Sunday, August 24, 2014

The True Spirit Of Martial Arts

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

I've always had a love for martial arts history. A pattern I've seen so often in so many traditions is loss of information. Whenever there have been times of occupation, colonialism, imperialism, or war, anything related to warriorship gets destroyed. Temples burned. Masters killed. To keep the people docile, and prevent uprising or future wars. A new history even gets written, one where people believe there never was warriorship in their culture (warriorship has existed in all cultures), that they have always been pacifists.

This is why I believe martial arts is so important. It's a passing down of heritage, culture, and the will to fight against oppression.
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Sam Yang from an early age has been obsessed with connecting the dots between martial arts and efficiency, health, mindset, business, science, and habits to improve optimal well-being. For more info, join his newsletter. You can also connect to Inner BJJ on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Are All Martial Arts From Asia



Martial Art And Tradition


By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

Someone recently asked me this and I had to think about it for a moment. No it's not all from Asia but to many it may seem like it because it's so important in the East.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Learning Business From Jiu Jitsu

Rafael Mendes and Rubens Charles "Cobrinha" Maciel locked in a complex guard position

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

Martial arts was created to help us understand the tough situations we find ourselves in


There are so many ideas from martial arts that I find to be transferable to any situation. To think martial arts is only about fighting or cheap parlor tricks is a mistake, and if you train martial arts purely for those aspects you're leaving a lot on the table you can benefit from. Maybe because we compartmentalize and don't transfer knowledge well (here's martial arts, here's everything else), maybe it's the Puritanical foundation of American culture where we take everything literally and at face value (a punch just represents a punch, what else could it mean), and it's why we need a good bonk or two to the head through fighting to realize martial arts is so much more than physical conflict.

Sadly I have met few modern teachers of any martial art who have been able to accurately convey this message, and my goal is to remedy that. Nothing more ironic than to be a black belt on the mats and a white belt in life (or the board room).

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thoughts About Live Rolling

Photo Courtesy Of Magyar Bal√°zs

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

The difference between BJJ and many other martial arts is aliveness during sparring


Let's define aliveness:

Aliveness describes martial arts training methods that are spontaneous, non-scripted, and dynamic. Alive training is performed with the intent to challenge or defeat rather than to demonstrate. Aliveness has also been defined in relation to martial arts techniques as an evaluation of combat effectiveness

BJJ, along with mixed martial arts (MMA) and a few others are considered reality based fighting. It must stay grounded in reality. Not necessarily always self defense but always real reactions.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Deconstructing The Idea Of "Flowing"

Water flows not because anything allows it to. That's just what water does.

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

No matter what kind of BJJ you train, whether it's self defense, MMA, competition, or hobby, there are unifying concepts to all BJJ. Even without them being spoken, after a while you get the sense of them.

Unifying Concepts


One of these concepts is of personal responsibility. Meaning as far as Jiu Jitsu is concerned, a small man cannot control all the actions of the bigger stronger man, they can however control their own actions in nearly every situation. You don't expect your opponent to let you do anything, that's their job. Your job is to do it. It's a fight after all. Our training partners however should be respectful of our bodies and be careful not to harm us. Even still, our own personal safety is also in our own hands. Martial art is the art of defending yourself. There is this sense in Jiu Jitsu, especially during the formative white belt years, that you should know when to tap, and also be aware not to put yourself in positions that may endanger yourself. Don't have complete trust in your opponent, if you don't understand your safety is also in your control, you'll never develop the skills needed to keep yourself from harming yourself. It's not innate, like anything else in martial arts, it must be learned and practiced. Sometimes we get hurt by our training partners, but there's still a high incidence of injuries where we hurt ourselves, whether we like to admit it or not. You can develop that spider sense of realizing you're getting close to a wall, to other people, that you're foot is caught in their gi, and so on. From purple belt and above, when you roll with a white belt or a beginner, half the time you're focusing on them not hurting themselves and telling them to calm down.

Another concept is of flowing. Always be flowing. It means to always try to better your position, it means transitions, it means chaining together submissions. Your job is to flow and block your opponents attempt at flowing. That's Jiu Jitsu and is one of the ways it is different from arts with katas. It has to always remain true to the fight. I don't mean self defense or MMA fight, I mean the struggle to attain your goals.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Conditioning For BJJ

Technique matters, but so does strength and conditioning.

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

I was recently asked on Quora:


What's the best resources and information for strength training and conditioning for BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)?

Here is my expanded response:


I don't know if there is any one resource. Breaking Muscle writes a lot about it, as a few of their contributors train BJJ. Steve Maxwell also speaks in-depth about BJJ strength (he's a black belt and a world class strength coach). I find most strength articles relating to BJJ to be lacking (I've been training BJJ and MMA since 2002).

Read the rest: Strength Tactics For BJJ And MMA

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Every Life Lesson I've Learned From Martial Arts

My Jiu Jitsu master Rubens Charles "Cobrinha" explained to me, to be a good martial artist, figure out what's bothering you, then figure out a good way to prevent it or stop it. 
Me: I can't submit this guy because he's grabbing my pants professor.
Cobrinha: What's bothering you?
Me: The grip he has on my pants.
Cobrinha: Break the grip off. Then you can submit him. 
I was looking for some trick, a way to bypass the problem. He said take the time to address the leakage, plug it up, then go back to your original course of action. If it's not bothering you, then ignore it and go for it. 
What can I control? What's actionable? If it's not actionable, don't waste your time worrying about it. You need to conserve mental stamina. Decision fatigue is real (it's why it's easy to eat a healthy breakfast but hard to eat a healthy dinner), and if you waste all your decision powers over things you can't control, or things that won't matter or generally waste your time, then you won't have anything left by the time you get to the real decisions. 
There is no procrastination, you're deciding not to decide and that still drains you and drains time. 
They will resist, your mind will resist. When I was new to Jiu Jitsu, I told a higher belt I was having a hard time with a move. He asked why, I said my opponent wouldn't let me do it. 
He said, "of course he wouldn't let you. It's a fucking fight. You have to fight for it."

Read the rest: Jedi Mind Body Control

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Hacking Jiu Jitsu: 10 Questions To Improve Learning Curve

Get good at Jiu Jitsu quickly. No secret techniques, just lots of shortcuts and hacks.


With learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are so many variables to consider, but they aren't all evenly scaled and they aren't all of equal importance. When trying to improve and shorten your learning curve, you may need to take into account recovery and supplementation, of if you're getting quality sleep. But beyond that, you have to ask yourself the important questions to make your time effective and to organize your training to increase learning speed.

The important things to ask are, what attributes do you have and are you doing the right things for your attributes. Or do you override your attributes for preference? Do you insist on doing things that have a low success ratio?

Ask yourself these 10 key questions and design your game and drilling schedule accordingly and save yourself years of frustration:
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