Supplements for BJJ

Hey folks, today I wanna talk about supplements.

First of all, supplements are just that…supplements. They are supplements to your regular diet. Now, we all live crazy lives and our bodies demand a lot of us, especially with all the training we do. It’s tough to get exactly what you need in your body on a daily basis but dietary supplements can definitely help.

Now, if you cross train your BJJ with wrestling, Crossfit, weight training, calisthenics, MMA, chicken dancing or any of the above activities…chances are someone has told you about supplements. Hell, even if you just do jiu jitsu maybe someone mentioned their protein shake, etc. Or maybe you heard a certain pre workout will help a lot with how tired you are prior to training sessions.

I’m here to share my personal opinion about the Top 5 Best Supplements for BJJ Training.

So, in no particular order…*drum roll please*…

1. Multivitamins

Multivitamins are the most common supplements for a reason. Multivitamins help you get all the essential nutrients and minerals in your body that you may skip over when choosing your meals for the day. It’s basically insurance that you’ll get everything you need. Generic multivitamins are fairly cheap but I would suggest, if you could afford it, get one designed for athletes.

2. Fish Oil

Fish Oil is important on this list! Don’t skim over it! Research fish oil for yourself (like any other supplement) but basically, it’s used to help take care of our bones and joints. Since our whole martial art is based on taking joints to the point of breaking and eventually tapping out..Taking care of our joints are absolutely essential. Do it.

3. Protein

I don’t wanna hear about how you think protein will make you bulk up or get big or bulky. That’s simply silly. Protein will help with recovery between training sessions, replace shitty foods in your diet as a meal replacement, and help reach the requirements your body needs for muscle repair and proper body function.

Now, not all proteins are created equal. Whey? Casein? Soy? Hemp? Blend?!? Alright, this is getting confusing…

Just know this guys. Whey Protein is king for immediately post workout. It is the fastest digesting protein. Casein is great if you can’t eat for a long time (before bed) because it is slow digesting. Soy and Hemp are both great alternatives with unique benefits to each. Blends are obviously just that so be sure to do your homework about which is good. For me, I always take Whey Protein post workout and find that helps me a lot.

4. Amino Acids

Amino Acids is a tricky one but let’s break it down.Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and there are certain “essential”amino acids that can only be obtained by food. As the name implies, they are essential..very important.

Taking amino acids throughout the day or during your workout is a great addition to your regimen.

5. Glutamine

Although Glutamine is NOT one of those essential amino acids, it definitely can be considered essential by many athletes. Glutamine is one of the amino acids that gets a lot of the credit for the bodys recovery after strenuous exercise. This should be obvious then why it is so important for us after a hard training session.

Honorable Mention: Creatine

Do the research. Don’t listen to bro science. Creatine is a compound formed in protein metabolism. Extra creatine supplemented into your diet can help with strength gains, something we could all use more of.

So, I hope this list has helped some of you trying to figure out what supplements exactly you need for your BJJ training.

If you already take supplements to help you out with your training and diet, what supplements do you take? I’d love to hear!

Take care and see you on the mats!

The Arm Drag

The Arm Drag is one of the most versatile set ups in all of grappling.

IMG_9066Originally this move was used in freestyle wrestling as a set up to different takedowns, a transitionary position to other grips, etc. but it has found its way into modern day Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Marcelo Garcia is one of, if not the greatest BJJ competitor of all time and one of his signature moves is his arm drag.

In the most basic explanation of the move Arm Drags are used to make your way towards your opponents back. The reason why this technique is favored by tons of different grapplers today is because of its versatility. Transitions, scrambles, new positions, and more all become available. From wrestling and standup techniques to different guard positions the arm drag could quickly change the momentum of the match.
So why did this technique become so popular in recent years in grappling?

Well, in short, it’s a high reward technique. In a perfect world, the arm drag would bring you from in front of your partner to all the way to the back. In a wrestling/mma/self defense scenario being behind your partner in a stand up scenario allows for a variety of techniques. Takedowns from the back, standing chokes, and more are some of the great offensive
reasons to execute this technique. From a defensive standpoint, there are plenty of good things but mainly you are no longer in danger of strikes since you are behind your opponent.

From a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu perspective it’s all of the things I previously mentioned and more incentive. In competition the back position is worth the most points and is deemed the most dominant position in BJJ. Well, using the arm drag can take you from a bottom position like butte
rfly guard to the most dominant position in all of grappling in a matter of seconds.

The Arm Drag is an effective, highly versatile and important technique in my opinion. Some notable people to watch while perfecting this move are (again) Marcelo Garcia, Cobrinha, the Mendes Bros, and more to name a few in the BJJ community.

There are a variety of different grips and methods to doing this move. My suggestion for beginning grapplers is to learn any basic way to execute this move and drill it with a partner until it becomes second nature. While rolling, you’ll see this move pop up constantly- go for it and believe in it.

As I post this, it’s almost midnight on a Sunday evening. Tomorrow is Monday and I hope everyone has a good week of training ahead.

Happy rolling!

Training Log 10/20/15

Haven’t done one of these in a while but here goes. 

Tonight was a good solid night of training at 10th Planet Van Nuys. 

On Tuesdays I teach a fundamentals bjj class before training in Advanced class. This month in Fundamentals we’re doing the mount position and in Advanced we’re focusing on some closed or basic open guard sweeps. Old school Jiu jitsu and I love it. 

Personally, today I wanted to focus on some of my X Guard Sweeps and maybe some basic Kimura attacks from side control or North South. Some tough rolls in the room but all in all it was a good training day. I definitely know I want to work on some guard retention stuff. I was getting passed fairly often by some of the higher belts and that roll can get rough once they’ve passed. 

That being said, a huge piece of advice given to me a while back recently resurfaced in the form of a Marcelo Garcia video where he talks about defense. 

“Staying offensive keeps your opponent reacting to you and therefore you aren’t reacting to them. Keep them on the defensive”

We finished with some Padwork and drilling. I’ll be cornering a few of my fighters on November 22nd at an amateur MMA promotion. Anyway, I’ll be back at it tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Here’s Ryan Hall Doing Some Wizardry

Sunday afternoon technique drilling with Fifty/50 brown belt German Salas

A video posted by Ryan Hall (@ryanhall5050) on

Okay, if you didn’t know who Ryan Hall was before then this season of The Ultimate Fighter should’ve definitely made you pay attention. This is a video he posted on his Instagram (I suggest following him). Ryan’s ground work is absolutely incredible. Watching these transitions is getting me hyped to train this week. Enjoy!