“Hips Don’t Lie: The Assets Every Woman Already has to Succeed in Martial Arts”

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You throw like a girl. You run like a girl. You hit like a girl. Do any of those taunts sound familiar to you? Maybe you have never been the target of these invectives, but surely you have heard them … Continue reading

Your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class.

So you’re going to your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class and you don’t know what to expect. That’s not uncommon, it’s new, it’s unfamiliar, it’s to be expected that you won’t know what to expect. We’re going to talk about a few things that, hopefully, will set your mind at ease.

Let’s talk a little about your motivations for going to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class in the first place. There are many reasons a person decides to take up BJJ. There are those of us who are looking for an unconventional (and highly effective) way to get or stay in shape. Maybe we live in a rough part of town and want to learn to defend ourselves. Perhaps you have the hopes and aspirations of being a cage fighter. There are many reasons and all are valid. There’s one underlying goal which ties them all together: Learning. We’re all there to learn. It should be our priority and if you ask anyone who’s practiced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for any length of time, they’ll tell you it’s inevitable. You WILL learn regardless of whether you’re in the right mind-set or not. But it’s important, to get the most out of your experience, to be in the right mind-set.

You’ve made your way to the gym, it’s your first day, you have your Gi on… or maybe you don’t, that’s okay. Someone has shown you how to tie your belt and class is about to start. (If the students have not already introduced themselves to you, introduce yourself to them. They don’t bite). You get through the warm-ups, you’re already starting to sweat; breathe heavily and are wondering if you’re going to be able to make it.

“How do these guys bend their bodies this way? Did that guy just do a somersault??? I’ve never moved my body this way in my life! Who knew my head was this heavy?!”

The instructor begins to teach the technique(s) for the day. The instructor, in most cases, is a professor of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; a black belt. In some cases the instructor may be a lower ranking belt designated by the Professor to teach for the day. In other cases a lower-than-black-belt instructor is all that’s available in the area. That’s okay, too. They will more than likely be able to teach you quite a bit. The instructor will demonstrate a few techniques and allow each of the students to practice them on each other in break-out sessions. They will bring the group back together occasionally adding details and perfecting the movements to complete the techniques. They will also be available to answer questions in-between instruction. Don’t be afraid to ask.

“What is an armbar? D’arce? Guillotine? Triangle Choke? Wait… Choke? No one said anything about chokes… I didn’t sign up for this!”

After the instructor… well… instructs, it’s time to put into practice what you know. (If this is your first class, then it is very little, if any. Which is okay). We call this “rolling”. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is unique in that we can practice our sport with 100% resistance from our opponent with a reasonable expectation of not getting hurt. Which is unlike boxing, or other striking arts where if you sparred with your partner at 100% someone is going to end up getting hurt. In a lot of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools, beginners don’t take part in “rolling” on their first day. A lot of times, they don’t even roll until they’ve learned the basics: Guard, Mount, Half-Guard, Back-mount, Side-mount, Half-mount; basic grips, holds, movements; submission defenses, etc.. It is always up to you to decide when you’re ready to jump in during rolling time. Don’t be afraid jump in and get going but don’t hesitate to say: “I’m not quite ready” if you don’t feel quite up to it.

First and foremost: Your training partners are not trying to hurt you. They’re there to learn just as much as you’re there to learn. If you do feel like your partner is trying to hurt you, tell someone. It’s likely they’re newer to the sport as well, and don’t realize they’re being potentially harmful. Your safety is important and you have the right to request a different, more experienced partner to train with if you feel your safety is at risk. Conversely, you are not there to hurt your partner either. It’s important to remember, especially when training with a more experienced partner, that they’re going to match your speed/intensity/strength/etc.. That is to say: they’re going to go just as hard as you… or just as light. If they feel that you’re trying to hurt them, they’re going to do something to prevent that and it will more than likely not end in your favor… which leads me to my next point.

You are going to get submitted. You will tap. You will say “uncle”. This is not a bad thing. It is, in fact, a good thing. You and your training partner are each working on different parts of your respective games. In this case your partner is working on their submissions and you are working on recognizing the submission and tapping early. Tapping early to inform your partner that the hold/lock/choke/etc. has been applied effectively and that you’re “submitting”. That’s right: Tapping. Early. Don’t try to see how long you can hold out before tapping. As soon as you recognize you may be in trouble, tap. Tap your hand, at least twice, on your partner’s body (anywhere). If you’re unable to move your hands, say: “tap” loud enough for your partner to hear. Sometimes we have to use our feet to tap, but those are rare cases. Tapping is something we should do a lot of and, as I said earlier, a good thing. Try to see every tap as an opportunity to learn. Learning happens on both ends: your partner learns what is and isn’t an effective way to apply that submission and you learn how to recognize the submission in order to avoid it next time. Whatever you take away from each tap is up to you. Whether it be “I’m not going to get submitted that way again”, or “What did I let happen in order for that submission to be applied?”. Take these questions to your instructor, ask that your partner repeat what just happened and break it down for you, then ask how you could have prevented it. What you take away from it will depend heavily on your mental attitude. “Man, I SUCK!”, “I can’t believe this LITTLE GUY is submitting me AGAIN”, or “I lift weights, I should be able to SMASH this guy!” will more than likely hinder your progress toward preventing it from happening again and learning Jiu Jitsu in general. That being said, if you are ever uncomfortable for any reason, tap. If you can’t breathe, tap. If you feel like you’re going to vomit, tap. If you’re panicking for any reason whatsoever, tap. Our training partners have been conditioned to stop whatever they’re doing and give us space to recover when they feel someone tap on them. There’s no wrong reason to tap.

Breathe! This cannot be emphasized enough. We need oxygen for our minds and muscles to work properly. If you’re not getting enough (because you’re holding your breath) then neither of the two will be working right. It’s easier said than done, we know. Try to be mindful of when you’re grunting and holding your breath when exerting yourself. It happens a lot when we try to push someone off of us or try an explosive move. We hold our breath and strain against whatever it is we’re trying to move (ourselves, someone else… or both!). Holding our breath while exerting ourselves can cause injury, let alone makes it significantly more difficult to accomplish the movement we’re attempting. Everyone who has never grappled, or doesn’t continue to grapple on a regular basis is out of shape for BJJ. There’s no two ways about it. You cannot be in shape for your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class before you get to your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. Expect to wear yourself out and prepare for it. You will sweat a LOT, especially if you’re wearing a Gi. Bring water. Drink water all day leading up to class. Be hydrated beforehand so you don’t have to worry about it while you’re in class. Sip water if you need to, to maintain your hydration, but you should already be hydrated by the time you get there.

While all of this is happening, while you’re sweating and breathing heavy, while you’re tapping and getting smashed, tossed, rolled-up, flipped and flopped, learning and having fun is of paramount importance. I’ve heard a Grand Master say: “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong”. Have fun and learn. All the while accomplishing the goal you set out to attain. Whatever it may be.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a very dynamic and effective martial art, with some potentially harmful locks and holds. When practiced in a controlled and constructive environment it is 100% safe and can be applied without injury. Now, that’s not to say that accidents don’t happen. You run the risk of stubbing your toe every time you get up in the middle of the night for a glass of water. Understanding these risks is key to preventing them. Application of the things mentioned in this post can minimize risk, but that’s not to say there aren’t more things we can do to ensure our safety and the safety of our training partners. Use your head for more than just keeping your ears apart.

So, let’s recap:
No one is trying to hurt you. Don’t try to hurt them.
You will get submitted. Tap. Early.
Ask questions.
Breathe!
Drink water.
Have fun :)
Most importantly: Learn!!!

Once you get past your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class, these things will get easier. Just take it one class at a time.

Absolute Mixed Martial Arts; Grillguards Custom Mouthpiece Giveaway.


Absolute Mixed Martial Arts had a giveaway contest in December of last year for a Grillguards Custom Mouthpiece. The student with the most classes attended during the month would be the recipient of one custom mouthpiece valued at $120.00. We had great participation and the competition was fierce. The contest was close for the first two weeks and then one started to pull away from the pack. Rebecca Rodriguez put together a string of days with two and three classes a day. Kick Boxing, Kettlebells and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, sometimes all in one day are what contributed to her winning the prize and finishing with 26 classes for the month. This was a good 10 more classes than the closest runner up. Congratulations, Rebecca!

Grillguards Custom Mouthpieces are used by the majority of our students and 100% of our staff at Absolute MMA. We have found them to be the best quality equipment we can find in mouth protection. The mouthpieces are custom fit so we never have an issue with our protection being loose or not fitting correctly. Of all the people using these mouthguards; amateur and professional fighters, coaches and serious or occasioanal students, we have not had one come to us and say it was faulty or didn’t live up to what Grillguards stated. Thanks to Grillguards Custom Mouthpieces for the great product and for supporting Absolute Mixed Martial Arts.

Excellent weight loss at MMA gym in Utah!

Pedro, “Hey Ivan! How are you today?”
Ivan, “I’m doing so damn good it would kill a mortal man!”

Hey gang! Remember Ivan? He was our student spotlight a little while ago. This is an update on his progress. As of June 1, 2011 Ivan has lost 30 pounds in his three months with us! He has also been directed by his physician to cut his high blood pressure medication in HALF! Ivan continues to be positive in every interaction he has with the staff and every other member here. Ivan is famous for his quotes as you can tell from the above statement. What a remarkable story. Ivan is one of many of our students who have been able to achieve and far exceed their goals as a result of their dedication, hard work, consistency and the training they receive at Absolute MMA. We are proud to have Ivan with us as one of many who have used us as a means to make positive change in their life. I know of many more Absolute Team Members who can give similar accounts of their achievements. We are proud of you all.

Far East Fit Tournament Results!

Far East Fit Tournament Results

Adult Divisions!
Light Weight Adv
Denver Merrifield-Nirva 1st
Lance Gorman 2nd
Welter Weight Beg
Dan DeCort 1st
Colton Kynaston 2nd
Aaron Upwall 3rd
Welter Weight Inter
Gavin Allyn 1st
Welter Weight Adv
Chris Kennedy 1st
Steven Sharp 2nd
Middle Weight Inter
Pedro Escalante 1st
Michael Sjodin 2nd
Thanks to everyone who made it out!

Youth
Gannon 1st Place
Tommy 2nd Place
Under 18 Beginning Bantam Weight
Jake White 1st Place
Dakota Zucker 2nd Place
Under 18 Welterweight
Aaron Thomson 1st Place
Austen Symes 2nd Place
Under 18 Intermediate Light Heavyweight
Samuel West Thomson

New Kettlebell class!!!

We are proud to announce that we will be teaching kettlebell class at 9:00 am Saturday mornings, starting May 7th. These classes will be directed towards educating team members on proper technique and form for kettlebell sport lifting. This is a great opportunity to improve your overall fitness, stamina and strength endurance. We will teach basic movements, safety and proper form for all lifts included in the World Kettlebell Club ranking system. Come join us for an opportunity for a great workout and a great learning experience.

Student Spotlight – Ivan

I would like you all to meet Ivan, a newer student at Absolute MMA. Ivan is 50 years old and has been with us for 6 weeks now. He has made some significant life changes in the last little bit and decided to add physical fitness to the list of positives in his life.
Ivan came to us drinking two liters of Dr. Pepper a day! He has since completely removed carbonated drinks from his diet and has started to clean up his diet. Ivan was not in good physical condition when he began his training with us. He could not finish the rounds of Jiu Jitsu without stopping for breaks or sitting out a round. Just yesterday he worked through all four, 5 minute rounds with 15 push ups and 15 sit ups during the break! He has also lost 13 pounds in the 6 weeks since becoming a member!
Ivan always has a positive attitude and an incredible work ethic. He trains four days a week, no matter what. We all know how hard it is to keep working when the soreness and pain of training tells us to quit. We are proud to have Ivan with us at Absolute MMA. He inspires us and motivates the students and staff to give everything we have to improving ourselves and each other.

Absolute MMA rated on top ten list.

Check out our current ratings on http://www.the-top-tens.com/lists/best-martial-arts-studios-utah.asp. We love the positive feedback we’re getting from our students! Thank you for rating us so high. We’ll keep the high standards and progressive teaching methods coming your way. GO TEAM ABSOLUTE!

http://www.absolutemma.com