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The Art of Cooling Down After Workouts

14 Dec

Why should I cool down? I’m gonna go home and rest anyways….That’s exactly why you should cool down after a workout. We all understand that we should warm up  before workouts, but may not understand what a sufficient warm up is, which was talked about in “The Importance of Warming Up.” A lesser percentage understand the importance of cooling your body down after training. If you already have this as a part of your training regimen, then you’re ahead of the curve. Hopefully this will help anyone else still suffering from injuries, regardless of warming up.


During training sessions at 10th Planet Van Nuys, muscle fiber, tendons, and ligaments undergo a lot of stress, causing waste product such as lactic acid to build up around each of these. So, you know when the soreness hits you a day later than you originally expected? If you perform a correct cool down, you can significantly reduce muscle soreness! Once all the blood and waste product has built up around your muscles, it begins to stiffen the muscle, causing swelling and pain. With a proper cool down, it helps in returning blood back to the heart in sufficient quantity to relieve the muscles of lactic acid. Again, the cool down may take just as long as the warm up, but it is very important and very much worth it once you begin to experience the results of it yourselves. Every cool down should consist of:

10 minutes of jogging – this will slowly lower your heart rate

10 – 15 minutes of static stretching (holding deep stretches) – focus on major muscle groups or muscles used the most during workout

and believe it or not, the final stage in the cool down process, is your post workout meal! All 3 of these factors work together to ensure muscle growth and recovery. Don’t sell your workouts short! You’re not training everyday to NOT see results, are you? Take the proper steps to keep your body going and feeling great! Stay healthy and keep training!


www.awesomejiujitsu.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                             www.10thplanetwatch.com                                                                                                                                                                                                              www.gcaljiujitsu.com

The Importance of Warming Up

13 Dec

Are you tired of being injured all the time? Especially when competitions are coming, always seem to be the opportune time for a jiu jitsu player to get injured. Are you taking the right precautions to prevent injuries? Everyone is always so eager to jump on the mat and get straight into the sparring, or the “fun” part of jiu jitsu. ALL of jiu jitsu is fun, but what’s not fun, is sitting on the sideline for 8 weeks because of something you didn’t do. This quick read is to ensure that everyone in the martial arts community, whether it be a hobby, or you’re a full blown fighter, take the proper steps that will keep them injury free and more importantly, on the mat!

Most people believe that warming up is just a simple procedure to avoid injuries alone, but there is a lot more that you can benefit from that we don’t realize. The time spent warming up or cooling down will actually help improve an athletes overall performance, and on top of that, help speed up the recovery process of any already existing minor injuries. Now the question is, does simple stretching prove to be a sufficient warm up? The answer is yes and no. We often times confuse the difference between static stretching and dynamic stretching, along with when each one should be used. For warming up, an athlete should use a dynamic stretch, as this will help reduce muscle stiffness (static stretching does not do this). Injuries often times are connected to muscle stiffness, so we want to minimize this as much as possible. Every warm up should consist of the following:

10 minute jog – this will begin to raise your body temperature                                                   15 minutes of dynamic stretching – as we discussed, to reduce muscle stiffness                   10 minutes of sport specific drills – preparing yourself for the workout session

I know what you’re thinking….35 minute warm up?! Am I crazy?! That’s how important warming up actually is, and why it is overlooked many times because of how tedious it is. Those 35 minutes of warming up could mean the difference between a successful training session, or a 2-3 month hiatus. If you love jiu jitsu as much as I do, or any sport for that matter, don’t risk it! Take the time your body deserves and keep it healthy. Here is an awesome video on lower back injury prevention with Rener Gracie. Especially in jiu jitsu, we use a lot of core in almost all movements, but without strengthening our lower back first our core is useless. If you notice the amazing lower back and core conditioning of Rener, he sits on the stability ball, having a conversation for over 3 MINUTES! Check back for another article on cooling down! Very important as well. Enjoy this video and keep training!


www.10thplanetwatch.com                                                                                                                     www.awesomejiujitsu.com                                                                                                                  www.gcaljiujitsu.com

10th Planet Van Nuys Coaching Program In Full Effect!

3 Dec


On Saturday December 1st, 2012, 10th Planet Van Nuys launched it’s 2nd term of the official coaching program! This is a very exciting new addition for the Van Nuys chapter in 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. For Coach Alder Hampel, head instructor of 10th Planet Van Nuys, having the assistance of other instructors goes way beyond just teaching.

The first time around, myself along with 4 of my teammates completed the 12 week course and are now able to take the jiu jitsu training experience at Van Nuys to the next level.  Like I said before, the program goes way beyond just teaching. With extra coaches on the mats during training sessions, it helps keep a safer environment preventing sports injuries. This is the biggest thing we try to focus on at 10th Planet Van Nuys, it is our goal to make sure all of students make it to their black belts, but in order to do that we need to make sure we’re able to keep all of our students on the mats. The assistants are a major in this, helping monitor sparring sessions, to make sure no ones rolling harder than necessary.

Competitions, is another area where the new instructors shine. When teams go out and compete with an average of about 10 competitors per competition, it’s extremely hard for ONE instructor to coach every single person. It’s pretty much impossible! Having someone in your corner during your matches is a big part of our competitors success. When you have 5 extra coaches with you, now everyone gets tended too, and you have a higher success rate with your students.

I’m excited to be a part of the new breed of coaches we are bringing into the fold at 10th Planet Van Nuys. This is gonna bring our team closer and help all the students improve their jiu jitsu games much faster. If you’re looking to be a coach, learn jiu jitsu, or improve your jiu jitsu, come check us out in the San Fernando Valley and join the revolution.



Rolles Gracie – Single Leg Takedown Counters – BJJ Weekly #041

29 Nov

The kimura back take is something new that I have added to my arsenal, and I must say it has worked out very well for me. It’s a very misleading move in that it allows your opponent to believe they are coming up into a advantages position, but falling victim to the inevitable back take. This particular video has done the same with a very interesting twist. From a single leg takedown position! Since this move is working so well for me anyways, it’s about time I start drilling this position, and you should too! Catch your opponents off guard ending the fight with a crushing RNC.

10 Days To Better Jiu Jitsu: Day 10

28 Nov

FINALLY! The day you’ve all been waiting for is finally here! Of course I saved the best for last, why wouldn’t I? If you haven’t noticed by now, this final and prestigious tip thus far, does not have a bold title like the rest of them. That’s because I want to ensure that you read this through and through, not just seeing the title and saying “I already know that.” Of course you already know that! That’s why you’re the best in the world right? All jokes aside, if you incorporate every other tip along these last 10 days with this final step, you’re destined for greatness!

What separates a white belt and a black belt, is simply mat time. But the most important thing to be doing through all of that mat time is “Drilling For Success.” Let me guess, you already knew that right? Everyone knows that but most aren’t willing to dedicate that much time into just one thing. It seems very tedious, and boring, and to a certain extent i’d have to agree. But it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to change the way you do a rep. For example, a guillotine, you can drill various ways and the same goes for other moves as well. Lets break it down…

1. Guillotine from full guard                        6. Darce to guillotine
2. Guillotine from standing                         7. No arm guillotine
3. Guillotine from butterfly guard              8. Arm in guillotine
4. Guillotine from top half guard               9. Guillotine from hip bump sweep
5. Guillotine from mount                           10. Flying guillotine

Imagine doing this with every technique! The amount of reps you could put in are ridiculously unbelievable! If you do each of these 100 times, you just did 1000 guillotines, and not even realizing it because they’re all from different positions. Using your mat time wisely in this sense aside from sparring, because sparring is also important, will shorten the amount of mat time it takes to get to the next level. All the top champions drill like crazy and incorporate the steps I’ve listed over the past 10 days in their games, so why wouldn’t you? Some of these are things I’ve learned being a heavy competitor, but most were passed to me from other grappling gurus. I’m very happy to say that 10th Planet Van Nuys now has an official drilling class! Can’t wait to see all the leaps and bounds these guys make. I hope that these tips have helped you in some way or another. Thanks for reading :]

10 Days To Better Jiu Jitsu: Day 9

27 Nov


2 days left of the top 10 list! What could these last 2 be?! How are they so important to my jiu jitsu development!? I’m going to tell you. Like in mixed martial arts, a lot of fighters have a base in their game, whether it be wrestling, striking, or jiu jitsu base, it’s something that they specialize in. Basically it’s an area you can rely on if all else fails. Now that doesn’t mean that it should always be your last resort, but it’s something you can now use to build the rest of your game off of. This concept can be broken down smaller for jiu jitsu. Me, for example, hadn’t really an athletic background so as you can imagine my base wasn’t very good. I spent my first year and a half or so playing full or half guard. Those are now positions that I “specialize” in, and it’s helped me build the rest of my game to what it is. It may take some time to find something if you haven’t been training that long, but there will be something that clicks with you that may fit your game well. Take advantage and practice it, put yourself in those positions every time you spar. This will give you countless reps in that area making you a monster! You’ll notice how much easier it will become to expand your game off of this. At 10th Planet Van Nuys we each specialize at something different, so when one of us wants to work on something new, we go to the specialist! Try this out for yourself or come down and check out all of our specialists. Train on!





10 Days To Better Jiu Jitsu: Day 8

26 Nov


We’re coming down to the wire on the top 10 list and these last few tips are the most important to further complete your jiu jitsu game! Now this one may seem like the most obvious but surprisingly not many people will attribute to this unless asked to share their tricks. As we all know, when guys first start out in jiu jitsu, most of them are shy and timid because its a new environment and new sport to be surrounded by. So they’re a little nervous about asking a higher belt to show them their techniques. Even if you’re a higher belt! It’s still nerve racking to ask a black belt who isn’t your instructor to show you their “go to” moves. If not, then ask as many questions as you want! DON’T WAIT to be asked about one of your moves, especially if you just hit that move on a person in sparring, show them immediately! If you know the counter to it, show them the counter. This will do 3 things for you…….  1. This will make your “go to” move an even stronger part of your game. With your team mates all doing the right thing to defend, you’re increasing the intensity of your reps, which makes each successful live rep worth 10 stationary reps! 2. Just as it helps you, it will help your team put in reps on the defense side of things against someone who is really good at the offense. 3. Lastly, you will begin to develop counters to the counters, so now you’ll have an option A and option B. This makes for a very dangerous jiu jitsu player. Overall this is a huge thing to add to your game that will make it jump to another level. At first it may be frustrating, not being able to hit the moves you’re best at as easily anymore, but it will definitely be for the best. Try it for yourself!





10 Days To Better Jiu Jitsu: Day 7

25 Nov


“The Jiu Jitsu Mindset”

Jiu  Jitsu really is a game of chess! The knowledge, the tactics, the counters, everything! We see what our bodies do on the mat, either in sparring or watching others train. All the while, the mind is rapidly thinking and analyzing every situation, trying to figure out the next piece of the puzzle. Your mental training is just as important, if not more than your physical training. It’s a huge aspect of your jiu jitsu game that will need reps just like BJJ game. Being able to see yourself doing the moves in your mind along with putting in your daily reps, is a recipe for success! After our team practices at Van Nuys, everyone is completely dead tired, layer out on the floor making sweat angels. This is when we like to do our visualizations as a team. This has been a huge part of our competition teams success! Just take a few minutes a day if your at the gym or at home, and try it! If it’s something that’s weird for you or doesn’t work for you, you’ve only lost a few minutes. Use that visualization to help you go to sleep if you’re an insomniac like many of us are. If you’ve kept with these tips thus far, the last 3 days to seal out this 10 are the most important of them all! Once you start to add this information to your training, I promise you will see improvements in your grappling. Just be patient and stay consistent!

10 Days To Better Jiu Jitsu: Day 6

24 Nov


For an instructor often times it is hard to give personal attention to every student in the class, especially if there is a large number of people. With such limited amounts of time per class, often times details are left out, some of which may be the key to a student getting the move versus not. Private lessons with your coach is a great way to overcome this obstacle and will help your jiu jitsu game make leaps and bounds. Sure they can seem pricey, but if you’re serious about your jiu jitsu game and are anxiously aiming to get better, they are more than worth it. This will give you the opportunity to obtain the details that set off a light bulb in your head, and ask as many questions are you possibly can!! Remember these lessons are for you so use the time as you please. Private lessons aren’t the only way to get personal help… You can also ask to spar with your coach or have them watch you roll to give you feedback on areas that may need some improvement. Quite possibly they can see something that you’re really strong at that you may not know yourself. If you are a competitor, compete often! When put under the stress of competition, the true nature of your skills come to fruition. It also helps let you know where you are in the bigger scheme of things against other jiu jitsu players at the same belt level. Every instructor at every school offers these services so take advantage!


10 Days To Better Jiu Jitsu: Day 5

23 Nov


You would think that the only way to train your jiu jitsu would be to physically be on the mat sparring or drilling. But that is FALSE!! Whether you’ve just finished training and are sitting off to the side, or injured and physically be on the mat, you can use that time to watch your team mates spar or drill. We get so caught up in our physical training that we forget to step back and get an outside perspective on things. Not only will you be able see new moves but also learn your training partners “go to” moves! With this newly gained secret information, you’ll be able to develop counters to these moves, catching your training partners off guard! Most especially if you’re injured, don’t stay home and be lazy, stay in the gym and study, study, study!! You’ll be very surprised to see how much you’ve learned when you get back on the mat. Now, that doesn’t mean you’re going to back a stud, but it will definitely keep your jiu jitsu skills up. The 10th Planet Van Nuys crew got a chance to study some new games while visiting 10th Planet West L.A.! Next time you’re at the gym after training, take a break from sparring, kick back and watch everyone else spar and see what you come up with! Guaranteed you won’t be sorry!

GCAL Jiu Jitsu

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt, Head MMA Instructor @ 10th Planet Van Nuys, Strength & Conditioning Coach, and Lover of Martial Arts

Awesome Jiu Jitsu

Thoughts and ramblings of a Tenth Planet Van Nuys Brown Belt and Instructor

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