Posts Tagged "Training Gracie Jiu-Jitsu"

Student of the Week Amberlynne VanDusen

Student of the Week Amberlynne VanDusen

This weeks Student of the Week is Amberlynne VanDusen she is a Graduate Student at East Carolina University, and receiving her Masters of Science in Environmental Health next month. She just recently received her Blue Belt in Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. And have taken to the Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle. There are very few days in the week she does’t make it to the academy to train.Here is what she had to say about training with us.

“Learning a self-defense martial art had been on the “to-do” list for some time. Growing up I watched my brother train in karate, where he learned a lot of rote forms, but fewer flexible, practical techniques. Sparring in his classes was saved for special occasions and the sparring was what interested me. I wanted the ability and confidence to practically defend myself in an altercation. So, I signed up for a handful of various women’s self-defense classes, only to find that they focused on textbook material and spent more time talking about, rather than engaging in the techniques. Moreover, instructors never offered a satisfying answer to my concern about a confrontation being taken to the ground, as if this wasn’t a realistic possibility. From karate to women’s classes, none seemed to both address realistic situations and still be fun.”

“Fast-forward to spring 2013, I happened by the All-American Martial Arts Academy in Greenville, NC. On a whim, I showed up to a try a class in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I had no clue that I’d get hooked on such an enjoyable, practical, and accessible self-defense art. I was warmly welcomed to the mats, outfitted with a GI, and included in all class activities. It was phenomenal; not only did Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu exceed everything I was looking for in a self-defense martial art, but the family-run gym is what really sealed the deal. The atmosphere I have experienced at All-American Martial Arts Academy is friendly, relaxed, and focused on learning what really works. Toward the end of every class, there is an opportunity to roll, which I would equate to as “ground sparring.” It is the time to apply the techniques, find out they really work, and have a ton of active fun. It is a satisfying workout and significantly more enjoyable than traditional exercising. True, at just 5ft, I’m typically the smallest on the mat, but this has only allowed me to be more focused on the technique; because unlike my training partner, I’m unlikely to muscle my way through a move. As such, I’m more confident in what I’m learning at All-American Martial Arts Academy because it really works. My one regret? That I didn’t start training sooner…”

 

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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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When-should-children-start-training-smile

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What a Day at the Academy.

  • What a Day at the Academy.
  • What a Day at the Academy.
  • What a Day at the Academy.
  • What a Day at the Academy.
  • What a Day at the Academy.
  • What a Day at the Academy.
  • What a Day at the Academy.

We had so many students and instructors on the mat today. But most of all I would like to congratulate Amber and Daniel for their promotion to blue belt. They have worked hard and it shows in their rolling.
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Belt Testing

Belt Testing

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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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Tashi James First Mixed Martial Arts Fight

Tashi James First Mixed Martial Arts Fight

Like to share something today. From time to time I have new interesting people to train. About a year ago Tashi James walked in the door of my academy and asked me a question. He asked me in the best way he could. He wrote It down on paper. See Tashi is hearing impaired. He asked if I thought would he still be able to compete in Mixed Martial Arts?

And it touched me that he wouldn’t let anything get in his way of being a MMA fighter. But I treated him just like any other student. He had to put the work in.

Well I asked him what it was like to fight for the first time, this is what he wrote.

“My first fight was a big learning experience for me. I trained one year before I had my first fight. Gave myself exactly a year to be confident enough to win the fight. I wasn’t experienced in Jiu-itsu and Kickboxing. I have been wrestling for a longtime when I was a teenager. I grew up playing football baseball basketball, and to played football at college and semi pro. My dad was an amateur boxer. I was a bit nervous I decided to try be an amateur Mixed Martial Arts fighter. I love the fighting. My goal is to become a professional Mixed Martial Arts Fighter someday. My coaches and students are good teaching me Jiu- jitsu and kickboxing. They really helped me a lot and taught me how to really go for the submission. I’m looking forward to my next Mixed Martial Arts event and match.”

Tashi James

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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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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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