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.

In celebration of the IBJJF D.C. Open taking place on Sept 9th we are doing a WPO t-shirt giveaway. Two lucky winners will be handed on of our grey Work Play Obsession t-shirts just for supporting the site. All you have to do is comment on this post with your Name, Academy, how long you have been training, and T-shirt size and you’ll be entered to win. We will announce the winners here on the website and on the Work Play Obsession Instagram page this Friday Sept 8th. Also to make it super easy we will be available at the D.C. Open to deliver the goods right into your hands. If you can’t make the D.C. Open of course we will mail the shirt to you free of charge. Its our effort to meet you guys and bring the Jiu Jitsu community once step closer

Fun and Games for everyone! Last night I made the trek to Dominion BJJ in Manasses Virginia to participate in a night of Cosmic Rolling. Most people, like me,  have never heard of cosmic rolling and could not understand who would come up with such a thing or why. Well I have news for you, it is a real thing and it is as fun as it sounds. Recall back to your days of youth and going out with your friends to cosmic bowling. Blacklights, music, fun times, and making new friends. This is exactly the same just replace bowling with Jiu Jitsu and beer with fancy waters.

The pictures do not do this event justice. In my defense I have never tried to capture an event like this and I am a self taught amatuer photographer soooo good enough.  I think somewhere between 30-40 people stepped on the mat to roll at some point and people were continuously coming and going throughout the event. Multiple academies from Maryland and Virginia as well as every size, skill level, and gender were represented. I think I maybe witnessed 2 or 3 rolls that I would have considered a little much for an open mat but thats just me and thats just my opinion. I didn’t have the opportunity to roll with everyone but as usual I was impressed by the level of skill present in the DMV.

A big thank you to Dominion BJJ – Black Belt Bill Nagle and Purple Belt Michelle Welti – for opening up the academy and welcoming everyone to a night of fun and camaraderie. Jiu Jitsu is often seen as academy vs academy, style vs style and people often do not take advantage of the opportunity to meet fellow practitioners and to contribute to its growth. Personally I think this is one of the negative aspects of what we do.

Don’t limit yourself.

Train as many places as possible (meaning open mats) and meet as many people as possible. You will be happy that you did.