Positives to Training With Your Significant Other

11:51 PM Moo 0 Comments

Recently read a post about the Negatives to Training With Your Significant Other and thought I'd take a look at the positives.

1. It's an excuse to spend quality time together, even if it is beating each other up. You don't have to worry about a significant other who thinks you're training too much. I understand his obsession and he loves that I train as well.

2. It makes you closer: sweat in your eyes, in your mouth, in your nose- everywhere. Awww how sweet. But seriously, jiu jitsu has helped to make us a great team when we work together.

3. You have a constant jiu jitsu dummy to test your moves on around the house. Mike can expect to wake up to some glorious shoulder pressure in the morning.This can also fit under the negative, but all in all I see it as a positive.

4. Hugs turn into battles for under hooks and that's just pretty awesome.

5. You have consistent training partner with your best needs in mind. I spend most classes working with someone else, but whenever I work with him I know he's got my back.

6. It builds trust. My boyfriend has put me in a headlock, guillotine, arm bar, triangle chocke, s mount, anything uncomfortable- you name it. When your boyfriend spends a significant amount of time putting you in vulnerable positions, but never injures you, there is a level of comfort and trust that develops.

7. Mutual benefits from our different styles. When he rolls with me he uses very little strength, and I, in turn, am also forced to focus on my technique. I love open guard and Mike is much more diverse in his approach, so he has been invaluable in helping me develop like I have.

8. Supporting and seeing your partner thrive.Watching Mike train has given me an appreciation for how skilled and talented he really is. When I watch him compete, I find myself in awe of him. He is the person I want in my corner and the one person who's advice I always take to heart. He is also my greatest supporter at tournaments and one of the only people who can keep me focused and grounded.

9. Understanding your partners frustrations/injuries. Training gives you perspective on the frustrations that many practitioners face, even if you do not face them yourself. When Mike is tired and has a back injury, I'm less likely to be upset that he doesn't want to make a 50000000 mile journey on a camel with a packet of jerky and a backpack full of stones! Honestly, It makes you more patient and  epsom salt baths with mutual complaining sessions are a plus!

10. Three Words: Jiu Jitsu Vacation! Much easier to convince a significant other who trains, than a friend who doesn't, that you should pack your bags and go train in some tropical place!

Guam- Purebred
Guam- Figo

Laying on the beach is hard work.....


You Can't Stop The Wave: Onda BJJ Interview

12:02 PM Moo 0 Comments

Onda is a Kimono company that was founded  by Jessy and Matty Printz in 2012, both purple belts under Tony Passos in Sterling,Virginia. They are husband and wife, self described serial entrepreneurs who both love the beach and draw inspiration from it. Jessy was born in Hawaii and her earliest memories are there, watching her mom surf with the locals on the North Shore.  Together, they have made it their goal to visit as many beautiful beaches as possible and soak in the sun and the sound of the waves. 

What does Onda Mean?

In the most literal translation, Onda is Portuguese for “wave.”  Our motto, “you cannot stop the wave but you can learn to surf,” is an extension of the flow with the go mentality to which many jiu jitsu practitioners subscribe.  The tide goes in and the tide goes out, everything in balance.  Instead of fighting the current, move through it with grace.  Live life in the moment.

What’s the inspiration behind your kimonos?
our inspiration is 100% born on the beach.  We’ve never met an island we didn’t love :) Couple that vibe with our desire to capture comfort, durability, and quality workmanship that can take a beating on the mat,  and you’ve you got yourself an ONDA kimono.

Yours are the most unique Gi’s I have ever owned. What do you think makes Onda Unique or different from other gi manufacturers?
There is truly a story behind every single model that we produce, nothing willy nilly or trendy for the sake of what someone says might sell.  The Kaimu? Named for the black lava beaches in Hawaii where Jessy was born.  Recife?  Beloved Brazilian beach hometown of our professor Tony Passos.  The Guana and Jost Van Dyke models were inspired by our incredible, life changing catamaran sail around the British Virgin Islands last year.  Not just the place but the story and the feeling behind it – it’s almost like writing a song for us to capture those moments in time.  The colors of the Guana were inspired by three kayaks we spotted under a palm while snorkeling on the island of Guana, BVI.  The other models have similar stories and inspirations as well.

Any exciting new products?

 We are going to be offering “long” size models moving forward and, after much demand, KID sized gis starting with the Jeju!   We have a host of new t-shirts, rash guards and hoodies planned and a couple of other unique ideas up our sleeve that we are working on as well. 

Do you have any athletes you sponsor?
Kris Kim (Seoul, SK) and Tony Passos (Sterling, VA)
While we are grateful to sponsor such talented Athletes such as Tony Passos, Kris Kim, and a host of other black belts and competitors, we genuinely enjoy forming relationships with budding, hardworking, dedicated athletes who are working their way up the ranks as well.  To us, there is great joy in working with someone from their foundations and then it just so happens that they’re wearing an ONDA gi when they're standing on an IBJJF medal podium, versus actively seeking out an athlete who is already at the top of their game for the sole purpose of our kimono being on the podium.  

Sarah McMann rocking the Jost Van Dyke

Describe ONDA in three words 
(I’m cheating and need to use phrases!)
-“Jiu jitsu’s a beach”
-“Live life in the moment, on and off the mat”
-“Allow the flow”

Thanks for your time! :)

Onda makes my favorite Gi's.The Bavaro (left) is a clean, classic  550 GRM pearl weave with updated silver and grey accent and embroidary. Honestly, it's simple, comfortable and rolls like a dream!

The Guana (right) is singe handedly my favorite gi I own....and believe me, I have plenty! Inspired by the Guana British Islands, it's a very lightweight, competition friendly and extremely durable gi. On more than one occasion I have caught someone in a compromising position only to have them stop and admire my gi. "Wow, clean lines. This is beautiful" a training partner said before promptly being guillotined. 

These really are fantastic gis, made by a brilliant new company with a sincere love for what they do. You can find them here on facebook or checkout their online store.


There's No Crying in Jiu Jitsu....Right?

1:30 PM Moo 0 Comments

I received an email recently from a girl who *gasp* started crying during training. It said:

I've trained for 8 months. The first gym I was at had lots of female training partners, but now I am one of the only women. I don't mind rolling with men and I'm really a strong girl but recently I cannot deal. I don't want people to baby me but sometimes they roll me too hard. Last training I rolled with a guy who slammed me, not enough that the blackbelt saw but enough that it really shook me and it was obvious he didn't know his own strength. Then he rolled me into a wall and seems to target me every time we roll. I walked off of the mat crying and that's not normally something I do. There are a few guys who go really hard on me and I have cried a couple of times. It seems like once I started crying I couldn't stop. I really am serious about jiu jitsu and I swear I'm not a pussy, but it's stressful. Have you cried? Is that normal?  I don't want people to not take me seriously or my professor to think I'm a baby.

First, let me say you are not a baby because you are crying.  We have strong emotions about things that we really care about. Sometimes the things that I love the most are also the things that frustrate me the most. That being said, I have cried, actually in a very similar situation. There was a man I used to roll with, who would shove me all over the place- he'd throw me, roll extra hard and one day I just left the room and cried...and I felt really stupid. I had to step back, re-evaluate the situation and realize, he was going so hard because maybe he saw me as a threat. I was good enough that his ego felt  fragile and threatened and for me that was very powerful. Now whether this was true or not, I'll really never know, but it helped me keep calm when I rolled with him, assured me that my ability was where it needed to be, made me focus on the skills I did have and allowed me to do more than just survive the roll.

Second. What is your relationship like with your professor? Is it someone you are close with? Is this person a problem only for you? Is it all of the time? Ask your professor to keep an eye on the roll and he or she can probably give you their insight on the situation.

Next, if you are rolling with someone who constantly makes you feel unsafe-simple- stop rolling with them. You can usually tell the difference between a person who is a little spastic and nervous and a person who is spastic, out of control and likely to injure you. There is a good possibility that you are not the only person who feels that way. There is no shame in stopping a roll if a person has no control. Ever heard the saying "you are not the most important person on the mat, your training partner is?" Maybe he has forgotten this. If he is constantly  injuring or making you feel unsafe feel free to tell your professor you'd prefer not to roll with him.

Also, I cried a few times when I felt I reached a plateau. In fact, around 8 or 9 months I felt like I was constantly peaking and plateauing and then I stayed stagnant for a long time. This created tons of frustration which manifested itself in different ways- one was being a cry baby (although I made sure to leave the mat because honestly no one wants to be the crying kid. HAHA!) If it happens occasionally don't worry about it, Jiu Jitsu is hard. It is designed to make you quit, but there is a reason that you have not. Focus on your strengths and develop on your weaknesses. A friend and training partner of mine, Jes, suggested writing down 2-3 things you want to improve on monthly.Figure out new ways to do things. If it were easy everyone would do it. Take comfort in that. I would say you are just passionate about what you're doing. You will figure it out. You will roll and you won't lose, you'll only learn.


BJJ Gifs: The Struggle Will FOREVER Be Real

2:11 AM Moo 0 Comments

When I see two new white belts fighting to the death.....

When I'm rolling with my professor and I try to stand up with him....

My face when someone tries to give me advice about a move they've been doing wrong...

When I tap after someone starts pulling my hair during a choke...

When someone tries to break my guard by digging their elbows into my thighs....

Talking to the new students about rolling with the purple belts

 My boyfriends reaction after I do a move wrong for the 1000000th time

Me when the professor says were working on X Guard/ De La Riva or Spider...

When I look up at the clock while rolling with someone who just smothers me.....