I know I’m a day late but gotta get my mat crush Monday post out to the public. Nope, this is not a male – female post or reference to any physical attraction. This post goes out to all of those grapplers who feel their heart start to race when their favorite training partner walks through the door. That guy or gal that consistently pushes you, challenges you, or gives you that roll that makes you go straight to YouTube to figure out how to beat that f*cker. We all have one, some of us are more polygamous but either way it’s pretty much a blah training session if that special someone or few people doesn’t show up to train.

While my mat crush is more along the lines of a “nemesis,” that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case for everyone. I enjoy being pushed and I prefer to leave the gym trying to figure out what’s not working and what to focus on next but that’s just me. Some people approach their training as a bit of a social event so their “relationship” is more casual. They drill with their crush, probably own one or two of the same gi’s, spats, or rashguards as their crush, and you’re definitely not rolling with their crush before they do. Just think back on if you’ve ever noticed giggling or laughter during live sparring and thought, “What the hell are they doing?” Or maybe you actually saw it happen and someone was just swepted or submitted with a technique they probably saw coming from a mile away or have been hit with millions of times. That’s the tell tale sign of a mat crush or a budding mat crush. No ego, no animosity about it, just “you got me again man, damn, good shit ha ha” and back to rolling. They just chill out and have the most fun rolls possible, technique may slip at times but who cares. You may witness a bunch of cartwheel passes, berimbolos, or flying submissions those are definitely telltale signs of two people in a “relationship”.

No matter what and all judgment aside, we all need this type of teammate. They push you when required, provide assistance when we hit plateaus, and add humor to something we all take pretty seriously. If you know what I’m talking about then the next time you train thank your mat crush. No, I don’t mean verbally, I mean a solid fist bump before sparring, choke the sh*t out of them, laugh, and then get back to rolling.

That’s what they’d want you to do anyway. Anything more than that or different would just be awkward.

*This is not my man crush btw. I happen to like the pic. Justin is a cool dude tho. LOL

#keepgrinding

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.

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