MassBJJ Newsletter Dec. 2015

MassBJJ News

  • 2015 in Review
    I just want to take a moment to thank everyone involved in making the MassBJJ family what it is today. We support each other on and off the mat and continue to grow and evolve as practitioners of jiu jitsu and also as friends. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished in Arlington in under 4 years! The gym went through an extremely stressful move while waiting for the new space to be completed and the uncertainty of not being able to stay in the old space while we waited. Then we got the go ahead to move over the 4th of July weekend and everyone stepped up to help on your holiday. I’ll keep this short but thank you for your hard work and dedication to the school and to the art. MassBJJ is more than just one person, it’s a collaboration of like-minded and hardworking men, women and kids who share a common interest. I think a lot about the future and both personal and professional goals but let’s not forget what we’ve gone through to get where we are. Now let’s go CRUSH 2016!!!!!!!!!

– Mike                  

  • Arlington Holiday Schedule
    • 12/23 Normal Classes
    • 12/24 Closed
    • 12/25 Closed
    • 12/31 Open Mat (go to Arlington’s Facebook for details)
    • 1/1 Open Mat (go to Arlington’s Facebook for details)
  • Acton Holiday Schedule  
    • 12/23 Normal Classes
    • 12/24 Open Mat – 12:00 – 2:00pm
    • 12/25 Closed
    • 12/31 Open Mat (go to Acton’s Facebook for details)
    • 1/1 Open Mat (go to Acton’s Facebook for details)

          Upcoming Events

  • MassBJJ In-House Tournament
    • Date:   Sat 1/16/2016
    • Time: 11am-3pm
    • Location: MassBJJ-Arlington
    • Double Elimination (2 match minimum)
    • $20 entry fee
    • Kid’s, Women’s, and Men’s Divison’s
  • MassBJJ Holiday Party
    • Date:  Sat 1/16/2016
    • Time: 6pm-10pm
    • Location: Wedgewood Pines Country Club in Stow, MA
    • $20 food fee, kids under 12 are free
  • Arlington Student of the Month
    • Make sure you congratulate Andrea Sexton! She was recently chosen as the Dec student of the month and has a great write up on the bulletin board in the school about her experiences training with us! Check it out!
  • Congrats to Scott Gamin on earning his Purple Belt!

Let’s make some goals for 2016 and take our potential to the next level. Here’s a quote to get your started:

“Everyone has talent, but rare is the courage to follow that talent to the places it leads.”

 

See you on the mat!

Mike

MassBJJ

 

 

10 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Arlington Training Lessons From 16 Years On The Mat

This is written as I reflect briefly on the past 16 years of my training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. We all have our story when it comes to the major turning points in our life that help mold and possibly change us. Starting BJJ was one of those life events for me. I have been training BJJ since 1999. I started in the art at 18 years old, received my black belt in 2007 at 26, and now at 33 I am proud to be the instructor of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym in Arlington, Massachusetts called MassBJJ-Arlington. If you do the math, it took me 8 years to get my black belt and I’ve also been one for 8. I truly feel that I’ve learned more in the 8 years since I got my black belt than I did during the 8 years it took me to get one. I honestly can’t recall a period of time that I spent away from the BJJ mat in the past 16 years. Even when injured I found a way to stay on the mat. For example, I injured a rib in training and it hurt every time someone was able to secure a solid side control. This forced me to work my guard retention and not allow the person to achieve side control in the first place. Instead of complaining my rib hurt when someone got side control, I just worked smarter to not let it happen! Here’s my list:

1) Grit
I love how training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brings out the character of a person. If you haven’t built toughness for some reason before, this art will do it. In some grappling arts, rules will save you from bad positions. In wrestling if you are pinned it’s over. In judo, on the mat you have 20-30 sec to work until you are stood back up. In BJJ, if you are mounted, no one will save you so it forces you to get tough and find a way out!

2) Emotional Stability
I always tell students they should not be training with emotion. You should not celebrate victory or express disappointment in defeat. That doesn’t mean you can’t have those emotions, I just don’t want them affecting your technique. I don’t want people expressing emotions after tapping someone or slapping the mat in disappointment after they’ve been tapped. You just dust yourself off and put your hand back out there to start the next roll. Emotions are up and down, technique shouldn’t be. Putting your technique on the line every single time you spar will develop this emotional stability.

3) Patience
In many things in life you are able to develop a relatively competent level with practice. For example, I recently wanted to learn how to shoot a compound bow. It took me about 2 hours of practice to hit the bullseye. Granted there was a component of luck involved but regardless I hit the bullseye and this is the “objective” measure of ability in that art. You can’t get this with BJJ. You will never hit the bullseye in your first class. I’ve been training 16 years and still haven’t hit it!! In BJJ you will train for 2 years and still not be sure if you are any good. I tell my students at MassBJJ Arlington you need to be patient and just enjoy the journey. Don’t count stripes and don’t keep score with who beats who. Just continue to train and work hard. As a student if you do 2 things you will improve: 1) Do your best 2) Be willing to learn.

4) Persistence
This goes along with patience. If you want to improve, you need to be persisted through the ups and downs and just keep going back. I’ve never met anyone that regrets going to train when they don’t feel like it. It’s only those that don’t go train that regret it. A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but because of its persistence.

5) Accountability
It’s not about you! Your training partners need you. If you make your training partner the most important person in the gym then the culture of the gym will be a place everyone wants to be a part of. Having that in mind will make you better because you’ll be training consistently and as your partners improve. So by being selfless you will improve faster than if you are selfish.

6) Potential for Leadership
There will always be new people that want to learn BJJ and this gives you a chance to take them under your wing and show them the ropes. Tell them the things it took you a while to figure out or pick up on. Be a smile and a resource for them as they will gravitate toward you as you will be a familiar face on a regular basis. Pay it forward. They will do the same for someone if it’s done to them. A BJJ school is greater than one person, it’s a sum of all its members and each person contributes to the overall culture of the gym. You don’t need to be the instructor to be a leader.

7) Summer jobs
This is true! I was in college and needed work for the summer. I was talking with some guys in the school and a few mentioned they needed their houses painted. I had no idea about painting but I told them I would do it anyway. Turns out I wasn’t too bad and made some money to help fund my BJJ addiction. If you have kids, maybe they will find a connection through the team or an internship for them to build life experience and help choose a future career. Then again your kids should be training and building those relationships themselves!!

8) Friendships
I’ve seen a quote that goes, “I’m at a point in my life where most of my best friends are also trying to choke me!” I’ve had the chance to meet people from all over the world and could travel to many parts and know someone there. I also always travel with a Gi so I can drop in at different schools and meet fellow practitioners of the art. I would encourage you to do the same.

9) Health
I’ve had the luxury of never being out of shape due to BJJ. I don’t fluctuate in weight because I’m always training. I don’t even look at BJJ as exercise which means I never get bored of it or dread training. I even miss it if I’m unable to make it to class. It’s perfect. Improving health and fitness is a side effect of learning and training in BJJ. Along with learning a practical martial art that might save your life one day. I can’t really see a reason not to train.

10) Beginners mind
There is so much to this art that you can’t possible know everything. I’m constantly studying and reviewing techniques trying to stay fresh, learn and improve. There can be no boredom since the learning is endless. You get bored when you no longer care, and people that don’t care about learning do no last in BJJ.

I’m sure my list has evolved over the years with training and being involved in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. When I was a white belt these 10 things were totally different. That’s the beauty of BJJ, constant evolution!

See you on the mat!

Mike Pellegrino

2nd Degree Black Belt

Learn More About my BJJ Gym in Arlington!

In-House Recap and Belt Promotion From Acton Jiu Jitsu

In-House BJJ Recap:

Great job everyone yesterday at the BJJ In-House tournament in Acton. Competition fuels motivation, motivation fuels dedication, dedication fuels improvement! These BJJ tournaments are meant to do nothing more than provide an environment of stress for your skills and see how you handle it. I equate these tournaments to a financial stress test of a bank. Does the system hold up under pressure? Does your jiu-jitsu hold up under pressure? If not, there needs to be some reflection and organized assessment prior to establishing a game plan to fix the system.

If you competed, try and reflect on the experience and pick a few SPECIFIC things to work on. Don’t get overwhelmed with trying to fix too many problems at once, as it’s better to fix one issue permanently then fix several issues temporarily. This event is nothing more than to make our team technically stronger as a whole. Remember, iron sharpens iron!

Make sure you respect your opponents, as you can not be taken to your full potential without them. They are one of the most important ingredients to success. In this case, your opponent is also your teammate, build relationships and help each other improve. I always say at some point in your training you are going to need to take responsibility for yourself and what it is you need to improve on. Our BJJ and MMA gym in Arlington & Acton are full of people looking to help, so speak up if you have questions!

MassBJJ is more than just 1 man, and nothing could have been accomplished yesterday without all of the amazing people who helped out. From the check in and weigh in process to the brackets and reffing, everyone did great! Each event we get better and better and are planning our next one for around April/May in Arlington. Stay tuned.

BELT PROMOTION

Congrats to the 4 new blue belts in BJJ Arlington who were promoted right before the competition began! They were definitely caught by surprise being promoted right after the rules meeting! These guys performed beautifully wearing their new belts and their promotion was more than well deserved. Now all the upper level belts can sleep a little better knowing these guys no longer are wearing white belts!

With all that said, SEE YOU ON THE MAT!

Here are some pictures of the belt promotion.

View Pictures on Facebook

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Kids BJJ Promotion 11/4/2014!

Kids Jiu Jitsu in Arlington & Acton

Congrats to Elijah, Nathan, Nia and Matt for their well deserved promotion to Grey Belt! These kids are dedicated, motivated, and great to have on the mat! I have very high expectations for my kids program, and these kids have exceeded my expectations and help set the tone for the kids that will come after them.

I teach the kids: Practice doesn’t make perfect, but perfect practice makes perfect! These 4 students will be great leaders one day in the real world, which is what it’s all about. Congrats everyone!

-Mike

P.S. Don’t mess with these kids, Click Here! to see why.