The Neutral Ground Blog

Articles written by our very own students and coaches!

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On Haters-media-2

On Haters

If it hasn’t yet, this Jiujitsu journey will bring haters. They can come from within the BJJ community; your competition success, rank, or your gi. And haters will appear outside …

Level up With Flow-media-1

Level up With Flow

Everywhere in life, progress is found through flow, through doing, not stopping doing from being done. There are certainly times to hold the line, park, wait it out and hide. …

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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 …

3 reasons you should show up with an Injury-media-1

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 …

Turning thefts into gifts; submissions should be gifts, not thefts-media-2

Navigating your BJJ journey entails mile markers, defined differently by all; tournaments, number of classes attended, rolls without breaks, and the obvious rank upgrades. You achieve it, and you’re motivated …

Don’t be the snowbank either!-media-1

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 …

newb advice from a new father-media-1

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 …

Flow like River, not like Glacier-media-1

  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 …

Don’t roll to “last”-media-1

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 …

first stripe

What Is A Stripe And How Do I Get One? When you are newer to a hobby, I think it’s only natural to question if you’re getting any better as …

south-park-ski-instructor-meme-try-to-submit-someone-your-first-day-of-rolling-and-you're-gonna-have-a-bad-time

One thing that’s overlooked in jiu-jitsu is just how rare an injury is. Yes, you will have aches and pains and yes, your body might need breaks. What I’m talking …

Young girls playing jumping in a garden water lawn sprinkler

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 …

If you’ve read any of my prior pieces, it’s no secret I’m a big fan of analogies, similes, and parables. Before ever signing up for jiu-jitsu, I remember my friend …

Young woman and man judo fighters in sport hall

The closest thing I have to grappling experience is playing offensive tackle in high school. You’re taught to extend your arms as quickly as possible. This helps keep defensive lineman …

Even after your partner taps out of a choke, things can still get weird.

Prior to breaking my foot I learned two different chokes. Even though you learn them slowly, and over the watchful eye of instructors you’re bound to have some awkward miscues. …

belt

Missing Jiu-Jitsu

I haven’t written about my jiu-jitsu experiences for awhile, because I haven’t had too many. On August 29th I fractured my foot while playing basketball. I talked to Jon, who …

The river or the rock.-media-1

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 …

Tying a belt on your gi is a lot like tying a tie. Both of which I had to find an adult to help me do.

When I was 20 I got my first “grown-up” job as a bank teller. The night before my first day my dad had to show me how to tie a …

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It had officially been a week since I joined Neutral Ground, and it was going great. I got to know a lot of the guys in the noon class by …

Should I sign up for BJJ

I finally broke down and signed up for jiu jitsu. I say “broke down” because it’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a little over a year. When I …

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 …

steve hand raise

 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 …

evan-drag

When I started Jiu-Jitsu, I weighed 330 pounds and was strong as an ox from competitive powerlifting. I was by far the strongest guy at the dojo and was the …

flow

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 …

BACKGROUND 2
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Self

As a human being it is difficult for me not to tie my own self-worth to that of my accomplishments or in some cases the lack there of. I think …

girls-bjj

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 …

BACKGROUND 2

Wrestling Spirit

bjj-strong

As a powerlifter strength was king. It was all about getting bigger and bigger numbers for me and once I accomplished a big number then I have to get an …

In the real world no one is going to start a fight with you while they are on the ground on their knees and if someone does you can just …

fredson sweep

Fredson Sweep

odin-meathead

This is a question that everyone that has trained (any sport) has asked themselves plenty of times. Learning and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been one of the most exciting …

mathematics

Jiujitsu is so open-ended, ever expanding…without clearly defined edges. Progress is difficult to measure as it is difficult to have a clearly defined measuring stick that isn’t also in constant …

odin-tongue

A goal is defined as “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or a desired result.” Are you training with a sense of purpose? If you do …

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 …

oding-belt

Promotions

After much reflection I have come to the conclusion that a promotion whether it be a stripe or a belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an acknowledgement that the practitioner …

odin-skeleton

Individual Aim

The above quote is a Samurai quote. The Samurai were feudal warriors of nobility in Japan who lived by bushido (“the way of the warrior”). Bushido embodied concepts such as …

Filled 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 …

Storm clouds

Recognize that it is natural for most beginning grapplers to rip hard, balls-out, wall to wall. They simply have no idea where to begin in the new world of grappling. …

odin-progress-bjj

After re-reading Part 1 (after it was posted on the website) I realized that I am in need of getting someone to edit what I write. Good thing I am …

odin squat prep

I have decided to make this into a two part blog. Part 1 gives you some background on my decision. Part 2 will go more in depth in how I …

odin gracie barra

Chances are that if you are reading this, then you are probably in a very similar situation to me. I am not a professional athlete nor am I an amateur …

castle

defend everything – everything the training partner does is “bad” for you, so everything is wholeheartedly defended. this is the new student, terrified of everything, attempting to slap, yank, punch every …

Stuck car in snowdrift

Rock Out, Rock On.

When you’re stuck, most commonly while on the bottom, techniques you’ve been taught can seem to just freeze, keeping you locked into an inferior position. Every time you attempt to …

spartan

In training and in competition, there are the things you can control and the things you cannot. You can control most of your training, arranging your schedule and finances, diet, …

planes

Be wary of the desperate kamikaze, they are, after all, completely with disregard and reckless abandon. With the real life kamikazes, their opponents were at first completely taken aback at …

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Mission Statement

Like i said in my bio, I’ve been teaching full on Brazilian Jiu jitsu classes for the better part of 20 years. You’d think i’d just have ideas flow off …

MeNJonBlueBeltPromotion

So you’ve been training for a few months now, or even a few years and it’s time to up your game a little. Well aside from SHOWING UP TO CLASS …

Kickboxing

WAIT! I CAN LOOK GOOD AND FEEL GOOD BY TRAINING IN KICKBOXING? Lets face it when you think of a kickboxer you think of an amazing athlete with skill and …

baseball-choke

I remember the first time I felt the sneaky force of the Baseball Choke: a very innocuous name for such a devastating submission. I hadn’t actually even heard of it …

gregg roloff

Neutral Ground Grafton is very proud of our head judo coach Gregg Roloff for being recently inducted into the Wisconsin Judo Hall of Fame. Gregg has been an excellent coach, …

In_Guard

I experienced the “technique vs. strength” debate almost immediately after starting my jiu jitsu journey because of my awesome “newb” strategy: grab whoever I rolled with and hold on for …

ng3

My high school had one of the best distance runners in the country. He was a state champion Cross Country runner and would have been state champ in track in …

ng6

The idea that a blog entry could have gotten me ready for the barrage of information that came when I started training is absurd. But, that’s not to say a …

Deformed_ankle

So it happened.  You were in the middle of an intense jiu jitsu sparring match attempting to exert your will on your training partner.  You felt something happen and it …

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Between Christmas vacation and the hellish Polar Vortex that rendered everyone’s car motionless, I haven’t been to Jiu Jitsu or Core Cardio in almost three weeks. While getting back to …

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Competitions are an amazing way to put what you’ve been learning into action, it can be tons of fun, rewarding…… and also make you a nervous wreck. Especially the first time.  Here are some tips to …

NG1

Like a lot of people—particularly those that didn’t wrestle in high school—I had to do some self-psyching-up to get to my first jiu-jitsu class. I wasn’t worried about the chokes, …

SummerSiege_cropped

We are always learning whether we are conscious of it or not. However, we will get the most of our jiu jitsu journey if we are more aware of the …

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So you’ve decided to take the first step and start training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, great job! But now you have the daunting task of choosing a gym to train at. …

fitnessblogpicture

Happy New Year!! Congratulations! You have made the resolution to start exercising! But where should you start? If you have already decided a fitness gym is for you ,hopefully this blog …

ng7

Everyone is talking about bullying. School shootings, which are happening at an alarming rate these days, often cite peer abuse as a root cause. Even a 300 lb. lineman is …

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Compared to other combat sports, the equipment investment for jiu-jitsu is pretty low. You still need a few things though and, with the holidays just around the corner, there’s no …

bjjblog1

One of the major misconceptions about training Jiu Jitsu is that you need to be in shape to do it.  I can’t stress enough how wrong that is.  I mean, …