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!”
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:
Scoring first sets the pace of the match. (especially when the referees only call double penalty)
Use forward pressure but don’t reach forward to assert that pressure
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.
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! 📷
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!!
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:
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:
Mark Swisher – Competitor
Jamie Gomez – Bronze
Zack Smith – Bronze
Allan Scott – Silver
Aaron Martinez – Silver
Jerel Tengan – Silver
Eliot Kelly – 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 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.
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.
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.
At El Dorado Hills Brazilian Jiu Jitsu our Pee Wee (age 4-6), Kids (age 6-9), and Juniors (age 9-13) class changes it up to train NoGi. Some people who are new to Jiu Jitsu might be wondering what NoGi means. NoGi is a simple way to talk about a uniform that is basically t-shirt and shorts. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and many grappling organizations have adopted this NoGi uniform to give professionalism to the look while considering safety of the participant.
There are a few safety measures to consider when we make the uniform switch from Gi to NoGi. First, it’s important that the uniform doesn’t have any pockets. Hands and feet can get caught in pockets and in a faster paced NoGi training this can be very dangerous. Another important part of the uniform is that there are no metallic parts to the uniform. Many shorts might have zippers or buttons that with pressure can hurt, scratch, and even cut someone. The last thing to consider is the tightness of the shirt. We strongly recommend tight fitting rashguard type shirts. When the shirt is too loose it can become a hazard much like pockets do and trap a hand or foot causing injury.
Here are a few reasons for transitioning to NoGi with our 4-13 year old jiu-jitsu classes.
1: It’s HOT!
2: Learn different skills that don’t allow grips
3: Challenge yourself to our EDH-BJJ NoGi Tournament in September
This year the IBJJF American Nationals took place in Las Vegas with the UFC International Expo. The event show cased the best martial artists in jiujitsu, wrestling, tae kwon do, karate, judo, and other types of cross fit competitions. The event culminated with the McGregor v Mendes fight. The event was an exciting step in jiu-jitsu as it joins forces with the UFC and MMA community. Hosting the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation tournaments in conjunction with the UFC expo will only help educate MMA fans on the details and excitement of jiu-jitsu.
The American Nationals featured jiujitsu competitors from all over the globe. The event featured two tournaments, one in the gi and one nogi. The tournament also featured the Kids American Nationals, one of the premiere IBJJF Kids tournaments of the year.
Eliot represented the team from El Dorado Hills. The first day was composed of theNoGi tournament. Eliot finished with a double silver making it to the finals in the weight division and absolute (all weights combined) open weight division. The second day was composed of the tournament in the gi. Eliot finished with a silver in his weight division, again making it into the finals of the tournament. In the absolute (all weights combined) open weight division Eliot fell short in the semi-final, finishing with a bronze.
Eliot finished the two day American Nationals with 9 matches 5 in the nogi and 4 in the gi. “The tournament was great! There were warm up mats, great organization, and a lot of action all day long. It was a bitter sweet experience for me as a competitor because I made it to the finals in three different occasions, but I wasn’t able to get the gold. Needless to say I learned from my mistakes and I’m excited for the next opportunity to compete!”