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 […]
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 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 […]