An interview with SBG Black belt Casey Jones:
Can you think of a gym with four BJJ black belts?
Check out our four black belts:
I’m been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for just over two years, during this time I have entered a few competitions. So far I have managed two gold medals and a bronze medal.
I highly recommend entering competitions for any BJJ student for the following reasons:
1. Win or lose it doesn’t matter
This might be difficult for people to understand but it really doesn’t matter if you win or lose in a competition. Yes, we all want to win medals and post podium pictures on Facebook but the experience is a valuable asset to your skill set. In fact I believe I have learnt more from losing matches than winning them. For example, in one fight I was winning by a land slide and got very complacent then bam, bow and arrow choke and I’ve lost. What I learnt from this fight was first to never
be complacent in a fight no matter how well I’m doing. I also learnt an awesome submission from the guy who beat me. The bow and arrow choke is now my main submission which was used in two finals to get Gold medals.
Another example was in the absolute division I was exhausted and was against a young strong and fast guy (who most likely got a better nights sleep than me). I was winning by one advantage point for four minutes until the last 2 seconds my opponent pulled off a sit up sweep from guard and got the victory. As I was tired I just tried to ride the fight out until the fight finished. Was this a good strategy? Definitely not! From this loss I learnt not to just sit in someones guard and wait for the fight to end and I need to keep active at all times…even if I’m exhausted.
Getting the win is great for your confidence, medal count, Facebook statuses and showing off but the loss is also valuable as you have learnt something new which will greatly benefit your skill set and experience. So sign up for the next competition and have fun!
The experience of competing will greatly help your game. When you’re fighting you have a number of crazy things going on such as people routing for the other guy, lots of people looking at you analysing your game, a guy who wants to dominate you and lots of people shouting in a hall. Not only do you have all this to deal with but you also have a bunch of nerves to try and control. The point is that your not in a place your used to. You’re not in your gym with your mates rolling to Bob Marley, your completely out of your comfort zone.
By competing you will gain valuable experience coping with all of these factors that will affect your game. Any experience you have competing is a benefit to your skill set, the more minutes accumulated on the mat the better.
3. Positions and points
By entering in competitions you will learn about the BJJ points system and will be more conscious about the actions you make when you roll or fight. Before I competed I didn’t have any idea about the points system and wouldn’t care if someone passed my guard or if someone got side mount. In my first ever fight I was leaking points as I wasn’t paying any attention to any positions as I was just chasing the submission. Now as I have more competition experience I put a lot more thought into the actions I make as one wrong move can result in a loss of points.
4. New bodies
As we train every week with our training partners we learn each persons game, skills, strength and weaknesses. When you step on the mat in a competition you don’t know anything about your opponent. He could have a whole range of skills that you don’t have and will most likely have a different game plan as he comes from another gym. He could also be a complete bad ass with amazing moves, either way you don’t know anything about that person. By exposing yourself to new bodies you’re learning how to work against new techniques and skills. You’re also learning not to assume everyone is the same or they have the same skills or game plan as what you’re used to.
These are great reasons to enter a competition as you have nothing to lose and lots to gain. I once read somewhere that “every time you enter a competition you gain six months experience”. I’m not sure if this is entirely true but I’m certain you gain a lot from competing that will benefit your BJJ skills.
I added another Gold medal to my collection at the Blackpool open. The first fight I won on points. The second fight was tough as I was behind on points but fought back and took the back and won with a bow and arrow submission.
I promised her a Gold medal!
Yesterday was a great day! First we had a great seminar from Matt Thornton kn spider guard then we had an iron man for two brown belts.
SBG Mainline now has two new black belts: Glyn Powditch and Chris “Soultrain” Coltrane. Both had to endure a two hour Iron Man rolling with over 50 people including five black belts: Karl Tanswell (head of SBG Mainline), Matt Thornton (Head of SBG), Travis Davison (SBG Montana), Jay Tan (MMA Academy Liverpool) and Casey Jones (SBG Mainline).
SBG Mainline now has 4 black belts!
Both guys have a huge passion for the art and have amazing skill sets, Congratulations guys!!
Chris, Matt, Karl, Glyn
I’ve been a father for almost four months now. During this time I’ve trained whilst having little or no sleep from having a crying baby wanting a cuddle or feeding at unholy hours. By the time I’ve finished work and got to the gym im a broken man! Would I let this lack of sleep, feeling weak and like death stop me training? No way!
When your running on little or no energy against a young guy who’s had a great nights sleep (damm you!!), has lots of energy and strength its going to be a hard night! I’ve found that instead of trying to play his game of strength and energy just stick to the following:
1. Stay safe – I feel like death already and don’t want to be choked too! You can protect yourself from being submitted with little energy just using the fundamentals such as keeping two arms in or good posture. If I can survive whilst feeling this terrible and tired imagine how good I’ll be once I get some sleep! I just focus on keeping good posture and position, by doing this you will survive for longer without using lots of energy (not that it’s available).
2. Move slowly – this isn’t much of an option as I’m stuck in this mode. But, moving slowly doesn’t mean your not playing a good game. By moving slowly you can think about each step you are taking. I’ve found this has helped my game massively. If you watch the higher ranked guys at brown or black belt they move at a slow pace too and constantly kick ass!
3. Keep turning up – it doesn’t matter that you feel like death at each session or that your not performing at your best. What counts is that you went to the gym which is better than just sitting at home moaning about being tired. You’re not going to get any sleep at home anyway so you might aswell get to the gym. A small amount of progress is better than none. By going to the gym you will learn something you didn’t know before.