Gamers that fight - Martial Arts catch-all

maverickz wrote:

I used to train with a weird guy who would keep a... let's call it a competition gi, that he never washed. He would wear it for competition to screw with opponents. It was really gross.

I can think of dozens of reasons not to have something like that. Most of them end with -osis.

Paleocon wrote:
maverickz wrote:

I used to train with a weird guy who would keep a... let's call it a competition gi, that he never washed. He would wear it for competition to screw with opponents. It was really gross.

I can think of dozens of reasons not to have something like that. Most of them end with -osis.

I'm-not-going-to-work-with-you-because-you-stink-osis

Every instructor and owner I've ever had or spoken to tells people to own at least two gis and wash them after every class, because that's what normal adults do. Also, people need to wash their belts too. And a cup of vinegar on the first wash of your gi will keep it from fading or dulling over time. But not every wash, because then your gi will smell like vinegar all the time.

The more you know.

Or someone who has a gi that has washed it but didnt let it dry completely and it mildews before class. *shudder*

I got two gis (for free from coworkers who no longer roll) and have washed each twice already (going to my 5th class tonight). I am surprised how quickly they air dry considering how heavy they are (judo gis. not jj gis).

I think I will just let these turn to rags before I get a new one. Both are white so I don't have fading to worry about.

I have been watching videos on passing guard, but will need to actually roll more before I arrive at the one or two go to's I find work for me. Half of the ones I have seen are mostly just variations on the knee slice anyway.

Paleocon wrote:

I think I will just let these turn to rags before I get a new one. Both are white so I don't have fading to worry about.

Until they turn yellow and grey. When you do, I recommend Fuji gis, they are the most comfortable gi you can get for a really good price.

Paleocon wrote:

I have been watching videos on passing guard, but will need to actually roll more before I arrive at the one or two go to's I find work for me. Half of the ones I have seen are mostly just variations on the knee slice anyway.

Passing the guard is a whole subset art in jiujitsu. There are two parts to it, opening the guard and passing the guard. And there are about a million and one ways and variations to do both. I'm a fan of the knee slice pass or the pin and step over. But it really depends on how the opponent defends your opening.

maverickz wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I think I will just let these turn to rags before I get a new one. Both are white so I don't have fading to worry about.

Until they turn yellow and grey. When you do, I recommend Fuji gis, they are the most comfortable gi you can get for a really good price.

Paleocon wrote:

I have been watching videos on passing guard, but will need to actually roll more before I arrive at the one or two go to's I find work for me. Half of the ones I have seen are mostly just variations on the knee slice anyway.

Passing the guard is a whole subset art in jiujitsu. There are two parts to it, opening the guard and passing the guard. And there are about a million and one ways and variations to do both. I'm a fan of the knee slice pass or the pin and step over. But it really depends on how the opponent defends your opening.

I am a big fan of used gis. I can generally get one for free from coworkers or $20 from Craigslist. I wash the hell out of them and find they work just fine. I am cheap like that.

Same goes double for weight plates.

After I was done rolling, one of the upper belts (not the stinky one) asked how my first week was. I told him that it is really cool and new, but I still feel like I am drowning in 6" of water. He laughed and said that it would be like that for a while. He also said that it helps that I am in much better shape than most folks. I replied that it just meant it would take me longer to drown.

"The Ground Is My Ocean, I'm The Shark, And Most People Don't Even Know How To Swim." - Carlos Machado

The learning curve for grappling is interesting. There is an almost immediate, I'm talking weeks or months, improvement, then a plateau at about a year. Then another significant rise, then a plateau at about mid-purple. At least in my opinion. There are many opinions about the progression curve, but that initial jump and plateau is pretty well accepted.

My instructor was a student of Roberto Maia. The Thai boxing school I studied with did grappling as well with lineage drawn to Renzo, though I never studied it there.

My Thai boxing instructor once told me that in Renzo's school in Brazil they had a tradition in which gym injuries were evaluated pretty seriously. If you were responsible for the injury, your name went up on the board for a year. Twice in a year and you were asked to leave. I don't know how accurate this is, but it sounds cool. Again, every good school I have seen has emphasized that the person executing the technique is responsible for the level of force holds particular sway here.

One of the things I particularly like about this gym is how much emphasis they put on safe rolling. Lower belts are rarely encouraged to work together unless they are just working techniques or getting ready for competition. So far, I'm pretty impressed.

I am familiar with the whole progress-plateau continuum. I find that the biggest plateau generally happens after you have become comfortable with your small, initial toolbox and start seeing everything in that context (Golden hammer syndrome). This is often exacerbated by aggressive sparring and/or competition where those techniques are reinforced in a manner that brings things to "full speed". The fix to this (at least in Thai boxing) is to slow things down again and to work the reps in new techniques and incorporate it slowly into timing sparring. I am encouraged to see that this is not a meathead gym, so I think this "fix" is more likely here than elsewhere.

Renzo's board sounds rough. I mean, it's still a combat sport and accidents happen, but I'm sure there were judicious about it.

Your school sounds like it has an great philosophy, I'm a fan of it. I want to still be able to do this when I'm 60 or 70. One reason I gave up on TKD is because it's a young man's sport.

maverickz wrote:

Renzo's board sounds rough. I mean, it's still a combat sport and accidents happen, but I'm sure there were judicious about it.

Your school sounds like it has an great philosophy, I'm a fan of it. I want to still be able to do this when I'm 60 or 70. One reason I gave up on TKD is because it's a young man's sport.

As much as I would like to deny it, it is likely the reason I will need to give up on ever Thai boxing again.

Paleocon wrote:
maverickz wrote:

Renzo's board sounds rough. I mean, it's still a combat sport and accidents happen, but I'm sure there were judicious about it.

Your school sounds like it has an great philosophy, I'm a fan of it. I want to still be able to do this when I'm 60 or 70. One reason I gave up on TKD is because it's a young man's sport.

As much as I would like to deny it, it is likely the reason I will need to give up on ever Thai boxing again.

Yeah, I totally get that. My MMA training has taken a toll on my body, in real tangible ways.

One thing I don't lose sight of, though, is how much of the sport is, well, sport. There are certainly aspects of it that are useful for self defense, but it is clear that much of it would put you in a bad way if applied in an inappropriate real life situation. I know this is controversial, but I would even say that the guard is in many ways a sport position.

My school developed a policy of telling people who stank (noticeably, not just work funk) to go home and take a shower and come back with fresh gear. They'd pull someone out of class and take them to another part of the school to do it. The situation corrected itself within a month at most.

Wrestling has a been a sport for thousands of years, probably tens of thousands. It's been a way for hunters and fighters to train and blow off steam and resolve disputes without the clear and present danger of using weapons.

Traditional Ju-jitsu and similar are not really wrestling so much as a martial art for when a person is disarmed. So there are techniques in this kind of combative that you'd not use (and perhaps not find) in traditional wrestling situations. No one wants to kill their neighbor during a Saturday night pulque party. Likewise, no one deliberately enters a battle without weapons. And they for damn sure don't want to spend time wrestling someone one on one in the mud during a battle.

So I think there's a union between sport wrestling and combative wrestling that is maybe not found in punchy kicky styles. It's easy to limit or adapt wrestling moves to preserve your opponent. It's a lot harder to turn punching into a sport (safety gear is required, for instance, because it's really hard to pull a blow when things get fast).

So maybe JJ and other wrestling styles are best viewed as primarily non-lethal, with lethal extensions. After all, when you are in a submission hold on the ground and tap out, you generally get up and walk away unharmed. Contrast that to what kind of damage is required in boxing to put you on the ground unable and unwilling to move away from the fight, and you'll see what I mean.

I honestly think wrestling is mostly for conditioning, for fun, for celebration, for settling disputes, for learning basic fighting skills like balance. It has different goals and methods from combative grappling, even though they all come from the same basic motions. And that difference is important in teaching, because if someone comes to learn to hurt people, they will handle themselves differently from students who want to learn to wrestle.

I dunno, does that make sense? Meandering a bit maybe.

To give you some idea of how it struck me last night, I was rolling with a competing white belt who was having issues getting the armbar from the left side. He mentioned that he mostly works the right because most of his opponents are right handed. I laughed and pointed out that a right handed adversary in real life was more likely to grab with the left and beat him down with the right from inside his guard. I proceeded to demonstrate without hitting him and he acknowledged that he hadn't really thought about that.

The argument of street versus sport is decades old, and I've been part of those arguments on the internet and otherwise for a bit of it. There's even been a recent resurgence of it in the BJJ world due to the recent rule changes and the development of things like the berimbolo and crazy guards by the likes of Keenan Cornelius and the Miyao brothers. It's an incredibly complex question. It's highly dependent on context. "What is self defense?" is a major question in the discussion. What are you trying to defend against? What are the mitigating factors? Is this kind of one on one unarmed self defense situation even realistic in any way?

There are parts of grappling that are useful in defending yourself against a variety of threats. There are parts of grappling that are not. Would I rather be on my back with a locked guard or be mounted and be punched in the face? Yes. Would I rather be on my back with a locked guard rather than standing and running away? No. I know BJJ will provide me with the skills to control my opponent enough to control space and "altitude", enough to stand up and run away or fight back. Will it keep me from being stabbed? Maybe not. It's a matter of context and degrees.

The development, and the advancement of the guard position as an offensive position, is actually one of the biggest contributions of BJJ to the grappling world. Besides really the KOSEN judo folks, they were alone in showing that being on your back is not the end of a fight. It's not a cure all, but it is a highly powerful tool.

Some useful reading: http://www.bjjheroes.com/featured/th...

Though I think it under-represents the contributions of Carlson Gracie, but that's BJJ politics for you. And remember that much of the development and evolution of BJJ took place in the Vale Tudo world, not in the sport BJJ world.

Robear wrote:

My school developed a policy of telling people who stank (noticeably, not just work funk) to go home and take a shower and come back with fresh gear. They'd pull someone out of class and take them to another part of the school to do it. The situation corrected itself within a month at most.

These discussions are good illustrations of arts being taken from their native culture without consideration for the associated nuance and detail of that culture. I can't speak for all Asian arts, but Japanese dojo have pretty consistent norms about cleanliness and hygiene when training - not just the dojo itself, but those training as well. I do a fair amount of training outside during the warm months, and I'll often get dirt or grass stains on my keikogi or hakama. I wouldn't dream of showing up in a dojo without laundering it. In the heat of the summer (i.e. now) I'll keep one hakama for training outdoors and an entirely separate one for indoors, just to help with this.

maverickz wrote:

The argument of street versus sport is decades old, and I've been part of those arguments on the internet and otherwise for a bit of it. There's even been a recent resurgence of it in the BJJ world due to the recent rule changes and the development of things like the berimbolo and crazy guards by the likes of Keenan Cornelius and the Miyao brothers. It's an incredibly complex question. It's highly dependent on context. "What is self defense?" is a major question in the discussion. What are you trying to defend against? What are the mitigating factors? Is this kind of one on one unarmed self defense situation even realistic in any way?

There are parts of grappling that are useful in defending yourself against a variety of threats. There are parts of grappling that are not. Would I rather be on my back with a locked guard or be mounted and be punched in the face? Yes. Would I rather be on my back with a locked guard rather than standing and running away? No. I know BJJ will provide me with the skills to control my opponent enough to control space and "altitude", enough to stand up and run away or fight back. Will it keep me from being stabbed? Maybe not. It's a matter of context and degrees.

The development, and the advancement of the guard position as an offensive position, is actually one of the biggest contributions of BJJ to the grappling world. Besides really the KOSEN judo folks, they were alone in showing that being on your back is not the end of a fight. It's not a cure all, but it is a highly powerful tool.

Some useful reading: http://www.bjjheroes.com/featured/th...

Though I think it under-represents the contributions of Carlson Gracie, but that's BJJ politics for you. And remember that much of the development and evolution of BJJ took place in the Vale Tudo world, not in the sport BJJ world.

That is pretty much where I am on this. Especially with the proliferation of ground fighting arts, anyone who doesn't at least learn enough to either avoid an easy takedown or be able to recover from one is going to be in a world of badness against an experienced grappler. As I mentioned above, a fighter with little or no grappling experience is going to feel like he is being dragged into deep water and drowned.

I do agree that the guard is superior to being mounted and think that there are certainly applications for it, but I also think that the sport overemphasizes a position that has at least one glaring weakness: it isn't punch proof. It is interesting to see how MMA has changed the guard from an offensive rest position to a transitional position one wishes to escape.

I think it was Chael Sonnen who said "I don't use the guard. I'm a Republican." until he fought Michael Bisping and spent half his fight in it because he kept ending up on the bottom.

I totally agree with you on what you said. What I've always argued for, on a grand philosophy basis, is to tailor training methods to the end goal, whatever that may be. I think it's perfectly valid to train purely for sport or to train purely for "self defense" (whatever that may entail), but keep the methods and goal compatible.

The sport facet of BJJ has had a huge explosion in the last decade, but it would be foolish to pretend that the techniques and strategies used there would be a good idea in an unarmed or armed confrontation. But there are aspects of the art that are valid in both, with some proper application. Which I think we both agree is the key here. At the end of the day, what are techniques, they are just body motions to achieve a result. It's the mind and the thinking behind their application that determines how useful it is at any one time. Which I guess is kind of deconstructive.

maverickz wrote:

I totally agree with you on what you said. What I've always argued for, on a grand philosophy basis, is to tailor training methods to the end goal, whatever that may be. I think it's perfectly valid to train purely for sport or to train purely for "self defense" (whatever that may entail), but keep the methods and goal compatible.

The sport facet of BJJ has had a huge explosion in the last decade, but it would be foolish to pretend that the techniques and strategies used there would be a good idea in an unarmed or armed confrontation. But there are aspects of the art that are valid in both, with some proper application. Which I think we both agree is the key here. At the end of the day, what are techniques, they are just body motions to achieve a result. It's the mind and the thinking behind their application that determines how useful it is at any one time. Which I guess is kind of deconstructive.

Yup.

Ironically enough, one of the groups that shares our space on Tuesdays and Thursdays is a Russian Systema group that does all manner of bizarre scenario based exercises. Watching them drill is like walking into the mind of a true paranoid.

Don't get me started on that Systema bullsh!t, or the whole RBSD business. Those guys are just as guilty of fantasy thinking as many of the traditionalists.

maverickz wrote:

Don't get me started on that Systema bullsh!t.

Heh. Lots of folks I know say the same thing about Krav.

Paleocon wrote:
maverickz wrote:

Don't get me started on that Systema bullsh!t.

Heh. Lots of folks I know say the same thing about Krav.

And they're right! Any kind of scenario based training misses one of the biggest components of fighting, unscripted chaos and unpredictability. Which just trains you to respond in set ways to set situations, that may or may not bear any resemblance to real life.

I have yet to have two identical grappling matches, much less something in an even less restrictive environment like The Street.

maverickz wrote:
Paleocon wrote:
maverickz wrote:

Don't get me started on that Systema bullsh!t.

Heh. Lots of folks I know say the same thing about Krav.

And they're right! Any kind of scenario based training misses one of the biggest components of fighting, unscripted chaos and unpredictability. Which just trains you to respond in set ways to set situations, that may or may not bear any resemblance to real life.

I have yet to have two identical grappling matches, much less something in an even less restrictive environment like The Street.

One of the things I have consistently found most troubling about Krav and Systema folks is the seeming willingness or even desire many of them to "test" what they think they know in a real life situation. I have noticed this among a large number of tactical shooters as well.

Having spent some time in the ring against actual (and often better) trained fighters who have sincerely violent intentions (not sparring partners who want to help you, but competitors who want to destroy you), I can say with certainty that the day they are confronted with a sincere threat will be one for which they are completely unprepared. And the more I learn about violence with the distant approximations I have experienced through competition, the more I know I never, ever want to be in a "real world" confrontation where I don't have the convenience of a ring official who will end the fight when I want it ended.

That's a dangerous mentality to have. There are some dangerous people out there who won't attack them with a wild haymaker in slow motion.

maverickz wrote:

That's a dangerous mentality to have. There are some dangerous people out there who won't attack them with a wild haymaker in slow motion.

And disturbingly common.

This is one of the many reasons why I push folks to compete. The experience of an actual hostile opponent who can and will hurt you with bad intentions is (or at least was to me) a very eye opening experience. It is a very different challenge when you are faced with a uncooperative actor who isn't there to help you improve but is rather trying to destroy you.

The best lesson you can learn as a martial artist is fighting a real match you can't win.

I like to watch this video from time to time. It reminds me of how long people have been doing this stuff. And as hokey as it sounds, it makes me feel like I'm engaging with history and antiquity while I'm doing it.

How many gis are enough? I have two and find I do laundry more often than I would like.

I have two, and I wash mine after every class, which is twice a week. It really depends on how often you train. When I was training six days a week my classes would alternate gi and no-gi, so I would be doing laundry 3 times a week, which left enough time for them to air dry in between wearing. I don't like leaving sweaty uniforms to sit around until laundry day though.

I think I will probably settle into a 3 day a week training regimen. I guess that means laundry three times a week.

The hidden costs of BJJ, your water bill.