April 25, 2020

Infant in an Infinite World

By: Greg Lapin Not long ago I started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. When I began my BJJ journey, I was already very active, physically fit and strong. I came from a Law Enforcement and government contracting background and, like most men, thought I could fight. Well, I learned pretty quickly that I was incorrect, horribly and woefully incorrect. As I’ve progressed, I feel like I’m starting to get it. I’m grasping some of the concepts and fundamentals of grappling, I’m able to control a dominant position against some of my training partners and even able to submit some of them. Just as I start to feel like I’m getting pretty good at this BJJ thing, I “roll” (BJJ’s term for sparring) with someone who is actually good and realize that, just like John Snow, I know nothing. I am a complete and utter infant in this martial art/sport and with every day that I train passes, I learn more and more how much further I have to go. And…oh yea, two days ago I was hugely honored to be promoted to Brown belt by my Professor. Now let me back up. Some of you are saying right now, “If this guy […]
April 17, 2020

Pushing Through Panic

By: Casey Lapin I made it through 37 years of life without ever having a panic attack. Then I started Jiu-Jitsu. I’m here to tell you why my experience with panicking during training is the number one reason I urge other women to start this journey. The first time someone held me down, I freaked. Any time my mouth was covered, my chest was being compressed, my breathing was in any way restricted, I could feel it setting in. Even if it was another woman, another small person, someone I knew and trusted, even my husband, I would start to hyperventilate, sometimes to the point I’d need to tap and take a break. My first few months of training I got very embarrassed when this would happen and I would profusely apologize to my training partners. I was brought to tears more than once, mostly out of frustration with my inability to power through. One day in class, a purple belt female who is my same size (I’m 4’11”) put me in North/South and I freaked and tapped. She was visiting from one of our neighboring gyms and I looked up to her and I was so embarrassed. I dove […]
April 8, 2020

Why Women Should Train Jiu-Jitsu

By: Julie Jarnagin I’m not sure what I thought women who trained Jiu-Jitsu were like. I only knew that I wasn’t one of them—or so I thought. Turns out, Jiu-Jitsu is for so many of us. Whether you’re a mom who never even envisioned herself as an athlete like me or a hardcore competitor, training Jiu-Jitsu provides so many benefits that you might just find yourself obsessed with it. Here are a few reasons I believe women should give Jiu-Jitsu a shot. Self-Protection – Now that I train Jiu-Jitsu, do I think I could use the moves I’ve learned to protect myself in a fight against a bigger, stronger person? Maybe. But more important than the techniques themselves, I truly believe in my ability to stay calm in a high stress situation now that I train. Jiu-Jitsu classes put me out of my comfort zone every day. I know what it feels like to have someone heavier than me pinning me down. I’ve felt what it’s like to get thrown to the ground and need to quickly keep fighting. Through Jiu-Jitsu I’ve practiced controlling my breathing, managing my adrenaline, and looking for opportunities to escape. Because of my training, I […]
March 31, 2020

Grappling and Gunfighting (A SWAT Cop Argues for Jiu-Jitsu)

By: Greg Lapin (Originally published in Tactics and Preparedness Magazine in May 2019) For the last 20 or so years I have made it my duty to ensure that I was as versatile in lethal skill sets as I could be. I began my martial arts journey at about the age of 19. I started in Kenpo and Jeet Kun Do. I rather quickly learned that either the style or the gym wasn’t for me as I didn’t see much use in kata, and the sparring was, in my opinion, less than realistic. I then studied Muy Thai. Kicks, elbows, knees made sense to me. I went to Thailand and trained there for a couple of months. I got to kick the little bamboo that the five to seven-year-olds were kicking, which was as humbling as it was painful. Then, in 2006, I dove into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I am a fan of most martial arts and think that, without the watered-down commercialization of some of them, and within the original fighting roots of them, they all have useful aspects. I do have my own opinion about what skills should take priority, though. From the time you learn to walk, you […]
March 27, 2020

Nossa Familia

By: Greg Lapin There’s something different about Jiu-jitsu.  I know it sounds cliché coming from me–a jiu-jitsu practitioner, competitor, academy owner–but it’s the truth.  I’ve been involved in a number of team sports, including Crossfit and other martial arts, and all at a highly select and competitive level, yet I have not found a match for the bonding, the family unity and the care that I have in jiu-jitsu. During this crisis of the Covid-19 virus, we have been forced to close our doors.  Now in our second week closed and looking at another potential 3 weeks–maybe more–our members…students…no…FAMILY have been nothing short of amazingly supportive.  See, we take care of each other on the mats.  We take care of each other’s feelings–sometimes of grandeur and sometimes of inadequacy–we take care of each other’s health and diets, and we take care of each other’s life and limbs.  In doing so on a daily basis, we build a bond. It is a bond that I have only found matched in those built in combat, those that I was side by side with.  We take care of each other outside the gym.  When a family member has a crisis, everyone steps up […]
March 27, 2020

BJJ For World Peace

By: Greg Lapin If you’re a fan of the 1990s action film “Ski Patrol,” you’ll remember one of my favorite sayings from the beloved, two faced villain in the movie: “Taste death, live life.”  As cliché as this sounds, there is some truth to it. We run around our daily lives in extreme comfort and without a care in the world or any fear of repercussion.  Our groceries get delivered, our food gets brought to us, our tailgates close on their own and the entire “real” world is available in the palm of our hand (sarcasm intended). Where is this all going?  Well. . . I have a solution to bullying.  I have a solution to road rage.  I have a solution to people being overtly selfish and massively inconsiderate. It’s called Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Hear me out.  I have firemen, Police Officers, Navy SEALs on my mat and they all say the same thing: “This is the realest place I’ve ever been.”  The world is supposed to have repercussions.  That is what makes us smart, helps us learn, and makes us treat others like civil human beings.  Unfortunately, in our P.C., litigation happy world, that’s all gone out the window. […]
October 30, 2019

The Vida Jiu-Jitsu Shop

We have officially launched www.vidajiujitsu.com where we offer premium Jiu-Jitsu inspired apparel and accessories for adults and kids. Tees, tanks, hoodies, hats, backpacks, and more! We’ll be regularly adding new items, so signup for our email list to get updates and follow us on Facebook and on Instagram @vida_jiu_jitsu_shop
February 17, 2020

Girls in Gis Will Be Rescheduled

UPDATE: As soon as all Covid restrictions are lifted, we will be rescheduling the Girls in Gis event. All registrations will be carried over. Don’t miss out on our Girls in Gis event Saturday, March 14th from 1:30–4:30!! Sign up here: http://www.girls-in-gis.com/louisiana-events/?fbclid=IwAR0WMYdoyecNt7G34gqSrkXTHP3L3M2IvADtjjNGBNWn0GAWbOzgdpEzV5E
March 20, 2020

New Schedule!

Our brand new, updated schedule starts October 26, 2020. We offer a $25 5-class trial period. No excuses–come out and give Jiu-Jitsu a try! Visit us at our new location at 4420 Highway 22 (in the same building as Storms Karate and across from Tiffany Lanes). We have the biggest mat space on the North Shore, elite instructors, and an amazing family atmosphere.
March 26, 2020

Code of Honor

By: Greg Lapin Let me preface this ramble with: I am not a black belt. I am a 41-year-old, past his prime purple belt. With that being said, most would agree that I am not your average, washed up, 41-year-old purple belt. I’ve lived a life in Law Enforcement and Government Special Operations, I am extremely fit for my age and I train under some of the most monstrous Professors and teammates around. The mat is an interesting petri dish of personalities, intensities, respect, honor and humility. What are the rules of the mat? Sometimes they’re clear and others not so clear. This is my take—maybe not the correct one—but what I feel is the ultimate blend of hard rolling, respect and willingness to eat some humble pie. First date: you go visit another gym. All standard formalities are important, i.e. call the Professor ahead of time, show up early, ask about gi/gym policies, bring a white gi, be ultimately humble and respectful. Remember, you are a guest dining around a table of sharks. However, I want to focus more on the rolling/sparring aspect of things. If you’re slapping and bumping into every roll with the ultimate goal of tapping […]
March 27, 2020

BJJ For World Peace

By: Greg Lapin If you’re a fan of the 1990s action film “Ski Patrol,” you’ll remember one of my favorite sayings from the beloved, two faced villain in the movie: “Taste death, live life.”  As cliché as this sounds, there is some truth to it. We run around our daily lives in extreme comfort and without a care in the world or any fear of repercussion.  Our groceries get delivered, our food gets brought to us, our tailgates close on their own and the entire “real” world is available in the palm of our hand (sarcasm intended). Where is this all going?  Well. . . I have a solution to bullying.  I have a solution to road rage.  I have a solution to people being overtly selfish and massively inconsiderate. It’s called Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Hear me out.  I have firemen, Police Officers, Navy SEALs on my mat and they all say the same thing: “This is the realest place I’ve ever been.”  The world is supposed to have repercussions.  That is what makes us smart, helps us learn, and makes us treat others like civil human beings.  Unfortunately, in our P.C., litigation happy world, that’s all gone out the window. […]
March 27, 2020

Nossa Familia

By: Greg Lapin There’s something different about Jiu-jitsu.  I know it sounds cliché coming from me–a jiu-jitsu practitioner, competitor, academy owner–but it’s the truth.  I’ve been involved in a number of team sports, including Crossfit and other martial arts, and all at a highly select and competitive level, yet I have not found a match for the bonding, the family unity and the care that I have in jiu-jitsu. During this crisis of the Covid-19 virus, we have been forced to close our doors.  Now in our second week closed and looking at another potential 3 weeks–maybe more–our members…students…no…FAMILY have been nothing short of amazingly supportive.  See, we take care of each other on the mats.  We take care of each other’s feelings–sometimes of grandeur and sometimes of inadequacy–we take care of each other’s health and diets, and we take care of each other’s life and limbs.  In doing so on a daily basis, we build a bond. It is a bond that I have only found matched in those built in combat, those that I was side by side with.  We take care of each other outside the gym.  When a family member has a crisis, everyone steps up […]
March 31, 2020

Grappling and Gunfighting (A SWAT Cop Argues for Jiu-Jitsu)

By: Greg Lapin (Originally published in Tactics and Preparedness Magazine in May 2019) For the last 20 or so years I have made it my duty to ensure that I was as versatile in lethal skill sets as I could be. I began my martial arts journey at about the age of 19. I started in Kenpo and Jeet Kun Do. I rather quickly learned that either the style or the gym wasn’t for me as I didn’t see much use in kata, and the sparring was, in my opinion, less than realistic. I then studied Muy Thai. Kicks, elbows, knees made sense to me. I went to Thailand and trained there for a couple of months. I got to kick the little bamboo that the five to seven-year-olds were kicking, which was as humbling as it was painful. Then, in 2006, I dove into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I am a fan of most martial arts and think that, without the watered-down commercialization of some of them, and within the original fighting roots of them, they all have useful aspects. I do have my own opinion about what skills should take priority, though. From the time you learn to walk, you […]
April 8, 2020

Why Women Should Train Jiu-Jitsu

By: Julie Jarnagin I’m not sure what I thought women who trained Jiu-Jitsu were like. I only knew that I wasn’t one of them—or so I thought. Turns out, Jiu-Jitsu is for so many of us. Whether you’re a mom who never even envisioned herself as an athlete like me or a hardcore competitor, training Jiu-Jitsu provides so many benefits that you might just find yourself obsessed with it. Here are a few reasons I believe women should give Jiu-Jitsu a shot. Self-Protection – Now that I train Jiu-Jitsu, do I think I could use the moves I’ve learned to protect myself in a fight against a bigger, stronger person? Maybe. But more important than the techniques themselves, I truly believe in my ability to stay calm in a high stress situation now that I train. Jiu-Jitsu classes put me out of my comfort zone every day. I know what it feels like to have someone heavier than me pinning me down. I’ve felt what it’s like to get thrown to the ground and need to quickly keep fighting. Through Jiu-Jitsu I’ve practiced controlling my breathing, managing my adrenaline, and looking for opportunities to escape. Because of my training, I […]
April 17, 2020

Pushing Through Panic

By: Casey Lapin I made it through 37 years of life without ever having a panic attack. Then I started Jiu-Jitsu. I’m here to tell you why my experience with panicking during training is the number one reason I urge other women to start this journey. The first time someone held me down, I freaked. Any time my mouth was covered, my chest was being compressed, my breathing was in any way restricted, I could feel it setting in. Even if it was another woman, another small person, someone I knew and trusted, even my husband, I would start to hyperventilate, sometimes to the point I’d need to tap and take a break. My first few months of training I got very embarrassed when this would happen and I would profusely apologize to my training partners. I was brought to tears more than once, mostly out of frustration with my inability to power through. One day in class, a purple belt female who is my same size (I’m 4’11”) put me in North/South and I freaked and tapped. She was visiting from one of our neighboring gyms and I looked up to her and I was so embarrassed. I dove […]