Friday, December 30, 2016

Game Planning the New Year

Tomorrow will mark one week off from training / working out and I must admit that I am thankful that I stuck to the plan. My muscles and joints feel great and I've had some pretty good nights of sleep. As painful as it may sound time off cross training or ass to couch is actually a good thing. I still plan to rest physically for two or three more days but yesterday I decided to get back to work  on Jiu Jitsu mentally. I sat down and did a little video analysis of my training and competition footage as well as reviewed a few pages from my technique journals. This helped me determine my weak areas and where I need to improve in order to meet my goals for 2017. What I came up with are not New Years Resolutions per se, but a solid (in my opinion) game-plan / roadmap for 2017. While many of the items are aimed towards progressing in Jiu Jitsu it also includes things that I will need to do off the mats such as diet / nutrition, weight training, and reading. 
One of the primary things that I wish to accomplish in 2017 is growing our podcast in both reach and number of listeners. I released Work Play Obsession, Life and Jiu Jitsu approximately 2 months ago with the intent to spread the benefits of Jiu Jitsu to whoever had 10 -15 minutes to listen to those who train and experienced positive changes (self confidence, weight loss,  self defense, etc.). I also wanted to kill some of the stereotypes and take advantage of the unique environment we share in DC, Maryland, and Virginia where everyone trains together regardless of affiliation.  Part of my plan is to travel more often, meet more people, and conduct more interviews all working to produce better products for the listener. Spread the word, we produce one episode a week and can be found on iTunes, Soundcloud, Google Play, Stitcher, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 
From a training perspective I must admit that I have become quite intrigued by the leg lock game. Attacking the legs and leg lock set ups are two areas that I plan to increase training on in 2017. Opposite to many of the fanboys that have jumped on the Gordon Ryan / Gary Tonon bandwagon I prefer to watch Josh Hayden (oddly enough another Tom Deblass guy) and study the 80/20 leg surfing system. It will be interesting to see how successful I am integrating these components into my current game-plan / training schedule. 
Straight ankle locks, knee bars, and toe holds are fun in the Gi but to access the full compliment of leg submissions No Gi training and drilling are must. Cross ashi garami inside sankaku, honey hole, 4/11, knee knot, saddle, etc. all require reaping which is illegal in most Gi competitions and therefore are positions unfamiliar to most guys who train predominately in the Gi. Time to get back to the fun of No-Gi while learning some new positions / submissions and shoring up my defenses in this area. 
Don't want to get into my competition game-plan but lets just say that it is complete and I hope to compete as much as possible this year. Last year was a let down to miss out on Masters Worlds and the plan is not to have a repeat non performance. It will come down to work / family commitments and making the time to dedicate to serious competition training camps. 
Anybody out there have developed their plans for next year? I'd like to hear what some other people plan to focus on or hope to accomplish this year. Comment below or hit me up on social media. 
Happy New Year and Keep Grinding. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Open Mat Observations

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and soon to be Happy New Year. The winter holiday break is the perfect time to let the body recover. Consider it a reward after a long year of training and competing and a time to take a little Jiu Jitsu  break. Of course for those people who truly need to train during this time there are open mats to be found and other aficionados to train with at their schools. I decided to take some time off like everyone else but still forced myself to three open mats just to work up a little sweat. These three open mats led me to my ramblings today. I've had some discussions with a few friends after these experiences and I felt like some people were truly losing the opportunities holiday open mats are meant to provide.   So what do I mean by "open mat". I am not talking about a paid drop in class at an academy when you are traveling, training at an affiliate academy during a normal class, or an "open mat" session that you attend regularly with a consistent group of guys all working towards a common / identified goal. I am talking about any open mat event held during a holiday, a charity event, or post seminar open mat event.   I personally consider open mats to be pretty low key and to me it is a failure if I either submit someone or use the same technique more than once with the same opponent. Regarding submissions, submitting someone is not solely my failure. My goal is to catch the submission and as soon as the other person begins to defend in any manner I transition to another position. Fighting or forcing a submission at an open mat is a "No Go" for me. The focus is position, transition, and almost constant movement for mat conditioning.    So when do I work finishing? At my home gym and during competition training. My team knows why we are there and the unwritten rule during competition training its go hard or go home.   Technique wise, if I hit a sweep or pass I won't use it again. This allows me to train as many variables as possible and have a little fun stumbling around and doing things like cartwheel passes and inverted guard. Mostly things that I won't train during regular classes because time is precious. Call it selfish but when I'm at my academy my goal is to give my teammates 100% of my effort so we all get the best training possible. This holds true for training at affiliates or when doing drop ins on the road (gotta rep my team properly). Open mat, not so much.   So how do I know when other people aren't training in the same manner? I always hope they are training in this manner but if you have trained for more than 1 year its obvious when someone is working hard focused on winning. Ok, maybe they are trying to work their submissions or survival posture. Once again, I do not think that is what holiday / seminar open mats are intended to be used for but yes some people will take that approach. For those situations I recommend working at around 50% and just riding the wave. This is just my personal approach but I guarantee, you will not come across as the D Bag, the other guy will because multiple people will deal with this behavior.   Lets just say, don't be datch guy. If you have the time or opportunity to train at an open mat for New Years by all means take advantage. I only ask that you truly have fun with the event.  Roll at about 50-75% effort, catch and release, and try some new techniques.   Two challenges I like to do: 1) Do not use any of your "A" game. (besides you never know when people are scouting your game) 2) See what's the longest submission chain you can transition through in one round   Trust me, you'll see how much the game opens up and as a result it will be more enjoyable. Nobody wants to go home after an open mat thinking about what they could have done better. Leave your ego at the door, let your hair down, and most of all have fun.   Happy New Year.  

Monday, December 12, 2016

Our First Promotional Give Away

I am happy to announce the first Work Play Obsession promotional giveaway! Yes, you read that correctly. I am giving away a little something special to one lucky winner, for free. Well, tis the season and I'm feeling the Christmas spirit. Now to say that I do not have an ulterior motive would be a lie because there is a slight catch, you have to listen to the Work Play Obsession, Life and Jiu Jitsu podcast.

So what are the rules?  

I'm glad that you asked. 

All you have to do is download or stream Episode of 9 of the Work Play Obsession, Life and Jiu Jitsu podcast for details / instructions. While you are there feel free to subscribe, leave a review, and/or leave a comment. If you are already a listener, too easy, just listen and follow the instructions. I recommend you subscribe because this is just the first of many giveaways we will have in the upcoming year. 

And the prize?

The winner, selected at random, will receive one copy of Bringing Back the Brabo: An Arm-in Choke Compendium by David Porter.  If you have not heard of David Porter you are in for a treat. This DVD is going to be hot off the presses and in high demand, TRUST ME. Check out the videos of David below. 

  Yup, I know, dope stuff. I'm comfortable giving away a copy because I've already got one. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Catching up to business

The last few weeks have been a wild ride. I published the podcast (Work Play Obsession, Life and Jiu Jitsu) and I've conducted multiple interviews to support future episodes. I am pretty excited that we are live on iTunes, Google Play Music, Sound Cloud, and Stitcher. If you haven't had the opportunity to download an episode head on over to your choice of podcast service and have a listen. We'd really appreciate your rating and review in order to help improve the show.

So what have we done? Currently, we have produced 6 episodes ranging from training and competition, to self defense and hand to hand combat. I think the wildest episode was our coverage of the UFC 205 viewing party where we discussed why people train, what they look for in a gym, and what keeps them hooked on Jiu Jitsu. Pretty good stuff for the jump.

And where are we going? Interviews are lined up with law enforcement officers and soldiers who will recount their real world life or death scenarios and how realistic "fight" training and Jiu Jitsu  impacted getting them home safely.

Finally, stay tuned here and subscribe to the podcast to be entered into our first promotion. Details and deadlines will be released shortly but trust me you will not want to miss out on this freebie opportunity.

Until then, keep grinding.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Work Play Obsession Podcast Launch

iTunes officially launched the podcast today! Work Play Obsession, Life and Jiu Jitsu. I know the podcast is not perfect yet but I'm satisfied with the current product. We all know that there are thousands of podcasts out there but we never stop to think about all of the podcasts that were dreamed of or discussed amongst friends but never ended up being produced. It's like a cousin to "paralysis by analysis", not taking action for fear the product is not perfect. I have no problem taking constructive criticism and I know the podcast will only improve through the advice of my friends.  The podcast is available on iTunes and SoundCloud. Work Play Obsession, Life and Jiu Jitsu Editing has been the biggest challenge by far. Because I want to be able to record, edit, and produce from mobile platforms I'm working on phones, iPads, and a MacBook Pro with multiple applications and software. This makes saving and converting files very dicey. I think once I figure out how to streamline this part of the process I will greatly reduce the time between releases.  Tomorrow my interview with JP should launch. Pretty excited about the interview we put together so please take a listen and download. JP is a great guy and an awesome instructor and as a bonus you get to hear him make a little beat. Brazilian Funk.