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Mastering the “When” of Technique

  When I was new to jiu-jitsu, a wide-eyed and bushy-tailed white belt, I struggled to grasp the idea of when to use a particular technique. I thought that if I mastered the series of steps that made up executing a move, then I would be able to use that...

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Parallels Between BJJ and Magic: The Gathering

It’s no secret that many in the Panda Nation are big Magic: The Gathering players, including Nelson, Hillary, Reilly, and myself. The fantasy card game comes up almost every time we are on a podcast, and MTG terminology often sneaks into the Inverted Gear blog posts, like Nelson’s use of...

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Ask a Panda: Significant Others Are People Too

Question: I have been training jiu-jitsu for a while (I am a blue belt), since long before I met my current boyfriend. He is a black belt and runs an academy, and since we have been together, I have taken on an unintended role as a woman in a gym...

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Chasing the Good Ol’ Days Magic

10 years ago, the jiu-jitsu scene in Pittsburgh was radically different. Where most cities—like New York or San Diego or Seattle—had attracted multiple black belts and sprouted thriving jiu-jitsu cultures, Pittsburgh was still clawing its way to relevancy. When I started, there were no black belt instructors available, and it...

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