Entries by Dion Mendel

Head-arm choke details

Most BJJ classes have people of mixed levels. Beginners benefit from the advice and feedback from those with more experience. Advanced members benefit from having less skilled training partners to refine their skills against. How does an instructor run a training session that will benefit members with differing ability? One solution is to break the […]

New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year. Our recent holiday indulgence makes us look in the mirror and we realise that our health and fitness is not as good as we wish it to be. This year will be different, we tell ourselves. This year I’ll be serious about taking better care of my body. Of course, […]

Training your training partner – part 2

How do you know that you need to train your training partner? The easiest way is to ask yourself whether you enjoyed the roll you just had with them. If you didn’t enjoy the roll, the worst thing to do is to talk to them about it immediately afterwards. When emotions are high, there will […]

Training your training partner – part 1

What do we need to learn BJJ? We need some ground, a training partner and a desire to improve. Coaches can give us the benefit of their experience. Instructional videos and competition footage can give us inspiration and new ideas. It is the training partner that has the biggest effect on your ability to learn […]

The most effective submission in BJJ

There are many different submissions in BJJ. Some are more effective than others. If our goal is to submit our opponents, then it makes sense to focus more of our training time on the most effective submissions. In BJJ, we get very good at almost breaking our opponent’s joints. We take the joint to the […]

The 6 positions of Jiu-Jitsu

To understand something complex, we often break it down into to smaller chunks. Smaller chunks are easier to understand but we lose understanding at the boundaries between chunks. If the chunks are too small and numerous, we have many boundaries between chunks and hence lots of grey areas where we can lose understanding. A problem […]

That’s not a real move

Jiu-jitsu is a contest between two people to see who can make the other give up. It’s fun and we want to do it every day, so we have rules that ensure no-one gets injured. The rules are simple stop when the other person taps use a mat on the ground to prevent wear and […]

Beginning frustrations

When you first begin jiu-jitsu, you feel like you’re fully awake and alive. The stars are brighter when you leave the gym at night. Your body feels like it has a purpose. You hunger for answers to the questions that arise on the mat. These feelings stay with you as long as you do jiu-jitsu, […]

Paying homage to Jiu-jitsu

I’ve played many sports over the years. Some I’ve passionately enjoyed. Many were fun ways to pass the time. Other’s were boring and only done out of a sense of obligation. Jiu-jitsu is the only sport that has made me cry. What jiu-jitsu brings, that the others don’t, is honesty. Honesty about yourself and who […]