Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Back to the Blog

It's been a while since my last post and quite a lot has changed over the past year or so. There have been times where I have wanted to write but man was I busy. I don't know how people manage to do it work, blog, train etc. but I tip my hat to you bloggers that I follow religiously and provide me with tons of information and entertainment.

So why am I back you may ask? Well I tore my meniscus in my right knee during my last competition and I am facing surgery in the coming weeks. Blogging will be one way that will attempt to get over the pain and frustration of not being able to train. I'm still as motivated, just as obsessed and passionate as ever for Jiu Jitsu any waking moment that I am not thinking about family I'm thinking about Jiu Jitsu and our team. I may be injured but I'm not dead and I will use Jiu Jitsu as my motivation for a speedy recovery.

On another note a few new developments: I am now a purple belt freshly promoted at the end of 2012 and I am a photographer in training. I plan on adding my photos to the site showing off some of the training and goings on around our academy. Should be interesting so tune in for more!

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm On Instagram!!

I finally jumped on board Instagram after reading about it on DSTRYRsg, dowloaded the app to phone and merged the account with my Twitter. I guess basically it's kind of like Twitter with pictures so its kind of cool so present an image and a message and not really have to write too much.

 I'm already following DSTRYRsg, Shoyoroll, Ryron Gracie, Romulo Barral, the Mendes Bros, Xande Ribiero, Andre Galvao and a few others. It's interesting to see more to our BJJ Heros then just instructional videos or a few words on their training for the day. The pictures show life on and off the mats, food, family, and fun.

 I'll definitely be using Instagram to detail more of our training in Md, our team, and life in general. My version of the BJJ lifestyle so to speak. If you already have Instagram or choose to start using it let me know so I can follow you. I'm @Afrorican13.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I've Made Another Decision

So tonight I finally decided on my BJJ master plan to end all plans. I figure that I really enjoy training at other places and getting to meet new people so I've decided to expand my Jiu Jitsu travels. The cool thing is that living in Maryland gives me access to tons of places to train Jiu Jitsu within a 3 - 4 hour drive. So that's my new training radius, 3 - 4 hours maybe a smidgen more. Pretty simple. Oh and the mat fee has to be reasonable $25 - $35. Its time to put this "sorta" plan to action and visit some other academies.

I haven't really decided how often I will venture out, 1 new gym a week or every two weeks or what have you. I am not even sure if this is in the best interest of my BJJ development but I know for sure that it will be fun and it will add something new to spice up my obsession. I just wish I could stay more than one day, 1 gym a month for a whole week, that would be perfect but thats just not feasible.

So the plan is to travel, train, hang out and gossip then write up a little review of my experience. If I am lucky I will get to meet a majority of the main instructions. I'm already salivating for my NY trips to train with Renzo Gracie and of course Marcelo Garcia. Ricardo Alameida and the guys in Jersey. I think visiting Ken Primola would be cool too he seems ok from his YouTube clips. Now if someone would only move San Deigo to within my 3-4 hour window Andre Galvao is on top of my list.

Anyway, time to decide which place to go to first...... Gonna start pretty local but that really doesn't narrow it down much. This is gonna be FUN.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Teamwork and Tournament Season

Seems like everybody and their mother is gearing up for the big tournament season. Thankfully Jiu Jitsu has grown so quickly there are smaller tournaments of all types sprouting up everywhere. Its a great thing for the sport and I am excited because its driven our guys (myself included) to compete more.

I belong to a relatively small gym but thankfully we have 3 schools within less than an hour drive. Lately we have been trying to get together to train like a competition team and its been working out pretty well. These "competition team" sessions usually only happen once a week but we usually get a strong showing of all skill levels.  Its been a great way to shake up the monotony of sparring with the same guys everyday and another way to spread more techniques. Its worked out really well for me as a bigger guy because I found more guys my size who force me to play from different positions than usual. We push each other pretty hard but with the goal of making our team better and stronger come tournament time and thats what it is all about.

Regardless of your personal opinion on whether or not someone needs to compete in order to get promoted I just think tournaments are good to developing your game. I am one of those people who shies away from tournaments because for some reason I perform better in the gym, relaxed, than I do in competing, believe me I hate it. I don't know what it is, maybe its that "killer instinct, that I lack but over time and more experience I hope to get over the nerves and anxiety of competing and perform at a high level.  Looks like we are taking a decent group up to the IBJJF NY Open in April so I decided to join too. I guess I am officially in training so we'll see how it goes. Gotta put my hat in the ring sometime, besides I'm not getting any younger.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Training Harder

Training Harder. That is my new goal, my new mantra. I thought I was training hard but the other night reality quickly reminded me that I certainly was not. I traveled to a sister gym to train with the guys there and I realized the training that I have been doing has made me delusional. I wasn't controlling the pace or positions and I was became sloppy and tired.

 It all goes back to the concept that you have train with people better than you to get better. I have been training and sparring fairly consistently and feeling great but the majority of the time it has been against guys smaller and or less skilled and I controlled the pace of things. I finished "when I wanted"  and I went hard only if I felt threatened with being put in a bad position. This was helping my ego but definitely not my game.

At this point I'm just frustrated with something that I cant control. I feel that I need to get smashed and pushed in order to really have to work out of tough positions but its not that easy to just make those people appear on mats. I train at a smaller school where we only have our black belt head instructor and one purple belt and no upper level classes. We have grown to a fair amount of blue belts but we all know how schedules go and its often hard to get a strong group together to train. Some of us from the sister schools have made kind of pact to meet together once a week and try to push each so hopefully this works out.

Ok so thats my rant. Enough of that. I 'm done.