Posts Tagged ‘Iyengar yoga’

Jiu jitsu doesn’t just train the body, it also trains the mind.   Training the mind takes many years of consistent practice.

Last Friday, Pedro jr. talked about the mental states of a true warrior,  equanimity, alertness, and readiness.

Equanimity means mental calmness under stress.  Equanimity also means maintaining mental stability, not over celebrating, nor be overcome with grief; ideally in the center.  If the mind entered an extreme emotion, the mind should quickly try to get back to center.   A palm tree, flexible in a hurricane.

Alertness.  In my own words, perception of reality, freeing the mind of chatter and distraction.   Clearly observing the opponent in front of you.  Observing the environment your in.  In an attack situation, being able to evaluating the options based upon immediate observation.  Sparring, knowledging what the arms and legs are doing.

Readiness. Train.Train..Train… Repetition equals muscle memory.

There are ways outside of jiu jitsu where you can improve your mental states.  Equanimity,  alertness, and readiness can be developed by consistent yoga practice.  Yoga means union of the mind and body.   Finding the right yoga studio is a problem.  Stay away from big gyms that treat yoga like an aerobics class. That I don’t recommend.   I recommend the study of the eight levels of yoga called The Eight Limbs. If the yoga studio never heard of this, eight limbs, don’t return. Find another place. Meditation classes can also be helpful to jiu jitsu students.  Finding a good meditation teacher isn’t easy as well. I recommend the study of the Eight Fold Path of Buddha. It’s really scientific and not religious. It’s similar to the eight limbs. Neither the eight limbs nor the eight fold path will contradict your beliefs but improve it. I’m not going to give more information because it’s something you need to research and worthwhile. Maybe your ready or maybe not? Take the time to see for yourself.

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Tuesday, we worked on the half guard from the bottom. It was a good class. At the end of class, Professor Pedro brought to the attention of the class that if we missed a lesson or didn’t get it, the lessons will repeat in other classes during the week. That is good to know. In the future, I may take the same class three times in the same week if I think it is important enough. We did work on hand position from the side to the guard but not as much as I would have liked. I am looking for a solution for my weak guard. Everytime I had someone in the guard during sparring, I get passed. I would like to improve my guard. So, what makes a good guard? What should I look out for? How do I stop a pass? The focus of my sparring is purely defense. I don’t care if I submit anyone at this point. Right after Tuesdays class, I started feeling the effects of the flu.

This week, I ran into my friend that brought me to Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He had stopped training about seven months ago because of a shoulder injury, which needed surgery. It is a fact, injuries are going to happen during your study of jiu jitsu, and sometimes outside of jiu jitsu, a car accident for example. The question will be how are you going to handle your injury and will you come back? Injuries should always be avoid while sparring; however, I am thankful to the guy that injuried my shoulder which was in the advanced grappling class. I hated yoga before. My wife would try to get me to go for the last ten years, and I wouldn’t. That all changed with my shoulder injury. I became a believer of Iyengar Yoga when my shoulder became healed. Yoga also helped in fixing my back. I had terrible posture and now not so bad. I do jiu jitsu three times a week and yoga two times. I am able to let go of anger and forgive without expecting any apology.

When you practice jiu jitsu you have to play SMART! Follow some self rules.

1) Tap..Tap often. Jiu Jitsu is a mind game not a power game.

2) Don’t go full speed unless you talk it out with your sparring parnter. Note, some students want full speed.

3) Beware the dojo drifter. A guy you never seen before wearing a rented gi with white belt who is there for sparring only.

4) Choose your partner before class starts. Someone you know is good.

5) Warm up with a few push ups and do light stretching before class, a must. Coming in cold is just asking for trouble.

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With proper hip throwing technique, I consistently lifted a 260 lbs off the floor at least five times and I didn’t injury myself.  Because of all the intense stretching, iyengar yoga,  I have been doing outside of bjj twice a week, the stretching is now paying off in reducing injuries. I also have a lot less back pain.  A general observation is that I noticed that when I go beyond three times a week of jiu jitsu practice, my body starts getting chewed up or injured.

This month, we are working on jiu jitsu ground defense.  We learned keeping the elbows in and the hands cupped under the chin. If you’re not taking advanced grappling, your sparring game will develop slowly.

On Friday, A dermatologist took two biopsies, one from my face and one from forehead. a little smaller than a quarter-inch square.  Sort of shocked by it all. I tan easy.  The results will be in next week.

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I am on the second week of the Gracie Diet, the second phase in week.  No snacking, four and half hours between meals, and food combination awareness.  The hard habit to break is the American wheat and potato combination.  example, fries with hamburger or chips with a sandwich.  I broke down one day, but tried to observe how I felt.  The next day, I got back to the plan.

One thing that I am enjoying is a five banana smoothie which is addictive and very healthy.  After consuming, I can go from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, without snacking, no problem.  See you tube video on benefits of eating bananas.

Health Benefits of Bananas – Enjoy the World’s Most Popular Fruit

Note, you should brush your teeth or rinse your mouth after consuming. I know of a professor’s child, whose on the Gracie Diet, that had a cavity. Fruit has sugar.

Rotting bananas can be frozen but they have to be unpeeled first. I use bags from empty frozen vegetables to store them.  The frozen bananas need to be thawed so you can put them in the refrigerator the night before.

One thing I am thankful for is Iyengar yoga, yogarosa.com,  which has helped heal my shoulder. I can now reach above my head for an empty glass from the cabinet without any pain. Anyways, I am looking forward to getting back to training.

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I need to stop over thinking and just do. I’m worried about getting injuried and stepping out of my comfort zone to push myself to a higher level. I felt that I needed time off to get my head straight and to heal. I went through something like this, taking time off to prepare myself mentally for tougher competition, because I moved to a higher weight class in judo. I left for a while but I learned that I missed judo competition and would have comeback but moved.

One thing that I remember about my judo training as a kid, many, many, many years ago, which kept me coming back, I used to train with my best friend who was stronger and smarter than I was. We were in tremendous competition against each other all the time. I rarely beat him. That was the best training for competition and for life.


This week I started Iyengar yoga classes to try and fix my shoulder, old sports injury. I prefer yoga over physical therapy. I am doing it twice a week. I am not a fan of yoga. I find yoga painful and difficult. What exactly is Iyengar Yoga? Iyengar Yoga is a type of yoga that uses props to get you where you need to be. Because of Iyengar's frail health as a child, he created a special type of yoga that uses props. Today, he is one the most recognized yoga teachers in India.

If your in South Florida area and your interested in learning yoga correctly, I recommend Iyengar yoga at Yoga Rosa of Hallendale, Fl. See web page. yogarosa.com. Most of the teachers have been to India and many years of experience. It is intense, or as intense as you want yoga to be. What I like about Yoga Rosa is that is all it is, yoga. No free weights. No spinning cycles. No aerobics. It's not a gym. That is something I like about Valente Brothers also. You go there to study Jiu Jitsu. It is not a gym either.

Getting back to the Gracie Diet, I am on chapter five of the Gracie Diet Book. I started the log book chart in that chapter. I would like to dive right in but I don’t have a firm grasp of the rules and they recommend doing a three phase in. Start with small changes. I learned that I snack all day long.

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