Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Americana from Closed Guard

I found myself doing this a few times and worked well for me so far. I didn't know the choke variation part though. Now I gotta try the choke part. I find it easier to implement than a arm-bar from guard, since there is no need to strech out the arm, and swing to the other side and break posture. Fewer steps and less risk, since no need to open the guard completely I think.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Open Guard Pass

I'm planning to focus on open guard pass for a few weeks. I'll try this next time I roll.

Cool Pass by Jacare

Looks like a quick clean pass, I will try it tomorrow. Excuse the lame porn music.

Today is a running day..

I like running unlike many of the people I know. Most people find it boring, tedious, and not much fun. I like running outside seeing the wild-life and things. Where I live I see quite a few hawks, cayotes, deers, and raccoons. There are mountain lions too, but I don't care to see any of them.
Although I run for the love of it, I don't see that being a good runner helps me with my jiu jitsu cardio. In jiu jitsu, there is a lot of effort and energy spent in a little time. It's a high intensity sport. At least it's that way for me, since my game is not that refined and smooth to conserve energy wisely yet. I will keep running anyways. Good thing mountain lions are nocturnal, or..are they not?

Wanna like green tea, but can't...

I know I post way too much about nutrition, and this is a jiu jitsu blog. The fact of the matter though, I don't give a f**k, it's my blog I can post whatever the f**k I want.
Anyways, everybody keeps talking about how good green tea is for you, given all the anti-oxidants and other good stuff in it. I buy it once in a while hoping I would eventually come to like it. It's not happening man. Putting a little honey makes it taste better, but then I'm tasting honey, I like honey, and everything is dandy. The thing of it though, if I put honey in hot water I would probably like that too.
Green tea makes me go the bathroom a lot too. It feels like it's taking all the water from my body, dehyrating the shit out of me. I was comparing health claims on my Lipton green tea vs Lipton classic tea (black tea I suppose), and came to the realization that they both have very similar levels of anti-oxidants in them. Green tea has 190mg, and black tea 175mg. I think by posting this, I've just convinced myself not to drink green tea anymore. Black tea is way better, so there you have it. F*ck tofu too..! That tasteless piece of crap...! If tofu was a protected minority person I would already be doing some hard time for hate speech/crimes right now. I once attacked a piece of tofu for posing as cheese and tasting like chalk.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gotta love Chipotle

I've been going to this Chipotle restaurant since day one when nobody knew about the joint. No lines no crowds..Now everybody knows. Today I went and got my chicken burrito with extra crispy tortilla, which I asked them to cook longer. I'd think they would hate me for my extra request, but then they always give me free soda, and even not charge me for my food sometimes, so I guess we are on good terms :) Black beans, a little rice, mild salsa, hot salsa too. How do you eat your Chipotle?

Getting my blue belt in BJJ

I feel like I need to train even harder now just to represent it right. You know it sounds like a lot of responsibility and expectations are higher.

Cross Collar Chokes

When I first started training jiu jitsu, I decided to pick one simple submission and drill and use the heck out of it till it was second nature for me. Guess what I picked. Yep, cross-collar. Looks so simple, right. I usually attempt it when someone is in my closed guard. Ask anybody at my gym and they point at me as the cross-collar guy. Not that I'm that great at it, but boy, do I try almost each and every time to get this submission.
I've been training a little over two years now, and I can say I'm barely getting decent success at it. I don't remember who said it, but I remember reading some Gracie guy I believe who said cross-collar is one of the simplest submissions, but also hardest to master. I wish I read that couple years back, so I would have funneled my energy into some other submissions.
The cool thing about cross-collar from closed guard is, it involves little risk. You're not exposing yourself in anyway, no need to open the guard. However, if you go at it hard and not get it, your forearms are gonna be so damn tired, your grip strength will be reduced to that of a 5 year old girl's for a little while till you recover.
Like anything else in life there are tricks to get this submission as well. First off, don't go for it each and every time like I had been doing for a long time, it becomes too predictable, and all your opponents need to do is a little posture, and wait until you get tired. What I've been doing more recently is, getting the first grip nice and deep first and don't even try to sink in the other hand, and act like all I'm trying to do is control my opponent and fake a scissor sweep. My real goal is luring my opponent to try to pass my guard while I still have one grip on the collar. So, if my right hand has a grip on the right collar of the guy, I lean on my left side about 45 degrees, faking the scissor, at which point my opponent presses his body weight on my right knee and keep their head low, which is what you do passing guard right? And that's my moment to bring my other hand to the other collar or right behind the collar grabbing the gi, and choke. This is a riskier strategy, but it has been working for me better than just going for it straight from closed guard. I also remember seeing a video of it, and will be posting that video as soon as I find it.
Happy chokings...!

What I ate today??

I eat meat too, just not today. Need to buy some Nutella and Tuna. Will probably eat a Chipotle burrito tomorrow, they are sooo good.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Seminar in Monterey,CA

The legend is here...! Grand Master Francisco Mansur, the only 9th degree red belt in the world (after Helio Gracie passed away), is coming to Monterey California on Nov 29th. You can just show up and pay at the door. I'm super excited to attend.


This picture is the first one that comes up with a Google Image search for "BJJ". Thanks Google. Girl power...!

Cardio Stress Echo Test

Turns out I have a good heart, literally. They did a echo test putting me on a treadmill making me run uphill till my heart started pounding out of my chest. The nurse told me since my resting heart-rate is around 48, I need to hit 155 bpm (85% of my max rate) on the treadmill before they could do the ultra-sound.
They first started me walking on the mill and every 2 min increased the speed and the incline a bit keeping an EKG and taking my blood pressure every 5 min or so. They were a little worried that it would take a lot of running to hit my 155 beats. Boy, they were right...! It took about 20 min and some crazy-ass incline with high tempo running to see 155 on the computer screen. Since they only have a 60 second window they could do the ultra-sound before heart rate goes down again, they wanted to be safe and get the heart rate just a few more than 155. So, I ran another 2 min with more incline and speed but the heart rate kind of plateaued, and I started getting tired at which point they stopped the treadmill and did the ultra-sound.
During ultra-sound the tech girl gives me commands as to hold my breath, breathe in, or breathe out, when my heart is pounding, and I'm already out of breath. I kind of got a glimpse of how water-boarding may feel like.
Then the doc lady comes in tells me my heart is in perfect shape, and I curse my family doc for making me go thru all this. No I don't...It really gave me peace of mind actually.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Peanut butter would tremble in its knees compared to the taste of Nutella. I grew up with this stuff, and it's great. Go out and buy one if you've never tried. I like..

Oh, and they send you free T-Shirt, mug or whatnot if you send some jar-seals. Check it out: http://www.nutellausa.com/boutique.htm . You will thank me for this. No problem in advance, I'm good like that.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday Class

We rolled no-gi Friday night. Smaller class. Worked a few sweeps from butterfly guard. I feel better in no-gi against my size guys, however if there is someone bigger and stronger than me it makes things even harder. It's almost like they get even stronger, a multiplier effect if you will. Number of techniques someone can use is limited in no-gi. Especially if you're a white belt like me (for two years now) I don't have a plethora of techniques to choose from with the gi, so with no-gi only a hand-full of submissions and sweeps.
I find it easier to achieve back control from closed guard in no-gi, something I've been focusing on for the last few months. I usually do an arm-drag and latch on the side and climb my opponent's back. When we are rolling with gi, people tend to grab my lapel and posture up, which makes my job way harder. With no-gi it's no smooth sailing, but it works more often.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One Of Those Days...!

I've been trying to be better in my attendance for jiu jitsu classes thinking if I go 3 times a week I should improve faster. So I'm in my fourth week of perfect attendance, but God I only have very small gains, and I still suck in some aspects of jiu jitsu so bad. I watched all the Gordo videos for half guard, but whenever I hold someone in my half-guard I rarely can sweep. As much as I know that I have to prevent getting cross-faced and go for underhook, I'm not good at achieving that. Than I focus too much to keep my opponent's leg trapped, next thing I know I get passed and from there it's all down hill.
I've been getting better with arm drag and getting the back though. Today at practice I was able to that a few times.
I need to watch more videos. So tired...!

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Local Starbucks stores rock...!

Don't drink corporate coffee? Bullshit..Hey, trust me I tried so many of the local mom and pop coffee stores, nothing against them, but I'm all about a good strong, thick, bold fresh cup of coffee with some flavor as well. Starbucks just delivers that, so I'm in.
I'm of Turkish background, so strong coffee is part of my genetic make-up. When I get a watered down cup of joe, I feel cheated.
Oh, and the people working there are great too. Thank you Stacey, Jen, and Erin. You're my starbucks angels :) And yes that's me in the above picture..

Working out in my messy garage

Today I ran outside couple of miles at slow speed and worked out in my garage. I just turn on the radio and go at it till I can't go anymore. It's never longer than 30 min. Good therapy :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gi Talk

Just wanted to talk about gis today. First off, I can't seem to find perfect fit for myself. I wish there were more sizes available to choose from. And every manufacturer has a very different understanding of what those sizes mean it seems.
I'm 6'2'' and 184lbs. A bit too tall for my gi. Especially for the gi pants, since I'm a lot of legs and not a whole bunch of torso. My first gi was a classic white Koral size A3. Very durable armor-like top, and short pants that tore after 6 months, got it fixed and still using it. The sleeves are okay but the top seems like it could support a person with same height and 80 pound heavier than me. Honestly, the top looks like designed for a guy with a big big beer belly. Like one of those NY Yankee players, you know tall big guys with some extra weight in wrong places. Don't get me wrong, nothing against the fav American pastime, it's just those players just fit the profile for the gi top made by Koral.
I later bought a Keiko Raca which is my favorite gi to roll in now. Top is a perfect fit for my physique, by that I mean it's narrower and tighter. Really thick, hard to grab collar that stays tight to skin. Pants are the same deal, shorter than I would like. Only down side with this gi is that the black color fades quickly. If you're into that vintage faded look, more power to you then you will love it.
My third gi is a light weight Koral black gi, which looks and feels great, but it's even larger on the top. So much material to grab, it's like an invitation to get choked. Sleeves are so wide, it's disgustingly favorable for the other guy.

Gracie Jiu Jitsu

Cardio Stress Echo Test

What the ...? What dat even mean doc?
Yeah I went in for a "yearly" check-up first time since....I wanna say 2004. Everything looked okay, but based on the EKG, my doctor thought it would be wise to get a stress test done. So I'm heading to the hospital tomorrow to get that done. It sounds like they are gonna put me on a treadmill and stick all these cables to my body and make me walk/run faster and faster till I reach certain heart rate per min. My sister in law works with cardiologists, and she said it may take me a while to reach the heart rate that they desire, based on my fitness level. I guess what that means is, since I run quite a bit my resting heart rate is pretty low (48 beats per min), which in turn means it will take more strenous exercise to get my heart going.
My brother in law (my older sisters husband) died after a heart attack a few months back, which made me little too concious about my own health I guess. Granted he was a smoker, and drank some, didn't exercise much, it was a risk that already existed. But he was only 42 years old and a skinny guy also.
It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Too Calm for a Fight???

I've been hearing from my jiu jitsu buddies and reading on some blogs how people get extremely nervous before a fight. And the adrenaline and the heart rate going up and all those natural fear reactions maybe helping them during fight. Here is my thing though, I don't get all that. My heart rate is at steady resting rate somewhere between 50-60 beats per min, I'm calm, no fear of any kind. Don't get me wrong, I do wanna win as much as the next guy, it's just I'm way too calm.
I think if it was like a street fight with a possibility of a lot of different variables like a possible weapon, hitting your head on concrete, other people getting involved, getting hit in sensitive spots which would be illegal in jiu jitsu and all those unknowns would make me scared and nervous too. But when I'm at a tournament I know I'm rolling on a soft mat, not on hard surface, I know there are ground rules, no dirty fighting.
To become more agressive though, I feel like I need to do something to get me going. I always warm-up a little, but that doesn't get me going mentally. Maybe, I need to drink couple cans of energy drinks and slap myself on the face a few before. I don't know....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

List of BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) Blogs


On Running

Last month I ran a 10k race in Big Sur California. My sister in law was doing it with couple of his co-workers and I tagged along. She came and stayed with us the night before the race since our place is in driving distance from Big Sur.

In the morning though, one thing lead to another and we left a little late for the run. The run was scheduled at 10:00am and we drove in to the parking lot at 9:54. Oh, did I mention that we were gonna register at the race site. I thought there is no way we could make it to the start of the race. Thanks to speedy folks at Big Sur River Run, we barely made it. It was a great run around the river and woods. About 400 people ran in a very friendly atmosphere. I recommend. Doing it next year for sure. My time? 46min. No warm-up of course. I'm shooting for under 40 min next time.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Human Body Is Built for Distance

I found this NY Times article interesting. Check it out...


Monday, October 26, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Today's Cardio Work-out

Had some Kashi Cereal and a banana and went for a run about couple miles. In the mid-point of my run there are these logs on the side of the road which I use for some CrossFit style jumps. I did 3 sets of 20 jumps as fast as I can, and topped it of with a set of 50 jumps. Killer exercise... At the end of the run completed 50 strict pull-ups. First set 15, then 12, 10 and you got the idea..Can't wait for the jiu jitsu training day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Started the day with 7 egg white and 2 yolk scrambled eggs. Cooked with olive oil. 2 slices of Beckmann's German Farm Bread, and a small banana. GNC Mega Men Multivitamin and a table-spoon of Norwegian Cod liver oil -yummy- Oh, to top it off a red-eye coffee from Starbucks.

30 min before gym I took couple scoops of N.O. Xplode. During my work-out I sipped my Choclate muscle-milk and my Monster Maize. After work-out I took two scoops of 1oo%Whey and a slice of bread and a banana.

About an hour later half of a granny smith apple some non-fat plain yoghurt and some cashews.

About an hour later Chipotle chicken and barbacoa (shredded beef) bowl with black beans (anti oxidants baby).

Came home had some english breakfast tea (black tea) with some 73% dark choclate, and walnuts.

Couple hours later -now- I'm boiling 5 eggs -it was 6, one blew up during boiling- . I'm gonna get rid of 3 yolks and eat the rest with some 2% organic milk.

Gym Day

No jiu jitsu today. Went to gym. Did some dead-lifts. Nothing heavy. Warm up with 135lbs and then 4 sets of 10 with 225lbs. Dead-lifts were not even part of my gym routine up until few months ago. I thought I have a bad back, and stayed away from them. But I tried to eased into it with some CrossFit work-outs and now my back feels even better.

I also did some judo push-ups and weighted dips with 90lbs. 4 sets of 5 reps. Tired....


My coach Daniel Thomas recommended to see videos Gordo to improve my half guard in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. If you haven't heard of him, definitely check him out. This is a guy who relied on half guard and developed various options because of a injury prevented him to utilize full guard. Great guy...