In his seminar today he showed with simplicity, the intricacies and complexity of control, pressure, leverage, and prediction.
Here are some words from Sean after his promotion to black belt. “I was first introduced to BJJ in 2008 by a blue belt neighbor who showed me some BJJ in exchange for me helping him with his boxing. I ended up starting about a year later in late 2009, and started competing 3 months later. I met Allicia when I was a white belt. And we tried to be each other’s training buddy and motivator. The main reason i train Jiu-jitsu is for the self defense application; particularly with regards to controlling and understanding movement and body mechanics. My ultimate goal with BJJ is always longevity, to train for life.”
Black belts in attendance were (from left to right) Eliot Kelly, Julio Veliz, Marcus Boness, Sean Gonsolin, Marcos Torregrosa, Borston Marc, Jerel Tengan.
Congrats Aaron on the black belt promotion! This was a special occasion for Aaron to visit his original academy at Claudio França Santa Cruz where he was promoted from white belt to black belt from 6th degree Claudio França. A school with 22 years of tradition in the greater Santa Cruz area.
~ December 9th 2017 ~
Since moving to El Dorado Hills, Aaron has shared his jiujitsu experience with everyone! He has competed across the pacific in Japan, coached the kids & adults in tournaments, and started a blog called bjjdad.com He is a family man who organizes his schedule to balance training, competition, and family time. As a coach, he’s coined many training adages including “keep your intensity within technical ability.” Helping students better understand the progression and journey of learning jiujitsu. The knowledge he is able to share and convey in his teaching and coaching is a reflection of his dedication to learn and understand not just jiujitsu but also people. This practice to understand people and his students makes him a great team player, always willing to give and help without asking for anything in return. Thank you for sharing your passion with us! Congratulations!
Here is a copy of his post from his social media account: “I just wanted to thank everyone for helping me along my journey to Black Belt. When I began training Jiu-Jitsu, my goal was not to become a Black Belt; it was simply to learn Jiu-Jitsu and roll around on the mat. Not too long after I began, I fell in love with competing and really challenging myself mentally and physically. I noticed after a few years how my life was healthier in all areas. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has certainly changed my life and has made me better and more peaceful person. Thank you @dougefreshrn for introducing me to the Art and holding my hand through the first few months. Thank you Master Claudio and @nathanmendelsohnbjj for helping me develop a solid foundation and training for 9 years. Thank you @eliotkelly and @edhjiujitsu for continuing my development and pushing me past my limits, and being such a great friend. Thank you @yemasojj for the serious knowledge and precision, and to the rest of @sacramentobjj for having me as part of the team. Thank you to @horsepowerandbarbells at @pdeliverance & @gymjonessalvation for kicking my but in the gym.”
“And thank you to all my friends, teammates, Instructors, students, and family over the years for all your support and encouragement. Just too many to name, but thank 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.
- Body type
- Athletic ability
- 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 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.
The 21st US Open took place at the Cow Palace in San Francisco this weekend. El Dorado Hills Jiu Jitsu had multiple competitors from kids to adults, white belts to brown belts in action on the mats. The tournament was a great event to measure everyones progress from the beginning of the year and set some new markers going into 2018. The US Open, along with the BJJ Tour, is a great and professional tournament organization that has been dedicated to improving and enhancing jiujitsu viewership and competition from the beginning of jiujitsu in the United States.
Kids Jiu Jitsu Competitor Results
- Slater – Godl
- Ian – Bronze
- Mateo – Silver
- Mia – Bronze
Adult Jiu Jitsu Competitor Results
- Dave – Competitor
- Mark – Competitor
- Coach Kunk – Gold
- Aaron – Silver
- Jarrod – Gold
- Ryan – Competitor
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.
- Jiu-Jitsu with an emphasis on anti-bullying
- Jiu-Jitsu with an emphasis on self defense
- 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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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.