Currently working on:

Attacking - My tournament results suffered greatly because I was so focused on defense. Now that I have a solid defense, it's time to build my offense. If you are attacking, they are defending. If they are defending, they are losing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

IBJJF Chicago results

On August 22nd I competed at the IBJJF Chicago along side a few teammates. The overall experience was exactly what I needed to take the next step in my game. I am completely ok with how things turned out, and that much more motivated to be back home and working on what I need to incorporate into my jiu jitsu.

My first match was against a much older opponent, and honestly he felt quite a bit stronger than me. I was slightly intimidated at first, but remembered professor Crabtree telling me to take it to them. I decided to make a good first impression on my opponent by taking him down with a single leg. I landed in half guard and he held onto a Kimura for about a minute and a half which led to me being stuck there. He eventually figured out that he would not submit me and let it go. I worked a little bit and eventually got the pass. This is where things didn't go so smoothly. Instead of attacking from side mount, I sort of held on and he eventually put me back into his half guard where the match ended 5 - 0 with me taking the victory. I know now that I should have attacked him and submitted him. I had the power to do so, but I guess I just froze up being it my first adult division and nerves were fairly high. I've been working on my attacks since I got back and hope to see serious improvement soon.

Match number two - I was against a 19 year old kid who was a four stripe white belt. I honestly was not intimidated at all and felt that I could win this from the beginning. He jumped guard immediately and I backed away and he smacked himself on the ground. He got up quickly before I could establish a pass game. Same thing again, this time I followed him down into his half guard. He too also tried for a kimura, but I have fairly good kimura defense. Only problem was he hung onto it for a while as well, stalling out the match for a few pricey seconds. I tried working the pass game and eventually he caught me off guard and swept me. I worked and worked for the underhook and swept him back. It was tied 2-2 and I was on top in a sort of half butterfly guard position. He throw his free leg over into a rubber-guard position on my back and I honestly didn't really know how to escape this. I was not as active as I should have been, just like the first match. I sort of laid there hoping for him to let go of that position, but he didn't. I broke free toward the end of the match and nearly had the pass when time ran out. The ref gave him the decision. I wasn't aggressive enough, and didn't attack like I should have.

So 1-1 in my adult division debut wasn't to bad considering my nerves and my lack of attack. I went home with a considerable amount of regret but even more motivation to work on my attacking.

The rest of the team did AMAZING with Ben taking silver in his weight, and Gold in the blue belt masters absolute. Jeff also took gold in his weight as blue belt, and fought hard in absolute winning his first match. Abby took silver in her weight as blue belt, and also fought hard in absolute. Mike took third place in mens adult white belt, out of 32 guys! What an accomplishment. Stu lost his first match in white belt on points, but came to fight.

All together Carlson Gracie team took second over Third place Gracie Barra and just under First place Loyd Irvin. We were tied with Loyd Irvin but they had just a couple more gold medals than us so they gave them the first place trophy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

IBJJF Chicago International Open

This Sunday our team will travel down to Chicago for the first ever IBJJF tournament in the Midwest. The tournament reached full capacity and is going to be the biggest and grandest tournament I've ever attended, no doubt. I am eager to compete, and watch my fellow teammates compete as well.

We have all put countless hours of hard work on the mats, and with that we have come a long way. Some of us suffering through injury, plateaus, and just everyday problems that come with life, but quitting is never an option at GRBJJ. We've all had that moment where we just want to say, "ok, that's enough". We've all had the moment where we almost reach the breaking point, but decide to push onward instead of quitting. We all understand that through suffering comes reward. That's what will set us apart from our competition.

Win or lose, though, I am proud to be a part of GRBJJ and the Carlson Gracie Team because of everyones hard work and undying love for the sport and art. It's great to be a part of such a family, with the greatest Professor ever, Clint Crabtree.

My game plan for the tournament is really simple - I am entering the adult Division 18-34, so everyone in the division is going to have that advantage on me. I'll still stare them down with tenacity though, and take the match to them from the opening seconds. There will be no cowering away just because I am younger, and there will be no fear just because maybe they are a little stronger. I'll have to make them remember the day they fought that freshly 17 year old kid from GRBJJ.

Obrigado to all my training partners, and good luck to all of you while competing.


"He who hesitates, meditates in a horizontal position"

"Don't back down because your opponent is bigger, step up because he IS."

"You've got to have the most heart during those given minutes, you don't have to be better all the time."

"Remember where you came from, how you got here, and who helped you achieve this, all while you are holding the gold medal around your neck."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jiu Jitsu

Nothing is wrong with pushing the norm aside. Everybody wants to go to college, and learn, and try and fill in the same gaps in society that will always be there. They are a slave to a 9-5 job, and a slave to their annoying alarm clocks. They were forced to believe that to have a happy life they had to do amazing in school, and had to get a scholarship and then follow up with higher education. That is foolish.

I will not be a slave to that norm. I will not be forced to believe there is only one successful path. I will not fall victim to everyone telling me there is only way to reach the top. I will work, but it will be towards my dreams with a passion. I will put all of my time and energy into doing the one thing that I can say I really love. The only knowledge I need is the things I learn on the mats, and the things I experience in everyday life. I was blessed with a great gift, a strong mind, and I will use it with everything in me.

I once thought that college, or the marines was the right path for me, but with so much thought and dedication now put into what I truly love, I have found that they were so far from the right path. I was born for this, and god has lead me here for a reason. Money doesn't matter, my status doesn't matter, and the things that have happened in the past do not matter. At 16 years old I have found what I was made for, and it will be the only thing that I will ever be a slave to.

Some people might ask how I could do it? How could I just throw everything I had for me going away? A near full scholarship to colleges all around the united states, High ACT scores, and a year early graduation from High School. My answer - How could I not? How could I not search for my true purpose in life? How could I not live it to the greatest extent everyday? How could I not eventually die in satisfaction, saying that I did everything I ever wanted to and loved. How could I not?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


A jiu jitsu match is physical. Life is physical. Jiu jitsu is beautiful, and it is emotional. Life is beautiful, and life is also very emotional. So through jiu jitsu, and through life, you've got to always remember one thing - to breathe.

Friday, May 21, 2010


There is so much that has gone into that arm-bar you did in class today. So much philosophy, so much science. It was perfectly crafted to apply the perfect amount of leverage at just the right spot. In its entirety, its not just an arm-bar. Its a complex and beautiful series of motion.

So remember, you aren't "Doing" the technique, you are expressing it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A prayer

It's time to get serious if I am to reach for this dream, I've got to push myself, by all means. Lord, lead me, please tell me this is my destiny.

Mental training

Just training to approach your physical limits may make you better, but only to a certain extent. You've got to pick those days where you exceed those limits and go to your very breaking point, you've got to train to your mental limits. Try picking one day a month to push yourself right over the edge, not just before the edge, but right over the thing. Next time you go to train, your mental AND physical limits will be that much higher.

You see, training just before your breaking point will mean you always will have the same limits. Training just past the breaking point, until compete physical AND mental exhaustion means you have just broken through that wall and set a new standard, a new limit. Its not always about how much of a physical exercise you can do, sometimes its about how many times you can get into the position and fail. The effort you make to achieve the movement, not just the movement itself.

"I have trained my mind, and my body will follow"