Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Assessing the Damage

I got on the scale this morning and I figure I put on about 5 pounds over the last week or so. Not great but not terrible. We had class on Thr and I covered BJJ. There was an interesting mix in class on Thr, actually it was my first all girls class :) AQ was invaluable as a training partner for one of the newer girls to the club. We also had a new face in Judo, both very positive signs.

I have not trained as hard as I wanted to the past week, but I got a few good days in.

I got a garage workout in over the weekend (which was a killer), no class on Mon due to the weather (but lots of shoving), pre-class kettle bell workout on Tue followed by Tue BJJ and a light kettle bell workout Wed night. As I start heading into the new year I need to really up the intensity of my workouts to get ready the the tournaments I want to do. Getting to more classes is going to be extremly difficult so I need to make the classes I do get to really really count. I also need to buckle down on the off night training routine and make it a MUST due on non-class nights.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tue Training

I had 4 people in class on Tue including a cameo appearance from an old friend that would be a strong addition to the club. Hopefully he continues to come on a regular basis and gets back into the game. I was also very happy to see Lori in class. BJJ will help her overall game. She is aggresive and has good instincts, we just need to polish a few things. She also provides a much needed girl to guy ratio. I had her working with Sarah most of the night and Sarah did a good job helping her through a few sticking points. Hopefully the new faces from last night will stick and some of the irregulars will join the ranks of the regulars. We could have a really nice mix of size, rank and gender if I can get everyone in on the same night.

Onto class, I did a quick review of the double lapel choke from closed guard, then moved on to the scissor sweep followed by the scissor sweep to triangle setup. Overall the class did well with it and saw how the three different positions tied together. The scissor to triangle setup was the most difficult of the three positions but I am glad I got it in and for the most part they did well with it. I might be teaching this Thr, if I do i will show the hip bump sweep series. I want to get the hip bump sweep in now because you need it as plan B to the scissor sweep when the person is leaning backwards and you cannot get the off balance to the front.

I like to show positions and moves in a logical order and this is a perfect example of various moves and positions that naturally flow into one another.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mon Marathon

I woke up this morning feeling every bit of Sun's workout, yesterday's lunch time training and ALL of last night's BJJ/Judo classes. It was the good kind of soreness and it reminds me of the work I have to do to get ready for the upcoming tournament session.

During class last night Ray showed some fundamentals and I helped one of the newbie's through the moves. The newbie did one Judo class over the weekend and this was her first BJJ class.

Side note - we need gi pants that fit skinny people or a pair of white sweat pants (no offense Ray, but she was swimming in your old gi pants).

Class was good and it is always good to review the fundamentals. I think for some this may have been the first time some of the moves were broken down with such detail. For me, it always helps to be reminded of the finer points so it was helpful all the way around. I will also use yesterday's closed guard gi choke as my segue into tonight's scissor sweep class. I think it helps if people understand why the fundamentals are so important and how they can used to set up the next positions.

Training was good, I had a great set with Ray. I started from a bad position and was able to work back into the game. I hit a sweep with a second effort but I dont think he would have gone over if he was not already run down from the kettle bell class before hand. After I got the sweep I tried to press the action but I couldnt make anything happen. I got close to points but he defended every effort. It was a really good set for me despite losing by a lopsided score. I will have to ask AQ to up the intensity of the next kettle bell class :)

Good set with Peter, I got a lazy when I was in his half guard and he hip bumped me over. He is progressing quite nicely.

Also had good sets with Lex and Sarah. Sarah keeps going for the scissor sweep and keeps making the same mistake. I keep promising to do a class on it and I keep not getting around to it. ---> I will be sure to cover the position tonight and point out the key detail of the sweep that makes it work. <---- (Shameless, unfair, not nice way to boost class attendance? Yes, but what can I say.)

Fun set with Lex as well. He had a good attempt at moving into x-guard but I was able to stop it by grabbing head control. Lex....STOP GIVING UP HEAD CONTROL!!!!!

Judo Class
Ray put us through some tough drills working on speed and conditioning. He pushed us but didnt over do it. I think the pace and drills were just right for where the class is right now conditioning wise. No doubt the drills will get more difficult and more intense as we get closer and closer to tournament time. I had a good standup set with Ray and others. I didnt score at all against Ray, but I stayed aggressive the whole time and got some good attacks in. I was also happy with being able to do all three randori sets. I was tired coming into BJJ and exhausted after the drills so I had to knuckle down for randori.

A Dangerous Habit

I think it has been 2 or maybe two and a half years since I got hit with MRSA. For those of that dont know what MRSA is you need to read up on it. MRSA is basically a super strong antibiotic resistant infection. Usually starts as an infected pimple around the hind quarters (but can be anywhere on the body). The infection is often found in the grappling arts because of the close body to body contact.

My do I bring this up? Well it has come to my attention that some people in our gym (guys and girls) are leaving their Gis at the gym to "air out" rather than bringing their gear home to be washed. Not only is this gross, but it is dangerous. MRSA is no joke, when I got MRSA I was in my early 30s and in prime physical condition. I was laid up in the hospital for over a week, out of training for a few months and I still have a hole in my leg from where the doctors had to cut into the infection to let it drain. I am not talking about a pin hole either, the scar is about the size of a half dollar now, but at the time the infection the area was the size of a cantaloupe, the hole was the size of a dollar coin and about 1/2 inch deep. I caught the infection early because I knew what to look for, but death from MRSA is absolutely NOT unheard of so dont F-around with it. There are other skin infections that are less dangerous but unsightly and annoying that no one wants either.

Hopefully I have made my point. It is not just about how much YOU sweat during class, you are rolling with everyone else in class too. You might not even get an infection, but your Gi could have something on it that you pass to someone else next class.

A note on ring worm:

I know someone that INSISTS they are immune to skin infections. Well the fact is no one is immune to ring worm because it is not a virus it is a fungus. Your body might be able to fight it off because your immune system is strong that day, but it does not mean you are immune. It just means you were a carrier for the short period of time when you HAD ringworm and didnt know it. To put it another way, saying you are immune to ringworm is like saying you are immune to bear attacks because you dont get attacked by bears. Sorry it just does not work that way.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lunch Time Workout

I got my lunch time workout in today and I was pleasantly surprised by how well I did. I will probably be dragging during tonight’s class, but I have a starting point to build on.

Garage Workout

I got a desent workout in yesterday. My garage is a detached garage with no heat or electricity so it was pretty cold. I have been slacking on my workouts lately and it really showed yesterday. I am planning on hitting as many tournaments as possible in 2011 so I need to get back in fighting shape. I thought about waiting until the new year, but why wait? I figure if I start back on the workout path now I can knock of a few holiday pounds before I put them on. there are also a few tournaments in Jan and early next year I want to hit so I might as well get a jump start.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Late to my own class

Last Tue I was getting absolutly overwhelmed with work and a "THE SKY IS FALLING" disaster that took an unexpected 3.5 hours to work through. At 3 one of the big dogs asked if I could review some info with him at 5. Even if I could get in and out of there in 10 min I knew I would be late to class. I got Ray to cover for me, but I dont like being late to my own class it really sets a bad example. As it turned out the meeting got moved up to 4:30, but took 40 min so I was still late :(

On the bright side I accepted a NEW JOB!!! I am still working for the same company but I will be in a different role starting Jan 1. This new position will be much more focused on data mining and report building with (hopefully) much less time dealing with ridiculous BS. I am excited and a little nervous at the same time. I am the type of person that needs to switch things up every once in a while and this change was long over due. I dont think this will impact my ability to teach class as there is very little travel invovled but there could be some late nights and that could effect my ability to get in and train. We will have to see how everything plays out, but I am excited no the less.

When I walked in I saw my buddy Mat, Peter and Sarah were already there and Ray was showing grip breaks from the "almost on" straight arm bar. Once I changed and taped up Ray turned the class over to me. I decided to pick up where he left off. I quickly reviewed a few other grip breaks and the theory behind falling toward the legs vs falling toward the head. My preference is to fall toward the head. I also covered my favorate grip break which I consider the answer to all the various grips but one.

After grip breaks we did sets of attacking the back followed by randori sets. It was a good training session but my head was not in the game. Work turned my brain into absolute mush.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

12/7 Tue Class

A very small class on Tue. I think some of the regulars have finals and what not at school so that could explain the light attendance on Mon as well. As 6 o'clock rolled around I was a little disappointed b/c I was the only one in the gym. I to take advantage of the time alone and do a kettle bell workout in the front lobby. I got lots of looks from people walking bye. I figured a little free advertising doesnt hurt. I felt a little weird at first. I workout at the gym all the time, and I run through the neighborhood all the time so why was doing a kettle bell workout in the lobby any different. I am not really sure, but regardless it felt a little weird at first. Perhaps some kind of cross between self consciencness and ????. Not really sure I could place my finger on it but I have certainly doen much much much more embrassing things then working out fully clothed. Anyway I got dress and ready to leave at 6:30 when Peter walked in. I decided to put the Gi back on and give him a class. 6:30 has been his usual time the past few weeks due to his work schedule so I think he got there as soon as he could. We reviewd the half guard sweeps that I consider the "basics" then moved on to the more fancy sweeps. In my head they are my 1,2,3 go to half guard sweeps from the more advanced series. He seemed to get number 1. 2 and 3 will take more partice, which is exactly what I told him would be the result before I showed him any of the sweeps. I was statisfied with his progress and he will be ahead of the game the next time I how the 1,2,3 combination. I stress that he should use the basic series as his " go to" series until he get more comfortable with half guard. Peter is very coachable and I am glad to have him.

Monday, December 6, 2010

12/6 BJJ - Judo


Small class tonight for both BJJ and Judo. I was a little disappointed by the BJJ turnout, I was really hoping to have all the Tue regulars plus some of the Mon night regulars. As it was it was just Mike and I for the first part of class with Peter showing up late. I stuck with the plan and showed half guard sweeps. Since the class was so small I was able to cover a lot of matterial in great detail. Both Mike and Peter did really well with everything. We started with the basic underhook back grabs and underhook sweeps by shooting in deep and grabbing the foot. Like I said they did really well with everything so I gave them a sneak peak at the fancier half guard sweeps we will be covering tomorrow. At the beginning of class Mike expressed an interest in competeting at various BJJ tournaments. I support the idea and I think all the BJJ regulars could do well in the tournament setting.

Hopefully I will get a better turnout tomorrow. I am going to start upping the conditioning aspet of class. I want to start getting everyone (including myself) in competition shape.


Also a small class, but with one new comer. He was a green belt and said he did some Judo at Penn State. Alma showed Tai Otoshi, I showed a few basic tutle reversals the person on the bottom can use to turn the tables on the top player. After I showed the reversals we did some turtle attacking and I saw the technique use 3 times! I really love it when I see a TOD (technquie of the day) and I can not remember the last time I saw 3 TODs in one D.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Catch up Post

Nov 29 - Mon BJJ and Judo, nothing particular of note both were good classes. While watching some of the mat work I noticed some people having trouble with the mount so I decided the Tue class would be mount escapes.

Nov 30 - Tue Class - The orginal plan for the Tue class was mount escapes. I had a brand new student show up and I thought about changing things up but decided against it. Mount escapes is often a first class and the elbow escape was the primary mount escape I was planning on showing so I decided to stick to the plan. Things worked out well, the new student did fine and the rest of the class started getting the hang of things. I showed the bridge escape, elbow escape and ankle scrap escape. I emphasized the elbow escape as the best option but I recongize most will use the bump n roll until they get stuffed and need to figure out a plan b. Oldly enough when we started doing simi live training most had the best sucess with the ankle scrape. The ankle scrap is ok, but also has a low ceiling. Unfortunantly the elbow escape is really hard to make work until you get good at it so the position can be frustrating at first. All in all I thought everyone did well with it and in future classes I am going to work the mount position into the class schedule on occasion.

Dec 2 - Thr was a good class but I was not "feeling it". I am not sure why not, Judo was fun I just did not have my fighting spirt. I think all the BS at work was really getting me down. There are lost of potential explainations, my elbow was really hurting me, my knee was bothering me, the mats were a little cold but all of that is really crap. I think work is effecting my more than I like to admit. There are a lot of big tournaments I want to do next year so I need to snap out of it.

Next weeks plan - I am teaching on Mon and Tue. Since I have both days back to back I am going to show some half guard stuff. Half guard is something that takes a lot of classes and a lot of practice. My plan is to show the fundementals on Mon and the cool stuff on Tue. I know I will have more people in Mon's class and probably only beginners in Tue class but I cannot show the cool stuff without showing the fundemental sweeps first. The fundementals are key, without them the cool moves just dont work.

For the more advanced students reading this post, come to class on Mon AND Tue it will be worth it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Friday open Mat

This is going to be a long one so strap yourself in.

One of the Black Belts that has been visiting our club on Thr invited us to his club on Friday for open mat training. Since I had the rare day off I decided to take advantage. I had not met the instructor before but I was immediately welcomed onto the mat when I arrived at the club. Before arriving at the club I was not sure what to expect. Sometimes when you go to a new club you have a bull's eye on your back. I am happy to say everyone at this club was respectful, welcoming, sportsmen like and all around fun to work with.

As I pulled into the parking lot I concidered not tapping anyone because I did not want to be the guy that walks into someone else's club and starts a battle. I quickly realized three things 1) This was not the type of club where I had to worry about causing a "brew ha ha" because I tapped someone 2) They like the marathon training style. For those that dont know what marathon training is, in a nutshell you keep goning until someone quits, 3) I walked in with my gi ready to train and realized everyone was training no gi that day....SURPRISE!!! Since I walked out with my Gi and my belt everyone knew I was a purple belt, but I had no idea what belt most of the other guys were.

I used to train no gi quite a bit and I enjoy no gi, I just dont get a chance to train no gi. Luckily I train with a rash guard so I simply did no gi training with gi pants and a rash guard top. As a side note I have always had a theory that wearing pants in no gi was an advantage. When I wear pants I feel like I have a better grip on my oppenents when they are in my guard. My pants wipe some of their sweat off and makes it a little harder for them to slip away from me. Of course there is the disadvantage of my opponent being able to grab my pant legs but so what, people grab my pant legs all the time in gi training.

On to the sets, I am going to intentionally remember them out of order to avoid insulting anyone that might stumble along this blog at a later date. I had 6 sets in all. I do not know the rank of my oppenents because it was no gi, so I am just guessing.

Set - Shortly after starting this set I felt like my oppenent was probably a white belt. I spent almost the entire set just moving through positions. Throughout the set the buzzer went off over and over and over and over. I think the timer was set to sound at the start of a 5 min round, sound at the 2 min mark, the 1 min mark and the 10 sec mark. I might be wrong about the settings but to me it seemed like it was constantly buzzing. After 1 or two buzzes I tuned the timer out completly. After SEVERAL minutes of moving through various positions I realized we probably had about 3 full 5 min rounds (although it could have been 2). I also realized my opponent was not going to ask to stop or quit without being tapped. So I finished him with an armlock. He went after lots of gulitines and was pretty aggresive. I like the "no quit" attitude and it was fun training with him.

Set - This opponent felt more like a blue belt. He was constantly hunting for ankle locks and constantly trying for gulitines. At one point he was really "giving me" the triangle. When I went for it he immediatly exploded upward, hipped into me and attempted a smash pass. He did this all in one quick explosive motion. I was able to turtle, turn and face and reguard but man he was close to putting me in a very bad spot. He was clearly setting me up by making me think he was exposed for the triangle when he wasn't. He anticipated my move and I was pretty impressed. He had me in a bad spot for a second and he obviously practiced that move over and over in the gym. It will serve him well in the future and I must say, not too many blue belts have the guts to give a purple belt a shot at a triangle. Hell, I dont like to give white belts a shot at a triangle. Again I moved through various positions with him and again after a while went by I realized we had been training for more than 1 set and possibly two sets. He was not going to quit without being tapped and I was starting to tire. I finished him with an arm lock, but it was no easy task. Another fun set against a game opponent with a "no quit" attitude.

Set - Not really sure about the rank of this opponent. He may have been a purple belt, not really sure. He had some good pass attemps and it was difficult to advance on him. Eventually I finished with a head and arm choke but, this was not a set where I was free to move through positions. He had good defense and made me earn every inch.

Set - This guy was bigger than me but not as experienced. It was a fun set and by this time I was a little more mindful of the clock because I wanted to get as many sets with as many different opponents as possible. I worked for an arm drag to back control. From there I was able to finish with a rear nake choke.

Gi Set - There was an ENORMOUS mountain of a brown belt training that day. Initally he was training no gi but he saw I brought my gi with me and asked if I would like to train with the gi. I really appreciated the offer and was happy to oblige.

Side note - That fact that he offered to train with me is a real teastement to the positive atmosphere at this gym. From a BJJ politics perspective - I am a purple belt visiting their gym, he is a Brown belt training in front of the lower ranks at his school. He was at least 240 pounds (although I think close to to 250/260). I had nothing to loose by training with him, but he had a lot to risk by training with me. If he was one of those BIG EGO BJJ types he simply would not have offered to train. Clearly he was not the BIG EGO type and I respect that. There are a lot of schools out there and a lot of BJJ players out there that dont train with lower ranked unknown oppoents because they think if you tap to someone lower ranked then you it is the end of the world. I did not see ANY of the BIG EGO at this school. He welcomed the new challenge and the new player while disregarding the BJJ politicals that so often comes into play. I know that was a long side note, but it was worth pointing out.

Originally I wrote a really long discription about the set with the Brown Belt but after re-reading it I decided to delete it. It was a great set, I am glad he gave me the opportunity to roll with him and I look forward to rolling with him again.

The last set was a no gi match with the instructor. Again, a really fun set and I was really happy to have the opportuntiy. I plan on visiting the school again when I can get out there.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kata Class

I almost forgot about Kata, I have been going the last couple of weeks. Kata is right after my BJJ class and I want to support as many classes as I can. I really dont take criticism well, even constructive criticism it really hard for me. So for me Kata is real mental and emotional challenge.

11/24 Tue Class

Light attendance for the Tue class but I was able to give very focused attention to the folks that came. Ray showed his favorite x-guard entry last night so I built on that during the Tue class. Normally I would not have shown x-guard to this group as they were mostly beginner level white belts but they did really well with it. I stressed that x-guard is an advanced position that takes time to develop so they should not get frustrated if they cannot make it work right away.

After warm-ups we did some arm drag drills and butt scoot drills to help with the setups we reviewed on Mon. We made a few adjustments along the way and there was significant improvement from the beginning of the drills to the end of class. I did not spend as much time on the 2 or 3 techniques leading up to the x-guard entry, instead I quickly reviewed them and then focused on the entry itself.

For those not in either class the x-guard entry we were using was from the butterfly guard with a cross collar grip. Straighten one leg underneath of your opponent, jump your butt in, pull your leg back up to your body, swim your arm under the leg to pull the leg onto the shoulder andddddd X-GUARD. Wow as I re-read that description I realize how terrible it is and how much more complicated it is then my discription.

Anyway, there are a lot of little details that you need to get right to make the entry work so we broke them all down and drilled each little step. By the end of class they looked pretty good and I am betting we will see a few x-guards next week. For sweeps and attacks I kept it very very basic. I showed how to come up when the person let's their weight go to the back corner and I showed how to stand up in base from x-guard. I also showed the fine details of how to make the x-guard work, where to place the feet, how to off balance ect. I would have liked to have shown more actually sweeps but they needed the foundation of the position before they could make the fancy stuff work. Now that they have a base to build off of they should pick up the sweeps very quickly.

As an extra incentive to encourage them to keep coming (and perhaps entice a few others to start coming) I showed a little bit of x-guard defense. Normally I dont show how to defend against a technique right after I show it because it stifles the attacker too much. However, in this case I think you really need to understand what the person on the bottom needs to make the position effective, so learning how to defend when someone is under them should also help them learn how to attack when they are underneath. ---> It will also give them an edge over the people who didn't come to my class when we show x-guard again :) <--- (another shameless attempt to boost class attendance).

11/22 BJJ and Judo

Work has really been a real grind lately, combine that with a baby that has learned how to climb out of her crib and refuses to sleep and what do you get? A miserable grumpy SOB! That is how I feel before class, after class things seem to rest a little and fall back into perspective....

Mon BJJ was very productive, Ray covered his favorite X-Guard entry and all the techniques he runs through on his way to the X-guard entry. Too much to cover in one post but everyone seemed to do fairly well with it. I know there is at least one blue belt trying X-guard every chance he gets so hopefully this class helped him a little. ----> Too bad he was not at the Tue class, we really focused on all of the fine details that make the position work <--- (shameless guilt trip aimed at boosting Tue attendance).

Judo was good as well, lots of good randori. Lately I have started to feel my standup clicking again. Switching back to the high lapel/high collar grip has made a significant improvement in my throwing percentage. I like the double lapel, and I still use it but the high collar feels really good right now.

Special thanks to Lex for posting video of the Mon BJJ and Judo class. I really gain a lot from watching myself train. I might ask Hanukah Harry for a new video camera this year.

Side Note - Lately I have observed people using the techniques I am showing in the Tue class during the Mon/Thr mat work and Judo Newaza sessions. It really makes me feel good when I see someone use a technque I just showed. I saw Mike P use the triangle to mount transition the other day and I saw Sarah use the same triangle to mount transition on Lex's video (you have to look for it, she is in the back part of the room on one of the clips). Anyway, I am glad the people coming are getting something out of the class.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

11/9 and 11/16 Tue Classes


Doing some catching up, for the 11/9 class I showed a variation of the Ude Gatme arm lock from side control. My preference is to NOT come up to the knee on belly Ude Gatme. Instead I stay low in side control and use my body to pressure the arm downward. I showed the attack and how to use it as a transition into the americana when the person bends their arm to defend. Next I briefly reviewed how to use the ude gatme from inside the closed guard and transitioned from there into how to stop the person from choking you when they are on top and in your closed guard. It was a good class with a lot of techniques but I think they took it all in. I felt a litte all over the place but last class someone asked if there were any attacks from on top inside closed guard. I wanted to show why we dont do that and it tied (at least lously) in with the ude gatme from closed guard.


On Mon Ray showed how to sit back into guard when you are turtled and the person is on top of you. As a follow-up for tonight's class I showed how to reguard from turtle with the "tuck and roll and turn toward the opponent" movement. Not really sure how to discribe it, but most would know it when they see it. Basically summersault and spinning like a top on your shoulder blades to turn toward the opponent. I started the lesson with a few drills. We did tight rolls down the mat, followed by wall walking. then we did the roll from every position the person might be in while you are in turtle ie tori in front, on the side, from behind, from the corner. Once the had the idea and the roll down I showed how to use the roll to attack with a triangle instead of just reguarding. From there I showed some details of the triangle, some options for when you cannot quite get into the triangle and a triangle smash defense. Again it was a lot, but I think they technques flowed together fairly well.

Overall I have been a little disappointed with the class size. I expected more people to cross train then what we are seeing so far. That said, I am really happy with the few that are supoprting the class. I can already see their ground game improving, I just hope they dont get discouraged by the small number of training partners. I know if we can push through these first few months classes will begin to grow. It is also really fun to see someone try the technique I showed no Tue in class on Thr!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Last Tuesday was my first class teaching BJJ at Osagame. I have lead various classes on a one off basis in the past but Tue classes represent my first formalized coaching opportunity. Overall I was happy with how the class progressed. I started everyone off with some standard warm-ups. After the warm-ups I took a few minutes to explain why we do the warm-ups and what attributes we are trying to develop with each warm-up. I know I get a lot more out of the drills when I understand the "why" behind the drills.

After warm-ups I did a review of Monday's technique (De La Hiva in the Arm). My plan was to do a brief review then move on to a related technique but folks were still having a little trouble making Monday's sweep work so we spent extra time on it. After reviewing the sweep we went on to the omaplate option. Again, there was a little more trouble with the option then I anticipated so we took some extra time.

The related technique I choose to show was the kick over sweep from spider guard where you let one leg come off the arm and kick into the other arm when the person comes in for head control. The two sweeps are very similar in timing, direction and setup so I thought they went well together. That took us to about 7pm. From 7 to around 7:20 I paired everyone up for ground work sets. I only had 4, I considered jumping in to give SB better sets but I decided against it. I wanted to watch everyone roll so I could identify things to address in future classes. All the sets went fine and took us to around 7:23. At 7:23 I answered a brief question from MP then took the last 5 minutes to end with a quick stretch and bow out. We ended exactly at 7:30 which is something I plan on watching very closely. I also like the idea of ending with a stretch, I think it helps prevent injuries and speeds recovery time. Hopefully the class sizes grow as people settle into the new schedule.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Opening Night

This post is going to be a little "all over the place", and maybe a little longggg.

Last night was our first night at the new club. Folks trickled in throughout the night signed the new waivers ect. Everything went very smoothly. The BJJ class was a good size and the Judo class was HUGE. The foam sprung floor got high praises from everyone I spoke to and I am really happy with how it turned out. As more and more people got on the mat the slight springiness of the floor became more apparent. I am convinced the floor will "break in" over time and become even softer as the foam beneath it loosens up. Ray got the tatami's down and everyone helped out with finishing touches to bring everything together. We still have a bunch of weekend warrior type projects, but overall I am very happy with how everything is coming together.

My long time friend Matt Reid showed up and joined the club as well. I am really happy he decided to get back on the mat. He will be a great addition to our club. Matt got me started in BJJ and has been one of the biggest victims of "Rank Politics" I have ever seen. As he gets back into the game, gets back into BJJ shape and gets his timing back he will be an absolute monster on the mat. I suspect he will move up very very quickly.

Another notable was one of the Brown belts on the mat last night. I am really glad he decided to come out and train last night. I dont think people realize how hard it is for higher ranked players to come back after a long layoff. They really put themselves out there and it takes a lot of guts. I have a lot of respect for people like that and I hope he continues to train with us.

We had some of the usual cross trainers plus a few new Judo cross over’s which is really encouraging. I honestly believe we have the making of a really stong team and I am excited to watch everyone grow.

Technique - Ray showed the De Le Hiva (in the arm) attacks. This is one of my favorite series of attacks. My plan for tonight’s class is to review the technique shown last night and build on it with a similar sweep. I like the idea of doing a quick review of the previous technique than showing a follow-up technique. My only concern is that there will not be enough time to show and drill the follow-up technique. I will have to see how it goes and make adjustments as necessary.

Judo went really well, the place was packed with familiar faces both from our club and from friends that have moved on to opening their own clubs. That kind of support goes a long way.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Counting the numbers

I spent most of my lunch counting the number of people I think will try BJJ at the new club. There are a few people I know will cross train but most are a question marks. As I sit here writing this post I realize I am spending too much time worrying about it. Hopefully the people that cross train now will continue to cross train and serve as leaders in a growing program.

Thr Class - Last night was open mat followed by Judo. I arrived in time for open mat but did not take full advantage of the time. I got some throws in and I drilled a particular sweep I have been working on, but I cannot say I was really WORKING. I certainly could have joined in on crash pad throws or done a little live training on the ground but I did not push myself. I find open mat is always more successful with a designated leader, at least for me it is.

Judo Class - The TOD was the Hari from the high collar lapel. This is one of my preferred grips and my preferred throw so I enjoyed the work. We then did some Toki Waza followed by randori. I always found it odd that we never did any kind of Toki Waza in BJJ. This is something I may incorpate into my classes. For those that dont know what Toki Waza is, Toki Waza is "your favorite technique". The idea is to give the player a little time to drill whatever they would like to work on.

Often in BJJ we learn a technique, drill it a bunch of times in that class and move on. It is up to each player to try it during training. The problem is most techniques take a lot of reps to make work. As a consequence new players either get smashed several hundred times before figure out what they are doing wrong or they throw out the technique and stick to the few they are already decent at. Toki Waza give you the time and fits to figure out the technique you were shown last week but have not gotten the feel of yet.

Anyway, randori was good. First set was with one of the lighter Black belts. i did well and had some good attacks but nothing spectacular. Second set was the visiting Green belt. He was pretty strong but played too defensively. When I went for my Hari he telegraphed going for the suplex. In response I faked the Hari and when he tried to pull me backwards I simply pushed him down flat on the mat. I figured one or two of those and he would stop sitting on the Hari. Unfortunately (for him), he did not stop so I just kept faking the Hari and pushing him flat. It was a decent set, after a while I tried to thrown other stuff anyway but it was hard with him pulling back so much. Third set was with one of the girls in the club. During open mat I noticed she was practicing her grip fighting and she used those grip fighting techniques against me in randori. I have to say it was messing me up a little. I could use a more work on grip fighting, I know it is important at the higher levels.

Ground work was fun, we did the pin off the trap and roll where yo are facing away from your opponent and you have their arm trapped in your armpit. I found a flaw in my holding technique. Anytime I can find a hole in my game it makes the whole night/week/month worthwhile. It was a small adjustment in how I place my hips but the little things make a big difference.

I had two newaza sets, both were fun, I got some triangles, some arm locks, some sweeps. Nothing really of particualr note.

New Club New Location

By now most of the people following me both publicly and anonymously know the Judo club is moving to a new location. For those of you that didnt know it...the Judo club is moving to a new location :). Last night was the last official night the Judo club trained at Maxercise. While I am sure we will be back for team training, in houses and just "one off" type training sessions it still felt a little weird as we bowed out last night. Maxercise has been good to me over the years but I decided it was time for something different. I will be helping Ray by teaching BJJ on Tue and some Saturdays. I also plan to attend as many classes (both BJJ and Judo) as humanly possible. Just having the numbers in class will help us grow.

About the Club - The location is great. We are offering Judo, BJJ and Kettle Bell classes to start with other programs to come. We are steps from a subway stop and we have a big glass window in the front that is very welcoming. The building is really old so we have been working on it A LOT over the past month to get things "up to snuff". My main area of focus this month has been building a foam sprung floor for the club. Big thanks to the Denver Judo Club for providing detailed instructions on how to build a foam sprung floor. See the links below

So far the floor is coming along exactly as planned. I made a few modifications to the instructions the Dever Judo Club provided and I cannot wait to take some falls on it. Truth be told, I am a little nervous. I really hope it the floor lives up to the hype. After the floor is done there will be plenty of "weekend warrior" project to do.

After class we all went to our favorite watering hole to celebrate the move. I always liked a beer after class, but last night the beer tasted particularly good.

Jumping around a little but, I am a little nervous we wont get enough bodies in the BJJ classes. There are lot's of folks in the Judo club that would benefit from cross training, but I am not sure they will actually make the commitment. The fact is the Judo guys like standup more than ground work. If the BJJ portion of the club is going to be successful we will need to retain the few people that cross train, perhaps convince a few more to cross train, but most importantly attract new people to the club that are primarily interested in BJJ.

I am really hoping the girls in Judo step up and cross train in BJJ. I have always thought the mark of a strong BJJ club is a club with a strong women’s program. A club with no girls or just 1 or 2 girls is usually a snake pit.

I am willing to do what it takes to make the club a success, I can only hope we catch a few break here and there to help us out.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10/25 Judo

Judo was primarily a randori / newaza night. On the feet we did a little Uchi Mata practice before randori. I had more trouble with the Uchi Mata than I should have so I will need to put in a little time on that technique. I prefer the outside Uchi Mata to the inside Uchi Mata. But that is not a good excuse for sloppy technique. I shouldn’t be having trouble with such a basic technique.

Randori was fine, I was not really in the mood for it but I am glad I did it. I had a bunch of different sets but there were only two things that stood out for me. First, one of the other Brown belts has switched to a left sided game. This is great for me because there is a Judo guy on the tournament circut that plays a very strong left sided game. I attempted Yoko Tomo Nage a bunch of times but I didnt really get close on any of them. I need to focus more on the hand movement when I attempt it. I may put in a bunch of right and left sided Yoko Tomo Nage fits. That technique would blend well with my game for BJJ and Judo.

The other stand out was I successfully hit the drop O'Uchi Gari a few different times. I am starting to figure out the technique. For me there are two key points to using it correct.

1 - Understanding when to using it and when to use something else. It is not really a "go to" technique that can be used against everyone. For me it seems to work best against a squared up stance where the person DOES NOT have their arms locked out.

2 - My preference is to hold the lapel on the side I am dropping too and think about driving the point of my elbow directly into the ground while I am dropping. I hold the lapel the entire time to avoid a Hansoko Make. Holding the lapel is probably not as good as let go and grabbing the leg, but it does have the benefit of forcing me to apply the downward pressure through the leg I am attacking. I find when I let go I have a tendency to not apply the pressure correctly which allows Uke to step out of the attack. Lastly, I find I can effective trap the leg by hugging it between my elbow and my body without using my whole arm to grab it. I am not sure if this description makes sense, I hope it does.

Newaza - The Newaza sets were fun, I had a Green belt that was visiting our club. During one of the sets I caught a bent arm lock off the modified trap and roll. When he asked what I did I told him I would show him after class. Ray had me show the technique to the entire class and it went well. Some in the class had a tendency to roll over there sides instead of their shoulders so I tried to emphasize that point while showing the move.

Leave your ego at the door

I felt a little off on Mon. I think the combination of stress at work, not a lot of sleep and not making it to a lot of classes lately may have added up. The TOD was the old school double lapel choke from the mount. I had a little trouble with it because the fingers on my left hand are jacked up. But the trouble I had with the TOD was just the beginning of my troubles for the night.

BJJ - I had 3 training sets. The first was with one of the other Purple belts. I started well getting my sweep when he tried a standing pass and controlling the position by smashing his legs together. I was trying to implement what Xande talked about during his private with us. In my head I was thinking control the position with my hips not my arms and it was working. Then for some reason I started lifting my hips and using all arms. I was THINKING, all hips and USING all arms. I think there was a short circuit somewhere between my brain and my body. It was pretty freaking annoying b/c I was actually thinking, "stop using your arms you idiot, drop your ass and use your hips". O well, it was a good set. He was eventually able to get back to guard and regain hip control. Later in the set I lost elbow discipline and gave my back eventually tapping to a collar choke. I was ticked with myself for making dumb mistakes but I don’t want to take anything away from my partner either. He capitalized and came back form being behind in the set.

Second set was with one of the White belts. The set went fine, he goes for leg locks too often. He would be better off working on positioning then leg locks but that is just my humble opinion.

Third set was with one of the bigger blue belts. His size makes him a real handful, but his technique is improving as well. I tried to get a little fancy at the start and paid for it. He ended up making me give my back and when I tried to regain half guard he got to side control on me. I re-turtled but I did not respect his back attack enough and he sunk his hands into my collar fairly deeply. The set ended just after he got my collar but if he had more time it may have been a problem.

Mon was really not my night but I am glad I want because John reminded the c lass of something I needed to hear. The comment was not directed at me, but I would be wise to heed his advice. He told the class not to fight with emotion, it hurts your training and stifles your progress. Tapping to lower ranks is something people often say is ok to do, but no one likes to do it. I will have a pretty big target on my back at the new club, I need to take my own advice and remind myself I am not invincible. It is ok to have an off day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10/18 BJJ Judo

Mon was a really good class for me, I had a long weekend and I have not had the opportunity to make as many classes as I would like to have made this month. I really needed Mon to blow off some stream.

John covered a pretty standard series of sweeps for when the opponent stands in your closed guard. I like all three and it was a good series for the experience level in the class.

Sets - All my sets were good sets and I felt like I got something out of each set so I was very pleased.

First set was with one of the bigger white belts. I have been playing with different places to put the knee when I do knee on belly. Mon showed me a flaw in what I have been doing. For the past few months I have been positioning my knee on Uke's far hip with my shin cutting directly over the opponents hips. I liked this placement b/c it made it difficult for my opponent to roll in either direction. Oddly enough no one ever bothered to just sit straight up until my white belt opponent last night. That is the great thing about rolling with white belts, since they dont always know the "correct answer" they come up with unusual answers to different situations. So anyway it was good b/c it showed me the old school knee on the ziphod processor(however you spell it) might be best but I am going to experiment with putting it on the floating rib a little before I make up my mind.

Second set ws with an even bigger white belt. He has better ground work than most give him credit for so I always like rolling with him. His size and strenght expose any little mistakes I might be making in positioning and I cannot get away with relying on my strength to make a position work against him. If I am even a little off balance he can throw me clear off of him :). Like I said it was a good set, I got my sweeps and held the positions I wanted.

Third set was with a blue belt. Also a good set, he managed to get behind me with a sit out and he put me on the defense a little when he tried to reverse my turtle. I always enjoy going with him and I see him trying the stuff we work on.

Forth set was with one of the other purple belts. This was a really great set. We really pushed the pace and I was really happy with my fitness level. I was able to keep a very high pace the whole match without allowing my technique to break down. That set alone made up for a whole weekend of wiping noises and sleepless nights.


We did a little work on Hari and using it when the person is driving forward. I had two sets on the feet and two on the ground.

Randori - My randori sets were with Ray and Yoni. The set with Ray was both fun and productive, the set with Yoni was good too. Yoni is a young and very promising Judoka. I think he is around 15 or 16ish but I am not good at guessing age. He has really really good techniques and he is fast. He will be a real handful once he puts on some size. As for now the 50 or 60 pounds I have on him served me well, but in 5 or 6years it will be a whole different ball game.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Princeton Judo Inventational

I went to the Princeton Judo Invitational on Sun. It was a good little tournament that ended up being bigger than I thought it would be. I weighed in at 192 and fought men’s 198 and masters. I wanted to fight 198 and 220 but they dint have any 220 guys. All of their heavy weights were 220+. I have been in a bit of a Judo slump lately so my goal for this tournament was simply, WIN MATCHES! I know it sounds silly because winning matches always the goal, right?

Well not really, not for me anyway. I try to win my Judo matches with throws instead of ground work. I have come to the realization that relying on my ground work to win Judo matches has been holding back my standup a little. In the novice divisions there are lots and lots of bad throw attempts that lead to groundwork. However, in the advanced division most throw attempts are at least "good attempts" and often end up with either a score or an ippon.

Yesterday was different yesterday I was willing to win ugly as long as the result was a win.

Men’s 198 Division

Match 1 - My first match was against a yellow belt that was killing guys in the novice division. He was around 6'5 or 6'6 but very skinny and wiry. I watched him fight I think everyone was underestimating him. At first glance he looked very vulnerable to O' Ochi Gari or Kosoto Gake. But I saw three different people try those throws on him and each ended the same way. He did a "mini sprawl" and used his long arms to leverage the guy over and land him flat on his back. So when we fought my strategy was drop Seio Nage. I surprised him a little with the drop but he didnt go over cleanly. Once on the ground I turned toward him, over hooked his outside leg with my right hand, and blocked his other leg with my left hand essentially double legging him over. Once on top I finished with a pin. I actually get this move quite a bit in Judo. It does not look very technical but I am setting it up and doing the moves in a particular order going for a particular finish. So technical or not it gets the job done. Lex has a video of me on you tube doing this exact move during the Beltsville Open.

Match 2 - Second match was against a Brown belt from Liberty Bell Judo. He was ok, he liked to throw Tai Otoshi from both the right and left side. We were going back and forth for a while before he hit me with a left sided Tai Otoshi. I didnt think it should have been an ippon I thought it was a wazari. The head ref actually called Yuko, but the two side refs called ippon so that was that. The left handers continue to give me trouble, but I am working on a game plan for them. The truth is this was one match were I should have just thrown Hari, Hari, Hari, Hari, instead I was playing to defensively so I deserved to lose.

Match 3 - My third match was against a Shodan. I was watching his other matches and I noticed he played with a weird stance. Most of the time he played a standard left sided stance (great another lefty) but he would occasionally switch to a left sided stance with right sided grips. I also notice he didnt really attack, instead he waited for his opponent to attack and then he would drop his ass and counter them backward. I was not having any of that countering crap so I decided right off the bat, Hari and no Uchi Mata. Everything was going to be drop Seio, Tomo Nage and Yoko Tomo Nage. When the match started he went right into his standard left sided stance so I went for the Yoko Tomo Nage I have been working on specifically for lefties. It actually worked perfectly!!! I dropped in, he lowered his base and then his back leg popped out from under him and he spun right to his back. The only problem was they didnt give me a score for it, not even a Yuko! To make matters worse while I was waiting for the score to be called I didnt get up and get on top of him so I missed my opportunity to pin. I was pissed but would not be deterred. I spent the rest of the match relentless attacking with drop Seio and Tomo Nage. I tried to set up the Yoko tomo Nage again but after the first attempt he played with a very squared up stance and refused to give the far sleeve when grip fighting. At this point I was pretty tired.
Even thought I am describing this as my third match it was really my 5th match of the day. I already had my master division matches at this point. This match was my third match in the mens division. Despite being tired I continued to push the pace and frustrate him. The match finally ended with no score, but I got the decision victory. I thought I clearly earned the decision, I think he had one lame Uchi Mata attempt the whole match.

Masters Division

Match 1 - First match was against a Shodan. He scored a VERY questionable yuko early in the match. I thought the throw started out of bounds and I landed on my stomach. None the less they gave him the small score. He spent the rest of the match playing defense on his feet and literally running out of bounds every time we went to the ground. I had two really good opportunities on the ground but couldnt capitalize on either. I had 1 arm bar attempt from close guard that I turned into a belly down armbar than transitioned into the Jui Gatme turnover. Everything was going perfectly until the end of the turnover when he yanked his arm free (crap). Second opportunity was when he tried to flat turtle. Originally I was attacking his up turtle so he transitioned to a flat turtle thinking he was safe. I immediately tried my flat turtle reversal but I was very rushed. The refs weren't giving me any time on the ground so I really did not have a chance to properly set my position before attempting the reversal. I went for it anyway and I almost got it but not quite. He was really taken off guard by it. After the flat turtle reversal and almost armbar he wanted NO part of the ground. Whenever we went to the ground he would instantly jump up or quickly crawl out of bounds.

This is one part of the rules I really disagree with. If it is a penalty to run out of bounds on your feet it should be a penalty to run out of bounds on the ground. Breaking a hold by going out of bounds is one thing, but sprinting out of bounds to avoid the ground game is an embarrassment to the sport. After all it is a grappling art. He ended up winning 1 yuko (and one shido for stalling) to none.

2nd masters match was against a young guy who was very good. They just found someone willing to fight and made the division even though he was nowhere close to 30. The tournament director asked me if it was ok and I agreed to it. He was very good, I overheard his coach talking about his matches at the junior Olympics.

The only comment I am going to make about this match is that his gi was the stiffest gi I every felt. It took 3 false attacks just to pull it out and I was never able to get the left lapel out. It was like trying to grab a flat piece of cardboard. I am not accusing him of cheating I am just saying….What’s with the stiff gi dude, did you pick that up from the armory on your way to the tournament?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Changing Course

I have been on the weight loss path for quite some time now and I have made significant progress. I am down from 215 to 190 (188 this morning), but I am stuck at in this high 180 low 190 range. Initially I wanted to go all the way down to 175 for Pan Ams but that really means going all the way down to 170 so I can weigh in with the gi on. At this point I have come to terms with the reality...170 is just not realistic. I am already very trim and very fit, I have more fat I could lose, but not 20 pounds worth. Even 15 pounds would be very very difficult.

So I am going to try to climb back up to 198, but I want to do it the smart way. I spent all this time cutting the fat away and I really like my current fitness level so I am not about to "fatten" back up to 198. Instead I am going to try to pack on some muscle pounds. 10 pounds of muscle at 33 is not going to be easy especially while keeping up my fitness level. I am going to need to figure out a workout routine that lets me pack on power without sacrificing fitness. I have not figured it out yet but I am working on a plan....

Monday, October 4, 2010

Philly Judo and BJJ Cup - Competition


I only had one other guy in my division and he was much better than me. He is a left hander with a strong left sided stance. I was talking to Lex and he said this guy has been running through everyone at 198 for a few months now. I am normally very critical of my performance and I often get really mad if I lose to someone I think I should have beaten. That is not the case here, in this case this guy was just better than I am right now. I think if we had 10 matches I would have gone 0-10 against him. I need a strategy to get this guy on the ground and work a ground attack. That is probably my only chance against him right now.


We started out with 2 decent sized purple belt divisions. I we had 3 middle weights and 3 heavy weights. Unfortunately due to various reason one had to drop from each division. That left us with 2 really light guys and two really heavy guys. We probably could have done 1 absolute division if we knew ahead of time, but the lighter guys were a lot lighter so I am not sure how well that would have gone over. Instead we did it best of three style. My opponent was another guy from my club. I really give him a lot of props for stepping up an fighting, it would have been really easy for him to back out and ask for his money back. He also agreed to a best o three rather than a simple one and done.

I was happy with the matches and I won them both. I threw in the first match and pulled guard in the second. I am pretty comfortable pulling guard , but getting a throw and landing on top will always be my primary strategy. This was only my third time ever pulling guard in a tournament. I bet I am one of the few BJJ purple belts that can count the number of tournament guard pulls on one hand. I am not really sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing... :)

Philly Judo and BJJ Cup Ref-ing

Ref'ing - Ref-ing at this weekends tournament went well, I ran a bunch of the kids matches and some of the teens and adults. For me the kids were the most nerve racking. Some kids put a lot of pressure on themselves and they hate losing in front of their parents. I tapped for 1 of the kids on two separate occasions. Both times there was no screaming or caring on by anyone, my decision to tap for the kid was excepted by both the kid, the parents and the coach. I really dont care how much complaining anyone does, I am not letting a kid get hurt on my mat, but it is nice to not have to deal with screaming parents. Oddly enough the kids were the hardest to score, they move so fast and furiously!

The level of BJJ in the kids division was really impressive. There where armbars and triangles everywhere. One of the kids was really really good. He was one of the smaller kids in the division and he ran through everyone. I think he was around 9, and if he keeps at it he will be a total monster in 10 years. Thank goodness for masters divisions!

I had a few people disputing calls in a couple of teens and adult matches but for the most part I think I got most of the calls. Ray said I got one of the back mount calls wrong, and someone else disputed a guard pass call. Overall I was happy, I gave some points too quickly but I dont think any of my calls questionable calls changed the outcome of any matches.

Philly Judo/BJJ Cup

This is going to be a long one.....

This past weekend was the Philadelphia 1st annual BJJ and Judo cup. Liberty Bell held the tournament as a Judo only tournament last year. This year Maxercise and Liberty decided to get together and run a BJJ tournament concurrently with the Judo tournament. I thought it was a great idea, combining saves money and spreads the costs over more students. It also (hopefully) advocates the benefits of cross training between the two sports. For my part I ref'd some of the BJJ matches, competed in BJJ and competed in Judo. Overall I think the tournament was a big success.

On the tournament itself

What we did right

Combining forces and forming alliances with the Judo community. I am sick of the political bull. I am convinced that praticing both is the best way to training.

Making accommodations for competitors in both Judo and BJJ. Both sides did what was necessary to make sure players were not running directly from one mat to another and no one was DQ'd for not showing up to their match b/c they were in the middle of another match.

Price was very reasonable, I think $40 to enter plus $20 for each additional division. So for me it was $60.

The rules were very clear - BJJ = CBJJ rules, Judo = standard USJA rules. If you want to compete you need to know the rules.

Location - Easy to find, clean, temperature controlled AND it had showers!

What we did wrong

I dont think we really did anything "wrong" but I did make three observations for improvement.

1) The Judo side of the tournament had a lot more competitors and they were still able to finish about 2 hours ahead of BJJ. I am not really sure why, but I suspect we had more down time between matches. That said there may be an opportunity to further educate some folks on how to run the tables from a bracketing and division management perspective. Basically, a 101 on how do you run a mat with as little deadtime as possible. Speaking for myself, I have never put together a bracket or decided who would fight when so when decisions had to be made those decisions took extra time.

Side Note: BJJ had Gi and No Gi, but I still think Judo had more total matches.

2) We ran Judo kids, teen and adult at the same time we ran BJJ kids, teen and adult. If we mix up the order it might encourage more cross competition and there would be less running back and forth between sides of the gym. My recommendation would be run

Judo BJJ
Kids Teen
Adult Kids
Teen Adult

3) We need to take the other BJJ and Judo tournaments running at the same time into consideration. This tournament conflicted with the NY no-gi open. October is packeted full of tournaments, but we may have gotten more BJJ competitors if it was on a different weekend.

Over all I think the tournament went very well and I hope it turns into an annual event I can attend for many years to come.

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Second First Post

I decided to take down all of my previous posts. I didn't delete them they are saved in an "edit" mode. I re-read a lot of my old posts and I decided to take my blog in a different direction. My future posts will be more focused on what we are learning in class, what challenges I am having and what my plans are to overcome the challenges.

I will continue to publish how I am doing in my quest to lose weight. I left up my post on what my strategy has been and it is relativly unchanged. Right now I am stuck at 190ish. My next milestone is holding 185, the long term goal is 175 by Apr. I want to see if I can compete at Pan Ams at 175, so I actually need to get down to 172ish to account for the Gi.

My standard disclaimers:

I do not pretend to have invented any moves. Sometimes I will write about moves I came up with on my own. When I write that I mean, no one showed me that particular movement but it does not mean I invented the move. I have no doubt that someone, somewhere has probably already done the move I stumbled upon.

This is a record of my training, if you dont like what I am writing please feel free to read something else.

Please post your feedback whenver you have something to say. I welcome feedback, advice or just random comments.

I do not claim to know everything or be an expert in anything. What I write is just my opinion.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How I lost the weight?

I have had a bunch of people ask me how I lost the weight and I generally respond with "eating right and exercise". Too be honest I did not really notice a difference in the mirror until my daughter showed me a picture of the two of us taken around the time of her winter dance. I was right around my peak weigh of 215 at the time. I guess I just fluffed off the "what have you been doing?" question because have not reached my goal yet and I could not see the difference in my appearance. The truth is when I think about everything I have been doing I have really been busting my butt, LITERALLY! Below is the outline of my weight loss routine. I am not an expert, I know there are a bunch of theories, I know there are people that say you should do "this or that". I am not claiming this is the magic formula, I am just saying this is what I am doing.

Workouts -

I start my day with a very quick and very light exercise while I am waiting for the shower to warm up. I do a set up 100 incline pushups against the bathroom counter top. This is not really a workout, I am just trying to get the blood flowing. It takes about a minute or so and the incline is fairly high. I read somewhere that even a very moderate amount of exercise will boost your resting metabolism for hours after exercising. It makes sense to me, so I added it to my routine. I did have to work my way up to 100 so there is some level of difficulty involved.

Using the same moderate exercise boosting your metabolism theory I started walking the stairs at work. I walk from the 10th floor of my building down to the first, back up to the 18th, then back down to the 10th. Again, not really "working out" but I do get the blood flowing. By the time I get back to my desk I am just barely starting to break a sweat. I cannot go to meetings looking like a sweaty pig so I need to watch my pace.

Lunch time workout - I try to get in my lunch time run whenever possible but it is highly dependent on my workload. Once or twice a week is about all I can squeeze in. Recently I upped the intensity by adding jump squats and incline pushups at the mid-way point. The run is not super long, but it gets the job done in the time allotted.

BJJ and Judo - I train twice a week on Mon and Thr, each night is BJJ followed by Judo. Lately I added the team training on Tue for a third night, but I am going to back that off to an every other week schedule. I can add it back in every week when tournaments approach.

Off nights – On nights I am not training I try to get my kettle bell workout in. Try as a may life often gets in the way, but I do what I can. I probably get the kettle bell workout in 1 – 3 times per week depending on what else is going on. Recently I upped the intensity by adding free squats between exercises.

Eating Right
A big part of my new eating habits revolve around preparing my food in advance. On Sundays I cut up and smash a few Avocados for freezing. I scoop the Avocado into an ice cube tray for freezing. I use a baby food tray because it has a cover and the cube sizes turn out to be a perfect serving size. Basically I use the Avocado as a substitute for other spreads such as butter, mayo and blue cheese. I also prepare eggs on Sundays, I pour egg beaters into a muffin tray and bake them for 15- 20 min. Each morning I have one muffin sized omelet on a mini bagel with Avocado spread. In addition to the Avocado and eggs, I make fruit smoothies for the week and freeze them in individual thermoses. 1 have one fruit smoothie per day around 3pm.

Lunch – No more chicken cheese steaks and no more garbage. For the most part I have 1 tuna pack with crackers, 1 Avocado cube and a little bit of mayo. This is a major change and a major decrease in my calorie intake.

Dinners are light and I try not to have seconds. This is also a major decrease in calorie intake. Cutting out seconds cuts my dinner calories in half, or almost in half. This was a hard one for me, the trick has been adding a fruit or salad before every meal. Adding a big serving of salad leaves me with a fuller feeling cutting down the urge for seconds.

Drinking calories – I don’t drink a lot of soda was not an issue. However, I did significantly cut down on drinking beer. I am not a big drinker, but I would have a beer at night before bed. Now I substitute a mixed drink for the beer. Not sure if this really helps since I am adding a sugary juice, but like I said before this is what I am doing.

Setting a goal and having a reason – I have a long term weigh goal that will take several more months to hit and a short term goal that should only take another few weeks. The trick for me is making the goal time bound and having a good reason to go after the goal. Setting my weight goals based on upcoming tournaments works best. It just is not enough to say “I want to lose weight”, for me it has to be “I am going to lose XXlbs by XX date because xxxxx”.

Starting weight 215
Weight at the time of this post 187
Goal 175 by Apr 2011