Tag Archives: martial arts

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!!

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

 

Grappling X competition in Fresno, CA

Rich participated in the Grappling X tournament series held in Fresno, CA on February 12th. He came back from the experience with 3 matches. 1 win and 2 losses. The tournament was a good experience building opportunity, competing as a purple belt in the Gi and NoGi. In his reflection Rich said, “It was a very positive tournament experience for me. The organizer called me and assured me that I would be getting several matches. I’m thankful for them following through on their promise.” Rich also remarked, “I was able to go out there with a positive mind. I’ve been really working on the competition mindset and I feel I was able to overcome some obstacles this weekend.” Congratulations to Rich on this success at the Grappling X Fresno tournament. 

 

Sparring Tips

Guard-Play or Passing Guard?

It’s good to decide, before the sparring match, if you would like to Play Guard or Pass Guard. If both fighters want to pass and the match begins on the feet (opposed to the knees) then someone will have to takedown or throw their opponent to the mat, which forces the opponent to play guard. If both fighters want to play guard, the one who pulls guard first is playing guard.

Generally, the fighter passing guard will make grips on the opponent’s lower body (knees, hips, ankles) to control the legs and hips of the guard player. The fighter playing guard will make grips on the opponent’s upper body (Not always, but this is a good way to start off with until you develop a more advanced guard) to control the distance of the passer, as well as their posture, and their ability to move around you in either direction.

It’s good for the guard passer to keep a leading knee between themselves and the guard player to prevent the guard player from closing the guard around their waist. This adds another (dangerous) step between being in their guard and passing guard. The guard player will try to keep their feet, knees, or (butterfly) hooks between themselves and the passer’s body and legs to prevent them from pressuring their guard with their weight.

The basic objective of the guard passer is get passed their guard into side-control, knee on belly, or mount. The basic objective of the guard passer it to sweep (their opponent to the ground: reversing the positions), Submit, or take the back (To back-control with the hooks).

It’s good to practice both, but it’s better to know what you want to practice before your opponent decides for you.

Etiquette:

It’s good form to bow and shake hands, before and after a match. It’s also good form not to celebrate when you win and not sulk when you lose.

Being too aggressive with strength and size (rather than technique) might also be perceived as disrespectful and unnecessary. The term “Sparring” implies training to fight by simulating the movements and technique of Jiu-Jitsu. There is force, endurance, strength and agility involved, but the idea behind sparring is that you can do it with anyone, both of you walk away without any injuries or sore feelings toward one another.

Learn by Example:

Watch the upper-belts and pay attention to how they spar when you roll with them. Most upper belts have training long enough to know what makes for a long term sparring partnership as well as avoid injuries on both sides.

Coach Aaron

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.

El Dorado Hills Kids Camp during Thanksgiving at EDH BJJ

Thank you, to all the children and parents who participated in this year’s Thanksgiving Week Kids Camp!

The camp was held on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, leading up to Thanksgiving. It gave children the opportunity to spend more time in the dojo to explore other engaging activities that coincide with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, self defense, and teamwork. The camp also gave our instructors the opportunity to connect with the children in an even more meaningful fashion than just learning and practicing BJJ.

15134554_1160365437382575_5885546125256103671_nEven though we had a scheduled agenda before the children arrived each day; we stepped out of the agenda and followed the interests of the children. Each day started with games and free play, to let the children socialize and become more comfortable with each other. That led to learning the basic and foundational movements and positions of BJJ. The campers expressed what they were thankful for by making cards and drawing pictures for their families. And we had plenty of snack breaks to feed our hungry learners!

15109355_1161485187270600_4703711507340850035_nChess seemed to be the most interesting daily activity for the group. For over an hour the children worked harmoniously together, as they helped each other setting up the Chessboard and learning how the pieces moved. We worked on game-planning and strategies. Does that sound like some familiar concepts we use for another game?

15171097_1162054420547010_623634796777894843_nYes! The camp was structured around getting each student to THINK. Not only about what they were thankful for, but that their actions have consequences, how to work together in groups or with a partner, and that the cross over between chess, jiujitsu and other activities off the mat. 

El Dorado Hills Jiu Jitsu
916.595.4064

Thanksgiving Week Kids Camp in El Dorado Hills

battle

El Dorado Hills Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & Self Defense is hosting  a Kids camp during Thanksgiving week. The kids camp will include several different activities for kids ages 7 and up. NO JIU JITSU EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! 

What will the kids do: 

  1. CHESS: Chess is jiujitsu for the mind. Through chess coaches will be talking to the kids about following rules, knowing limitations, decisions having consequences, and other life skills that can be shared and learned through the fun activity of chess. Don’t know how to play? No problem, we will teach you!
  2. JIU-JITSU for ANTI BULLYING:  Bullying is always going to be an issues kids need to learn and think about. The more tools they have to deal with verbal, psychological, and physical altercations the better they will be. We will be covering each topic and going over how to diffuse and defend difficult altercations.
  3. JAPANESE GAMES: Campers will be exposed to Japanese language and culture lessons to invoke a curiosity for different cultures and languages. They won’t leave the camp fluent in another language, but hopefully they will become more curious about different cultures and have an interest in learning another language in the future.
  4. THANKFULNESS ACTIVITIES: Campers will be asked to think about what they are thankful for. Thankfulness and gratitude is a character trait we look to reinforce from the time during this camp.
  5. GAMES & PLAY: Campers will be playing a game of some type if they are not taking a snack break or participating in one of the activities. The games will vary from dodgeball, gymnastics, and more. (plan on giving them time to nap after camp)

Call for questions or register online!

EDH Kids Camp
916.595.4064

IBJJF: American Nationals Results & Reflections

The IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation) Gi and NoGi American Nationals took place from July 8-9 in the Las Vegas Convention Center along with UFC 200 expo. The multi martial art event featured multiple world class competitors including Boxing, kick boxing, International Mixed Martial Arts (IMMAF), Wrestling, 3 part fighting, Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This event was also a historical event in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with the 8 man Black Belt Grand Prix tournament. The winner taking $40,000 and the runner up taking $10,000 in prize money. UFC-200-e1466714324809

El Dorado Hills had two participants, Zach and Eliot, both putting on a spectacular performance a this national event. Here are the quick results from the tournament:

Zach: GOLD (Adult Rooster NoGi) Blue belt
Zach: BRONZE (Adult Rooster Gi) Blue belt
Eliot: SILVER (Adult Super Heavy NoGi) Black belt
Eliot: SILVER (Adult Open NoGi) Black belt
Eliot: SILVER (Adult Super Heavy Gi) Black belt

Zach had a close yet dominant finish in the finals of his NoGi division. He started off very strong with a power double leg takedown. After a strong battle and nearly passing the guard multiple times, he was swept to tie the score. He quickly recomposed his guard and found his way back to the top where he was up again by two points. He finished the match attacking to finish for the submission. 13620300_1047799118639208_8333244524386953840_n

Zach had to make weight twice in one day, which is no easy task for someone competing in the Rooster weight division. Competing in the Gi later in the day, he won his first match and advanced to the semi final match to face this year’s world bronze medalist. He had a very close game of strategy and was downed by two points. This was a great opportunity for Zach to compete with some of the best and further reinforce his potential as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor. “There are still some technical positions I need to improve and learn, but I was able to try things I wouldn’t have down in the past. This tournament was a great show of my progress as a jiujitsu competitor.” Congratulations to Zach on becoming the 2016 National Champion! 13615174_1047802838638836_8022646647084710424_n

Eliot came into the tournament with some unsettled business from 2015, where he finished with three silver medals and one bronze. He fell short again, but seemed satisfied with his performance. “I didn’t improve in my placings, but I definitely see an improvement in my performance and ability. Now it’s just a matter of consistency and patience.”

In the finals of the  NoGi division Eliot lost a 0-0 referee decision. He went on to compete in the open weight division where all the athletes compete against one another regardless of weight division. Eliot won his quarter final match 17-0 to advance to the semi finals. In the semi’s Eliot had a very close match with Vladir, a professional MMA fighter from Fight Sports Miami, winning by 3-2 on advantage points. In the finals Eliot went against Barbosa, an up and coming black belt, from Atos Jiu-Jitsu. He suffered a takedown and guard pass from an early slip up to counter the takedown, putting him behind 5-0. Eliot pressed for some attacks after recovering guard and even brought the match back to the feet, but time ran out as he pressed for the attack. Giving him a Silver in the all weights combined (open class) division. 13592562_1047811225304664_731655693664537251_n

The black belts competed in the Gi the following day. Eliot faced off with Valdir again in the semi finals of the tournament. He was winning 4-2 when the match was stopped for too many blood time outs. Since an athlete is allowed three time outs per injury, the trainers gave it their best to stop the bleeding, but were unable to, giving Eliot the victory. The two athletes had a very exciting and competitive match. However, Eliot noticed signs of a concussion after walking off the mat. An assessment with the on staff doctors led to a positive diagnosis taking him out of the tournament. 13654307_1048678898551230_6100092079655689032_n

Think Strong
916.595.4064