Jiu Jitsu Adventures at Bull and Tiger Grappling: Evolving Beyond My Comfort Zone

On Wednesday night , I did something out-of-character and registered at the last-minute for a BJJ competition that I literally found out about mid-roll that day. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to pre-comp and pre-fight preparation and routine. Although there are many people who take a relatively casual attitude towards BJJ competition preparation, I usually treat mine like a fight-camp and make it the sole focus of my training.

At Bull and Tiger Grappling Comp, Singapore
At Bull and Tiger Grappling Comp, Singapore

But ever since I first put on a gi in 2011 and started thinking about MMA, I have wanted to fight in Singapore. A last-minute BJJ comp is hardly a fight, but it seemed serendipitous – as if the Universe was posing me a question that I needed to answer.

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Dispelling the Myth of the Martyr-Athlete

I read an article once which talked about the correlation between Italian-American communities and Italian-American stereotypes in the form of depictions in works such as The Godfather films and The Sopranos TV series. Did The Godfather and The Sopranos prove to be popular because they were able to depict the nuanced worlds of Italian-Americans, or did young Italian-Americans model their behaviours on the empowering stereotypes of themselves which commanded attention and awe in popular media? (Or was the writer of said article just a sheltered academic with a lot of untested theories?)

I’ll leave you to think about that. But it does raise an interesting question: are stereotypes reflections of certain demographics, or do they serve to inform the behaviour of those demographics?

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Your Workout is only as Good as your Recovery; Your Skills Training may only be as Good as Your Sleep

The above is a recording of a short lecture by Biomedical doctor, sleep specialist and former Navy SEAL Dr Kirk Parsley.

We’ve all been lectured before about the importance of sleep, but there are some alarming statistics included in Dr Parsley’s short speech. Adequate and good-quality sleep is essential for a range of optimal functions including maintaining healthy hormone levels (and that directly impacts on libido, sexual function and fertility), healthy body composition, insulin sensitivity and the consolidation of learned motor skills.

That last part has particular relevance to any athlete, elite or recreational. What it means is that you need good quality sleep – and enough of it – in order to let your brain rehearse new movements that you’ve learned during the day so that it can consolidate them into long-term memory – what we normally refer to as “muscle memory.” So if you routinely sacrifice sleep as a time-management strategy, you’re literally robbing yourself of a lot of the gains in motor skills that you’re trying to gain during practice.