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7 ways Brazilian Jiu-jitsu improves health

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that focuses on grappling and ground fighting techniques. It is also referred to as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Those learning its techniques are taught how to gain a dominant position over the opponent with the help of techniques such as chokeholds, joint-locks and compression locks. The art was derived from early 20th century Kodokan Judo, which descends from Japanese Jujutsu. This martial art has gained popularity in recent years, making it far easier to find classes than in the past.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great method of self defense, and has been especially recommended for women. Since women who are attacked are most often thrown to the ground, the techniques taught in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are particularly effective in helping women learn to fight from this submissive position. In addition, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is thought to be particularly effective for women because it does not require a lot of size or strength to be used effectively. However, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu offers benefits to your health, too. Here are some ways practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can help you.

1. It increases endurance – You can begin practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at any fitness level. However, over time, you’ll find your endurance increases because of the requirements of the sport.

2. It increases flexibility- – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s moves will require you to move in ways that are unfamiliar, at first. However, as the moves become easier, you’ll find that you’ve increased your overall flexibility.

3. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu builds muscle – Over time, even without weight training, you’ll find that your muscle tone and muscle mass have increased.

4. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu increases your aerobic capacity – This is a great workout – and you’ll find that you have greater aerobic capacity after a time. You’ll likely lose a few pounds, too, especially if you practice another aerobic exercise, like running, biking or swimming, on your off days.

5. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu increases your confidence level – The knowledge that you can defend yourself against an opponent is very powerful. When we believe our bodies are strong, we feel better physically and mentally.

6. Practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu reduces stress – Like any physically challenging exercise, practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great way to reduce stress by taking out your frustrations on your opponent – or just on a practice bag. You’ll find you’re more relaxed and sleep better.

7. Jiu-Jitsu improves your focus and concentration – This sport requires mental concentration as you anticipate your opponent’s next move and formulate your own plan for defense and attack. This forced concentration helps you be better able to focus your mind during practice – and for other tasks, as well.

As you can see, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great all around sport. You’ll increase your fitness level and reduce your stress level. And, perhaps most importantly, you’ll gain the skills to protect yourself in the event of an attack, and the confidence that goes along with the knowledge that you are capable of self defense. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes are easier than ever to find – so go out and sign up for one today!

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Congrats Marc Stevens, James Friar, and Bill Garrett at 2010 NAGA MOHEGAN SUN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Marc Stevens Winning his Superfight

James Friar winning 1st place Blue Belt

Congrats to all Tai Kai and Jiu Jitsu Nation students that competed at the 2010 NAGA Mohegan Sun Grappling Championships

1) Marc Stevens won his superfight 8-0 totally dominating his opponent

2) Bill Garrett for taking 1st Place Blue Belt and 3rd Place NO GI Advanced

3) James Friar for taking 1st place Blue Belt and 2nd place NO Gi Advanced losing in the finals to Renzo Gracie Black Belt and TUF veteran Dan Simmler

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Rillion Gracie’s Angle on the Guard-From Gracie Magazine

The guard is the salvation of the weak,” said Rilion Gracie in a GRACIEMAG interview in February 2009. Well today, after wins from stars Fabricio Werdum (in Strikeforce) and Anderson Silva (in the UFC), everyone seems to understand a little better just how important Jiu-Jitsu’s leg game is in a fight situations.

Whether you are an MMA fighter looking to avoid getting put through a family-sized wringer, a Jiu-Jitsu competitor or impassioned practitioner, you need to delve deeper into the concept of the guard to evolve in training.

Rickson Gracie always said you have the best guard of the family. What makes a guard good?

The guard has always been a way of evening the playing field in a fight between two people, bringing the fight to the ground, where a 60kg guy balances out the strength difference and even goes on to have better chances of surprising the 120kg guy.

When I got my black belt, 25 years ago, I weighed 59kgs. And I always had the winning spirit, understood my family’s Jiu-Jitsu to be an art of self-defense, but one with the objective of submitting the adversary. The same way these days we see hundreds of scrawny guys, with good guards for lack of other options, the same went for me. The guard is the salvation of the weak.

How did you go about developing your game?

Guided by Rolls, Carlinhos, Rickson, Crolin, professors who I mirrored, I realized I had to have a really good guard to face anyone, but a complete guard – I wasn’t interested in just holding out against opponents, defending myself without managing to do anything in the fight. But the first idea that clicked for me, at blue belt, was: if I can’t manage to neutralize the guy with the guard, with which I have millions of options of barriers, my legs and hands and all, if he passes I’m dead – I have to exert triple the force, and on top of that with the guy’s weight on my chest, squashing my neck, ears. So my first concern is not to lose.

And what would be the second stage?

At purple belt I was already real flexible, and with a guard famed for being unpassable, at the little championships. But it happens that I’d win because the guy on top would wear out, and ended up leaving openings for the triangle, or I’d end up on his back and such. So, I went on to the next stage, developed at brown: to reconcile defensive with attacking guard, incorporating a varied game of submissions from the guard, sweeps and taking the back. That’s when my Jiu-Jitsu started improving on all fronts, because I started landing on top of my adversary, and I had to make the most of the favorable situation. These days, I think I’m better on top than on the bottom. I prefer playing on top – my objective is to jump the fence and attack my adversary.

I specialized in leaving an opening for the guy to pass, as that is the moment he exerts force – and so he wears out and falls in a trap” Rilion

What other tricks do you have for making adversaries fall into traps in the guard?

One kind of guard is that where you grab onto the sleeves, tie up the guy’s arms, but you can’t do anything either, and it becomes an ugly fight. Another is the guard where you give the guy a little taste. He sees his chance to pass, exerts force but doesn’t pass. I specialized in that, in leaving openings for the guy to pass – and there he either exerts force and tires, or falls into some trap.

Because I don’t believe there are humans who don’t tire. The best prepared guy in the world, confronted with the right technique, executed to perfection, he will be forced to apply force, and at some point will wear out. Everyone has their limit, it’s up to you to find the method and path to pushing your adversary to it.

Which is your favorite guard?

Jiu-Jitsu to me is easy and effective. It’s that which you can teach any student who walks into your gym, otherwise they’ll pick up their things and never come back.

I look to play guard right at the guy, at least in my way of fighting. I try to keep the guy worried about getting submitted the whole time, fearing getting tapped out. Even if the guy knows how to defend, the worry will fatigue him, exhaust him. And when he makes a mistake, he gets caught. The better your adversary’s technique, the more you need to worry him.

So of course, I’ll even play half-guard, sometimes. But, if the adversary is really good, after I sweep him he will still put up a fight from the bottom. So then one gets a sweep here, the other gets one there, and then it becomes that fight we’re seeing in competition these days. Of course, you need to know your objective when playing guard. If it’s to sweep for points, perfect. But I don’t want my opponent only to be concerned with not getting swept. He has to feel threatened the whole time.

Is there any bad type of guard?

I respect all positions. If I teach a technique to ten different people, I know that, as much as I’d like it to be otherwise, each student will be more suited to one aspect and not the other. Jiu-Jitsu is an infinite art; a shorty won’t have the same game as someone with long legs. That’s why a master can’t go blindly labeling one guard bad and the other good. The secret is to make out the weaknesses and virtues of the position, never condemn, arrogantly. Now, the guy who wants to be a reference in the guard cannot just know one guard. He has to know other paths, for the day he encounters a rock in his way.

Jiu-Jitsu is sensibility” Rilion

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Growing up Gracie: The Phil Migliarese Story

Growing up Gracie: The Phil Migliarese Story. This is a 8 minute Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu documentary about the BJJ life of Phil Migliarese. Phil is the founder of Balance Studios in Philadelphia,PA. He will be doing a seminar next Wednesday night at Jiu JItsu Nation/Tai Kai North in Watertown for the debut of Marc Stevens in TUF 12 on Spike TV.

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