BJJ Archives - Talking Guns

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Joe LutrarioJune 17, 20233min43760

 

Get “Back on the Mat” is what a fighter strives to do. It’s a place where self achievement and growth is measured through blood sweat and tears.  Yet the mat is not just a physical place, but a spiritual battleground as well. Yes, it’s a combative arena, a chessboard so to speak. However, there is another aspect, another dimension. A manifestation of a persona, an ideal. “An Avatar”.

 

It’s not just the physical fight or the pursuit of belts. It’s what transpires day after day on the mat, in the subconscious, and in the brain. Most will be called to this art for the obvious…the physical attributes, the knowledge of safety, security, the ability to fight. Yet those that dedicate time, effort, heart, and all of themselves to more failure than success come to the realization that this lifestyle truly is a journey through life, that without the knowledge, balance and confidence one learns, would be empty, lonely and superficial at the very least. 

Those that step on the mat consistently for years enter a safe place not of this world. It’s a world where the rules are plain to see and apply to everyone equally. A sanctuary where one can be alone with oneself, no stresses, or pressures from the daily, mundane rituals of the average life outside this realm. The ability to think without thinking, move without moving yet flowing without effort, is what draws these Avatars to this Eden on earth. It’s nothing short of an addiction to what can be in every aspect of one’s life.

 Simply put, the goal of this journey is to acquire enough knowledge, enough experience so one can take their Avatar off the mat and live by the laws of the idealistic world and utilize them in the world of the rest.

By Joe Lutrario

 

 

 

Photo by Mike Kovacs



Joe LutrarioMarch 1, 20238min98820

MOMENTS IN LIFE

There is no better medicine for the heart, mind and soul than rolling consistently. Are you
aware of how the benefits of Jiu Jitsu are more than just physical? Jiu Jitsu is an art that
exercises the mind as well. Practitioners are led to think only about what is indeed essential and
to let go of what is of no use and stressful.

According to Cardiologist Jose Mansur Filho (no relation to Grand Master Mansur), “Our health
hinges on the windows we open during our lives. There is ill-being in wanting things to happen
right away. That anxiety harms the heart… I tell my patients that our brains have several
windows. When we have a problem, that tends to be the only window we open. We must open
others as well. If in 4 years from now I ask you what the problems you had today were, you
wouldn’t be able to remember 95% of them”. *Quoted from an interview in “O Globo”
newspaper.

When we roll, we can’t stay focused on the initial situation, we must understand our position,
consider what is next and move… Observe, Assess and Move (O.A.M.). This all should happen in
a fraction of a second. Hesitation and fixation can be detrimental. We need to lose the blinders
and become problem solvers in the moment. This is not something that develops right away. It
is an attribute we strive to obtain. It’s something we all start to figure out at our own pace.
Never compare yourself to anyone. Each of us is unique, and that is the most fascinating and
inspirational thing we can come to realize.

Life off the mat is no different. We need to realize the challenge that stands before us, assess
the situation, and move toward the goal of getting through it. Essentially, we need to take the
blinders off!

Off the mat, there are specific moments in life that define us. These times carve us out to be
who we are today. When one looks back on these moments, it’s apparent that three traits are
present. Perseverance, determination, and tenacity.

Perseverance to weather the storm or ride the wave, determination to consciously not allow
failure or success to derail you, and the tenacity to move forward when it is easier to quit or
even compromise. This all may sound redundant but have the patience and faith to believe that
when examined in your own life, the differences will be clear as day.

Compromise…I mentioned the term above. Let me explain why I coupled it with quitting. I’ll try
and illustrate it with a quick story I once heard and will never forget. “There was once a cold
and nearly frozen hunter who found himself lost in the woods of Washington State sometime in
early January. The snow was falling, and the winds were blowing. The hunter placed his
backpack to the ground and was ready to prop himself up against a giant Hemlock tree and give
up when he looked at the beauty that surrounded him and thought of all the good times that
he had over the years and even got a bit excited about what could have possibly been. Just then
a hungry old grizzly that was woken by the growling of an empty stomach caused by an
excessively lazy spring and summer. Their eyes met. The hunter stumbled to grab his rifle, but

his hands were too frozen to hold on to it, the fear and panic was ever so present. The old,
grizzled bear saw a warm meal, but realized his swiftness and agility were way behind him. The
hunter thought for a moment and presented the hungry beast with a compromise. “I’ll give you
something to eat if you keep me warm”. The bear realistically could have devoured the hunter
but figured he’d play along and delightfully agreed. He watched with amusement as the hunter
grabbed his knapsack and began to remove some food for his “companion”. Feeling a new and
overwhelming grumble the bear did what hungry bears do and yet kept up his end of the
bargain”. You see the hunter fed the bear and the bear kept the hunter warm with a beautiful
fur coat! Compromise is not winning. In some cases, it can be used as a tool to avoid the
current dilemma but understand it is not always a final solution and one probably will have to
revisit the battle once again.

It is often said iron is forged in fire. While that is true, it is a limited explanation at best. Fire can
be a negative as well as a positive. Iron is generally forged during the strengthening process,
nobody tells you that we are constantly being presented with the choice of moving forward,
constantly being “re-forged” for new possibilities or conceding. We are always given the option
to continue or step aside. Weak people are defined by their circumstances. Strong people are
defined by their commitment. Their commitment to rise to the occasion and do whatever it
takes to overcome regardless of being on or off the mat.

This is what Jiu Jitsu teaches us. Stay consistent, stay dedicated to yourself as well as to each
other and most importantly believe in your journey.

 

 

 

Written by Joe Lutrario

Edited by Jason Mcdonald



Joe LutrarioFebruary 14, 202310min67900

ART OF WAR (Sun Tzu) APPLIED TO BJJ

1.
-When the opponent has made a plan of attack against us, we must anticipate him by delivering our own
attack first.”
-Not an attitude of defense, whereby one might be content to foil the enemy’s stratagems one after
another, but an active policy of counter-attack.
-Supreme excellence consists in breaking the opponent’s resistance without fighting.
“He who wishes to fight must first count the cost”.
-Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
– “While we are taking our ease, wait for the adversary to tire himself out. “Lure him on and tire him out.”
-The good tactician plays with his adversary as a cat plays with a mouse, first feigning weakness and
immobility, and then suddenly pouncing upon him. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest.
-If your opponent is of choleric temper (easily angered), seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he
may grow arrogant.
-If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.
-Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when
we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him
believe we are near.  Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder and crush him.
– “Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack.” It would be hard to find a better
epitome of the root-principle of war.
– “Knowing the enemy enables you to take the offensive, knowing yourself enables you to stand on the
defensive.”
-If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
-If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know
yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
-He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the adversary unprepared.
-The secret lies in an eye for opportunity, and in not letting the right moment slip.
-If he can fight, he advances and takes the offensive; if he cannot fight, he retreats and remains on the
defensive. He will invariably conquer who knows whether it is right to take the offensive or the defensive.
-He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
– “The skillful employer of men will employ the wise man, the brave man, the covetous man, and the
stupid man. For the wise man delights in establishing his merit, the brave man likes to show his courage
in action, the covetous man is quick at seizing advantages, and the stupid man has no fear of death.”

2.

-He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called
a heaven-born captain.
-Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions.
-So, in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak. [Like water, taking the line of
least resistance.]
-Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the
infinite variety of circumstances.
– “Show no sign “of what you mean to do, of the plans that are formed in your brain.
-Force him to reveal himself, so as to find out his vulnerable spots.
-By noting the joy or anger shown by the enemy on being thus disturbed, we shall be able to conclude
whether his policy is to lie low or the reverse.
– “Know beforehand all plans conducive to our success and to the enemy’s failure.” Rouse him and learn
the principle of his activity or inactivity.
-For should the enemy strengthen his van, he will weaken his rear; should he strengthen his rear, he will
weaken his van; should he strengthen his left, he will weaken his right; should he strengthen his right, he
will weaken his left. If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.
-The spot where we intend to fight must not be made known; for then the enemy will have to prepare
against a possible attack at several different points.

3.
-Hasty temper, which can be provoked is one’s doom.
– “He who lets an advantage slip will subsequently bring upon himself real disaster.”
-Nothing is to be achieved in war unless you are willing to take risks.
– “Cowardice” as being of the man “whom timidity prevents from advancing to seize an advantage,”
cowardice, which leads to capture.
-Recklessness, leads to destruction.
-The merely brave man is prone to fight recklessly; and he who fights recklessly, without any perception
of what is expedient, must be condemned.”
– “Get the enemy into a position where he must suffer injury, and he will submit of his own accord.”
– “If I wish to extricate myself from a dangerous position, I must consider not only the enemy’s ability to
injure me, but also my own ability to gain an advantage over the enemy.
– “If we wish to wrest an advantage from the enemy, we must not fix our minds on that alone, but allow for
the possibility of the enemy also doing some harm to us and let this enter as a factor into our
calculations.”

4.

-Exhibit the coyness of a maiden, until the enemy gives you an opening; afterwards emulate the rapidity
of a running hare, and it will be too late for the enemy to oppose you.
– “If the enemy shows an inclination to advance, lure him on to do so; if he is anxious to retreat, delay on
purpose that he may carry out his intention.” The object is to make him remiss and contemptuous before
we deliver our attack.
-The expediency of aggressive or defensive tactics; and the fundamental laws of human nature: these are
things that must most certainly be studied.
– “The axiom, that war is based on deception, does not apply only to deception of the enemy. One must
realize we can be deceived as well.
-By altering his arrangements and changing his plans, [not using the same stratagem twice.] he keeps the
enemy without definite knowledge.
– “To mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy,” is one of the first principles in war.
-The advantage of position neutralizes the inferiority in stamina and courage.
– “The way to eliminate the differences of strong and weak and to make both serviceable is to utilize
accidental features of the fight”.
-Further you control, the greater will be the confidence.
-Take advantage of the enemy’s unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack
unguarded spots.

5.
-Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content.
-If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are.
-What they must not do, and what will prove fatal, is to sit still and simply hold to the advantages they
have got.”
– “Those who want to make sure of succeeding in their battles and assaults must seize the favorable
moments when they come and not shrink on occasion from heroic measures.
– “In war, there are various indirect methods of attack.
– “If you see a possible way, advance; but if you find the difficulties too great, retire.”

 

 

Written by Joe Lutrario

Edited by Jason Mcdonald



Joe LutrarioOctober 1, 20224min52790

It takes years of consistent work and effort. Once achieved, a new journey begins. The responsibility should be clear. Passing on the experience and knowledge to those who are on the journey and in need of a teacher. For some this may be a burden, others a delight. In reality it’s a lot of both.

It’s not nearly enough to just pass on technique, it’s not nearly enough to show what it takes to win a championship, it’s definitely not right to be a selfish player in a sport, and it certainly is unacceptable to just take the character, the knowledge and hide it away from all those who seek it. The only thing that’s acceptable is to be a commander, a coach and of course a teacher.

You see, Jiu Jitsu is a lifelong journey. It’s a “Triade”, a word from French origin meaning a trinity, a triangle. One side of the Triade is the self-defense aspect. Jiu Jitsu was developed as a means of self-protection. A way a person can defend themselves in a real life- threatening situation. We all know the stories of how Master Helio developed BJJ for people like himself. A smaller weaker person can be capable of fending off a much larger, stronger assailant. Without this angle there is no second one, which is the sport aspect of Jiu Jitsu. A way for one to test and hone their skills in a non-lethal manor. An arena where technique and sportsmanship come together to raise each other up and aide in the development of everyone’s “game”. That’s exactly what this angle is…a game.

These two angels sit atop of the third angle, a base which is called character. This base is the one that holds all three angles together. Not only does it prevent warriors and athletes from tearing each other a part, it teaches us how to be the best person we can be in all aspects of our lives. As we march through this sojourn we call BJJ, we learn from our training certain tools. Tools that teach us, prepare us and most importantly build us.  The base of this Triade gives us the experience and knowledge to be able to set the right example to all those who we come in contact with. It carries the load of enabling us to be the best commander and warrior, the best coach and the very best teacher of life’s values on and off the mat with the purest of heart. 

Without the proper AND equal development of each of these angles we lose the perfect, purest system of growth. As a Professor, it is our fundamental duty to ensure that each student grows and develops their own perfect Triade so they can some day pass that perfection on. Without the proper training in all three aspects of Jiu Jitsu one can never fully develop and what a selfish tragedy that would be.

 

Photo by Mike Kovacs



Joe LutrarioFebruary 22, 20225min36290

The BJJ academy has many “classrooms”, from the vestibules, the mats, to the locker-rooms. The people we meet in the vestibule are encouraging and delightful. The education we get on the mat is priceless. We all know the value of a great teacher and mentor. On a personal note, that is why I hold my professor, Milton Regis 6th degree black belt, in such high regards. Yet there is something enormous to say about the atmosphere and friendship that is built in the locker room.

When people struggle, sweat and face their fears together, there is a strong and special relationship that is formed. An intimate bond so to speak. Coming from a man that can’t remember what he ate for breakfast, let alone specific words spoken amongst a group of warriors, there is a deep feeling of peace, camaraderie, safety and vulnerability that one cannot ignore or forget.  

I have come to a point in my training where I finally realize that my opponent in front of me is not my only adversary. Just as a true warrior would never underestimate his physical obstacles, he would surely recognize and control the greatest obstacle of all…himself. We all can hear the little voice in our heads speaking to us before, during and after a fight. You know, the one that speaks volumes about how you “can’t do this and you can’t do that”. 

We can sit back deny, ignore or flat out lie to ourselves and others, but that won’t change the fact that it is our own worst enemy…and the most powerful one at that. Just as we come to master the basics of our game, we must also come to master the enemy within. This is a worthy and inevitable fight that all of us must conquer at one point in order to be successful. Only when one rises above and controls the demons of self doubt and self pity, can he grow to be the best he can be. Let me take it further, not just successfully grow on the mat, but to grow to extreme heights in all aspects of their lives. 

This is a battle that needs to be fought not alone, for the enemy within is too deceiving and too strong. Don’t misunderstand me, it can and will be defeated. It will be conquered as a team. A legion of warriors, training and learning together on the mat. Meeting in the vestibules, exchanging handshakes and subtle hugs. Most importantly, it shall be defeated in the locker-rooms. Here, here is where we are at our strongest. Outside the pit of anguish which we call our minds, in the midst’s of fighters, real friends who understand, share, encourage and most important believe in each other. Here is where lifelong bonds and pacts are made. Not just simply from voice boxes, but from ones gut and heart. The faith and belief we have in each other squelches the screams of self doubt. We hear only the whispers of our fellow fighters..Our friends. 

All people are born champions. However, it is only those who get tempered, molded and forged by the heat of battle that come to realize who they are and what they can achieve. We all reach the inevitability of this fight…rest assured my friends, I will be there standing side by side fighting with you, just as I pray that you stand beside me.

 

Photo by Mike Kovacs


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Joe LutrarioSeptember 2, 20213min50360

 

Anacondas are members of the boa constrictor family of snakes. Thus meaning they kill their prey by quickly striking and controlling their victim until it is too exhausted to fight, and their prey begins to suffocate. The will of the sufferer has been broken. 

Anacondas rely on stealth and the element of surprise to catch their unsuspecting prey. This jungle predator keeps its victim at bay, by controlling their actions while frustrating and exhausting its adversary. Taking advantage of its opponent’s weary and defeated attitude, the Anaconda methodically goes on the offensive and with precision; it only alerts its victim of their demise at a time when it’s too late.

 Like the Anacondas of the jungle, the great BJJ practitioner is a disciplined attacker. He is confident, patient and ready to attack at the most opportune moment. He quickly strikes, controls his opponent, matching move for move looking for the slightest light out of the tiniest window of opportunity given by his challenger or maybe even created by his own masterful mind. The BJJ artist acknowledges his adversary as a competent and dangerous foe. He engages in an active game of combat chess, exploding with bursts of speed and agility, while conserving energy and exalting exceptional deceit and precision.

The fighter is aware that in any given moment the tide can be turned. He realizes he must control the tempo. Too much wasted strength… too tired to continue. Too much hesitation…. he loses the race. The charmed grappler exalts a streaming flow between attacks and control leading to the final objective….submission.

The patient, free flowing contest on the mat is a way of life engrained in the champion fighter beginning at a time when the mat appeared to be nothing less than a jungle crawling with Anacondas and other fearless predators.