Yesterday we ran our first event of 2020 and our first event with more than a Jiu Jitsu focus. Our intent while planning the event was to introduce art lovers to Jiu Jitsu and Jiu Jitsu lovers to art. The vision and creativity required to be successful in either is actually quite similar so combining these activities seemed to be a good approach for bringing people together. Overall, we had a bunch of fun painting new WPO canvases and rolling 5 minute rounds while making new connections.

Our main contest for the evening was a challenge to create an individual work of art on a 4×6 card. These 4x 6 works are going to be turned into patches and sewn onto our large A7 Gi (donated by Gi’s for Gi’s) for a sort of “patchwork blanket”. This Gi “blanket” will be put on display at local academies, fire stations, and military hospitals in an effort to raise awareness for mental health and to help reduce the stigma associated with discussing mental illness.

A few of the contest entries

Purchase your tickets and mark you calendar for January 18th 2020! We will be hosting our first Art and Jiu Jitsu Fundraiser Event at Ground Control Columbia in support of our foundation. The event is open to all regardless of affiliation or level of training / experience. Focusing on social interaction and leveraging recreational therapy to build a community, we are combining two of our core elements into one event. We will be setting up and running an art studio and a Jiu Jitsu open mat while providing food and drinks. I think we’ll have everyone covered and create a fun night for everyone in attendance.

We will have a few loaner Gis and art canvases available if anyone wishes to try their hand at creating art or having their first Jiu Jitsu experience.

All proceeds will go towards funding future events and building our community. Please come out and support our effort to help heal the invisible wounds of trauma and bring our loved ones out of darkness.

When it comes to Jiu Jitsu I tend to be a thinker and I tend to play the percentages. When training with unfamiliar people I have zero issues giving up positions in order to analyze pass / sweep set ups and submission chains. This made last week’s IBJJF New York Open and today’s Grapplethon very interesting and exciting geek out events. The New York Open was coach and observe mode while Grapplethon was roll and take notes based on actual experience. I won’t dive into the details too much but if you find that you relate to any of these observations there’s a YouTube for that. Shore up your “go to” or learn to attack against these observation points and you will instantly improve your overall performance.

Observation #1 – Knee cut pass was by the far the number 1 pass attempted. Of these attempts, the majority of them started with a poorly executed (hence defended) torrendo attempt. Stalled knee cuts ended up leading to observation #2. Top players, fix your knee cut or bottom players, place a priority on defending it.

Observation #2 Deep Half Guard and Single Leg X were the most played guard styles. Personally, I don’t play either one but I can see why many people make this transition while defending the stalled knee cut. Comfort passing these positions will instantly raise the level of your ability to pass and put your opponent at a serious disadvantage.

Observation #3 Purple belts like to berimbolo. The highest percentage of berimbolos were attempted at the purple belt level. In fact, this was the only attack / option attempted from DLR guard. If you are a purple belt, become efficient at defending the berimbolo and exploit your opponent’s weaknesses from DLR or force them back to Single Leg X and observation #2.

Observation #4 Newsflash – Chaining techniques does not only apply to submissions. If you plan to pass the guard of anyone above blue belt you need to chain your passes, pressure-speed, standing-kneeling. You must be able to do this effortlessly and efficiently. At a minimum chaining passes will put you in a better position to finish that second or third pass attempt vice hammering away at the same pass from your dominant side over and over and over.