Wednesday, November 23, 2011

“Jared Weiner Seminar November 19, 2011”

For the first seminar at ECU’s new location, we, once again had the privilege of Jared Weiner as our guest instructor.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend classes at Jared’s own school, as well as attend a seminar he’s given at ECU. Even with other options at my disposal, I knew that I didn’t want to miss a Jared Weiner seminar at ECU.

The turnout was HUGE!

Even though Jo-Jo has moved us to a “bigger boat” space was still tight. That said, everyone in the place was eager to learn what Jared had to say.

We started with a slick takedown. I’d never considered turning an arm-drag into a leg-trip before, but I definitely want to add it to my arsenal.

Next, Jared taught us two great ways to pass an open guard. I absolutely loved these techniques. At one point, Jared asked me what the principles of this pass were, my immediate answer was, “MEAN, NASTY, and SLOW!”

Later we learned how to turn side control or “knee on floating rib” techniques into Triangle chokes.

Finally, we worked on De LaRiva/X Guard transitions. There was some really cool stuff there. Jared showed us techniques that looked intimidating at first, but once anyone tried it, could be incorporated into every ECU students’ game.

This might not be my last post about this seminar, as I have several other ideas. I also know several candidates for guest authorship that will do this outstanding seminar justice.

I want to thank JoJo for once again bringing Jared to our school, and thank Jared for running an amazing seminar.

After the seminar there were numerous promotions, but I'll save that for another day.

Monday, November 14, 2011


If my five+ years of training with JoJo Guarin have taught me anything, I’ve learned that anyone and everyone can study Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and that if BJJ isn’t your thing, ECU still has plenty to offer.

At ECU there are tall students, small students, women students, fat students, skinny students, strong students, old students, young students; and too many other combinations and variations for me to count.

JoJo welcomes everyone, and has a unique talent for ensuring that every student reaches their maximum potential.

Whether you want grappling, striking, yoga, or simply to get fit, talk to JoJo.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

“Mix It Up”

I know I’ve partially mined this territory recently, but my latest collaboration with Eric Guido encouraged me to re-visit this topic.

As most of my regular readers know, I’m an older student with destroyed knees and various other injuries – 99% percent were pre BJJ.

Looking elsewhere is not always a bad idea as a good instructor in another Art or simply a different training regimen can never hurt.

Many of my training partners, including JoJo, have visited a local cross-fit program run by ECU Purple Belt Dan Stearns. While I’ve heard endless praise of the program, I realize that I’m not the right candidate.

However, JoJo has offered me a KickBoxing program that has let my knees feel better than they have in nearly twenty-five years.

At ECU, there’s also a Yoga program that gives every student the chance to improve their core and/or flexibility.

I love BJJ, but sometimes we have to step outside our comfort zones in order to take the next steps.

Fortunately, I train at an academy where I have plenty of opportunities.

Fundamentals Part II

This is part two of my study of an ECU Fundamentals Class. Once again, I have to thank ECU Fundamentals Instructor Eric Guido for his insight and help in describing the second half of an ECU Fundamentals class. This time, I’ve used Eric’s ideas, but have put them in my own words:

The second half of an ECU Fundamentals class is devoted to self-defense. ECU Black-Belt Walter Zayas is not only an expert on BJJ self-defense; he also holds belts in many other disciplines.

Over the past few years Walter has trained Eric and others in seamlessly incorporating various styles into ECU’s self-defense program.

The self defense program has definitely increased in intensity over the past few weeks. Let’s face it, very few of us will be UFC fighters, but there is a chance that we may encounter a confrontation in the street.

They also remind students on a regular basis that first and foremost Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art. It is great and amazing that we can train at nearly 100% and test each other on the mats and in tournaments constantly but what good would it be if you are a Brown Belt in BJJ but can't defend yourself against a headlock or someone throwing a punch at you?

Walter goes way beyond that and teaches knife and gun defense as well as simple combat techniques.

Eric is extremely excited about the direction the ECU Fundamentals is taking. It has become a class that everyone can benefit from it.

Most ECU Fundamentals Classes have an equal mix of White-Belts and Veterans. I absolutely LOVE the direction that Eric and JoJo have taken.