Thursday, July 3, 2014
Belt Testing has been a long debated topic for many decades despite the fact that the belt system is just over 100 years old and previous to that none really existed. Your skill was displayed via passing on techniques and concepts or proving them on the battlefield.
Now that we are no longer a fight oriented society, how do we grade, rank and test our skill level when a martial art is strictly for the purposes of enlightenment or just sport? Yes, martial arts can play a major factor in improving your health, both physically and mentally, it can also save your life (self defense). The question lies in defining the necessary merits needed to accomplish or achieve a level of skill.
It has a been a long standing tradition in BJJ for students to be surprised with a belt when they have reached a level that their instructor deems sufficient. Other arts refrain from giving out belts and require you to achieve a level of success in competition in order to acquire a ranking or title. Other arts have sashes, shorts, rashguards, tshirts patches and certificates that all show the level of knowledge you have achieved. Some systems even charge for testing, which personally I have no problem with, as long as it's a reasonable fee that covers your certificate and belt - otherwise it becomes a grey area where you wind up paying for rank in place of showcasing your skills.
A newer approach has come to light over the past few years, spawning from life-long martial artist Roy Harris and his protege Roy Dean. They have adopted the a set standard curriculum for BJJ, as well as a procedure for testing in front of your peers. Now, as simple, and as standard as that is -some find it silly, others despise the idea. But think, at least as far as BJJ is concerned. The game is drastically changing from year to year and new styles and methods appear daily. What proper or better way to display your knowledge then in a form of a test. No, it doesn't have to be written, but you should be able to perform certain techniques and show a thorough understanding of concepts in order to reach a level. You should also be able to display those skills in a manner that is semi-realistic (thus Roy's belt test and rolling.)
For many years we have admired Roy Dean, not only for his incredible skill in the grappling arts, but also for intelligently codifying a method of testing, that remains far from mainstream. He also makes it public, and at least in our eyes, each and every one of his guys is tough as nails.
By now, most of you have seen the RD way of testing, but in this particular case our buddy StuCoop made a cameo. As usual he has been traveling the world and providing us nerds with unbelievable video footage of martial arts. In the video below you can watch Cooper rolling with a BJJ Purple belt, as part of his Brown Belt testing.
Watch enjoy and hopefully we made you think a little more than usual.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Over the years , we've shared some inspiring stories of people overcoming adversity and disadvantage to become competitive grapplers. Kyle Maynard's story and continued success in grappling, fighting and all manner of athletics is at the pinnacle of such stories.
Leave it to BJJ's very own Stuart Cooper to create yet another uplifting film about personal development and achievement. We don't have to go on and on. This little film speaks for itself.
Monday, April 28, 2014
If you enjoy and benefit from Stuart Cooper's exceptional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu documentaries the way we do, then contributing to his Indiegogo fund raising campaign is a no-brainer. This guys does amazing stuff for our small but strong community of athletes, fighters, martial artists and enthusiasts. And, he does it for the love of Jiu Jitsu and his craft as a filmmaker. So, you should contribute. But, maybe you're broke. Here's an example of how you can get some money to contribute:
Grappler: Hey, mom. I was wondering if I could borrow your credit card so I can contribute to Stuart Coopers crowdfunding campaign. He's so badass and you know I'm soo into Jiu Jitsu.
Grappler's Mom: No, son. I just gave you $175 for that Shoyomax Karate uniform you insisted on buying last month ... as an advance against your birthday present. Besides, your 27 years old.
[Grappler armbars mom]
Grappler's Mom: Here's my card.
DSTRYR/SG does not condone grapplers actually armbarring their moms. Unless they attack first.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
It's a funny thing. When we Google Stuart Cooper images, there are many, many DSTRYR/SG banners from our many posts highlighting Stuart's work in this site over the past few years. There are also a bunch of images of Alice Cooper and a bunch of random dudes named Stuart Cooper. That isn't really my point though. Stuart's prolific and his work has become, we think, synonymous with BJJ culture, particularly as depicted in film and imagery. And, we've been right there with him to share his work with you.
Let's get to it. Stuart's created a series called "The Journey," a mini documentary on the 2013 ADCC competition and here's a thrilling teaser to prove it.
Friday, January 10, 2014
I'm always deeply humbled and really awestruck whenever I see one of Stuart's films these days. By now, there's little need for us to introduce him; he's the guy that makes all the really great films on the subject of BJJ and grappling. The craftsmanship, work ethic and real emotion and depth to his work is patent. I can't even make a silly DSTRYResque joke about it.
Jiu Jitsu means so much to all of us. It can sometimes be difficult to put that into works to make someone understand. I can speak from my own experience, having spent the past 14+ years training at the same academy, with many of the same people (and, of course, the same coach) day in and day out. It means everything, and the athletes and teachers speaking in Stuart's film articulate much of that beautifully.
Gauging by the views (63,000+), you may have already seem this short film. For those who have not, you are in for a treat.
Friday, December 13, 2013
I really don't have much to say other than this video is quite possibly the greatest mashup I have ever seen.
Stuart Cooper shows us highlights of Kron Gracie at ADCC 2013, overlaid with commentary from Eddie Bravo on his recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience". This video was perfectly edited and compiled detailing an almost play-by-play account of what occurred at this years ADCC, with interviews from Rickson and Eddie thrown in as well.
For those of you who didn't know GSP retired earlier today. He stated that that he would be vacating his belt and taking some time away to watch this video over, and over and over again. Stuart we are all impressed by your performance...
Monday, November 18, 2013
I honestly feel I'm speaking for all of the BJJ and grappling community in expressing my sincere gratitude for our friend, Stuart Cooper for making this 6 minute (and 21 second) masterpiece highlighting ADCC 2013. It's so good, so powerful, so well-crafted, I can't even make silly DSTRYResque jokes about it.
I'm going to keep it brief and let Stuart's film do the talking. If you're here at DSTRYR, then you love Jiu Jitsu and, without a doubt, you love this kind of filmmaking. We need more of it. That's asking a lot, since no one's getting rich from making art relating to BJJ. Maybe "getting by" and a true love for the art will inspire more people to continue in Stuart's footsteps.
Friday, September 27, 2013
As I sit and write this from the desk of my real job, Stuart Cooper is out there doin' the damned Jiu Jitsu thing full time and all the time. From what I can tell, he doesn't have bosses ... or casual Fridays or 15 minute coffee break. Nor does he wear a uniform or a hairnet to work. He doesn't have to ask if you want paper or plastic or if he can take a half day next Wednesday to deal with the refridgerator repairman. No way. He's fu*king grappling in other countries and filming it. All, for the love of Jiu Jitsu.
Here's to Stuart, Jiu Jitsu and all the fun and pure joy it brings us all.
Monday, September 16, 2013
We realize your real favorite TV show is more likely "Sons of Anarchy" or "Breaking Bad" and not "Braulio's "Tune My Game." It's cool. You need that escape - for one hour each week you get to fantasize that you're living life on the edge. You get to escape from your less adventurous life as a 7th grade Pre-Algebra teacher or a Best Buy customer service representative. It's all good, grappler. We understand you.
But, harkening back to the DSTRYR/SG mantra, that grappling combat is truly the most important thing in life, you really must see "Tune My Game." You and I both know that ever there was a game that needs tuning, it's certainly yours. Allow Braulio to show the path toward grappling perfection.
So, check out another fin bit of filmmaking from none other than Stuart Cooper (who's all over DSTRYR this week) and learn from the world champ, Estima.
Oh, yeah - and, it's brought to you by Jiu Jitsu Style, Tap Out 101 and us, DSTRYR/SG!
Monday, September 9, 2013
What you're getting here is just the appetizer before the main course. The wine and cheese course. The chips and guacamole before las enchiladas. The nagging, but seemingly innocuous, pain in your knee before the real ACL blowout. You know what we mean.
Roger Huerta has been an interesting figure in MMA for a while now. From 2005 - 2007, he was almost unstoppable in the UFC. If you were paying attention then, he became wildly popular and was scoring great KO's and subs all over the place. My girlfriend thought he was cute, which annoyed me. I'm pretty sure a lot of people's girlfriend's thought that. And, it seemed like he was going all the way to super-stardom level, when he lost two consecutive fights (via decision) to Kenny Florian and the Gray Maynard. Roger's had it a bit rough since then, losing the majority of his most recent fights since his UFC days.
But, he's back. And, more importantly, he has Jiu Jitsu. And, we all know that's the most important thing a person can have (food, clothing and shelter excepted). Stuart Cooper is chronicling Roger's comeback and his use of gi training to improve his fighting skills. Enjoy the taste. There's more to come.
Monday, August 19, 2013
We've all been through this several times now, so we can keep is simple and relatively short ... so, you can get to more important things. Stuart Cooper is a black belt, world traveler and one of our sport's few gifted filmmakers. He makes great BJJ and MMA related films and we love that sh*t.
I'll admit I wasn't familiar with Tony Eduardo Lima until I watched Stuart's film. And, that is the very reason Stuart's work is so vital and beneficial to our grappling community. It brings us together and shares the philosophies, skill sets and teaching of grapplers, coaches and athletes from all over the world. That sharing can only lead to better Jiu Jitsu for us all. [And, without getting to sappy, that's what we hope we provide a bit of as well].
Monday, July 22, 2013
Man, it's so hard for me to joke about a film that is so elegant and smart. Crap. Which pretty much means I have very little to say.
Our collaboration with Stuart Cooper has been more fruitful than we could have imagined. He continues to film and produce the very best cinematic art related to our beloved Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and submission grappling on a regular and consistent basis. It's amazing.
Once again, Stuart captures the beauty and also the significance of what we do as grapplers. With Victor Estima as it's subject, this short 6 minute film tells a story and at the same time motivates and inspires grapplers to strive to achieve and to seek what makes them happy. Well said, Victor.
Damn. We didn't make any sarcastic remarks or ridicule anything. Feels so strange.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Maybe today your boss was mean to you, or you failed a test or your girlfriend dumped you. Maybe your parents are getting a divorce or your cat is sick or you ran out of almond milk. Whatever. Any one of those those things might have happened and that can make you all sad and self loathing. Beneath our callous and ruthless exterior, a tiny part of us here at DSTRYR/SG cares for you. When things get bad, it's good you have Jiu Jitsu to lift your spirits and give you something to believe in. I think we have a little bit of that for you here today.
There is no doubt Murilo Bustamante is a legend of our time in BJJ. We may even have said that once or twice before here. I think we're all on the same page. Adding Stuart Cooper's exceptional BJJ filmmaking to the mix only makes it better.
Bustamante is a pioneer in BJJ. He did what a lot of the currents pros and great are doing now back in the 90's. Let's tune in to his words and learn from the man's experience and wisdom.
Monday, May 20, 2013
CHAIN DRILLS, EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION, "GRAPPLE KATAS" AND LEGOS: IT'S ALL PART OF NIC GREGORIADES' BJJ THEORY AND IT'S VERY SMART.
|That's Higgs Boson, I think. I'm just a BJJ scientist.|
For years, BJJ academies have taught the art/sport in similar ways: you warm up, learn a technique, drill that technique and then spar/free train (maybe some positional/specific sparring smattered in there as well). It's tried and true, but, as with anything, there are certainly ways it can be improved upon. Nic Gregoriades, the man behind Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood, aims to to that. He's developed some very high concept, but seemingly effective and approachable, methods of teaching/training BJJ.
Stuart and Nic have done a great job synthesizing Nic's big concepts and principles, which I imagine could take a good amount of effort and time to truly absorb and utilize, into a killer 18 minute mini seminar. Is it worth watching during your work day or in lieu of spending time with your spouse/significant other? Definitely!!
Thursday, May 2, 2013
It pretty much speaks for itself.
But, we'll say a few thing since we're here. One - you know by now that D/SG friend, Stuart Cooper, makes magic with all kinds electronicky camera things creating amazing Jiu Jitsu films for our enjoyment and, we'd say, overall betterment (as human beings). Two - you're here at DSTRYR/SG, so by definition you are a fan/practitioner or athlete in the grappling arts. So, you know an ADCC superfight between Andre Galvao and Braulio Estima is going to be off the chain. These guys are the proven cream of the crop in the no-gi grappling sphere.
Suffice it to say, we will be watching and, with this clip, we are duly and thoroughly ... hyped.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
We at DSTRYR/SG love dinner by candle light, walks in the park and rolling on the beach at dusk. But don't we all? Today Mr. Stuart Cooper brings us another beautiful work of art and inspiration with his profile of BJJ athlete and entrepreneur Nic Gregoriades.
If you don't know who Nic Gregoriades is we will be sure to tell you. Nic is Roger Gracie's first Black Belt, founder of The Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood, sponsored athlete for Q5 Nutrition, and former one half of the London Real Blog. Nic talks about life, his philosophies towards Jiu Jitsu, and about his Journey. Watch the video and envy Nic as he trains in Thailand at Tiger Muay Thai and endlessly rolls on the beach and beats up his training partner.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
If it wasn't for super BJJ filmmakers like our colleague Stuart Cooper, we'd be relegated to showing you the standard B-level fare of grainy, hastily filmed post workout technique videos. You know, the kinds where you can almost taste the sweatiness. Don't get us wrong, we still love those videos (and, they were our bread n' butter for quite some time in the early years). I guess you'd get an occasional French Canadian Sambo and/or CACC video (from our buddy Martin Roy) and some illegally copied video of IBJJ events as well (that is, until Budovideos shut it down [we're sorry, Budo]). It would be OK (not really), but guys like Stuart make it great.
Behold, the latest film from Stuart - this time produced in conjunction with none other than Shoyoroll, Gi Soap, Connection Rio and us, DSTRYR/SG. This time Stuart gives us a brief glimpse into the training life and mentality of BJJ athlete and emerging MMA star, Rodrigo Caporal. If you take anything away from this film, it should be that we have a fu*king cool-ass animated logo. Carry on and watch BJJ movies.
Monday, September 17, 2012
KEEP AND OPEN MIND AND WATCH THIS STUART COOPER FILMS TRAILER ABOUT 4TH DEGREE BLACK BELT, FERNANDO MACCACHERO.
First things first, grapplers - happy Rosh Hashanah. Let's put the Shofar down for a beat, and talk about ... Jiu Jitsu (what else)!
By now, if you've been paying attention at all, you know we're down with our UK BJJ/MMA filmmaking buddy, Stuart Cooper and his Films. He's at it again, this time with another documentary on 4th degree faixa preta, Fernando Maccachero. Fernando has a great pedigree, having trained under Carlson Gracie , and is now (via his organization, Brazilian Top Team) head BJJ coach at Tiger Muay Thai and MMA Camp in Phuket (Thailand). So, check out the 3 minute trailer and enjoy your high holiday.
Oh, and yeah, we somehow conned Stuart into including our magnificent animated bumper in the film. We're crafty like that (or, maybe we're just that good).
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Hey, grapplers. We've elected to refrain from our typical overly clever stylings in order to be relatively serious for a brief moment. It feels kind of weird to be holding back this way, when all we really want to do is mock your guard passing skills and your excessive Shoyoroll (and/or other Guam and/or other island based/related kimono companies) buying habits. You also still say "Oss" way too much and it needs to stop.
Today we we're announcing that commencing now and going forward, we'll be presenting all of the Stuart Cooper Films ("SCF") productions here on DSTRYR/SG as part of an on going relationship with SCF. That means you'll be the first to catch all of the amazing content Stuart creates for the BJJ and grappling community.
So, here we go. Below is another fine production from SCF focusing on the talented black belt, Lucio Sergio Dos Santos, who coaches at GB Preston (i.e., in England somewhere) alongside Lucio "Lagarto" Rodrigues. As an American, I wasn't familiar with Dos Santos and I'm happy to say I'm now fully acquainted with him. Excellent skills on Dos Santos' part and excellent filmmaking on Stuart's part.
Friday, June 22, 2012
It's happening, grappler. Slowly we've evolved from DSTRYR/SG to DSTRYR/SC: Destroyer Stuart Cooper. We're just gonna go with it.
Once again, our friend and colleague, Stuart Cooper, has created another entertaining and uplifting film. This time, he focuses on Lucio "Lagarto" Rodrigues. Lagarto is a great subject, who's not only got a unique and fascinating BJJ style (as you'll see in this film), but a great story of survival and perseverance. This dude defeated cancer, so he's probably not going to have much difficulty crushes any of us on the mat.
So, let's get to it. Get uplifted and practice that Sumi Gaeshi to back take/choke!