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Grappling Dads Jiu Jitsu/BJJ lifestyle
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Grappling Dads Jiu Jitsu/BJJ lifestyle

Author: Paul Parrotte & Kip Dice

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Welcome to the Grappling Dads Podcast! We’re two old dudes who love Jiu Jitsu, and we happen to be fathers. Hence the name: Grappling Dads.We’re a weekly podcast that answers the questions you’re constantly thinking about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. While our knowledge is limited at best, we go to the real expert – Kroyler Gracie – to get way too much detail that we struggle to understand. That’s right, we’re the conduit to a member of the Gracie family and we can’t read good.Each week we loosely focus on a topic regarding Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, such as how to start a roll, Gi vs. NoGi, how to keep your kids involved, farting during a roll, and many more insightful topics. The answer is always Gi, no questions asked. We will fight you. We also take listener comments and questions and try to respond in a timely manner (aka whenever someone checks the email inbox).Remember to always trust the technique (aside from actual podcasting skill) and join us on your Jiu Jitsu Journey (we hate ourselves too).
183 Episodes
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The boys talk about how and why....and when you should roll passively or aggressively in your BJJ classes.  Paulie asked Kroyler if maybe he was being too lackadaisical in all his rolls and to maybe turn the answer into a pro tip. After a good mocking, he got just that... Kroyler goes through why rolling like it’s the world's finals match every time is a recipe for disaster, as well as why you’re not doing yourself many more favors by flow rolling every time.  There are pros and cons to both styles of rolling and he goes over what they are. Some are more obvious than others.  He breaks down the percentage of hard vs soft rolling by your desired goals and how many times per week you typically train and why.  We all have a comfort zone in how we roll. Most of us need to get out of that zone one way or another so we can make faster and sometimes safer improvements in our own Jiu-Jitsu game. 
The boys talk about things you can and should do to make others want to train. We’d go so far as to say it’s your responsibility to be the person who makes new people want to keep coming back even though they think this sport may not be for them. By that we mean they’re bad at it....as we all were.  Even if you happen to be the proverbial “wallflower”, you can still be the person who makes someone else feel like they’re actually cared about in the gym. We all know what it feels like to walk in on the first day and how sometimes terrifying that can be depending on your own history and personality. So, the least we can do is make those first few classes more enjoyable and easygoing for them.  We realize that it’s easy just to fall into a certain “click” after awhile. That becomes a comfort zone for a lot of people. We’re trying to say that you should go outside of your newfound comfort zone and make sure someone else sticks around long enough to find theirs. And so the cycle should continue.  If nothing else, just make sure you’re not the reason someone decides to quit. 
The boys talk about a litany of thing that you should know before you start your first BJJ class. Paul Elliot from simplebjj.com wrote up a great article that should be required reading for anyone who decides to make Jiu Jitsu their new hobby.  A couple weeks ago we talked about the proper use of mat enforcers. The main premise ended up being, don’t beat someone up who simply doesn’t know any better...no matter how good it feels to do so.  The proper way to give your academy a proper culture where it doesn’t end up in a winner take all aspect of training is to set the new people up with the ideals and goals that are good for both them as well as everyone else in the gym.
Dear blue belt:

Dear blue belt:

2020-12-2401:16:381

The boys talk about why you may not in fact be the incredible ground shark you make yourself out to be on all of your Instagram posts.   We’re really glad that BJJ has given you a newfound skill and the confidence to go with it. We acknowledge the fact that you can now make new people coming in the gym feel as silly and inept at fighting as you first did when you signed up.    This is a great and fun aspect of the gentle art. But...sometimes that feeling can go to your head.   We’ve all seen people who claim to be an incredible fighter because they’re a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu when most people quit after their first class. But let’s not get carried away here. A blue belt is in fact, still a beginner belt for a reason.   All we’re saying is, congratulations on your accomplishments, but don’t get all egotistical about them.  
The boys talk about how, when, and why we should use enforcers in the gym.  At first glance it would seem simple. You see someone going too hard and you implement pain upon them as a lesson.  In reality, it is much more nuanced than that.  You may well be just encouraging a culture of jerks because now they just think rolling hard is the way things are done. This is due to a lack of communication and it’s counterproductive to say the least.  The other thing we unintentionally do is come in as a “white knight” and basically tell someone that they can’t handle themselves. This is super condescending.  So, while it does feel good to exact justice on someone you feel is being overly aggressive to your teammates, it may not actually be a good idea....at least all the time anyhow. 
The use of strength in BJJ

The use of strength in BJJ

2020-12-1001:22:451

The boys talk about how and when it may be appropriate to use some power in Jiu Jitsu.  Paul Elliot answered a listener question about whether or not it’s ever appropriate to use strength while rolling.  Paul goes on to ask very poignant questions about what his Jiu Jitsu might look like without using any strength and the answer is something we can all relate to....at least in the early days of our journey.  Basically it looks like garbage.... So we use athleticism to make up for lack of knowledge. And this feels good because it feels like we’re really fighting and accomplishing something. The downside is it’s not really Jiu Jitsu.  There are times where you can and should use strength in service to your Jiu Jitsu....but only if it’s actually Jiu Jitsu you’re using. 
If you’re new to BJJ...

If you’re new to BJJ...

2020-12-0301:19:161

The boys talk about why it’s going to be ok even though you feel like Jiu Jitsu might not be for you after your first few classes.  BJJ is as overwhelming a sport/art as they get. Pair that with the fact that probably everyone in your new gym can maul you easily and it’s easy to find reasons to quit.  We’re here to tell you that it will in fact get better....much better. You just need to take a breath, slow down and figure things out one technique at a time.  Before you know it, you’ll be making the new person feel just like you did in your first few months of practice.  If you gain awareness that rolling needn't be to the death every time you’re going to get better much faster, even if that’s due to the fact that you’re not out because you’re injured again.  Point is, keep your chin up despite being overwhelmed and just keep looking ahead. It really does get to be more fun the longer you do this. Lower your expectations and find the joy in it and you’ll be one of the very few who actually stick it out long enough to get good. 
The boys talk about the age old question in Jiu Jitsu: should you compete at least one time in Jiu Jitsu to test your skills? Paul Elliot from simplebjj.com answers this question quite eloquently in the flickchat app.  We, of course, ruined what he was so precisely trying to say.  While there may be many very good reasons why it would be very beneficial to you, it’s also not a necessity to get really good at BJJ.  In fact, there are just as many reasons why you probably shouldn’t compete. After all, in the gym, typically at least, people aren’t really trying to hurt you.  After we brutalized Paul’s article, we asked one more age old question.... would you or wouldn’t you jump into a pond after an alligator that just snatched up your puppy to pry it from that dinosaurs mouth???
The boys talk about things you can implement to get faster gains in your Jiu Jitsu. They read an article from pitchhero.com about how to get better at any sport and it mostly applied to BJJ, albeit it got a bit redundant.  Depending on just how locked down you are during Covid, and whether or not you have someone to train with at home you can start these today.  If you only follow one piece of advice I’d recommend getting private lessons. Doing that with a really good coach, no matter what your current skill level is can do more for your game than anything else.  Every other thing on the list is helpful and can only add to making sure you’re getting the most out of your training. Being intensional about what your goals are will help you achieve them faster if you do more of the right things to keep yourself on track.  We also had a good laugh at the expense of listener Roy for knocking out a fellow competitor during his last match....
The boys talk about why it’s important to roll with less experienced Jiu Jitsu practitioners to help with both your own goals as well as theirs.  Joe Rogan famously stated that if you want to get better at Jiu Jitsu you have to choke the f*ck outta blue belts. Basically you need to be able to try the moves your trying to get proficient at on people who know how to grapple, but can’t yet stop everything you’re trying to do.  If all we do is roll with people at our level or higher it’s going to be a hard road to get better yourself. Many people mistakenly think if they keep getting destroyed by upper belts this will force them to get better. This is not true.  We also hear all the time that it’s boring to roll with people you can easily beat. There’s many problems with this statement including the fact that you used to be that bad as well until enough people helped you. Be courteous enough to do the same.  Plus, if you focus on learning rather than winning, a lot clan be gleaned by rolling with the less skilled. This is especially true when you work on one particular thing or handicap yourself during the rolls.  So, pick a partner and start working.  
Perfect(ing) Jiu Jitsu

Perfect(ing) Jiu Jitsu

2020-11-0501:13:23

The boys talk about perfect Jiu-Jitsu and if it’s really even possible (or worth it) to strive for.  When you are learning a new technique you want to do it as perfectly as possible so you don’t train in bad habits. When you roll, however, a bunch of things happen and that perfection can be seen as just thrown out the window.  So, what kind of perfect should we strive for in both drilling and live rolling? When is it “good enough”?   Should we let perfect become the enemy of good and stop trying? Do we need to roll a certain way for at least our attempt to be perfect or can we just see where things go and catch what we can? Here’s an excerpt from the show: In the real world, we have to sometimes give up a bit of control in order to advance our goals. For example, we can immobilize someone fairly completely, but if we want to attack, we often have to release some control in order to move at all. This is where the tactical elements of timing and speed and other things come into play. Now the heuristic that takes into consideration the perfect goals and the real-world implementation can be laid out. If I am making progress towards my goal, and my goal is achievable on the trajectory I'm on, then I continue. If the trajectory is making progress but is likely to lose control before I can achieve my objective, then I have to make on the fly decisions regarding returning to pure control vs transitioning to another chained technique so that I avoid hitting a brick wall. Once I have successfully navigated the above and achieved a desirable goal, then the scenario needs a post-mortem to decide if I am sufficiently approaching perfect jiu-jitsu. Was my energy expenditure as little as possible? Was my timing correct? Were my technique inflection points anticipated and accurately hit and flowed through? Was I accounting for different opponent types (skill, size, strength, speed, etc?) Paul Elliot has a ton of great tips throughout this episode. It’s was a great answer to a great listener question. 
The boys talk about some of the reasons why we find Jiu Jitsu so absolutely addicting. Paulie found an article from Psychology Today about BJJ and the reason we become so addicted. It started out promising; but as usual delved into WTF territory.  Aside from the obvious fun and challenging part of it, there appears to be a soup of fun chemicals that go off in our brain when we roll around on the ground with people. Go figure.  We sort of try and steer the conversation to why you should stick to Jiu Jitsu long enough to get all the benefits mentioned in the article.  Long story short. Jiu-jitsu has more benefits than just self defense and fitness. It’s also really good for your overall mental health. So if you haven’t joined yet, here are even more reasons to do so. And if you’re thinking about quitting, here are even more reasons why you shouldn’t. 
The boys talk about an email they received about someone having a real hard time rolling against a guy who is very strong but doesn’t have any technique.  This type of person generally just holds you down and smashes you with no inclination or ability to get you to tap. Many people that are newer find this extremely frustrating. We get it. We’ve all been there. But we give some feedback on why this is actually a good thing and why you should appreciate it....so long as you’re not being injured by them. Paul Elliot from simplebjj.com wrote about how you can take the passive route to fixing this issue by rolling with said person in front of your coach and asking for feedback. You will both get something out of it. They will because the coaches will tell them what they should be doing and you will because they’ll let you know how to deal with this issue when it arises again. 
The boys talk about how development of an ego in Jiu Jitsu can happen despite the “leave your ego at the door” mantra we all hear about. Oftentimes, we come in with an ego that gets crushed relatively quickly. Then, over the course of years of training and improvement, that ego comes right back in the form of hubris about our level of BJJ because we can now be the proverbial hammer rather than the nail. Kroyler goes over why this mindset can develop as well as why it’s not in fact the case that you’re really good enough to have such an ego. It mostly comes down to the big fish in a small pond syndrome. Better yet, he goes on to talk about what we can do to keep that mentality at bay. Because in reality, it’s not just bad for the individual, it’s bad for the entire school.
The boys read an article title “improve your Jiu Jitsu by rolling with handicaps”. Clearly this headline needed some clarification so we happily obliged by decimating the entire article on the show. The article had a couple of good points, but by the time we got to them we were already mad, so they were rendered moot. Instead, we came up with our own points and suggestions. So basically the article was useless. After we gave our ideas on why you should roll with one (or two) arms tied behind your back, we got a bit more serious over why we want everyone to start, and stick with Jiu Jitsu. Rener and Ryron Gracie did a breakdown over an attack on a subway and it’s things like that that make us realize the importance of getting at least a decent amount of knowledge of BJJ and self defense.
The boys talk about struggles with kids in Jiu Jitsu. This stems from a listener question about what her kid is going through in their particular school. This was followed by a debate between Paulie and another listener. Paulie took the questions to Kroyler who gave his two cents in a pro tip. Fist off, if you’re in a toxic gym that’s a big problem and you should remove yourself immediately. Kroyler gives some ideas of what this may look like. If the gym isn’t toxic, but you still worry about training methodology, he gives some tips and pointers on how to either deal with it productivity, understand it better, or simply not be the toxic person yourself. Sometimes a good gym has many good qualities, but they just grow too fast to have enough coaches to help out. In this case a little patience is needed. Other times we as parents sometimes tend to be overprotective and need to just let Jiu Jitsu do its thing in helping shape your kids for the harder things in life. Coddling won’t help them. Safety is of course always first, and having productive conversations with the coach is always a good idea, but just know that Jiu Jitsu is really hard and kids aren’t always going to have a good time with it. They need to struggle to get better.
Don’t quit Jiu Jitsu yet!

Don’t quit Jiu Jitsu yet!

2020-09-1801:07:16

The boys talk about things you should do before deciding to give up BJJ for good. A couple years ago Jiu Jitsu Times wrote an article about trying these things first before quitting altogether. Surprisingly, we didn’t hate it. Most of us at some point for some reason or another, have thought about quitting. We’ve been struggling with those ideas recently as well. That’s why we thought doing a show on this might be pertinent. The fact is, there are many reasons to quite jiujitsu. Between time, money, injuries, and boredom, you can always find a reason to hit the door running. But....when you stop to consider it, there are more reasons to stay. So before you make the decision to stop your membership, go through the list of things in the article first. You’ll be happy you did.
Standards in Jiu Jitsu

Standards in Jiu Jitsu

2020-09-1001:09:01

The boys talk about some people’s ideas or ideals over who should and shouldn’t get a black belt. Paul Elliot from simplebjj.com was kind enough to answer a listener question about people (coaches) having different standards and expectations of people in the gym. Basically, why should so and so get a stripe or a belt and not me (or someone more “seemingly” deserving)? Well, it’s been a bit of a “purist” view that a black belt (or insert color of belt here____), need to look like and be an incredible badass. While in reality, BJJ is made for smaller weaker people. So it stands to reason that not everyone who can get to whatever belt level need to look and perform like a Greek god. True, sometimes people have very unique gifts coming into this sport and can earn a black belt in a relatively short time, most people have a lot going on in life both mentally and physically were it’s just gonna be a much longer process. And that’s perfectly fine. So long as you keep going and learning, just because you’re not an absolute athlete doesn’t mean you’re not cut out to be a black belt one day.
Benefits of BJJ for kids

Benefits of BJJ for kids

2020-09-0301:15:10

The boys talk about the reasons you should sign your kids up for Jiu Jitsu even if they’re not being bullied. An article from Jiu Jitsu Times talked about all the benefits BJJ has on kids even when their not being bullied and for once we agreed with most of their points. It’s been awhile since we did a podcast based on kids even tho the show is literally about being a dad in this sport....but all the points apply to adults as well, so everyone is covered. We may have talked about how the show “Cobra Kai” relates to it as well....
Maximize your training

Maximize your training

2020-08-2701:13:242

The boys talk about an article they got from Kroyler on what you can do to maximize your training if you’re not lucky enough to have e perfect body and bank account for Jiu Jitsu. We’re not all lucky enough to be long limbed, strong, flexible, smart, and loaded with cash and time...unfortunately. So for those of us with one or more of these non desirable....issues...what can we do to make the best of it? Like most things in life, the more seriously we take something, the more we can get out of it. By that we mean doing the little things that most people aren’t doing, such as drilling rather than talking, asking questions, and taking notes. Yeah, I get it, it’s not as fun, but if you aren’t happy with your current level of progress, you either have to just be realistic about it and call it good enough, or start doing the hard things to make faster gains. There is always a sliding scale between social hour and having fun with friends at the gym and putting in that work. Figure out what makes you happiest long term and either set goals and make changes or relax and be happy with where you’re at. Honestly either way is perfectly fine, just don’t lie to yourself and others about what it is you really want.
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Comments (2)

Matthew Reynolds

25 minutes in and they still haven't addressed the podcast topic. The banter isn't entertaining enough to warrant this.

Sep 8th
Reply

Steve Tams

Paul and Kip are hilarious together, talking about Jiu Jitsu but never staying on topic. "Anyways" don't be a "Juice Bag" and subscribe for lots of awesome "Pro Tips"

Mar 23rd
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