Archive for September, 2012

It’s around 10:30 am.  The tournament starts at 2:oo pm.  I admit I have some butterflies, that is normal.  At this point, I am trying not to think about all the moves which could cause panic.  I’m trying to relax and be flexible. I ate a big breakfast.  I’m feeling good.  I hope I can maintain a positive attitude.

Upon signing up, I learned that there are 10 self defenses moves taught only in the advanced class which I hadn’t been attending.  There isn’t enough time to learn them.   I got off track on my training ambitions.  I had thought all the moves were taught in the fundamentals classes; however, I do know 80% of the moves which is enough to get me through the first round.  I am trying to look at this as a self evaluation.   If I make it to the second round, great, if I don’t, great.  It is a good experience.

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Wow..Next week, September 30, 2012, is the Gracie Challenge, a Sunday.  My reaction when I saw the challenge date was I am not ready. How can I post pone this?  I can’t.   Once I gathered myself, I took a look at the web page and read about what this test is about.  The last challenge, I didn’t have a clear picture.   In the article, three things jumped out at me, strikes, headlocks, and collar grabs.  I narrowed down the stand up test moves.  I didn’t do any of this the year before. I was dead last.  I am also reviewing old tapes of Helio Gracie since I can’t really afford the private lesson at this time and try to review potential test moves during the fundamental review part.   I started writing down all the moves and classifying them. I am going to give it my best.  If I can advance to the second round then I will have accomplished my goal.

This week, I focused on others.  This allowed me to view the fundamental moves better.  I discovered two mistakes.  one on the closed double collar grab and another on the mounted elbow escape.

Being able to measure the distance is critical in self-defense.  I am having trouble with measuring the distance.  I am hoping this challenge will help me improve upon it.

I was a bit moody.  Some days I am friendly. Some days I am the lone wolf. I don’t want to be the lone wolf.   I really hate that about myself.  I wish I was up beat all the time. Whatever I am experiencing real or un real, I am going to keep coming back.


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Gracie Jiu Jitsu doesn’t like direct fist strikes.  A jab is okay, but not really what jiu jitsu is about.   Basically, direct knuckle fist strikes, are something you only see in boxing and cowboy movies.  In reality, a fist strike is an easy way to break your own hand.   Bare knuckle boxing has a  lot of hand injuries that is a reason boxers wear gloves.

A better alternative to the front knuckle fist strike is the slap.  This week we relearned the violent hand strike to the ear.   If the hand slap to the ear is done correctly, it will rupture the ear drum.   The attacker would require surgery and be unable to walk very well because the sense of balance is part of the inner ear.  I wouldn’t want to carry around the guilty of causing such an injury to someone like that.  I didn’t like learning this and would avoid it all together in a conflict. It is too severe, causing someone a life long disability.

There are tough people all over the world.  I especially like the Maori people of New Zealand for their toughness.  I believe they are descendants of the Polynesians.  In Star Wars, Polynesians are the elite human fighters of the future.  In the movie, Once Were Warriors, there is a bar fight scene which is fresh in my mind.  Jake, an ex street fighter, knocks out a muscle bound ex convict in seconds.  For Jake’s attack to work, the attack is dependent upon speed and power with an element of surprise.  See link. When I first saw this at the movies, I found the fight scene shocking, the violence of it. I want everyone to be aware of this kind of attack.

Once Were Warriors – Jake The Mus


I like Jake’s comment at the end, ” Too much weights and not enough speed work.”  Once jake connected, he had already won the fight.   I didn’t see any bouncers in the bar.  Seems what happens in the bar, stays in the bar.  I wonder if that is how it really is or part of the script.

I like the following video where the New Zealand Rugby team ties their warrior past with the present in a pre fight battle ritual called Haka. Note, rugby is much tougher than American football, which is my opinion.

All Black’s Haka, Battle Ritual


I think this is intimidating.    The adrenaline is free flowing after watching this video. Super cool pre battle ritual.

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Everytime I get ready to open the door to Valente Brother’s studio, I think of a comment Professor Pedro made , ” Would you rather vacation for two weeks in Fuji or come to Jiu Jitsu for two weeks of your vacation?   Professor Pedro’s answer, ” I would rather spend two-weeks studying Jiu Jitsu.  a beach is boring.”   I feel the same way.

There is no guarantee of victory even with all of our Gracie  jiu jitsu training.    I admit that I used to go around thinking I was invincible and overly assertive, not at all a smart way to be.  There are a lot of tough people walking about  that can fight.  I have a wild side, so  I am not someone who tests half way. I would challenge the worst that I could find to test my knowledge.  Bikers..boxers.. I now realise that a fight could result in serious injury to myself even if I won.   What was I thinking???  I have come to my senses.  I happily don’t seek trouble.  If trouble unfortunately finds me,  then I will deal with it.  I bet a lot of white belts think they are invincible when they are absolutely not.   By studying Gracie Jiu Jitsu, it has brought me a lot of peace for which I am very grateful.

A strong man could dead lift a smaller opponent  from the guard position and body slam them.  I have been dead lift from the guard position.  It is possible.   Don’t think a triangle move is a safety net.  Every move has a counter move.  How alert to the counter is up to you?  Note, I find the following video disturbing.  I don’t like watching this video.  Note, this move has been banned in the MMA but is perfectly legal in a street fight.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs Ricardo Arona insane knockout

What is the point of practicing without a finishing move???   I do this for myself but I think the new white belt also appreciate it.  Whenever I review, I try to do a side mount to the full with a finishing move.  I am trying to simulate a real life fight.  Same with a throw, I do the take down, or throw,  then I do a finishing move.  I am trying to set up my opponent for the finishing move, always.  A finishing move is the last technique to end the fight.

To master any technique, you have practice it 10,000 times.

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Once again, it was brought up how important the side kick is in maintaining the distance.  It is not a powerful kick but strong enough to damage someone’s knee.  Honestly, I don’t like my side kick defense which means I need to work on my side kick.  When I was in college, I had an incident where a spoiled Taiwanese student kicked me in the knee when I approached him, the same side kick we are learning now.  I admit that I deserved this.  It was painful and I immediately stopped.

Next week is the fundamental lesson 10, the Pre fight.  It is my favorite lesson and the most practical.  By talking to a hostile person in the right way and the right approach, it can defuse an argument.   Already, this lesson has helped me in dealing with an angry person.  Another thing I like about  this lesson is the focus on defense against fist strikes.

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