This is the home of One Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Andrew Gardineer, head instructor of De Boa Jiu Jitsu Academy in Surprise Arizona. Follow me as I live the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle, sharing techniques and experiences that Jiu Jitsu has created for me.

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Show and Tell

Do you remember doing show and tell in school? I vaguely remember searching for what toy to bring that would impress my friends. Last Friday was the second time De Boa Academy did show and tell for kids Jiu Jitsu Class, instead of bringing their favorite toy our kids brought their favorite technique. It’s so fun to watch these kids at work, they constantly amaze me.

I have heard parents in the past question whether to start their kids in Jiu Jitsu. Will it be good for confidence? Will it channel energy? Will it teach respect? Will my kid be getting in trouble at school for choking someone unconscious. I’d argue all the answers are a yes, except the last one of course.

Show and tell was another example to me of what the kids are learning in class above and beyond Jiu Jitsu. I witnessed kids that came in with no self confidence get in front of a group of their peers and teach confidently. I witnessed some kids struggle and forget what the details of the technique, the rest of the team sat quietly and respectfully as the kid teacher worked his or her way through the technique. I witnessed some great understanding of technique and how to teach it. Show and tell will be a class that we will continue to run, I’m sure each time the kids will amaze me. I know that most of my kids will not make a career out of Jiu Jitsu but it’s awesome to think that we are helpings kids to become successful adults. When these kids have to do an interview competing with their peers they will be a step above, they will have the confidence to speak in front of others, they will have the drive to push through difficulties, they will be able to channel their energy to improve upon strengths and weaknesses, and if the boss doesn’t hire them at least they could choke him unconscious. Just kidding about the last one, have a blessed Monday!

Do you Train Jiu Jitsu to Compete?

I recently participated in the 2016 Arizona BJJ State Championships, capturing double Gold in the Black Belt Masters 1 Medium Heavy and Open Weight Divisions. It was a memorable day that all the hard work I had put into training was showing on the mat. I was clicking and rolling at a great level for myself.

The tournament provided a time of reflection on my own Jiu Jitsu career as well as my students. I had several students compete, some did amazing, some under performed. I’m proud of all my students that got out there on the mat. I was even more proud to see almost all my competitors back in class Monday morning hungry for more. I try and run my school as well as my own training based on the love of Jiu Jitsu not for what tournament we are getting ready for next. I view tournaments as a way of enjoying your path in Jiu Jitsu and a way to test your skills at a high intensity. It is more important to me that my students love Jiu Jitsu than their tournament results. That being said our kids team took home the First Place Trophy and our Adults did awesome.

Here are my matches from the weekend:

Finals Match Medium Heavy Division vs Francisco Torres

First Match Open Weight vs Gilbert Olivas

Semi Final Open Weight vs Francisco Torres

Finals Open Weight vs Diogo Ferriara

Go Fund Me

I just want to wish my beautiful bride a happy birthday! She is such an amazing women, wife, mother, daughter, teacher, mentor, and friend, I’m so lucky to have her. We love to travel and someday in the future I think I will buy her a tropical vacation every birthday, right now it’s not real feasible for several reasons but mainly time and money. Maybe I should start a Go Fund Me…

I have witnessed a lot of good that comes from Go Fund Me accounts, like helping others with unforeseen medical bills or death in the family. I have also witnessed some crazy reasons to go fund. I want to buy a Go Kart, Go Fund Me. I want to go to Thailand to train, Go Fund Me. Man I want to go to Thailand to train, the problem is I’m broke and probably so is the person asking for the Go Fund. I want to start my own business with no experience, Go Fund Me, Broke. I want a Pony, Go Fund Me, the list goes on…

On a serious note I have decided to try and figure out a way to qualify for Adult IBJJF Worlds next year. To qualify you must score 50 points in IBJJF Events throughout the year, so qualifying looks like lots of travel, lots of money, lots of hard work, and lots of hardware (medals). It will be a great challenge but definitely will require lots of sacrifice. So guess what I am saying is Go Fund Me, I prefer the traditional way though I will be at the corner of 3rd Street and Van Buren with a fedora, please come drop money in my hat!

P.S. If you have started a bad Go Fund Me I’m only having fun, I can’t hate for trying.

Warriors Come Out to Play

I grew up playing sports, soccer, baseball, football, wrestling, and mainly basketball. I always wanted to be a professional basketball player. My Mom shared the passion for basketball, she helped feed the fire and direct me. She always left it up to me on how much I practiced on my own, but sometimes reminded me when I was lazy there was probably another kid out there working hard and getting better. I loved the competition of Basketball and almost always seemed to play the best when the odds were stacked against me. One of my childhood coaches, coach Mike, used to tell me to go out and get the first blood. Getting the first blood is asserting your dominance before your opponent can get going. Sometimes I would get the first blood and score a basket, sometimes I would have to regroup after a failed first attempt.

I ended up getting a college scholarship to play at a Junior College in Wyoming, wasn’t quite the Duke or Michigan that I dreamed of but an opportunity none the less. I played two season and had a pretty underwhelming college career. I dealt with the “failure” of not having the college or professional career that I had dreamed with but a little piece of that warrior inside me died. At first I blamed the lack of fit in the system I played in, which probably played a role. I also blamed that lack of freakish athleticism, which probably played a role, but look at Chris Mullin it’s still possible to succeed. Now I look back and blame two things; 1. I could have worked harder 2. I let the warrior die inside that stopped me from competing to be better than the more athletic players around me.

Post College Basketball left a huge void in my life, I had no way of feeding that warrior inside of me. I masked the need to feed that warrior by partying, not a healthy alternative. My co-worker, Ray Elbe, at the time brought me to a little MMA Gym in Phoenix. Every elbow that landed on my face that first day fed the warrior inside. Soon I was hooked with the fierce competition and constant trials from within. I was complete again.

Now this is not the end of the story, I have had several setbacks throughout the more than a decade of training. At times I was injured and couldn’t train, as a result those times made me a frustrated and struggling person. It’s crazy how much the need grew to feed the warrior inside, it seems that the more that I trained the hungrier the warrior became. Have you found what feeds your warrior? Does the warrior inside die if you don’t feed it?

Last weekend we brought a team out to Long Beach to compete in the IBJJF Worlds. I’m proud of my team, we went out there and fought hard and learned a lot. One of the warriors on the team was my wife. She took on girls half her age and looked great. If you had watched her, you wouldn’t have known that she hasn’t been able to sleep great for years because of shoulder injuries that make it impossible to get comfortable. Now she faces a possible surgery that will put her out of training for a few months. The warrior is great in that one, she has already started with the struggling mindset of not being able to train. This is something that all Jiu Jitsu players will deal with during the course of a career. Here’s the challenge find something that feeds the warrior while you are out of training and find a way to improve when you can’t be on the mat.

Creating Bums?

I was in a weight lifting gym the other day, not lifting but people watching. I watched as everyone walked around flaunting their pretty muscles, new clothes and new hair style. Everyone looked so sharp as if they were just squeezing in a lift before going out on a date.

Later that day I went into the Jiu Jitsu gym, everyone had a beat up sandals on, hair unkempt, and tournament shirts on from four years ago. Everyone looked as if they were squeezing a workout in before they laze around the pool for the rest of the day. Made me wonder am I encouraging a group of professionals to turn into bums?

I have personally watched Doctors squeeze in private lessons in between patients, Judges say the courts can wait, computer software people look for jobs with less hours, just a to name a few. Things like making lots of money and keeping up with the Kardashians seem to be less important. Family time, mat time, and chill time become most important. Jiu Jitsu “reorganizes priorities”, sounds much better than creating bums!