Posted on August 19, 2013

August 2013 News

Julio Fernandez BJJ Camp Oct. 11-13

Julio “Foca” Fernandez, Eric’s instructor & 6th Degree Black Belt under Carlson Gracie, will be traveling to Richmond to offer a weekend campat Richmond BJJ Academy October 11-13.  The camp will be Friday night, all day Saturday, and half of the day on Sunday.  Mark your calendars now and be ready to reserve your spot.  This camp WILL sell out fast with only 30 spots available.  Sign-ups start Monday, August 12th! 

Congrats to Jake Majeski

Congratulations to Richmond BJJ Academy student Jake Majeski for his fantastic performance at the US Grappling Grapplemania XVI in Henderson, North Carolina on July 20th! Jake won five of six matches– four of the wins by submission! Jake won a Gold Medal in his No-Gi division, and Silver in his Gi division! We’re proud of you Jake!

Women’s BJJ

Women’s BJJ classes are offered twice a month on Saturdays from 1-3 pm.  We had a 2-month hiatus in the summer but classes will resume in September.

The Mid-Atlantic Grappling Girls open mat series had a well-attended event in Virginia Beach on August 3rd.  The next event will be in Maryland in September.  Go here on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the open mats.  The open mats are always free, and open to any woman, regardless of affiliation or experience level.

Muay Thai: King of the Ring

by Jarrett Church

In my humble opinion, there is no striking sport more effective than the art of Muay Thai. Some would say that my conclusion is biased due to the 15 years I have dedicated to this art, both as a student and instructor. My belief in Muay Thai’s superiority is not based on my years of dedication, but is attributed to key observable factors.

First, Muay Thai, unlike other striking sports, utilizes more natural weapons. If you look at boxing, you are limited to two natural weapons: your fists. If we take arts like Karate or Tae Kwon Do we see four natural weapons: the fists and feet. Muay Thai, on the other hand, uses eight weapons: the fists, elbows, knees, and shins.

The second reason for Muay Thai’s dominance over other striking sports is the variation of attacks through combinations. Remember, this sport consists of eight natural tools. Looking again at other striking sports, the limit in natural weapons will ultimately limit the attacks. For example, in boxing you can combine punches to attack only the head and body.

In contrast, Muay Thai allows you to attack the head, body, or legs with a variety of weapons. In Muay Thai we could start an attack with a jab and cross to the head, continue with a hook to the body, and finish with a leg kick to the thigh. Another example combination could be jab and rear elbow to the head, continue to the clinch with knees to the body, then finish with spinning the opponent to set up a head kick.

Third, Muay Thai is one of the few striking sports that utilize the clinch, also know as the plum. The clinch is used to control the opponent by the collar and behind the head using your own arms. From this dominant position knees are thrown both to the head and body. In addition, from this control certain throws are legal and can send your opponent crashing to the mat. The clinch is a very devastating position that by it self has stopped hundreds of Muay Thai bouts.

Finally, Muay Thai fighters are by far the most conditioned of all the striking sport athletes. I’m not a physicist, but it is pretty obvious that no other striking sport requires the amount of energy that Muay Thai does. I believe this is true because of the number of natural weapons you have at your disposal. From personal experience, throwing combinations that go from hands, to elbows, to clinching and kneeing, to kicking can be exhausting. This is especially true when you are doing these sorts of combinations over and over again. The Muay Thai athlete must have superior conditioning to use all of these tools in combination in a bout.

Muay Thai, in my opinion, is superior to all other striking sports because of these reasons. If you’re interested in learning a striking sport, you should give it a try!

January 2013 News

Richmond BJJ Academy 11 Year Anniversary

On Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013, our Academy celebrated our 11th Anniversary! 
We had packed Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes, as well as a brief speech by Head Instructor Eric Burdo, a group photo, and Academy Manager Liz Sussan even baked a wonderful cake for the students and staff! Richmond BJJ Academy student Brian Rule filmed the BJJ class, and we have just released a 2nd Technique of the Month video with the footage! Our Bonus Technique of the Month video and January Technique of the Month video are linked below in the newsletter.

Training Focus

With the New Year upon us, now is a great time to focus on our goals for 2013.  Whether it be to train more and/or be more consistent with training, get in better shape, eat a more healthy diet, be a better & to be a more supportive training partner to your teammates, work toward achieving a higher rank, and/or setting competition goals, now is the time to plan out how you can achieve those goals.  Eric, and the rest of the staff at Richmond BJJ Academy would love to hear from you and be a part in helping you.  Our Academy strives to be a positive, healthy part in our students’ lives.  Please plan out a course of action, touch base with our Instructors, and let us help you!  Every action starts with a thought.  Thoughts become actions, and actions produce results!

Congratulations to Promoted Students

Promotions are evidence that hard work and consistency pay off. Congratulations to the following students who were promoted to Blue Belt in December: Anh Vuong, “Big” Jon Antonelli, Matt Tracy, Lance Patel, & Ahmad Fanahi.

Women’s BJJ

Women’s BJJ classes are offered twice a month on Saturdays from 1-3 pm.  In January, the classes were offered on January 5th & 12th.

Richmond BJJ Academy is also hosting a women’s open mat on Saturday, January 19th from 1-3 pm.  This event is open to any woman, regardless of affiliation, and is totally free of charge.  We are expecting 20-30 women, including women from North Carolina and Maryland, to attend for the opportunity to train with a large group of women.

I’m a Woman Training Muay Thai

By Kaity Kasper

When Liz asked me to write a post for the blog about what being a female training Muay Thai is like, my first thought was, “That’ll be easy because it’s totally awesome.”  But then I really started thinking about my last year and a half training and my personal journey with Muay Thai, and I realized that, at least for me, its not quite that simple.

In the summer of 2011, I was recovering from surgery and tired of being housebound and stuck on the couch.  I was scheming of all the things I wanted to do when I was cleared to return to my regularly scheduled life.  Richmond BJJ Academy popped up on Facebook and I checked out the Facebook page, and then the website.  I emailed Liz about doing an introductory class and I didn’t really think I would hear back, but I did.  And two weeks later, I met Eric for the first time on the mats.

Confession here – When I emailed Liz I had no clue what Muay Thai was.  All I knew was that I still held a grudge over when my little brother got to take a karate class when we were kids and I didn’t.  So, like many good things in my life, I found Muay Thai and all of its wonders totally by accident.

I was pretty uncertain as Eric helped me with my gloves and showed me the basic punches and kicks that form the foundation of our sport.  It was something so unlike me.  Something I never would have thought I would really try.  At my core, I am an extremely shy introvert.  I loathe conflict.  I embarrass easily and hate the sight of blood.

So why I signed up for one year after my first intro lesson is still kind of beyond me.

The first few months of training challenged me in lots of ways.  I would drive around the block for nearly 30 minutes, convincing myself to go in, to not be scared.  I wanted to cry the first few times I held Thai pads for the guys who out-weighed me by nearly 100 pounds.  I realized I couldn’t jump rope,  at all!  Girls were few and far between and the guys intimidated me.  I was sure they were thinking I was trying to prove something by being there, or that I was some idiot girl who wouldn’t last two months.

But I did.

January 1 rolled around and I committed to working up to doing 10 complete burpees – push ups included – by the years end.  I went from being unable to do one burpee to meeting my goal by March.  Then I made it my goal to be promoted to Level Two – and be permitted to spar in our gym.  I worked extra with Eric on Saturdays and left work earlier than I ever had to get to the gym before class to train a bit extra.

Eric finally permitted me to test for Level Two and I passed.  As I donned my shin guards and mouthpiece, I felt much like I had 8 months before – scared to death.  Here I was – the girl who hates fighting in any form – stepping up to spar with a guy much bigger and stronger than me..

I got my ass kicked.

Over and over.

But my teammates picked me up.  The guys didnt care that I was a girl – they wanted me to improve.  They coached me through each fight and each night I left the gym, I may have taken a hook to the face, but I also took in at least one new tactic to bring to my next fight.

Along the way, I realized none of the guys in our gym were judging me.  They all helped me in incredible ways – as my training partners, giving advice before and after class, and by becoming my friends.  Each time a new guy joined the gym, I could tell he was sizing me – and the other women in the class – up, but they quickly realized that we can fight just was well as any guy on those mats.  There is no weaker sex in our gym.  We are all equals, teammates, and friends.

Being a girl training Muay Thai is no different than being a guy training Muay Thai.  We’re all one on those mats.  All the same.  All responsible for each other and for the integrity of the sport we love.

Now, over a year later, I find myself forced into a few months hiatus from training in order to make room for another passion.  And it surprises me at times how deeply I miss the mats.  I miss my teammates.  I miss the bruises.  I miss Acie’s deck of cards, and burpees, and even skip knees.  I find myself shadow boxing in the kitchen, and counting the days until I get back.

Muay Thai changed how I see myself.  And my world.  And our genders.  And I love it.

October News

Julio “Foca” Fernandez Seminar Dec. 8th

On Saturday, December 8th, Julio “Foca” Fernandez, Eric Burdo’s instructor and the co-head of BJJ Revolution Team, will be returning to Richmond BJJ Academy to teach another stellar seminar.  This will be the biggest event at Richmond BJJ Academy this year, and a great way to end our 10th year as an Academy!  Come and learn from a legend!  Julio’s bio is here. Read how he started BJJ and how he received his nickname “Foca”.
Saturday, December 8th, 11 am to 2 pm
Promotions Ceremony starts at 2 pm
$60 pre-pay by Dec. 1st, $70 after Dec. 1st
Contact Liz@RichmondBJJ.com to register and arrange payment.

IBJJF US Nationals, Pan No-Gi, & Atlanta Open Results

Congratulations to Shane O’Hara and Liz Sussan who competed at the IBJJF American Nationals in LA in September.  Shane took home a Silver in Blue Belt No-Gi and Liz took home a Bronze in the Gi at Purple Belt.
Congratulations to Shane O’Hara and Brett Millea for competing at both the IBJJF Atlanta Open and the Pan No-Gi tournament in September.  Shane took home a Bronze medal in his Blue Belt divison at the Pan No-Gi in New York.  That means with 51 people in his division, he’s was in the top 3!

 

Upcoming Tournaments

Please take note of the upcoming BJJ tournaments and consider training to compete.  BJJ competition will only help your learning and progression in BJJ. It’s often sited by Eric as a major factor in the faster development of your BJJ skills, and he strongly encourages all BJJ students to consider participation.  Talk to Eric about your plans to compete.
October 27th: US Grappling Virginia Beach (Richmond BJJ Academy will be open that Saturday)
December 1st: US Grappling Richmond Submission Only (Ashland, VA)  (Richmond BJJ Academy will be closed that Saturday)

George Pendergrass Class Tournament Results

On Saturday, September 8th, Richmond BJJ Academy students traveled to Raleigh, NC to compete in the George Pendergrass Classic BJJ tournament.  The tournament takes place twice a year to raise money for Leukemia.  Congratulations to all of the students who competed.  Here are the medal results:
Matt Tracy: Gold Intermediate No-Gi Medium Heavy, Gold White Belt Medium Heavy
Brett Millea: Gold Brown Belt Lightweight
Andrew Smith: Gold 30+ No-Gi Advanced Absolute

Intensive Positional Study at Richmond BJJ Academy in October:  The Mount Position

October’s subject will be Mount.  We will work on achieving mount, maintaining mount, and attacking from mount.  We will sharpen our attacks, and link them together to be at our most dangerous!

Week 1: Thursday, October 4th from 7-9 pm
Week 2: Thursday, October 11th from 7-9 pm
Week 3: Thursday, October 18th from 7-9 pm
Week Four: Thursday, October 25th from 7-9 pm

*You must be at least a 2-stripe White Belt to attend the Thursday evening Intensive Positional Study classes at Richmond BJJ Academy.*In order to supply our students with the most information in the most efficient manner possible, we offer a methodology of learning based on specific subjects/positions.  Each month, we will tackle a new subject, and systematically break down the options from that position, offensively and defensively.  We will do this class every week on Thursday nights.  As the month goes on, the weeks will get more intense with technical information.  It is crucial for you to make a commitment to attend all of the classes, in order to reap the benefits of this training methodology.

Women’s BJJ – October classes

Saturday afternoon women’s BJJ classes in October will be held on Saturday, October 6th & 20th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, immediately after the Saturday open mat.  This class will be held by RSVP only, so please RSVP to Liz@RichmondBJJ.com by the Thursday before the class if you plan to attend.  Women are also encouraged to attend the open mat prior to class.

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