Pretty excited that we remained focused enough on the podcast and website to hit 25 episodes. We recently pushed out episode 26, there is another episode in the hopper, and on top of that we have multiple interviews lined up for production. As most of you know, this endeavor has mostly been trial and error, or as they say “building and airplane while in flight”. From photography to recording, and the most humbling post production editing. Along the way we interviewed some interesting people who opened our eyes to other efforts that remain mostly unnoticed. This led me to shift my focus a bit in order to capture some of the impacts Jiu Jitsu practitioners have had on the greater community off the mats vice simply wins, losses, techniques, and training.

So a few items that our future efforts will be focused on:

The role Jiu Jitsu or Martial Arts in general play in maintaining work, life, family balance.

Small business owners growing their product lines and how those products or revenue from those products contribute to the growth of Jiu Jitsu or to the community and our youth.

Full time students or employed athletes looking for sponsors, how they get by and why they sustain the grind despite the difficulty.

So yeah, those are just a few of conversations that we will have on the podcast and on the blog going forward. Of course we will still cover local tournaments, seminars, and MMA events because that’s where the fun is, but highlighting the contributions off the mat and telling the story of how Jiu Jitsu positively changes lives is what the community needs. No infighting over gi / No-Gi, IBJJF / everybody else, real school / Mcdojo etc. more unity and focus on what makes Jiu Jitsu great and why Jiu Jitsu is for everyone.

 

We’re back from a short hiatus and preparing to release several new podcasts and photo sessions of all of the Jiu Jitsu happenings in the DMV. Our first project is our “Why we compete” series which I’m super excited about. I will be visiting / training / photographing academies and competitors throughout the DMV as they prepare for the upcoming IBJJF DC Spring Open. The goal is to try to answer the most commonly asked questions asked by people who don’t train, “WHY do you do it” and “Whats the point?”

This weekend I will be at Standard Jiu Jitsu in Rockville https://www.standardjiujitsu.com  (Saturday) and Ground Control Columbia http://columbia.groundcontrolusa.com (Sunday). If your academy has competitors or you yourself are competing send me a message! I’m looking for men, women, young, and old who want to be heard.

I have a lot of questions lined up that I am sure the listeners want to hear.  Is it a requirement at your academy? Do you want to be a world champion? Is it simply a personal challenge to test your courage or face your fears? Or maybe its to test your skills against someone who doesn’t know your “game” and to pressure test  how you can handle yourself under stress.

If you don’t know why you compete, maybe this series will give you a few reasons to pass on to your family and friends so you don’t just look like some deranged lunatic who likes to torture your body.

As a bonus, for those who do not or have not competed, this series may motivate you to step up your training, join your teammates and finally take the plunge into competition.

DC Spring open is April 7/8. Plenty of time to sign up and grind out some tough training and preparation. http://ibjjf.com/championship/washington-dc-spring-international-open-jiu-jitsu/

Until next time, train safely and Keep Grinding

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.

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

 

New-shirts

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.