From The Ground Up

Battle Girl

If I’d never started BJJ there’s a chance I might not even be alive right now. Fo’ realz. That being the case, I thought I’d start a blog and share some of my experiences with others. Who knows, maybe someone out there, who is in the same position I was, could one day relate to my inconsequential ramblings on here and be inspired to give life just one more shot.

If you’ve ever hit rock bottom and managed to drag your sorry ass out and survive, I salute you. It’s not something to be taken lightly. Similar to depression, only those who have experienced it can truly appreciate the depths the human mind can sink to.

How do you know you’ve reached rock bottom? You fucking know. I was there for years. I’m not ashamed to admit that during that time I gave up and tried to take my own…

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Coach Firas Zahabi on BJJ styles, Rules and much more

Arguably recognized as one of the very best Grappling / MMA instructors in the World,  GSP’s coach Firas Zahabi posted a video to discuss: BJJ styles, different Rules, and much more: Continue reading

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Strength & Conditioning for BJJ?

“I put all my energy into Jiu-jiutsu. I don’t have to lift weights, I don’t have to jog because I want to improve in Jiujitsu.” (Marcelo Garcia)

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“I like to challenge myself. I like to do a lot of plyometric, explosive exercises. (Including olympic lifts) Good for my legs and my explosiveness. I’ve been doing this since 2011.” (Andre Galvao)

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It’s worthwhile to digest these words from 2 champions and absolute beasts. Very different views but both achieve success with their methods. Always remain open minded and try to find what works for you.

When considering Strength & Conditioning training for Jiu-jitsu there are a number of factors that should be considered first.

-How does extra volume of training fit in to your work/family/BJJ life?

Balance is key in all things, push too hard in one aspect and the others may suffer. Although the 2 can synergize quite nicely, there is also a possibility that you need a different training facility, an extra commute and a big chunk of your physical and mental energy that may already be taxed.

-What are your goals

In fitness and BJJ this is a very important piece of the puzzle, do you want to be competitive, lose body fat, be the best version of you etc. This will play a big part in how your program will look.

-What are your weaknesses

This is something that will include your own opinion and ideally the advice of professionals. You know if you feel gassed out, weak, small, big and so on. A good S&C coach will put you through a battery of basic tests that will give you a baseline and a platform to reassess progress. A good Black belt/instructor will advise you what he/she sees as the limiting factors in your progression. When all things are considered it’s up to you to go and experiment with different methods. Here are some super simple self analysis tools;

-If you’re very strong there’s a chance you’re also a little slow. Fast, light to medium weight exercises, agility training, plyometrics and even some olympic lift variations may suit you.

-If you’re super weak a strength program is probably a good idea. Food will be important for progress here.

-Serious lack of flexibility and mobility issues can lead to injury. Daily life may not be affected too much but in BJJ you will be brought through all ranges of motion in ballistic fashion. Prepare your body.

-If you’re super basic and a white belt..Don’t worry about S&C just yet. The basics of BJJ must be learned.

-In my opinion training and competing NOGI requires a little more thought on whether or not you’re going to do some S&C. A fast guy trying to smash past you in the GI can be tied up a little more than a sweating, lycra wearing NOGI powerhouse. That said your physical condition will directly impact any engagement in combat.

-Through a long and winding road in martial arts, I’ve come across guys and girls who may not have the physical attributes of an athlete but their heart, grit, determination and dedication carries them to victory. Also there are those that would squat a house, take on Usain Bolt and still have belief and killer instinct deficiencies. Don’t ever discount the mental game.

Apart from all of the athletic benefits of supplementary S&C training like speed, agility, endurance, strength, power etc etc somethings that are overlooked in BJJ are posture, muscle imbalances and how these thing will effect you as you get older. Injury prevention is crucial in combat sports and a little resistance band session after training will go a long way. A good strength coach is easily accessible nowadays and private session once a month with guided programming can be very effective.

Eamonn Boylan

10th Planet Blue Belt, CrossFit gym owner, S&C coach.

Categories: MAD (Motivation, Attitude, Discipline) | Leave a comment

The Friendly Enemies Podcast #1

Today we finally hosted the inaugural episode of The Friendly Enemies Podcast. It was fulfilled with interesting topics about Jiu Jitsu/Grappling, MMA, pre-competition nerves, life style, and obviously, we talked about how this weird friendship started! For those who didn’t watch/listen to it live, here is the link to our YouTube channel. Please share and subscribe to our YouTube channel! Thanks for the support!

P.S.: The Podcast will be soon uploaded to iTunes, so you can follow it through the podcast app of your smartphone.

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Ryan Hall wins TUF22 (Technique Video)

Ryan Hall made the global BJJ community proud of the art yesterday, by putting on a Jiu-Jitsu masterclass inside the Octagon, to win the reality show TUF22 and get a contract with the UFC.

Ryan had won 2 fights during the reality-show by submission, but later lost his 3rd fight in points and ended up out of the finals. However, Ryan was called in short notice to replace Saul Rogers, who got cut due to visa issues, and fight against Artem Lobov in the TUF22 finale show, that would take place on Friday December 11th in Las Vegas.

Ryan Hall controlled the whole fight, using his karate-style kicks to set up guard pulls and spending the whole fight constantly attacking  with leg locks, taking Artem Lobov’s back few times and even pulling full guard to attack from the bottom with strikes to set up submission attempts, putting Artem Lobov on the defensive during the whole fight. Even not getting the submission, It was a beautiful display of high level Jiu-Jitsu skills, which should make make every BJJ practitioner excited to follow his journey in UFC, which will probably take place in the Featherweight division.

Check below this beautiful technique used by Ryan Hall to take the opponent’s back in the first round of the fight:


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