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.
Shirts for sale!! Shirts for sale!!
Yes thats me channeling my inner Billy Mays (R.I.P), advertising for the new Work Play Obsession t-shirts. As the first batch of shirts hit the streets I’m taking the opportunity to express the meaning of the name Work Play Obsession and the “why” of the WPO logo. I’m not saying this is what the meaning needs to 100% be for you because it can be slightly different for everyone, but thats the beauty of it. I’m simply helping to guide the conversation in the event you get approached about the meaning of the colors and the design.
Work Play Obsession, Life and Jiu Jitsu.
Work – Many people know that I was introduced to Jiu Jitsu through work, the United States Army, 1st Armored Division to be exact, Old Ironsides. Back then I did not enjoy going to combatives to train, it was WORK and if you’ve ever served then you know that nobody likes mandatory physical training. Warrior ethos, meaning the willingness to close with the enemy, essential attributes for military and law enforcement personnel, mandatory when you put your ass on the line and expect to get home safely. It was not fun, it was gritty, but it was effective and those early lessons stay with me to this day. Note the similarities between the 1st AD patch, http://www.bliss.army.mil/1AD/, and the WPO logo shape and color, this was done intentionally. The triangle in the 1st AD insignia (a pile reversed for you heraldry buffs) carries over as the triangle that is represented in many Jiu Jitsu logos, the three sides representing mind, body, and spirit and the fact that the triangle is always stable regardless of which side is the base.
Play – Jiu Jitsu is fun, plain and simple. Many people refer to it as the game of human chess and often focus on improving their “game”. For most people Jiu Jitsu is also a hobby, something to PLAY when they need to let go of the responsibilities of the real world and seek refuge on the mats. Regardless of what side of the fence you are on, once you begin to work techniques and styles that are not compatible with street self defense you’re playing a game. Embrace it and have fun while you’re doing it.
Obsession – This could be looked at from multiple perspectives and is the area with the widest variance in meaning . My obsession is not necessarily related to the need to train, the endless selfies or the sweaty group photos. Nor is it throwing up the shaka, downing acai bowls or replying “Oss” to almost everything. Obsession for me is bridging the gap between self defense / modern Jiu Jitsu and Defensive Tactics / Combatives because education and training will ultimately lead to lives saved. Lives saved for those who protect this country and our streets as well as citizens lives saved during routine traffic stops that go south or questioning during a presence patrol that spirals out of control. Obsession however, can also be driven by the desire to live a healthy lifestyle, the confidence to stand up to a bully, or as an outlet to break our youth free from electronics and the SAD that leads to obesity.
Notice how the colors increase blue, red, yellow? Blue – infantry / law enforcement = work, Red – play the game and break out and explore new styles – fun, exciting, joy, beauty, and Yellow – the largest color and the “final stage” when Jiu Jitsu becomes a lifestyle, an element engrained your daily life. Some will call this obsession, you’ll have to explain to them your true meaning.
Work, Play, Obsession, Life and Jiu Jitsu. I would love to hear your thoughts.
The most common excuse that people use when questioned on their lack of Defensive Tactics / Combatives training is “lack of time”. Well, when shit hits the fan and push comes to shove you will literally have the rest of your life to figure it out. I bet you’ll wish you made time.
From a grappling perspective I truly believe that all of the skills required to safely and effectively dominate a hostile encounter can be learned in one year of training. The key then becomes consistent training to retain the skills, grease the groove, and make the movement patterns more proficient. This training can be accomplished with concise, focused training sessions conducted at regular intervals with minimal supervisory instruction. Whether it is at the department, on base, or at a civilian academy all that is required is a partner to train and minimal kit (training weapon, holster, whatever). As my friend John V. pointed out on the Work Play Obsession podcast, episode 21 available on SoundCloud, Blubrry, iTunes, Podbean, Google Play (plug) “It’s not complicated” and he is absolutely correct. People get lost in the structure of Jiu Jitsu and the length of time it takes become competition proficient and move through the ranks however this is not the focus and intent of training for real world operations. I remember seeing a t-shirt that said “You train for the cage, for us the cage is just training” and we must not lose focus on that.
Below are some some of photos of sparring with a sidearm. This is a great training method because it forces both people to not only focus on attacking, it creates the need to also focus on weapons retention. Keep in mind you do not need another military or law enforcement trained person to do this type of training. In fact it is preferable to have an opponent who is going to think and behave more like a criminal in order to give you the most likely reactions. Grab a teammate who is just sitting around shooting the shit and ask them to be a training buddy, chances are they will ask you to learn the stuff you are drilling because its effective and “its not complicated.”
Clinch work in my opinion is the most overlooked portion of grappling training especially in the gi where the stand up is dominated by collar and sleeve grips. The ability to effortlessly flow through post, frame, hook, pummel on and off the wall, and drill clearing the head from an opponents control. All of these elements will not only keep you off the ground but are also crucial to controlling the distance and when done properly will keep you prepared to transition to your side arm if required. Practice this.
All of this training below was conducted in about 15 minutes after a “modern” Jiu Jitsu no-gi class. Food for thought. It’s not that complicated. BRIDGE THE GAP