Are you playing to win or just not lose?

Are you playing to win or just not lose?
Many years ago, I trained with a grappler whose plan seemed to be stalling in every position (and I mean every position), turtling up at all costs. He kept his arms glued to his side and his head tucked down at all t...
Matt Kirtley
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Things they don’t tell you when you start BJJ

Jiu-jitsu is a strange journey, and while I’ve had that thought before, I usually let it pass. Recently, I was on a flight back from a Globetrotter camp and had far too much time on my hands (which is dangerous, as ...
Nelson Puentes
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BJJ and Travel: The Easy Way

Traveling and training can be tough. Finding welcoming places to train can sometimes be challenging, but the real stress can come from trying work out the rest of your logistics: transportation, lodging, and ideas fo...
Nelson Puentes
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Your Jiu-Jitsu Report Card

When you’re a kid, it doesn’t take much to determine your favorite time of year. For me, it was December. And since I’m still just a big kid, it still is. There’s Christmas, of course, but there’s also my birthday. I...
Nelson Puentes
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Cancer, Jiu-Jitsu, and a Lesson in Persistence

“Tienes que ser persistente,” my mom always said. “You have to be persistent.” She drilled this phrase into my head while I was growing up. Little Nelson having trouble tying his shoes? Keep trying. Math is hard? ...
Nelson Puentes
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Grade History to Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt: The Story of Dave

Last Sunday, one of my best friends was promoted to black belt. I was the one to tie the belt around his waist (you can see that here). Dave and I have been friends for over 15 years. He is the first kid I met when I...
Nelson Puentes
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Bobby Fischer Jiu-Jitsu

With Tobey Maguire doing the podcast rounds for his new movie Pawn Sacrifice, Bobby Fischer is reentering the public conversation. Well, maybe not the general public conversation. Chess isn’t the sexy Cold War sport...
Marshal Carper
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A Year Away From Competing

I have been competing for a long time. I actually signed up for my first tournament before I started training. Yes, you read that correctly. That, in itself, is a story worth reading if you haven’t heard it yet alre...
Nelson Puentes
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Exclusive: Panda Pin Escapes

Exclusive: Panda Pin Escapes
The Panda Pin Escapes Instructional is exclusive to newsletter subscribers. 
Nelson Puentes
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The Turkey Roll: Another Reason We’re Excited for This Thanksgiving

I have been running a turkey roll since my first teaching gig as a purple belt—all the way back in 2011. The original school I taught at was a whopping 3 blocks from my parents’ house. Talk about an easy commute, so ...
Nelson Puentes
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Polaris Adventures with Reilly Bodycomb and Nelson Holmes

I have a confession: I was obsessed with Sherlock Holmes growing up. I told my Mom that I wanted to be a detective when I grew up, and I trotted around the house with a magnifying glass looking for mysteries to solv...
Nelson Puentes
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Registration Fees and Hurricanes

I have spent countless hours packed in a car with my friends Dave, Andrew, Greg, and Will. We drove to seminars, tournaments, and open mats. These trips forged our friendship and were the start of more than a few adv...
Nelson Puentes
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