Issue 006 "Champion Within"

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MAR 2017

Letter From The Publisher Back when I was a Blue and Purple belt I used to teach children and young adults BJJ programs. I haven’t held a kid’s class in some time but after reading some of the articles this month from our contributors, I caught myself reminiscing of those days. I still remember most of their faces and personalities. Names not so much, but don’t hold that against me, I get my own family members names mixed-up more often than not. What I have held onto is how impactful teaching those young minds was to me. Of course, the students gain the most from it, but don’t forget that every teacher can be a student of his/ her pupils as well. I think they learned a lot from our time on the mats, gained valuable life skills, and boosted their self-confidence. I think this because that’s exactly what I got out from them -haha. A couple of the kids I taught, now all grown up, have become really close friends. Seeing them grow in height, personality, and life experiences is quite amazing. Even if I’m just a spectator in their story at this point, it’s nice to know that I had a positive impact on their lives, and all through BJJ! As adults, we sometimes forget that some of the most rewarding moments to be had in life comes from helping those just starting out in it. So, if you ever have the opportunity to help out in your academy or even lead a kids class of your own, take it! It will be an experience that you and your students will treasure forever. Live, Laugh, & Roll! -Clinton “Sapinho” Dela Cruz

DESIGN | OPERATIONS Clinton Dela Cruz Publisher / Designer E: IG: @clintondlc

Jason Walter Managing Editor E: IG: @menamejmaw

Eddie Rodrigues Lead Designer E: IG: @roxt_eddie

Cover Photos | Nicholas Richard E: IG: @nrichard_

STORYTELLERS David Greer “Sweet Submission” E: IG: @whitepineapple Jason Walter “Talking Stories - Kids and Jiu-Jitsu E: IG: @menamejmaw Daniel Soule “Pork Pie, SuperGuy” E: TW: @grammatologer Tanvir Mosharraf “The Travelling BJJ Practitioner in the Age of Globalization” E: FB: /tanvir.mosharraf

William Torres “Fueling Your Little Champion” E: IG: @willtorres.spn Ayesha Kamal “Get a Grip - on Being a Good Training Partner” E: IG: @plumpetalsfit

Romana Miah Media Coordinator E: IG @anamormiah

Tiannah DLC-Diaz Customer Representive E: IG: @tiannahko

Jeffrey Huang Brand Ambassador E: IG @ajmataz










March 2017 | Issue 006

Sweet Submission

By David Greer

Let’s face it, getting the submission is awesome...

Talking Stories - About Kids and Jiu-Jitsu 08

By Jason Walter

With so many choices for sports...


Pok Pie, SuperGuy

By Daniel Soule

Matt jumped thirty feet from one building to the next...

The Travelling BJJ Practitioner in the Age of Globalization 22

By Tanvir Mosharraf

Quenching the Thirst to Grapple...

Fueling Your Little Champion 22

By Will Torres

Children are some of the pickiest eaters..

Get a Grip on - Being a Good Training Partner 24

By Ayesha Kamal

To the untrained eye, the practice of Jiu-Jitsu may look like two people scrambling... Issue 006



Sweet Submission By David Greer


et’s face it, getting the submission is awesome.

Training Jiu-Jitsu brings many good things into our lives like heightened confidence and camaraderie. But there’s nothing more instantly satisfying than going for a submission and feeling your partner tap out. Especially if it’s the first time the technique worked. The first submission I ever pulled off was a triangle choke. I remember it well. It was my second week of training and I had only learned how to do a triangle choke a few days before. I went to the evening jiu-jitsu class after a long day of work. We learned a new technique and did some drills. Then at the end of class we did some sparring and I was partnered with another new person. We started on the ground because that’s what newbies do, and I put him in my full guard. He tried to break my guard by reaching back to pry my feet apart and I quickly opened my guard, lifted my hips in the air, got my leg above 6| Issue 006

the arm he reached back with, and clamped my legs around his neck with his other arm trapped between his neck and my leg. I shifted by hips and adjusted my legs to get my left ankle behind my right knee, then I clamped down with my right leg to lock up the triangle, moved his trapped arm across my chest, squeezed my legs together, and pulled his head down. In a few seconds I felt a tap on my ribs and I let go. He tapped out, he actually tapped out, I made somebody tap out! That’s what I was thinking at the time. I couldn’t believe it, it was awesome. It was the first submission I ever pulled off and it was exhilarating! A week later I caught somebody in an armbar from the top position. That was the second submission I ever got. Later I pulled off a collar choke, then another triangle, then an armbar from the full guard. Pulling off submissions became the most exciting part of class and there’s a few moments that I remember very well. There was this time where I caught my partner in a crucifix position and got a collar choke. He was in the turtle position and I was on the side, perpendicular, putting my weight on his upper back. He reached for one of my legs in

a way that let me trap his arm, then I somersaulted forward, rolling us over. I rolled forward, he rolled sideways. As we rolled I hooked one of my arms under his free arm, trapping it. We ended up with my back on the mat, his back against my chest, and his arms spread wide, one trapped in my legs, the other trapped in my arm. With my free hand I reached around his neck, got a deep grip on his collar, and squeezed. It was the first time I forced somebody to tap out using their feet. It was also the first time I trapped somebody in a crucifix. I had drilled the crucifix position many times over the course of several months. I thought it was a really cool technique and I enjoy drilling it, but while I pulled it off well in drills I could never get it in sparring. It never clicked until that day. Another submission I remember really well was my first arm triangle. What’s memorable about it is that I never actually learned how to do an arm triangle in class. I had only seen it done by other people in training and in MMA fights on TV. One day I was sparring and got into the full mount position. I was trying to set up an ezekiel choke and got one of my arms behind my partners neck. He tried to bump me to the right and in doing so I was forced to post my free arm on the mat and then he tried to bridge and roll to the left. When my partner’s arm passed in front of my face something in my head clicked and I knew I had an opportunity for an arm triangle. I put my head on the mat close to his arm, reached with the arm behind his neck and gripped the bicep of my free arm, then curled by free arm so that my hand was touching my head. I understood triangle chokes well enough to know it’s about getting a good squeeze at the proper angle so

I squeezed, dismounted, and moved to the side. I felt a tap on my shoulder and let go. It was the first arm triangle I pulled off, and it was the first time I used the concept of a submission I knew to pull off a submission I had never learned before. Getting the submission brings a nice sense of victory and it also demonstrates something else. It shows that we’re learning. The step-bystep instructions and the drills are meant to help us improve our jiu-jitsu game and getting the submission in sparring shows that we’re able to put it all together. And it happens all the time in training. We’re constantly learning new techniques, new submissions, and creating ways to blend it all. While it’s awesome to pull off a new submission myself, it’s also awesome to watch somebody pull off a first of their own. It’s even more rewarding when you are the person who helped them with the technique. In training, we’re all trying to tap each other out and in doing so we help others tap us out too. All of us have moments we remember in vivid detail, and it’s often a moment when we pulled off a new submission or a submission we’ve struggled to get for a while. It brings on a sweet sense of victory because we win the match against our partner, and also because it’s the culmination of our training and a realization of improved skill. Each new submission brings on a better understanding of our jiu-jitsu training, of ourselves, and it’s a huge motivating factor to continue training. Keep seeking out those victories and go for the tap. Issue 006



Talking Stories

about Kids and Jiu-Jitsu By Jason Walter @menamejmaw

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ith so many choices for sports and activities out there, it is easy to feel overwhelmed in searching for an outlet to help a child develop and release energy: Baseball Season in the Spring. Football Season in the Fall. The list goes on and on… Summer Basketball League, Soccer Camp, Gymnastics, Ballet! There’s even Lightsaber Academy? Ed. Note: True story. Ask Google. Since you’re reading a Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle Magazine, it should come as no surprise that we think your child(ren) should be training Jiu-Jitsu. A martial art that can be practiced around the

year, Jiu-Jitsu is also something that a parent can do side-by-side with a child. But is it safe?


The risk for injury can occur in any sport but is much lower in Jiu-Jitsu. In an Assessment of Injuries during Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Competition published by the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, it was concluded that Jiu-Jitsu competitors “were at a substantially lower risk of injury when compared to judo, taekwondo, wresting, and mixed martial arts. The study, which analyzed results from 8 competitions that occurred in Hawaii from 2005 - 2011, estimated 9.2 incidences of injury per 1000 exposures. Source: full/10.1177/2325967114522184

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Though arguably safer than many other sports, at times arte suave (the gentle art) might not seem gentle, but it does provides youth with many important tools to live a gentle life. The simple ritual of starting and ending each class with a bow, reminders from Professors and Coaches to take care of your partners, and the infectious laughter during kids classes add up to contribute to the overall well-being of a child navigating the tides of growing up. An effective form of self-defense, Jiu-Jitsu also contributes to a healthy self-image and cultivates social skills among both agegroup peers and adults. This latter point is especially important in this increasingly complex and at times chaotic world.

Now, what are you waiting for? If you haven’t done so already, sign your kids up now, and better yet, follow them to the mats!

Community Views It’s hard to be unbiased when we admittedly describe Jiu-Jitsu as an addiction so we Issue 006


“Taking Jiu-Jitsu away is worse than no cellphones, wi-fi, and TV.”

Through Jiu-Jitsu, children are exposed to a diverse group of people coming together for a common person minus religious, political, and other social contexts that might otherwise preclude interaction. This opportunity to socialize with people from different backgrounds is essential in growing a holistically well-rounded, open young human.

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sought to learn from the mana’o (knowledge) of some adult Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, who hold three very important roles in the lives of children: Mother, Teacher, and Coach. From their experience, find out how they see a practice like Jiu-Jitsu serving the world champions of tomorrow, our children, both on and off the mats.

On the importance of grappling: ”My family knows its priorities.” ~ Hazel Capalad, Mother of Three Children (15, 13, & 10)

“Discipline and Team Building” Taking Jiu-Jitsu away is worse than no cell-phones, wi-fi, and TV. If her two eldest children have issues with one another and it gets to be too much, then they have to solve it.

On the mat. This process allows them to constructively work through their issues with one another. It also strengthens their bond as they ultimately care about each other and do not really wish to hurt one another.

Inspiration Hazel’s kids started training before she did. They are part of the reason she got into it and to this day, it drives her to continue. On the days where Hazel doesn’t want to train, her daughter will say, “Come on Mom, let’s go.” and that extra push helps her to get out there and train.

Laulima (‘Hand in hand’ / Working Together) That many people training multiple times each week means there are many gis.

in turn would lead to more positive outcomes on a host of issues that youth encounter in schools from school work, socializing with peers, helping of others to bully prevention.

And with so many gis, it’s all hands on deck.


Each member of the ohana has a day in the rotation to wash gis or help with that in some way. “With my youngest, he can’t quite reach, so it’s his job is to take clothes to and from the laundry.”

Studies have shown that exercise increases the learning capabilities of the brain. Since Jiu-Jitsu is also considered a form of exercise, students are already benefiting from its positive effect on the brain. I also feel that once a student understands the concepts of Jiu-Jitsu, they can apply it to the classroom by coming up with solutions, alternatives and answers.

Mr. Lee “Once a student understands the concepts of Jiu-Jitsu, they can apply it to the classroom by coming up with solutions, alternatives and answers.” ~ Joey Lee, Teacher and Certified Athletic Trainer Why? Like any Martial Art, Jiu-Jitsu teaches discipline, humility and perseverance. A proven and effective form of self defense, it builds confidence, improves self-image, and is a great form of exercise where they’re building strength, cardio, flexibility and balance.

In most sports where physical attributes is the major component to determining one’s success. Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art/sport where you don’t have to be tall, fast, strong or the most athletic in order to be successful or standing at the top of the podium.

“Like any Martial Art, Jiu-Jitsu teaches discipline, humility and perseverance.”

The lessons and concepts learned through Jiu-Jitsu can be applied in almost all aspects of a student’s life. The friendships made through Jiu-Jitsu are some of the most meaningful because you’re trusting your partner not to hurt you during practice. It is from that “trust” that friendship bonds are made. Jiu-Jitsu with the right guidance can build a positive self image for students which

Jiu-Jitsu in Schools? Yes, I think it would be great to incorporate Jiu-Jitsu as a sport in school. However, I feel that safety and liability is a deterrent for most schools and interscholastic associations.

Coach Will “Jiu-Jitsu is such an amazing art. It has given and done so much for me as an adult, so I can’t imagine what it will do and is doing for kids. It’s a great way for kids to learn discipline, respect for themselves and others, Issue 006

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kindness, build friendships, and so much more!” Will Torres, Caveirinha Jiu-Jitsu Family Academy Main Instructor for Children (ages 4-13)

show on the first try. I want them to see they can do anything when they try and when they set their minds into doing it.”

The Benefits


“Jiu-Jitsu builds the self-efficacy of kids and allows them to be more extraverted. They won’t be afraid to try new things, take on new challenges, or meet new people because they do it all the time in class. Additionally, Jiu-Jitsu is a great way for them to strive and try harder in school and get good grades. I always make it a point at the start of every class to ask my kids how they are doing in school and how they should try hard in school like how hard they’re training. I want them to realize that they are an academic student first and a Jiu-Jitsu student second.”

“Teaching the kids class has helped me improve my Jiu-Jitsu tremendously and if you’re given the opportunity to be a coach or an assistant instructor take it! Only positive things can come from being an instructor and the impact you will make on these young people is a great feeling. I want to thank Professor Caveirinha for allowing and trusting me to lead the kids class at our headquarters in Honolulu. I also want to thank the great role models I have that came from training Jiu-Jitsu.”

Perks of the Job

“It’s more than just Jiu-Jitsu for me, it’s about molding young people to grow up to be great adults.”

“They always brighten my day, on and off the mats, and it’s one of the highlights of my day. I love the fact that they are comfortable enough to tell me when something is bothering them and how I can give them advice about it. I try my best to be an excellent role model for them so they can be excellent young adults, especially in the world we live in today. A lot of the great role models in my life came from Jiu-Jitsu, so the fact that I can be that for these kids means a lot. It’s more than just Jiu-Jitsu for me, it’s about molding young people to grow up to be great adults. I don’t care if they compete and get medals or get the techniques I

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Note: Special thanks to Hazel Capalad, Joey Lee, and Will Torres for their sharing their time, thoughts and Aloha.




att jumped thirty feet from one building to the next. The landing was textbook, putting him right in the middle of Magneto’s henchmen. Claws bared, shoulders set, head down, Matt got to work, kicking and punching and slashing with his bone claws. He even grabbed the biggest of the mutants by the arm and launched him in a beautiful curving flight over his shoulders, slamming him into the concrete roof of the apartment block. “Matt. Mattie, honey. Would you pause that for a minute?” Matt pressed pause on his controller and turned to look at his mom. She stood next to his dad, who was sitting on the couch behind him. He hadn’t heard them come in – “Extra ninja points,” he thought. Dad had his, “hey buddy, we need to talk” face on and mom had her version of it, her “honey, now you know I love you?” face. Both of which meant that they were going to ask him to do something he didn’t want to. “Mattie,” began his mom, “you know how Mr. Sanchez at school said maybe you’d feel more confident if you joined a club?” Oh God, thought Matt, they are going to get me to try out for the track-and-field team again. His dad had said he’d be great at the shot put. That all the best shot-putters were big boned like 16 | Issue 006


Mattie. Fat, is what he meant but they could never bring themselves to say the word. But Matt knew he was fat. How could he not? One, they have mirrors in the house, and two, there are enough people at school who felt it was their duty to remind Matt exactly how fat he was, not just every day but several times a day, sometimes even by text or on SnapChat if not in school. When he’d tried out for the track-andfield team the coach had made him run laps, even though he only wanted to throw the stupid metal ball. From that experience, Jelly Belly was his name for about two weeks at school. Over the years, Matt had many other names: chunk, fatso, lard ass, the blimp, the blob, Stay Puff, but one had stuck above all the others. Pork Pie had become his official nickname since fifth grade, only getting worse, through to sixth grade. And that was the real reason his mom and dad wanted to speak to him now, which was also why Mr. Sanchez had recommended he joined a club. He might not have been on the track team but his mind was quicker than any sprinter. “I’m in the chess club,” said Matt. “We were thinking of something a bit more exciting,” said his Dad. “Chess is exciting. You’re a sore loser.” Matt’s dad made his exaggerated offended face. He always lost to Matt and it wasn’t that he let him win. Mattie had a way with chess and math. Grandpa said he was cleverer than the men that made the H-bomb. Mattie didn’t know about that but Grandpa had taught him how to play chess and he could beat most adults. “Seriously Honey, we think it would do you good. I spoke with Mrs Gonzales and

she said Joseph has started something called Brazilian Jiujitsu.” Her voice went up like a question at the end, as if that didn’t sound quite right. “No,” said Matt. He switched the game back on, turning his back to his parents, hunching his shoulders. He may not be as clever as the H-bomb scientist but he knew he was smart, and he wasn’t about to put himself in another situation where everyone could call him names and laugh at him behind his back. Matt pinned Sabretooth to a brick wall with one hand and pummelled his body with his free bone claw. “Hey buddy, don’t turn away from us. We want you to give it ago,” said Matt’s dad. “No,” repeated Matt, throwing Sabretooth off the roof of the eighth story building. His dad put an arm around Matt but he shrugged it off. “Well, Mattie you are going. It is good to try new things. Besides, Mrs Gonzales said Joseph thought it was just like chess.” Matt’s mom had resorted to her “I’m the boss” tone, which both Matt and dad knew was true, she was the boss. Still he wasn’t going to give in without a fight. “NO,” Matt shouted, throwing down his controller and storming out of the living room. # Saturday mornings are supposed to be for eating pancakes and playing video games in your pyjamas until lunchtime. Instead, Matt found himself standing in a new set of heavy white pyjamas, at the edge of a matted hall without a pancake in sight. His parents had

dragged him to an industrial estate on the edge of town. The gym sat between a Honda motorbike shop and a place called Advanced Aquatics, which had tropical fish swimming in a tank that doubled as a window. His mom and dad were still filling in paperwork in reception, while a dozen kids ran around, jumping and rolling on the floor. Matt didn’t know anyone and stood apart. There were two adults in the hall, one with a black belt on and the other a brown belt. The two adults spotted Mattie trying not to get spotted. The younger one, with the brown belt, walked over with a big grin on his face. Matt saw the smile and buried his eyes into the padded mats under his feet, bracing himself for the insults he was sure were coming. “Hi there. Matt, isn’t it?” said the brown belt. Matt kind of bobbed his head and, without moving his lips or lifting his eyes, made a quiet affirmative noise. “I’m Derek. This is your first time, right?” Matt shrugged. “Cool. Well, if you’ve got any questions I’m your guy. Okay?” Another shrug. Matt could feel he was being set-up. The worst ones are when they pretend to be nice to you, to get you to open-up. Then when you join in and start having a good time they humiliate you in front of everyone. Give them nothing, that’s the secret and Matt, like all people who had learnt the same secret, learnt it the hard way. “So, what are you into?” asked Derek, taking a seat on the padded floor in front of Matt. (Give them nothing.) Matt shrugged. “Your mom said you like chess and comic books.” Yeah, Matt did, and he looked up with the horrifying feeling that his own mother had just betrayed him, that she had fed them everything they need to destroy him. Derek with the brown belt Issue 006

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was still smiling and about to say something more as he caught Matt’s eyes, believing he’d found a way in, but the man with the black belt whistled. It was a loud, piercing whistle that cut through the hubbub of playing children and chatting adults, silencing them all. He followed it up with, “Okay, let’s get rolling.” Matt had no idea what that meant, but all the other children lined up at the edge of the hall and Matt copied, joining the end, trying to stay unnoticed. If he could just get through this next hour with the least about of pain and humiliation, he’d fake an injury or make up something to get out of it next time. He was out of luck. “Today we have someone starting their first class,” said the black belt. “Everyone give Matt a big Jiujitsu welcome.” They all started to clap and look at Matt, who had blushed and he wished his curly hair wasn’t curly so that it would have hung over his beet-red face. “Remember,” the black belt went on, “the bravest guy on the mats is the one who steps on them for the first time. So, everyone help out Matt today. We hope you have a great time, Matt, and we’re honoured to have you. At least you know a couple of people already. You’ve met Derek and your buddies Joseph and Mike are here.” Matt looked up trying to hide the panic on his face. Firstly, he’d forgotten Joseph was supposed to be here. Secondly, Mike was no friend of his. Mike and Joseph often went to the library at recess to hide from Mike. Well, not exactly Mike, but people like him. Matt looked around and found Mike was further up the line wearing a yellow belt. Mike smiled and waved at Matt. Matt looked for Joseph. How could he have missed him? As if on cue, Mrs Gonzales and Joseph in his white pyjamas and yellow belt hurried into the hall. Joseph kicked off his shoes at the 18 | Issue 006

edge of the hall, bowed and joined the line next to Matt, giving him a nudge. A million questions raced through Matt’s head, and another million excuses too. “How do I get out of this?” he thought. “Nice of you to join us, Joey. Let’s get moving,” said the black belt and there was no escape for Mattie. They started to run around the hall. Matt felt uncomfortable. They had to jump and touch the floor and turn around. The first time he changed direction when Victor, the black belt, shouted “one-eighty”, he bumped into Joseph who hadn’t turned quickly enough. Matt said sorry as other kids bumped into the back of him. Picking himself up, Joseph laughed. Victor, shouted “keep running guys, “and “nice fast feet, Matt.” Matt cringed inside, feeling the tears wanting to well up at the adult’s sarcasm. Things only got worse. Matt could see his mom and dad watching from the benches at the side. Dad stuck up his thumbs. After running they rolled around on the ground. Victor, the black belt, had them doing forward rolls, then backwards rolls and then a weird thing where they scooted down the mats kind of on their butts. They called it shrimping. And worst of all, Derek, the brown belt was like Matt’s personal torturer, showing him how it should be done, all with a smile so everyone in the room could see how much of a douche bag he really was. He felt like the dyslexic kid, Daniel, in English class, who had a special tutor. That is never a good thing. It gives them something when you should give them nothing. Everything Matt did was wrong. He felt awkward and clumsy and, worst of all, he felt fat. Sweat wet Matt’s curly black hair so that it clung to his red face, and every movement wobbled his belly. He was sure, even with the baggy white pyjamas, everyone could see how gross and stupid he was.

Looking up at the clock only fifteen minutes had passed. He wasn’t even halfway through this purgatory. They paired off and Matt had to go with Mike because they were a similar size. But while Matt had “puppy fat”, as his mom would say, Mike was big in that sports way. This was going to be awful. Mike put out his fist and Mat flinched back. A big smile grew on Mike’s face and Matt knew what was coming; this was it, the end. “Nah, you punch it like this,” said Mike. He took Matt’s hand and bumped his fist into Matt’s. “It’s how we say hi.” Victor and Derek stood in the middle of the hall again. At least everyone was looking at them now and not at Matt. The two adults gripped each other’s pyjamas on the collar and sleeve. For a moment, it reminded Matt of Bane grabbing Batman. Turning his hips in one quick movement, Victor threw Derek in a curving arc over his shoulders. Derek landed on the mats with a loud slap. At first, Matt thought Derek might be hurt, or dead, but not only did he move, he sprang back to his feet as though nothing had happened. Then Mat realised that he was going to have to do this with Mike and he was about to die, or if not die then be seriously injured, and apparently, this was okay with absolutely everyone. In fact, his parents were in on it. They had brought him here, brought him here to his death, in a twist far more blatant than Peter Parker’s lack of action leading to Uncle Ben’s demise. “Think, think,” Matt’s eyes darted around the room. Could he just run out? That would probably be even more humiliating but it was an option. Maybe he could make himself sick? Or… “Anyone need to see it again?” asked Victor. Several kids put their hands up. “No problem,” said Victor, who had an accent, like most supervillains.

Then Matt realised something. Derek wasn’t that big, not for an adult at least and he just stood back up ready to be thrown again. Victor grabbed Derek’s pyjamas, saying something like, “Anyone can do this. It’s all about your hips,” and Derek went sailing through the air again, landing with a bang. Matt swallowed, waiting for Derek to cry out but he didn’t. Instead, the brown belt span to his knees, the jacket of his pyjamas pulled wide open from the throw and Matt saw it. His eyes grew wide and more questions rushed in, as though his mind had been opened to something for the first time. Derek covered his Wolverine rash-guard t-shirt neatly and stood up. They paired off, Matt and his arch-nemesis Mike – okay, maybe not arch-nemesis, but at least one of his minions. They faced each other, mano-a-mano. “Do you want to go first?” asked Mike? Matt nodded. Mike put out his fist. Matt bumped it with his. Derek walked up to the two boys. “That’s it, grip there and there,” said Derek. “Then turn your hips into him and…” Matt spun on his feet, putting his back to Mike, while pulling forward with his hands. It was just like a computer game or a comic book only way better. Mike lifted off the ground with hardly any effort, flying over Matt’s shoulders in a beautiful curving flight and slammed onto the padded floor like a supervillain on a concrete roof of an apartment block. “Brilliant! Good job, Matt,” said Derek, walking off to help someone else.

“That was great,” said Mike. “Go again.”

“Okay, thanks,” Matt smiled back, taking his grips.

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The Travelling BJJ Practitioner in the Age of Globalization


Quenching the Thirst to Grapple while Moving from Place to Place

Ever since I started coordinating the BJJ sessions, these admission inquiries were directed towards me. Some come in with great aspiration. “Can you help me fight in the UFC?” asked one inquirer. Here, we were a handful of people, three blue belts and a couple of white belts, who meet up twice a week for an hour to experiment BJJ. We just wanted to have some fun rolling. Most of us encountered BJJ during our stay abroad. Occasionally, we also hooked up at KO Fight Studio, another Karate dojo where there were a few slabs of mats.

By Tanvir Mosharraf

n my way to the changing room, I noticed a guy sitting in the reception of Black Belt Academy (BBA), the karate academy that lets us train BJJ on their premises, late into the evening, after their classes. I didn’t pay much heed.

The queries come mostly from locals who have come across BJJ through YouTube or other forms of media. Unfortunately, despite their passionate inquires, not many people actually sign up for training. Even those who did were not regular. Then, there were the 20 | Issue 006

dropouts. Consequently, practice sessions consisted of only a handful of people. Dhaka is a chaotic city. Among many things, you really have to enjoy grappling to be committed to BJJ. When I emerge from the changing room, I saw the guy taping his hands. Immediately, from his body language I realized that he has been training BJJ for a while. This was very welcoming to us. First, we desperately wanted different sparring partners to diversify our game. Second, we could benefit from coaching by practitioners who trained at reputable academies. The guy waiting in the reception, Sakib, was exactly that. An American with Bangladeshi heritage, Sakib was visiting his relatives for a short visit after many years. In the limited luggage space allocated to him, he shoved in a Gi to throw in a practice session during his vacation. The internet helped him find us. Sometimes, we got these random surprises. Kevin, a Canadian who lives in the West Coast of the United States was visiting Bangladesh for a couple of days. His broth-

er was getting married to a girl with Bangladeshi roots. Although his travel was less than a week, he got in touch with us over Facebook and dropped by for both Gi and No-Gi sessions. How addictive was BJJ to them, that they could NOT go a week without it? Surely, if it was solely a health and fitness concern, they could just do some free hand exercise at their accommodations. We embraced these visitors with open arms. The story of the desire to train BJJ while traveling is NOT uncommon for a BJJ enthusiastic. Christian Graugart is a BJJ Black belt under Robson Barbosa. In 2011, he went traveling around the world to train wherever he could. He documented his travels in a blog titled BJJ Globetrotters and also authored a book on his experiences together with a YouTube channel. There is a concept in his site titled matsurfing, a couchsurfing style service that matches BJJ travelers and hosts from around the world. In contrast, Stuart Cooper is a BJJ practitioner and documentary filmmaker who travels around the world visiting athletes and academies. He too documents Issue 006

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his BJJ travels and stories on his YouTube channel. The Jiu-Jitsu communities have not always been so welcoming to the incumbent learner for instance, during the Edo period (1603 to 1868), Sakoku (Japan Isolation Policy) was installed In Japan. This essentially limited Japanese people having contact with rest of the world. During this period, the Samurai or, who it is estimated to be less than ten present of the population, were law enforcement as well as military. This class of people was highly trained in the art of war and, Jujitsu was part of their training. However, common folks were technically neither allowed to train jujitsu or carry weapons. Eventually, Judo emerged from Jujitsu and, from Judo we witness the birth of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) as we know it today. Even today, we see segregation and discouragement from association taking place. This protocol of to be, or not to be associated with, can cause bond, as well as friction among practitioners. The International Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Federation (IBJJF) 22 | Issue 006

and Confederacao Brasileira de Jiu Jitsu Olimpico (CBJJO) compete to hold grappling tournaments. It is said that the rivalry of governing bodies who sanction tournaments split teams. Alliance Jiu-Jitsu was in crisis when top pupils, including Demian Maia, opted to compete for CBJJO tournament instead of IBJJF tournament against the wishes of their mentors such as Fabio Gurgel. This resulted in the suspension of these athletes who then severed their lineage to forge new bonds. The Alliance Jiu-Jitsu team moved past this time of difficulty and has established themselves as a strong fight team. Some of their people who departed have also created their own brand such as Brasa Clube de Jiu Jitsu and have had their share of success. In order for a BJJ team to survive challenges and also remove obstacles establishing a new team, they should train at an academy where the members are mesmerized and dedicated to the art of grappling. At the moment here in Bangladesh, there are no BJJ fight teams, but there are those who love BJJ as a means of recreation. Mo-

hammad is a resident of Dhaka who trains BJJ. Occasionally, he travels abroad. The last time he was in Malaysia he dropped by at Izza MMA Academy. Similarly, during my visit to Philadelphia I made time to visit Maxercise MMA Academy for a BJJ class. The head instructor, John Disimone and everyone else at the academy were very welcoming. I was even given a clean Gi to borrow for a day. The BJJ community in Bangladesh is dependent on some patrons. There are two black belts, Javed Uddin and Aabid Syed, both disciples of Roger Gracie. They reside in UK and happen to have Bangladeshi ancestry. Both are professionals, who have their day job and teach BJJ out of passion in UK. They have not only conducted complementary seminars during their visit to Bangladesh, but have also guided us through emails, messenger and other communication technologies as we grasp the art of grappling with the resources that we process. I believe that money could NOT be a sole factor when it comes to BJJ mentors passion to spread the knowledge and passion plays an oblivious role.

If you love the art, and if you happen to visit Bangladesh, visit us. Or if you are traveling, find an academy nearby and drop by!


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NUTRITION Fueling Your Little Champion

2. Family Meals Family meals are a great way to incorporate new fruits and vegetables into your child(s) diet. A family meal is a great way to bring the family

By Will Torres

together and experience something new with each other. Having vegetables present at meals more often is another way to peak your child’s curiosity in vegetables.


hildren are some of the pickiest eaters and introducing them to healthy eating habits may seem like a near impossible task, but there are many ways that you can achieve this goal. Here are some tips and tricks into incorporating fruits and vegetables into your child or children’s diets that they will love! 1. Be the Example Kids watch nearly everything their parents do, including what they’re eating. Be an example to your kids, show them the fruits and vegetables you enjoy eating and they won’t be so afraid or hesitant to try them.

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3. Include them in your grocery shopping Having your kid(s) join you while grocery shopping is another way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet. A child’s natural curiosity will have them asking questions about the variety of fruits and vegetables in the produce aisle. Asking your child if they want to try a fruit and/or vegetable that they’re curious about is a great way to find out what they are interested in. 4. Snacking Fruits are great snacks for kids to have while they’re at school, if you’re out, or after exercising. Fruits have adequate juice and water content to keep them hydrated as well. Pairing apples with peanut butter or with some cinnamon sprinkled on

them or berries with low fat/low sugar yogurt is another way to increase your child’s fruit intake. Vegetables, such as carrots or celery, paired with a dipping sauce (low fat ranch dressing, peanut butter, etc.), are a great way to increase your child’s vegetable intake. It is important to eat some sort of fruit and vegetable after your child exercises in order to replenish the vitamins and minerals that were used during the activity.

Here are some tips on how to fuel your little champion on game-day • Pre-Game/Tournament Meal A couple of hours (2-3 hours) before the big event, have a pre-game meal that includes a small portion of protein (e.g. eggs), fruit, and juice or milk.

• During the Game/Tournament Having snacks in between quarters or matches is a great way to keep energy levels elevated. Fruits and granola bars are great foods to have during breaks because they are easy for the body to digest to use the nutrients for energy. Staying hydrated is very important as well. Sports drinks and coconut water contain sodium that will replenish what was lost in sweat

as well as keep your athlete hydrated. The importance of sodium in these drinks is to help maintain adequate hydration balance in your body. Fruit with high water content, such as watermelon, is a great way to stay energized and hydrated at the same time. • Post-Game/Tournament Meal A moderate to high protein meal after a tough game or tournament is a recommended choice for a post-game/tournament meal. The protein content in the food will aid in muscle repair and recovery for your little champion to keep going the next day!

I hope you enjoy and try these tips and tricks to help increase your little champions’ fruit and vegetable intake. A properly functioning body is essential for optimal performance in any sport or martial art that they enjoy doing. Issue 006

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Get a Grip on...

Being a Good Training Partner By Ayesha Kamal

To the untrained eye, the practice of Jiu-Jitsu may look like two people scrambling to put each other in uncomfortable positions. However, to those who are involved in the practice, Jiu-Jitsu is so much more than a chase for submissions. Although the ability to perfectly apply a tight joint lock or choke hold and master elements of control, timing, and leverage are highly appealing, what also develops on the mats is camaraderie and teamwork. As you spend time training, you realize that although you are working to improve your individual game, you cannot go forward alone. You need to rely on your teammates. It’s their body you’ll be practicing on; it’s their limbs you need for joint locks and their neck that you’ll be choking. When you are that up close and personal and you are liter28 | Issue 006

ally putting the safety of your body in somebody else’s hands, a special bond definitely develops. It is your teammates who understand the intricacy of the moves, the ups and downs experienced during training, as well as the struggles with confidence, motivation, and application of technique. At the same time, although you work cooperatively to practice your techniques, when you spar, there is an element of competitiveness involved. You want to ensure you are continually advancing your game while making sure your training partners also have a safe, enjoyable experience. In order to do this, it helps if you can get a grip on how to be a good training partner. Here are a few tips:

Practice good hygiene. When your practice involves you literally being face to face, body to body with another person, taking care of your personal hygiene is of utmost importance. While these tips may seem like common sense, you would be surprised at how often these basic practices are overlooked. Out of respect for your teammates and yourself, following a few simple hygienic measures can make training a more enjoyable experience for everyone. (1) After every training session, wash the clothes you trained in so that they are fresh and ready before you next step on the mats. Nobody wants to partner with someone who has smelly clothes. At the same time, I’m sure nobody wants to be that person. If you do end up partnering with someone whose training clothes smell bad, let them know. If you’re shy about saying anything, then let your coach know. If you

happen to be on the receiving end of such a talk, take it in stride and do what you need to do to make sure the complaints never arise again. (2) Shower after practice. As with any contact sport, there is a risk of infection, particularly when you think of how sweaty sparring sessions can become. Plus, if you have a wound anywhere on your body, clean it out and cover it up. (3) Keep your nails trimmed, hair tied back, and make up wiped off; plus, take off your jewelry. Be considerate of your teammates and put vanity on the shelf during practice. As for jewelry, wearing metal or sharp accessories increases the risk of harming yourself as well as your partners. It’s best to take them off before training. If you absolutely must wear your wedding band on the mats, then purchase a silicone band for practice. They are a much safer alternative. (4) Don’t go into the bathroom barefoot and then come back on the mats. Actually, in general when you’re off the mats, don’t walk barefoot and then step back on the training surface. The more we can minimize germs on the mat, the safer it is for everyone. Train with enthusiasm. Progressing in Jiu-Jitsu requires patience so you might as well take your time and enjoy the process. Stepping on the mats with the thought that you need to perfect every move and ‘win’ every sparring round can lead to burnout pretty quickly. However, focusing on the enjoyment of the learning process will

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make it more pleasurable for you and your training partners. Approach each training session with curiosity and enthusiasm. Be the person everyone wants to train with by being supportive, courteous, and encouraging of others. Being positive about your learning experience, even if you are having difficulty mastering a particular technique, will set a good example to those around you. It is easy to get discouraged by slow progress; however, when you show that you are unfazed by how long it takes to achieve mastery, then that helps to alleviate the pressure of having to be ‘perfect’ and makes it a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for your training partners as well. Approach the mats with focus. While being part of a team is fun, time is precious so it’s important to make the most of your drilling time. While a bit of chit chat on the mat is normal, be aware of how you are using your partner’s time as well. Drilling time is limited and practice is essential to progress, so don’t waste time on the mat doing a drill one time and then sitting and chatting. Your partner may be too polite to 30 | Issue 006

say anything, so being vigilant of their needs is important. Similarly, make sure that you are getting the drilling time that you want. Do not be afraid to speak up. Showing respect towards your training partner’s experience is a simple way to be a good training partner. Keep tapping in perspective. While progress in Jiu-Jitsu can be measured on many levels, one marker than many people use is ‘tapping.’ Using ‘tapping’ as a strict measure of progress and achievement can be counterproductive. While it is perfectly acceptable to feel pleased that you were able to complete a submission, if you gloat or excessively celebrate, it can start to border on unsportsmanlike conduct. Being hung up on ‘tapping’ – whether it is being tapped or getting a tap – can overshadow other accomplishments you may have made. Moreover, fearing tapping and resisting to do so during a submission makes it dangerous for everyone involved.

You could get injured. Moreover, your training partner, who was probably waiting for you to tap, could then feel hesitant about applying future submissions for fear that s/ he might injure you. Therefore, tap if you get caught and don’t get discouraged. Learning to ‘lose’ gracefully is also part of being a good training partner. If you storm off the mat whenever you get tapped, then you won’t be an enjoyable person to partner up with. Part of training Jiu-Jitsu also has to do with being able to control your movement on the mats. This does not mean that sparring cannot be challenging; however, learning how to match each other’s intensity and work together to continually help the other try to improve will be beneficial for everyone. Refrain from teasing or making inappropriate comments. People join Jiu-Jitsu for many different reasons. Many decide to practice this martial art to try to overcome traumatic events in their past or to build a foundation from which

they can boost their confidence. Even if it is meant in jest, mocking someone who is having some difficulty executing particular moves or because they are submitted over and over during sparring practice can have a negative effect. Similarly, purposefully smashing on someone who is there to try to better themselves is not a practice of good sportsmanship. Not only can these actions actually physically harm the person, but they can also leave emotional scars that aren’t visible or easily healed. Positive statements lead to a positive environment which makes it an enjoyable experience for everyone. One often hears the phrase ‘Jiu-Jitsu family.’ I think this term has been coined because being on the mats together and sharing a rigorous, challenging training experience helps develops bonds that make you feel like family. People of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities meet on the mat for the unified purpose of training Jiu-Jitsu. Being a good training partner helps keep that team spirit strong.

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