If you don\’t play to win, why play at all?

September 19, 2010, 6:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have a new home, one that best gives it a little bit of a feminine kick 🙂  See you there!


February 27, 2010, 5:15 am
Filed under: BJJ Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
I was watching some videos from the Euro BJJ Championships over the weekend and I came across this clip where both of the competitors were disqualified — in the black belt division!  I watched the whole video and I’m clearly perplexed as to why the referee ended it that way.

What do you think of this?

Totally BJJ-unrelated…
February 13, 2010, 11:06 am
Filed under: ETC Etcetera

…but here’s hoping that you’ll love it!

Meet my rescued cat Rue, whom I think is a puppy trapped in a kitten’s body 🙂

She fetches her favorite toy, drags things around, stands on her back legs, and meows at the door when someone’s knocking — her version of barking at strangers!

Rue is a kitten I rescued from a dark street while walking on my way home in July 2009. She was so tiny then, but had her way of making herself lovable. With her small, feeble steps, she tried to hurriedly follow me, but I didn’t want her to. I tried leaving her by walking away.

Five minutes later, I found myself making hurried steps back to her — I couldn’t bear the thought of letting her grow up on the street! And I am so glad I picked her up. She’s definitely a charmer and a blessing to me and my other cat Qish, a Siamese.

Sorry for the crappy camera work, I was just using my old Samsung D900 camera phone.



Choosing Your Partner
February 7, 2010, 6:19 pm
Filed under: BJJ Brazilian Jiu-jitsu | Tags: , , , ,

In BJJ, just like in life, you have to choose your partners wisely.  I have rolled with a lot of people last week, as long as my cardio allowed me.

BOY #1 is a new guy who have trained for a couple of months.  It was my first time to roll with him, and boy was I surprised with his utter use of strength on me!  I was stalling most of the time, tiring him out.  I was too scared that if I let my arm loose, he’d yank it off my elbow.  So I kept all my limbs as tight as possible, but kept my base strong so I won’t get swept.  I waited for an opportunity for me to have some space so that I could insert my right knee in between his legs.  When that happened, I immediately went for a knee-through pass, but my left leg got caught in half-guard.  I didn’t want to lose the opportunity, so I drove my shoulder to his neck to loosen his legs.  Then I just felt a violent tap on my back.  He tapped from my drive-shoulder-to-neck move!

✖ The only thing I learned from the roll is to wait patiently for my turn.  Personally, I didn’t think it was a good roll.  The guy was using all his strength to try to topple me over, so I just hunched and made sure my arms were tight.  So I was stalling to get him tired, but what if he didn’t get tired at all?  I would have been penalized if it were in a tourney.

BOYS #2 & #3 are blue belts, and I did some flow-roll with them.  It was good.  They were giving me just enough resistance to tire me out, blocking my techniques and not easily allowing me to apply whatever move I wanted to do.  They made me work hard, and in the end, I was very tired but happy.

✔ Rolling with people with more advanced skills makes me feel stupid sometimes, because no matter what I do, they are always able to block it off.  But it definitely gives me a lot of thoughts to ponder on.  What pass was he doing to counter my sweep?  How was he able to do the same sweep twice?  How do I get out of a triangle from turtle?  Why was my cutting armbar not working?  These thoughts then lead me to discovering more techniques and working on the loopholes in my game.  That is also one of the good benefits you get from a competition — with just one match (it doesn’t matter if you win or lose), you get a lot of pointers and realizations that will probably direct your training for the next couple of months.

BOY #4 has been training for almost a year.  He’s about my size but about 10kgs heavier.  He played guard, and he was able to sweep me in less than a minute.  While working my guard, I tried a few sweep attempts but was not able to finish.  I even got the opportunity to get the back, but I was too slow to pull it off.  Finally, I managed to slip a half-triangle.  I was trying to put on a triangle choke, but in a split-second I saw an opportunity for an armbar and went for it.  He tapped.  After our roll, he told me he was happy he lasted that long against me.  I couldn’t remember, but he said we rolled during his first few sessions, and I was tapping him every 30 seconds or so.  I was flabbergasted, in a good way.  It was funny to submit him from guard, because before we rolled, I just told my coach casually that I want to start playing on top.

✔ It’s good to be able to roll with people you haven’t rolled with for a long time, and be pleasantly surprised at how much progress they have had since they joined the club.  They also have their favored positions, submissions and techniques now, so it’s good to meet different people on the mat with different favorite moves.  It definitely makes you work harder being faced with something you are not used to dealing with.

BOY #5 is a white belt I met during an open mat.  He definitely moves very fast!  I wasn’t able to do anything — I just tried to survive.  He has good skills, very tight positions and tricky sweeps.  And very good guard game.  And oh, did I say he’s fast?

✔ I got my ass kicked nicely by this guy.  He was very technical, and a gentleman, too, so I had nothing to complain about.  I would like to meet him in the next open mat to try to survive another 5 minutes with him.

GIRL #1 is totally new in BJJ but has some Muay Thai and grappling background.  I was surprised at how rough she plays.  I ended up having a mouth sore from an elbow strike and a few scratches on my arm.  I was able to pull off an armbar from a triangle choke, and did a few sweeps as well.

✔ It is refreshing to finally meet a girl who plays it rough!  With the limited number of girls in our camp, we all are nice little ones who are a bit too girly when we roll with each other.  I can’t remember the time when I really went all out against them, maybe because I hold a higher belt and I sort of have that “mother instinct” to care for them, being less experienced than I am.  Somehow, I have developed that habit to play it nicely and sweetly on the mat when I am pitted against a girl that it doesn’t come in handy in competitions.  Girl #1 can help me train to become more fierce and aggressive, and the fact that she is a lot stronger than I am is a great plus!

So how do you choose your partner on the mat?

Find someone who brings out the best in you. This someone can be that person wearing a colored belt duller than yours (which means he/she spent a lot of time on the mat with that belt), or the small guy at the corner with superior skills, or the big sweaty guy who is working on something you are not good at.  The more people you roll with, the more choices you have.  But take note of the ones who are not worth your effort next time.  We girls know how to politely reject guys who hit on us once in a while, so I don’t see any point why we can’t use that on the mat.  Always remember that you are there to learn, progress and enjoy your time, and not to prove who is stronger and better between the two sexes — so avoid the guys who use too much power to compensate for their lack of technique.  In the end, safety is the most important thing.  Make sure your limbs survive to live another training day.

BJJ Heart Break
January 29, 2010, 6:08 pm
Filed under: BJJ Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
This is probably one of the saddest moments in my BJJ life.  A lot of people have been switching teams lately, but I have a bunch of guys whom I used to think would be the last people to leave our team.  They are like brothers to me, and we happily laugh on and off the mat like one crazy family.  Well, used to be.  I guess people really just come and go.

It was so sudden, to me at least.  One moment I was with them on the mat, the next moment, they were saying their goodbyes to my coach.  I felt bad because they are almost like my brothers, and we’ve had so many fun times together that I just can’t accept the fact that they won’t be there anymore the next time I’m on the mat.  I sound like I’m having a bad breakup, but I really see it as such.  They’re more than just teammates:  they’re my family, my brothers.  But what can I do.  Just move on, I guess. And keep on training.

So long, brothers.

January 28, 2010, 6:36 pm
Filed under: BJJ Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

I have started embracing sweaty men again, as of last week.  I spent over five (5) months of BJJ holiday, from the time when my interest in training started waning up to the time when I actually stepped off the mat.  I am happy to be back.

During the first week, I was sore all over.  My muscles have become so used to not being used, that they were complaining blatantly when I started moving my butt again.  And of course, the added weight (7kg!) really made everything worse than it already is.  I was having a hard time moving on the mat, and I was panting like a car that’s about to conk out.  But I loved every moment of it.

What I noticed is that I am more receptive now to new moves, and I learn quickly than how I was before I stopped.  I guess the vacation freed my mind of the bad habits I used to have.  My refreshed take on my training also allows me to focus more on the things that I want/need to work on.  The best part is, my muscles still seem to remember my bread & butter moves (armbars form different positions) that I was able to pull it off against a guy, transitioning from triangle to armbar.  This made me realize that BJJ is really about muscle memory, so that you react by impulse on every opportunity, rather than executing a move based on step-by-step thinking and execution.

On a side note, I enjoyed taking photos during the Philippine International BJJ Competition in Manila.  I also got a lot of “rave” comments made by competitors from different parts of the world, so I think I’ll keep on taking action shots during tourneys 🙂

Here are the links to the albums, and some of the photos I took:



In-Between BJJ
November 17, 2009, 1:34 am
Filed under: BJJ Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
So I have finally decided to take a break from BJJ.  I’ve had my last training last Thursday, and I also decided to sell some of my BJJ stuff.  Keiko went home with someone already, and I am still selling my yellow Vulkan and Fairtex Muay Thai shorts.  I’m keeping a few — I still have my blue Atama, which I will never, never sell as it served me for two years being my only gi (and it still is as hardworking as ever!).  Black Koral is also staying, because I have competed in it several times, and the pants fit me perfectly.  Then there’s the white Jag Sport gi from my coach which is obviously for keeps for sentimental reasons.

I have been feeling down in the past few days.  I am pretty sure there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to let go.  I am particularly down as soon as Jana, the girl who bought my Keiko, left with my gi.  I’m afraid that it is a symbolism — gi leaving my closet means my BJJ leaving me.  Or the other way around.  Whatever it is, I feel that I am betraying the sport that I have learned to love and live for.  A few years back, not being on the mat for a few days drove me crazy.  I was addicted to the sport, and I have learned to change my lifestyle to be able to accommodate BJJ better.  My work schedule revolved around BJJ.  Even my friends had to wait for me all the time, because I wouldn’t meet with them during training.  I just couldn’t afford to miss a class.  I’ve built friendships with the people I train with, and I’ve learned to avoid everything that will get in the way of my training (smoking, drinking, sleeping late).  But somewhere along the way, I noticed my waning interest in BJJ this year.  I still kept on training, until the only thing that made me train was the socializing part.  I like chatting with my teammates, and going out with them, and that was the only reason that made me come to the gym.  Although it was nice, I feel that it was not enough, and not good at all.  So last week when my coach was out for the No Gi Mundials, I thought hard and decided that it is best for now to take a break.  Forget the mat for a while.

I believe (and I am sure) I still love BJJ and will be coming back anytime I am ready.  I just don’t want to do it half-heartedly.  It’s unfair for the sport, for my coach, for my teammates.  I have to be on the mat for the right reasons.  Maybe I just need to miss BJJ.  I have been doing it for 3.5 years, everyday, for the most part.  It could be burn out.  On a side note, I have just started trail running and I figured this could be a good in-between-BJJ sport, just to keep me active and busy while I am trying to figure out how to get my BJJ mojo back.

Good times with some of my favorite teammates
While we’re on this, I found this on the net:

SOURCE:  http://thewisegrappler.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/10-signs-you-need-a-grappling-vacation/

10 Signs You Need a Grappling Vacation!

Here’s a question for you: if one of your teammates showed up for class, dropped their bag on the floor, plopped down in the chair next to you, and said “I do NOT want to be here today”, do you:

a) Call him a wimp for sitting on the sidelines whining prior to training?
b) Run and tell the instructor and take the chance of being branded the school snitch?
c) Tell them that maybe they’re burned out from training and needs a “grappling vacation?”
d) All of the above

As much as I would like for the answer to be “d – all of the above”, I’m gonna have to stick with my outline and say “c – grappling vacation.”  And if you’ve been grappling for any period of time, you’ve felt exactly like the grappler in the scenario above.

Unfortunately, most grapplers don’t recognize the symptoms of “mat burnout” and just keep trying to push through it until they either get hurt while training or stop training completely.
So, just in case you’re not sure if you’re suffering from mat burnout, here’s The Wise Grappler’s “10 Signs You Need a Grappling Vacation!” Checklist:

You need a “grappling vacation” if:

1. You’re tired even before the class or workout starts.

2. You have to talk yourself into training (or competing) from the time you wake up that morning until you actually get to the academy.

3. You intentionally show up late for class and, once there, are constantly looking at the clock the entire time waiting for it to end.

4. You start thinking about how cool it would be to just go straight home to relax and watch anything on TV instead of training.

5. You look for any excuse (e.g. taking your dog to get a teeth cleaning or you forgot to wash your kneepads.) to get out of training.

6. You’re happy when a holiday, special event, or tournament happens so that the school will be closed and you don’t need an excuse to skip training.

7. You can’t catch opponents with your go-to techniques because your movements and timing are off.

8. Your body’s sore all the time, even though you’re not getting ready for an event.

9. Classmates that you usually perform well against or dominate are kicking your butt all over the mat.

10. When you think to yourself, “It’s finally over, now I can get the heck outta here and go home!” once class is over.

During my grappling journey, I’ve experienced many of these signs myself, but refused to take time off to recuperate. For some foolish reason, I used to think it was better to train with a miserable mindset than to rest and give both my mind and body a chance to rest.  Once I discovered that taking a couple of mini-vacations during the year helped my grappling, I stopped fighting it and learned that taking a mental rest break is just as important (if not more important) than a physical rest break.

So, stop making excuses for not training (e.g. you didn’t train because your gi is dirty) to justify to others for skipping class. Take your “grappling vacation”, and watch how being physically and mentally rested will put you back on track to achieving your grappling goals!

Losing It?
November 2, 2009, 10:32 pm
Filed under: BJJ Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

A month ago, I’ve had my first experience of an overseas BJJ competition in Bangkok, Thailand.  It wasn’t exactly pure BJJ — my mom tagged along to have me as her guide in going around.  No, I didn’t mind.  It was actually nice, because for the few days that we were there before the tournament, my mind was off it and the only thing I was worrying about was finding our way with the very limited English of Thais (and the very long names of some streets and places!).  

I competed both in gi nd no gi.  On the first day (gi), I only had one match against a blue belt from Hong Kong.  I know I did fairly bad — the usual experience I have whenever I compete (more about that later).  On the second day (no gi), I did a bit better and met the same person in the finals for our weight division and the absolute.  I fought her twice, and in both matches, neither of us scored a point against each other.  However, she was more aggressive and was declared the winner.  TWICE.  

After the competition, I just couldn’t get myself to train in the same intensity as I did before.  I just felt demotivated, and I would have actually stopped totally if not for the fear that my weight would balloon to uncontrollable digits.  I just keep on getting frustrated with the way I fight in competitions.  I know I do better in training.  I am not new to competitions as I am a veteran in academic contests, but when it comes to BJJ I just lose everything the moment I touch the hand of my opponent.  Maybe because I never train my stand up and takedowns, because I don’t like doing them.  Maybe because my nerves kill my techniques.  Maybe because I am just not good enough compared to whoever my opponent is.  Sometimes I think that maybe BJJ is not really for me.  I’ve come from a lazy-ass background (shopping and walking inside the mall used to be my idea of exercise), so yeah, it was a drastic change for me when I started getting serious in BJJ.  

I know I still love doing it.  The moment I step on the mat, I forget about work pressures, personal problems and unnecessary worries.  I live in the present, and for two hours, I just sweat and enjoy myself.  After training, chatting (and sometimes dining out) with teammates is also something I look forward to.  I know I am still very much into it.  But maybe, BJJ competitions are not really for me.  I’ve thought hard about it and I just can’t see myself competing again anytime soon.  Maybe the pressure of upholding myself and bringing honor to the academy is just too much for me.  So yeah, it will just be leisurely BJJ for now.  But I will still cheer for my teammates during competitions.  Oh, and yeah, I think I’m better at taking photos of what’s happening on the mat rather than being on the mat to fight.

BJJ Personalities — Which One Are You?
August 4, 2009, 12:45 pm
Filed under: BJJ Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

I found this rather witty description of different BJJ personalities.  I don’t know who the author is, but I got it from this FORUM.

It’s fun to see who among your teammates fit in each personality!

The Craftsman – You roll with the guy for 5 minutes and get tapped 5 times. The guy is good but even he doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing. He just sees something and tries for it because he knows the joint doesn’t bend that way. You’re learning moves together as he taps you out.

Mr. Goodwrench – This guy just tools you. Not for any negative reason, but just because he knows his stuff. If you go hard, he taps you for being over-aggressive, if you go light he taps you for not pressuring and thus giving up position. If you are in between he just controls you and sweeps or reverses you at will. When you look at him in disbelief he just looks at you like “What… did time run out?”

The Pretzel – Every move you’ve ever practiced becomes difficult because this guy can get into positions that would make a pretzel cringe.

The Risk Taker – This guy does such unexpected, often ridiculous stuff that ends up working because you weren’t expecting a back handspring guard pass or head stand to armbar from halfguard, etc.

The Mailman – This guy takes the same route for 2 years and gets caught in the same submissions or set-ups every time. He never changes his guard passing routes, and becomes totally predictable.

The “just got back from Rio” Guy – This guy is good, and since he just spent 6 months training his ass off in Rio he is super smooth. But he wants to make his home school into the place he trained in Rio. He shakes hands with everyone in the room before sitting down to stretch asking “tudo bem?” He answer’s his cell phone “fala”. He speaks in portuguese with the instructor when he talks about how to beat someone without wanting them to know it. He counts in Portuguese. If you want to get on his good side and get him to show you some cool shit he learned down south, just ask him about his time in Rio, he will be more than happy to tell you about it. Everyone who goes to Brasil is guilty of this when they get back…

Pre -Excuse Guy – This guy has to tell you of every ailment, injury, pain, he has in his body, to not allow you to attack those areas. “Oh dude, my (insert body part) been hurting, so no (insert submission) today” Sometimes this guy goes into pre excuse emotional problems he has, and how it will affect his training. If he’s been really shitty on the mat lately, it?s because he broke up with his girl, and he’ll let you know about it, so you understand why he stinks.

The Laugher – This guy rolls with you and is constantly laughing at everything to make the roll so friendly that you won’t push any competition against him, or hurt him in anyway. You’re rolling and get by the wall, “Hahahaha…. dude we’re way too close to the wall, I didn’t want us to go through the wall….hahahaha…could u imagine, kaplosh!! Then we went through the wall and everyone would look and be like OH SHIT THEY WENT THROUGH THE WALL..Hahahaha”

Your Best Friend (Talker) – This guy is very similar in his thinking, to the laugher. As soon as you start rolling, this guy wants to know what you did over the weekend, what you’ve been up to, how you’re great with the ladies, and your’re good at BJJ. Again this guy thinks being overly friendly prevents competition.

Drama Guy – This guy is somewhat tough, but as you push the rolling, sometimes your feet hit his head (incidental), or you go for a cross face, and everything you do is a HUGE injury to him. He constantly stops training to let you know that your finger almost touched his eye, and how he needs a 5 minute timeout, because it left him completely in a daze…he’s confused at where he’s at now. This guy I hate the most, because he literally kills training with all the drama he puts into every tiny incidental contact.

Practice Hero – This guy stinks, so you roll easy with him, and he’s convinced he can “come up” in the rankings by tapping you, so he’ll go wild out and try hit some crazy heel hook in an effort to get noticed in the class, and loved by the teacher. He trains balls out with zero technique….he wants to be noticed by the entire class

The Internet Forums Guy – This dude never trains but comes in every couple of weeks to let you know all the updated info he has on the MMA game, and how he knows so much more than you do, about what’s going on with rival teams in Brazil.

Dominic’s Apprentice – goes to class 4-5 days a week, works his ass off. But no matter how hard he tries he just doesn’t get any better. He’ll get caught in the exact same armbar 10 times a roll. He still can’t defend the triangle choke. And he gets mounted by everyone.

“Gotta Go” Guy – This guy always “has to go somewhere” at the exact moment when class shifts from technique/drills to rolling. “Yeah, I got a conference call in two hours…”

Reformed Gangster (Troublemaker) – This guy usually turns out in the long run to be the coolest, or the biggest douche bag in the short run. This guy covers all forms of troublemakers or gangsters. Each one of these guys comes in with a huge chip on their shoulder, and they get HUMBLED so quickly. After tapping them 6 ways to Sunday every rolling session, as the months go by (if they continue to train), they completely lose their hard gangster persona…. its funny to see the transition of some cholos to just a tough ass calm dude down the line….

The “Professor” – rolls around like any other guy and can have any skill-level but when you finally get his back and struggle to choke the shit outa him he goes wait, you’ve got wrong mechanics… wait you gotta do like this.. More like that etc. He lets you understand that he didn’t get caught and he’s not about to get the shit choked out of him, in fact he’s just in the process of showing you how to choke.

The All Hat No Cattle Guy – Has every PRIDE and UFC on tape, has every BJJ book ever published, every BJJ instructional video/DVD ever produced, has a wide range of gis to choose from, has at least 10,000 posts on the UG, can recite the contents of bjj.org from memory, and sucks at BJJ; will be awarded a blue belt in about ten years out of pity.

The ‘Good Move’ Guy
– He’s similar to the instructor, in that he can’t accept tapping. So if you are transitioning to a triangle choke, and he’s kind of sunk, but before you fully finish the hold, he’ll tap and give it to you. This guy always taps on the transition to a move, not the move itself, and says “Good Move ” like he let you catch him….and considering he didn’t tap when you completely had the choke sunk in, you didn’t really beat him.

The ‘Let’s Go Light’ Guy – Guy who then proceeds to decapitate you and tear you limb from limp with neck cranks and head squeezes

The Gasser – Goes all out for 30 secs and blows his wad. Then taps when u get a dominant position

The ‘this is my first lesson’ Guy – which translates to ‘this is my first lesson here’ but I was an NCAA div 1 wrestling champ and trained in Brazil for a few years

The Spy – This guy comes in one day, is very friendly, seems to know a lot about BJJ scene and says he’s from out of town. He rolls and blends in with the students, seems like a very promising prospect for the club.  Result: You never see him again after the first class and months later when browsing a competition’s website you see the mother****er in their seminar photos being one of their “regulars”.

The Farting Machine Guy
– Guy that always farts every single time he rolls. Knee on stomach…. FART! Mount…. FART! Try to push out of his guard…. FART! Even in north/south…. FART! In your face! FART! FART! FART! Nothing like an ass-in-your-face stink sub.

The Shadow Boxer – The guy who has some striking martial art experience (usually a TMAer who can’t accept the fact that his black belt is being rendered useless by these 150-lb. guys who tap him relentlessly) and decides to feign it in BJJ class. While rolling, will throw fake shots, to simulate a Vale Tudo match. Convinced that a punch will change the pace of the match from anywhere, in the clinch, from his guard, while mounted by someone much better. Usually, this specimen’s actions can be halted with a quick leg grab/take down while he is throwing a knee from the clinch.

Takada Guy – His one goal is to not tap under any circumstances, considering that lasting is almost like winning. This guy mounts no offence at all and concentrates exclusively on tucking in all his extremities and ‘nullifying’ your game. After a round of wasting your time and his, will give you the “you couldn’t tap me, so we’re about even in skill” look and gasp his way to the sidelines to sit the next roll out.

‘One Move Wonder’ Guy – This is the guy who manages to get really good at one position/submission and only goes for that one particular move. While somewhat impressive in the beginning, this is the eternal blue belt that dominates the beginners but never develops the rest of his game. Normally seen with a bronze or silver medal at the local tourneys.

The Former Star Guy – This guy used to be one of the best in the class, able to do anything to anyone whenever he wanted. Stops training for a while, comes back and gets all disappointed that other people have actually improved and gotten better than him since he left. Usually decides to train hard for a week or two to regain his position, but gets frustrated quickly when he doesn’t immediately become godlike. Very often decides to write a book about grappling or discuss game plans with others instead of actually practicing or rolling.

The “Getting Serious Again” Guy – is my favorite. He has been training for as long as you can remember. He comes to class after being out for a while and always says the same thing..”Man, I (insert excuse like injury, wife or g-friend, kids, work, car trouble, finances), but I’m back for good now, you’ll see me here everyday!” and then he again disappears after like 2 weeks of training. 3 or 4 months down the road…repeat above sequence.

“Just wanted to let you know I’ll be back Tuesday” Guy
– The guy who you never ever see but calls you or e-mails you every month to tell you he’ll be there “Tuesday”.

The Asshole – First day for any whitebelt, the asshole will try to heelhook them, neck crank them, or otherwise grind the shit out of them just to feel an ounce of power. Since the asshole won’t train with any serious challenges, however, the whitebelt will eventually surpass him, and the asshole will mysteriously disappear from class.

The Future Champ – He is pure Bigger wanna-be carioca, knows the names of every BJJ champ and the latest gossip from the UG. He talks about being Mundial champion from whitebelt, yearns to move to Brazil to train, is always looking to do another seminar or private with a Brazilian, and yet does not attend class regularly, always has an injury or excuse when it’s time to compete, wants to drill rather than spar, and talk rather than drill.

The De-Man-izer
– This is the small person (often a girl) who will single out the biggest, highest ranking male she can find, then fling her tiny body at him and proceed to beat him down and tap him within an inch of his life. Often, her victims will lose all testicular fortitude, cry, and quit the sport for life…

The Tough-Ole-Bastid – This is the guy who started later in life but despite his age, he is tougher than 90% of the twenty-something’s. He can get kneed in the head, kicked in the groin, or have his arm near torn off, and barely grimace as he continues to grapple (often against someone a lot bigger).

The Tougher-Older-Bastider
– This is the guy who started even later in life and despite a host of injuries, does 1hr of circuit training before class, grapples all the good/big folks in class despite being injured, and then bikes the 20 miles home telling everyone he’ll see them tomorrow for morning class.

The Codger – This is also an old dude who just does it for fun. Against new people, he trash talks–“Can you feel the armbar coming? Can you feel it?” Against better people, he still trash talks “Missed that choke? Something not go as planned?!”

The Bleeder
– This guy got a mat burn the first time he rolled and has been knocking off the scab every time since.

The Can you Show that Again Guy
– This guy never has a good enough angle when the instructor demonstrates the move. Once the drilling begins, he usually has to watch the people next to him do the move at least two or three times before attempting it himself. He sometimes resorts to calling the instructor over and asking a question before he even attempts the move.

The Overly Humble Guy – This dude is a really good bjj guy but he’s humble, and scared as hell . This guy will tap you at times, then immediately talk about how he sucks, and you’re so much better and it was pure luck….to get over that initial awkward feeling between you two, when you just tapped to him.

The Take Every Advantage Guy – This Guy can always be found taking any advantage he can get while rolling. If starting on knees, he’ll stand up to get leverage. He’ll accidentally rip one of your fingers back to break your grip. He’ll poke you in your butt to get you to stop from going for that leglock. When you finally get him in a bad position, he’ll ask you stop for a minute “because we are too close to the wall,” and then he’ll want to restart back on the knees. This Guy acts this way because he treats every training session as the Finals of the Pride Grand Prix.

The Lazy Possum – This guy has some skills but he fights really lazy and defensively most of the time and you think you have his number.  But on occasion when there’s an audience or some chick watching he decides to bring his A game and you’re in a world of surprise, the guy suddenly becomes Marcelo Garcia on the mats.

The Gassing Giant – This guy is an ex-power lifting bouncer type who throws you around for 5 minutes, but then winds up on his back and as soon as you think to yourself “now it’s my turn” he suddenly becomes too exhausted to continue and quickly says “let’s take a break man”.

All Knees and Elbows Guy – A squirmy bastard, usually an explosive athlete, you dominate this guy, but you feel like someone put you in a sack full of knees and elbows and started to shake it violently. After rolling, you are bruised up, if not cut.

The Ex Kung Fu or Aikido Grandmaster Guy – He always reassures you in the fact that he is a blackbelt in some traditional style , as you start to roll he grabs you with a death grip from hell and will never pull guard , even after two years of training. You pull guard and sweep him with a basic butterfly guard because if you pull closed guard he just grabs and pinches your arms making it not worth your effort. You pass his guard and mount, and even after being told 253 times that you cannot wrist lock a guy and throw him off from the bottom mount, he tries it again, and you start salivating from his arm being extended as you slowly move into the armlock.

The Judoka Guy – Similar to the “name that sub” guy, but this one names the sub in Japanese “yeap, that’s juji-gatame” and every time the instructor shows a technique he nods his head and name it in Japanese.

The No-Responsibility Guy – This is the young guy who is maybe 20 yrs. old who lives at home. His mom washes his gi, make him dinner, and all he does is go to 2 college classes a day and trains the rest. He is always saying you should come down to train Wrestling at another place or Striking at another, meanwhile you have a 9 to 5, wife and kids and a mortgage…LOL

The Lot Shark – This guy drives to jiu jitsu, trolls the parking lot to make sure none of the guys who hand him his ass’s cars are there before coming in.

The ‘Early Retirement’ Guy
– Taps you the one time in his life and then retires “one up” for life.

The Steven Segall Grappler – Tries to take you down by tweaking your wrist….just cant believe that shit won?t work.

Street-Tough Guy – Guy who watched a couple UFC’s and decides to come down to the gym and “fuck people up.” This guy inevitably picks the weakest looking member of the gym and demands to roll with him. Unfortunately for them, the small little guys they pick are usually awesome technicians and they destroy the tough guy. I love playing along with the student when the tough guy demands to spar him. I’ll say stuff like “Do you want to roll with this new guy? Are you sure? He outweighs you and looks pretty mean. If you’re scared or nervous it’s ok.”

The “Heel Hook Hero” Guy – This guy has no idea how to pass the guard and he doesn’t want to learn. All he wants is to fall back and do his best Ken Shamrock impression. When he meets someone who won’t fall for it he convinces himself that he can beat the guy if he just trains a few more leg locks.

The Pressure Pointer – Usually a black belt in some other form of martial art who once you mount him or working on chocking him, he’ll try to do some kind of pressure point prior to tapping.

The “Challenge The Weakest Antelope In The Pack” Guy
– This is the guy that stands around or stretches when everyone first starts rolling. Then when a new white belt takes a break from rolling, he hops on the mat and says “hey lets roll a bit’. He then proceeds to own the fatigued white belt with an assortment of wild crazy subs.

The Natural
– some guy, usually young, comes into the gym and at first gets beat all over the mat, but slowly and surely every week, he gets better. After one week, you can no longer have your way with him. After two, you can only catch him with your best moves. After three, you are struggling to tap him. One month passes and you are tapping each other. Another month and the roles reverse. This is the natural. He will soon tap people you’ve never even gotten close to.

The False Technician – Every class this guy’s going up to somebody wanting to show them a ‘new move’ that he’s invented. If he considers you ‘technical’ enough he will let you drill his patented omoplata to triangle to armlock to kneebar to toehold combo with him. The major problem with this guy is that he can’t pull any of these moves off on anybody save for the newest guy. The false technician gets owned by almost everybody else and burns with hate for those who school him on the mat with a simpler but more solid game.

The Human Vice – The beginner who plays football or lifts, who’s sole form of defense and offense is to latch onto your head and squeeze with all their strength. Then you simply sit in the dominant position, usually side control, until they become exhausted let go and then tap 3 seconds later when you go to knee ride or mount

The Lurker Guy
– This is the guy who will sit on the wall and watch you train for an hour w/ every upper belt in the class saving his energy. Then you lie on the mat exhausted, will come up to say “wanna train?” but will never train w/ you when you are fresh.

Sweat Dripper Guy – Some guy, usually late 30’s, early 40’s, that sweats buckets that DRIP on your face when he’s in your guard. You pretty much have to tap as his sweat pours into your eyes, mouth, etc.

Rigormortis Guy – His plan is to not let you do anything you want to, by grabbing your sleeve, pants or whatever and holding them at arms length. He doesn’t really care if he gets swept or not – as long as his arms remain frozen stiff…he’s won!

Parkinson’s Disease Guy – A close relative of Rigormortic Guy, He displays the same brilliant strategy as rigarmortis guy, but makes it extra special by shaking violently due to muscular fatigue I imagine.

Commando Guy – Thinks that all forms of underwear obviously restrict his game and hence chooses to go without. Nothing like a testicle rubbing on your inner thigh to freak you out and let him pass with ease. (Does help sharpen your north/south position escapes though.)

“You Have No Time to Tap” Guy – The guy that thinks that hurting your teammates is a necessity in wrestling and will put his hips into every armbar, triangle, choke, heel hook etc. Gives you no time to tap whatsoever and pops your elbow until you decide you don’t want to wrestle with the freak anymore. The guy may even be apologetic afterwards but if you feel bad why the fuck didn’t you give me a second to tap?

“The Wrestler” – Never does the takedowns the BJJ instructor shows because they are inferior, and even when you are drilling that move shows you the “real” way to do it. Always stands up in your guard and you always have long grueling matches with him but he never taps you out. However, your neck is always sore for the next two days because he has such good head control.

The ‘Instructor’ – He’s the 34 year-old, chubby guy in the corner with the knee-braces who never rolls anymore b/c he’s recovering from a neck injury (for the past year or so). That doesn’t prevent him from sharing his “encyclopedic” knowledge of grappling with anyone with the misfortune to sit within 15 feet of him. He’s “best-friends” with the instructor. He’s been to every UFC, every local seminar in the past 10 years, and has memorized every instructional video and book available, and will tell you about every possible variation, especially moves that wouldn’t work on a person in a coma. Oh, and the Professor will be getting his purple belt “any day now” — “just as soon as my neck’s better.”

The Groaner – It is the guy who sits down to roll and groans like his body is 100 years old. He touches every joint and makes facial expressions like he is overcoming all odds to roll……then bam, he attacks with a fury on unsuspecting guys who feel sorry for him. Then after the roll, he staggers off the mat wincing in pain or discomfort, and then repeats the steps above on other victims.

The Puny Human Guy – He doesn’t want to use (or you to use) any strength at all (as if Bjorn were supposed to develop telekinetic powers).  Whenever you tap him, he’ll look disgruntled because, of course, you only got him by using strength.

The Attention Deficit Disorder Guy – You think he should be force-fed an overdose of Ritalin before every class. He’s rolling with you, but at the same time he’s listening to every single conversation happening on the mat, and paying some attention to every other fight.  He’ll give advice to the guys rolling near you AS he tries to pass your guard, he will laugh at a joke someone made on the other side of the mat space when you have him in side control, and he will also interfere with someone else’s conversation when he is in your guard.  One sure way to tap him is pointing to the entrance and say something like “what’s Royce doing in here ?” and then take his back as he begins to look around. Oh yeah…he’s the guy who is always babbling when your instructor is showing a technique too…

The Stinky Guy – We all know one. Take an f’ing shower once in a while.

The Nail Guy – Looks like you just rolled with Freddy Kruger afterwards.

The Nasty Sweaty Zitty Back Guy – Come on man, keep your shirt on

The Preparation Guy – this guy takes 30 minutes to get ready back stage while the class is doing pushups. He tapes every finger and toe with damn medical tape for some reason

The Holder – Thinks getting you in North-South for 30 minutes= success.

The Pre-Tapper – This guy has such a quick mind that he’s able to tap 3-4 moves ahead of an actual submission!

The Spaz – Closely related to “Let’s go light” except he doesn’t try to fool you into thinking he’s going light before he goes spastic. This guy usually is medium sized and just goes crazy in every position available. If you’re on your knees trying to work for position he’ll often either bum rush you or try the traditional shove, the spas will push as hard as he can from every position and often with much force so it’s almost a punch, the spaz is also prone to slamming out of submissions.

The Latecomer – This guy shows up to every class exactly when the grueling warm-up is over and is always fresher than everybody else come rolling time.

The Dumb as a Rock Guy – This is the one that you try to teach him a technique and he just won’t get it. After 3 month of drilling upa, he’ll say: “ok, what arm do I grab again?”

The Faux Gay Guy – He finds it humorous to act gay and scare people on the mat with it. He is known to tie his t-shirt under his gi, or challenge other people while lisping on the mat. Sometimes he will make sexual gestures while rolling while rolling while the victim has no clue why the rest of the class is laughing. He often requests the instructor to put on 80’s new wave when he turns on the radio.

The ‘Won’t Let You Practice’ Guy – This guy is the HANDS DOWN WORST guy to practice with. Whenever learning a new technique, or sweep…anything, this guy wont let you do the move (during practice not rolling). This guy comes in different forms.

1. He won’t let you do the move, because he resists it so much, so you’re never able to learn the move properly…and you look like an ass because everyone else in the room is doing it, but you can’t because of your “tough as balls” partner. His constant resistance makes you look like crap in front of the instructor.

2. This guy won’t let you learn the move properly because he collapses before you’ve completed the sweep. This guy is like a loose ass piece of paper. You’re transitioning for the sweep, before you even kick his leg to turn him, you find he’s already on his back, and he most likely pulled you on top of him to full mount. Yes, this guy makes you look great, but in the tournament you get your ass handed to you, cuz for some reason, your opponent turns into Douche Bag #1 who resists!!

The ‘Can I Try Something On You?’ Guy
– While rolling, this guy (who has never tapped you, and will never tap you) says something along the lines of “Hey, can I try something on you real quick? I just want to work out the mechanics on something…” He puts you in his rear mount, sinks the hooks in, and violently puts you in a choke at the exact moment the instructor walks by, you tap, and the instructor says to the guy “Very good! You’re showing much improvement!” and looks at you with a mild look of disbelief on his face.

The WhatChaWeigh Guy – Whenever he taps to something, he asks what his opponent weighs. If it’s even 200 grams more than him, he nods as if to suggest that he only lost due to weight mismatch. He has probably asked you your weight at least once a week for the past year. (Note that when this guy fights smaller people, he forgets to ask)

The BackFromGym Guy – Seems to only come to class on days he has worked out at the gym. Lets you know that he is tired and weak from his work out. Makes sure you know exactly how much he benched that day.

The ‘I Suck’ Guy – Any time he gets tapped by someone at the school he starts loudly talking about how much he sucks. He keeps repeating this over and over until someone notices and reassures him that he’s good. If anyone ever agrees with him that he really does suck, he sulks and doesn’t come back to class for about three weeks.

Crazy-About-UFC Guy
June 23, 2009, 10:54 am
Filed under: BJJ Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

You can’t be a doctor by merely watching Grey’s Anatomy or House, MD, right?  Who said that you can be as good as Manny Pacquiao just by seeing his fights?  Now what made you think that just because you’ve seen tons of UFC fights, you know your way around BJJ?

I haven’t been training for a while, and my coach greeted me last night with a pat on the back, saying, “Hey everyone, meet our new student (he was referring to me)!”  My bad, really.  It’s just that each day, I wake up to a waning interest in BJJ.  But I’m confident it will “grow” back, in time.  So to make sure I still know something, my coach partnered me with a noob who is having his first taste of BJJ.  It doesn’t really bother me, as I am a college educator by profession and my coach makes me handle the new students (big and small, old and young, manly and gay-ish) since I got my blue belt.

So, this new guy is a big fan of the UFC.  I don’t really mind, except…that he thinks he knows all the moves that he has seen in the fights.  What’s annoying is, he acts like an a-hole know-it-all guy —

Moi:  This is the mount, and…
UFC-crazy guy:  Ah, yes, yes, I know the mount.
Moi:  Okay, then, this is how you escape the mount…
UFC-crazy guy:  Ah…just that?
Moi:  Okay, water break…
…after a minute…
UFC-crazy guy:  So what now?

Because he seemed like he knows everything (I showed him how to escape the side control, and how to keep it if he’s on top), I asked him to wrestle with me — both escaping and keeping the side control.  He is about 20 kilos heavier than me, and I easily get my guard back when he was on top.  He was getting frustrated — all the more, when I was on top and he was using all his strength to get me off him, but he never did.  I was moving like he was my dummy bag — knee ride, mount, side control, north-south.

At the end of the two-minute round, he was panting heavily, and blurted, “Geez, I didn’t know it is this hard and tiring!!!

I can only secretly smile.  I wanted to tell him, “Now you get my point!  Just because you’ve been trying the moves on your younger brother, or on your cat maybe, doesn’t mean that you are as good as those you see on TV!  It takes a lot of skills and practice, man!”

But of course I didn’t.  It’s better for him to discover these things on his own.  I do hope he figures out soon that he can do a lot better if he keeps his mouth shut and listens to the instructor instead.