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Will I continue after blue belt ?

I bet some of you are wondering. Yes. I will continue. I had thought about it. The truth, I know myself that I would regret quitting. Judo and Jiu Jitsu is in my blood. I think a lot about Jiu Jitsu outside the dojo, while driving or work.

How far? It’s really the next class. One foot in front of the other. The Gracie Black Belt is like climbing Mount Everest. It’s no easy task. Many have tried and failed.

One disappoint, I blame myself, I have failed in finding a group to train with and hang out with. Unfortunately, I sometimes appear like alone wolf but that’s not how I really am.

I’m having a hectic year. I can’t really write about the situation. I’m not happy about my attendance, but I will keep coming. I will bounce back. I’m trying to get back on routine. I need to toughen up mentally and get ready for the next level.

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How could we better live the Jiu Jitsu / Gracie lifestyle?

I was thinking of starting a monthly Jiu Jitsu Club in order to learn more about Jiu Jitsu lifestyle and to support each other by discussing books, for example, The Gracie Diet. We would not just be limited to books but also other venues, movies, example, ” Choked “, products, guest speakers, other related Jiu Jitsu issues, and inviting other students to join.  

We would met at Miami Juice on Sunny Isles or another place. TBA, to be announced.  Possibly between  12:00 til 1:30 pm, after the morning session.  I will try to recruit some people to help.  We would write a monthly summary of the meetings on a new blog.  I will post the time, place, and topics of discussions.  This would be my purple belt project when journeyjjbluebelt.com ends in December. I will give it a six month trial. Note, I haven’t yet committed to this project just throwing out the idea.

 

 

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This week in Jiu Jitsu, I read a candid confession of a black belt instructor that struggled with the Gracie way of eating. I totally understood. I too hadn’t fully adopted the methods either. Also, I had become worried about cancer. I was Interested in the Gracie Diet’s anti cancer benefits. I was motivated to try again. So, I started rereading the Gracie Diet book.

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October 1st was a good day. From now on, I believe that I will remember that October 1st is Helio Gracie’s birthday, without a reminder, and take time out of the day to give thanks and respect.

As usually, I made the morning fundamental class. It was clear that today was  a special day, Helio Gracie’s Birthday. The professor spent time talking about Helio on the mat and we all enjoyed the practice. There was an official celebration at the school in the evening.

To finish the day, I read a great post which revealed the person Helio was, as follows:

” Helio believed that street fights were created by cowards. ”
” Helio believed that Jiu Jitsu could be applied to all aspects of life.”
” Helio believed that perfect technique could over come size and strength.”
” Helio believed he was better than no one and could learn from everyone.”
” Helio believed that Jiu Jitsu made us more tolerant, compassionate, and humble.”
” Helio believed that we should be practitioners of Jiu Jitsu but of efficiency.”
” Helio believed he was not a fighter, but a teacher who fought for what he believed in.”.

Thank you!
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This week in fundamentals, we learned the knee on belly pin.

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This week in fundamentals, we learned the forward roll, side mount to full mount, guillotine choke defense #1, and defense against being choke while pinned against a wall.

Reference the forward roll, it took time to learn and required practice. I was trying to explain to a white belt but then a brown belt took over.  I tried to break it into steps. 1) one leg steps forward. 2) the opposite arm, hand touches the mat parallel to the front stepping foot but body width apart. 3) once the arm and leg were lined up on the mat, the other arm shot under the arm pit 4) roll over the shoulder. This part of class ended before the white belt had mastered any of it.

The side mount to full mount.  Great move. I emphasized to the white belt in using body weight against an opponent. ” Cien kilos.

Reference the guillotine defense # 1, I didn’t understand this until the third time it was taught.  An important point to remember was that the guillotine choke defense #1 has to be executed immediately.  Once the attacker wrapped the arm around the neck and BEFORE the hips came forward, that was the window of opportunity. If the hips came forward, it was too late for that defense, then one would have to move on to guillotine choke defense #2.

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Lately, free time was anything but routine. This week in Jiu Jitsu, I was able to attend advanced grappling. The focus of the class was foot locks and heal hooks, which were techniques on breaking the foot and ankle. As I heard the words of the Professor, I knew the class was going to be hard on the feet and ankles. I paired up with a gentle purple belt and a white belt.  A late arrival, a purple belt, paired up with me.It didn’t go well. I tapped myself out more than I had ever done before.  The ankles and feet were sore for a few days after and I did retain a lot. I felt that I was being pushed to the limit on every technique. I didn’t do any exercise or stretching for a few day afterwards. On the positive side, I have a very good understanding of heel hooks and I will never forget this day.

This week in fundamentals, we learned how to pass the guard. I had struggled with this move during sparring, and I believe other blue belts struggle too.  When sparring against an experienced jiu jitsu opponent, passing the guard shouldn’t be easy. Because I would aggressively try to force this move,  I was triangle choked and arm bared. I know that when I was using to much strength, I wasn’t following jiu jitsu philosphy.  Sometimes, I just couldn’t break the leg grip.   What to do?   I needed the legs to open in order to pass the guard.  I should have stopped attacking and play defense.  Posture back and make the opponent, whose in offense, the guard, make the moves.  Strip the grip. Wait for them to open the legs then execute the move. This move would require some patience. Passing the guard wasn’t an easy move against a knowledgeable jiu jitsu opponent.

So, with Passing the guard technique, it was important to know of pre passing the guard strategy, defense against offense.  Also,  It wasn’t necessary to grab the collar duing passing the guard. Chopping the thighs was a safer technique and then stacking. I felt grabbing the collar was getting me choked out or stuck.

Remember:

1) Offense verses Defense. When in the opponent’s guard, make the opponent work a move. The more they attempted a move, the more likely the legs would open.

2) In a street fight, use strikes to the head to trick opening of legs. Pass the guard.

As we worked on a gun disarming technique where an attacker pressed a gun into the abdomen of the victim, I had a flash back. I remembered having a gun thrusted into my gut. It wasn’t a robbery but a case of mistaken identity. I didn’t know any Jiu Jitsu back then.

Back in 1998, I was living at Morton Towers on Miami Beach, Florida. I like 50% of everyone here was from somewhere else. I was escaping from bad winters. I made a friend at work that lived in the building. On the weekends and after business hours, he was working towards getting his private detective license. To get the hours he needed, he was given Private Investigation work of medical disability fraud. He said that the work was in Homestead, which was far from Miami Beach., in poor neighborhoods. He had to get video of the person doing work or play that their disability would not be able to do, like mowing the lawn or working out at a gym. He would have to sit in his car with tinted window with a video camera that could get video from a far distance. At his day job at lunch time, he said that it was a dangerous work.

After work as I drove to my parking spot at Morton Towers, I noticed his car was parked there. On occasion, I would drop by his apartment for a drink.  There were a few things I liked about his place. He lived on the 12th floor, a spectacular view of Bay, fully stocked bar, and cable television with every channel. I was barely surviving on my pay and it was a stressful job. I hadn’t know him very long. It was relaxing and fun to have a few drinks, watch tv, talk, and order a pizza. So, being bored at home, I headed to the elevators to drop in on my neighbor, unannounced.    

As I stood in front of the door to his apartment, I knocked on the door. I was absolutely clueless for what was about to happen. I waited a minute, then the door opened. I felt a cold metal object pressed deep into my stomach. It all happened in a second. I looked down. There was a gun barrel pushed into my gut. I looked up. I was shocked. It was my friend from work. He looked crazy. Unshaven. rapid breathing. His eyes were dilated, blinking fast. I thought he may have been on something.  It took a second to realize what was going on. I slowly raised my hands. I calmly spoke, ” It’s me. Your friend from work. Don’t shoot me. Your friend, I live on the fourth floor! ” Without removing the gun from my gut, he looked past me down the corridor. He then removed the gun and said to come in. He then said that his cover was blown. He was discovered while filming and that he was shot at. He looked nervous and scared. He thought that he was followed home. He was telling me this as we walked to the living room. He dropped the gun on the coffee table and that was when a bullet fell out of the chamber. At that point, I realized how close I was to being shot.

From the floor, I picked up the bullet and sat on the couch. Until five minutes earlier, I hadn’t ever seen a real hand gun.  I didn’t know anything about bullets but the bullet on floor didn’t look like a normal bullet. I asked him what kind of bullet was this?  He said it was a special bullet. He called the bullet a cop killer bullet. I thought that was an illegal bullet.  This bullet was meant for a body shot. Once it entered the body, it would bounce around inside the rib cage causing more damage. 

The way we were practicing the technique was different from reality. The gun was aggressively thrusted into my abdomen, almost pinned in place.  With distracting talk, it would give a chance to execute the technique. Could I slap the hand away before he pulled the trigger?   

helio statue at valiente brothers

 

Respect and Honor.