4/22/11

Dojo Garage (and plant) Sale

We are having a dojo garage and plant sale to help raise money for new mats. We'll need volunteers for both set-up and sales.

Where: Roseberry's Martial Arts Center, 1811 N St.

When: Saturday, April 30th, 8 am - 4 pm
Sunday, May 1st, 10 am - 2 pm

(Set-up will be Friday, April 29th, 5 pm)

We have boxes at the front of the dojo for any items you want to donate.

Since our home is on the mats, I would appreciate it if all who are available to help out would take part in this fundraiser. We all missed out on the last one, so this is your opportunity to get involved.

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4/20/11

Building our Future

Some of the information in this post I pulled from my previous writings. I thought it would help to address the current topic. Recently, there have been some questions raised about me having an "unverified BJJ black belt."

First off, I do not promote our hybrid style of Jiu-Jitsu as being “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.” Although many of our techniques and style of training mirror that of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I remain firm that our lineage is from Japan and the core of our system was born from Kodokan Judo, handed down by Roseberry - Shihan. One could easily say that our style of Jiu-Jitsu is actually Kosen Judo. The problem here is that people get so caught up in pop culture that it’s not cool to say you train in Japanese JuJitsu. Or to say we train in Judo would give people the wrong idea about what we do. They would either assume our style is more like a traditional Japanese JuJitsu style, or simply Judo. For that reason, we simply call it Jiu-Jitsu.

In naming our discipline "Jiu-Jitsu," the BJJ community at large has a frame of reference and general acceptance of our discipline. This also allows us to attract prospective students who might otherwise make an incorrect assumption about what I teach.

Some of my students hold fast that we practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, largely because it appears that what we’re doing is the same as any other BJJ school. I don’t boast any BJJ lineage, however our system has proven to be valid and I’m proud of our Japanese lineage.

A few years back, I set out on a journey to promote Jiu-Jitsu in our community and in the Midwest. We have succeeded in creating relationships and bonds within the BJJ community that span multiple states. With the help of many dedicated students and dojo members, we created Battle on the Plains Jiu-Jitsu Tournament. I'm a regular referee for another tournament. Through hard work and dedication, we also now have Jiu-Jitsu included as an event in the Cornhusker State Games. Our students are competing at tournaments within our state, as well as traveling to compete nationally.

In the beginning, if someone wanted to find information about Jiu-Jitsu training in Lincoln, it was virtually impossible. Our advertising was primarily by word of mouth. A lengthy Google search would not readily reveal that Roseberry's was the only school in Lincoln to learn Jiu-Jitsu. There were no BJJ schools and I believe that's still true today.

My goal was to get our school's name out there so that people could easily find us and see what we do. I joined numerous forums and on-line BJJ communities, creating profiles and posting information about our school and linking our blog to my profile. The goal of all of this was to make friends, share information and be a part of the growing community. We are succeeding and will continue to be an on-line presence.

Here is a little bit of well known history that should shed some light on what we do. This comes from my friend, teacher, and mentor, Gary Gabelhouse.

"I'm sure you know that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu originally comes from Japanese Kodokan Judo, circa 1897. The date is important since Judo, at that time, emphasized ne waza or ground fighting--sometimes (and yet today) referred to as Kosen Style Judo. They also emphasized the Judo Kata which never seemed to catch on upon exportation. Anyway, the American obsession with the Black Belt started with Kodokan Judo. It was Kodokan Judo and its creator Dr. Jigaro Kano that adapted the colored belt system into Judo. The system was borrowed from Japanese competitive swimmers who wore different colored ribbons to denote their experience level.

Mitsuyo Maeda was a Kodokan Judo player who was predominately trained in the Kosen style--ne waza of Judo. Ne waza Judo allowed for smaller competitors to submit large competitors (at that time there were no weight categories). From the late 1800's until 1925 Kosen style Judo grew to dominate the Kodokan Judo. In 1925, Dr. Kano changed the rules and put a time limit on competitors who had gone to the ground--keeping them from matches with interminable time on the ground as the smaller competitor worked toward a submission.

All of this history reflects on BJJ. In 1904 Mitsuyo Maeda actually came to the USA and went to the east coast--teaching Kodokan Judo. It was at a seminar at West Point that Maeda accepted a challenge from a West Point wrestler. Maeda, not understanding western wrestling rules, allowed the American to pin him, but submitted him shortly thereafter with an arm bar. From West Point he went to Princeton and began to accept challenge fights from all comers. It got to the point where Maeda was not so much teaching Judo as being a professional, mixed martial arts competitor. Maeda spent the next 11 years doing challenge matches throughout North America and later Europe. In 1915 he went to Brazil and was asked by a government official to teach his son--Carlos Gracie--Kodokan (Kosen Style) Judo (which had almost certainly been modified through 11 years of professional challenge matches with all forms of martial artists).

Carlos Gracie studied Kodokan'esque Judo for only one year under Maeda. After Maeda left, Gracie trained under Brazilian assistants and in 1925 opened the Gracie school. His younger brother Hélio Gracie became the founder of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, modern Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Hélio competed in several submission judo competitions which mostly ended in a draw. One defeat (in Brazil in 1951) was by Japanese Judoka, Masahiko Kimura.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the product of one year’s training under a Japanese Judo/JuJitsu Sensei who was a professional mixed martial artist for over a decade before teaching Carlos Gracie. Basically, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu had no belt tradition other than that developed by the Gracies.

Because of Maeda, who was not schooled in Judo with time limits nor over-trained in throwing and who focused on professional, ground-submission challenge matches, did Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu become an art viable against larger opponents with the goal being to tap them out, on the ground with virtually no time limits. Kosen-style Judo competitions are won or lost upon tap/choke outs....not points.

All this to say that someone who says that a 7th Dan Kodokan Judo Sensei with a Shihan license is wrong to promote someone to Shodan in Jiu-Jitsu....is wrong and accuracy challenged on so many different levels that one knows not where to start (let alone finish)...."


Although our belt ranking system is slightly different, it's for good reason, and we certainly don't give our belts away. My students and I work hard for our accomplishments and I'm proud to say I practice the art that was passed down to us from Roseberry - Shihan.

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