This week new co-host Alex Coleman heads out to New York City to participate in the inaugural  Rag Dolls Camps. While she was there Alex grabbed the opportunity to conduct a round “mat” discussion with Rag Doll Camps coaches / instructors / mentors: Dominyka Obelenyte, Vedha Toscano, and Callie Brennan as well as Mackenzie Fingerhut, camp photographer and training partner extraordinaire. Alex proposes a series of questions to these well established coaches / competitors specifically, the difference in coaching men and women, issues facing women’s Jiu Jitsu, why men should cry, and also the recent accomplishments in women’s BJJ. The episode closes with a short discussion about the mission of Rag Doll Camps as well as the future goals for this wonderful endeavor.

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

Train so hard that your opponent gives you a backhanded compliment.

If you have trained long enough you’ve probably heard your fair share of praise mixed with criticism. This tactic involves comments made AFTER you get done dominating someone and they are taking a hit to their ego.  The situation normally occurs outside of your normal academy. For example, “Man you’re so strong” or”Hey, how much do you weigh? You’re so heavy.” I have personally been told “Man, you have really good conditioning” or “How old are you?, Man you must kill the Masters division.” I confess, that Masters division one is pretty funny (I’m Masters II) but at the same time its pretty damn weak.

Just the other day one of teammates remarked how someone stated to him that the people at our academy must roll a lot because everyone always has good conditioning,. This was in direct comparison to his academy where they spend a lot of time on technique. What? Huh? Am I supposed to connect the dots that technique and conditioning are mutually exclusive?  Nope. I do not agree. Not at all.

At one particular IBJJF event the guy who I defeated like 13-0 snidely remarked to me “you guys must train a lot for points.” I’ll admit he did a good job defending my submissions despite my numerous attempts.  Ridiculous though considering that I was knee on belly, mount, and on his back as the match ended. I’m a pretty low key guy and would have gladly accepted a “nice match.”

In a sport / martial art where the majority of people love to spit out the phrase “Leave your ego at the door” it should come as no surprise that the backhand compliment is the weapon of choice. Insulting as it is to receive the backhanded compliment, in all actuality it should be gratifying to the recipient. Rather than just come out with a direct compliment of your performance the immediate reaction of your opponent is to make an excuse for their lack of training / proficiency in a particular area. My recommendation, take it all in stride, ignore the “compliment”, or even simply reply with “thank you.” You’ll walk away the bigger person while preventing any unnecessary drama.