There are many similarities between a Brazilian jiu-jitsu student and a grapevine. A long time ago, growers found out that if you indulge the vine — giving it lots of water and rich soil — it will produce mediocre grapes. They discovered that in order to produce grapes that are of the highest quality, they actually have to distress the vines. By providing the vines with just enough water and nutrients to survive, the growers force the vines to work hard to produce its grapes. Amazingly, this process brings out the very best concentration and complexity in the grape. You can take the easy path and achieve some success. But if you take the difficult path by forcing yourself to face your most daunting challenges, you will reach heights you never thought possible. Perseverance is by far the biggest obstacle in your path to achieving your black belt. There are also other obstacles that stand in your way. Some are easier than others to break through. Perhaps the most obvious is the seemingly never-ending setbacks you'll face during training. Whether it’s learning the movements or techniques, tapping out a lot during training, or dealing with injuries, you'll encounter many challenges during your journey and it will not stop once you receive your blue belt. In fact, the challenges come at you harder as you move up in rank. However, it is these challenges that help define you not only as a martial artist but also as a person. This is very empowering because with each breakthrough, not only will your technique improve but also your mindset. It is also important to surround yourself with positive energy, both on and off the mat. It’s not enough to think or hope you can make it to black belt — you have to believe it. At the Jean Jacques Machado Academy (as well as my own office), you'll find many motivational quotes and statements hanging on the walls. Everywhere you look, you are reminded that you can accomplish anything if you do two things: Believe in yourself and never quit. Once you get into this mindset, you can and will find motivation anywhere. About the Author: Jay Zeballos is a Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2009 gold-medalist black belt under Jean Jacques Machado. He has been training with him for more than a decade. Zeballos is also the co-author of The Grappler’s Handbook: Gi and No-Gi Techniques. His most recent book with Machado is The Grappler’s Handbook Vol. 2: Tactics for Defense.
Black Belt: How did you end up playing the lead in this film?
Gillian White: You know, I was offered the role. The producer and the director contacted me and said, "We got a script for you. We think you'd be great for it. Let us know what you think." As soon as they told me what it was about, I knew I wanted to do it. Coming in and being able to showcase my martial arts skills and fight skills has been awesome. I always wanted to do action. I got a little bit of it playing Amoria on Xena: Warrior Princess. I mean, it's absolutely exciting. I did choose to have a stunt double, but the actual fighting is me.
Black Belt: Who choreographed the fights for Take Back?
Gillian: Mainly, my husband. We also had our stunt coordinator Arnold Chon, who does a lot of stuff in the film. He has trained a lot of MMA fighters in Bellator and the UFC. And we [had] stunt choreographer and director Larnell Stovall (Captain America: Civil War).
Black Belt: This role had to be physically demanding — you were very convincing!
Gillian: I don't want to look like I'm acting or I'm reading lines. I want you to feel me in the moment, in my tears and my happiness or whatever I'm trying to portray at the moment — so believable, so genuine that it just makes you want to cheer for my character. To make it look effortless, to expend energy at that level, [I have] to simultaneously be dramatic, be funny and sensitive, be someone that the audience can relate to. As an actress, I never want to come across on the screen as I'm "acting."
Black Belt: You have fast reflexes, very strong kicks and jumps, upper-body strength and tremendous athleticism. How do you stay so fine-tuned?
Gillian: Because I was an athlete, I am physically in the best shape of my life. I make smarter choices in my diet and how I take care of my body and the things I put in it. I'm very aware, and it's very important to me. Yeah, I keep on my diet, staying in shape training with my husband, not drinking or smoking, not doing anything that I know is gonna affect my body in a negative way.
Black Belt: Besides screen time, what are some of the differences between your roles in Take Back and last year's Welcome to Sudden Death?
Gillian: In Sudden Death, there was only one scene where I got to fight. It was so much fun, but it gave me that little bug of "Oh, I like this! I can do this!" [It was] not as hard as I thought it would be, you know, being able to fight and do choreography and still staying in character. I was thinking that it doesn't matter if it's a small role. It doesn't matter if I die. It was a moment like I got to be badass crazy! (laughs)
Black Belt: You've obviously made quite an impression. Welcome to Sudden Death has garnered great reviews. What kind of feedback are you getting?
Gillian: You know, I've had men tell me that they're going to put their daughters in self-defense and martial arts. Some guy told me his daughter's 15 and that he can't wait to take her and her friends to go see this movie — so just a lot of positive responses. And that is what it all boils down to for me. I just love inspiring people.
Black Belt: When will your fans get to see more of your martial arts skills on-screen?
Gillian: I'm playing an MMA fighter in a new prime-time television pilot, but I can't talk about it just yet. And I just finished a drama called Love You Anyway where I play the mother of a woman battling her whole life with mental-health issues and depression. It's very important to me to have a range of characters.
Black Belt: You are breaking new ground in Take Back. What do you want to say to the girls and women who see it?
Gillian: I want to say [that] I started learning martial arts late in life — and look at what I'm doing and look where I'm at now! So at a younger age, the possibilities are endless. If it's something that you want to do and you work hard and put in that dedication and time, you can do it!
Black Belt: Congratulations, Gillian. We look forward to seeing your work inspire a new generation of women in the martial arts.
Gillian: Thank you.
For more information about Black Belt Hall of Famer Gerry Chisolm, visit ladysensei.com.
- Top 20 Martial Arts Films of All Time - Black Belt Magazine ›
- RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan on Kung Fu, Philosophy and The Man ... ›
- 21 Best Martial Arts Movies From The 21st Century - Black Belt ... ›
Carlos Gracie knew balance was crucial not just physically but mentally, emotionally, and nutritionally. He knew that what happened in life outside the dojo affected your jujitsu in the dojo. And that any imbalance leads to poor performance and an unhealthy life. If you read some of Sr, Gracie's quotes, you will grasp the idea much better. For example, Carlos said, "Apply the largest amount of your time on self-improvement and not time criticizing others. Hold a good opinion about yourself and communicate that to the world, but not through dissonant words but through good works. There is no losing in jujitsu – you either win or you learn."
However, one of the most significant things about Gracie jujitsu, in particular, is the Gracie Diet developed by Sr. Carlos Gracie. The diet's central concept revolves around balance. The sole primary purpose is to maintain the pH balance of your meals as neutral as possible. This is essential for proper assimilation and digestion of nutrients. And to do this, each meal must have a combination of balanced nutrients from different types of food to optimize energy and live well. Furthermore, the food you eat cannot poison your body.
How It Works
First, you must choose your meals and what to eat. For example, if you are going to eat fruit, you need to eat enough fruit until your next meal. Three hours is the minimum and five is the maximum time before you can eat again. The concept of time is essential for your body to fully digest the meal before the next to prevent combining foods. For example, if you eat a starch for lunch and you are hungry in one hour, and you eat acidic fruit, according to the diet, this is not healthy. You can only eat when your stomach is emptied.
Gracie Diet Menu
The menu is from https://graciebarra.com/eating-well-2/gracie-diet/
Group A- Vegetables and Greens / Meats and Seafood / Fats and Oily Foods
Group A can be combined with each other and only with one from Group B.
Vegetables and Greens
Arugula, asparagus, basil, bay leaves, red beets, bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, fresh corn, cucumbers, eggplant, beans, garlic, ginger, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onions, oregano, parsley, fresh peas, hearts of palm, pumpkin, radish, red cabbage, cabbage, spinach, soy, turnips, sweet tomatoes, and watercress.
Fats and Oily Foods
Avocados, almonds, butter, Brazilian nuts, cashews, dried coconut, all fats in general, melted cheese, all nuts in general, olives, olive oil, peanut, pine nuts, sesame seeds, and wheat germ.
Meats and Seafood
Chicken, crab, crawfish, eggs, fish, fish eggs, lobster, mussels, octopus, oysters, red meat, shellfish, shrimp, and squid.
Group B- Starches
Do not combine starches with each other.
Barley, breadfruit, cereals, chestnuts, corn flour, beans, dry corn, dry soy, lentils, oats, potatoes, quinoa, rice, rye, sweet potatoes, wheat, and yams.
Group C- Sweet fruits and Foods and Fresh and Creamy Cheeses
You can combine any foods in Group C with each other and only with one from Group B. The Group B food must not have fat like butter and oil to be combined with Group C.
Sweet Fruit and Food- Fresh and Creamy Cheeses
Red apples, acai, dried bananas, fresh cheese, coconuts, cottage cheese, cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, dates, figs, sweet grapes, guava, honey, melons, papaya, pears, persimmons, prunes, raisins, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, sugar cane, syrup or juice with sugars, watermelon, all sweet fresh fruits, teas, peel of orange or lemon, black tea, mate tea, cider, chamomile, and various herbs.
Group D- Acidic Fruits
Do not combine these foods with any other groups or foods.
Green apples, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cider, currents, grapes, grapefruit, kiwis, lemons, lime, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, pomegranate, raspberry, strawberries, tangerines, tomatoes, or any acidic fruit.
Group E- Bananas
You can combine bananas with red apples, fresh cheese, fresh cream, fresh figs, sweet grapes, melons, milk, papaya, pears, plums, watermelon, and all fresh sweet fruits.
Do not combine bananas with avocados, butter, dry fruits, honey, olive oil, oily fruits, sugar in general, sugar cane, oil or any fat, and none of groups A and B.
Group F- Milk
You can combine milk with bananas, breadfruit, cooked yolk, artificial sweeteners, all of Group B, milk derivatives except curdled milk, kefir, yogurt, and other curded dairy products, which should be eaten alone.
Do not combine milk with avocados, egg whites, fruits, meats, oils, fats, oily fruits, olives, sugar in general, or anything in group A.
- Random Thoughts With Rickson Gracie ›
- Random Thoughts With Rickson Gracie - Black Belt Magazine ›
- The Gracie Diet: The Secret to Royce Gracie's UFC Success - Black ... ›
I recall Floyd Burk who is also a regular writer and contributor to Black Belt Magazine once asked for my input on article he had in the works entitled 'The Aging Martial Artist'.
Specifically he wanted to know the biggest change in your martial arts ability that you've noticed over the years? (Answer could be physical, philosophical, strategic, etc..)
Because judo is so physical, many of the moves I can no longer do because of prior injuries and trying to avoid future ones, (after 60 it takes much longer to recover). So my role have gravitated towards being involved in running the judo organizations, promoting large events, refereeing, developing future leaders, as well as providing wisdom that comes with age and experience.
He also wanted my advice to younger martial artists?
Focus on the big long term picture. Competition only lasts till you're too old to really get out there and do it. In judo we do have master divisions but I think there are better ways to serve the development of judo by developing dojos and students. I'm much more into using the principle of judo (maximum efficiently with minimum effort) then I was when I was younger.
I noticed it's harder for me to pull off big throws that require getting under an opponent's center of gravity. I favor small throws such as foot sweeps but these require perfect timing and skill to pull off. As I get older being smooth and in touch with the flow of the opponents movement becomes extremely important.
I'm also much more into judo as a life style than simply for competition. Judo has effected every aspect of my life, from my family to friends, even business, I see the tie in between what is done in the dojo as a microcosm of what happens in the real world.
Finally he asked; What can people do to best prepare themselves for those transitions?
Read books on judo's philosophy that are now more available compared to when I was growing up. These include Mind over Muscle by Naoki Murata, The Art of Peace by George Ohsawa, Judo Heart and Soul by Hayward Nishioka, Three Budo Masters & The Way of Judo by John Stevens, The Second Life of Judo by Alan Rafkind, Judo Memoirs of Jigoro Kano by Brian Watson, which all give terrific insights on the true meaning of judo. Also take good care of your mind and body by doing things in moderation.
Paul Schollmeier a judoka who's also a Barrick Distinguished Scholar and Philosophy Professor and I talked about the importance of understanding the samurai concept of mushin being focused on the here and now or being present.
Paul recommended these additional books; The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman, The Heart Sutra and its translation and commentary by Red Pine. In Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Live by Shantideva. Epectitus might be a stoic to start with. There is a short collection of his thoughts that served as a handbook for Roman soldiers. It's official title is Encheiridion, but it is also known as the Handbook.
To this end I really appreciate Jeff Przybilla's Life Skills Test which he incorporates into his at SCSU classes.
Jeff in action
Nanka will be hosting a free Zoom seminar from 2:00 to 4:00 PM (PDT) on Saturday September 18, 2021.
Nanka Judo Yudanshakai's relationship with Kano Shihan goes back to 1933, when during his then visit to Los Angeles he supported the formation of Nanka. So our interest in being able to present and enable conversation on Kano ideas and intentions is relevant to us and we believe the judo family at large.
It is our pleasure to be able to present this seminar featuring Lance Gatling – Jigoro Kano and Judo, the Secret Behind the Man.
It is well known that Kano frequently spoke about his judo philosophies for many decades, but he never ever disclosed their origins, nor their exact meaning which has escaped judoka ever since. His writings were not only influenced by ancient Eastern philosophy, but also from 19th century English philosophers.
While living in Japan, Lance Gatling has studied and researched Jigoro Kano for the past 15 years, discovering much that has not been seen for nearly the past 100 years.
During this seminar Lance will be present materials originated by Kano on a wide range of topics that include; Kano's judo philosophy; its origin and meaning, Kano's view of education, his thoughts on judo vs. today's sport judo, the five historic judokas, and his Twelve Principles of Judo.
Many of these concepts have never been discussed before and through his unique understanding of Kano, Lance will reveal a side of Kano we were not aware of. We expect a very large audience to this seminar. Register now at the link above!
The USJA's Board of Director's Election
(Voting has begun Eligible Voters have been notified)
Here are the best choices based on their judo, business, and educational experience
From left to right: Paul Bova, Jan Finkbeiner, Bonnie Korte, Dr. Ray Marquez IV, Paul Rivera
Detailed Bios can be found on the USJA's Election Website
Jefferson City Judo Club is excited to begin hosting Challenge of the Champions! We wish to extend an invitation to everyone, near and far, to participate in this spectacular event. Judoka and grapplers from all styles are welcome to participate. This tournament will be a great opportunity as we will offer BOTH Freestyle Judo and IJF Judo. Contenders are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in both rule sets.
As this event continues to gain momentum, we anticipate a tremendous turn out. Participants, coaches, referees and spectators can expect a great experience as you are greeted into one of the finest dojo facilities in the Midwest. Our school is 9500 square feet with two, full sized competition mats, which will be running simultaneously to keep the day flowing smoothly. You can also expect highly qualified and experienced Freestyle and USA (IJF) referees on the mat.
We will have Junior, Senior and Master's brackets ages 5 and up. Registration/weigh-ins are Friday, Oct. 8th from 3-8:00 p.m. Brackets will be available to view and we will start promptly on Saturday, Oct. 9th at 9:00 a.m. Preregistration is encouraged and can be completed by calling 573-301-1738 / 573-680-4694 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a registration form which can be mailed/emailed back to us.
Payments can be taken over the phone, check by mail and we also accept cash. Cost is $40 per competitor.
Head over to visitjeffersoncity.com to find places to stay while in Jefferson City.
Other useful links include:
Challenge of the Champions is sure to be one of the most impressive tournaments you will experience this year. Please come, be our guest and allow JCJC to serve you a memorable day full of judo as you step out, share the mat and challenge yourself with other champions. See you on the tatamis!
I'm always looking for new subjects to write about regarding judo as well as contributions from my readers. Please send them to email@example.com, thanks.
- Judo Blog: Kodokan Lessons with Richard Riehle - Black Belt ... ›
- Judo Blog: Controversy at Kosen Judo Event in Vegas - Black Belt ... ›
- Judo Blog: Freestyle Judo - Black Belt Magazine ›