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.

Black Belt Promotion in El Dorado Hills: Sean Gonsolin

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.

 

Black Belt Promotion in El Dorado Hills: Aaron Martinez

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!”

 

Belt Promotion: Brandon to Gray Belt

Congratulations to Brandon on earning his solid Grey Belt! Brandon sets a great example as a student, training partner and leader. In every class he participates to the fullest and gives it his best effort. His Jiu-Jitsu reflects his willingness to be the best he can be. Brandon and his sister, Jordan, are also avid hocky players and oftentimes leave BJJ straight for Hockey practice. Tremendous dedication in both sports.
Thank you to his teammates, instructors, and especially his family. It takes support from all areas to help a practitioner grow!

Belt Promotion: Keihana to Gray-white belt

🥋 Gray ~ White belt 🥋 December 2017 🛡柔🛡
Keihana has been training with her sister for a few years and has always brought an eager spirit to learn and understand jiujitsu. She is focused in class and has paved the way as a leader for girls to train in the juniors class. (Age 9-15)
One of her biggest strengths is patience. In times of adversity or difficulty she remains patient and maintains composure to tackle the challenge. In doing so she brings her teammates along for the ride, focused, patient, and determined to improve! Congrats!

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

 

BJJ Tour: US Open Results from El dorado Hills Jiu Jitsu Competitors

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

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

Toddler and Me Jiu Jitsu in El Dorado Hills

Toddler and Me Class

Today, at El Dorado Hills Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, was our first Toddler and Me class! The Theme today was “Introduction”, as it was new to all of us. Although it was the very first class of a brand new program, the class was great. I was very happy with the immediate parent participation and how the toddlers stayed engaged the entire class.

We had three parents and toddlers on the mat, and began by playing on the mats. The kids and even one of the parents challenged themselves by climbing the ropes. The class then went on to some mat exercises that the older kids and the adults do. The toddlers did great and loved practicing Break-Falls, and trying to retain the Mount position on their parents. There were games with the exercise ball and the ropes before we concluded the class. We had so much fun that the kids wanted to keep playing on the mat, and we let them until the Adult class started 20 minutes later.

In the classes to come there will be focused themes like: balance, rolling, partnership, hustle, etc., but for today I am pleased that everyone had fun… and played with some jiu-jitsu.

Coach Aaron

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.