Viewing entries tagged
Jiu-Jitsu

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Vulkan Pro Eco Training GI - Verbal Tap Review

Welcome to Verbal Tap's version of a gi review. Today I take a closer look at my Vulkan gi. It's less than 2 minutes, it recaps how the gi has held up over 5 months, and it even has some production value! Please take a look, subscribe to VerbalTapCast on youtube, and thanks for watching!

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BJJ Breakdown Breaks Down Kevin

As some of you may recall, last month Kev competed in a no gi, BJJ tourney over on the other side of the world (Virgina).  Turns out, we found video evidence of it.  And our pal, JOHN EVANS, was nice enough to give that match the royal BJJ Breakdown treatment.

Not only does John do a nice job of analyzing Kev's technique (or occasional lack thereof), but he's also nice enough to ignore the fact that Kevin's shirt makes him look like a slightly slimmer Kool-Aid Man.

On a serious note, we'd like to thank John Wiseman Franklin for allowing us to put the match up on our website and BJJ Breakdown to analyze it.  We hope it's an educational tool for all those who enjoy BJJ and who enjoy making fun of Kevin as much as I do.

And props to the always excellent BJJ Breakdown.  Hopefully we'll have more of these in the future for you to analyze.  My only request is that next time there be more jokes at Kev's expense (like this, "I'm glad to see they settled on a catch weight for this match.  And by catch weight, I mean, Kev 'caught' a case of being fat."  That's just off the top of my head; I'm happy to refine it).

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I'm Just Here To Pay My Dues: The BJJ Notebook

ABJJ Notebooks some of you may know, the podcast and website are more than just hobbies for Kevin and me.  We both train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu recreationally and are big proponents of the "gentle art."  So even when we're not toiling away editing articles or the podcast, we're always trying to learn more about the craft. Over the years, I've seen this book pop up more than a number of times in my social media news feeds, but was never motivated to actually purchase it (and if not this one in particular, others like it).  Ultimately, I figured I could just make my own version of this book if I really wanted to.

And I did!  I tend to use a lot of moleskin notebooks a lot to jot down notes, jokes and observations and decided about a year ago to dedicate one such notebook solely to my BJJ training regimen.

It worked... for awhile.  I made a regular routine of writing down the lessons each day and figuring out what parts of my training I needed to concentrate on.  But, over time, I stopped writing in it on a regular basis.  I'd constantly lose it or forget to go over the day's featured technique.  Pretty soon, I found that lessons of the day would go by the wayside—leaving all that knowledge I was working so hard to build to just rot away in my brain (which, itself, is a fragile thing).  And, lo and behold, that happened to be exact moment when I felt parts of my training recall and execution were becoming stagnant.

It bugged me.  I'd occasionally pick up the book and try to start the routine over again, but, for whatever reason, it never seemed to stick.  Eventually I just figured it was gonna take something pretty big to motivate me to get back on track.

Enter our interview with Rafael Lovato Jr.

The night of that interview something just snapped.  Here we were interviewing a guy who didn't have the luxury of a nearby Black Belt teaching him how to improve his game when he was coming through the ranks.  He had to travel thousands of miles out of his way just to learn more about the process.  It wasn't just about wanting to be better, it was about making the commitment to be better.

Suddenly the "tough" challenge of writing in a journal didn't seem like such a difficult task by comparison.  Try as I might, I just couldn't justify my own excuses for skipping out on the BJJ journaling process—especially as a guy who likes to consider himself a writer.

Promptly after the interview, I saw a link for the book again that praised it's usefulness.  At this point I said to myself, "screw it, if I'm going to do this, my money should go to someone who took the time to make this and who appreciates the craft of BJJ like I do."

Moreover, I wanted the accountability.  The safest way to ever force yourself to do something is to make it an investment.  Suddenly I wasn't just forgetting to write in a training journal, it was now "hey dummy, you're wasting money if you don't keep this up."

So keep it up, I shall.

I'm happy to report that it landed on my desk two days after I put in the order and, as of this moment, I've already filled out two days worth of entries on a heavy training week.

Additionally, now that Kev and I have the luxury of the extended family that is the VerbalTapCast.com community, I feel it entirely appropriate to occasionally wax poetic on my own BJJ struggles to an audience who can either appreciate my perspective or have been there themselves.

I hope you all will keep me accountable on this and, in return, I'll try to bring the same eye for fun, nonsense and humor about my trials and tribulations with training in the same light I do for all things MMA, BJJ, and UFC posted on this website.  I'll let you know how my progress comes along (or doesn't).  It'll be a great time.

Sound good?  Deal!

Thanks in advance and I'll see you on the mats.

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ACT NOW: "I Pull Guard T-Shirt"

pullguardfirstThis made me laugh today.  If I were single, I'd prolly purchase it myself. But, since I'm not, I will instead pass this on to all of you and let you do as you please.

It's on a deal for the next 18 hours or so, compliments of our friends over at BJJHQ.

If you get the deal it runs $15 right now.  So have at, jiu-jitsu nerds.

And, no, I get absolutely zero perks for mentioning it.  Just think it's kinda funny.

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Triangle Choke... Marriage Proposal?

So when did mixed martial arts suddenly become the trendy way to propose marriage? Right off the heels of a razor thin victory proposal from Benson Henderson in the Octagon two weeks ago, we have this new video that was brought to our attention thanks to the good people over at Tap.Nap.Snap.Your MMA Recap.

During a perfectly normal roll between a couple, the male jiu-jitsu practitioner below decides to pull guard AND her heartstrings.

So... a few questions.  And since jiu-jitsu is never a perfect art, feel free to take my observations and notes here with a grain of salt.

  1. Would an arm triangle have made a stronger selection here? I respect the choice to go for a triangle choke, but might an arm triangle afforded an opportunity to slip the ring directly on the finger ("boom, you're engaged!")
  2. Was there a plan if she had said "no?"  Do you finish the choke if that were the case?
  3. Wait... in this scenario are you supposed to finish the choke?  I feel it's just bad drilling to just release the hold.  I mean, how are you ever going to learn the muscle memory for the move without the repetition?

I suppose the part that makes me laugh the most here, is watching the guy scramble for the ring while also playing defense (major props to the corner man who gives his buddy the ring in the ring!).  And then when he does actually get the ring, there's an added element of danger of "Wait, is he going to drop that?  What if he doesn't set the move up correctly and she ends up passing his guard?  What will happen then!!!  No one wants a marriage proposal from side mount!"

All kidding aside, we'd like to extend our congratulations to the couple in the video.  I personally hope they continue the whole jiu-jitsu theme for all of their wedding proceedings (Oh my God, the wedding officiant needs to be a ref!)

And, I for one, think these crazy kids are gonna make it.  Don't they say, "the couple who trains jiu-jitsu together... have absolutely no problem kicking the living crap out of anyone who dares give them a problem?"

Either way, on behalf of us at Verbal Tap, best of luck to you guys and we sincerely wish you all the best!

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Welcome to Verbal Tap Cast

Verbal Tap Logo Final - WebsiteHear ye, hear ye, everyone.  Quiet down for just a sec, your friends at VERBAL TAP have a quick announcement we'd like to make. At the risk of aliening those used to our normal goofball nature, we hope you'll allow us a moment to get serious on you guys.

What you see before your eyes today is the fruition of our creative efforts. After six months of tinkering with the podcast and accumulating a devoted set of listeners, Kev and I have decided it was time to up the ante.  Which is why we are proud to welcome you today to the official website for the VERBAL TAP podcast (VerbalTapCast.com).

That's right.  We are now more than just a Twitter page.  A lifeless Buzzsprout website.  Or a Facebook status letting you know how badly you need to listen to our latest installment.  We finally a space to call our own where you can comment, snicker, jeer, cheer, and yell at us.  And, to be quite honest, we couldn't be more excited about it.

With the new website, we now have a permanent online presence that allows us to continue conversations about a sport that we all know and love so much.  Which means: more jokes, more content, and maybe even an occasional video or two.  It’s really gonna depend on all of you and the community we create here.

It's a big day for us and the moment is not lost upon either one of us, as we've had dozens of people who have helped to bring us to this moment.

First and foremost, we’d like to thank all of the VERBAL TAP fans.  Many of you have brought such passion and enthusiasm to our podcast, it’s become infectious and has helped bring an energy to the show that we never knew could exist.

I mean, for damn sure, Kev and I never thought legitimate MMA fighters and personalities would get such a kick out of the show.  But we'd like to thank all of those who have appeared on the podcast or have sent well wishes for being such good sports about the roast-like nature of the show and getting exactly what it is we're trying to do.

Because at our core, the two of us are MMA enthusiasts who share many of the same highs and lows that come with being avid MMA fans.

We spend our hard earned cash month in and month out to go to bars and watch these PPVs.  We both have extremely patient significant others, family members, and friends we regularly put on hold to put this together or live comment during events.  We are not full-time journalists who use the podcast as an extension of their articles or make a living reporting on MMA (as it stands Kev and I balance several non-MMA related jobs with our other creative pursuits on the side).

We dedicate our free time and efforts to this podcast because we love the sport, we love the fans, and we've always felt the genre, frankly, lacks the type of voice that we provide.

Our philosophy has always been: if the kind of show that you wish doesn’t exist, you have go out there and make it.  There are thousands of podcasts out there.  Some good, others not so much.  We’ve put in our time and listened to other MMA and sports podcasts only to realize: there isn’t a single one that speaks the same unique language that we do.  It’s that can-do philosophy that has wonderfully guided our little show and helped us to build a growing audience.

We’re not gonna bore you with exhaustive recaps of every single punch or takedown, or regurgitate the same news stories and analysis that you can read from literally every other form of social media before your eyes.

We’re gonna make things lively.  We’re gonna make stupid jokes.  We’re occasionally going to be silly.  Most importantly, we're gonna make it our own.   Chances are, if you like us (and most people do), you'll probably like a great deal of the podcast—even if MMA isn't exactly your cup of tea.  And as long as you guys continue to be passionate about it and spread the word, then  we will continue striving to give you the best podcast in existence(tm).

We are keenly aware that there are tons of other things you can be doing, podcasts you can be listening to in your free time, but we will do our damnedest to make sure the podcast feels like a blast—as we are committed to doing this thing as long as it feels fun to all parties involved.

So why not make us a regular fixture on your website viewing habits, won’t you?

Ok, that'll do it for the serious stuff.  Back to the normal stuff:  Raf's awesome and Kevin's awful.  Thanks much, everyone, nothing else to see here, people.

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