Strategy for Dealing with Injuries

From the book Train to Win, here is a Strategy for Dealing with Injuries:
  1. Accept that the injury has occurred and move forward.
  2. Examine how the injury happened so it never happens again.
  3. Find out all you can about the injury and its rehabilitation.
  4. Use every method of rehabilitation you can get your hands on.
  5. Be consistent and thorough with your rehabilitation.
  6. Find an outlet and determine what training you can do around the injury.
  7. Focus on areas that you needed to improve pre-injury.
  8. Don’t test injury while healing and re-irritate it.
  9. Develop a list of the things that the injury is trying to tell you.
  10. Don’t forget what you learned from the injury for the future.

View every setback as an opportunity for a comeback. You can view injury as a problem or a challenge. A problem is something you have, a challenge is something you have to take on.

The REAL Value of Self-Defense

By Professor James Noto

I can remember it very clearly. It was about 10:30PM on a Thursday night early in October 2005. I came off of the train and as it started to rain, I put my hood on. As a music lover I decided to put my ear plugs in and listen to some tunes on my walk home. What I didn’t realize was that I wasn’t the only one heading in the direction of my house.

For an entire block, a car with four men in it was following me. How did I not notice that right away? The men decided to get my attention by screaming aggressively at me. I glanced at the car and decided to lower my music but pretend I was still listening, but I tuned into what they were saying instead. What they had to say wasn’t very pleasant. I quickly realized that I was in a bad situation as it was late at night, the streets were empty and I was greatly outnumbered.

Things turned from bad to worse when they started to curse at me and attempted to pull their car in front of me to block me a few times. The only thought I had at that moment was to run, but I knew I didn’t want to run home and let them know where I lived. I knew I didn’t know how to defend myself if things got physical. And I knew there were 4 of them. Things were really bad: it was raining, I was holding my school books, they were in a car, I had no plan. At that moment, I glanced back and saw another car coming up the block. I decided to do the only thing I could think of. I ran back up the block, against traffic, in the hopes that they couldn’t follow without going in reverse. Luckily, the idea worked, but it didn’t stop them from continuing the chase. I watched as they tried to speed around the block to catch up to me. I ran as fast as I could.

As I approached my house – which was only 2 blocks away – I was out of breath. I was tired and my heart was pumping out of my chest. I lay down on the floor in my wet clothes for the next 10 minutes and decided I had to do something about this if I ever wanted to live a happy life. A life where I wasn’t nervous all the time or looking over my shoulder

A few weeks later, still in October of 2005, I earned my white belt at Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and officially started my journey to black belt. Over the next 8 years of training, many people would ask me questions like “does this stuff work for self defense?”, and “Are you any good at it?” My answers, of course, are yes.

What I discovered through the training gave me clarity about that night all those years ago. Jiu-Jitsu creates a plan for you, and all you have to do is follow it and prove it right. What kind of plan did I have that night – listening to loud music and not being aware of my surroundings, having a too-small book bag that was that forced me to have both hands occupied? How unaware was I that I didn’t notice a car of four guys, their windows open in the rain, following me?

The Jiu-Jitsu my Professors taught showed me something I had missed. It raised my awareness and my focus, and provided me with a plan so that in dangerous situations, I’m not an easy target. It educated me about how to be comfortable in any position I might encounter in self-defense, both on the ground and standing up. Within the first few months of training, I had learned at least one escape from every position possible: someone holding me down, keeping me in a headlock, grabbing me in a bearhug. I can’t even imagine what I would have done in the past, other then scream and beg for them to get off me. I found control, of a dangerous situation and of myself, and the confidence that comes with that.

Friends often ask me if I have had to use Jiu-Jitsu in self-defense since that day back in 2005. My answer to them is yes, but not in the way they might expect. Because I train consistently, I’ve found myself very aware of dangerous situations as they develop, not after they’ve begun; outside of the classroom I’ve found that I’m better than average at being able to sense if I’m in actual danger, which has allowed me to leave an unfriendly circumstance quickly. And because I’ve learned to become more assertive inside the training, I’ve been able to out-talk potential attackers in non-aggressive ways to settle any in differences, all while upholding my integrity as a man.

Sometimes these friends have responded with a well-worn, “how do you know you’re good if you never had to actually use it?”. My response is that I have already had plenty of experience being bullied, attacked, and even mugged at various points in my life. These things are all behind me now – since my first class, I’ve never had a single physical confrontation and, almost like magic, the bullies and victimizers have fallen by the wayside. That in itself tells me what I need to know – that the Jiu-Jitsu my Professors have taught me, and which I now have the privilege to teach others, works. I carry with me the knowledge that I am empowered. And if in the future an event like the one in October of 2005 should somehow replay itself, I know I’ll be more than ready to protect myself and my loved ones this time around.


How Much Does Jiu-Jitsu Cost?

By Jason Lynch

Before I started training in the Martial Arts I had so many questions. “Will I like it, Will I be good at it?, Is it fun?” – to name a few.  But for some reason the first time I typed a search into Google I typed, “How much does Jiu-Jitsu cost in Brooklyn?” Most of the questions I had swirling in my brain were abstract and subjective.

I needed something concrete to focus myself on while researching.

So I, like so many others, chose price. I thought I needed to know that School A costs $100 per month while School B was $400.  It was tangible, digestible, and real- not abstract. But the other side of that notion is that it was completely arbitrary.

It turns out that I like it, I’m good at it, and it’s fun: all of the complex questions have been answered so simply and clearly.

The internet couldn’t answer those questions for me – I had to answer them for myself by doing it. And here I am, nearly a decade removed from that original search and the idea of cost is so much more abstract than any of the other questions I had originally started with.

What I’ve learned through this process is that there is a distinct difference between value and price.

I couldn’t begin to tell you how much money I’ve actually spent on my training through the years when it comes to tuition, gas, parking (and the occasional ticket), train, books, uniforms, seminars, time, etc.  But the value of the training has been nothing short of priceless.

I can’t place a dollar amount on the confidence that I’ve built that has helped me thrive as a teacher, mentor, and family man.  I would have a hard time calculating how much its worth to me to be in peak physical condition – I eat well, look good, and feel great!  I have plenty of energy to play with my kids, or train all day, or go for a run, or all of the above!

I don’t know how to figure out the price of the peace of mind that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has taught me to maintain.  I am calmer, more thoughtful, and more generous than ever before.

In particular, Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has taught me to be a student of life.

I am now focused on improving my life in every way imaginable.  I don’t talk myself out of success anymore.  I don’t aim low.  And I don’t sell myself short.  Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been the cornerstone of years of ‘me getting better at being me.’

And the ripple affect that its had on my friends and family is innumerable.  People around me are inspired to be healthier.  My kids are learning habits of health, fitness, and cooperation rather than junk food, laziness, and competition.

What do I type in to Google to find out a price for that?

So you decide: how much should that all cost?  It’s not so clear-cut anymore is it?  It’s no longer the difference between $100 and $400 or anything in between.  Instead it’s the difference between having the life you want or not.

The training that Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has offered me, and continues to offer me, is nothing short of miraculous.  So how much will it cost to develop confidence, focus, discipline, happiness, health, peace of mind, and generosity for you and your loved ones?

Even Google can’t answer that for you.

I’ll see you on the mat!

To get started with the Brooklyn BJJ Introductory Program (which costs only $19.95 :)), click here. 

Eat Like a Warrior

Simple tips for buying groceries, originally from Training for Warriors:

If you’re interested in looking like a warrior then you need to EAT like a warrior. Here are some simple tips for BUYING GROCERIES:

– Go to the supermarket after the gym – you will be more motivated to shop smart.
– Don’t shop on an empty stomach – this makes it easier to avoid the things you should.
– Make a list – stick to the basics.
– Use a basket – you shouldn’t need more than what will fit in it.
– Shop the perimeter… – avoid the snacks and processed foods that are generally kept in the middle.
– Don’t be fooled by labels – Just because it says organic, whole wheat, etc., does not mean it’s good for you.

The Student/Teacher Relationship

My wife, my kids, my friends, my teachers. These are some of the most valuable relationships I have in my life. They are all reciprocal, loving, compassionate relationships that share a lot of qualities with one another. There’s mutual respect and consideration. There’s understanding and support. There’s patience and space for growth.

Despite all of these similarities it would be absurd to think that my relationship with my wife is the same as my relationship to my son. It would be just as absurd to try to make my relationship to my teachers the same as my relationships to my friends.

My teachers are distinctly not my friends. They are my mentors. And under their guidance I have been able to achieve things that were near impossible before I met them. They have taught me to think more deeply, to care more, to love more, and to aim higher. They’ve helped me raise my self-esteem, move with fluidity, and to respond rather than react.
Part of our love for our teachers derives from the feeling we get when we see results based on their tutelage.  Which is why we tend to want to be closer to them. We think that if we see them more often or outside of the martial arts setting that it will help us glean more of their wisdom. We idolise them and we think if we know more about them we can be more like them. The reality is we begin to see them as a friend or a peer. We tend to see their flaws and their short comings. Its not as if we didn’t know they were human before. But now we know it all too well. When we look through the lens of their flaws we not only see them differently but we hear them differently. We heed their advice differently. And then our results are different. All of a sudden we’ve gained a friend but we’ve lost a teacher. And now we’re searching for something new. When we try to change this relationship the result is that we corrupt it and ultimately destroy it.
If you want to maximize your relationship with your instructor, do everything you can do to make sure those roles don’t change. You are the student and they are the teachers.


If you want to learn more train more. 
If you want to understand more listen more. 
And if you want to be more do more.

Formula for Success

More great advice from our friend, Martin Rooney of Training for Warriors:

Rooney Riddle: There are three warriors standing at the edge of a river. Two of the warriors decide to jump into the water. The question is, “How many warriors are now standing at the edge of the river?”

Many people immediately answer that there is only one warrior left on the riverbank. This, however, is not only the wrong answer, but it gives me a window into the minds of the people with which I work.

The correct answer to my riddle is “three.” Just because you have made a decision does not mean that you have taken any action to do anything about it! All too often men and women “decide” to go on a diet or lose some body fat yet don’t get any thinner. At one time or another in most people’s lives, people also commonly “decide” that it is time to get back into the gym or onto the court or mats, but strangely (and unfortunately) these same people never end up getting there. Did you ever “decide” on your New Year’s resolutions only to break them days later? Have you ever decided this was the year you were going to make more money, or quit a bad habit only to experience little change? What was the missing ingredient to getting what you want? I have discovered that it is simply the “action” that goes along with the decision! Is it really that simple? Yes, it really is.

If you want success, here is a great formula to remember: D-A=0 (Decision minus Action equals Zero)

A Thai Boxing Student’s BBJJ Experience

I first tried out for BBJJ Muy Thai Kickboxing because my husband joined and convinced me how great it was. He definitely brought me to the right place. I wanted to get in shape and I’ve seen very good results so far. I see better  definition throughout my whole body. Best of all I have much better energy all day long.

I would recommend people to come train at the school because it is so much fun. So far I have had such a great training experience. It is a fun and safe environment to train. The whole staff is super nice and always watches to correct your form and push you to train your hardest. Even all the students are so helpful and friendly.

I have noticed some great improvements in my life since I first started training. Physically I am in much better shape.  Most importantly I feel much more determined to achieve my goals in life. Thanks to all the staff at BBJJ. I cant wait to keep on training at the school and improve my skills in Muy Thai Kickboxing and get to black belt.

– Dayala

What is your YOLO?

A great perspective on taking risks in life from Martin Rooney, founder of Training for Warriors.

Training For Warriors was developed not only to deliver physical training, but also to impart my personal philosophy in hopes to strengthen my students’ mental fortitude.  Sometimes, however, my students can become the teacher.

While preaching about the Three Most Important Medicines of TFW (Sleep, Nutrition and Exercise) at the beginning of a session, a student called out in protest, “But what about YOLO?”  Since I was unfamiliar with the abbreviation, I was informed YOLO stands for “You Only Live Once.”  When I heard this in the instigating context he used it, instead of getting frustrated, I got fascinated.  I have that challenging statement to thank for the inspiration to write this entry.

I am not sure when or why YOLO became a good excuse to do bad things.  It seems as though this concept only applies to reckless behavior like eating or drink too much, staying out much later than necessary, wasting hard earned money or doing something that is harmful to the body or mind.  Perhaps the brainchild behind this slogan also created “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas” and “No Pain, No Gain.”

YOLO is an interesting concept.  In one case, it is an excuse to do something you know you shouldn’t and in another drive you to become more than you ever dreamed.  How could such a statement have two totally different interpretations?  Perhaps the ancient concept of Yin and Yang can offer a modern explanation.  The Yin and Yang demonstrates opposite and contrary aspects of life are interdependent and interconnected.  If you have seen the symbol, you are familiar with the intermingling colors of black and white.  This is to symbolize the duality of life.  There is good and evil, light and dark, and both are necessary to form the whole.   Just like there can be no shadow if there is no light, I couldn’t not develop my interpretation of YOLO if I could not see the opposite side offered by my student.

YOLO, therefore, can be a negative or a positive “risk” for change.  Why not risk to eat as well as you could and get daily exercise?  Why not improve your skills and become one of the best in your industry?  My challenge for you will be to see which direction the concept drives you.  Are you going to have another drink, or perform a random act of kindness.  Are you going to waste your hard earned money on something you don’t need, or invest your time in someone who desperately needs it?  Will you sit on the couch or study the famous landmarks of the world?

Training Right for the Summer

By Professor Josh Skyer

We love summer and we love training in the summer: nothing beats a great martial arts class after a hot summer day: stepping into a clean, air-conditioned Dojo, putting on a clean uniform and letting the stress of the dog days disappear. Here are some black belt tips to keep your martial arts training intact during the summer months:

1. DON’T LET THE WARM WEATHER KNOCK YOU OFF TRACK – Progress comes with consistency. It’s tempting to let a day at the beach, or a long weekend distract you from your martial arts goals. Fight it! We talk about self-discipline; what that means for most adults is hitting the mute button on that little voice in your head telling you that it’s okay to skip class.

2. WEAR A CLEAN UNIFORM – This holds true regardless of season. This might mean getting a second or third gi, especially if you’re training more than twice a week. Of course, never wear a gi or thai boxing uniform that hasn’t been washed. This actually might be illegal in some states, and if it isn’t then it should be.

3. DON’T DROWN YOUR TRAINING PARTNER…BRING A TOWEL – Sweat management is a necessity during warmer weather. Bring a small towel to class and use it. Getting caught in a rainstorm on your way to class is not a big deal. Getting caught in a rainstorm while on the bottom of the mount IS!

4. ALWAYS WEAR A T-SHIRT OR RASHGUARD UNDER YOUR GI – It will add an extra sweat-absorbing layer. If you partner taps out because of a triangle you will most likely get a high five or “good job”. If your partner taps out because they are choking on your sweat or your chest hair you will not get a high five.

5. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR PERSONAL HYGIENE – Take a shower after class, every time. This is common sense for most people, but it bears repeating anyway. A really wise man once said that a good training partner showers after every class, but a great training partner showers before class.

6. HYDRATE – Drink water all day. Start first thing in the morning. Coffee, sports drinks, alcohol and soda all LEECH water from your body. It’s important to hydrate before, during, and after class. Also be extra careful about eating salty foods on training days, which can also draw water from the body.

7. BE A GOODFINDER – Yes, it’s hot out. Yes, there is traffic. Yes, you had to stand up on the train and didn’t get a seat. Yes, your boss is a mean person. Yes, your therapist likes to blame all your problems on your parents. But NO, you don’t have the right to complain in the dojo. Your training hall is supposed to be a positive place, a sanctuary. If you can’t say anything positive,don’t say anything at all. JUST TRAIN. If you don’t feel better after class, we’ll be happy to refund you your misery.

Have a sustainable practice! The martial arts is the best year-round activity there is for fitness, focus and self-improvement. Commit to the process of getting better by following these tips…and by encouraging others to do the

Train hard, commit…and never quit!


A daily dose of motivation.


From my perspective, if I earned and accumulated millions of dollars in cash and assets, but destroyed my health, what good would all the money do me?  If I were to go all the way to the top in the profession I have chosen, become recognized as the best in the world at what I do and in the process destroy my relationship with my wife, who is the most important person on earth to me, how happy would I be about my “success”?

If I should be enormously successful in my chosen profession but lost my children to the ravages of drugs, promiscuity and crime, just how happy and/or successful would I be?  How would it hit me if one of my children came to me and said, “Dad, if you had invested some time with me when I was growing up, giving me some of the advice you’ve given others, maybe things would have been different.  If you could have been there to awaken me in the morning and given me some of the famous pep talks you gave others; if you had been there to tuck me in at night, told me some bedtime stories, assured me of your love and answered some of the questions all children have, maybe, Dad, my life would not have turned out to be the disaster it is”?  I’ve got to tell you that I would be one more broken-hearted dad were this to happen, because I deeply love my children.  I am grateful that I have a marvelous relationship with each one, mainly because all of their lives we have spent time together, talked a lot and shared our hearts with one another.  Are you “successful”?  Do the people you love know you love them?
– Zig Ziglar