The Change Up

I recently went to another Rafa Mendes seminar at Triangle Jiu-Jitsu in Durham, NC, with Jacob (my brother, blue belt), Matt (other purple belt), Sully (blue belt) and Bobby (blue belt) from our academy. We had quite an adventure! We took my van and found out, when we stopped at Chick-fil-a for lunch, that the cell in my battery was dead! Matt, thankfully, was able to find a guy willing to jump us. And once the seminar was over we had to get one of the guys there to jump us as well, after which we went straight to Advanced Auto Parts and got a new battery. Once we knew we weren’t going to have to jump the van anymore, we went and ate at this fantastic barbecue place right off of the Duke University campus. Anyway, enough about our adventure and on to my thoughts!

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If you didn’t know, when I was younger I played quite a bit of baseball and mostly was a pitcher. At that age, most pitchers are focused on learning how to throw curve balls, sinkers, splitters, etc., because they think they’re cool. But when looking back on what I used most often to get strike outs, the most devastating type of pitch was the change up. Why am I talking about baseball? Don’t worry! I’m getting to my point about jiu-jitsu in a second!

But, a little bit more about baseball and the change up. Imagine this scenario. You’re a batter and you step up to the plate. The pitcher throws a 90mph fast ball! You swing and miss. The pitcher winds up and fires another fast pitch, moving at 91mph. Because you saw it the first time, your timing is a bit better, so you chip it foul. Strike two! You think, “Now I’m ready! I got his timing down!” You get ready for the pitch, the pitcher winds up again, and surprisingly lobs in an 83mph change up that completely throws off your timing, so you swing and miss. You’re out!

Rafa was teaching us how he speed passes and shared this “change up” concept with us. He spoke about how if you go the same speed constantly, your timing can always be timed by your opponent, whether you’re moving fast or slow, and that this idea applies not only to passing, but to all of jiu-jitsu.  He, Rafa, likes to constantly change his speed, which throws his opponent off.

I had actually forgotten his comment, but then in a class last week I experienced this speed changing first hand when rolling with a black belt. He was standing and I had an open guard, in which he was moving  fairly slowly and deliberately. All of a sudden, he exploded and ran right past my guard! Boom! It definitely caught me off guard! And that’s when the concept taught by Rafa popped back into my head.

It really is amazing how such a simple concept, a simple idea, a simple change of pace, can really change your game. It’s something I’ll be focusing on in the coming weeks! Have a good one!

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Are you sore? | BJJ Training Tip

I don’t know about you, but after a good night of rolls I can be sore in the morning. When I was a whitebelt I used to just chalk it up to a sideeffect of doing BJJ, but I was wrong! There’s some stuff you can do about it that’ll make it much better for you. So, here’s my three tips for getting rid of soreness after a hard Brazilian jiu-jitsu class!

  1. STRETCH!!! It’s important to stretch and warm-up before training and most people/schools do that. But, how often do you stretch after class? It’s almost more important to stretch after, than before. So, before you leave, take some time and stretch it out. Additionally, I’ve found it’s good to stretch the morning after as well.
  2. Take your vitamins. Seriously. I’ve really felt a difference since doing this! I was getting sick all the time, because working out 3 times a week and doing BJJ 3 times a week was breaking my body down. I needed more nutrients! What vitamin do I take? I take the One-A-Day Men’s Pro Edge, which helps “meet the increased need caused by moderate to intense physical activity”. And no, they didn’t pay me for that.
  3. Enjoy a cold shower. Most people look at me like I’m crazy when I say this, but let my clarify! I’m not saying to take an ice cold shower. I’m not saying to jump straight into a cold shower either. That’s just miserable! I’m saying start your shower off lukewarm, and as you get used to the water, notch it down, bit by bit, so that by the end of your shower you’re in cold water. This really helps your body and helps the blood circulate! Plus, on a summer day it actually feels great!

Just follow those three steps and you’ll be feeling great in no time!

Widen Your Focus

I’m a thinker. When I see something or reading something, I like to put it through it’s paces. I really started focusing on this a year after getting my blue belt. Often times, before realizing I did this, I’d watch a technique and go, “Oh, that’s neat!” Then I’d practice it, try it, and if I didn’t like it, I’d discard it. The problem was that I didn’t take the technique and go, “Well, it doesn’t work great for me in this position, but where else could I use this technique? Does it fit in to anywhere else in my game?” Since then, I’ve thought about things more so than I did before, and it’s really the reason I started this blog. It’s a place for me to put down my thoughts. Anyway, I’m going the wrong direction here. I was just giving a little insight as to why I think about stuff so much. Onto the actual topic.

I was reading a popular BJJ forum and came across a thread that really got me thinking. It wasn’t particularly the content of the thread that was interesting, but the thought trail it sent me on. The thread was from a white belt and was pretty much like any other thread you’d see from a beginner. The thread author was having problems with a particular technique or issue. What set me off on my thought trail was the way he actually asked the question. He said that when he was in top side control, his opponent on the bottom was just grabbing his gi and holding him down there. He said the guy on the bottom had insane vise grips, so he couldn’t move. What was his question? How can I strip his grips? 

And this is the issue that many of us, including myself, fall into. Instead of being focused on one option or set on one path, widen your gaze so that you see more. Most of the time, there’s more than one way to do something. A big factor in jiu-jitsu is effectiveness. That’s why you always hear about leverage and timing being important. Yeah, having strength is great, but it can tire you out. What about when you’re tired and all you have is your leverage and timing? What would you have rather trained more, your strength or technique (leverage and timing)? The answer is fairly obvious.

So, it’s not about just a technique to strip the grips. There are more options than just focusing on breaking those grips, and I’ve really been realizing it more and more. Instead of stripping the grips with strength, you could attack the neck, go to knee-on-belly, wristlock, and more. And this doesn’t just apply to this situation. If you’re passing, trying to get a submission, and pretty much anything else. We all, and that includes me, sometimes get to set on one technique and trying to get it.

From now on, widen your gaze. If you’re having issues, step back and realize there’s more than one option. You don’t always have to address the issue head on. And usually, if you don’t address it head on, you end up catching your opponent off guard, which is never a bad thing.

“When am I going to get promoted?”

I never would have thought it. In fact, I never did think it. I most definitely never would have even muttered it! The question that every instructor hears and the question that ticks off every instructor that hears it. “When am I going to get promoted?”

Yes, sadly this question is alive and well within academies. Several weeks ago, I was talking to our head instructor and he mentioned that someone at our academy had been asking this question. Really guys!? Really!? The answer to the question is simple, “When you’re ready”.

This, asking about being promoted, really is one of my pet peeves in jiu-jitsu, because it runs so much deeper than just being inappropriate by asking. It shows what kind of person you are at the moment. Apparently you don’t think much of your instructor and you’ve been bringing an ego into the academy!

First, the main job of instructors is to instruct and help others grow. Do you really think they can instruct without watching you? They see where you are, they see your level, and they see what you know. As black belts, because they’ve been through every belt level, they know when you are a blue, purple, or brown belt. Why in the world do you think you know when you’re ready to be promoted!? You haven’t ever been a belt higher than you are right now. If the next belt isn’t around your waist, then you’re not there yet, plain and simple. Don’t disrespect your instructor that way!

Second, stop bringing an ego into the academy! I’ve heard it so much on forums and from other people. “I submitted so-and-so tonight!” Whoopdeedoo! You submitted a blue belt with an armlock! Let’s alert the media! Anyone can submit anyone else, on any given day.

I’m a purple belt. I’ve been submitted a couple times by white and blue belts and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I got submitted because I was trying something, thought I could escape, or was just genuinely caught off guard by my teammate who executed everything perfectly and caught me. You know what I do after that? I brush it off, tell them good job, and keep on rolling and learning.

Gym wins don’t count for anything. Rolling in the gym is like rolling in Las Vegas. What happens in the academy, stays in the academy. It doesn’t go on some plaque. You don’t get a trophy or a medal. You didn’t just win the Worlds. So, just because you submitted a blue, purple, brown, or black belt, doesn’t mean you’re at that level.

In summary, stop asking about being promoted. Put your head down, stay humble, work hard,  learn, and become a better grappler and person. Remember, the journey is the reward.

 

Q5 Labs – Product Review

Q5 Labs is a company I’ve seen and heard a lot about, but I’ve never tried. So, I was fairly delighted when I was contacted by Colin of Q5 Labs to review some of their products. Note that I was not paid in any way for this review, nor am I associated with Q5 at all. All they did is send me some samples for their product and asked me to review them.

Q5 Sample Pack

I’ll be honest, it took me a while to write this review and I’m sure Colin probably thought I wasn’t going to ever post a review. Well, with things like this I like to take my time, test it out, and really see if it works. Why? So that I can give the most truthful, straightforward review possible. With that said, let’s go forward with the review.

Premium New Zealand Whey Protein

To be honest, I really haven’t used much protein. I like to eat clean and I know that many protein brands come from countries with regulations that aren’t exactly up to par. Plus, I really am not good at choking stuff down. I’ve tried protein several times and each time I spit it out everywhere and then go on to wash out my mouth for a couple hours.

When I checked in on Q5 Labs Premium New Zealand Whey Protein, I was happy to see that it’s 100% pure grassfed whey, “the cleanest whey on earth”. I want to know that what I’m putting in my body isn’t harmful, as I’m sure most people do. From Q5 Labs:

Q5 Premium Whey Protein“Amass Whey Premium is clean and pure with only 5 ingredients that you can actually understand. It tastes amazing, and delivers 21 grams of highly bio-available protein per serving. With only 120 calories and barely a single gram of sugar you’ll be getting everything your body needs and nothing it doesn’t.”

As far as taste goes, did I slurp down this protein? No. But, remember the part before where I’ve spit out every protein supplement I’ve tried? I actually didn’t spit out Q5’s chocolate or vanilla protein! Did I love drinking it? Well, no, but that’s not really the point now, is it? All in all, it wasn’t to bad and it was leaps and bounds above other brands I’ve had!

Now, let’s move onto the affects of it. Because it was a small sample, can I attest that it gave me tons of recovery and that I felt a huge difference? Not really. If I did, this reviewer wouldn’t be honest. But, you have to realize that’s not really the point. The point is that it’s protein. The difference is that it’s clean, good for your body protein. So, honestly, why get anything else? It’s your body we’re talking about here!

Warrior Purple & Warrior Green

Like the protein above, because the samples were so small I can’t really say for certain that “I felt amazing after drinking this and this stuff was the reason!” As I said above, that would make me untruthful. But, I can tell you that these products are a huge benefit. So, let’s break them down!

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Warrior Purple was the first of the “vegetabley-fruity-healthy” things I tried from Q5. We all know that dark berries are good for you! We need to eat acai, blackberries, plums, etc. The health benefits of these fruits is well known and documented! As for Warrior Green? How many times did your mother tell you to eat your vegetables!? Obviously vegetables are good for you! Since you know how good these things are for you, let’s see what they contain:

Warrior Purple

  • Blueberry
  • Blackberry
  • Black Cherries
  • Black Raspberries
  • Black Currants
  • Plums
  • Elderberries
  • Bilberries
  • Figs
  • Eggplant
  • Purple Cabbage
  • Acai
  • Camu Camu
  • Mangosteen
  • Goji

Why not go to the store and just buy all this stuff? Because we aren’t all millionaires who can spend tons of money on stuff like that. Often, with regular food, a place to live, and paying for training, we’re left without much spending money to buy a ton of expensive fruit. That’s where Warrior Purple and Warrior Green (don’t have a definitive list of what fruits and vegetables it contains, but I know it’s got tons!) comes in. To buy all of those berries and vegetables would cost a couple hundred bucks a month!

With Warrior Green and Warrior Purple, you get all of those same things for $35 per container at 30 servings. That’s a serving every day of the month at only $1.16 per day!

Now, let me note that these items are not supposed to completely replace eating actual vegetables and fruit, but they can help you get those extra nutrients at a much lower cost!

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As far as taste goes, it’s really pretty good. I mixed it with water, just because I wanted to get the full taste experience, and the flavor reminded me a lot of Koolaid. As I said before, if a ton of vegetables, fruits, and berries are something you can’t afford, this is a fantastic alternative!

Launch Fuel

To be honest, this was the thing I was most excited about, and it did not disappoint! Now, as I said in the previous sections, I received a small sample, but because this was related to energy, I was actually able to test it out and feel a difference. I also apologize I don’t have any pictures of it, but I drank it on the way to BJJ, which makes it kind of hard to take pictures of.

The Test

So, not all comparison tests are perfect, but I tried to take out any variable that I felt could cause a major difference. The reason why this review took so long was mostly because of this product. I decided to test it using Saturdays at our academy. On Saturdays we have an open mat class at 10am where everyone pretty much rolls constantly for a good hour and half doing 7-10 minute rounds with a 1 minute break.

To keep the test as fair as possible, I made sure that on Friday night I went to bed at the same time, ate the same thing for breakfast in the morning, and drank the same amount of water. Thankfully for the 3 week stretch I tested we rolled 7 minute rounds each Saturday, so I could get a good understanding of how my energy level depletes.

Saturday 1 – No Launch Fuel

On the first Saturday I rolled 8 rounds, for a total of 56 minutes of actual rolling. Near the end of the 5th round is when I started really noticing that I was beginning to feel tired and loose energy. I continued rolling, because I think it’s important to roll tired sometimes. During the rest of the day I felt a little sluggish, but not to bad at all.

Saturday 2 – Launch Fuel Day

On the second Saturday I guzzled down my bottle of launch fuel about 25 minutes from BJJ. I live 45 minutes away, so I had to do it in the car, which is why I don’t have pictures. Sorry again! On this Saturday I actually rolled 10 rounds, for a total of 70 minutes of actual rolling.

Now, I did start feeling tired and like I was loosing energy around the beginning of the 6th round. But, near the end of the 6th round I started feeling like I was gaining energy again! And it was fantastic, because it wasn’t a jittery, energy spike, it was a level, constant amount of energy. I was easily able to roll all 10 rounds, and I actually felt pretty good for the rest of day!

Saturday 3 – No Launch Fuel

So, the third and final launch fuel test. I thought it would be good to do a last test without launch fuel to make sure that it wasn’t just my cardio getting better. On this Saturday I rolling for another 8 rounds for a total of 56 minutes of actual rolling. Near the middle of the 6th round is when I really started feeling like I was loosing energy and I never got it back. I will say though, that after class I felt pretty good, so I’m not sure if that feeling from the Saturday before can be attributed to the launch fuel.

I will say, however, that during rolling with launch fuel I did get a second wind that was constant and refreshing.

The last order of business is: how did it taste? Honestly, the launch fuel was the best tasting of all the Q5 products I tried. It reminded me heavily of orange juice and was actually good! I drank it with ease.

Conclusion

All in all, Q5 has some great products and supplements. If you want to support a company run by a grappler that puts out clean, healthy products, then Q5 is your company! If you could only get one of their products, well, then I’d highly recommend the launch fuel. It’s pretty awesome!

Want to try out Q5’s products? Check out the links below!

Q5 Labs Website

Q5 Sample Pack (if you want to try it out first)

Q5 Launch Fuel

Q5 Premium New Zealand Whey – Chocolate

Q5 Premium New Zealand Whey – Vanilla

Q5 Warrior Purple

Q5 Warrior Green

 

Defeatist Attitude & Perfection of Technique

Hello all! Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written. I know I always have an excuse, but they are honestly always legitimate. I recently got a new job! Yay! And it’s doing something I love: web design and graphic design. So, needless to say, that’s been taking up a majority of my time! Along with family, jiu-jitsu, working out, and the holidays. Since it’s been so long, this is basically going to be a mash-up of things that have happened and thoughts!

I went down to Georgia for two weeks of training for my new job and was thankfully able to train at an awesome gym down there! It was at Tekniques BJJ, and if you’re ever in the area, drop in! I got the first class for free and to return was fairly inexpensive. I was nervous, because it was the first academy I’ve visited, but I was surprised at how kind and chill everyone was. I went in expecting to get murdered, but they all rolled controlled and with really clean technique. It felt a lot like rolling at my home academy. I also picked up some cool techniques and got to see a completely different style of jiu-jitsu! They’re very flowing, standing guard passers, whereas most people at Team Mannon smash and pass. Overall, it was a fantastic experience! But, moving on to my thought of the night.

I know I write a lot about concepts, but I think about BJJ every day and in what ways I can improve. As I was watching a Mendes Bros. highlight, this one if you’re interested, I started thinking about perfection of technique and how I really needed to focus on it. Quick side note, big surprise to start thinking about perfection of technique while watching that video, because those transitions where crazy smooth! Anyway, what I mean is that I needed to sit down and think about techniques that had failed on me after each class.

There’s a saying I read once in reference to basketball that roughly said, “If you miss a shot, it’s no one else’s fault. You’re form was wrong. If you’re form is right, the ball will go in.” As I started thinking about perfection of jiu-jitsu technique, I realized that this same idea applied. If a tried and true jiu-jitsu technique doesn’t work for me, then I did something wrong. There’s no one else to blame.

What I’m saying is work it out. Don’t abandon the technique. I think that too often, and I’m including myself, we toss out techniques because we couldn’t get them to work the way we wanted. Go back and work it out! Maybe a step was missed. If you think, “That guy was just too strong!” Find a way around his strength. Add a step that uses leverage, timing, and balance to counteract the strength. Maybe you need to modify the technique to work for your body. Who knows!? But, you need to work it out. Don’t just toss it out the window. Perfect your technique, study your game, and fill in your holes. Even a technique you’re good at can be perfected. If you are fantastic at armlocks, but you only finish 80% of them, focus on why you don’t finish that other 20%. What’s happening? How are they escaping? How can you fix it? Study your game to improve!

I’m not big on new years resolutions and this is actually my first, but after each class, while on my way home, I’m going to record audio journals of my thoughts after class. Then I’m going to record those thoughts in a journal so that I can look over them easily. My goal is to become more analytical of my jiu-jitsu. Often times I’ve been riding back home, which is a 45 minute drive, and realized things I could have done different when a technique failed. And sadly, some of those things I’ve forgotten! Those are important breakthrough moments! Don’t lose them!

That’s my jiu-jitsu thought for tonight. Now, onto other exciting news! I recently ordered a new gi, which will hopefully be here soon. It’s a Prana Lucci. I read some reviews and it’s supposedly very comfortable and sturdy. Since my CTRL Industries Rook’s knees are shredded and my Shoyoroll Competitor is turning yellow from tons of use I needed another gi! I can’t wait for it to get here! I’ll possibly do a review of it once I receive it.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget…study your game!

Hygiene & Equipment

Two posts in one day! It must be Christmas! Nope, it’s not. Just kidding. I don’t think anyone looks forward to my posts with that much enthusiasm.

If you didn’t know, I’m a web designer, graphic designer, and video editor. Yes, I’m a triple threat. *laughs* So, I run the website for the academy, designed the logo for the academy, and pretty much take care of anything that is video, graphic or web in nature. Earlier this week one of our purple belts and a friend of mine, Andrew, contacted me about making some lists of required and recommended equipment that could be handed out to new students. I thought that was a fantastic idea, so I took it a little further. He also had the brilliant idea to add in a little section about hygiene. Just thought I’d share! Let me know what you think!

Are You Still Rolling?

This will be a fairly short post. However, now that I’ve said that it probably won’t be. Anyway, I thought I’d share a rule that I enforce on myself that’s helped me. I think it’s important, because it keeps you humble, but also improves your technique overall.

In the past week or so I’ve had four or five people ask me during open mat, “Are you still rolling?” My answer, “Yes.” What is my rule? Never say no to a rollPlease don’t apply this rule at the dinner table. (Ha ha ha, just cracked myself up there.) Continuing on. I truly believe this rule has improved my game. It’s a good rule, and here’s why:

  1. You should roll as much as possible. Rolling is good! It’s the time to put your technique to the test. I freakin’ love rolling! So don’t pass up on it, even if your tired. Actually, especially if you’re tired!
  2. If you’re tired, roll! Too many people rely on strength to complete techniques. When you’re tired and force yourself to roll, you can no longer rely on that strength. So, what do you have to use? That’s right, technique. When you have to rely on technique, then that really sharpens it up! If you continue to just use strength, what happens when you face someone stronger than you? Short story, you’ll get mauled.
  3. It’s humbling, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Being humble literally means to not be arrogant and proud. Having a good attitude on the mats is always needed!

So, implement this into your game. Take this into the academy the next time you train. Never say no to a roll.

Tightening Up the Game

First of all, HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to my friend, training partner, and all around good guy, Arkeif Robinson, who won gold at the NoGi Pan Ams this past weekend! I honestly would have been surprised if you hadn’t come back with the gold! Now, onto the post.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I got my blue belt in 6 months. How did I do it? Am I some sort of physical specimen with crazy attributes? Did I wrestle, do judo, or some other form of grappling art prior to BJJ? No…and no. What did I do? It’s rather simple. I planned.

Now, I’d first like to input a disclaimer that what I’m outlining will in no way guarantee that you get to your next belt level. And, in all honestly, it shouldn’t be used for that. If you truly love jiu-jitsu, then use the method below as I did. Use it to improve your jiu-jitsu game for you, yourself, and not some belt. As Royce Gracie said, “A belt only covers two inches of your butt. You have to cover the rest.” Focus on yourself, and the belt will come in due time.

Anyway, I talk to a lot of guys on the mat and they just seem to be training like they’re in the ocean. They’re going this way and that way, falling in and out of waves, and adding an odd assortment of things to their jiu-jitsu game. They just work on “whatever” and see where it takes them. As I started BJJ, I looked at my progress as I would going to college. I saw the end goal as my overall jiu-jitsu game improving, so therefore I took the necessary steps (college classes) to try and reach my goal. Think about it. People would think you were crazy if you went to college for a bachelors in history, but picked random classes to attend, instead of asking a counselor and looking up the required classes in the college catalog.

So, what did I do for BJJ? I researched online, asked online, asked my instructor, and so on and so forth, about what basics I needed to know. Eventually, I was led to Roy Dean’s Blue Belt Requirements, after several recommendations, and planned out my progress based on the DVD. I took one technique a week and would watch it every single day, which would only take 5-6 minutes. While watching, I would write down the steps for the technique to further cement it into my mind. I would then “shadow roll”, thinking about the required steps to execute the technique. And finally, during rolling in class, I would focus on attempting that single technique.

Now, for a beginner, I think the above is a perfect outline of how to go about getting better. If your brand new, try my method. But, as you near experienced blue belt level and above, that week of practicing a single technique, becomes 4-5 months of concentrating on a technique and it’s variations. I’m continuing in my planning by researching and asking and I’ve seen my game improve. I know that if I faced me as a day one blue belt, I would obliterate myself.

What I’m trying to say is, we need to not just train hard, but smart.

Persistence in Guard Passing

If you’ve read my blog before, then you know that I’m a big fan of the Mendes Bros., but recently I’ve been watching a lot of Leandro Lo, especially after the BJJ Scout put out tons of videos on him. His guard passing is amazing! Why? Because, he is persistent in his passing, which I believe is the sweet spot when it comes to passing mentalities. Before we cover persistence, and what it means, I’d like to go over the two passing mentalities that I think can have some negative effects.

Stubbornness

Being stubborn is both a gift and a curse in many areas of life, but in guard passing, being stubborn is really only a curse. So, what is my definition of stubborn guard passing?

It’s trying a knee slide and getting it stuffed. So, you then try a knee slide again, and again, and again. Every single time your opponent stops your knee slide attempt right in its’ tracks. What makes this bad, you ask?

  1. Obviously your opponent knows the defense to the pass. You’re most likely not going to pass his/her guard with that particular pass.
  2. When you continue doing the pass, then it’s even easier for your opponent to stop, since they are expecting it.
  3. Since your opponent is expecting it, you then allow them to counter more easily.

It’s a terrible idea! I’ve seen it several times, especially at blue and white belt. It doesn’t pay to be stubborn! Don’t do it!

Resetting

Resetting is the most common type of mindset I’ve seen in guard passing and it really can sometimes go hand-in-hand with stubbornness, which makes it even worse! So, what is resetting?

It’s going to a knee slide, getting it stuffed and then settling down into your opponents half guard. Pausing there for several seconds and then going for another pass OR being stubborn and going for the same exact pass again! What makes this bad?

  1. You had them on the defensive! Now you are giving your opponent a chance to compose themselves.
  2. Since you are giving them a chance to compose themselves, you’re also giving them a chance to attack back!

It’s just a bad idea. Do generals on the battle field, when they are pushing forward and meet resistance, take steps back to reset? No! They hold their ground. They push forward. They keep attacking and you should too!

Persistence

Persistence. Stubbornness. What’s the difference?

stub·born [stuhb-ern]
adjective
1. unreasonably inflexible attitude.

per·sist·ent [per-sis-tuh nt, -zis]
adjective
1. persisting in spite of opposition and obstacles.

Stubbornness is being set in your ways. What is persistence? Unlike stubbornness, persistence is moving towards your goal of passing your opponents guard, but using different techniques to get there!

It’s trying a knee slide, getting that stuffed, so you immediately try a leg drag! What is so great about this?

  1. Your opponent may know the defense to one pass, but not to another. This raises your chances of passing your opponents guard.
  2. It’s unexpected, so you surprise your opponent with whatever secondary pass you attempt. It also makes you harder to counter and sweep.
  3. You’re attacking constantly, which means your opponent is constantly on the defensive, instead of being on the offensive.

It’s really the way to go and I’ve really been trying to employ this mindset. And if you’re a white belt who only knows one pass, this still applies to you! First of all, learn some more passes! They are extremely important. But second, switch the direction you do your one pass! If you try to knee slide to the right and it fails, go to the left! Try something new! I guarantee you, over time, it will really help your passing!