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Showing my Gratitude

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Exhaustion and pride are the two feelings I’m left with at the end of this week. I’ve been training hard and teaching with a purpose. The school is starting to come along and we continue to grow every week. We are meeting our short term goals and continuing down the path of success. One of our true tests will come on August 6th when I take some of the guys down to the Lutador competition in Georgia.
We’ve been focusing on some really great techniques and I know the guys are interested in testing them out “for real”. It will also serve as a great way to assess if our direction as a school is correct. I’m not necessarily saying that the emphasis is on winning, but sometimes it’s difficult to see the holes in your game when it’s constantly put up against the same training partners.

My body is finally starting to adjust to the teaching schedule at the GGBJJ academy. I woke up this morning and my body wasn’t sore. So instead of taking the day off (I usually only train 6 days a week) I decided to go up and train with Steve Hall. He sent me a text with less than 24 hours notice like it was a secret club meeting. I figured it would be Steve and I with possibly one or two other guys. When I arrived at the academy it was a group large group of guys and the rank distribution was nice too. There were four black belts, a brown belt and four purples.


I’ve had a lot of concerns that I’m going to lose that edge that I gained while in Brazil because I dont have a lot of high level training partners. So during the rolling sessions I do my best to push myself. Submitting the guys at my academy isn’t typically a goal of mine because of the skill difference but I do use a couple of them as trampolines.

I’ve specifically been working on taking the back. This includes some of the stuff of of Ryan Hall’s taking the back DVD, some of the 10th Planet twister transitions and some very old school basics of setting the near hook first when someone is going from Side Control to the Turtle position. I used almost all of the transitions that I’ve been repping out and I’m proud to announce that I still feel like I’m progressing.

After training we got together for a group shot. As you can see we had a pretty good group of guys. It was a good day of training and, as usual, I must thank Steve Hall for opening his doors up to me.

I know that the training I’ve been doing is helping but I also think a large part of my game has increased because my knee is really starting to heal. It still doesnt feel as stable as I would like it to but I have all of the flexibility back. This means that I can really start to pass Guard in a way that I’ve wanted to in the past but just haven’t had the option to do because of my knee. This was one aspect of my game that I had started to work on while I was in Brazil and I’m just now getting a chance to explore.
An added benefit to being able to pass Guard is increased cardio. Increased cardio leads to increased calorie burning which turns into increased fat loss. I’m down close to 20lbs and now I’m concerned that I’m going to cut to much weight. What this means is that I get to be a little more liberal with my eating, something that has been difficult for me in the past.

I’ve recently started corrupting one of my assistant instructors. He’s an animal on the mat, very technical and has recently started spending more time with me. He’s 14 and pretty much listens to what I tell him. I took this opportunity to introduce him to one of my vices…

You can see the look on his face and tell that he’s skeptical about the power of a Waffle House waffle but he had faith in what I told him. After he started eating it his face lit up and I am happy to report that I have passed on my love for this great American food! Although I’m sure he’s not going to be happy with me when he’s cutting that 11 lbs for the upcoming competition.


If you’ve kept up with my blogs all along then you’ll know that I’m kind of a prankster. I enjoy laughing and thankfully I have a very simple sense of humor. If you’ve read my more recent blogs or watched my new videos on my youtube/GGBJJ channel then you would know that Marty is a cornerstone of my academy. Aside from being in the school to train I rely on him to help out in other ways. He’s the guy who built the lighting structures for the videos, he researched kimono production when I thought about making my own brand of gis and he helps teach kids classes when Kyle cant make it. Basically I’m trying to say that Marty is awesome and helps me out far more than he has to.


Typically, when someone helps, the standard response is “thank you” or in some instances you’ll get them a gift card. NOT ME! For all of his trouble I decided to play a prank on Marty. You see I just cant help it. When I think of something great like this particular prank I cant think of anything else besides who I’m going to get with it. I couldnt even make it through the night, we filmed this between our drills class and our advanced class (as you can see Paul come out of the changing room and immediately close the door).

Thankfully I had the foresight to video this particular prank so that I can share it with the world. THNAKS MARTY FOR BEING AWESOME!



The look on his face is pretty awesome, but the look on my face during the slow motion reply was just priceless. My only regret is that I couldnt keep a straight face longer. If I had I may have been able to drag this out a little longer and extract a couple more laughs. As it is I laughed so hard I cried while editing this.


Changing subjects, I’m strongly considering teaching some daytime classes at my academy. Now that my body doesnt hate me for being on the mats all night I dont see it as much of a problem teaching classes in the afternoon. At first I would start with two classes a week (either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday) but I would like some input to see if people are interested in these classes and if they are which days/times work the best.


Like I said previously, it’s been a great week. I’m looking forward to the next one!


Jeremy “The Gerbil” Arel

Black belt under professor Roberto “Gordo” Correa

Great Grappling Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


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