Jon Friedland's Jiu Jitsu Thoughts

Jon Friedland here, finally putting some of my thoughts to type. I’ve been training the better part of 20 years, receiving my black belt in 2007. I’m a 10-year dojo owner and head instructor of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Started training Jiujitsu casually in early 1995, formally in 1997. Teaching BJJ since 2000, i received my black belt in 2007, opened my academy, Neutral Ground, in 2005, am the head instructor, and am currently a 2nd degree black belt under Master Pedro Sauer.

Mat time vs space time

Mat time vs space time

One without the other is useless in grappling, and in life. Mat time is the data input and space time is the data analysis. The Mat Time: During your hands-on live training, you’re taking in infinite data, mostly downloaded into the unconscious, but some hanging at...

3 reasons you should show up with an Injury

3 reasons you should show up with an Injury

We know injuries are inevitable, and are usually perceived as a huge bummer when time is needed off from live rolling. But with every injury is opportunity, and continuing to show up to class is key to capitalizing on them. 1) We learn from watching, and everyone is...

Don’t be the snowbank either!

Don’t be the snowbank either!

On the flipside of the “rock out, rock on” blog (link at the bottom), don’t be the snowbank either! Nothing grinds my gears more than watching a higher belt, who should know better, bear down on a much less experienced training partner, leaving them to writhe...

The General’s Army: Delegation Through Repetition

The General’s Army: Delegation Through Repetition

Our body as our total fighting force, we’d all assume the brain as the general and our body the army. Like any army, it requires training to be effective in combat, from the top general down the ranks. During the instruction portion of class, our ways of learning are...

newb advice from a new father

newb advice from a new father

A few months ago we finally got to meet our daughter, our second spawn. And of course i look to BJJ for guidance. With our first child, i read everything i could get my hands on, talking to everyone that had children, and annoyingly to those that didn’t. I wanted to...

Flow like River, not like Glacier

Flow like River, not like Glacier

  When rivers flow, they gather more oxygen, invite higher life forms, cover ground, and see major landscape. They’re constantly changing, carving, and evolving. Rivers are experts at navigating obstacles quickly and efficiently along their path. They LEARN as...

Don’t roll to “last”

Don’t roll to “last”

A challenge: don’t roll to last. Give yourself permission to push it, to “fail” early, out of breath. Attempt to push the pace past your comfort level, repeatedly, instead of resting to make sure you don’t. Embrace and look forward to the feeling of desperation in...

Childhood Lessons Towards the BJJ Black Belt

Childhood Lessons Towards the BJJ Black Belt

As children, we learn to play. Through play we learn to trust, share, communicate and show empathy. We allow ourselves to get exhausted, forgetting sometimes to eat or sleep. A cartwheel for no reason is encouraged. As adults, new skills are added. We now have the...

The river or the rock.

The river or the rock.

A basic armbar: You have your partner ALMOST there, one leg over his chest, the other sorta over his face. You’re grabbing his arm (most likely with your hands buried in his elbow pit) and ripping rearward with everything you got, this fool better learn not to reach...

Break your path, Wear your Path

Break your path, Wear your Path

You are shown the technique and practice it. You are corrected in your technique, usually several times, and adjust accordingly. You are praised for “getting it” and are now searching for the next. This is the usual routine for most students learning a new technique....

When the hand is raised

When the hand is raised

 In defeat: If the opponent’s hand is raised. Blame no one, for there needn’t be blame. You put in your effort during and up to this point, the rest is out of your hands. Be thankful for the opportunity, and respectful of your opponent’s hard effort before and during...

Jiujitsu is without pain.

Jiujitsu is without pain.

Jiujitsu is painless, technical, and flowing. That is a beauty of Jiujitsu. It can be done by all walks of life, with anybody, regardless of stature, and without pain. A jiujitsu technician can go from training with a power lifter to a child, small-framed lady,  and...

When that move “doesn’t work on him”

When that move “doesn’t work on him”

We’ve all overheard this one. Two grapplers will be either finishing their rolling or momentarily pause during it, with one of them explaining “that move never works on you”. There are 2 likely reasons for this: 1) The most likely is that your technique was just...

Your Jiujitsu Alphabet

Your Jiujitsu Alphabet

One of the first things you learn in school is the alphabet. If asked what letter comes after “p” you’d most likely say in your head “l-m-n-o-p…Q” It’s so ingrained in us that for the rest of our lives we run that shitty song over in our heads countless times, for...

“Filling” the Jar

“Filling” the Jar

There’s the famous old story, about a professor’s analogy for time management, demonstrating it with rocks, pebbles, sand, and water put into a single jar, the jar being your total time spent on earth. Each of the rocks, pebbles, sand and water components representing...