Calming Competition Jitters

How To Calm Your Competition Jitters


This is often easier said then done, and if you have ever watched the documentary on Rickson Gracie (above) you may feel overwhelmed about trying some of his pre-competition calming techniques. His breathing methods, mental preparation, submerging himself into ice-cold rivers, these are all things of a legend! Most of us competing in BJJ are doing it for a hobby, to stay in shape, to get out and compete, and very few have the luxury to compete professionally. One thing that is consistent across the board is that you need to prepare for your tournament, and you are going to be nervous. Everyone gets nervous before a match, everyone gets the jitters, and most people don’t know enough about the mental game to keep themselves in the fight. There are plenty of breathing strategies and mental preparations that can help a fighter, but there are also supplements that can be taken to calm nerves. Anything from natural herbs, to prescription medicine, guys around the world are calming their nerves with supplements before tournaments. This is true for BJJ, Taekwondo, Karate, MMA, boxing, and any other combat sport that require mental and physical commitment. Prior to a match I had earlier this year, I was researching some natural ways to overcome the pre-fight jitters and came across full spectrum hemp oils. I’ll admit, when I learned it was from a cannabis plant I was a little turned off as I have never been a fan of marijuana. After doing some more research though, I found that there were extracts available online that were free of the chemical that gets you stoned (THC). About a week leading up to the fight I began to take the supplement to relax my mind, body, and spirit. It was interesting, I couldn’t notice anything at first, and then I doubled the recommended dose. While this may not be necessary for everyone, my body happens to be a machine that burns through everything I pump into it, including caffeine and other supplements. This was one of the reasons why I thought about doubling the dose. After I found this to give me a sense of relaxation, I continued using it before training for about a week. It really did help with all my pre-fight training but I wasn’t sold on taking it yet for an actual match. My adrenaline and overall mental state are way different on fight day and I wasn’t sure how being relaxed would affect my performance. I definitely didn’t want to take too much edge off, I need some of that for the fight. Training just isn’t real enough to gauge it’s effectiveness for a match. I am continuing to use it and trying to put myself in situations that would cause anxiety in a match, or before a match, and see if that really helps. If I don’t lose my edge and the feeling is consistent weak after week then I may try CBD oils before my next BJJ match to attempt to eliminate the pre-fight jitters.

Toronto Seminar Ends With Plumbing Disaster

BJJ Seminar In Toronto Ends Early From Clogged Plumbing

toilet clogged at dojoWe headed up to Toronto at the beginning of this month for a seminar where 6 other schools were going to join and have a weekend training bonanza. The excitement over the seminar drew people from all around the United States, Canada, and Mexico. There were many athletes that were also preparing for the Jiu Jitsu Worlds In Las Vegas this weekend (August 22nd through he 25th). With the looming excitement of the World Master Championships in Vegas, and the overall enthusiasm to meet in Toronto for the weekend and train, this group was ready for an epic 2 day grappling binge. Some guys booked rooms at the Chelsea Hotel, while others found floors to crash on at the houses of our training partners. the hospitality in Toronto was unmatched, homes were open to anyone in need of a place to stay and every day when training ended we all met up for some Kinton Ramen in Toronto for some ramen bowls and a beer. The 3 day seminar started out Friday morning was scheduled to run through Sunday. The energy levels were through the roof on day 1, guys were excited to be there and preparing hard for the Worlds at the end of the month. Saturday morning came and the first group showed early to open and prepare the facility for training. The mats are scrubbed and sanitized to prevent fungi and infections that can cause things like athletes foot and other disgusting fungal growths. The gym typically only has 6-12 people in class per training day, the total attendance of day 1 was 33. With that many people crammed into a tight space, resources become limited. The mat space becomes limited, so we train in groups, then swap after 3 matches so people can rest. The bathrooms become heavily used, usually beyond functional means. Unfortunately this is what ended training early on day 2. On Saturday around 10am one of our members used the restroom, after flushing the toilet it began to backup rapidly. I believe there were some plumbing issues already in play here and that specific clog was not the result of a member using half a roll of toilet paper to clean up. It was an embarrassing moment for the young man as he exited the bathroom only to yell across the room to the facility owner that sewer water was backing up onto the floor. A few of us congregated to try and manage the overflow but it became obvious that this was going to be a plumbing disaster that was beyond our control. The toilet continued over flowing to the point that we had to shut the water off. Poop water had literally flowed out of the bathroom and into the training area where the odor became unmanageable. We scrambled to get the training mats off of the floor and save as much of the property as we could from damage. I jumped on my trusty smart phone to search for someone that services clogged drains in Toronto and found a company that was able to send an emergency plumber out immediately. The idea was that if we could get a plumber out to fix the toilet, maybe we could also get a cleaning service out to have it ready for training on Sunday. We found a cleaning company in Toronto that came in and sanitized the entire facility the same day. After a deep cleansing we aired out the room and came back the next morning and were ready to train. Sunday wrapped up nice, we all trained hard and ended the day on a good note. I finished my day on the toilet and was hesitant to flush it, but I did and nothing backed up so I was thankful for that. Maybe next year we will contact this BJJ School in Toronto to get a bigger space and more people involved.

Seminar In Mesa Arizona

Grappling Seminar At Mesa Affiliate Dojo

mesa grappling seminar We will be holding a grappling seminar in Mesa, Arizona in September. There will be multiple affiliate schools joining us for the seminar. Schools from Arizona, Colorado, California, and Washington will be representing and in attendance. Myself and four other professors will be teaching various grappling techniques from different arts. There will be Newaza of Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Aikido arm lock demonstrations that can be used on the ground, American wrestling techniques, Russian Sambo demonstrations and more. The art of grappling has evolved over the years and we have embraced the more complex versions of the sport and combined those arts into an extremely effective self defense curriculum. Our instructors all train and compete at the highest level and will be prepared to show you techniques that are only taught at the highest level. Each instructor will have an hour and a half. There will be an hour of drilling technique in live simulation and the last half hour will be available or a Q&A session. If there are no questions to be asked at that time we will continue sparring for the remaining 30 minutes until the next instructor is ready to teach. The Dojo holds about 40 people on the mat, that is about 20 paired partners drilling techniques. If we have more than 60 people register there will be 30 minute drills, then groups will have to swap partners so everyone can get some mat time. There will be a lunch break for 45 minutes, we encourage you all to snack light as the second half of the day will continue with drills and fight simulations. The last time we were in Mesa for an event like this our affiliate had not prepared the Dojo properly for our arrival. The mats were dirty and it was a very unacceptable environment for our instructors and students to teach and train in. In response to that we have created a set of guidelines to ensure that we can train in a clean, well maintained environment free of mat fungus and rodents. The Dojo literally had cockroaches crawling on the walls, we have taken all precautionary steps necessary to make sure that never happens again. There will be no Dojos affiliated with us that can not keep sanitary conditions for themselves and their students. We have advised our Mesa affiliate Dojo to hire a local cleaning service prior to our arrival and ask that the mats are thoroughly bleached to prevent any chance of staff infection or other bacteria that grows on training mats. The request was also made that a Mesa exterminator treats the property so that none of our out of state visitors experience cockroaches or scorpions in their gym bags and belongings. When this criteria is met, we will require pictures, and proof of the thorough cleaning. Once the property is cleaned and treated to our expectations we will reimburse our affiliates and cut them in on a percentage of the registration fees to help them cover any other costs associated with the event like water and electricity. Arizona summers are very hot and having the Dojo open for an entire weekend will probably cost them a few hundred dollars just gin air conditioning costs. We are looking forward to the event and hope to see you all there in a sanitary training environment.

Professor Matt Barton Retires

Third Degree Black Belt – Professor Matt Barton Retires

retirement of a legend

Competitive Jiu Jitsu is definitely a young mans game, the old school cats will still compete in the Masters series but the days of high level competition has passed after the age of 29. When you hit your 30’s there are still great matches to be had and great competitors fighting for first place on national platforms. When you hit your 40’s the game definitely changes, the body just doesn’t react like it used to (trust me I know), things ache a little more, the hips and joints don’t quite shift and rotate like they once did, it’s just part of the aging process and if you have been an active competitor in any sport you know this holds true across the board. Watch old NFL guys walk up a staircase and you will see the hobble in those knees, a life of sports takes it’s toll on the body and injuries are harder to recover from, even worse, injuries tend to resurface and show their ugly faces as we climb this ladder of life. The beautiful thing about Jiu Jitsu is that you can continue rolling through your 70’s and 80’s if you wanted to. Guys on the mats understand the level of physicality to exert to an older cat. If you don’t see yourself rolling at 70, you can still be active on the mats helping teach the younger guys especially if you competed or hold a black belt in the martial arts. When that time does come though, (not looking forward to it) to hang up the belt and Gi and call it a day, it will be a difficult moment in my life and I’m sure it will be difficult for any other life long practitioner of the arts. Imagine doing something most of your life and one day walking out that door for the last time knowing you will never return to those mats, it’s almost like retiring form a place of employment which can also be difficult for people leaving their jobs that actually liked working. Well, let me tell you a little bit about professor Matt Barton.

Professor Matt Barton

Professor Barton dedicated his life to martial arts. He started in Karate, eventually transitioned into kick boxing, then kung fu, and in his late 30’s he began practicing Jiu Jitsu. He earned his black belt by age 40 and competed in many of the Masters Series level of competition. He took home 1st place many times against some fierce competitors. He stopped competing as he approached 50 and volunteered to teach the kids class at his gym. He trained and produced young champions during his time there. Parents loved Matt, he was an amazing teacher, friend, and jiu jitsu practitioner. Matt taught class for about 10 years until he hit his 60’s when he decided to retire and travel. Matt became a true globe trotter, traveling the world and training at gyms from the U.S. to Brazil. He maintained that lifestyle for about 5 years and returned to the states to settle in for a bit. He returned to the gym and started training again through his 70’s earning himself his 3rd degree black belt. This guy is a true inspiration and role model to children and adults the same. I’m sad to see him go, but he is officially ready to retire.

Joining Long Island Retirement Community

I want to officially send professor Matt Barton off with with the sincerest of goodbyes. Matt will be heading to Long Island, NY to officially settle down with his wife of 51 years. The two of them will begin living out their 80’s in comfort and style at The Amsterdam at Harborside Long Island Retirement Community. This retirement facility is one of the nicest 55 and over communities on Long Island. It’s a place for a champion and a man of Matts kind to retire and live out the rest of his days in style. There is a Jiu Jitsu gym on Long Island, I will be emailing Matt monthly to encourage him to go train. The mid, body, and spirit benefits from jiu jitsu training and at 80 years old I think he still has what it takes to get on the mats and rough the young guys up a little. Oss!

Need A Property Manager For Oklahoma Dojos

We Are In Need Of A Property Management Company For Our Dojos

property manager

Hey affiliates, sorry for the recent spike in posts and email notifications but there has been a lot to talk about the last few weeks. Most of these emails are about good things, so you can feel good about receiving them, especially this one because it’s about the growth of our community. Forget the one last night about the white belt that needed dental reconstruction, not necessarily a positive email notification but it needed to be shared. Ok, back on track! We have more affiliate locations opening up the second part of 2018 and are in need of a property management company to help us locate properties that will be good for the growth of our affiliate community. We are also contemplating the purchase of these properties, that would be ideal as we continue to grow. Property ownership just makes our brand and our affiliate community stronger. We have discussed internally that we would be willing to float the note on these properties as our affiliates get up and running, property rent would be rolled into the affiliation fees until the property was paid off. We understand this could take a very long time but we are in this for the long haul. There are many benefits to hiring property managers, I won’t go into all that here, just click the link in the text to learn more about what I am talking about. We will also be looking to hire an administrative assistant to help with the day to day tasks we have here at the Dojo. This person will start as a part-time member of the team and eventually grow into a full time position with remote opportunities. Someone local would be preferred so that they could visit the properties, connect with local affiliates, and act as an admin for this project. We know that there may be an individual out there that is extremely qualified to operate as our admin and we are open to having someone work remote if that is something that should present itself. If you or anyone you know are interested in a position with Open Space Dojo, just reply to the newsletter that sent you here to this article. After we receive your request we will send you an interactive document that will act as a resume for you to fill out. We will take the first 10 we receive and send out another news letter asking everyone to pause submissions until we have had a chance to thoroughly read through all the submissions for the administrative position. Guys and gals, as always we are thankful for your participation in all of this, we wouldn’t be here without you. The emails will slow down soon as this period of growth comes to an idle and we resume normal activity. Thanks again for your support.

Brawl Breaks Out And Teeth Get Knocked Out

White Belts Brawl And Lose Teeth At Oklahoma Dojo

results of altercation

It was a great night of sparring, must have been 20+ guys on the mats battling for position when two newbies broke out in a fight. Guess what, white belts! For those of you that don’t follow my blog but are here reading this anyway, a white belt is the first belt you receive when training in any martial arts. From there, belt colors can vary as you make your way to brown and black belts. Those three colors though are the most common belt colors at the bottom and top of the totem pole. So when you’re a newbie, it’s best that you don’t get out of line when there are 18 other guys on the mats that wouldn’t have an issue straightening you out. These were some younger guys and they had gone at it before while sparring. Apparently they were getting too aggressive and one of the guys tapped and his training partner didn’t let the choke go. I get it, you wanna deck a guy that holds a choke after you tap, but there are two sides to every story and there are times when a guy doesn’t tap the body and instead taps the mat, that is no good for many reasons. There is a lot of noise going on while guys are training, and especially when they are sparring. If your partner is hard of hearing, he might not hear you tap the mat. When I’m getting choked, I’m either tapping the hell out of my partner or I am yelling tap with my last breath. A couple of swats on the mat might just sound like the guys next to you training hard. That being said, there should have been some sort of conversation that transpired after the incident, instead, the guy that got choked jumped up afterwards and started swinging! Well, it wasn’t his lucky day, he got caught with a right cross that knocked his front teeth out! Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up! He swung on his partner and got rocked! Obviously there was blood everywhere, they guys teeth were laying on the mats and people were pissed. Class ended immediately as guys scrambled to break up the fight and mop up the blood. The two front teeth were broken and this guy was going to need some cosmetic reconstruction on his teeth. The owner of the Dojo felt bad for the kid and found a talk radio podcast about cosmetic dentistry in Oklahoma. Apparently it’s a semi-affordable option if this guy wants to get his front teeth back. You can read more about Reflections Cosmetic Dentistry in Oklahoma here or even listen to the podcast. Seems like a legit option for any martial artist that’s had his teeth knocked out while sparring, or even when competing. Not the first time we have seen teeth on the mats, and definitely not the last time.

New Cargo Van Gets Detailed At Oklahoma Dojo

New Cargo Van At Oklahoma Dojo To Shuttle Students

newly detailed cargo van

Good evening brothers and sisters. We are excited to announce that we have purchased a new cargo van for our Oklahoma Dojo. The class has grown so much in the last two years that we have now purchased a van. A few months back the Dojo was in need of roof repair, now they have paid cash for a used cargo van. The need for a van became apparent when many of our young students were missing class because their parents either did not own vehicles or they worked late hours and were unable to shuttle their child to class. The other benefit this gives us is the ability to shuttle our team from the Dojo to the arena on competition day. We usually have about six to eight people competing each time there is a tournament, having the ability to shuttle everyone together will create a stronger bond among teammates and help to build camaraderie. The cargo van was purchased on Friday and was brought to the Dojo to be parked for the weekend. While inspecting the interior we noticed a pretty foul stench and realized that the carpets needed to be shampooed. The van had previously been owned and operated as a local delivery truck. The stench became worse as we spent more time in the cab of the vehicle. We contacted a mobile car detailer in OKC and they came down that day and gave the vehicle a complete makeover. They washed the exterior and interior of the van and even cleaned the engine compartment. Whatever the odor was leftover from the delivery company, it was now gone. The van looked amazing and we were ready to shuttle our team to practice and to tournaments. Having a reliable mobile detailer in the area made it convenient for all of us needing our vehicles thoroughly cleaned up inside and out. We scheduled the guys again for later in the week and we all lined up our cars to get cleaned. The van is ready to go, the kids now have a ride to class and back, and we all just got upgraded to a shuttle for competition day in OKC. This cargo van will serve it’s purpose for a very long time!

Young Kip Needs A Bone Marrow Donor Match

Help From The Dojo – Bone Marrow Donor Match Needed

kip needs bone marrow donorA young student at an affiliate Dojo is in need of a bone marrow transplant and your help is needed. A fellow martial arts practitioner and young fan of MMA is in need of an exact match bone marrow donor. Young Kip started his martial arts journey two years ago and has been promoted to second degree gray belt in Jiu Jitsu. Kip also had been competing regularly and brought two gold medals home to his Dojo with pride. A true champion on and off the mats, Kip needs your help now for the fight of his life. I will be sending out an email to all affiliates that will link to this article, you will then have the option after reading this to make donations at your local Dojo. Your professors will deposit the money collected and PayPal us the funds so we can get the money to Kip and his family. Money is only part of the donations we need. We need many of you to swab your mouths and apply to become a bone marrow donor. Both men and women are encouraged to find a donation center and give bone marrow. There are Charities that can find a bone marrow donor match, we encourage you to contact them and apply to become a donor. If you are unable to donate because of health reasons, money will help Kip and his family along the journey ahead of them. They will need assistance traveling and lodging during this fight. All affiliate Dojos should encourage their students to get involved to help make this martial arts community one that kicks ass on and off the mats. Kip has been a warrior, according to his professor he is still showing up to class on occasion and practicing. The beautiful thing about kids at that age is that they typically don’t have a deep understanding of the severity that is cancer. We have seen many kids win and lose the battle in our community and we will continue to give our love and support to our members and those outside of the Martial Arts community that we are so heavily involved in. I now bow in respect to all of you making the decision to make a difference. With over 50 affiliate Dojos and hundreds of students around the country we shouldn’t have any problems finding a bone marrow donor match for Kip. Thank you all that respond. Oss!

Granite Showers Phoenix Dojo

New Granite Showers in Our Phoenix Dojo

granite countertops arizona

We have upgraded the Phoenix Dojo with a shower addition. We knocked out the storage closet, added some plumbing, and built a second and third shower. We tore down the old shower and split the space available into three showers, added a drain to each of the shower stalls, and built two walls to create three showers. A lot of our guys that train come in for the morning class and leave for work afterwards. There were some complaints that some of them weren’t able to get a shower before they left for work. As we improve the dojo and expand the training area we will be making more upgrades like this. We are working on buying the lease next door and expanding into the nail salon next door. We will be adding a small weight room and and sparring area. We will also be adding a massage table and exercise balls to help our athletes recover from back pain. The shower room was a huge upgrade and the granite counters and showers really improved the overall value of the dojo. Another request we recently received was for a sauna and an ice bath, seems to me that more guys are wanting to spend time at the dojo than at home. Just kidding, but I think the more accommodations we can make then the easier it will be for guys to make jiujitsu dojo in Arizonathe morning class. We currently have space for about 20 students, yet only about 5 make the morning class while 20+ make the evening class. The showers aren’t used as much in the evening, guys typically train then head home to clean up. We will be adding granite countertops to the entry way of the dojo where new members sign up and fill out paper work. I think it will also give the gym a more professional look. So far thee feedback on the granite upgrades has been positive. I want to thank the guys at Granite Karma ( for coming out and installing the granite countertops and shower stalls. They look great and our members are thrilled with the upgrades. Thank you!

Preparing For My Tournament

Cardio and Weight Loss For LA International Open

ad banner for 2018 international open

I have a jiu-jitsu tournament coming up in a few months and will be training extremely hard to cut weight and prepare for my match. I will be attending a few local seminars in advance to prepare and work with some teammates from other Gyms before my June 23rd match in California. The Los Angelas International Jiu-Jitsu Open is a great competition and brings out some of the best martial artists from California to compete in the event. The match will take place at Cerritos College June 23rd and 24th. I took second in my last match, it was a really tough battle and I gassed out at the end. I ended up losing by points, which sucks just as bad as being submitted. For the next few months I will be training cardio with a resistance berthing mask to really push the limits on my cardio. I have also moved down in weight and will be competing 10 pounds lighter than I did last time. This is going to be difficult for me, I don’t have much fat to drop and I it’s hard to dehydrate for these events because weigh-ins and competitions take place in the same day, and typically within a few hours of each other. There is some fat that can be burned, and competition matchI will need to avoid gaining weight as I try to put on muscle with strength and conditioning. I don’t have access to a local dietitian, so I will be relying on a macro online nutrition coach to provide me with the diet plan needed to cut the weight. Diet plans are hard to design for yourself in my opinion and require the knowledge of a true nutritionist. I need my protein, I need my vitamins, but how much? That has always been the issue for me when I have attempted to be my own nutritionist, I can usually get the foods right, but portion control is something I have struggled with. One my diet is right and I’m not drinking, I will be pushing my cardio goals hard for the next six weeks. I will train 5 days a week at a gym in San Diego where there are many blackbelts to train with. I received my Purple Belt last year and honestly, this division is much harder than I had anticipated it being. The white belt division was pretty easy, most guys don’t stick with it long enough to get good. The blue belt division was tough, guys had made it past their white belts and were now competing at a higher level. Now the purple belt division is easily the hardest competition I have faced yet. These guys are in amazing shape, strong, and are well prepared. I must get my weight right and my mind right to be in the perfect place mentally to compete at this level. I watch the black belts prepare, and then roll, and am extremely impressed by their conditioning and physical ability to roll for 10 minutes. Jiu-Jitsu has created balance in my life, the relationships are awesome, the exercise is amazing, and the experience is like nothing else I have done. I am really hoping that through the use of a resistance training mask, and the help of an online nutrition coach I can reach my cardio and weight loss goals for this tournament.

Cerritos College June 23rd and June 24th

Dealing With Lower Back Pain

How to Care for a Herniated Discs And Lower Back Pain

injury prevention We had a guy in the Dojo last week really hurt his back while training for a tournament. He was practicing sweeps and Judo throws when he hurt his back and fell to the mat. We stopped training for a bit to make sure he was alright. He was able to get up off the mats and get changed, he set an appointment to visit the Chiropractor to get his back checked out and found out that he had a herniated disc. As more of our students that are practicing Judo are experiencing lower back problems we wanted to share this blog post with you about caring for a herniated disk. The most important thing is to try and avoid any back injury, but considering the sport, you are likely to tweak something at some point of your journey. Especially if your goal is to become a black belt, that is likely 10 years of training. Hope this helps keep some of you healthy along the way.

There’s no more important system in your body than your central nervous system; it sends signals from the brain down the spinal column to control the movement of your body. When part of the spinal cord becomes damaged due to injury or overuse, the result can be pain, weakness, numbness or a tingling sensation in the back and to the extremities. This discomfort can be caused by one or more herniated discs in the spinal column.

Just the name “herniated disc” sounds painful and if you have ever experienced one, you know the pain can be excruciating. Herniated discs can cause excruciating lower back pain. A disc is herniated when the outer portion of a spinal disc, called the annulus fibrosus, breaks down due to injury or common wear. The inner portion of the disc, the nucleus pulposus, can then press on the nerve endings in the back or neck. These discs work like a cushioning between your spine and allow movement of the vertebrae. Although a herniated disc can occur anywhere along your spinal column, most herniated discs happen in the lower back or lumbar region. It is possible to have a herniated disc and not even know it; some people don’t experience pain or discomfort at all while others are in constant distress. Herniated discs in the lumbar region usually cause discomfort in the buttocks, calf and thigh and pain may radiate down the legs, causing numbness or tingling. Herniated discs in the neck often cause shoulder and arm pain, which can be dull and constant or occur as sudden, shooting pains. Since the nerve endings are affected by the bulging disc, the muscles in arms and legs can be compromised and may weaken. All of these symptoms should be brought to the attention of a doctor to properly assess and diagnose the problem. Each patient experiences pain in a different manner, which is why there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to healing a herniated disc. When meeting with a doctor, he or she will assess the spine to determine which disc or discs are causing the problem and then will determine an individualized treatment plan to alleviate the problem.


Generally, the first step in a treatment plan is a conservative one, depending on the severity of the situation. A doctor may try one treatment option at a time or try a combination of efforts to help alleviate the pain. Some of these methods include hot/cold therapy; physical therapy, including exercise and stretching techniques to help relieve any pressure on the nerve roots; and anti-inflammatory pain relief medication. Oral steroids, narcotic medications, and epidural injections are also options that can be provided by a doctor. The physician may also suggest chiropractic care and acupuncture to help with the discomfort as a complement to the other pain relief options or as an option on their own, based on a case by case situation. Conservative options are usually attempted for at least six weeks to see if they are helping. During this time, the doctor will educate the patient on how to move properly, to avoid herniated discs in the future. Proper lifting, bending, and stretching are addressed to avoid too much pressure on the discs in the future. After the conservative methods have been tried and the patient has found relief, he or she may decide to continue with these less invasive solutions. If the conservative treatments are not successful or if a patient is suffering from a great deal of pain, surgery may be an option. In some instances, surgery for a herniated disc is the best option, especially if a patient is losing feeling in his arms or legs due to a pinched nerve caused by the protruding disc. The nerve can become permanently damaged if the disc rests against it for too long, so the doctor may determine that surgery may be the best option.

Depending upon which disc is herniated and its location in the spine determines the type of surgery that will need to be performed. Discs can become herniated in the neck, as well, and requires a different type of herniated disc surgery. Sometimes, the disc can break if severely damaged, and fragments from the disc can become lodged in the soft tissues surrounding the spine. This can be quite painful and requires a specialized spine surgery. The physician and surgeon will determine the type of surgery required based on an individualized assessment of the patient’s needs.

So what causes a herniated disc, and can it be prevented? The discs between the vertebrae gradually lose water content as we age, which means they are more likely to become damaged, even by common usage. Other factors, such as excess weight can cause strain to the back, as can jobs that require heavy lifting and bending on a regular basis or just plain genetics can determine a bad back. While sometimes a herniated disc cannot be avoided, there are preventative measures that may help to keep the discs healthy. Exercise is the best way to strengthen the muscles surrounding and supporting the spine and maintaining a healthy weight. The more weight we carry, the more pressure that is exerted onto the spinal column, which can result in herniated discs. Also, good posture is imperative to a healthy spine. Slouching puts undue pressure on the spine, so keeping it straight can help prevent problems later on. Proper lifting, focusing on the leg strength, not the back strength, can also keep discs from rupturing or bulging.

Herniated discs are quite common and while there are no guarantees that they can be avoided as we age, proper stretching, exercise and correct posture can help to keep the spine and discs in the right alignment. If you start to experience back pain, it is important to contact a doctor or a chiropractor to determine the extent and the cause of your discomfort and then to start a program or treatment to fix the issue. Being proactive and seeing a doctor when you start to experience pain can possibly alleviate the long-term effects of a herniated disc.

To prevent lower back injuries you should diversify your martial arts training with resistance training and cardiovascular exercises. Finding a personal trainer to help you do focus exercises to strengthen the lower back is something all martial artists should consider.

Repairing The Roof In Tulsa

Repairing The Roof On Our Tulsa Dojo

dojo roof repair

We have seen some harsh weather patterns this winter and as a result of that, there have been some issues with our roof leaking. The mats on the dojo have suffered from water damage and has cost us lots of money and training time. Many of our students have complained about it so we finally hired an Oklahoma City roofing company to fix the problem. All the buckets in the dojo couldn’t collect the water that was running through the ceiling, it was definitely time to address the problem. It only took a day for them to come out and fix the issue, they replaced some plywood and the shingles and patched up the leak pretty good. Some of the heavier winds that had passed through had also ripped some of the older shakes free from their positions on the roof and either needed to be repaired or replaced. The old wooden shakes were hard to match apparently but we didn’t care much because they were on the backside of the roof. Insurance covered most of the repair cost because the damage was caused by heavy rains and winds. Our students have definitely appreciated having a dry dojo to train in. We replaced the mats that had been damaged the most and the sheetrock in the ceiling was replaced as well. The property value of the dojo has been increased which will be great when we sell the building until then it will be a great place for our martial artists to practice. The winters are cold and can be harsh in Oklahoma so having a safe, warm, dry dojo to practice in makes everything better for everyone. Our students ages range from young to old and everyone deserves a safe place to train. We have also begun to introduce the Newaza of Judo into our curriculum so students will be spending more time on their backs grappling, the mats will need to be dry to ensure a safe place to roll. Damp, dirty mats can become a breeding place for ringworm and other nasty little skin rashes so it’s important that if your dojo does participate in the grappling arts that the mats are not only dry but that they are cleaned after every use. By fixing the roof in our dojo we have guaranteed a safe training environment for our teachers and our students.

Personal Trainers Enhance Martial Arts Performance

Why You Should Work With A Personal Trainer

personal training This past week at a seminar in Arizona, I spoke to a personal trainer in Tucson about training martial artists and he had some interesting feedback based on his experience with local MMA guys. The bottom line was that these guys were not prepared for 3 rounds of battle in an octagon. While Aikido practitioners don’t have to worry about combat competition, hiring a personal trainer still has many benefits. Many martial artists don’t realize how valuable it is to incorporate plyometrics and cross-fit activities into their everyday training. Everyday people who don’t train to fight, but train to stay in shape will benefit even more from hiring a personal trainer. But a martial artist doesn’t necessarily reach the cardio levels during training needed to prepare properly for a competition. Going through the motions in the gym is one thing, but engaging a threat on the street requires much more. In a real life situation or even in competition the body drains resources that are not typically accessed during normal training routines. When it comes to a Martial Art like Aikido it’s safe to say that cardio vascular exercise is not part of the Kata performed in the dojo. The reality is that I see more heavier set people training in Aikido than fit people. Aikido doesn’t require the athleticism that Taekwondo and Jiujitsu may require for competition or even sparring. A heavy individual can really leverage that weight in Aikido, but a healthy fit individual can enjoy a long healthy life of training. Personal trainers know much more about diet and exercise than most martial arts instructors. Like the arts, diet and exercise is a science that needs to be applied on a per-person basis since everyone is different. Aikido is taught the same way to everyone, a technique is a technique. But diet and exercise should be custom plans built around age, weight, ability, and time. Not everyone has time to train in the dojo and then in the gym with a personal trainer, so modifying schedules to work in favor of the average person is beneficial to all. Professional athletes that train and compete for a living have a different schedule than most of us. It doesn’t matter if you are new to martial arts, have been training for years, or own your own dojo, a personal trainer can provide added value to your training. The arts have revolved around a mind, body, and spirit approach and if the body is not in tune with the mind the execution of techniques can suffer. Mental clarity and physical health are both important factors when trying to perfect your art and achieve a black belt. There are plenty of overweight, unhealthy black belts out there, you can still achieve that goal out of shape, but the martial arts practitioner that wants more from their training then just a certificate and a belt should consider the added value that a personal trainer brings. Diet, exercise, and weight training will absolutely improve your training and can also prevent injury. A stronger body is more durable and can stand up to the impact one might face when taking a throw or receiving a blow in training. I thought I would share this with my followers as I have seen more people coming into the dojo to train that are not in shape. It is my belief that a healthy body will feed a healthy mind and together they will improve your martial arts training no matter the art or your aikido


NHK Aikido Documentary (until Dec 13, 2018)

NHK Aikido Documentary (until Dec 13, 2018)
From: Jun Akiyama posted on 1. Dec 2018, 09:05pm
URL: http://

Here is an online streaming 30-minute video documentary on Aikido from NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, featuring footage of Moriteru Ueshiba and others.

(The documentary is only available through December 13, 2018.)

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  • Kupuna Aikido Hawaii: “Practicing a Fall to Prevent Injury”

    Kupuna Aikido Hawaii: “Practicing a Fall to Prevent Injury”
    From: Jun Akiyama posted on 24. Nov 2018, 01:27pm

    Here is a news segment titled “Practicing a Fall to Prevent Injury” about Kupuna Aikido in Hawaii which offers classes to teach people how to fall safely.

    From the article: “Every year, millions of people 65 and older fall, according to the CDC, and three-million of them go to the emergency room. You probably wouldn’t think that martial arts could be the answer, because while you can’t plan for a fall, you can practice for it. Kupuna are falling left and right in this class by the non-profit Kupuna Aikido Hawai’i.”

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  • Cognard Shihan 8th Dan in Venice, Italy (December 1-2 2018)

    Cognard Shihan 8th Dan in Venice, Italy (December 1-2 2018)
    From: Andrea Debiasi posted on 24. Nov 2018, 01:27pm

    “Kokusai Aikido Kenshukai Kobayashi Hirokazu Ryu” (KAKKHR) and “Accademia di Aikido e Cultura Tradizionale Giapponese” (AACTG) cordially invite you to the Aikido Seminar that André Cognard Shihan 8th Dan (Hanshi, Dai Nippon Butoku Kai) will conduct in Venice, Italy, on December 1-2 2018.
    All levels and affiliations are welcome.
    Check out the details and download the flyer (available in Italian, English, and French) in the dedicated webpage

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  • AikiWeb Columns from Peter Goldsbury and “It Had to be Felt”

    AikiWeb Columns from Peter Goldsbury and “It Had to be Felt”
    From: Jun Akiyama posted on 11. Nov 2018, 05:34pm

    Two new AikiWeb Columns are now availale for your reading pleasure:

    Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 28 (Part Two) from Peter Goldsbury.

    It Had to Be Felt #61: Christian Tissier: “The Role Model” from Guillaume Erard.

    The complete collection of AikiWeb Columns may be viewed by clicking here.

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  • Fall Friendship Seminar – 11/10 – 11/2018

    Fall Friendship Seminar – 11/10 – 11/2018
    From: Jason Mallia posted on 25. Oct 2018, 12:27pm

    Please join Hans Goto 7th Dan, Greg O’Connor 7th Dan and Tom Collings 6th Dan for the Fall Friendship Seminar. November 10 at Aikido Centers of New Jersey 38 Station Rd, Sparta, NJ 917-853-4325 AM:10-Noon and PM:2-4 (Mat Fee $80). On November 11 Hans Goto will be at Integrated Peace Arts 305 Central Ave. Suite 2, White Plains, NY 914-648-0492 9 AM – Noon (Mat Fee $50).

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  • Toshiharu Sawada 7dan in San Jose, CA Oct 27-28, 2018

    Toshiharu Sawada 7dan in San Jose, CA Oct 27-28, 2018
    From: Eric Norige posted on 25. Oct 2018, 12:27pm

    Kimori Dojo SVB is pleased to invite the larger California Aikido community to join us training with Toshiharu Sawada at DeAnza College, San Jose, CA on Oct 27-28. Sawada Toshiharu shihan, 7th dan, began his Aikido training in 1965 after entering university. He trained under the guidance of Kazuo Chiba shihan, Norihiko Ichihashi shihan and Norihiko Watanabe shihan. Aikido Kimori Dojo was established on the 20th of January 2002 in Nagoya, Japan. Sawada shihan deeply draws from weapons training to improve body arts, so bring jo and bokken. All affiliations and levels welcome. Full seminar is $125, one day registration is $75. Email or go to for more information.

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  • Oct 12-14, 2018: George Ledyard Sensei in Oberlin, OH

    Oct 12-14, 2018: George Ledyard Sensei in Oberlin, OH
    From: Andrzej Siwkiewicz posted on 15. Sep 2018, 11:31am

    Oberlin Aikikai invites all to join us for the annual Fall Aikido Seminar in Oberlin with George Ledyard Sensei.

    This special gasshuku will be held at the Hales Gym, Oberlin College, 180 West Lorain Street, Oberlin, Ohio 44074-1016:

    Friday, October 12, evening class at 7 – 8:30 p.m.
    Saturday, October 13, morning class at 10 – 12 p.m., and afternoon class at 3 – 5 p.m.
    Sunday, October 14, morning class at 10 – 12 p.m.

    The full seminar cost is $110, or $30 per class.
    All affiliations are welcomed.
    Preregistration is recommended and housing available in hotels nearby.
    For more information visit:, email: or call 216-392 2274.

    See you on the mat,

    Andrzej Siwkiewicz
    Oberlin Aikido Club Head Instructor

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  • Shinjiro Yokoyama, 6th dan in Houston / Oct. 19-21, 2018

    Shinjiro Yokoyama, 6th dan in Houston / Oct. 19-21, 2018
    From: Jorge Garcia posted on 15. Sep 2018, 11:31am

    The Shudokan Aikido Association is pleased to be hosting Shinjiro Yokoyama from Tokyo, Japan at the Shudokan School of Aikido in Houston, Texas from October 19-21,2018. Yokoyama Sensei was a direct student of Shihan Hiroshi Kato, 8th dan for more than two decades at the Suginami Aikikai in Tokyo, Japan. Yokoyama Sensei will be teaching both body arts and the weapons system espoused by Kato Shihan. He will also show his own personal developments in the Aikido. All affiliations are welcome. Please bring a bokken and jo. For more information call 281-630-0361

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  • Friendship Seminar – Collings Sensei & Solonyy Sensei 9/22 & 23, 2018

    Friendship Seminar – Collings Sensei & Solonyy Sensei 9/22 & 23, 2018
    From: Jason Mallia posted on 29. Aug 2018, 11:10am

    Sep 22-23, 2018: New York Yoshinkan Dojo and Genyukan Dojo are pleased to offer a friendship seminar by Tom Collings, Sensei 6th Dan Aikido Aikikai & Roman Solonyy, Sensei 4th Dan Aikido Yoshinkan.

    Location: Genyukan Dojo, 101-06 Queens Blvd., 2nd Floor, Forest Hills, NY 11375

    For more information and registration, please contact Roman Solonyy Sensei via email: or at (646)229-4649 or visit

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