Those of you familiar with my background know that I travel quite frequently. Oftentimes I can link travel to opportunities to train at new locations and these are the trips I look forward to taking. Then there are the other trips…… Overworked and no time to train or just being stuck out in the middle of nowhere and there just isn’t any place to train.

Side note -when I say no time to train I’m not referring to an inability to manage my time wisely but I’m referring to an inability to break free during gym hours.

When Jiu Jitsu is such a big part of ones routine, failing to train can have a significant negative impact on your overall demeanor and this can become problem. We’re not even talking about skill degradation or not getting credit for training (for those who focus on class requirements for promotion) but missing out on the general sense of camaraderie and the “leave your cares behind” feeling that we all get from our academies, friendships, and time on the mats. I feel that you have to find a way to fill this void not only for your own sanity but for the safety of your coworkers as well (or family if the lay-off is due to a vacation or something).

My initial thought is to just say “f*ck it” and rest up and feed my depression. The rest and recovery are always good for my body but the guilt that comes with it is bad for the mind. I also have that thought in the back of my mind that 1. I’m going to get crushed when I get back to the mats and 2. All of those injuries will come back the first day of training anyway. On the plus side, there’s no better feeling than surprising all of the people who thought they were going to crush you because you weren’t training. Little did they know that you found other ways to stay on top of your game.

I’ve found that lifting and METCONS are pretty much the perfect way to go and it’s usually pretty easy to get access to 24 hour globogym. METCONS assist with maintaining cardio levels and you can never go wrong working the beach muscles. One added bonus with METCONS is that if you hit them hard enough you don’t truly need to workout everyday and you can skip a day and have dinner with your coworkers / teammates. It’s never a good look to be that antisocial guy.

Yoga and recovery stretching days are a good plan as well. All you need is a computer or laptop and you’re all set. Your cardio might take a hit but flexibility and core strength are critical to longevity and safety for a Jiu Jitsu practitioners.

I’m sure the options are endless and everyone has a preference or a routine they use to overcome training interruptions. Keep in mind I’m talking about 1-2 weeks max of not training NOT an injury lay-off or 3 month trip. If that’s the scenario you have to at least find some way to train (solo drilling maybe) even if that means beating up your friends that don’t train.

I would love to hear what you think or how you deal with road trips interrupting your training. I might incorporate some of your techniques into my routine. I invite you to comment below or to visit the Work Play Obsession Facebook page.

Recently I had the privilege of being the guest instructor at Kogen Dojo in Severna Park, Maryland. I made some new friends, caught up with some guys I hadn’t seen in a while, and of course got to train and have fun on the mats. The visit coincides with the start of my “expedition series” so it was perfect timing. I highly recommend you the visit the academy and check it out or at least drop by the website and see what they have to offer.

Kogen Dojo: Gracie Jiu Jitsu, May Thai, & Taikyoku Budo

Below is a little interview that I did with Rob prior to class. Unfortunately, we didn’t take any photos so I do not have any to post. All that means is that the next time you see an advertisement for a me guest instructing at Kogen Dojo you just have come out and see for yourself. But if you have the opportunity don’t wait for me, visit the school any day of the week they are open and take a class with their staff. The gym is very easy to locate and has everything you look for in an academy; clean, bright, and friendly people.

If you don’t already, follow Kogen Dojo on Facebook so you can keep up with the schedule of guest instructors. They do a really great job of advertising and you’ll have plenty of time to clear your schedule. You not regret that you made the trip.

The only question that remains is “Where to next?”

Kogen Dojo Interview on YouTube

Use the link, do not click on the photo

Traditionally the winter months present more of lull for non elite level grapplers in the DMV. There just doesn’t seem to be as many competitions available and money is tight for those saving for the XMas holiday. It makes it the perfect time to drill, develop new tricks and to hop around to open mats and visit new gyms.

I am starting my “expedition series” in search of the “best” open mat in the DMV (DC, Maryland, and Virginia). I’m also open to travel as far as Pennsylvania and New Jersey if I receive any invites or recommendations.

I’m open to Gi or No Gi sessions, Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday. Anywhere in the DMV is game and I’m willing to pay a mat fee is applicable.

I will take photos, do interviews, and post my experience to FB, Instagram, and the website. Think of Yelp or Zagat for Jiu Jitsu Open mats. Or you can consider this free advertising for your academy.

Just so it’s out there, “Best” does not mean the place with the most high ranking belts on the mat, the toughest competition or people rolling H-A-M. I’m looking at number of people in attendance, number of different academies represented, friendly atmosphere, people who are willing to share experiences / share advice, etc. Essentially, I’m looking to go out, learn, a little, and have fun in a friendly atmosphere.

So that’s the scoop. Hit me up, send me an invite, let’s do it!

Pretty excited that we remained focused enough on the podcast and website to hit 25 episodes. We recently pushed out episode 26, there is another episode in the hopper, and on top of that we have multiple interviews lined up for production. As most of you know, this endeavor has mostly been trial and error, or as they say “building and airplane while in flight”. From photography to recording, and the most humbling post production editing. Along the way we interviewed some interesting people who opened our eyes to other efforts that remain mostly unnoticed. This led me to shift my focus a bit in order to capture some of the impacts Jiu Jitsu practitioners have had on the greater community off the mats vice simply wins, losses, techniques, and training.

So a few items that our future efforts will be focused on:

The role Jiu Jitsu or Martial Arts in general play in maintaining work, life, family balance.

Small business owners growing their product lines and how those products or revenue from those products contribute to the growth of Jiu Jitsu or to the community and our youth.

Full time students or employed athletes looking for sponsors, how they get by and why they sustain the grind despite the difficulty.

So yeah, those are just a few of conversations that we will have on the podcast and on the blog going forward. Of course we will still cover local tournaments, seminars, and MMA events because that’s where the fun is, but highlighting the contributions off the mat and telling the story of how Jiu Jitsu positively changes lives is what the community needs. No infighting over gi / No-Gi, IBJJF / everybody else, real school / Mcdojo etc. more unity and focus on what makes Jiu Jitsu great and why Jiu Jitsu is for everyone.

 

We’re back from a short hiatus and preparing to release several new podcasts and photo sessions of all of the Jiu Jitsu happenings in the DMV. Our first project is our “Why we compete” series which I’m super excited about. I will be visiting / training / photographing academies and competitors throughout the DMV as they prepare for the upcoming IBJJF DC Spring Open. The goal is to try to answer the most commonly asked questions asked by people who don’t train, “WHY do you do it” and “Whats the point?”

This weekend I will be at Standard Jiu Jitsu in Rockville https://www.standardjiujitsu.com  (Saturday) and Ground Control Columbia http://columbia.groundcontrolusa.com (Sunday). If your academy has competitors or you yourself are competing send me a message! I’m looking for men, women, young, and old who want to be heard.

I have a lot of questions lined up that I am sure the listeners want to hear.  Is it a requirement at your academy? Do you want to be a world champion? Is it simply a personal challenge to test your courage or face your fears? Or maybe its to test your skills against someone who doesn’t know your “game” and to pressure test  how you can handle yourself under stress.

If you don’t know why you compete, maybe this series will give you a few reasons to pass on to your family and friends so you don’t just look like some deranged lunatic who likes to torture your body.

As a bonus, for those who do not or have not competed, this series may motivate you to step up your training, join your teammates and finally take the plunge into competition.

DC Spring open is April 7/8. Plenty of time to sign up and grind out some tough training and preparation. http://ibjjf.com/championship/washington-dc-spring-international-open-jiu-jitsu/

Until next time, train safely and Keep Grinding

Standing atop the winners podium, technical sweeps, spectacular throws, and cringe worthy submissions. We see them on social media everywhere. But what about the moments that are not often seen; exhaustion, frustration,  and deep contemplation all in preparation and in the pursuit of  better Jiu Jitsu.

Despite what anyone would like you to believe, Jiu Jitsu is not all fun and games. Most people on the outside looking in perceive medals, promotions, and apparel sponsorship deals. Unfortunately, this is just one small part of the game that most people will never experience nor receive the joy of monetary benefit. For the common practitioner the Jiu Jitsu journey is typically riddled with injury, surgery, setbacks, and defeat.

Jiu Jitsu is hard. Period. The training is grueling, there always seems to be a counter to the counter, and no matter how good you become, you will always meet someone better. Setbacks are to be expected and should be embraced as part of the process. To make matters worse, every day that you are not training you are actually regressing, even if it’s just your conditioning or your timing.

It can be frustrating, but in the end that’s part of the beauty of Jiu Jitsu. The sense of accomplishment and the feeling of being just a little bit better you than you were the day before can not be explained. Throw in the sense of community and building new friendships / bonds and you may begin to understand why we do what we do.

Oh, did I forget to mention the self-defense aspect and the self-confidence in knowing that you can defend yourself and your loved ones. Yeah, there’s that too ; )

Keep Grinding

If you haven’t heard the news or already seen us in action, we have recently begun to stream interviews via Facebook Live! We absolutely love the ability to interact with our viewers and answer your questions real time. For those who miss the Live Stream we will post the videos here on the website and continue to stream the audio via all of our usual podcast servers. Attached are our first two live stream interviews, the first with Professional Mixed Martial Artists Jesse Stirn and the second with Shogun Fights owner and organizer, John Rallo. These videos can also be found on our Facebook and Youtube pages.