Coach’s Corner

When should my child start training?

When should my child start training?

I get this question a lot, sometimes someone will call me and I say “How Old is your child?” I will get some answers like they are 18 months old. Well I don’t know your child but in an organized class for children, that is too young. In my opinion. Maybe you as a parent should train, and pass down your legacy to them? But that is another story all together.

I have trained many children over the years, some was ready younger, some was not ready older. It really depends on your child. But a good rule of thumb a child that is 5 to 6 is old enough to start in an organized 50-60 minute class.

Now I know my daughter started training before she was 3 years old, but my son started when he was 6. I maybe would have started him out before that, but we didn’t have any options at that time 14 years ago.

But keep this is mind, when you are trying to get a child to start training under 5, keep a realistic attitude on it. I think a 3 year old should be only expected to stay focused on an organized class for 30 minutes, 4 year old maybe 40 minutes. And so on. And be happy if you get a few minutes more. But don’t pressure too much.

Think of it like this, I have been told if you are using “Time Out” for your child as a discipline. The max for a 3 year old would be 3 minutes, and four year old would be 4 minutes, and so on. So why would you expect you child to stay interested in any activity more than 10 times a “Time Out”

Even when they get older keep everything in perspective, remember when my son was young and I went to a seminar and the Children’s seminar was before the adult seminar. I was getting up set during the adult seminar because my son and few of the other children wasn’t being perfect bystanders on the side lines. Royce Gracie told me “James let the Kid’s Play, This has to be fun for them”

Good lesson to learn.

And I learn them every day.

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Why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Is Great For Children

Why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Is Great For Children

The Jiu-Jitsu Times | Why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Is A Great Sport for Unathletic Children.

Today I ran across a good article about why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a good activity for children. Especially the ones who don’t do well at Team Sports and or are not athletic. If you are looking for an activity for your child, this really explains why what we teach is best for your child.

It is really tough for our kids to find a place for them. A good read if you want to learn more about our style.

And if you are an adult and not athletic, you too can get the same benefits from training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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Sometimes as a Coach you have a chance to make a difference in this sport of MMA.

Recently my team went to a smaller MMA event held in Hickory Va. And I had three fighters on this card. I was asked to corner a fighter who was in between teams at this time. Later in the evening we realized that two of the opponents, of our fighter, where not showing. So I asked to move my only fighter to the first fight so we could leave early.

But where did that leave the other fighter who didn’t have a team, that ended up to be the main event, at the end of the card?

Well he came to me and let me know that he really wanted me to stay and corner him. And yes I did give my word to corner him so I and my team stayed for the whole event to help him do as well as he did. I spent about 30 minutes asking about his back ground and what tools he had to go into the cage.

Well he did so well I wanted to give him the props for this fight. Later on other coaches came to me and let me know he was a good fighter on my team. I let them know he wasn’t on my team but he listened so well to my coaching I knew I had made a difference in this match. Wished I had a few more people like him who really wanted to fight.

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Throw Back Thursday. Four years ago today.

Throw Back Thursday.
Four years ago today. One of my students and good and loyal friend stepped in the cage for his First Mixed Martial Arts match. With the confidence only a Team GAMMA member could do. He came home with a win for us. Today he will teach a class in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the first time. So proud of how far he has come in four short years.

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Keeping it REAL in Martial Arts

Training MMA fighters and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu practitioners for 14 years I have seen a lot over the years.

Looking back as being the first to bring Mixed Martial Arts and Reality Self-Defense training to Eastern North Carolina. Things has changed but at the same time things has stayed the same too.

You should always be looking for a place that you can train that is always keeping it real. That is always stepping up to the challenge. That is why all of our instructors have had competitive backgrounds in BJJ events and a lot of times Mixed Martial Arts events. But at the same time teaching Gracie Brazilian Jiu-jitsu as a self-defense base.

I have seen over the years, where someone has only trained for the sport part of Jiu-Jitsu, and have done really well in those type of formats. But have had more problems converting over to other sports like Mixed Martial Arts.

People are more likely to say it is the Gi training that makes that happen, I say not. If you are always keeping in your mind while you are training “what if he started punching me? what if this was on the streets, or in a cage and I have to worry about his elbows?’ then your style of Jiu-Jitsu will be properly adjusted. Then you will have less of a problem converting your entry into other sports like Mixed Martial Arts.

Just like Rickson Gracie Stated in the documentary Choke. “ I  believe that Jiu-Jitsu is a self-defense art….. To keep believing in what I teach and what I share with my students, to trust in my own words I must put myself available for any type of competition.”

Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was never meant to be a sport as much as it was, the sport of Mixed Martial Arts was developed  to show it’s strengths and also show it’s weaknesses, but as with all LIVE martial arts, it is always adapting to the situation.

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Getting Back Up When You Get Knocked Down.

When you put yourself out there in anything, you have to be willing to take the lumps and realize you can and will lose.

Two of my coaches recently competed in Mixed Martial Arts. And I am not making excuses they stepped up to the challenge and came up short, against a really good team and good friends of ours. 

Well shortly after their loss in the cage you can see them back in the gym working on their striking.

“Champions Always Get Back Up!!!”

Now they are getting ready for their next match in Elizabeth City NC. Putting in the hard work to bring home the win for Team Gamma.

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Mixed Martial Arts is the fastest growing sport in the World right now.

Mixed Martial Arts is the fastest growing sport in the World right now.

 And as the sport has evolved and more people are watching it, more and more people are getting ideas of what it is and what it isn’t. Well someone who has been around this sport for awhile I have seen the pendulum swing back and fourth. At first the grappling part of Mixed Martial Arts was really neglected to the point that just being a good grappler was enough to win Mixed Martial Arts matches.

 Then everything swung the other way, then you have to be good at other styles of striking like kickboxing, and have a good base in a grappling style.

 But now I am seeing a dangerous trend. There are so many Mixed Martial Arts matches to never get to the ground. Fighters are more content to keep things standing up and win by knock out, or by decision. And that is good, but when the new generation of fighters are inspired by what they are seeing in Mixed Martial Arts, they are getting maybe the wrong idea.

 When Anderson “The Spider” Silva was knocking people out, a lot of people I was talking to about his style and ability didn’t know he had a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. And when I was with a group of people watching some of his fights, they were so excited when he was taken down, and I would say “just wait and see what happens.” We all know what happened.

 Just because you don’t see the grappling moves and submissions don’t mean the fighter isn’t working on that part of his game. And don’t mean he is not proficient in that range of fighting.

 I also think having a good Grappling game will help you in your stand up too. I have seen the stand up fighters be so scared of going to the ground that they couldn’t get that 3rd or 4th punch or kick off the finish the fight. They was always having to protect their hips and stay in longer ranges. Sometimes this is a good idea to win a judges decisions, but seldom allows you to finish the match.

Get on the mat, and let’s train.

 Coach’s Corner

 James Speight.

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“Mixed Martial Arts is Dangerous!!”

“Mixed Martial Arts is Dangerous!!”

“Mixed Martial Arts is Dangerous!!”

You know how many times I have heard that?

Just because you have many many options when you are fighting MMA it does’t make it more dangerous. I would like to say I think that it makes it less dangerous. To the average fighter or person who practices it.

In any other single style sports what ever it is boxing, kickboxing, karate, TKD or anything. When you compete, or train and when you realized that you are over matched in something with your competitor. For the most part due to the rules they are forced to accept the situation you are in.

You have to face your attacker and get served up like the main course meal.

And I know yes “if you have heart!!” you can fight back and win, if you “use your mind” you can surprise your opponent. And yes that is great, but that can be used in MMA too. What I am talking about is options to be able to take your opponent out of their comfort zone. If the rules of your sport close the focus then you can just work on smaller parts of the combat. If your rules of your sport open the focus then you have to be open to work on larger parts of your combat. Less rules gives you more options.

Let me ask you this. If you had a choice to fight multiple attackers on the street but you get to choose. To fight them in an ally way in the city. Or a field in the county. Yes you would pick the field in the country. Why because it would give you options you wouldn’t get in the ally way. Mixed Martial Arts is the same way. It gives you options you wouldn’t have in other sports. If you are losing the stand up you can take it to the ground, if you are losing the ground game you can escape and stand it up.

Keep a open mind

And lets train

James Speight

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Coach’s Corner “You want to learn nothing….Try and learn everything.”

Coach’s Corner “You want to learn nothing….Try and learn everything.”

What-Should-I-Learn-Today

Maybe I over simplify things sometimes, well I guess I am guilty of this a lot. As a coach who wants the best for my students, I want them not to make the same mistakes I have made over the years. It can be avoiding injuries, learning curves, and training conditions.

Really isn’t that what my students are paying me for, what I know and learned over the years.
When I started training there wasn’t much information out there for Jiu-Jitsu you could buy some DVDs, advertised in some magazine, that would give you a little information. But there was always information that you just couldn’t get unless you were right there with the person who made the videos.

But today there is just so much information out there just a few key strokes away on Google or YouTube. And I know it can be too much for a new student who is just starting out in Jiu-Jitsu.
OK here it is, listen to your instructor. He has been training a lot longer and he has more to offer you then you maybe think. Don’t try and make up new techniques, not saying you can’t learn from everyone you train with. Just when you are learning Jiu-Jitsu for the first time, there is nothing you can make up that someone already haven’t already tried.

Jiu-Jitsu isn’t invented it is discovered.

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Every now and then I have a student who wants to show me a new move he learned. And for the most part it is just a little different variation of a basic move that we have taught before. Now I am not saying that everything don’t need to be tested and improved. That is what makes Jiu-jitsu, a great art is all the questioning to make it better. It just isn’t productive when you need to learn the basics.

But everything always seems to go around in circles, what is old is new again and what is new becomes old someday.
There is a reason why some Great Jiu-Jitsu practitioners can make better moves. And always seem to be able to make these moves work. Because they have an expert grasp of the basic moves.

Jiu-jitsu is like the house that is for the most part like the next house down the street. Someone comes by and paints the house and now it looks like a new house. Better then the one down the street. But it isn’t a new house, it has the same foundation, pluming, electrical, walls and roof. All that has been changed is the thin amount of paint, but everyone says wow that looks good.

There has been many times while I was teaching over the years that I was accused of teaching too much basic moves. Now if that happens today I can say “Thank you that is a compliment

Stick to the basics at first, drill drill and drill some more. You will be glad you did later. And maybe you can show me something I never seen before when you know the basics.

Coach’s Corner
James Speight

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Rickson Gracie and Royler Demonstration at Pride Fighting Championship.

This was a good demonstration that Rickson and Royler did at a Pride Fighting Championship. At that time Gracie Brazilian Jiu-jitsu was just getting popular was still unknown is many ways, and even though Rickson and Royler made it look easy, it took their family from Brazil many years to perfect their self-Defense Techniques. Props to the family that built what all of us in the Martial Arts World has enjoyed.

 

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