Martial Arts has made a huge comeback over the last 10 years, and one of the best ways to get your school noticed is to incorporate the power of YouTube into your advertising campaigns. YouTube currently has over 1 billion users each month, making it a powerful tool for anyone who wants to get their business noticed.
Benefits of Using YouTube
In addition to simply getting your Martial Arts school noticed, YouTube is also a powerful tool that can generate more interest in your Dojo. This means more enrollments and more income for you. In addition to using YouTube to generate more interest, you can also use it to provide information to your students, and any others who might benefit from the information.
Video is quickly becoming one of the most popular means of getting information, and 60% of all of the internet traffic is made up of video viewing. The advances in technology have made it possible for people to watch videos nearly anywhere using their smart phone or other internet device, and these are all opportunities to get your school noticed.
Creating YouTube Videos
When creating the YouTube videos you want to use to promote your business, there are endless possibilities. You can create training videos, gym tours, and instructional videos, or you can provide welcome videos for new students who have signed up that will tell them what they need to begin class.
How many times have you seen a video that others have shared, and you shared it yourself? These types of videos are called viral, and they a goldmine for getting your school noticed. It is actually quite easy to create this type of video, but there are some things to keep in mind:
The video needs to be short and to the point.
It needs to have some type of WOW factor, either an incredible martial arts move, or something that is unexpected.
If possible, try to incorporate humor and surprise to get people more interested.
If possible, create your own video (or pay to have one made) so that it includes your brand, the name of your school, and your logo rather than using a generic video that others might be using as well.
Be sure to include a link to your home page at the end of the YouTube video, as well as on the video’s page so that viewers do not have to try to find you via search engines.
Remember that while you are creating the video for YouTube, you can also use it in many other ways, including email campaigns.
Plan to include links to your videos in your advertising materials, on your web page, and on social media sites.
YouTube is one of the most popular sites on the internet, and it continues to grow. If you are ready to get your Martial Arts school noticed, you need to include it as a part of your advertising campaign.
“Offense scores points, defense wins championships,” was a common saying a former coach of mine always told my middle school basketball team. BJJ and MMA are far different then basketball, however the same defensive mentality should apply. Defense is a big part of any sport. You can be as good as you want on the offensive side, but if your defense is weak, you won’t get very far. Some of the ideas in this blog tie in pretty well with my first one “How to Train Properly for an Upcoming BJJ Competition.” Below I have a few ideas that have helped me get good at defending, including being comfortable in bad positions, being mentally and physically prepared to defend, and planning ahead. I have been told quite often that I am hard to submit and control and I feel that these ideas will also help others.
Be Comfortable in Bad Positions
In order to get your defense on point, one must practice different situations and scenarios over and over until it becomes automatic. A lot of people have the tendency to panic or get frustrated as soon as they get put in a bad spot. This is the time to relax and think about what you need to do in order to have the advantage back on your side. The more you get tapped in practice, the more you are going to learn, plain and simple. You can’t expect to go to your gym and wipe the mats with everyone. If that is the case, you should probably find a place where you can be challenged.
Be Mentally Prepared to Defend
When I say be “mentally prepared,” I am referring to the skill that allows one to recognize and see what moves are coming their way. This is the beginning of getting your defense on point and takes time to master. For example, you are in someone’s guard…right away you should know they are either going to try and sweep you or submit you and they should know that you are going to try to pass. As soon as a movement is made you can start to figure out what they might be trying to set up and begin defending, which will then allow you to become offensive.. The more practice you have with this will allow you to start defending before it’s too late. You will be able to see and understand this more after watching the video I have posted below.
Be Physically Prepared to Defend
If your plan is to one day compete in BJJ tournaments or step into the cage, strength and conditioning is going to play a big part. I feel that if this area is not taken seriously there will be certain opponents you just won’t have an answer for. Now being physically prepared doesn’t just mean get as strong and conditioned as you can, but be able to execute the movements and techniques that you have been practicing. Little things, such as shrimping, hip movement, building your frame, giving or taking space, etc., should constantly be happening while one tries to defend. You have to be persistent until you get the position you want.
Like I mentioned above, you should always have an understanding of what your opponent’s next move might be. Once you have this, a plan of attack/defense can be created. Basically, a few moves should be ready to attempt. If plan A fails, try B. If plan B fails, try C. If C fails, go back to A or something else. With that being said, you should also have an understanding of how your opponent might try to counter you. Based off of that, another plan of attack/defense can again be created. This process will continue through out the match.
Below is a video that shows these ideas in real time...enjoy!
World renowned Muay Thai & MMA coach Duke Roufus (4-Time world kickboxing champion) stopped by today to check out the new Thai line of equipment he was instrumental in the development of the products. Implementing extremly high grade materials and construction with unique adjustments to make the equipment a winner for use in both Muay Thai training but aswell for MMA purposes.
Here is a closer look at the Boxing gloves. The full premium quality line of thai made products will be released in early 2014. Hand Made in the Muay Thai capital of the World Bangkok, Thailand.
A period during which the level of something does not change, especially after a period it was increasing.
As we all know, sports and martial arts in general are very physically and mentally demanding. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu definitely falls into this category. During my journey from white belt to black belt I have hit many plateaus in my training along with my training partners. A lot of hard work and learning must be done if your plan is to compete and one day have a black belt around your waist. The process is slow for most, but if you stick with it, it can change your life. The main focus of this blog is to talk about getting past these plateaus when they occur. I always tell my new students that learning BJJ is like learning a new language. You have to practice it over and over before you are able to use the learned techniques effectively. The first few months are kind of overwhelming since a lot of people aren’t sure what their objectives are. Try to take something from every class you attend, and bring that with you to the next. Three to six months down the road everything will start making more sense. At the end of the first year you should have a good understanding as well as what your objectives from each position. After this, it’s up to you to keep improving and trying to learn. The BJJ road has many ups and downs that need to be dealt with in order to keep improving. When people hit plateaus they tend to get discouraged, which causes them to not attend as much. The longer period between classes, the longer it will take to improve. A few things that can help overcome plateaus are staying positive, keep training consistently, and watching others roll.
Getting Over Plateaus
Keeping a positive attitude and an open mind will help you get to the next step. Remember, you probably aren’t the only person at your academy going through this. Keep attending class and try to pick something up that will help you with whatever you are struggling with. Every time you get tapped, get your guard passed, get swept, etc; learn from it and try again. When you feel yourself starting to get frustrated, relax and continue to be persistent on your next move. Even if you continue to fail over and over, don’t give up, one day it will click and make sense.
The only way you will get past your plateau is to keep training. You can’t attend BJJ classes sporadically and expect to improve. My advice is to figure out what you are having trouble with, and focus on a few techniques that will help you when you are put in those specific situations. When you start to move up into the higher ranks of BJJ you can even purposely put yourself in these situations in order to practice. Also, ask your coaches for some help. That’s what they are there for. A simple little detail or variation might be the answer you are looking for.
Watch Others Roll
Whether you are watching tournament footage, instructional videos, or teammates rolling, you can always pick something up. You will be surprised who can teach you something just by watching them. This same situation happened to me while I was teaching class not too long ago. I was demonstrating a takedown in which we landed in side control with the partner turned away setting up a good opportunity for a bow and arrow choke. The hand by the hip was looped in between the opponent’s legs stopping them from re-guarding. I was telling the class to remove that hand quickly and feed the lapel to the hand under the head in order to hit the choke. As the groups got to work, a fourteen year old stopped me and asked “Hey would it be okay to feed the lapel while our arm is still in between the legs?” I watched him do it and them I tried it myself and realized that it’s a much better option. Right away I brought the class back together and demonstrated it and had them try it that way.
When the Plateau is Passed
Once this happens, you will probably notice your game improving. All you can do now is continue to work and get better. Just keep in mind that one day you will probably hit another plateau. When that time comes you will already have some experience and maybe even a strategy on tackling this new plateau along with any others in the future.
The triangle is a widely recognized symbol of BJJ. It’s commonly used in many academy logos around the world. The philosophy of the triangle came from the Gracie family stating that no matter what side the triangle sets, it will have a strong base, with the three sides representing the mind, body, and spirit. The triangle is not only a symbol, but a submission as well. This move is a choke which involves trapping the opponent’s neck and one arm with the legs forming a triangle shape. This submission is often used in MMA and many grappling sports such as BJJ and Judo. This basic submission has evolved so much from its early days. Today there are so many different set-ups ultimately finishing in the position described above along with many variations mostly with the legs, but now even with the arms commonly referred to as an arm-triangle, anaconda, or darce choke. Below is a video showing the basic details that go with the triangle choke along with some of my favorite drills, counters, transitions, and variations. Enjoy!
1.Details of the triangle as discussed above.
Drills/Warm-ups- catching the head and arm
2.Drill #1 Hand control, foot on hip, triangle
3.Drill #2 Hand control, hips up, triangle
4.Hand control, foot on hip (same as above)
5.Hand control, hips up (same as above)
9.Arm in sprawl
11.Armbar attacks off triangle- kimura, inverted, Americana (both arms)
On Saturday September 28th local fight fans once again flooded the historic Eagles Club Ballroom for an action packed card from the North American Fighting Championship. As always the NAFC put together a card that showcased the top up and coming professional prospects from the Midwest. The NAFC continues to be a stable for major MMA organizations looking for young talent that are ready to take it to the next level. At “Battle in the Ballroom” fans got a chance to see some of these fighters that may not be on the local circuit for much longer. The Combat Corner Professional fight team had four fighters on the card that stepped up and showed they are ready for the next step in their MMA career.
In the midst of the main card we saw a lightweight scrap as Gilbert Digiulio of Chicago’s Gilbert Grappling, found himself up against Combat Corner sponsored and Roufusport fighter Jordan “The Psycho Hammer” Griffin. Griffin got the better of Digiulio everywhere the fight and dominated the fight through all three rounds. Griffin even played to the crowd as the chanted his name late in the third round while laying some ground and pound on Digiulio. Though the fight went to the judges’ scorecards it was clear who the winner was as he picked up the unanimous decision.
In the very next fight we saw another lightweight bout that featured Branden Bell, of Ironworks Training Center, as he saw himself matched up with the always dangerous; Combat Corner sponsored, Rob Couillard, from Roufusport. Early in the first both fighters looked to stand and bang and Couillard was getting the better of the exchanges but when it got to the ground Couillard showed superior ground game. In just 2:01 of the very first round Couillard locked in an armbar that forced his opponent to tap out.
In the Welterweight division Quinton McCotrell of 11th Dimension from Joliet, Illinois was to face off against Combat Corner sponsored fighter Zak Ottow from Pura Vida BJJ. Sporting a Fu Manchu mustache and a look of determination Ottow took to the center of the cage and exchanged with McCotrell but late in the 1st Ottow was on his back on the ground with McCotrell on him. At the start of the second Ottow came out with a flurry of punches and kicks and when the opportunity came for Ottow to get McCotrell’s back, Ottow locked in a rear naked choke that forced McCotrell to tap.
In the main event of the evening in the bantamweight division James Porter of Hollywod MMA in Ft. Wayne Indiana was set to face Combat Corner sponsored fighter, current RFA flyweight champion, “The Phenom” Sergio Pettis from Roufusport. It was clear early that Porter wanted no part of Pettis’ dangerous stand up game as he look to take him down early. On three separate occasions Porter got Pettis down but every time he did Sergio got close to a submission and on the third time “The Phenom” locked in a Kimura at 2:33 of the 1st round that forced Porter to tap. After the fight Sergio took the microphone and begged that Dana White and The Ultimate Fighting Championship give him a contract. In the few days that have followed the fight it has been reported that Sergio Pettis (9-0) has signed with the UFC and will likely make his debut at UFC167.
Martial Arts have been around for a very long time with some of the traditional aspects such as respect, honor, and discipline still being carried into today’s academies.In the past most academies taught one discipline ranging from Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Boxing, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, etc.With the highly popular sport of MMA continuing its rise, most of these academies have transformed into MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) academies teaching a variety of arts.With that being said, I feel a lot of the martial arts etiquette has been brushed over a little. Now I’m not going to tell you to bow every time you encounter someone at the gym, but basically touch upon some rules any martial artist should try and follow regularly.Everything discussed is based off conversations I’ve had with other instructors and friends as well as my own experiences being a student and instructor.These are in no specific order and feel free to comment or even add to the list at the end.
Don’t be late to class.Try your best to get ready ASAP.Everyone has different schedules and responsibilities, which is understandable, but if you are late, make sure to acknowledge the instructor before jumping into class.That’s the respectful thing to do.This means to be on the mat when class begins, not after warm ups are completed, or when its time to roll.If you know you are going to be late let your instructor know ahead of time.
Don’t speak while the instructor is demonstrating or speaking.This is very disrespectful.All that is showing your instructor and teammates is that you don’t care to learn the move or think you already know it.No matter what your rank is, pay attention quietly and try to learn something.There is always going to be a small detail that you can focus to improve on.
Yield the mat for higher belts.If you are rolling or sparring and come close to another group in which a high rank is present, simply stop and move over.They put in the time and had to do the same as a lower rank, so it’s important to show them that respect.
Always have your gi belt tied during class.If your gi belt comes untied during a roll, tie it up right after.If your academy has a uniform that is required for another class such as kickboxing or nogi, always have that shirt for class or be prepared for whatever consequence your instructor has planned.With that being said, have proper attire to train.I feel this is common sense, but anything to revealing should not be worn on the mat.
Always wear a shirt/rashguard under your gi.In a class where there are civilians that have no intention of competing, I think it’s common courtesy to not have a bare chest which may come into contact with their face.This also depends on your academy rules and what your instructor allows.
This ties into the one above.Don’t train with your shirt off.Nobody wants to see that or workout with you.I feel the only guys that can get away with this are pro fighters in big shows preparing for a fight.If you are taking your sweaty shirt off, it should be in the locker room to change, not to walk around dripping sweat all over the mats as you check yourself out in the mirror.
Don’t sit or hang around the mats during class.You should always be practicing and getting your reps in.Just because you did the move your instructor demonstrated a few times, does not mean you know it.This is something that is commonly seen on the mats of any gym.
If you are not in class and not a coach, don’t coach anyone.The instructor has control of the mat not you.Observe and sit quietly until your class starts or until you have to leave.
When you are rolling or sparring in class, don’t stop to teach your partner a move or correct them on what they are doing wrong.Again, you are not the coach.Capitalize on their mistakes, that is the how both of you will get better.For example, if you stop to correct someone on what you think they are doing wrong or to guide them through the right steps, how do you expect to ever successfully attempt that same move in competition?You aren’t going to stop your opponent to correct them, so don’t do it while you are training.
Don’t crank submissions in grappling classes or blast punches in striking classes.You are not going to like it if someone does it to you.That competitive mentality is good, however don’t “be that guy."
The use of a cup and mouthguard are highly recommended. Accidents happen regularly and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
After class, take all belongings with you. That includes your empty water bottles, tape or band aids that fell of your body, mouthguards, headgear, etc.Basically, just clean up after yourself.If you train consistently you probably love your gym and even consider it a second home.If you wouldn’t do it in your own house don’t do it at your academy.This includes locker rooms and bathroom/showers.
Be on top of your HYGIENE.Shower after class.Cut your fingernails and toenails. Wash all your gear after each use.NEVER wear the same gear to multiple classes.This will help prevent any skin infections as well as any other health related issue.
Watch your language as well as topics of discussion.Most gyms have a kids program and you never know when one is going to be nearby to hear what you are saying.This should be in effect even if there are no kids.You don’t want to offend anyone.Try to keep everything clean and respectful when inside your academy doors.
All these rules should be carried with you not only in your academy, but also outside your academy in public, when visiting another academy, or competing in a tournament.
Preparing for a BJJ tournament takes a lot of hard work. Just “rolling” isn’t going to get you ready. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a big part of training and what everyone looks forward to, but you sometimes need to break it down a little more. In this article, I would like to share my thoughts on this topic based on my experiences competing as a white belt all the way to black belt. Training is very complex, which is why BJJ is so awesome. You will never run out of things to improve. Some important aspects of competition training I will touch upon include drilling, specific position training, rolling, understanding the point system and rules, warming up, and strength and conditioning.
Drilling is key.This is something you have probably heard your coaches tell you in any sport you have played.If you can’t drill correctly, you aren’t going to learn anything.Drilling doesn’t mean to fully resist your partner or to be a complete dead fish.It means to figure out a level of realistic resistance among you and your training partners, which will differ with every person.My first BJJ instructor (Henry Matamoros) taught me that everyone should be able to train with anybody, regardless of size and strength.When you practice a move or a sequence of moves, you want to be able to finish them completely with your partner helping you get there.That’s how you will both get the “feel” for the move, in order to hopefully execute it when going live.Another important part that goes along with this is that you should always try to get as many repetitions as you can.If you are training outside of class, set a timer and continue to drill until it goes off.The same should be done during class time.Keep on drilling until your instructor gives further instruction.As you advance, you can start drilling different situations, where one partner gives the other different looks in order for them to react accordingly.This will help build muscle memory in the long run causing your body to react to certain attack and counters without hesitation.
In my opinion, specific positional training is one of the most beneficial forms of training.You are making yourself work from positions you might not ever be in on a regular basis when you just roll.Most of us train with the same group of people all the time.After training with each other so much, everyone starts to figure each other out, sometimes causing two training partners to have the same roll every time they pair together.For this type of training, each person starts in a given position where each has an objective to complete in a certain amount of time, which can vary.I was also taught the importance of the eight positions in BJJ and transitioning between them by my first instructor.These include guard, side control, knee on stomach, mount, reverse mount (back), scarf, reverse scarf, and north-south, in which all contain many variations.For example, guard is the first position I mentioned and we have so many different forms such as closed, half, butterfly, spider, De La Riva, etc.While training for myself or teaching class at the academy I like to focus on four of these specific positions, guard, side control, mount, and back mount.Off these four, many transitions (such as the other four positions), attacks, and defenses are available.Feel free to be as creative as you want when doing this type of training.
With all the drilling and specific training, rolling is what everyone looks forward to.Rolling is where you will probably do the most learning.This is the time where you get to figure out what you are good at, and what you like to do.There are three types of rolling.Flow rolling, class/training rolling, and live rolling.Flow rolling consists of opposing sides trading off techniques.To simplify it, one partner is on offense and the other on the defense.They will make their transitions as they wish and set up a submission when ready.Once this happens, the other partner can now begin his defensive technique, as the offensive returns the favor of realistic resistance allowing him to escape, now changing who is on offense and defense.This pattern continues until the end of the round.As you advance you can again be creative and make the rolls more detailed.
Class time rolling and training rolling are the same in my opinion.Most people’s training takes place during class time and if you’re lucky after class.During this time you aren’t helping your partner complete each move.Now you get to try everything you have learned and have been training to do.The intensity level will go up making everything more realistic, but you are still not going 100%.Always be mindful of your training partner as well as others around you.
The last type of rolling is live rolling.I don’t feel that this should be done during class time due to the fact that there are others who are training for many different reasons besides competition.A time should be set aside for competition matches to take place amongst the team members competing along with anyone else willing to help.The point of this is to turn everything up a notch and simulate the actual competition.
Understanding the point system and the rules will also help before competition.Each tournament has different rules, experience levels, weight classes, and time limits.It’s always a good idea to make sure you are on the same page before stepping on the mat.This also ties into training because you know ahead of time what you can and can’t do.Most tournaments require you to hold each scoring position for at least three seconds.That is a good habit to get into while training, whether you are drilling or rolling.You always want to make sure you get rewarded your points in case the match ends up very close.Simply count to three in your head before you make your next move.If you aren’t practicing maintaining you positions in the gym, it’s going to be difficult trying to do that during competition.
Warming up is something I think more people should consider before stepping on the competition mat.I know there are a lot of people that do indeed take advantage of this, but I know of people and witness people all the time that just stretch or don’t do anything at all.I say do whatever you need to do to feel ready, these are just my opinions.Think about it like this, you begin warm ups after bowing into class and continue to warm up through class as you drill and practice techniques.By the time you get to roll in class, you are already nice and warmed up.Why not keep the same pattern before competing?Keep it simple and do the warm ups you do in class.Most tournaments give you an approximate idea of when your division will be up allowing you to judge a good time to start.After this you can grab a teammate and drill certain things you had trouble with during training as well as things you know you are going to try.Flow rolling is also a good idea.My high school wrestling coach (Joe Trawitzki-Shorewood High School) always told our team to never go on the mat cold and to always have a good sweat going.I always try to keep that a habit and try to get that first “wind” out before my division gets called.
Lastly, strength and conditioning is another aspect I feel more competitors need to add into their regular routine.This is something that has to be done consistently even when there is no tournament coming up.You can’t stop, go, stop, go, stop, go, over and over and expect to gain anything.It is important to condition your body in order to be ready for whatever comes your way.Some have coaches specifically for this and some are dedicated enough to do this on their own.One thing about BJJ tournaments is that you never really know much about the other people in your division. Having a good strength and conditioning regiment will give you an advantage or keep you in the game against whoever is across the mat.This is especially true for those who hope to one day compete at a high level.
Again, the issues discussed above are my opinions and beliefs when it comes to preparing for a BJJ competition.Everyone has their own ways and protocol and I respect that.There are only so many hours in a day and so much time people can sacrifice, but I hope you enjoyed this article and videos and found them helpful.Please leave any thoughts, comments, or questions below.
Here's a link to a short video discussing some of the ideas talked about in this blog...