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Tuesday, 08/06/2013, 12:30 pm

SERIES: Ask a BJJ Black Belt #1


BJPenn.com is starting a new series. In this series we will be asking Gracie BJJ Black Belt Brian Jones some questions we want to hear the answers to. Here is the first part in the series with Dr. Brian Jones.

What are the main differences between jiu-jitsu for self-defense and jiu-jitsu for MMA?

The fundamental positions don’t change however from a self-defense perspective you have additional things to worry about. Things like the uncertainty factor of multiple opponents, weapons, sucker punches, not knowing when the fight is about to happen, not having someone to break it up if you are knocked out or badly injured and so on. Fighting off your back should only be done long enough to get back to your feet. When on your back you cannot as easily disengage from the opponent, you lose much of your situational awareness, and your strikes will be less effective.

What is the most common question beginners ask?

Beginners invariably ask how to do some sort of complex move they saw in a fight, match, or on youtube. It will be something they think looks cool but don’t have the fundamentals for.

Who do you feel is a great ambassador for BJJ?

Demian Maia. He is talented, technical, and humble.

How much does nutrition count in BJJ?

Nutrition is important in any athletic endeavor and in life in general. Poor nutrition will likely mean you are overweight and out of your weight class. You need adequate proteins for repair, carbohydrates for refueling, and good fats for health. Also, many people neglect hydration. Gis make you sweat a lot and this has to be replaced. There is little science behind most nutritional supplements so I don’t recommend many of them.

Brian Jones has been studying martial arts for over twenty years. He is a first degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Carlson Gracie Jr. and a black belt in Judo under Donald Leach. Brian has trained and continues to train with a number of outstanding instructors including Helio Soneca, Michael O’Donnell, and Aaron Little. In addition to BJJ and Judo, Brian has experience in many other martial arts including boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, Tae Kwon Do, and Kenpo. He has even traveled to Iceland to train in the traditional viking grappling art of Glima.

In addition to martial arts training, Brian has extensive education and experience in exercise and fitness. He has a PhD in Exercise Science from the University of Kentucky and is a full-time college professor. Brian is the Kentucky state director of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and a Fellow and Faculty member in the Institute of Martial Arts and Sciences (IMAS). He is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), USA Weightlifting certified Club and Sports Performance Coach, Crossfit Level 1 Coach, World Kettlebell Club (WKC) certified fitness trainer, and certified Functional Movement Specialist (FMS).

Brian has worked with clients of all types in fitness, martial arts, and combatives contexts. He has served as a strength and conditioning coach for high school, college, and professional athletes. Brian has trained military personnel and law enforcement officers and tactical units in both fitness and defensive tactics.

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