Romulo Barral Seminar

Posted in Uncategorized on October 23, 2009 by jiujitsulife

Training has been good. I took off a week for cold symptoms,  mostly to avoid getting one else sick.  But, on the upside, I spent that time watching tons of instructional, and I feel that I have a few new areas becoming available to my still infantile jiu jitsu game…specifically, spider guard.

I have been dabbling in the guard a bit recently, but never seemed to use it in many rolls.  I would typically go back to what I felt comfortable with, closed guard, or long distance half.  Typically looking for the triangle or armbar but mostly the sweep, my top game is currently the strongest aspect of my game…so I spend most of my time trying to get there.

First thing I can say about my newly found favorite guard…is that it take endurance!  You have to have good grips…and hands that do not burn out…even when your fingers are numb and throbbing with pain you have to keep those grips and be dynamic with them!  Also you are pushing with your feet in such a way, that your calves can get a real nice burn going.  My calves and fingers are still sore from last night… 😦

Another thing, the whole fluidity/pace/operating manner of the spider guard is entirely different that your traditional closed guards.  The game is loose..but it is a very controlled looseness.  You have so much more space in this guard for movement, unlike where your hips are locked down a bit by a closed guard.  Which is where I first realized that I needed open guards…

Who wants to wrap their legs around a guy, and have him stay on top of you all day.  Now of course I’m generalizing…there are tons of sweeps and submissions from closed guard.  But it is also the first guard anyone in jiu jitsu learns…therefore, it is also the first guard that everyone learns how to defend.  And what is jiu jitsu about if it in not about adaptation and progression???

Now, the actual point of this post…

Romulo Barral Seminar

Romulo was at GB Texas last night for a spiderguard sweep/submission seminar.  The seminar lasted about two hours and mainly covered grips, hip movement, and transitions off of pass attempts.  But he also showed some really tricky leg work that sets up armbars, triangles, and omoplatas.  They could all be chained together and used alongside the sweeps he showed.

This was about the best kick start to learning the spiderguard that I could imagine.   I feel more confident in the position already.  I especially like the transition to triangle and the scissor-esque sweep that sets it up.  I caught it a few times in the rolling session immediately afterwards.  I hope to continue to improve this position, and although I do not intend to disavow the closed guard…I cannot imagine using it as my main defense any longer.

Okay, to avoid rambling aimlessly any longer I will post a few pictures from the seminar, compliments of GB Texas and Colby Black.

Draculino and Marcelo Watching Romulo Intently

The Class Working Romulo’s Sweeps

Romulo Teaching Draculino  Details if His Sweeps, I Watch Intently….wishing that I knew more Portuguese…

The Whole Group



Posted in Uncategorized on October 5, 2009 by jiujitsulife

In my recent thoughts I have questioned myself on many things, mainly my dedication to things I want in life, and my goal attainment potential…

It is…how should I say this….

Although there are many things I want to do, I never seem to set a static goal and go for it. Or if I do it is some temporal flux in the nexus of laziness and procrastination.

What I consistency…

So, I was googling this word, “consistency,” recently…simply because I have lacked it in my training, and other aspects in life,  and found some inspiration even in the simple definitions of the word…

First Definition:

“consistent – of a regularly occurring, dependable nature”

and this definition from a Unix program document…

“Resources must be left in a consistent state, even in the event of failure.”

These definitions basically describe exactly the mindset needed to achieve really any goal, regular, dependable and unaffected by failure.

But it is so much easier to say, or rather type out, than perform.

The reason that I bring this up is that, I feel that I often want things but never really go after them with all I have.  There’s nothing I want more in life than to go back to school, finish all my computer certifications, and work towards a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu…the only one pertaining to this blog is the jiu jitsu goal…but  I ask myself…

What am I doing to make this happen?

Not enough.

A prime example is the rate at which I have progressed.  Although, belts and stripes are not the most important, they are a good charting of one’s progress. I earned my blue belt in around 6 months, then, through injury and pure laziness sometimes missing a month of training or a few months at the same time, I have finally managed to get my first stripe, after having the blue for a year already. 6 months to the belt, one year for one stripe.  That shows a serious lack of dedication…

I am determined to make it to jiu jitsu 3 times a week from now on, barring any serious injury or legitimate reason to miss.  None of that, it’s too cold, it’s too hot, my tummy hurts, it’s raining….none of that.

Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  Every week. No matter what.  And I’m starting this week.

Maybe this way I wont continue to be on the 10 year purple belt program. 🙂

Hello Again!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 29, 2009 by jiujitsulife

I have been far too lazy recently.  I’ve meant to update this a few times, but never seem to get the time.

Well, I started back training in August after a pretty serious meniscus injury.  I have been training steadily for these last two months and have not had a single injury *KNOCK ON WOOD*.  My knee feels better than ever, and I feel like I am finally committing myself as much as possible to training, instead of just showing up and going through the motions.

Unfortunately, I never made my goal, which was to compete for the first time in 2009.  I missed the ADCC Texas because of my injury and by the time the year ends I will just finally feel back in shape.

August was hilarious, nothing like seeing a fat blue belt come back after 3 months off and huff his way through some sit-ups and shrimps.

Marcelo “Uirapuru” Azevedo has been instructor recently at Gracie Barra Texas, as an assistant to Draculino.  Draculino is also present but he has given Uirapuru the reigns of many of the classes during his stay here in Houston.  He is a great instructor and it is nice to see how different blackbelts games have developed.

His chokes are insane!!!  I got on the bad end of one and tried working my way out of it…bad idea. The next day I had about a million tiny speckles on my face from broken blood vessels.  It looked like something out of CSI.

Speaking of Marcelo, he competed in the real ADCC in Barcelona this past weekend, where he submitted Mike Fowler with a leglock and went on to lose a decision to K-Taro Nakamura, who I still can’t believe lasted for something like 2 minutes in Marcelo’s Brabo choke, which is a feat in itself!

We all are very proud of him at Gracie Barra Texas and feel privileged to call him Professor.

Oh yeah, and Marcelo gave be my first stripe on my blue belt last week. So I finally feel like I am progressing again.  Now only 11 more stripes and 3 belts to the black! lol!

Until next time, I hope all is well!


Not again…

Posted in Uncategorized on June 7, 2009 by jiujitsulife

On Monday of last week we were doing some spider guard drills, the guy on the bottom must sweep or submit, the guy on top needs to pass only, and you are not allowed to close the guard at all..half guard..nothing.

So the guy on bottom has a disadvantage for sure, especially someone like myself that never plays spider guard. However, I still think that this exercise is great because it forces you to play a game you would never play.  I found that although it opens up alot of avenues for them to pass, it also gives you a great mobility on your back with alot of attaching options, great risk greater reward maybe. I started to get comfortable after a few rolls and manage to sweep and pull triangles from the spider guard control…and a few tight armbar attempts…then something happened…

I was partnered with another guy a good size larger than myself, a good guy with good control, but he tends to transition somewhat explosively, and when he was diving in to pass my spider guard, my right leg was entangled somehow and I felt the pain in my right knee that has been gone for a few months now…Great! Back to square one I though!

I had a pretty painful meniscus injury in December and stayed out for 3 months, and I have been back for a month and bam something like this happens. 😦 😦 😦

However, the next day it wasn’t feel too bad.  Wonderful! I can ice it and be back in a few days. Then I stood up from my work bench and started walking, and instantly had an intense dull pain on the opposite side of my knee.  The original Meniscus problem was inner knee, this new super sweet pain was on the outside of the knee.  And I could barely walk without limping.   It’s Sunday and only now am I able to walk somewhat normally.  I have no idea what is wrong, I just hope that some rest, ice, and ibuprofen will take care of it…and I can be healthy enough to get some real training in.  The tournament is next month…I’m a bit worried.


Posted in Uncategorized on May 23, 2009 by jiujitsulife

I’ve been going at a fairly regular pace, and I feel really good.  My cardio is nowhere where it should be, but I am able to roll at the level I should until I gas, which is not immediate unless I have someone going at me like a maniac and I have to constantly defend.  I have managed to mess my back up pretty good, but with my previous staph issues and meniscus tear, I would hate to seem like a wuss to take time off now that I am finally back.

And it is not really horrible,  but it is pretty uncomfortable all the time and there is a strange sensation that sometimes darts down my right leg. 🙂 Oh spinal damage and jiu jitsu go hand in hand! I stretch often and it seems to help.I am sure I have a ruptured/bulging disc somewhere in there, but I am on track again finally and I can’t get off. If it gets real bad then I will contemplate resting,  but for now I must keep my pace to even think of making it to competition in July.

If anyone has competition tips I am very open to suggestion, this is my first tournament and I am pretty nervous and the whole tournament thing is very foreign to me…

The Mat is on Fire!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 9, 2009 by jiujitsulife

I was just trying to tap it out today.

It was great actually, I couldn’t be more happy.  Mostly just because I am finally back. My staph is visibly gone and I have been ok’d to train again, however I wrapped up the earlier affected area super tight just to protect everyone else. Staph is definitely not fun and I prefer not to have it again anytime soon.  Read up on MRSA kids, it is not your friend.  Caleb has a nice podcast about MRSA along with some Acai supplement advice. Check it out if you have time.

And another little article about Staph prevention and treatment from Dan.

Another really long but really good article on MRSA

I had a few good rolls and got dominated by a few MMA fighters who train with us, who by the way, roll at a way higher level than they are belted for, I love training with them even though I get pretty dominated.  I love tapping and getting tapped equally! I might be crazy but I have a big smile and couldn’t be happier to be back. 🙂


Posted in Uncategorized on May 3, 2009 by jiujitsulife

Totally got staph on my thumb.  I have no idea what I am doing wrong. I come home and scrub like a madman. But apparently I didn’t sanitize my left thumb well enough because it is three sizes too big. I have another round of antiobiotics to take,  I’m going back this week, I have to.  This infection seems week as it is already retreating just from one day of antibiotics. I hope to be back mid week. 🙂