Friday, December 5, 2014

Anthony Bourdain on Cooking and Jiu-Jitsu (Charlie Rose 12-2-14)

Do you know who Anthony Bourdain is?  If you don't you probably need to know.  Everyone loves food and he is a food NERD.  He's as nerdy about food as most of us are about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He had a well known show on the Travel Channel about culinary and cultural adventures known as No Reservations & The Layover.  From here he gained national notice and his talents moved over to CNN where he currently hosts Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.  In a nut-shell...he travels all over, specifically NOT tourist attractions looking for delicious, "unknown" places to eat excellent food.  He is not limited to visiting places within our United States.  He visits exotic countries leaving few stones un-turned.

So some may be asking...why in the heck is this being posted on a Jiu-Jitsu blog site?  Well he has a passion for Jiu-Jitsu like most of us.  The only difference is he is a well known celebrity and I find it really cool to see how far Jiu-Jitsu reaches out and has an impact on the lives of people outside of the normal population.

To a degree I can relate to Bourdain as I myself started training Jiu-Jitsu at an older age (30) and have a lot of respect for his approach to training and enjoying the sport.  From what I have seen and read about Bourdain he is really down to earth and has very little ego on the mats.  Like many of us he sees it as a challenge to help better himself and of course he enjoys the learning aspect of it.

I don't have any particular desire to see our sport be adopted by the majority of people...I think that it feels more special when you can relate to the minority of people that share the seeing someone on occasion that seems to be the last person you might expect to also share that passion makes it a little extra special.

Ironically, Anthony Bourdain's wife, Ottavia, is the one responsible for exposing him to Jiu-Jitsu.
I highly recommend reading more about their relationship with Jiu-Jitsu here:  (EXCELLENT INTERVIEW)

His wife, Ottavia, regularly competes and is very dedicated to Jiu-Jitsu.  Serves her right.  She needs some hobbies while her husband is traveling the world working on his tv show!

Anthony Bourdain & his wife Ottavia
Ready to get a little jealous?  Bourdain with his star power obviously has opportunities to train with some high level grapplers.  I regularly see him sporting Shoyoroll gear and recently saw pictures of him training with Cyborg!

For those interested in seeing what Bourdain is up to be it his travels, food, or Jiu-Jitsu exploits I HIGHLY recommend following him on Facebook:

I had known about his passion for Jiu-Jitsu for a while and seeing this recent video of Bourdain on the Charlie Rose show motivated me to put a small piece together to share with those that might not be aware of him.

Related Links:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Get to Know: Collin Grayson (Caio Terra Association)

I had the opportunity to meet Collin Grayson shortly after I started training Jiu-Jitsu in early 2008. He was hosting Marcelo Garcia for a seminar and I was lucky enough to attend...even if I could barely tie my own belt.  Fast forward to 2014 and Collin is still teaching Jiu-Jitsu in both Rockwall and Irving under the Caio Terra Association.  

When did you start training?

-January 28, 2002

When did you receive your Black Belt and from whom?

-I received my Black Belt on December 28, 2011 from Jose Reyes

What should a new student focus on?

-Having fun first and foremost.  Experiencing the culture of jiu-jitsu, seeing how it changes people, meeting new friends, setting new goals, acquiring a mentor, etc.  That is what creates a lifelong BJJ’er – not the techniques.  The techniques are simply a means to an end.

What would you change about how you approached training Jiu-Jitsu if you had to go back and start all over again?

-Drill more.  Recognize that rolling/training is merely the output of the input.

How important is competition for development?

-I think it develops character and is good for self-evaluation.  Not necessary for developing good technique though.  Hard work and honest partners can create that.

Collin Grayson (CTA) vs Kelly Rundle (Alliance)

How do you feel about students cross-training at other gyms?

-Learn whatever you can!  Just be sure to share it!

How do you feel about supplementing training with other forms of physical activity such as lifting weights, crossfit, running, swimming, etc? 

-If you want to be good at Jiu-Jitsu, train Jiu-Jitsu.

Do you feel like the BJJ is becoming watered down due to the ease of people uploading instructional videos on sites like YouTube?

-Not watered down, but the evolution of BJJ has changed dramatically.  Advanced techniques are being hit at a much lower belt level

What are your thoughts on rolling versus drilling?

-Rolling should be secondary, drilling helps to develop the tools you use when rolling.

Do you use supplements?   How do you stay healthy? 

-Fish Oil, Flax Oil, Glucosamine & Chondroitin

What do you recommend for training preparation?

-Stretching, eating a light meal 90 mins prior, and having a teaspoon of honey 10 minutes prior

Do you think training wrestling and judo is important?  

-At least enough to defend against it

As an instructor, what does your training consist of trying to balance teaching vs training?  Give an example of a typical week of training for you. 

-Teach 7 classes per week – try to drill and roll as much as possible without taking away from the students instruction.  Also cross-train at other gyms when possible.

Do you continue to study new (modern) Jiu-Jitsu and how do you go about that?  Do you train with other black belts in other gyms, affiliations, etc? 

-Yes – via  Study new techniques and drill them with BB Mark Stites on the weekends.

What is the worst injury you have experienced while training? 

-Torn MCL

Is there anything interesting you would like to say about yourself or any opinions you have on the current state of BJJ?

-I think it’s awesome…there will never be a set of rules that please everyone.  As BJJ evolves, the rules will as well.  The constant evolution is what keeps it fresh, interesting, and fun!

Collin Grayson recently promoted his first Black Belt and
longtime friend Mark Stites who also teaches at the Rockwall location. 

Not only is Collin an excellent instructor but he's also well known for bringing in some of the best talent for seminars throughout the year.  If you have a chance to drop in and train with his group I highly recommend it.  As mentioned earlier, Collin operates out of both Rockwall and Irving, TX. His locations can be found at:

811 E. Yellow Jacket Ln
Rockwall, TX 75087 
(Located inside  of Ridge Pointe Athletic Club)

612 South Valley Ranch Parkway
Irving, TX 75063
(George Prevalsky's Boxing & Muay Thai Boxing Club)