Happy Turkey Day!

November 27, 2009

I know it’s late in the day, but I wanted to take a moment before it was too late to wish you and everyone in the OG Nation a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

I love this holiday because it’s focused on being grateful for what we have, along with helping others with what they don’t have.

And while being thankful is a good thing, if you feel you don’t have a lot (or enough) to be thankful about, then go and get yourself something or some reason to be thankful.

That way, as time passes, you’ll have more and more reasons to be thankful for since you’ve made it your business to get things that make you thankful and appreciative.

This year, I do have many things in my life that make me feel very
grateful.

Would I prefer there be more? Absolutely. But I’m content with what I have this year and excited about the possibilities of all the things I’ll have to be grateful for in the years to come.

Finally, I’m grateful to you for reading my messages. I hope they help you in some small way, especially if you’re outside the USA and the Thanksgiving Holiday isn’t celebrated in your country. I hope that you have a wonderful day as well.

Dedicated to improving your mat experience!

Paul Greenhill (aka The Wise Grappler)

P.S. Black Friday is TOMORROW (Friday, November 27, 2009) and you should wait until then to take advantage of the sale to invest in the grappling, mental mindset, AND strength and conditioning products.  Be on the lookout for an email with “OG Nation Black Friday Sale” in the subject line.

P.P.S. If you haven’t downloaded the interview I did with 2004 Olympian Rhadi Ferguson, you’re helping every opponent that will submit you in 2010 thanks to your procrastination!  GO DOWNLOAD IT NOW (http://dwarfurl.com/a7fd6) so you can take your grappling to the next level!


Ask the Wise Grappler

November 21, 2009

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about an OG finding the “missing piece to his grappling puzzle” by accident during a sparring session.”

Well, I got an email from an OG that thought maybe I was stretching it a bit for the sake of having something good to write about and I wanted to share with you his comment and my reply to it.  Enjoy.


Dear Wise Grappler

So are you telling me that if a 45 year old white belt with no contact sport experience goes up against Rickson Gracie, he can just think his way through a 5-minute match and not get tapped?  I’d love to see that happen.”

The Wise Grappler replies:

No OG, I wasn’t trying to say that “a 45 year old white belt with no contact sport experience” would use their mindset to beat up Rickson Gracie in a 5-minute match.  Even though I believe that anything’s possible (based on pure chance or a fluke), I wouldn’t bet my last dollar on it!  There have been people with more grappling and mental mindset experience than our 45 yrs old couch potato (with no sports background) that have tried and failed miserably against the man that many (me included) believe is the best proponent of BJJ in the world today.

Here’s what I was trying to say in that “Missing Piece” Article.

The positive OG Mental Mindset’s main role is to have an effect on the grappler or combat athlete’s performance during a match.  It provides absolutely NO GUARANTEE that the match outcome will be in favor of the combatant; only that it will force the athlete to fight hard enough to either meet the current challenge successfully or to go down fighting unsuccessfully.

For example, whenever you have a grappler or combat athlete getting ready for a contest, they have to believe without a shadow of doubt in their mind that they’re prepared and going to win a match.  If they don’t (whether it’s due to lack of confidence or preparation), then they’ve already lost the match.  In fact, if you spoke to both combatants before a match, both would tell you they’re going to win and that’s expected.  In fact, I’ve NEVER heard an athlete after losing a match (whether by decision or being knocked out) say they didn’t think they even had a chance to win.

There are so many variables that come together to bring about a winning outcome in a performance (with mindset only being one of them), that it would be virtually impossible to point to one thing
to say that’s the one thing I need to focus on exclusively that will determine the outcome of every match.

In my opinion, to compare White Belt A sparring with Rickson Gracie and using his positive mat mindset to force Rickson to submit, instead of White Belt A sparring with White Belt B, isn’t a fair comparison at all.  There’s a very good chance that if White Belt A knew he was going to spar with Rickson, White Belt A would probably think they don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell against him and would probably just be waiting for the tap to come.

Technically, White Belt A would probably be right. But as a coach, I want to believe that Rickson would correct that white belt’s thinking on the spot by saying something motivational to correct
the negative thinking, causing that white belt to fight as hard as possible… until he made them tap!

I hope this cleared up any misunderstanding from the “Missing Piece to the Grappling Puzzle” Article.  If not, send me another email and I’ll try to get it right the second time! 🙂


Happy Veteran’s Day!

November 14, 2009

“We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

                               – George Orwell

*ON VETERAN’S DAY (11 Nov) THIS IS DEDICATED TO ALL VETERANS (PAST AND PRESENT) FOR THEIR VALIANT SERVICE TO THEIR COUNTRY*

– Paul Greenhill (aka The Wise Grappler)


The “Missing Piece” to Your Grappling Puzzle

November 7, 2009

Last week, I was talking to a student after BJJ class. We were discussing various training topics before I started talking about the “Hammer and Nail” Principle that all grapplers need to learn and
accept for mat success.

And while we were talking about the H&NP, the student (who we’ll call Jim) started talking about his own challenges in that area and how he admitted to the fact that he thought all that “mindset stuff” for surviving tough mat situations was a bunch of crap.

Jim’s opinion was based on his own mat experiences, where he was getting twisted up on the mat like a pretzel and unable to stop it.

Then one day, Jim said that during a match, he just made up in his mind that he was NOT going to beaten to a pulp or be finished by his partner on that day.

And to Jim’s total amazement… his partner DID NOT finish him during their match!

If you could’ve seen Jim’s face while he was telling me the story, you could tell that he was happy and shocked at the outcome because he didn’t think it could be that easy.

“Yes”, I said, “it can be that easy because your body will do EXACTLY what your mind tells it to do and when to do it. If your mind says fight, your body will fight! And if your minds says quit, your body will quit!”

I then told him that if he could think back to some of those matches in the past where he was being beaten to a pulp, he would be able to see that the “missing piece” to his grappling was that his mind had accepted the reality of losing and told his body to give up fighting.

Immediately, Jim recognized that’s exactly what happened to him.

And as we continue our talk, I realized that he was on the right track, but needed some more “OG insight” on the topic.

That’s when I handed him a copy of my “OG Mental Mindset Package” off the shelf in my office and told him this was the “missing piece” to his grappling puzzle.

What about you? Are you taking countless “mat thrashings” on a regular basis because you’re mind is telling your body to “give up and quit” during matches?

If the answer is yes, don’t hesitate and go NOW by sprinting over to http://www.OGMentalMindset.com to find the “missing piece” to your grappling puzzle.

Dedicated to improving your mat experience!


Check this out (AMAZING story!)

October 20, 2009

Here’s a pretty cool story that I stumbled across by accident when
a young OG, Tom DeBlass (Ocean County BJJ), was talking about how
a couple of his OG students inspired him by the commitment they
displayed to their grappling training in spite of the adversity
that would hinder most students half their age.

And since I love hearing and passing on any story about an OG
fighting against adversity to “get ‘er done!”, I asked him to see
if they were willing to share their stories with the OG Nation.
Kenny Balcerski was the first to take me up on my offer.  Enjoy!

Tom,

I put this together on inspiration as per your post on Facebook
with Paul Greenhill. It is a conglomeration of my core beliefs,
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu aptitude and feelings regarding training at
age 46 plus. I would only hope that it can inspire many more
students to start training with us.

It is no secret why students my age are spending more and more
time on the mats training. Jiu-Jitsu presents an endless amount
of applications and challenges which make it most appealing to
the older athlete.

State Champion in High School, All American in College; I have to
accept the fact that my body has limitations at almost 47 years
young. No matter how well I eat, sleep and train at this point,
it is inevitable that I have met the point of diminishing returns
when it comes to speed and agility.

However, I believe Jiu-Jitsu requires a lot of thinking and
technique, similar to a chess match, and may be one of the only
sports that allows an athlete past his physical prime to still
improve his skill with age.

One of the greatest days in my life was when I walked through the
door at Ocean County Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Forked River NJ). I
decided to enroll at the Academy after I shattered an ankle
racing motocross. The surgeon that put my leg back together was
firm in the premise that I would never be the same.

Fortunately for me, Professor Tom DeBlass convinced me that I
could still reach a high level of skill regardless of my age and
injury by training at his Academy.

I never imagined just how much Jiu-Jitsu would change my life!

Initially, I struggled, as do most beginners. I used too much
strength, fatigued almost immediately, and felt trapped and
panicky when mounted. But within the year I was able to slow my
game down, focus on skill and enjoy the benefits of this great
art.

I have found that being older may be an advantage in Jiu-Jitsu: I
don’t have many social or financial distractions since I have
already graduated college, I’m married with children, and have
owned a successful business for over 24 years. I have sculpted
good nutrition, hydration, strength, cardio, flexibility, rest
and recovery into my daily life. I have years of athletic and
practical experiences that can be applied to everyday training.

Jiu-Jitsu has given me a greater understanding of core beliefs,
pain and suffering. It has chiseled my integrity into being a
better father, friend and teammate. It has taught me that every
time I put my mind and body to the test it defines my capacity to
live.

A few weeks ago, I tore my biceps out of my elbow training for a
non-Jiu-Jitsu related event, and needed immediate surgery. I
would miss the Pan Ams and what might have been a few months
training.

I returned to the mats with a brace two weeks after surgery. My
family and teammates asked me why I came back to train so soon.
My answer has been I will only have an opportunity to train with
one arm for a short period until I recover fully.

Happiness is finding our innermost strengths by testing our
skills in every situation. This is a lesson I would never have
learned without my Professor, Instructors, fellow teammates and
everyone I train with at the academy.

Kenny Balcerski, Blue Belt

TWG:   Kenny, thank you for sharing your story with me and the OG
Nation.  I can see why Tom is proud and inspired to have you as a
student and it does my heart good to hear how you’re dealing with
your adversity in such a positive way.  Your commitment and “grit
tough” attitude is something that grapplers of all ages should
see and strive to achieve each day they walk on the mat.  It’s
truly a pleasure to have you as a member of the OG Nation!

Also, make sure to go to www.OlskoolGrapluh.com and pick out an
“OG T-shirt” so that I can get one in the mail to you this week.
Take care of that arm and keep up the good work!


5 Grappling Tips on How to Drill Techniques for Mat Success!

September 13, 2009

Ask The Wise Grappler:

“I bought the last product you had out [21 Mat Laws of Grappling]
and you talk about drilling being very important (I think it’s
Point #3). Can you explain drilling to me? I know it sounds like
a dumb question but another proverb says, ‘A wise man can learn
more from a dumb question than a fool can learn from a wise
answer.’ Do you drill a move, a position, a series?”

The Wise Grappler writes:

 Well, there’s a long and short answer to that question and I’ll
give them both to you.

The short answer is yes, you drill a move, position, and technique
until the moves become mechanical and can be executed without
thinking about it, like you tie your shoelaces or even breathe.
You’ve been doing both of those activities for so long that you’re
no longer aware of the fact that you do them without thought,
especially the breathing part!

The long answer on how you drill the moves, techniques, and
positions until they become mechanical and reflexive have been
captured and broken down in the following 5 key points:

1. Drilling the Technique Right – This mean having the mechanical
motion, grips, body position, correct breathing pattern, and proper
visual alignment so that you can see the “mat battlefield” to know
when your opponent is vulnerable and susceptible to the technique.

2. Drilling to Execute the Technique Quickly – Now that you know
how to do the technique right, you have to master doing the
technique quickly before the window of opportunity closes on you.
Just because you can do the technique on a willing partner, that
won’t guarantee that you’ll execute it with the same sense of
urgency during a live match.

3. Drilling the Technique under Stress – Just because you can do
the technique right and fast, that doesn’t mean that you’ll do it
under a “live” (stress) situation and you have to account for that
as well. You need to apply your techniques at different stages of
successfully locking in the technique (etc. 30% applied, 50%
applied, 70% applied, etc.) and have your partner fight out of it
at different levels of resistance (30%, 50%, 70%, etc.).

4. Drilling under Common and Uncommon Scenarios – Every technique
should work under ideal conditions, but will your technique hold up
when you’re tired, your opponent’s sweaty, your opponent is (or
isn’t) wearing a gi, you’re injured, you develop a cramp in your
arm or leg, etc.? That’s why you need to drill those techniques in
common or uncommon scenarios that are likely to occur, especially
if you’re competing. You should RARELY encounter a situation for
the first time during a competition. If you do, your training plan
has holes in it that need to be closed.

5. Drilling with the Technique Failing – This mean that we’re
expecting to execute the technique in such a way that it’s not
effective enough to submit or gain a dominant position on our
partners and we’ve thought out the common “mat tendencies” on what the opponent will do to resist. Once you’re able to determine the
tendencies and integrate that into the drilling, that will allow
you to account for your opponent’s ability to counter and fight off
your triangle attack… but walk right into your armbar attack.

Also, you need to keep in mind that this is just the top layer of
what I call my “OG Drilling Tree” and that each one of these five
key points has multiple subsections underneath it. But for now, I
think this will give you enough insight to modify your training
plan to start implementing these points immediately.

I’m going to shoot a video on this topic soon that should clarify
any points that I’ve missed in this response, but I hope this
helped.


OG (Mike Zenga) told me about some training tips

August 20, 2009



If you haven’t heard about this already, you might want to look at
this by clicking here.

Another OG (Mike Zenga) told me about some training tips he added to
his BJJ game that has made a major impact in his mat performance
while he was in Maryland for business and training during the
summer.

And just in case you don’t remember Mike, he sent me an testimonial
back in May after he won the 2009 NY Open BJJ Tournament this year
and I shared with the OG Nation.

(You can check out his testy and see him on the podium with his
teammates at http://thewisegrappler.com/special.html)

Now back to the story before I forget…

Anyway, we were talking about how most BJJers have crappy takedowns
and seem content with butt-scooting and guard-jumping. Mike talked
about how his training partner (a 2008 Olympic Judo Player) helped
him by showing him takedowns that fit perfectly with the BJJ
grappling game.

And since Mike is an OG like most of us, these are takedowns that
anyone can do, regardless of age.

Mike showed me what they’re doing and it’s pretty cool stuff for any
BJJer looking to stop the “butt-scoot” and “jumping guard” as their
only takedown.

Check it out and see for yourself.
http://dwarfurl.com/3590c

Dedicated to improving your mat experience!

Paul Greenhill (aka The Wise Grappler)
http://www.TheWiseGrappler.com
http://www.twitter.com/thewisegrappler