Tag Archives: black belt

2013 Nogi Worlds & Why You Need To Go To These

Yesterday & Today, the 2013 IBJJF Nogi Worlds Jiu Jitsu Tournament was held in Long Beach, CA at Long Beach State at the Walter Pyramid. This is the biggest grappling tournament for Nogi grapplers other than Metamoris and ADCC (which was last weekend).

Now, Long Beach is about an hour or so away from the San Fernando Valley, so as a team, all 10th Planet Van Nuys members met at the gym nice and early on Saturday morning and carpooled down there to watch all the great matches and support some of our teammates and friends who were competing. Now, 9 am on Saturday morning felt damn early to me but the second we got there and I heard people talking about coming from all over the world to compete, I quickly stopped complaining. Haha.

As we stood in line to get our tickets to enter the stadium, we saw the first of many familiar faces to the fight world in line, former UFC Lightweight Champion and BJJ Black Belt, Ben Henderson. As the day went on, we saw more stars of the game, everyone from Dean Lister, Cobrinha, Romulo Barral, Rafael Lovato Jr, Andre Galvao, Eddie Bravo,  Vinny Magalhaes, and many more.

The whole atmosphere was electric, twelve mats, big stadium, superstars around, cameras, the whole nine. We claimed a space on the bleachers and were joined up with a couple friends from other 10th Planets including Vista, Riverside, HQs, and more.

If you have never been to a World Jiu Jitsu tournament, it’s truly something special. I’ve been to Metamoris, Gracie Nationals, and tons of other tournaments over my years but seeing those yellow and blue mats at Worlds was breathtaking. We watched competitors slowly fill the mats and the referees dressed in suits would have them shake hands prior to the six minute clock starting. Moments later, we saw lots of high level grappling begin and heard the cheering from fans watching.

This truly inspirational experience gave me a lot. For one, meeting all these high level practitioners of our sport was so inspiring. To see them in person and to talk to them is something that’s always fun. Also, nothing gets your creative juices flowing like the atmosphere itself and watching the matches. The day definitely gave me some ideas to see what techniques and concepts were being applied by competitors and how it played out in their matches.

What standing techniques and takedowns worked the best? What guard passes had the highest success rate? What kind of back takes kept happening over and over? Were there any submissions that were constantly getting hit?

These are always questions that raced through my mind as I watched the Blues, Purples, Browns, and Black Belts go to battle.

At the end of the day, tournaments are always good. Whether you compete or not is your choice and you don’t really have to to reap the benefits. The example is in yesterday; I didn’t compete but still learned so much about the game and it gave me the inspiration to get back in the gym and go to work. And the truth is, that’s what you really want out of your competitions anyway. To everyone who competed, congratulations. Win or lose, going out there and giving it your all on that grand stage is what counts.

Anyway, happy training folks, let’s take from the experience of Worlds this year and get to working towards the next venture in all of our Jiu Jitsu journey.

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The Art of Sparring- Rener Gracie

Hey guys, just poppin in real quick before I head out to drop this video for you. This is a link to a video called “The Art of Sparring” with Rener Gracie. Here, Rener spars with a Brown Belt and shows the playfulness and beauty of Jiu Jitsu. I gotta run but enjoy this video and expect more articles on Jiu Jitsu sparring soon! Take Care!

The Bruce Lee Influence on Modern MMA

Bruce Lee is, in my opinion, the most influential martial artist of all time. Today, November 27th is his birthday and he would have been 72 years old today.

He has made such an incredible impact on the world of martial arts and society in general.  I have always been heavily influenced by Bruce Lee in my own personal quest of martial arts. I’ve watched movies and read a few books about some of his philosophies on martial arts and life and he was so ahead of his time.

Lee didn’t allow himself to be confined to one particular style in his quest for the most applicable martial arts for combat. He would search for more and more ways to be more effective rather than sticking with “tradition.”

Mixed Martial Arts has gone through an evolution similar to that of Bruce Lees’ personal development in the martial arts. Here’s a video from Roots of Fight featuring Paul Lazenby, Eddie Bravo, and Ralek Gracie.

Are you ready to get started on your martial arts path? What are you waiting for?

Come down to 10th Planet Van Nuys and get started! We’ll see you on the mats!

10th Planet Van Nuys Visits 10th Planet West LA!

10th Planet Van Nuys Visits 10th Planet West LA!

10th Planet Van Nuys Visits 10th Planet West LA!

On Wednesday, November 21st, the 10th Planet Van Nuys crew headed down to 10th Planet West LA for an evening training session! 10th Planet West LA is led by 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Scott “Einstein” Epstein. Scott had lots of great techniques to show us and we were all very excited to train with those beasts!

The West LA crew was more than hospitable to our large group that went down there for the festivities. We started out the class with some warm ups and some different pummeling and takedown techniques. I particularly enjoyed this part of the class as Scott showed some great details to the Ankle pick Takedown and even showed us some great tips to pass the guard straight from the takedown!

We then moved on to the Halfguard Lockdown position, something the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu system is very much known for. Although very few people in the room were unfamiliar with some of the moves, Scott gave us some tips to keep our Lockdown tight and he refreshed some ideas about the Whip Up.

Once we found ourselves on our sides, then came the fun and Scott demonstrated how to finish the Electric Chair submission! The Electric Chair submission stretches out your opponent using the lockdown and shoulder pressure to put pressure on the hips, groin, etc.

However, some opponents may be resistant to the submission and Scott showed us how we can move to the Electric Chair sweep from that position. He also showed some counters to the Sweep and how we can move around them and work to pass the guard. He even showed an off- shoot and how to hit a Calf slicer submission from one of the sweep attempts!

After learning all these great techniques, the West LA crew was game for some fun times free rolling. Everyone had a great time training together and it was an amazing experience visiting them! I can’t wait to train with those guys again!

P.S. If you guys ever want to learn more about the Electric Chair or any of the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu system and you live in the San Fernando Valley area…what are you waiting for? Come down to 10th Planet Van Nuys and check us out! See you on the mats!

A new chapter in my BJJ Life- Blue Belt

After two years of blood, sweat, and tears… I have finally earned my Blue Belt in 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu under Alder Hampel. On Wednesday, June 13, 2012 Alder promoted six of us to Blue Belt and I’m sure we all couldn’t be happier. It was a great ceremony and we had a super packed class that night.

Through the years, I have learned so much about jiu jitsu and I have truly fallen in love with the sport. But more than anything, I’ve learned about myself and my team. I’ve learned that fighting, though it seems as individual a sport as can be, is at the heart,  a team sport. Your coach, your training partners, your support group (family & friends) all help you in your progress in BJJ. Your partners push you to your limits in class, your coach guides you and teaches you the intricacies of the techniques, and so forth.

I have never held a belt rank in any martial art before this. I never did Karate as a child and I always wanted to earn a belt. I’ve learned so much about myself through Jiu Jitsu and I’ve only made it to Blue Belt so far. There have been times where I have been so frustrated with Jiu Jitsu that I’ve almost wanted to quit. And there have been plenty of times I’ve showed up to class to roll and almost felt like it was my first day. School, work, and your social life can all get in the way of your training. But I knew if I stuck with it, the payoff would be amazing and so far, it has been.

There is no doubt in my mind that I want to one day earn a Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu. Yeah, I know there will be tough times in my progress just like there have been so many great times. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way and I guarantee I will enjoy every step of the way.

Congrats to my fellow Blues that were promoted that night. You guys all deserve it.

  • Daniel Godinez
  • David Alvarez
  • Bhimer Kahlom
  • David Hah
  • Bill Reusch

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