great experience to compete under the submission only rules and train for the EBI format overtime rule as well.

The EBI overtime format is where both competitors have an offensive round and a defensive round. Each get to choose how they want to attack. Either from a defended armbar in the mount position or with the back take and seatbelt grip. If time is kept to see how fast the defender escapes if there is no submission. If there are no submission at the end of 3 rounds the person with the quickest total escape time is declared the winner.

Unfortunately, EDH had more competitors signed up, but their matches were cancelled due to the lack of registered competitors.

Effortless Jiu Jitsu

I usually listen to some type of podcast in the morning to get through my drive to the dojo or to teach Japanese. All the stuff I listen to is great, but this morning podcast with Tim Ferris was incredible. His interview with Terry Laughlin was profound in its simplicity as well as concise details to understand technical mastery.

The most important idea that I was drawn to, “effortlessness.” Terry comes from a background in coaching swimming, and explains the mastery of swimming in effortlessness. This idea applies directly to the study of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the many grappling arts and martial arts. While conditioning and strength are important factors, true mastery and efficiency comes as a result of using proper technique at the correct moment. All this is really easy to say and understand, but can be very difficult to actually execute. More importantly, it is very difficult to evaluate your efficiency.

In jiu-jitsu you often hear instructors train their students to “relax, slow-down, breathe, use their technique, etc.” All great reminders to help the student understand the importance of training to use their technique. The explanation of things feeling “effortless” is one that I haven’t heard in a long time. (My initial attraction to jiujitsu was in seeking to better understand the martial art while being in an ‘effortless’ state) I think this is a perfect form of assessment. “What was your effort today?” Not in the sense of how hard did you try, but how hard were you forced to work?

Continue reading the rest of the blog at EliotKelly.com

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 

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

2017 ADCC Championships Reflection

I had two matches at 2017 ADCC Finland. Lost them both. One to Lovato jr. & another to Aly. In reflecting on the weekend, I walked away with some important insights.

1) Embracing my style of “fighting”

2) How quickly your mindset can influence your performance.

As a side note, to me winning & losing are only trivial moments as a result of a bout, therefore I’ve always made an effort to evaluate my performance <physical // technical // mental> in a match instead of the win or loss. I haven’t watched my bouts yet, but I was very unsatisfied after my initial match. I tried to play a strategic game and it was a total failure. Lovato Jr. completely shut me down. 7-0. I walked away from the mat frustrated. I think I played it conservative and there’s no way you will perform well or beat any of the best 16 guys in the world playing it safe.

Thank you Ty, Paul, and Ryan for coaching  and sharing your insights on the match.

The next day I faced Aly in the open class. In between the two days i was able to better understand myself as a grappler. To embrace my style. And I was damn sure I wasn’t going to play it safe on the second day. (And hopefully everyday) And I feel as though did. I didn’t win and there were some things I need to change but I could walk off the mat knowing i was a different person from yesterday. Only one thing changed between the two days. My mindset. My conscious approach to fight hard. To go HAM. (I’m quoting Tanner Rice here)
So I challenge everyone to go and fight their style every match. To embrace who they are on and off the mat. Because when you do…. It make everything so much more fun! And when you don’t it’s almost a guarantee you won’t win…

A special thanks to Komainu Apparel and AK BKK . These guys made this ADCC experience extra special for us. Thank you Satoshi for the photo! 📷

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.