Monday, November 29, 2010

What Father Taught Us About Money

1.  NOBODY has ever become wealthy from gambling.  No lottery ticket has made anyone a captain of the industry
2.  If it sounds too good to be true, it IS too good to be true.
3.  NEVER use your home as collateral when borrowing from a bank.  It can charge up to 15% interest and then jack it up to 35% in penalties if you cannot pay on time.
4.  Don't buy a P5 million car if you only have P10 million. Invest them on instruments that yield high performance gains.  He prefers land, property and bonds.
5.  NEVER sell a house inherited to you and your siblings.  The money you get from the sale may be less than what you expect.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

No BJJ for Two Weeks

Coughs and colds are one of the biggest stumbling blocks of BJJ.  I caught the bacteria on the second week of November.  My gosh, I could not practice even if I want to.  My team mates might get sick.  Oh well........

Sunday, November 21, 2010

If You Suck in Basketball, You're Gay

I know Basketball is king in the Philippines.  But why do we use that sport as the barometer for one's masculinity?  For Pinoys, it is a game designed to favor the tallest, the fastest, and the highest leaper.  It is physically Darwinian.  There is absolutely no advantage for being short.  Hobbits have to compensate by skill, just like sex.  NBA is huge on Philippine TV because the players do appear larger, stronger, meaner than football players or any other athletes.  Even UFC fighters appear smaller than them.  And basketball players become twice as menacing when they leap and dunk the ball right into the basket.  The court seems small to fit them all.  That is why most Filipinos would naturally prefer basketball.  They don't see only skill, they also see size and power.  When they imitate the moves of their basketball heroes, they feel part of something that is larger than life.

Pinoys in general are not as tall as NBA players.  No wonder Growee vitamin supplements and milk products are sold like hotcakes.  The desire of growing tall is not so far behind from acquiring brain power.  Unfortunately, we are lagging behind in Basketball.  Take a look at the official FIBA rankings.  For years, basketball fans have hoped that the next generation of Filipino players would be taller, stronger, and high leapers by hiring players of mixed parentage, by training them in prestigious camps in the States and Europe, and by encouraging more corporate sponsors...but China, the States, Serbia, Iran, and other rival countries will never run out of players who  will also grow taller, shoot better, and leap higher in succeeding generations.  And they don't need to intermarry.  Sigh.  Philippine basketball still has a long way to go.  I don't intend to demean the sport, but when idiots call you a fag because of your poor ball skillz, they are not looking at the bigger picture.  We're 53rd out of 75 countries.  Pass me a mirror, dab my cheeks with a little foundation.  And I'll dab yours.  

A basketball fantard might say with a sneer, "If you can't play basketball, then play football...or jiu-jitsu...or whatever!" to suggest that the other sport is gayer than the other.  Offer him a challenge then, can he run to and from in a field as large as three basketball courts for ninety minutes?  Can he endure a slide kick that could dislocate his ankle?  If your sport is Brazilian Jiu-jitsu...well...don't tell him that his fancy lay-ups are vulnerable for a double leg takedown.  I agree that Basketball is for the tallest height and the highest leapers but is it a game for those with the greatest strength?  The deadliest kicks?  The best dancers?  The human body is an amazing machine that can do a huge variety of skills that are not limited to, and not needed in basketball.  And many of those said skills are what we need in our daily survival - carrying a load, carpentry, writing, reading, typing on a keyboard, and so on and so forth.  So why should basketball skill be held at a premium?  Heck, it  is not even good for fighting.  Sorry, basketball fans. 

Oh, those who say dancing is gay are those who have never touched a woman before.  Masculinity is defined not by the sport you play but by the character you have. 

Now don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that we abandon basketball.  Here's a good article from SLAM Online about Philippine basketball.  But we should break the monopoly and look into other sports where we can best use our talents.  


Monday, November 15, 2010

Football and BJJ

With only a few hours to spare, I expected to finish writing this article before the Everton and Arsenal match.  But my PC caught a virus and I had to disinfect which took 4 hours+.  I also had to watch the match which I missed the first half.  Arsenal performed quite well with their insane passes but seemed to have become lenient at the last 20 minutes.  Everton took advantage with terrifying counter-attacks which paid off when Cahill scored a goal.  But Arsenal won anyway with 2 earlier goals, and 1 for Everton. 


You can master both football or Jiu-jitsu whether you're 5'4" or 6'10", plus or minus 150 pounds*.  I coach football to small children in a poor community.  They barely reach 4 feet, yet their headers could launch the ball as high as a basketball ring.  Not to bash the other sport but if you're as tall as them, you need extra effort with your hands to launch a ball right into the basket.  An airball is useless in basketball.  But a header from a midget or a giant would translate to a pass, an assist, or even a beautiful goal!  And we haven't talked about feet yet. 

In football, the ball is more often dribbled and passed on the ground.  Players of all shapes and sizes have an opportunity for possession.  And because they cannot grab the ball with their hands (except for the goalkeeper), players have to make do with the rest of their body to keep the ball with them.  Try grabbing the ball with your feet, your head, or your back.  No matter how short or tall you are, that should take lots of skill.  But what about basketball?  It starts with a jumpshot so the ball is thrown high in the air where the tallest and the highest leaper would have an upper hand in possession.  Tall people rules.  Sorry.

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu insists that technique will always prevail over size and brute strength.  Well that's true but -- I can't preach it like a gospel truth.  Techniques aren't easy to master.  It's not like cramming where you just memorize the facts the night before and circle the best answer on the test.  You have to practice again and again before you can properly execute them against a resisting opponent.  Some moves favor long-legged people (or taller) such as triangle chokes, techniques like the Rubber Guard favor extremely flexible people, while some takedowns and guard passes make champions out of short and stocky people.

Yes size does matter in football or BJJ.  So whether you're tall or short, fit, overweight, big-headed, flexible as Plastic Man or light as a feather...use that to your advantage.

Other Things Football and BJJ Have in Common:

1.  Brand Names on their Uniforms -- In the Premiere League, stamping brand names on their jerseys was first practiced by Liverpool, which happens to be my favorite club.  But it has to be one brand only although it doesn't have to be related to football.  Standard-Chartered sponsors Liverpool's jersey.  Samsung for Chelsea, AON for Manchester United, Emirates Airlines ("Fly Emirates") for Arsenal, etc. 

In BJJ, different brand names are patched all over the gi!  Both fighters can have the same sponsor and that's no biggie for them.  And all brands are related to Jiu-jitsu and MMA.  "Vitamins & Minerals" is not a drug.

2.  Both Football and Jiu-jitsu have a reputation for being a GAY sport  --  (Future Article)

*And we're talking about competing professionally.  Yes, the best goal scorers stand at 5'10" or 6' such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Berbatov, Wayne Rooney, Bale, etc.  But there are star strikers as well that stood only 5'4" like Maradona who was Argentina's charismatic coach during the World Cup, his protege Messi is 5'6", USA's star forward Landon Donovan is 5'7", and our very own Paulino Alcantara is only 5'2" yet he's the highest scoring player ever of FC Barcelona.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Scissor sweeps, Hip bump

From this point forward, all techniques will be explained in a right-handed POV, unless otherwise stated.  

Scissor sweep

1.  From closed guard, grab your op's left collar with your left hand.  At the same time pull his left lapel with your free hand and position it to your side.  Make sure you are in a diagonal position.
2.  Squeeze your bent left leg in a space between you and your opponent's chest. 
3.  Pull him until you feel his weight.  Your body should be bent.
4.  Push his left leg with your free leg. At the same time, arch your back (DETAIL)!  You should be able to throw his body to your right.  You may also pull with your hands to your right if that would help you achieve the technique.
5. This sweep will lead you into a mounted position.

Hip Bump.

1.  From closed guard, reach for the opponent's left arm like attempting a kimura.
2.  Your attacking arm should wrap around his arm.  At the same time, make sure you also grab the tricep with your free arm. 
3.  Your body would slightly be tilted to your right.
4.  Bridge your body to the right.
5.  This sweep will lead you into a mounted position.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Football and Jiu-Jitsu Have in Common

I may not be able to train next week because I'm having a bad cold.  Even if I have fully recovered by tomorrow, I might still be infectious to my team mates.  Bummer. 

Next topic:  Football and BJJ

Another review for the double leg takedown

I am still having problems with this technique despite my long and arduous training.  I knew I've done it correctly.  I dived with back straight, hands on the opponents' calves, a bent leg between his legs, my head pushing on his side, then my other leg placed right beside his leg for balance.  But I still exerted too much energy where theoretically, I don't have to carry him, just push him sideways.  Worse, my opponent's legs kept getting caught on my supporting leg.  That opened up opportunities for defense in his favor even if I were able to take him down. 

Then I learned from another beginner (I just observed him) that I missed one simple detail.  JUST ONE. 

But before I tell you, let's review the techniques again.  If I stand in an Orthodox stance where my body is diagonally positioned to the right, here are the steps that I've done correctly.

1. Touch opponent's body other than arms to determine distance. 
2. Step in with the left foot. 
3. In one simultaneous motion: a) dive with your back straight;  b) Use left shoulder to bump on opponent's midsection;  c) Grab behind his legs (ideally, at the calves); d) Dig your head into his side to your left (that's where you are going to topple him). 
4. Your right leg should be stretched behind you.  Bring that leg right beside your opponent's left leg. 

From this position, I immediately pushed my opponent to the left by pushing his ribs with my head and tossing his legs away from the mat.  But my position was too unstable.  My opponent felt heavy and he could have had brought his weight forward to take me down instead (But we were performing drills so he did not attempt that trick).  To prevent this from happening, let's proceed to No. 5.

5.  Place left leg on the direction where you want to take him down (your left flank). 
6.  Push his side with your head and toss his legs upwards to your right (If you followed no. 5, performing this step would be much easier than it looks).
7.  Place your chest on top of his when his body lands on the mat. 

That's the problem with grappling arts.  Every small detail matters.  Treat the techniques like a computer code, a musical piece, a woman to be pleased.  A regular joe with no boxing experience can knock out a bully with a lucky punch.  But to toss that guy cleanly off his feet?  Keep on training. 

Code (irrelevant to the article):  Get your potbellied pig to mate