Category Archives: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Fit Monkey Thought(s) of the Day, 8.11.11

I find this on Sincere Hogan‘s great blog. These are some powerful thoughts from Great Grand Master Carlos Gracie, Sr., a legend in the world of martial arts, specifically Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As Sincere wrote, “I think everyone should print this out, post it where you will see it often, throughout the day/night, and practice each and every one of these life gems.” Here they are:

12 Teachings of the Great Grand Master Carlos Gracie, Sr.

1. Be so strong that nothing can disturb the peace of your mind.

2. Talk to all people about happiness, health, and prosperity.

3. Give to all your friends the feeling of being valued.

4. Look at things by the enlightened point of view and update your optimism on reality.

5. Think only about the best, work only for the best, and always expect the best.

6. Be as just and enthusiastic about others victories as you are with yours.

7. Forget about past mistakes and focus your energy on the victories of tomorrow.

8. Always make those around you happy and keep a smile to all people who talk to you.

9. Apply the largest amount of your time on self-improvement and no time in criticizing others.

10. Be big enough so you can feel unsatisfied, be noble enough so you can feel anger, be strong enough so you can feel fear, and be happy enough so you can feel frustrations.

11. Hold a good opinion about your self and communicate that to the world, but not through dissonant words but through good works.

12. Believe strongly that the world is on your side, as long as you stay loyal to the best of yourself.

By: Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu


Active Rest Weekend, 7.02.11-7.03.11

I felt unusually energetic Saturday, so I decided to do a light workout. Specifically, I wanted to do something that would complement my martial arts training (no doubt because I’ve been bouncing back and forth between reading Barry Eisler‘s awesome John Rain novels and Sgt. Rory Miller‘s Meditations on Violence).

I warmed-up with about 10-min of yoga. Then I just did a bunch of moves one after another: 15 Hindu Push-Ups and 30 Hindu Squats; Planks and Side Planks; Triangles, Rocking Chair, and other BJJ-related core work. I did this circuit three times before heading outside to do a couple of 4-min rounds on the heavy bag.

Sunday was a more mellow day. I went to the beach, did 10-min of yoga and then swam 400m. No Hindu stuff… I figured it’s always good to take a day of rest to let the body recover.

BJJ Champ Felicia Oh on Kettlebells

From Kettlebell Athletics:

In a recent interview, Felicia Oh, a Jean Jacques Machado Black Belt whose resume lists 18 separate titles including 2007 ADCC North American Champion was asked to describe her best conditioning methods, her reply was,”Grappling, more grappling, kettlebells, grappling, and more kettlebells.”

Monday Training, 6.20.11

In the morning I did about 12-min of yoga followed by some side planks and BJJ-specific core work.

In the afternoon, I trained with my friend Travis. We warmed-up with Hindu Push-Ups and Squats, 15/15 for 10-min. Then we moved on the some Chins on the Jungle Gym. I did about 4 sets of 6.

For the kettlebell portion of our training, we tried a complex I found on  Kettlebell Athletics. Here are the details:

Complete the prescribed repetitions of each drill before moving unto the next. Don’t stop working until each drill is complete. As you fatigue, drop your repetitions to ensure fast, high quality movement.

8 Snatches into 8 Cleans into 8 Swings Right Arm/ 8 Snatches into 8 Cleans into 8 Swings Left Arm

7 Snatches into 7 Cleans into 7 Swings Right Arm/ 7 Snatches into 7 Cleans into 7 Swings Left Arm

6 Snatches into 6 Cleans into 6 Swings Right Arm/ 6 Snatches into 6 Cleans into 6 Swings Left Arm

… and so on until you are done to 1-rep of each movement. This was a good, short, but challenging protocol, and I plan to utilize it in future workouts.

Exciting Week of Martial Arts Training

Lots of martial arts fun this past week.


On Tuesday, my friends Bobby Chuck and Manny Vallardes decided to ramp-up our Kali stickfighting game a bit by sparring with rattan sticks, as opposed to our usual padded training sticks. It makes a big difference! That slight element of pain (and fear) really changes your game plan. We all did very well, and managed to avoid any serious injuries, though a glancing blow to my elbow did cause a bit of discomfort.

There was more Kali goodness on Thursday, as Manny earned his Battlefield Kali Single Stick Instructor certification under Guro Burton Richardson. Like all of Burton’s instructor tests, sparring is an important part of the certification process, and I had the honor of sparring with Manny for two rounds during testing, while Bobby (also a Kali instructor) took the other two rounds. Everyone fought at a very high level.

Manny Valladares & Burton Richardson

Also that evening, JKD Instructor Shelton Yamashiro earned his Brown Belt in Burton’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Street Self-Defense. Shelton is a great grappler, and this was well-deserved. I rolled with him for one round as part of his test, and am pleased to report I made it through alive and in one piece.

It was more Kali fun on Saturday. A few friends and I met in the park to do a bit of sparring, using training sticks, rattan sticks, and training knives. I also taught everyone a few basic kettlebell moves. Kali and kettlebells… what a great way to spend an afternoon!

Wednesday Training, 6.08.11

Started the day with an hour-long walk. Afterward, I did about 12-min of yoga and joint mobility before doing the following circuit:

  • 15 Hindu Push-Ups
  • 30 Hindu Squats
  • 5 Neutral Grip Chins
  • BJJ-Specific Core Work

I did three circuits, resting 1-min in between.

I did my kettlebell work in the afternoon with my friend Travis. We warmed-up with 10-min of Hindu Push-Ups and Squats, 15/15 style. Then we did some chinning work on the Jungle Gym. I did about four sets of 5 Chins. Next, Kettlebell Clean & Presses, 15/15 for 10-min, and Kettlebell Swings, 30/30 for 10-min. We went light, sticking with the 35# KBs. We ended the day with Travis leading us through some Qigong breathing exercises.

Swimmin’ in the Mornin’, Kali in the Evenin’, BJJ at Suppatime!

Like the cheesy, slightly obscure musical reference?

I started Tuesday morning with some yoga and joint mobility work on the beach before going for a 400-m ocean swim. It was raining, and the cold rain made the ocean feel downright warm by comparison.

Tuesday evening it was time for Kali, followed by MMA stuff. The night ended with a solid 45-min or so of BJJ work. I’m pleased to say my back is feeling even better, and I felt no spinal pain even as my partner and I were thrashing about violently on the mats. No pain this morning when I woke up, either. It’s good to be back!