SCRAMBLOG

Scrambling through the world of MMA, BJJ and grappling

Positive Options.

by Matt M ~ posted June 29th, 2016

A big congratulations to Scrambler Fred Greenall who took double gold at the Empire Grappling Event last weekend.

 

In addition to being a badass, Fred is also the owner and head coach of Positive Options.

Positive Options provides Jiu Jitsu workshops on location to schools in the Wakefield, Leeds and Bradford area. We provide what is known in education as “alternative provision”, which covers lessons or activities for pupils who cannot access the mainstream curriculum for a variety of reasons, such as behaviour issues, school exclusion, teenage pregnancy or illness.

Since these children often miss large parts of typical schooling, the challenge is to provide a high-quality programme that is still educational. For us, this means a 6 – 12 week programme of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for self-defence where students choose their favourite techniques, break them down and create a self-defence DVD.  This way, we don’t just teach them self-defence (although we believe this is incredibility important for all young people) but also valuable Information Technology (IT/ICT) skills such as storyboarding, filming and editing to build confidence, develop life skills and increase engagement with education.

It’s all pretty exciting and a dream come true for us since we get to teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to young people and spread the love of our fantastic sport (and yes, play with computers). But it’s not easy: most schools are very sceptical about teaching some of their most challenging students “fighting” and so we end up doing a lot of taster sessions to prove what a powerful tool martial arts is for developing self-control. There are, of course, a lot of misconceptions and barriers to break down (“So…do you train UFC?”) and finding schools that are open minded enough is slow and difficult work. That said, the school’s we’ve worked with think it’s a really cool idea!  Here’s what they’ve had to say about us:

As a school we have never accessed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu before and, even from the initial meeting with Fred, I knew that this would be something from which the children would benefit hugely.

Over the six sessions Positive Options has really shown our children how to control their frustrations, be calm and in control and show discipline in situations that may lead to upset.  The DVD project was particularly effective as it gave our students the opportunity to learn some new skills.

Fred really built a rapport and positive relationship with our pupils and as we work with children who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties this is essential to help them engage and build an interest.

The delivery was accessible to all and the pupils and staff at our school have nothing but good things to say about Fred and the activities/techniques he taught the children.

Finally, the programme has been so successful that we have commissioned Positive Options to continue providing alternative provision this term and next year as the children have been engaged, happy and have enjoyed every minute.

Mr David Kiss, Assistant Headteacher, Park Primary PRU

I would urge any schools to experience this fantastic, dynamic and exciting programme. All of our pupils have emotional, social and behavioural difficulties yet all of the pupils involved in the sessions had nothing but good things to say and are excited by the prospect of Positive Options returning!

Daniel Phipps, Behaviour Manager, Ellar Carr PRU

If you work in schools and want to know more about the benefits for pupils involved in our programme, we’ve outlined some things that will make sense to you (and very few others) below:

– Improved attendance at school. What we offer can be described as ‘personal development’ workshops, focusing on aspects such as self-esteem, confidence, self-management and teamwork, as well as specific elements such as personal health and fitness. This increases students’ engagement with education making them more likely to gain 5 GCSEs. In addition, students may be motivated to continue with their education or training or enter employment post-school.

– Improved behaviour. Students learn and apply new skills, including how to be an adult and how to cope with people.

– Improved confidence with attainment of new skills. Pupils learn to cope with levels of frustration as others are learning new skills alongside them. Strategies for how to cope in difficult or challenging situations are transferable to helping students in preparation for work, the rhythm of work, speaking with respect to others and being resilient in the face of setbacks.

– Improved motivation. Workshops can be run so that pupils must first demonstrate attendance at core curriculum lessons to be eligible. Pupils feel a sense of achievement as they progress from the beginners’ curriculum to more advanced techniques. Fitness is also assessed and awarded through ‘gym awards’.

There are advantages for schools too:

– It’s cost effective. We can run our workshops on site so there are no transport costs or costs for additional staff.  This also means that schools do not ‘lose contact’ with their students as sometimes happens when using outside providers.

 

– It’s complementary, not alternative.  For GCSE students, workshops can be run in ‘options’ time, meaning lessons are not missed and students have equal opportunity within the options process.

 

Finally, we’d just like to thank all the guys at Scramble for their support. This really is a lifestyle choice, though often there’s not much life and very little style. Running Positive Options is only part of the picture; we still work regular jobs part time and run a BJJ academy in the evening. Without the support and encouragement of the BJJ community we would have packed this in a long time ago. So thank you!

 

To find out more about our alternative provision programme or training at our academy, please contact us at info@mypositiveoptions.com or visit our website www.mypositiveoptions.com.

 

OSS

 

 

PTSD and BJJ

by Matt M ~ posted June 20th, 2016

You may remember we shared a story about Scrambler and USMC Veteran Robert ‘Cozmo’ Consulmagno and how training BJJ has helped him to manage his PTSD. We were excited to see the US Deptartment of Veterans Affairs share his story the other day as well as short video.

Jenna Marbles learns Jiu-Jitsu

by Matt M ~ posted June 15th, 2016

Check out this video of YouTube star Jenna Marbles being taught some BJJ by her boyfriend Julien, lots of Scramble on show! Also big congratulations to Julien on getting his blue Belt Recently! You can follow Julien’s Channel here

 

Modified Triphasic Routine For Grapplers and MMA Fighters (Low Axial loading)

by William Wayland ~ posted June 9th, 2016

Heres a program for you if you struggle with conventional squats or movements that place a lot of pressure on your back.

I’ve been tinkering with the triphasic format (focus on specific eccentric, isometric and concentric movement) for a while now, trying different exercise selections and matching the program to the needs and requirements of the athlete. The biggest  modification is the proper application of stress, minimising negative stress while trying to get positive adaptive stress. Sometimes I’m thrown a curve ball that means I have to ditch preferred exercises and try something different. I won’t go into too much detail about the triphasic method (shiny new website) as that has been done to death!

Here is a triphasic routine I’ve used that tries to strip out axial loading (loading on the top of the spine) which grapplers with bad necks and spines can have problems with. Applying Dan John’s ‘Armor Building’ idea for fighters our two main movements become Zercher Squat and Snatch Grip Deadlift. Below is a 2 day template if you were to add a third day, I suggest tempo based single leg work and a week off between Isometric and Concentric weeks. This program is just a jumping off point and totally modifiable.

Eccentric Block

Eccentric 2-3 Weeks
Day 1 Triphasic 80-87.5%
Tempo/notes
Day2 Dynamic 90%+
Tempo/notes
Main Movement
+Jump option
Zercher Squat 3 x 3 @ 80-87.5
6010
Snatch Grip Deadlift
Work to a heavy single then take off 10-15% and perform 3-4 doubles.
Regular
Upper Push/Pull
Weighted Ring Push-up 3 x 6
Pull-up 3 x 6
Overhead Flyes 3 x 10
6010
6010
Push Press
Work to a heavy single then take off 10-15% and perform 3-4 doubles.
For every set of Push-Press do a set of Rows
Regular
PC/Hamstring
Hip thrusts or Romanian Deadlifts 3 x 5
6010
Direct Hamstring Work
GHR/Slides
Regular
Core/Arms
Heavy Single Arm Farmers Walks
Tri/Bi work
Time or Distance
6010
Roll outs
Tri/Bi work (thick grip)

Isometric Block

Isometric 2-3 Weeks
Day 1 Triphasic 80-87.5%
Tempo/notes
Day2 Dynamic 90%+
Tempo/notes
Main Movement
+Jump option
Zercher Squat 3 x 3 @ 80-87.5
1310
Pause Bottom
Snatch Grip Deadlift
Work to a heavy single then take off 10-15% and perform 3-4 doubles.
Regular
Upper Push/Pull
Weighted Ring Push-up 3 x 6
Pull-up 3 x 6
Overhead Flyes 3 x 10
1310
1310
Pause top
Push Press
Work to a heavy single then take off 10-15% and perform 3-4 doubles.
For every set of Push-Press do a set of Rows
Regular
PC/Hamstring
Hip thrusts or Romanian Deadlifts 3 x 5
1310
Direct Hamstring Work
GHR/Slides
Regular
Core/Arms
Heavy Single Arm Farmers Walks
Tri/Bi work
Time or Distance
1310
Roll outs
Tri/Bi work (thick grip)

Concentric Block

Concentric 2-3 Weeks
Day 1 Triphasic 80-87.5%
Tempo/notes
Day2 Dynamic 90%+
Tempo/notes
Main Movement
+Jump option
Zercher Squat 3 x 3 @ 80-87.5
Fast
Use bands or Chains
Snatch Grip Deadlift
Work to a heavy single then take off 10-15% and perform 3-4 doubles.
Regular
Upper Push/Pull
Weighted Ring Push-up 3 x 6
Pull-up 3 x 6
Overhead Flyes 3 x 10
Fast
Fast
Push Press
Work to a heavy single then take off 10-15% and perform 3-4 doubles.
For every set of Push-Press do a set of Rows
Regular
PC/Hamstring
Hip thrusts or Romanian Deadlifts 3 x 5
Fast
Direct Hamstring Work
GHR/Slides
Regular
Core/Arms
Heavy Single Arm Farmers Walks
Tri/Bi work
Time or Distance
Fast
Roll outs
Tri/Bi work (thick grip)
 

 

This is an ongoing series of blog posts from William Wayland of Powering Through, who works with UFC and other high level combat athletes. Twitter. Facebook

Grapplers Heart Tournament aftermath.

by Matt M ~ posted May 25th, 2016

 We posted last month about Scrambler Gina Hopkins preparing to travel out to California to compete once again in the Grapplers Heart tournament (you can view our blog about their first event here). We recently made this mini-documentary featuring Gina and her husband Chris.

Happy to say that Gina won her category in the Gi & No-Gi and came 3rd in the absolute for both disciplines.

Check out Gina’s new facebook page – Adaptive Martial Arts and her website.

Find out more about Grapplers Heart here.

Big few weeks for Scramblers!

by Matt M ~ posted May 18th, 2016

 

In what could be called one of the best female MMA matches of all time and a definite candidate for fight of the year, Scrambler Mei Yamaguchi took on Angela Lee in a back and forth match that ended in a decision win for Lee. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch the whole fight below and you definitely should. Mei is sporting a custom Scramble sports bra and vt shorts in our duckprint camo.

 

 

Ronnie Mann defeated a tough opponent in Graham ‘Afterburner’ Turner at BAMMA 25 coming by way of an outstanding knockout in the 1st Round. Ronnie is a black belt under Braulio Estima and with this win, advances his MMA record to 25-8.

Matt Hallam defeated Alexander Bergman via TKO in the first round. Training out of London Shootfighters alongside his longtime training partner Judo Jimmy Wallhead, Matt now advances his MMA record to 6-2. Matt is wearing our Real vale tudo shorts.

In the main event of Invicta FC 17, Scrambler Colleen Schneider fought a hard, 5 round fight for the bantamweight title against the reigning champion, Tonya Evinger, but unfortunately lost via a decision.

Massive congratulations to Scramble fan Angela Hill on winning the Invicta FC strawweight title after defeating erstwhile champion Livia Renata Souza by split decision. Angela is a big fan of our sushi spats!

 

Low tech monitoring for better training.

by William Wayland ~ posted May 17th, 2016

Athlete monitoring using apps, straps and tablets is all the rage. The array of amount of information on the subject can be dazzling. Objective measurement such as HRV, Omegawave, velocity measuring, GPS offer us more insight into what is happening to our athletes than ever. Many folks in the MMA and BJJ community are very excited about HRV thanks in part to the prolific role Joel Jamieson hs played.

Basically all this is in service of answering the question “How hard should I train today?”

But before this advent of technology we had to monitor athletes in a much low tech far more subjective way, you know actually interacting with people. Some coaches can’t afford expensive layout’s for monitoring, lack the savvy to do so or don’t like invasive approaches which I can understand to some extent. We can however monitor athletes in a more personal and multifaceted fashion, either with numbers or as an adjunct, giving us a bigger picture of what is going on and making most of subjective and objective methods. If your training is self direct you can also use these to be more in control of your self monitoring.

Here are some really simple ways to implement low tech athlete monitoring, these methods work equally well in a physical preparation and skill training setting.

Start each workout/training session with a conversation (or a conversation with yourself).
‘How are you feeling’are probably the four most powerful words you can begin a session with, your not a psychologist but tone of voice, body language and their perception of how tired they feel even before they have started moving all serve as clues to allow for monitoring. Some coaches go as so far to keep mood scores for their athletes. Athletes worry far more of coaches/parents/teammates  perception of them when in an overtrained state, self perception and perceived stress also gets worse. We also know that training performance suffers after hard days of school or work.

Coaches, watch the warm-up how are they moving?
If you keep a regular warm-up routine on the mats, you can use this to your advantage. If you see athlete struggling through sections or generally approach warm-up in a lackadaisical fashion it serves as a further marker to them pushing things too far. This is also true for warm-up sets in the weight room, watch how they move pay particular attention to the velocity with which they move as this can give insight to CNS fatigue, which can crop up despite an athlete reporting they ‘feel’ good. Lower velocities at known loads are an indicator for overwork, excuse the vulgarity but “if it looks like shit, it probably is shit”. Athletes making a meal of what should be an easy lift acts as a signal to back down.

Are you/they performing worse, does the exercise feel harder than normal?
Sounds silly does’nt it. But many will often ignore that which is right in front of us. Decreased performance and increased perceived fatigue are all markers of overreaching. Keeping an RPE (rate of precieved exertion score) can be useful or just ask on a scale of 1-10 how hard does it feel.

Trust your feelings…?
If this all sounds a bit too wishy washy a recent meta-analysis found ” Subjective and objective measures of athlete well-being generally did not correlate. Subjective measures reflected acute and chronic training loads with superior sensitivity and consistency than objective measures.” this is up against measures such as “Objective measures, including those taken at rest (eg, blood markers, heart rate) and during exercise (eg, oxygen consumption, heart rate response)”. Now I love my science and data but this stands as reasoning for using the multifaceted approach (I refuse to use the word holistic). Another factor to this is be honest with your coach about your injury status and physical condition, your coach wants what is best for you so will appreciate it if you let them know that you are feeling flat. They would rather you have a good training session, than wind up injured or ill.

Train in ranges in the weight room.
When I write programs for intermediate and advanced athletes I usually prescribe ranges for loading instead of set loads. This means if an athlete comes in and isn’t firing on all cylinders we can drop down to the bottom end of the working range for that workout, the opposite is also possible. This doesn’t work so well for beginners as their physical intuition is far less sensitive than someone with greater training age. Numbers are nice and great for tracking but they generally only part of a picture.

People often forget the very human element of monitoring on personal level. The Above all serve as signals to alter load/volume or intensity on the fly and ultimately bend training around the athlete not the other way around.

This is an ongoing series of blog posts from William Wayland of Powering Through, who works with UFC and other high level combat athletes. Twitter. Facebook

Call to arms by Gina Hopkins

by Ben ~ posted April 27th, 2016

Hopefully you will remember my story, the disabled women who went to New York on a mission just to raise awareness, and ended up being very successful?It’s all been an incredible journey and I’m now looking at the impending Grapplers Heart 2 and the plans ahead.

After last year’s success in the first disabled only Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) competition in New York, in which, against all-male opponents, I managed to win my category and bring home bronze in the absolute, I am prepared to return for Grapplers Heart 2.

This year I have trained harder, gained more knowledge, more skills and once more my community has rallied around me to support me. Everyone, from my butcher and printing shops to my training locations. Even more than that, people have given their precious time from their own families and their own training to help me in my goals. I’ve had a small back operation which has improved my movement, so I’m heading to California, ambitious and confident, all this is entirely due to my community support. It’s not been easy or all plain sailing but its people who give me confidence to do what I continue to do and people who give me the inspiration to achieve. The support and sponsorship I receive reinforce the need and support I have to meet my goals, to try to inspire others and to be a positive role model.

On my return from California the next goals is to run showcase disabled BJJ/Grappling at some major events, setting up a charity specifically to actively encourage and enable disabled to try Martial Arts, primarily BJJ. These plans are already in motion, I’m looking forward to start expanding the opportunities for disabled people in this area of sport and continuing the momentum which my community has given me. Now is the time to start BJJ if you’re disabled and have been toying with the idea, make the decision. I love BJJ because on my bodies’ good days I can really test myself against my teammates, I can roll and really enjoy the mental and physical challenges. On a bad day, I am on soft mats with my teammates, learning new things and stretching out my body and at the very least being a live training dummy for my teammates! It really is win win.
My academic background reinforces the practical health benefits of sport, all of that aside, I have two objectives. I want my [disabled] population to discover the joys and benefits of Martial Arts for themselves and my second objective is to provide opportunities to enjoy competing in the effort to normalise and create a demand in all tournaments for fairer categories.
I urge all disabled Martial Artists to contact me, so we can group and move together.

Give these recovery breathing and stretching drills a try after your next training session.

by William Wayland ~ posted April 7th, 2016

I have posted before about recovery routines before, elements of which can used after both sports training and weight training sessions. I have also spoken before about the need for deep belly breathing post training also. In brief  using deep belly breathing we can re-establish parasympathetic dominance and get out of stressed state training encourages. I find many athletes jump off the mat and straight out the door, investing sometime in ‘coming down’ will help kick start your recovery and reduce training stress. These come via Cal Dietz of university of Minnesota, I’ve been experimenting with them myself and with some of my athletes post training and we’ve really been feeling the benefits. Give one or all of these a try after your next training session.

This is an ongoing series of blog posts from William Wayland of Powering Through, who works with UFC and other high level combat athletes based in Chelmsford, UK Twitter. Facebook

Alactic based GPP Circuits

by William Wayland ~ posted March 16th, 2016

Alactic based GPP Circuits is the final phase of the GPP method I’ve used with much success with UFC fighters, grapplers and boxers.

Continuing from my last post Lactic based and Aerobic based GPP if you have not read these I suggest you go back and check those out first, these posts are pretty training theory heavy. To really get a grasp on this method a basic understanding of energy systems is needed. The intention is now to build alactic (sprint) specific qualities but locally for improved sprint ability but also tax the body globally for continued aerobic training effect (running 60-100m would be a global alactic GPP method for instance) because of the nature of alactic work multiple bike or track sprints with short rests would cause a massive build up in peripheral fatigue and wind up becoming more lactic dominant. By doing largely 10s work with big neurological component we can keep the training very alactic. Best way to do this is to monitor HR and make sure the athlete does’nt pass threshold. Cal Dietz talks about this here starting at about 46 mins. This part of a six week plan moving through Aerobic, Lactic and Alactic phases. Let me just warn you this is HARD really hard. Often with many athletes I just run the first two blocks and move straight into regular training.

Why is it so hard? Because the weapons of choice are 90% isometrics and 70% oscillatory exercises both lasting 10 seconds to keep the training alactic. There is a third option of extreme myelination circuit which involves 10 second holds against immovable resistances take a look at the method here it is however some what harder to do. Oscillatory (OC) movements are different as they are extremely dynamic and require a great deal of focus, I have posted before about oscillatory work here. Rapid back and forth action may look strange to the casual observer, the idea being that reciprocal inhibition brought about by this oscillating (pulsing) increases levels of neuro muscular activation. It requires a lot of focus and is very tiring.

We use 10 second isometrics on Day 1 and 10 second oscillatory exercises on Day 2. Rotating around the body and resting 4-8 minutes between circuits. Its important to rotate limbs for unilateral (single arm) work.

Below is MMA fighter Matt Hughes program.

Example Day 1 Block 3 sets of each
Bench press 90% 10s hold
paired with
KB split Squat 90% 10s hold Right Leg
paired with
DB Bent over row 90% 10s hold Right Arm

Rest 4-8 Minutes

Below are some of the exercises we used for Day 1

10 second Isometric series

Example Day 2 Block 3 sets of each
Bench Press 70% 10s Oscillatory
paired with
DB Split Squat 70% 10s Oscillatory Right Leg
paired with
RDL 70% 10s Oscillatory

Below are a few Oscillatory Options

RDL

Bench Press

Hex Bar

Generally employing this model we will use Cal Dietz Six week plan of 2 Aerobic/2Lactic/2 Alactic with my athletes as it fits well into my reinterpretation of the triphasic training model. You could possibly drop different elements based on what the athlete needs. After all this you should be ready attack heavier lifting to come. You can grab the raw programs from XLathlete downloads page.

The end idea is that the athlete is better prepared (greater work capacity) for sports specific and strength work to come.

This is an ongoing series of blog posts from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through, who works with UFC, Cagewarriors and other high level combat athletes based in Chelmsford, UK. Facebook