WAKF & Crossfit Blog

No Gi

May 3rd, 2016

What is the difference between regular BJJ class and no Gi BJJ class?  Simple: you wear a Gi in the regular class and you don’t in the no Gi class.

The more complex difference is, of course, do the two classes “feel” different?  For me, yes – they feel very different.  With the Gi, there is stuff to grip.  There is friction.  When you get a hold of something, can hang on to it.  With no Gi, stuff slips and slides this way and that – it feels faster.

Do both.  Do both to feel the interesting difference.  Do both for practicality.  Sometimes people are wearing jackets and pants.  Sometimes they are wearing a flimsy t-shirt and shorts.

Being a Good Partner

April 22nd, 2016

Rule #1 of being a good partner: meet them where they are at.  If you have a higher skill than your partner, work to find a pace that gives them challenge.

One of the best signs that you are doing this correctly is when their face displays a mix of excitement, fun and nervousness.  If you see that look on their face, you’re doing it right!  One of the best signs that you’re doing it wrong is when their face is wracked with panic.  Few people learn well in a state of panic.

For today’s drill, we worked back and forth with a partner trying to expose and then shore up defensive weaknesses in our striking game.  The drill is fairly simple: throw strikes at your partner until you find something that lands.  When you find a strike that lands, throw it again but slightly slower.  Keep throwing it until your partner figures out a way to defend against it.  It is best to start with single attacks and if your partner does well against that, to start putting in combinations.  If they are rocking the defense against combos, try adding some fakes and see if you can find any holes in their game.

Remember, by improving your partner’s defense, by meeting them where they are at skill wise, you will improve their sparring game.  By improving their sparring game, you will help create a better partner who will, in turn, help to bump your game up as well.


April 17th, 2016

I am digging Joe’s Weightlifting class!  I’ve been to seminars before but the once a week for 8 weeks format is helping me out so much more.  I just don’t think I can absorb as much information in one 8 hour session as I can in 8 one hour sessions.

I think we should do a powerlifting series next!  And for the martial arts side, a boxing series!  And a Judo series!

Robert Gray Demo

April 8th, 2016

We had a blast over at Robert Gray Middle School on Thursday, showing our stuff.  Thanks to all the students who participated, the parents who helped bring their kids and to Rich for the photos!

Should I Open?

March 31st, 2016

Should you do the opens? The short answer is: probably.  The more nuanced answer lies below, formatted as a series of questions.

Do you just want a workout or are you interested in learning how to move better? If you just want a workout, don’t do the open. If you want to move better, do the open. Competing in the open will inspire you to shore up your skill weaknesses. If you don’t have a double under, you will score frustratingly low in the opens every year. That tangible feedback of scoring low will (hopefully) inspire you to pick up a jump rope and practice.

Are you interested in knowing what you are capable of or are you just staving off decline? If you are curious about your capacity, do the opens. The open will give you a very accurate measure of where you stand in a field of thousands of people. You can see where you stack up in your age bracket, across a variety of workouts (and if you do multiple years) if you have improved or declined. If you are just after maintenance, don’t do the opens.

Do you want your training to be engaging mentally or do you want to just do the work and go home? If you want to just do the work and go home, don’t do the opens. If you want to be engaged and interested in your training, do the opens. The strategy, the competition and the intensity will keep you up some nights wondering how you will do. Sometimes you will feel awesome about your performance. Sometimes you’ll be bewildered by your failure. You will not be bored.

Have you been doing CrossFit for at least a year? If so, you should do the opens. If not, probably wait until next time.

To summarize, if you want to move better, want to understand your capacity better, want your training to be engaging and have trained for at least a year, you should do the opens. Spend $20 in 2017, sign up and commit to do all 5 workouts. I learn a ton each year I compete. If you haven’t heard me blab about the lessons I learned this year, ask me – I’m more than happy to share.