Greco

Stack 52 – Mini Workout

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Stack

Okay, during the Christmas holidays I purchased Stack 52. As you can guess by the title, there are 52 cards with a different body weight exercise on each one. It instructs you to do either a series of reps or to exercise for time. There are all types of exercises and depending on your fitness level it can get intense pretty quickly.

I had the intention of pushing my body to new limits with body weight exercises. It started off great. I quickly moved from 5 a day, to 10, to 10 cards two times a day. After a couple of weeks I was up to 20 cards, two times a day. Then, it hit me. I don’t know how or when, but one morning I woke up and it felt as if my arm had separated from my shoulder. I couldn’t work out my upper body for a full three weeks. It also left me with a fear of lifting heavy or doing too many calisthenics.

I actually ended up worse than where I started. However, I feel better now and I have been testing out my limits. Today, I tried a mini workout with Stack 52. Below is my workout:

Push ups – 15 reps

Ski -Jumpers 10 reps (2 jumps equals one rep)

Jumping Jacks – 25 reps

Crunches – 20 reps

Body weight squats – 10 reps

Bird dogs – 8 (2 = 1 rep)

Kick your butt = 10 reps

Pop ups – 12 reps

Speed Jacks – 10 seconds (Estimated 25)

Wide arm push-ups – 10 reps

I felt pretty good afterward. I am going to increase my output in the next workout.

¡Paz!

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Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Grappling 101: How to Avoid being Bullied on the Mat, Psychology of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Grappling Games: BJJ & Submission Wrestlers, Tapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission Wrestlers, Grappling for Newbies, 20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the Mat, The Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.

My first taste of Grappling – On the streets (tongue in cheek)

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My first experience with grappling didn’t occur in a BJJ academy in the 2000s. It didn’t even occur in my first Judo class in the 1990s. It happened in 1981 in Tallahassee, FL when I was in the fourth grade. But before I jump right into my first fight with a grappler let me set the scene.

I was a student at Oak Ridge Elementary School and this was back in the days when corporal punishment for students was still considered okay.

My fourth grade teacher was Mr. Walker and my parents requested that I be in his class. I was an honor roll student, but I tended to finish my work quickly and then talked or bothered other students, or at least that is what my teachers claimed. Mr. Walker had a reputation for using a one and a half-inch thick paddle that had been carved and designed for maximum speed and efficiency. He didn’t send kids to the principal. The principal sent kids to him. In his class I was one of his main targets and had to come up to the front of the class quite a few times so he could paddle me, —— in front of everybody.

The reason that I bring this up is because we had a new kid come to our school and he quickly joined the ranks of bullies that roamed the playground during recess. So as you can surmise I was in an unsafe environment. I didn’t feel safe with my teacher, many of the students, and as you will see later on, the principal either.

I also didn’t feel safe because I hated bullies and would usually end up in a conflict with them because I was a little loud and didn’t know how to keep my mouth shut. Well, let me amend that, I was really loud. My eighth grade P.E. teacher told me I was the loudest kid he ever taught. (But he was a bastard so I took his criticism with a grain of salt.)

Getting back to the new kid; he was a short guy and stocky for his age. He also had a mean streak. Within a week he had beat two kids up. But he didn’t just beat kids up. He systematically destroyed them. This wasn’t a bully who picked on others because things weren’t right at home type of bully. This was a guy who had been trained to hand out punishment.

When he fought the two kids on the playground the fights started out as any other normal playground fight. They began with the bully bullying and then the other kid deciding not to back down. They squared up and then that’s when the scene deviated from the standard script. The short bully would dive down and grab both of his victim’s legs and lift them up in the air. (I now know that it was a double leg takedown.) As the surprised kid scrambled to get to his feet the bully punched him square in the forehead. Before the fights could continue a teacher broke them up, both times.

Word got around quickly that the four foot tall new kid was not someone to be toyed with. But that didn’t matter because from the looks of things it looked like he was the dog and we were the chew toys. I don’t remember exactly how much time passed between the attack on the second kid and our altercation, but I remember how our scrap went.

I was playing basketball with my friends Willis and Jason and he sauntered onto the court and demanded to play. He didn’t ask, he demanded. No one said anything so I told him he couldn’t play and to, essentially, ‘kick rocks.’

He came right at me. I threw the basketball down and I don’t know how I did it but I put him in a headlock and ended up with a sleeper hold that I had seen slapped on by wrestlers like Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair and the Road Warriors. We collapsed to the ground and I held on tight. I had the bully in full control.

I am going to be honest with you, knowing what I know now, I would have put that fellow 8 or 9 year old to sleep. But since I learned the sleeper hold, which is basically the Rear Naked Choke, from watching television and having my brother slap it on me endlessly on Saturday afternoons, I had one arm loosely around his neck with my hand gripping my other arm’s bicep and the other arm and hand holding onto his head at the top. I didn’t know that I could have slid my hand down the back of his head for the choke.

As I held on the kids around the playground began running in our direction.

“FIGHT!” “FIGHT!”

I began eyeing everyone rushing up and soon there was a substantial crowd gathered around us. I was holding my own against the new schoolyard bully. As I did not know what else to do after getting that hold I just held on for dear life. He couldn’t escape. If only I knew about hooks. As some of the kids began to recognize that he couldn’t get out of my TV inspired death clutch they began to get bored. They didn’t care about my wellbeing so some began to say let him go and start over.

“No,” I shouted!

“Let him go!” “Start over!”

What was wrong with them. This wasn’t a f***g video game, even though they weren’t popular at this point.

But the pressure began to mount. I guess I felt like the refs do in an MMA match or better yet like Cecil “stand-em-up” Peoples because I caved and let him up.

Why did I do that? He jumped up and we circled each other.

Remember what happened to those other kids.

In a millisecond, he grabbed both my legs and lifted me up into the air and I fell on my butt. I scrambled to my feet just like the other kids and he punched me solidly in the forehead.

Oddly, it didn’t hurt but I still wish I knew BJJ technique then. Don’t jump right back up into the punch.

After he socked me in the forehead, out of nowhere there was the teacher who grabbed him by both arms from behind. Where in the hell was she two minutes ago when I had him in my weak, but saving me from danger sleeper hold? Further, who taught him that double-leg? —- I bet he had a good run until the eighth grade.

Anyway, there was no way any of us kids knew how to deal with that. I didn’t even have sense enough to remember his technique to make it my own. It did, however, teach me my first lesson about grappling.

*Oh yeah, by the way, we were dragged to the principal’s office and were both paddled for fighting. The cycle was complete.

Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Grappling 101: How to Avoid being Bullied on the Mat, Psychology of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Grappling Games: BJJ & Submission Wrestlers, Tapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission Wrestlers, Grappling for Newbies, 20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the Mat, The Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.

Chomping at the bit…

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My academy is changing locations. Instead of it being 13 minutes away it will be about 7 minutes. (Now, if I can convince them to move one more time. Maybe they’ll move 2 minutes away.)

Wishful thinking.

They are also changing the name of the academy, so to me it is like I am starting out in an entirely new school from its inception. I have never been a part of something like that before so I am wondering what that will be like.

The schedule is going to change a bit. Instead of holding open mat five days a week in the morning, they are going to switch to two open mats and three classes. I told my instructor that I would probably end up being late due to my schedule, but he said it would be fine.

The new move will probably attract a bunch of new students. Also, some BJJ guys in our area are excited because the school is closer to them, so a few of them will probably drop by for open mats. It will be interesting to see who shows up.

Either way, the proposed opening date is on the 7th of October.

I have my gi ready to go.

Peace

Eddie Bravo vs. Angry Guy

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A guy drives all the way down from Santa Barbara and there are only four competitors. He gets pissed. He takes a look Eddie, deems him inferior, gets angrier and demands his money back. Eddie B. convinces him to grapple and the match is on.

Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Tapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.

Diego Sanchez vs Roy Nelson

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Wow! I just watched an old video of Diego Sanchez vs Roy Nelson at Grappler’s Quest. It was as intense as an MMA fight.

Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Tapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.

Tapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for the BJJ and Submission Wrestler

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Hey guys, here’s my latest. You can check out the book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Product Description:

There is nothing in the world like grappling! It is primal and in its very essence it is what life is all about; the chase, fun, struggle and survival. It teaches you how to cope with trying situations; teaches you to always search for options and that you can triumph even when the odds are against you.

This combat art puts you on the Quixotic hunt for the real you, the champ lurking inside. It wants you to find that inner beast that allows you to rip off your shirt, look your opponent in the eye and utter those immortal fighting words made famous by Kimbo Slice, “Run it!” And that is the spirit, in which this book was written.

“Tapmonster” was written for that grappler who is looking for an extra edge and alternative approaches to grappling.

In my decade of grappling, I have used many ideas to increase my skills. And since my inspiration has come from many sources, I did not hesitate to include ideas from academic research, other sports and from the ordinary man on the street in this book. I also know that the best way to learn is from those who do it the best. That is why Tapmonster is also filled with ideas from the champions of our sport.

Tapmonster covers:

-How to deal with FNGs
-The Pump Fake
-The Hands Off Approach
-Snatching and Tripping
-Ambidextrous Thinking
-Shaquille O’Neal and Grappling
-The Importance of Gimmicks
-Belt Chasing
-Grappling Finance
-How the movie Money Ball can help your grappling
-ADCC and BJJ World Champ, Robert Drysdale’s key to training
-What Felipe Costa (BJJ World Champion) says about getting good
-How to use the flipped classroom in the grappling environment
-How does Tito Ortiz’s thoughts on MMA relate to grappling?
-The Power of Love and Hate in Grappling
-What can Arnold Schwarzenegger do for your grappling game?
-What’s the secret behind BJJ World Champ, JT Torres’s smile?
-What made Eddie Bravo so confident that he would whisper, “Are you ready?” into an opponent’s ear?

And much more, so much more! 😉

Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Tapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.

Awesome Fights – Ultimate Absolute

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I may be late to the party, but I bumped into all of these videos of the Ultimate Absolute. There are 20 freakin’ videos of top grapplers doing what I love to do. It’s fast paced and I can’t believe it’s free (with a Internet connection). [I almost sounded like Dana White when he says UFC fights on cable/satellite are free.]

Here is the link to all of the matches: Ultimate Absolute

*I found this link through Grappling Weekly via Middle Age BJJ.

Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Tapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.