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.

This episode is a special collaboration with TRAPP BJJ, full training library of world class black belt video instruction. We catch up with Ground Control and Shogun Fights owner John Rallo in between recording clips for the video library. We discuss the growth of Jiu Jitsu over the years and the increase in accessibility of Jiu Jitsu instruction both in person and online and whether or not this is a good thing. The actual recording is the audio captured from the live streaming video interview which can be found on Facebook at TRAPP BJJ. If you have time I recommend you check out the video. We are pretty entertaining guys.

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.