Friday, August 13, 2010


It's been a while since I posted anything, then again there's nothing much for me to post about. I figure I'll just vent a lil here cause I won't in real life, things must always seem happy right? :(

At the moment money is tight as my wife is having a hard time finding a job since she had gotten laid off. At the moment I'm working at a nice company but am not a full time employee, I'm a contractor. So no benefits and job stability just isn't there right now, maybe in a few months it'll be better but I don't want to commit to anything again until we've got a steady, dependable cash flow. I'm hoping a permanent position happens soon here as it's a great place to work and it's close to home and the school I've been scoping out.

About a month ago I had to make the choice between my jiu-jitsu classes and my daughter's Judo classes. This was a no brainer for me. As much as I like going to class, I think she loves her's even more. She's an avid reader but her books are scattered everywhere and when she needs a book she has to search all around the house for it. She reads a new book, puts it down and does something else and forgets about the new book and moves on with her life until she decides she wants to read it again.

When it comes to Judo though it's a totally different story. Friday night, gi is by the stairs(folded AND tied by her-she doesn't fold clothes other than her gi), slippers are on the next step along with her empty sports bottle. Saturday morning she wakes up and asks for oatmeal/brown sugar, so she doesn't fart during class, she takes the water bottle pops a few ice cubes in the top and I or my wife fills it for her, then we're off to class.

She walks in bows her lil half bow, takes off the slippers, steps on the mat does a lil half bow again, then she's hanging out with the other kids who are stretching and not running around playing(with her sister.) Sensei walks in bows in(she does her full bow) the class and they being their warm ups, go into drills/throws and then usually class ends with a game of Sea Monster.

The whole time she's enjoying herself, she's smiling during the warmups and Sea Monster and just having fun with it. The smile goes away during drill/throw portion of the class and this is when she is seems focused and wanting to hear everything Sensei is saying and watching all his movements so she can do them too. After class she takes off the gi top and we head out for an after class snack and then we head home, where her shenanigans continue.

She and her sister have really gotten into the Gracie Bullyproof DVDs and always ask me or their brother to practice one technique so they can move onto the next one. So sometimes after Judo, we go to the garage and drill a technique or two from those DVDs-they even demand that I wear my gi during this time. Once she decides that she's done, she hands me her gi for washing, reminds me later to take our gis out of the wash and helps me hang them so they're ready to go for next week.

My choice was really simple, for the moment I'm gonna be content rolling in the garage with my son and cousins. She on the other hand will keep on being the little judo chick that she is cause it makes her happy and she said she likes making the boys cry when she throws/pins them, as my mom would say with a sigh "oh my Goodness..."

Just writing about this child makes my day brighter, hopefully soon I'll be back in class working on my white belt and posting about how much I hurt, I die in class and eventually how I went on to win the Absolute Division at the Worlds!!!...what? I can dream right? LOL

Monday, July 12, 2010

First real session in a while

Saturday night a few of the cousins and my family brought our kids to the Drive In to watch Despicable Me and Shrek 4? I forget which Shrek it was but it was a good one. My cousin Shannon lets me know that an impromptu jiu jitsu class can be setup for Sunday morning and I jump at the chance, he makes the calls and we're gold. We each have 2 beers and I limit myself to 2 smokes as I know that drinking and smoking too much will have me heaving into the "fugit buckit" the next morning. Both movies are entertaining, the kids have fun and I waaaay too much of the Furrikake popcorn, we say our good byes and we're on our way home.

Sunday morning rolls around, my son and I show up a little later than we wanted to and before we could get into our warm ups Sensei walks in and he changes into his Gi and we begin warm ups. There were four of us for this morning, myself, my 16 year old son, my cousin(215) and my cousin's husband(who I'll refer to as 225). He went light on the warm ups cause he knows I smoke and my other cousin is just beginning to start working out again. After the warm ups, he asks what we'd like to learn. I look around and see blank stares so I asked if he could show us a couple of ways to pass guard, he smiled(I think he was waiting for us to ask for a couple of submission holds), agreed and went onto demonstrating the first technique with 225 and it's a basic posture up, knee, break, base/slide/hook/squeeze, pass into side.

We went through that first technique and drilled it for about 20 minutes and then were partnered up to try and use what we had just drilled for another 20. He walked around correcting any mistakes and then asked if we were ready for the next pass. We look around and all agree and he proceeds to show us the next technique.

Sensei takes the youngin and has him close guard, grips youngins inside gi pants using both hands, places elbows inside the thighs and then sprawls out and shows multiple ways to pass from his position. We're paired up again and are told to go ahead and execute the pass. Once started, we'd found out the hard way that his demonstration on my kid was done very gently as each sprawl we did was immediately followed by a high pitched...uh...reaction...squeal...or..ummm...scream? It wasn't a grunt or was a cry born from pain and there was for sure a lot of pain once the elbows dug into your thighs as a result of the sprawl. But the pass worked well and we all survived and after another 30 minutes of drilling and rolling with that one, were told we all did well with that technique.

We all thought class was done as it'd been about an hour and we knew he wanted to watch the world Cup Finals, but he asked 225 to put it on the TV with no sound and he'd be happy to watch it that way. He then proceeded to tell the youngin and 225 to free roll for 5 minutes, they finished and I went 5 minutes with 215 and then as one of us dropped out of the rotation from a lack of oxygen someone else was to take his place. If you took a break you were in for the next slot and it went this way for about 40 minutes with Sensei instructing both guys on the mat on what to look for, what to do and how to move. It was fun but I died about 3 times sucking up as much wind as I could before the next roll.

I think we all did fairly good, we all were able to use the sprawl pass a couple times each, 3 of 4 of us were able to lock in tight arm bars, 225 landed a nice triangle on the youngin who'd almost had 2 arm bars on him. I was able to get in a few sweeps, was able to pass guard a few times using both techniques we'd learned that day and was able to survive a bit longer before I needed a break. 215 who is the newest of us, managed to survive a lot longer than before and he managed to avoid getting submitted by 225 who is actually imo pretty good.

After all is said and done, the class comes to an end. We're told that we're improving and that he is impressed with the progression he's seeing and he'd appreciate it if we would wear the patches that he gives to his regular students. He said that although we don't train with him regularly he wanted us to be apart his their Jiu Jitsu family. I'm the only one who is taking classes outside of the garage and he'd mentioned that it's usually frowned upon to represent two schools on your kimono, but because of the mutual respect that we share he wouldn't mind if I wore another schools patch along side Team patch but out of respect for any other schools I need to ensure that their okay with me training with his patch on my Gi.

Doh! Sorry Georgette, I forgot to ask him about the difference in BTJJ vs BJJ. I'll interview him over some beers so I can get a clearer picture of the differences before I post information that may be lacking in facts. His father, who'd started their School is coming at the end of August, I will for sure attempt to try and talk to him to get even more information on their early begininngs.

I've seen other patches at the Academy I was going to worn by visitors and folks just passing through. But I've never seen a Gi representing two different Teams. For sure I'd check with the head instructor to make sure I don't offend but I also wouldn't want to offend the other folks I'd be rolling with during the week. Is this something I should worry about?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Oppression Continues

The operation to get the screws removed went without a hitch! Everything is all healed up, I've been moderating my eating habits, found new ways to cook the quinoa, learned other cooking methods for chicken other than frying and may have even lost some weight!

As far as training, I've cut out a lot of free weight workouts in favor of using body weight. I've gone from 1 pull up to 5 in 3 weeks and will hopefully hit 7 in the next week or so. My son and I have been working on some basic BJJ techniques such as using closed/open guard, simple sweeps, the good ol upa and different techniques on breaking closed guard. Nothing fancy, just stuff that will hopefully help me out when I make it back to class.

Just this past weekend, Claudio Franca held a Jiu-jitsu by the Sea and two of my nephews competed. one took home a Gold and the other took home a Silver! Good job kids!!!

My replacement Padilla & Son's Gold Weave came in a couple of weeks ago! Just from rolling on the mats in the garage, this is a great Gi! It's lightweight, soft but at the same time it feels kind of...tankish? It's got a thick collar and even when soaked it still feels pretty light, unlike the Fuji one I have which, I swear, adds on 5lbs when wet.

Everything sounds all good right? Well, it was until a few days ago.

My wife got laid off from work. There are plenty of worries I can list but I'm just gonna list the ones concerning my training.

With me as a contractor I don't have health benefits and I don't know how I feel about rolling without health coverage. I've read on a couple of different blogs about injuries which required hospital visits to deal with them. I've never NOT had health insurance and don't know what I would do if I came down with even a moderate injury, where would I go?! FML.

The Academy I go to isn't the cheapest in the area but the instruction is great and the people are friendly as hell! I've only got good things to say about the people who attend but now I really can't afford it and if I want to continue training I've got to change schools - that and have top ramen for lunch every day :). I do know of a few other gyms in my area Alan "Gumby" Marques opened up Heroes and Claudio Franca's San Jose location is roughly the same distance from home as Heroes. Both are about the same price and I've only heard good things about their instructors. I'm leaning towards Heroes cause if Alan is anything like his brother, who I contracted with at Electronic Arts, I know I'll have a good time. Sometime next week I'm going to make plans on checking out their free trial class.

My other option for training is to just do what I'm doing currently which is; learning from online sources/books and have the occasional $20 lesson with my buddy who is a black belt in Brazillian Traditional Jiu Jitsu. This for sure is the more cost effective option and one that I should consider but I would be missing out on the comraderie that is formed when rolling with a nice group of people. Then again these lessons are at my cousin's house and we have beers after training...hmmm.

Got a lot to think about now. Oh the Opression!!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Whooo hooo!!! Almost...

Got the screws taken out and spent the Memorial day weekend in bed on a double dose of Vicodin. For the most part my diet has been good, been staying away from fried food, experimented with different ways to cook veggies and am currently trying out ways to cook Quinoa and brown rice.

I'm Filipino and I've grown up with the mindset that if you don't eat rice you haven't eaten a complete meal, so I'm hoping the Quinoa or Brown rice can replace the white rice. In the past I've done some weird diets, compliments of the wife, and we'd found that cutting down on white rice actually helped us lose a good amount of weight. She's always on a trip about her weight - I think she looks fine - so she's trying new things out and I go along with it to support her. So far she's tried South Beach, Perricone, I forget the name but it was a silly spicy lemonade diet, another silly cabbage soup diet and the famous Atkin's diet.

I've got a friend who is a nutritionist and he said that out of all the ones above the South Beach and Perricone diet were the most decent. But he mentioned that the best way to lose weight was to just eat with portion control in mind and to avoid fatty or processed food. Simplest advice ever right! Well in this day of convenience food, long work days and short week nights we've found it hard to feed ourselves and our kids proper meals and it shows, in us. My mom also helps us out but she keeps getting microwave pizzas, pizza rolls, pizza pockets and pizza bread - my son likes pizza, can you tell who she has in mind when she gets us food? I'm pretty stubby for my size and my wife isn't happy where she's at so we're finally trying to do things different.

For the past 2 weeks, right after grocery shopping we've started cutting up the veggies and storing them in containers for pre-planned meals. Meats basically get the same treatment but gets pre-spiced before storage which also helps the meat become more flavorful when cooked. We've swapped out ground beef for ground turkey, breakfast Sausages are not those little Morningstar veggie patties and bacon...sadly..has been swapped with turkey bacon. I'm gonna get some maple syrup to maybe paint a little onto this new 'bacon' to make it more tasty.

With the changes we've made I've secretly dropped 10lbs and am now floating at 198 to 201. I say 'secretly' because I didn't share the info with my wife in case she hasn't seen any changes since we've changed eating habits. Considering I've only been doing limited workouts I can attribute the loss to the change in diet, can't wait to see what happens when I'm able to get back to class again :)

Recovery looks to be progressing well since Friday, the limp is almost gone from my walk, I get to take off the bandages tonight and within the week I'm hoping to get the stitches removed and let the cuts fully heal before heading back to class. After all this drama it would seriously suck to get infected by something due to an open wound, so I'm taking no chances.

Staying motivated to return to doing Jiu-jitsu hasn't been hard at all for plenty of reasons.

Happily, I've seen my nephews a few times these past weeks and they love showing me what they're new subs, grips and throws that they've learned in class. These 3 boys are hilarious!

Watching my daughter progress in her Judo classes and then wanting to play Bullyproof with me and her sister when we get home. In class she goes for full mount to arm bar instead of a pin, this happened after she'd been hanging out with her cousins in the garage for hours. My nephews version of 'playing' is rolling and it looks like my daughter is 'playing' now too! Last night she mentioned she wanted to start getting medals like her cousins! :O Oh the tears of joy! LOL

Along with the motivation given to me by my family, reading online about the trials and tribulations that others are going through with their training is also helping me out. Thanks to Dolph at BJJBlues, Liam the Part time Grappler, Mike's Formative Years and to Stephen Kesting for his many informative emails!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Screws Begone!

Went to my appointment yesterday with a Sports Surgeon and she said that tendons in my ankle are rubbing against the screws and that they should be removed soon, so I can walk like a normal human instead of a Limpin Boss Pimp!

So on May 28th I go into surgery and the screws get removed and it should take all of 2 days to fully recover! No physical therapy, no cast...NO Problem!

Can't wait to get back to training regularly in a class and not just in my garage.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Screws loose...

After my check up a couple of weeks ago, everthing looked fine on the x-rays and I was told I could drill but not spar. I haven't attended class to avoid any unfortunate events from occurring. In the lieu of going to class I picked up a book by Dave Camarillo, found some great Jiu-jisu blogs and free instruction from a man named Stephen Kesting.

At the moment I'm sitting down and if I point my toes up/down or rotate my ankle I feel the screws or maybe even the bar moving. It's not my imagination, something is shifting around in there. After 20 years, it's time to take the hardware out. I'm not sure if there's a recovery time but I'm gonna find out more information from the Sports Surgeon on May 17th. I'm hoping it's just go in, take the stuff out and I'm on crutches for a short time but whatever happens I'd like to be able to get back on the mats ASAP!!! Please!!!!

As far as training goes, I've been doing my sit ups and other than drilling, I've been slacking on the other workouts. When I do anything Jiu-jitsu related it's usually out of Dave Camarillo's book or a position from Stephen Kesting's .pdf file that I'd downloaded. My son and I have decided to start from the beginning pages of Dave's book and are currently working on Grips.

Grip fighting is such a basic tactic to control your opponents balance and movements by using his Gi and applying different force to the garment. I don't know if I would have ever picked up on it just by rolling with other people in class, so i'm glad I picked up this book. Either way I'm glad that it was detailed in the book and it's going to be something my son and I work on before any rolling takes place. My daughter right now is working on Grips as well but she's doing this as a 6 year old in Judo. Maybe using grips is a Judo technique and not used so much in Jiu-jitsu? I dunno, but we're working on Grips with her too. In a more entertaining way of course so that she thinks she's playing rather than training.

My eating has reverted back to what it was which isn't good. So at the moment, I'm not a model jiu-jitsu practitionner LOL This past weekend though, I've started to watch what I'm eating again and have been doing okay at it, not good mind you. Just okay. Oh and I found out that Banh Mi (vietnamese sandwiches) are not good for you 3x a week. Damn I gotta find a new lunch place!

A combination of things have made me realize that I am not starting out the my learning process where I should be. When I get to class focus is mainly on rolling with someone and drilling what was taught the previous hour or it's free roll time with a partner. Can you see the problem there? I am missing the Instruction portion of the course, althought I really appreciate people helping me out, the fact is that I am being taught by another white belt or a blue belt. Sensei does an excellent job with the students, the skilled technique of the students are proof of this, but I think at this time I am in need of focus on the basic positioning and movements of Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu.

What really sucks is I enjoy just walking into the place I train at, the people are really nice, the facility is excellent, the drive from work to the Academy is very convenient and in my opinion the instruction the students get is very high level. It's going to be very hard to find another place to compete with this one.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

3 Weeks

That was what the doctors told me. 3 weeks of no rolling, I can do drills but I cannot roll, nor can I run or do anything that will put stress on my lower leg. Right now I'm trying to stay motivated and am looking took keep my diet, smoking reduction and exercise going.

I've found a free ebook written by Stephan Kesting and I downloaded it. Haven't had time to read into it but just from a quick glance through the pdf file it seems very informative. It's geared towards beginners so I'm sure I'll get some great information out of it! Here's the link to his site and yes it's FREE!!!

I think for my training, I'm going to hold off on going to class altogether. I don't want to be put into a position I shouldn't be in and if I do get injured I don't want anyone else to feel bad about it. The gym does have a weight room so I'll be spending my time in there and will continue my ab and stretch work at home.

I'm gonna stop posting what I ate, I figure it'll be easier to post any BS that I've eaten cause it'll save me time. I'm lazy. On the parttimegrappler blog I saw a new way of eating called the Warriors Diet, it sounds interesting and I'll see if I can find excerpts from the book to see if it'd be something I can work with.

As I mentioned above, I'm following yet another informative blog "Grappling and BJJ tips. The Part-Time Grappler: People who have a life outside the gym" It's got a lot of good insight into BJJ and how it relates to life. Reading these blogs made me realize that I don't know how to write LOL I know how to write but folks who I've found myself following actually know how to write well! one day maybe I'll decide to start writing better, for now you'll just have to deal with my scatterbrained style of blogging :)