BJJ and Personal Boundaries

Enforcing personal boundaries can be difficult to do, especially if you’re really empathetic. If you’re prone to giving any situation the benefit of the doubt and insist on demonstrating basic decency at every turn then enforcing your personal boundaries may prove to be a bit difficult. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is a about contact sports where grappling and holding on to your opponent is the main part of the learning process.

This doesn’t mean that you should be unhelpful during training sessions! It means that sometimes there are things that you need to do to let others know where to draw the line. Sympathy and optimistic human behaviors are not always mutually exclusive. There are three things you need to keep in mind to ensure that you enforce personal boundaries in your BJJ gym class.

Thomas Sara1: Take Your Time Before You Act

If you have been asked by someone to do something and it doesn’t sit right with you then don’t agree or disagree at that moment. Take your time even if you don’t know how you feel about it. If the person doesn’t sit right with you then you don’t have to agree do what they say. If you say ‘no’ and the person keeps insisting then inform your coach to take viable action.

There are times when someone after class might come up to you and ask whether you could finance their classes because they don’t have the funds anymore. Don’t over-explain or anything, just say that you will consider what he/she said for a day or two. This will give you time to think it through as you won’t feel influenced or pressured.

2: Learn to Say ‘NO!’

It is understandable to give in to someone pestering you and influencing your empathetic side. You give in, thinking that if you help him/her this once then perhaps they will leave you alone. However that turns out to be false as now you are constantly being nagged by that very person for help. You wonder if it would have been better if you had just kept on saying ‘no!’

In fact, it would have been better if you had kept on saying no! The word ‘no!’ is a complete sentence and anyone who refuses to respect your decision is only trying to assert their control over you and the situation. To put it simply, anyone who refuses to take a ‘no’ is the very person who needs to be required to do so.

Me Cross Choke3: Let Yourself Change Your Mind

Even the most alert person can be caught off-guard and end up agreeing to something that you actually would never agree to. You need to let yourself have second thoughts. It is the worse feeling to think that you are stuck with something, making you feel even more violated. You need to let yourself change your mind.

If a fellow BJJ practitioner asks you to do something out of the blue and you agreed to do that at the moment then remember that all it takes is one sentence to reverse that regretful decision. Repetition is your friend, as stated in the previous point; learn to say ‘no’ repeatedly.

5 simple self defense moves

Learn 5 Self Defense Moves you can do today

At Arashi Do Martial Arts in Edmonton, we help our members evolve both athletically and ethically. We ensure that personal boundaries are respected and no one oversteps their limits.

Fb 30 day trial profileCome down to Arashi Do Edmonton and try out one of our great Brazilian programs like Fundamental BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.

All those and you get a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL

How Good Can I Get After 3 Months of BJJ?

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So you’ve grown tired of your chicken-elbow biceps and little chicken legs and are looking for a new challenge. BJJ has the potential to transform you into a Greek God but you’re unsure how long it will take for you to move from complete embarrassment to fairly decent. Well, as with any martial art or any sport, getting really good takes time, but you’ll be surprised how much you can learn in a short space of time.

In terms of progressing up the pecking order in winning competitive matches and moving up the belt rack, there wont be much visible progress. However, in terms of the impact 3 months of training can have on your physical fitness, technique, understanding and overall endurance you can come on leaps and bounds.

The early stages of anyones BJJ career focusing on grasping a good understanding of basic guards, escapes and techniques. Enough to defend yourself on the street but not enough to challenge a more advanced grade in a throw down rolling session in class. By the end of three months you’ll be thinking Kanye is a time traveller from the future and wrote harder, better, faster, stronger specifically about your BJJ career.

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The start of your training will focus on how to defend and escape when in a grapple, as well as enough painful arm bars and gag inducing chokes to keep any attacker away and leave you feeling pumped and confident in many situations. No doubt you will also experience how good getting your arse handed to you in a roll feels, you’ll have the rolling buzz and a new found motivation to improve and get fitter. You can establish a basis on which to build, and rapid progression and improvement is not unheard of. To someone untrained in BJJ you’ll be able to comprehensively out do them, so by all means take the opportunity to embarrass your friends when they are being a little too cocky.

It’s important to remember that where BJJ may look a little rough around the edges, it’s an art that takes decades to perfect. The IBJJF state that a student should spend 2 years at white belt level, so as mentioned, in three months your wont be changing your belt. The three months will inspire you though, giving a target to aim for and igniting a desire that you did not know you had within you. You could say that BJJ is more than just a sport, is a lifestyle choice, and a choice that you will not regret making.

In summary, you’re not going to be as huge as Arnie or a ninja like Bruce Lee in just three months of training. You will notice improvements in overall fitness, strength and desire to succeed. The most appropriate word do describe what three months can give is transformation, both physical and mental. Just think what another 3 months will bring…

Fb 30 day trial profileCome down to Arashi Do Edmonton and try out one of our great Brazilian programs like Fundamental BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.

All those and you get a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL

Children’s BJJ For Better Health Habits

Thomas Sara

BJJ Kids in Edmonton

With general lifestyle habits deteriorating over time, the associated health detriments will no doubt keep very close to that trend, with a lot more lifestyle diseases being reported and suffered today and the really sad part is that all of this can be avoided with the simple act of taking things back to the basics of healthy living.

One need not necessarily become a full-on health nut — all it takes is a simple adjustment of lifestyle habits which could account for better health, but at the same time are probably very hard to change since they become an embedded part of modern day living.

The real cause for concern surrounding this is of course the mere fact that what starts out as a simple, once-off oversight on a health and lifestyle issue, gradually becomes a habit which eventually grows into a deeply-enshrined part of how we live our lives and the real danger is that bad health and lifestyle habits can have children born into them since the potency of these gets stronger generationally.

candyWhen a child is born into bad eating, health and lifestyle habits, they see absolutely nothing wrong with them and will continue to develop the legacy until those issues go right down to genetic levels, by which time it is very hard to change and nearly impossible to say the least.

Children’s BJJ for better health habits can be one of the many ways through which to counteract the detrimental effects of bad lifestyle habits, since Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) will ensure kids are exposed to high enough levels of activity to negate all the negative effects of an unhealthy lifestyle, or certainly go a long way in correcting some of the major advocates.

BJJ KIDS in North EdmontonChildren’s BJJ for better health habits is extremely effective because of one simple thing and that is the fact that kids who participate in a combative art form like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu do not feel as if they are engaging in somewhat of an exercise which requires a lot of them. — they do not feel as if they are obliged to do it but rather do it because they enjoy it, which is a win-win situation for all parties involved since the kids benefit in a number of different ways, many of which they do not even know.

If a child’s body gets accustomed to eating junk food everyday, with the absence of adequate exercise while they sit in front of the screen, playing video games all day, getting them involved in something like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu may be a mission at first, but once they have tasted the joy of being in an organized structure where they can interact with a number of other people, the exercise will most likely prove to be favorable to them and they will want more.

Monkey_handsonhipsChildren’s bodies love stimulation and the effects of that are directly felt by the kids, both mentally and physically, after which time the practice of something like BJJ becomes an essential part of their lives — something which they look forward to and do with a level of determination that will almost certainly fight against the detrimental lifestyle issues that could otherwise become a serious problem.

Now is a great time to start BJJ for your Child with our brand new Saturday classes.  Email us at myackulic@arashido.com for more info.

Fb 30 day trial profileCome down to Arashi Do Edmonton and try out one of our great Brazilian programs like Fundamental BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.

Life Lessons Learnt from BJJ

tim keeAs any martial artist will know, the influence of training stretches far wider than the walls of the dojo, spreading into all aspects of a students life. Martial arts and BJJ in particular, have taught me many useful principles that can be applied to my life in a wider sense.

1. Perfection is Unobtainable

The pursuit of perfection is exactly that, a pursuit, a journey with only a beginning rather than a definite end. In all aspects of your life, there is always room for improvement, learning is not a finite process. There is always scope to learn more, whether its taking up a new language or realising the flow of a technique should move slightly differently after performing it for the thousandth time. To have a perfect technique requires you to make a million tiny mistakes, tweaking each time in a constant never ending cycle.

The same principal can be applied to the rest of your life. Whether it be work, finding ways to be more efficient or relationships, making mistakes that shape you a person and learning from them. Practice will never make perfect, but the lesson to take home is that improvement is like a wind, with no definitive start or finish, just moving forward. 

2. You Are Never the Best 

Where you may be sitting pretty as the most accomplished in your school, if not on a regional or national scale, there will be someone better on a global scale. Rather than bother you, this fact should inspire, push you harder and enable you to learn from your fellow artists. Take something new from each roll, from each technique applied and each technique applied on you. I am always in competition, not with others but with myself, the constant strive for improvement should be relished in, in all aspects of a student’s life. 

3. Getting Beat Builds Character

There is no shame in getting beaten, as long as you learn from it. Sure it can be initially embarrassing if you get dumped on your ass by the newbie, but that will teach you not to underestimate opponents. There are lessons to be learnt each time you get knocked down, no matter the scenario. If you accept this, the only way to move is onwards, in your training, performance and personal life. 

4. 9 to 5 Isn’t Everything

BJJ helps put aspects of your life in perspective. Through is fundamental lessons of accepting defeat, dedication to improve, prioritisation of actions and endurance can be applied to both work and personal situations. If you lose a job, you’ll be back up looking for another just like losing a roll. If you try something and it doesn’t work out, you learn from it and try again. BJJ is just like any other sport, mastery takes time, practice and dedication. We live in a society where we expect success to be immediate, change to be fast and are driven by fads and crazes. BJJ teaches you to take a step back, take time to build a solid foundation of basics on which you can begin your climb to success.

5. Your Body IS a Temple

The best birthday present you ever got was your body. Without it you’d be useless, it takes battering on occasion but it’s always there for you. It’s capable of greatness if you condition it, care for it and don’t waste it. I’m not saying never drink, never have a binge day, I’m talking on a wider scale. By physical conditioning, eating well and training hard, you’ll be amazed at the knock on effects it can have. You’ll have more energy, sleep better, perform for longer and you’ll look fantastic. BJJ helps hone your body into an efficient, sculpted, straight-up-beast. 

Fb 30 day trial profileCome down to Arashi Do Edmonton and try out one of our great Brazilian programs like Fundamental BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.

All those and you get a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL!  As well as our 30 minute Fast Fitness program for FREE!

BJJ in Edmonton: Maintaining the Culture

learn jiu jitsuBrazilian Jiu Jitsu, no matter where in the world it is practiced, always strives to maintain the purest element of culture which it is so well known for. With the popularity of BJJ growing so fast there is less and less risk of anyone getting a watered down version of BJJ. That being said it does bring out some who want to take advantage of the number of people wanting to learn.

Arashi Do has been part of the BJJ scene in Edmonton since the beginning.  Professor Mike Yackulic was the second person in Edmonton to get a Black Belt.  He has taught more than any other instructor in Edmonton and to a wider range of students than anyone as well.  From children 3 years old to those over 50, he helps them all achieve their goals.

Even though Arashi Do is many miles away from the original land of the combative art, Brazil, he has keep up on his training. Training with his BJJ Instructor, Mestre Sylvio Behring (7th Degree Black Belt) twice a year and many trips to Rio De Janerio to train and compete. 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructors don’t necessarily have to be Brazilian to ensure that the highest standards are upheld, such as those maintained at Arashi Do Martial Arts. Many of the Instructors at Arashi Do began their training in other Martial Arts which helps offer a more complete picture for blending Arts together, with their interest in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu often growing from an initial interest in other, more traditional forms of the marital arts.

It is an extremely rare occurrence for a Jiu Jitsu teacher to have started their Jiu Jitsu career by diving head first into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as it is somewhat of a highly specialized art, requiring a lot of skill and dedication to master. Patience goes a long way too, but Brazilian Jiu Jitsu novices need not worry about taking too long to really get going, as the basics are quite easy to grasp, especially if some understanding of the combative arts is already present.

If you do not have any experience in a previous martial art do not worry, in no way puts you at a disadvantage however, as this is actually an advantage, if anything, because the slate is completely clean and there are no bad habits brought over from any other forms of fighting.  As an instructor I always find it more challenging to teach those that are unable to adapt the moves from their previous experience.

A fundamental mistake that many beginners make however, is thinking that the grappling-focused combative art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu requires nothing but making it up as you go, as in on-the-spot planning, quick reaction and high levels of improvisation can be misleading in that way.

A very high level of skill goes into mastering the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and, in most cases, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructors, who run competitive BJJ clubs are often so passionate about their art that they would want to deliver their knowledge in a way that reflects well against them, while maintaining the purity of the art form, in honor of the greats who have entrusted them with the same knowledge that they are now tasked to pass on.

With all of these considerations, the culture of BJJ at Arashi Do Edmonton will never die. Our instructors are professionals that strive to learn from the best and bring back that knowledge to you.  We not only bring experience in the technical side of the art but experience in teaching.  Since Arashi Do North Edmonton opened it’s doors we have taught over 46,000 classes, making our school one of the most experienced ones in the city.

Nobody wants to disgrace the combative art form, doing all they can to preserve the kind of output demonstrated by Arashi Do and that is advantageous for all those wanting to learn BJJ in its purest form.

Fb 30 day trial profileCome down to Arashi Do Edmonton and try out one of our great Brazilian programs like Fundamental BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.

All those and you get a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL!

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Building Self-Confidence Through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


Mestre Behring IBMSelf confidence can come through a number of different channels, one of which is discovering you are actually born with it. The truth is though, everybody is actually born with a plethora of positive traits, in their purest forms, one of which is self confidence indeed. The only thing which would deter anyone from displaying that self confidence is if it was stifled by the interactions they have with the environment around them, particularly other people they come into contact with.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is one of the best ways through which to restore any dormant self confidence, in anyone who has lost it, since everybody simply has a deep reserve of self confidence in them, amongst other positive traits that could have been stifled along with that self confidence.

In fact, building self-confidence through BJJ is one of the best ways through which to tap into that natural reserve of positive attributes which simply need reawakening, which is why a lot of budding combative artists choose to take up Jiu Jitsu for a number of reasons, one of which is indeed rediscovering their dormant self confidence.

In all likelihood, there was a recent or past incident which prompts the budding martial artist to have the kind of introspection that has them saying enough is enough, but they naturally do no know which is indeed the best method through which to regain or build the kind of self confidence that would have a positive influence on the overall or immediate quality of their lives.

But what is it exactly which makes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu one of the best self confidence builders?

It’s quite simple really — or at least in concept but it can prove to be very effective in practice as well.

BJJ is one of the most effective means through which one can defend themselves or hold they own very well in combat, as is discovered by those who take up Jiu Jitsu as their combative art of choice.

The participant need not necessarily be the very best mixed martial artist in their circle of competitors and compatriots — all they really need is the basic fundamentals which make them competitive enough to defend themselves successfully or at least compete at a reasonable level.

This breeds a kind of power which can be tapped into at anytime when the need arises, and in this way building self-confidence through BJJ proves to be one of the most effective ways to do so.

Although it has been mentioned that one need not necessarily be the very best mixed martial artists to successfully build their self confidence through BJJ, the very nature of practicing BJJ will require them to apply themselves in such a way that they become competitive and effective enough to acquire a set of skills that instills self confidence, in that they will naturally believe in their new-found abilities and lose the fear.

The self confidence spills over into different areas of the livelihood, subsequently, since the new-found ability to overcome nervous situations breeds even more confidence in other areas of one’s life.

Fb 30 day trial profileCome down to Arashi Do North Edmonton and try out one of our great Brazilian programs like Fundamental BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.

All those and you get a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL!

How Much Is It to Train?

BJJ MoneyAcademy prices, the programs, and scheduling may affect where you want to train. JIU-JITSU school prices typically range from $100-150 dollars per month. This is the price range that is most common. The second price range is under $100 and the third most common price range is over $150.  

Obviously, price may depend on where you live and what the school offers. Many schools today offer multiple pricing programs with multiple time slots. It is no surprise to see schools in some higher income areas reaching close to $300 per month for multiple programs. Is it worth it? That will depend on what you are looking for.  Schools also adjust their rates based on a number of factors.  Rent and Utilities, Staff, Cleaning Services, Special Amenities offered and Self Worth as an Instructor to name a few.  When I first opened my doors 10 years ago my rates were much cheaper, but over the years I have grown as an Instructor and Mentor as well as improved my skills immensely

Jiu-Jitsu can be either recreational for you or a full-time commitment. If you are or plan on being very dedicated, then you obviously want to take as many classes as possible.  For many schools there will be extra charges for this, some schools will offer a reduced rate and others will offer special Open Training times for those dedicated to excelling.

Some schools offer beginner programs at a cheaper rate. Some programs have you sign a contract or an ‘agreement.’ Make sure you read the agreement carefully. Some of these agreements may say they are for a certain amount of FREE time. Sometimes this is on the back end of the agreement. This means if you sign up for a year the last month may be free or something to this effect. Some gyms require a sign up fee and may give you a uniform in the package.

Some other factors you may consider are insurance and media material. Some students do not like being seen on film or print media for professional purposes. Many schools today also use a third party collection agency that will collect for your school if you cannot pay the bill. If this is the case, be aware of it so you can make sure you have the necessary funds in your account.

Many schools offer multiple programs, like I mentioned. Schools are really starting to add more structure in terms of separating classes to fit different students’ needs (beginner through advanced). Some programs also offer other aspects of MMA that will be held at different time slots. Hopefully your program is not too stressful or complicated. Karate and traditional martial arts models work and are very successful, so this trend is really starting to carry over into the BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU sphere.

Always read the fine print and only enter into a contract you can commit to financially. School prices are higher than the local YMCA because you are learning an art. You are learning an art from a teacher who is a professional and had to spend years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to be able to teach. The owner has to pay rent and support their family, so respect whatever price is put in front of you, and if you don’t like it just train somewhere else. It’s that simple. 

Fb 30 day trial profileCome down to Arashi Do and try out one of our great Brazilian programs like Fundamental BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.

All those and you get a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL!