So I am back from Brazil, had a great trip picked up a lot and meet some great people, I could go on for days but for now, I’ve got 3 big takeaways from the trip I want to touch before getting into anything else
1- Something I’ve always known but had to see for myself to really be sure was that the art is bigger than any sanctioning body.
Jiu-jitsu both in Brazil and internationally is not owned by any federation or group of authorities and as a matter of fact. I’ve been on the mats since 1997 so always find it puzzling with people live and die based on what ABC federation says they should do?? 🙂 .. I knew this wasn’t the way things worked in brazil it couldnt be, but it was great to see how right i was seeing what must be 6-7 federations and competition sanctioning bodies that i didn’t even know existed before this trip.
In the past, I’ve butted heads with some of my peers with them asking why we don’t take the academy in the direction of the IBJJF and the answer for me was always simple and the basis of our core jiujitsu program.
“Tournaments are fun but certainly not the basis of the martial art taught at our Mississauga academy. Yes, you can come train and develop all the skills to acquit yourself well under whatever the ruleset is but there is no reason to narrow the score of your learning down to mimic a very small percentage of competitors focussing on very fringe techniques and rules that have nothing to do with the martial art.”
Practice & compete under whatever set of rules you want but never for a second get to thinking some organization or sanctioning body holds authority over the direction of your training.
The benefits you get from practicing the art of jiu-jitsu greatly out weight competition so we will continue to not let those trends guide the direction of student development at the academy while at the same time helping students do well in every arena.
p.s I swear this was done before Felipe Pena recently won the IBJJF open class division champions ships and retired from that form of competition with this quite fitting Instagram post
In daily BJJ training with a focus on getting better, training sessions arent to be looked at as competition and not every session has to be a war.
being fairly well-traveled going back to my MMA days I’ve long since developed an effective system to walking into totally new training rooms and being able to fit in with no issues.
There are a few aspects to it but the most important element of things is that you keep the intensity level low and the technical level high.
Sure once you get familiar with the group you are working with you can turn it up a bit with the right partners, but to walk into a room as MR Tough Guy is unwilling to give an inch it’s not likely to work out that well for you, and more likely you end up working exclusively with the gatekeepers of the academy always trained and ready to address any visitors with a bad attitude.
A great example of this is Felipe costa’s Brazilianblackbelt.com academy
Nicely located in an upscale neighborhood near Ipanema beach in the South zone of RIO his Academy is a hot spot for first-timers headed to brazil looking to immerse themselves in the culture and art, I decided to check it out and was met with a very welcoming crew of guys and high technical level with a mixed bag of skills across-the-board.
Everyone played different games, but the key point is ” everyone played”.
Literally exchanging techniques and not trying to force things, Great training every round of drills and sparring but not a royal rumble.
As a great coach once explained to me, in martial arts unless competing the only person you have to look to be better than is yourself yesterday. Just keep building skill if even at 1 percent per week and eventually you will be a fairly complete package
The best advice as always to anybody looking to get involved in this complete martial art is to figure out what you want from it focus on that in training away there’s gonna get you the results you want instead of trying to jump into a space other people are determined fit you in.
BJJ & Jiujitsu offers everything you could ask for whether that be self-defense, better fitness, or a great skill set for competition but all that only works so long as you have a clear picture of what you’re looking to achieve from your efforts
or you run the risk of getting swept up in the ever-shifting current of what someone else thinks your jiu-jitsu should be.
Right now the cost of things as a tourist in brazil is super low for people coming from North America. Ive rarely heard people looking at brazil as a vacation destination but with 9hour direct flights to Sao Paulo and Rio just being 1 hour away that is so underrated as s vacation and training option.
Training/ Food / Travel and even accommodations were all really reasonable and great value for the dollar right now with the exchange you get a massive bang for your buck on purchases there.
I know I am by this point pretty one known for making bold statements about game-changing additions to the Academy in projects that were about too large but this time I can honestly say that in the cutter weeks will be releasing news that will change the face of martial arts in Mississauga forever.
I am super excited to get the ball rolling on this and I know this news will be greatly received once out.
Give me a few more days and we will have the update.
Thanks see you soon