Tip of the Week – Rolling Back Take

Jamarr Coleman:  Hey, what’s up everybody. This is Jamarr from The Arena. I am here with the rattlesnake, Ryan Fortin, one of our jiu-jitsu coaches here.

I got a question for you. I know we were working on the rolling back take. I try it, and I’m like a damn ostrich. You know? I’m like hitting my head smack into the ground.

How do I make this rolling back take smooth?

Ryan Fortin: Definitely. Definitely. I see this a lot. You know a lot of people have this problem. Right? Let’s get into position.

Jamarr Coleman:  Okay.

Ryan Fortin: So we’re gonna start in the three-quarter mount. Right? So go ahead, take mount.

Jamarr Coleman:Okay.

Ryan Fortin:And then the guy’s got your ankle.

Jamarr Coleman:   All right.

Ryan Fortin:    Okay? So a lot of times probably what you’re doing is you’re trying to roll right from here, right?

Jamarr Coleman:   Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I’m sitting up here and I’m really looking like an ostrich…

Ryan Fortin:   So, the problem is is that there’s too much in the way, so just try walking with your hands more towards my feet. Right?

Jamarr Coleman: Oh, okay.

Ryan Fortin:    Yeah. Now you’re creating a stronger leverage, so now when you roll, my hips are a lot lighter.

Jamarr Coleman: Oh.

Ryan Fortin:It’s much easier for you to clear that space. Make your rolling back take easier.

Jamarr Coleman: Hey, there you have it. Move of the week.

Baret Yoshida Head Jiu Jitsu Coach at The Arena

Baret Yoshia is the Head Jiu JItsu Coach at The Arena

Legendary Grappler Baret “The Finisher” Yoshida has joined The Arena as the Head Jiu Jitsu Coach. A 2x No Gi Jiu Jitsu World Champion and 3x ADCC Medalist, Baret is a Jiu Jitsu legend. He has been a fan favorite since 1999, when he burst onto the international Jiu Jitsu scene as a Purple Belt with his epic battle with a much more experienced Royler Gracie.

A Black Belt since 2002 under the famed Inoue brothers, Egan and Enson “Yamato Damashii” Enoue, Baret has taught hundreds of students his relentless submission style, equally applicable for MMA as well as Jiu Jitsu.

At The Arena, Baret will head the largest single Adult Jiu Jitsu program in North America, totaling 50 weekly Jiu Jitsu classes with 5 top-level instructors. Baret will personally teach 25 Jiu Jitsu classes each week, both Gi and No Gi Jitsu.

The Many Chokeholds Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

While San Diego mixed martial art fighters study everything from boxing to Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the skill that started it all back in the 1990s when Royce Gracie won UFC 1 with a rear choke. These moves evolved from Kodokan Judo, so many Jiu-Jitsu and Judo holds and chokes are similar. Learning a few solid chokeholds at a San Diego Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym is a good idea for any cage fighter, and here are just a few to consider mastering.

 

One of the key advantages of chokeholds is how quickly you can gain control of your opponent. If your opponent cannot breathe, such as with an air choke, they might be able to struggle and get free, but they might also tap out if they cannot escape the hold. A blood choke is an even more effective tool, rendering the other fighter unconscious in as little as four or five seconds. The blood choke sounds horrible, but really is just an application of pressure on a specific vein or artery and does no permanent damage. Not only is it a great fighting technique, it’s a great self defense technique because it’s quick and easy to apply.

 

Learning a triangle choke is an excellent idea because it gives you a tool use for those times when your opponent has forced you onto the mat on your back. Your legs form a triangle position around the neck of the opponent, also locking an arm. In addition, if properly applied, this is a blood choke and will cause your opponent to lose consciousness if proper pressure is placed on the carotid artery. Royce Gracie taught this skill to Mel Gibson who used it to overcome Gary Busey during Lethal Weapon, one of many popular Jiu-Jitsu movies.

 

One chokehold that is often seen in MMA fighters is the rear naked choke, and this has been successfully applied by many top fighters, such as Matt Hughes and Anderson Silva. There are two slight variations of this choke. You attack from behind and wrap one arm firmly around the throat of your opponent and then clasp both of your hands together to secure the choke. You also can grab onto your bicep and secure it that way. This is a blood chokehold, so your opponent should be done in just a few seconds if you are applying pressure to the carotid artery correctly.

 

The Guillotine choke is a move that looks just as horrible as it sounds but is still an effective way to subdue your opponent. Bruce Lee was among the greats that showcased the usefulness of this chokehold, which can be used while standing or on the ground. This can be an air choke or a blood choke depending on how it is applied. If you are on the ground, you secure the opponent with a closed guard and then use your arms to encircle the neck of your opponent. If standing, you do the same thing with your arms, although both your legs and your opponents’ legs are free.

 

Of course, while rendering the other fighter unconscious can be a big advantage, it certainly doesn’t guarantee a win. Recovery from a blood choke can occur in just a few seconds, so a fighter might be able to get up and keep fighting. So while learning chokeholds is certainly essential, you need to possess a variety of well-practiced maneuvers and escapes to ensure victory.

 

If you are looking to improve your Jiu-Jitsu skills, we invite you to visit us. The Arena is the leading Gym in North America for Combat Sports and Martial Arts instruction. We are considered one of the best boxing gyms in San Diego, as well as having the top Judo and Muay Thai training available. Sign up for your free membership trial today!

Fight Techniques From The World Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

While perfecting your Brazilian jiu-jitsu moves is not necessarily the fastest way to win in the MMA arena, this form of martial arts definitely has some key advantages over other fighting styles, such as Muay Thai fighting or perhaps boxing. It is important for all MMA fighters to incorporate a variety of styles into their repertoire, and here are a few BJJ skills that are essentials for fighters.

One of the key advantages of studying Brazilian jiu-jitsu is that it is particularly effective when you are facing a larger opponent, as this style of fighting offers you a skill set that relies on submission holds rather than brute force. When you study this martial art, you will learn a host of submission holds, which are divided into two main categories: Chokeholds and Joint Locks.

There are many different types of effective joint locks, including arm locks, leg locks and even spinal and shoulder locks. When applied correctly, it is extremely difficult to escape from a solid lock. The most often used lock that tends to end a fight is the arm lock or arm bar.

Arm locks are definitely a solid skill to possess. If you don’t think the armbar is an effective tool, watch Ronda Rousey’s last bout against Sarah Kauffman and rethink your opinion. Actually, you could really watch any of Rousey’s fights as a pictorial of the effectiveness of the armbar. Matt Hughes, Rorion Gracie and Frank Mir are just a few other top MMA fighters who have ended fights (and even broken arms) using this skill. There are many types of armbars, including the flying armbar, double armbar and helicopter armbar. Learning how to inflict some type of armbar is an excellent idea, and it also wouldn’t hurt to learn how to escape from this move either.

The chokehold is another excellent way to pursue an advantage in the arena. Basically, what you are trying to do when applying a choke is to cut off your opponent’s blood flow or oxygen. There are, of course, dozens of different chokeholds, but the ones that seem to be the most effective in MMA are the rear naked choke and the guillotine choke. The rear naked choke was a highlight move in UFC 1 in the fight between Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock which ended in less than a minute. For a gruesome example of a well-applied guillotine choke, check out the 2007 IFL fight between Dan Miller and Dave Phillips.

Of course, there is much more to learn about Brazilian jiu-jitsu than chokes and joint locks. You have to learn how to escape from holds, how to get your opponent to the ground and all of this takes time and practice. Eventually, you probably will find one or two submission holds that really work for you during fights, and you will spend many months perfecting these helpful skills.

The Red Belt: Only A Few Have Earned This Honor

If you are serious about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you might, after many years of careful practice and study, achieve the rank of a black belt. Few fighters achieve above this level. The black belt degrees move up to the 6th degree, and at the 7th degree level, one earns a red and black belt. The red belt, presented at the 9th and 10th degrees, has been earned by a very limited number of BJJ experts. In fact, only five men have possessed a red belt at the 10th-degree level.

Not surprisingly, Carlos Gracie is one of the rare few who has earned this special rank. Carlos first learned the art of Kodokan Judo from Master Mitsuyo Maeda and transformed it into the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He opened the first school for BJJ in 1925, and the martial art quickly became popular throughout Brazil.

His youngest brother, Helio Gracie, also has earned the 10th degree red belt. Because of his smaller size and physique, he was unable to perform some of the judo-style moves and altered the art to fit his weaker physical strength which has had a huge influence on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

George Gracie, another of Carlos’s younger brothers, also earned the honor of 10th degree red belt. He was a fierce and highly successful competitor, known throughout Brazil during his heyday of the 1920s and 1930s. The other two men with this ranking are two more Gracie brothers – Gastao Gracie and Oswald Gracie. This honor has been bestowed only on the pioneers of this martial art, and is probably unlikely to be given out again.

Those with the 9th-degree red belt include names such as Rorion Gracie, who co-created Ultimate Fighting Championship and brought Gracie-Barra Jiu-Jitsu to the United States. Others among this elite group include Armando Wridt, who boasted not only an undefeated record, but is also one of the few people on earth to receive the red belt directly from Helio Gracie. Oswaldo Fadda is yet another red belt earner, and one of the very few who was not part of the Gracie family or school.

Even if the red belt seems like an unattainable honor, the black belt or brown belt are certainly something you can earn if you commit yourself to this martial art. It is important to train with excellent teachers, so look for a San Diego Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym that has several top instructors. It is also wise to choose a gym that allows you take an unlimited amount of classes each week for one flat fee. This will allow you to improve your skills more quickly.

The Ranking System Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Ji Jitsu Belt Ranking

Ranking systems are common in many forms of martial arts, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Students of Jiu-Jitsu will earn specific belts as they add to their skill set, learning technical and practical skills as well as improving one’s ability to utilize those skills. The belts of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu not only represent improvement of skills, each also marks the strengthening of the student’s commitment to Jiu-Jitsu.

When you begin, you are given a white belt. Typically during this part of your training, you will focus on defensive positions and escapes, as these are highly important for beginning practitioners. However, in order to become a well-rounded fighter, most schools also incorporate some basic offensive positions, including a few guard passes and some submission holds. Some BJJ schools add a stripe to the black edge of the belt, signifying the passage from one level of expertise to a higher level.

The white belt is the beginning belt for all forms of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, although in general, the ranks and belts vary between children and adults. Children progress through the belt system at a faster pace than adults, simply because they are weaker physically and less is expected of them for each ranking. Once a fighter reaches 16, they can begin their adult training and work toward attaining the blue belt.

The blue belt is the second belt ranking in the adult BJJ ranking system, and typically fighters take one or two years to move from a white belt to the blue belt. Once you have earned a blue belt, you will have acquired a myriad of skills and spent many hours each week improving your techniques.

After the blue belt is earned, you begin working toward your purple belt, and this will take at least two years of solid work and sometimes three years to earn. After you do earn the purple belt, some schools will allow you to teach those holding white belts as you have reached a level of skills that allows you to effectively share your knowledge. As you train, you work on polishing the many skills you have acquired, and then you continue working toward the level of brown belt, which is usually the highest rank that most fighters will earn. From white belt to brown belt, you might have spent eight or nine years studying and practicing.

The black belt is certainly an attainable goal, but you will find that most of those who have earned a black belt also earn their living through the martial arts, as it requires thousands of hours of practice and commitment. There are, of course, degrees of black belts, and once you reach the level of a 7th degree black belt, you also receive a black and red belt. To put this in perspective, even amazing fighters such as Anderson Silva have not yet attained a black and red belt. The final belt, a red belt, has been awarded to fewer than two dozen fighters, and the highest, the 10th degree red belt, has been awarded to only five people, none of whom are alive today and none who are not part of the Gracie family.

Conditioning That Will Enhance Your Jiu-Jitsu Skills

Jiu Jitsu Conditioning

If you want to improve your proficiency in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you must practice. Those serious about improving these skills should join a mixed martial arts gym and plan on taking a few weekly classes. In addition, one should also consider some of the following conditioning and strength-training exercises which will make Jiu-Jitsu a bit easier.

If you like to swim, consider a good swim workout a couple of times each week. This can be a great way to start off your day, and unlike many other cardio exercises, there is far less risk of injury in swimming. You will build strength in your upper body which will improve your grappling skills, and swimming will keep your heart healthy and strong, as well as improve your lung capacity.

Yoga might not seem very high intensity, but this form of exercise is a fantastic way to improve your core strength and flexibility. Many practitioners of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu use yoga to improve their overall muscular health. There are many different types of yoga to consider, ranging from higher intensity Astanga yoga to Vinyasa yoga which focuses on improving your overall strength.

To possess great Jiu-Jitsu abilities, one must work to improve their ability to grip and hold an opponent. Rock climbing is an activity that will focus on exactly that. In fact, there are few activities that more strongly rely on your ability to hold a grip. Check out the rock climbing options, both indoor and outdoor, in your area.

Another key component of improving your skills is to improve your diet. Eating the healthiest food possible will make your body stronger and less prone to injury and illness. So talk to an expert and discuss your food and supplement needs before beginning any exercise program. Consider eating leaner cuts of protein that are high in creatine, which help you build muscle, and Omega 3’s, which protects your brain and heart, as well as your joints.

Select a gym that offers training in martial arts in San Diego, and find one where you can take as many classes as you like for one monthly due. Your gym should include strength and conditioning classes, Jiu-Jitsu classes and perhaps even boxing classes. All of these classes can be helpful.

Great Movies That Feature Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu Jitsu in Film

If you love the world of San Diego Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and spend your free time practicing techniques and training, you might also want to spend some of your downtime enjoying movies that feature Jiu-Jitsu prominently. Not only is it great entertainment, it can inspire you in regards to your own training.

 

While you might think that a martial arts movie would be all fight and no story, this certainly is not the case with “Warrior.” This film, which stars Nick Nolte, Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton, is not only filled with some great fight scenes, the story is riveting. Hardy and Edgerton play brothers who have not spoken in years, much of this due to conflicts surrounding their father, a recovering alcoholic. Both have entered a martial arts competition in order to win the prize, which is several million dollars. One intends to use the money to help the family of a fallen marine, while the other is trying to save his home and take care of his family. In the end, the two brothers face each other for the grand prize. As for Jiu-Jitsu, this is the skill that the older brother utilizes in the ring, so you see some excellent BJJ scenes.

 

David Mamet, who has a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu, has a clear appreciation for martial arts; after all he named one of his most famous films, “Ronin,” the word for a masterless samurai. “Redbelt,” is another of Mamet’s effort and features the story of a Jiu-Jitsu instructor who resists fighting in competitions because he believes it to be “weakening.” In the end, a series of complicated events basically forces him to enter a competition. Both Enson Inoue and Randy Couture have small roles in the film.

 

For many Americans, their first look at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, whether they knew it or not, came about while watching the blockbuster movie “Lethal Weapon”. During the final fight scene, Riggs (Mel Gibson) defeats Joshua (played by Gary Busey) using a very effective triangle choke. Gibson’s Jiu-Jitsu skills were taught to him by none other than Rorion Gracie, who worked on the film prior to opening the first Gracie Barra school and prior to developing the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

 

Some movies are just not very good, but they perhaps have some parts that are worth watching. A good example of this would be “Brazilian Brawl.” While no one would argue that the Machado brothers are amazing at Jiu-Jitsu, their acting does leave something to be desired. Nevertheless, all five of them are featured in this film, so if nothing else, you will enjoy some fantastic fight scenes. Carlos Machado also choreographed fight scenes and occasionally was featured in episodes of “Walker, Texas Ranger.” So, consider watching a few episodes of that 1980s Chuck Norris classic.

 

It would certainly be convenient if you could become proficient in Jiu-Jitsu moves in a matter of minutes, but alas, that can only happen in the movies, specifically “The Matrix.” After Neo asks, “I’m going to learn Jiu-Jitsu?” he is plugged into the matrix and later, he emerges saying, “I know Kung Fu.” He doesn’t really ever demonstrate the Jiu-Jitsu skills, but the film’s martial arts scenes are considered to be some of the best fights scenes in the history of film.

 

Looking for one of the best MMA gyms in San Diego? If you are looking to improve your Jiu-Jitsu skills, we invite you to visit us. The Arena is the leading Gym in North America for Combat Sports and Martial Arts instruction. We are considered one of the top boxing gyms in San Diego, as well as having the best Kickboxing and Muay Thai training available. Sign up for your free membership trial today!

Gi, No-Gi & More: The World Of Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu Jitsu

There are several different types of Jiu-Jitsu styles out there, and you have probably heard words such Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu, Gi Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Each of them is similar in many ways but each of them does have a few key differences.

As an overview, jiu-jitsu originated in Japan as Jujutsu, a combat art where an opponent could defeat an armed opponent without using any type of weapon. The “ju” translates roughly to flexible or yielding, while “jutsu” means art. While each form of the sport is slightly different, the idea of defeating a stronger opponent with a flexible fighting approach is universal in all forms of the sport.

Sometimes you will see an MMA gym that offers both Gi and No-Gi classes on their roster. There are a few key differences. One of the main differences between the two is the uniform. In Gi Jiu Jitsu, fighters wear a traditional belted uniform while in No-Gi, fighters might just wear shorts and a rash guard or a t-shirt.

The uniform is different and because of that, the fighting techniques are a bit different, as well. When you wear the Gi, you can grab onto to the opponent’s uniform, which can be a helpful way to dominate the opponent while you are grappling. However, you are not allowed to grab onto clothing in a No-Gi contest, and instead must rely on skills that help you grab key areas such as elbows, the neck or the knees. In this way, Gi offers a bit more flexibility in fighting.

It might seem like No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu training is less effective since you cannot hold onto the uniform. However, No-Gi is more transferable to mixed martial arts in general because you don’t wear a Gi during an MMA bout. If possible, it is recommended that you take both types of classes as they focus on different types of skills. The more skills you acquire, the better your overall game plan will be, so there is a definite advantage in being proficient in both styles.

When it comes to the differences between basic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Gracie-style Jiu-Jitsu, this is quite subtle. Both styles teach the same skills and you can become just as strong of a fighter at either style of gym. The Gracie philosophy basically teaches Jiu-Jitsu as a philosophy of life and a self-defense tool, rather than a competitive sport. So while there are Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu championships, there are not Gracie Jiu-Jitsu championship bouts. Neither one is better than the other, you simply have to find the style that is right for you.

The Gracie Legacy & MMA

The Gracie Legacy & MMA

If you have never heard the name Gracie, you really aren’t much of an MMA fan. This family’s impact on mixed martial arts has been huge, and the special style of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu crafted by the Gracie Family is a vital part of most fighters’ MMA training.

The first Gracie to enter the world of martial arts was Carlos Gracie, the oldest son of circus owner Gastao Gracie. The circus presented a series of Kodokan Judo demonstrations by Master Mitsuyo Maeda, and after Carlos saw Maeda’s performance, he asked to become a student of this form of Judo. Maeda, one of the world’s greatest fighters of all time with more than 2,000 fights in his career, agreed and taught his skill set to his eager young student. Carlos then opened a martial arts school, first teaching his brothers and then enlisting them as instructors. For Carlos, martial arts served as a way of life, as well as a way to protect his brothers from a tyrannical father.

His youngest brother, Helio, was the only one who did not take part in the training, as he was too sickly and Carlos was protective of his youngest brother. However, he spent many hours watching Carlos and his brothers train students and memorized all of their techniques. One day when Carlos was late to meet a student at the gym, Helio took over and the student was so happy with his instruction that he asked to take more classes from Helio.

Because of his limited physical strength, Helio was unable to use many of Carlos’ techniques. So he modified each technique to provide an advantage for a smaller or weaker fighter. Between Carlos influence on the art and Helio’s adaptation, the Gracie method of Jiu-Jitsu was developed.

Fast forward a generation and you come to Rorion Gracie, Helio’s oldest son, and the one who brought the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the United States. Rorion was born for the sport, beginning his training before his second birthday. He came to the United States in 1978 and started offering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lessons for free out of his garage. Eventually his brother Royce joined him, and in 1989 with more than 100 students, they moved out of the garage and opened the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu studio.

Rorion was a man with vision. Not only did he open the first BJJ school in the United States, he was also responsible for promoting and developing the Ultimate Fighting Championship along with John Milius and Art Davie. The first UFC 1 was a huge success, and mixed martial arts has grown exponentially since that first live broadcast.

Rorion’s brother Royce Gracie had his own part in promoting mixed martial arts. Royce was the first UFC champ, defeating three strong opponents during UFC 1 in 1993. Royce defeated Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock and Gerard Gordeau to win the title. Both Shamrock and Gordeau were larger and heavier opponents, but Royce defeated each in 57 seconds and 1:44, respectively.

About The Arena

The Arena is the leading Gym in North America for Combat Sports and Martial Arts instruction, offering one of the largest programs of its kind in the world. With over 150 weekly classes in 10 disciplines and specialized training for Amateur and Professional fighters, our programs are run by some of the top coaches on the planet in one of the best sports facilities in the USA.

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