16 Jan 2010

The Online Itch

A short while ago, my good BJJ pal and fellow blogger Matt who writes Martial Farts came up with the idea of a BJJ E-zine. He asked me to write something and for various reasons, the e-zine has been put on hold. So with his agreement, I thought I would share my article with you...

The Online Itch – How BJJ and Blogging Go Hand in Hand

It is an irrational obsession...a compulsive disorder that takes over your entire life. Sure training BJJ is an addiction, but darn it, blogging about it is even more so.  But surely blogging is all introspective self-indulgent twaddle that nobody reads? No way argues Seymour Yang, who writes the self indulgent introspective blog that is Meerkatsu.com.

I'll admit, blogging has taken over my life. For me, writing and reading blogs about BJJ is synonymous with training in BJJ. I can't do one without the other. If, for example, I go training and something cool, weird, unusual or just mundane happens, I'll record it in my blog. Don't get me wrong, I don't write for the sake of it. I do try my best to make the posts entertaining, amusing, informative and interesting, not just for jiu-jitsu-heads like me, but to anyone foolish enough to stumble on it by accident.

And I'm not even the worst culprit.

Take Georgette Oden for example. Here's a nice married girl from Austin, Texas in America, with a good job and a passion for cuisine and salsa. But oh no, she discovers BJJ and bam! That's it, She is a 100 percent bonafide addict for the sport and has to, and I repeat HAS TO blog about it. But it's not just any ordinary blog, oh no, this blog is like an electrocardiogram that traces every minutiae of her life - and for someone who trains seven days a week, up to three times a day, that's a whole lotta blogging going on.

Georgette writes about the highs and lows of her jiu-jitsu life - every submission she pulls off, every big guy that squishes her, every flower that blooms, every blooming flower sweep. Georgette documents her life in such exquisite detail, you practically feel she is your best buddy, mum, sister, girlfriend, wife, work colleague, all rolled into one compulsive-reading bloggette! It is an online real life soap opera

So I asked her, what does blogging mean to her? 

"I find that blogging helps me feel supported and connected with other people in similar situations...it would be very difficult to train without EVER being able to blog (or more importantly, read others' blogs.)" She says.

For newcomers to Georgette's world, I suggest you start off with her very well written piece: Whitebelt Don'ts and Anybelt Don'ts.

Georgette's blog is very popular among the BJJ Bloggeratti, especially with women readers. Back here in the good ole United of K, Slideyfoot, real name Can Sönmez, is a prolific blogger with a very different style.

Every single BJJ lesson that Slidey takes part in is documented with an unerring degree of precision and detail. Every utterance from every instructor, every submission, every defence, every counter - all of it written with text-book accuracy. In fact if I was gona make an instructional BJJ textbook, I would choose Slidey to flesh out the pictures with his words. He has the knack - not easy to do - to describe new and old techniques that make you understand how they work.

I asked Slidey how his extensive, and very well read blog came about? 

"When I began BJJ in November 2006, I was keen to have a complete record of my training...I had seen other blogs around, and training logs, but none that tracked every class from the beginning. I wanted to provide the full story."

Over the years, Slidey’s blog has grown to become more than just a training log. His BJJ Glossary, history of BJJ and his UK Directory and Map of BJJ Clubs has become an invaluable reference source for both the beginner, and more seasoned pro alike.

Slidey notes that producing his blog is not just a one-way thing:

“BJJ blogging has evolved into a community. I regularly interact with other BJJ people and that's thanks to the blog. I'm constantly getting comments and emails from people I would never have met in the 'real' world due to blogging, so there's a degree to which it has become almost a social activity.”

Newcomers to BJJ will be more than happy with Slidey’s BJJ Beginner FAQ. Something for which he is most proud of:

“It's a wonderful feeling to get an email or comment from somebody saying that what you've written has helped them out”

Both Georgette and Slidey's blogs are just two examples from the vast BJJ blogosphere. Delve into this world and you'll find sites written by established instructors (eg Rafael Lovato Junior or Nic Gregoriades or complete newbies just starting out.

To enter a BJJ blogger's world is to take a peek into the soul of the everyman BJJer.  Our sport is a very technical and often harsh combat activity where successes are small and set-backs are many. To know that you are not alone in this, somehow really helps. For more of the best BJJ blogs around, please click on the blogroll links in the box to the right of this article.

So next time you log online and scan your google reader for the latest posts, let's all high five our BJJ comrades who take the time to share their experiences and celebrate the joy and pain that is the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

ENDS 820 WORDS © 2009 Seymour Yang/Meerkatsu.com

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


slideyfoot said...

Cool! Hopefully that mag will get off the ground at some point, as I'd love to see more pieces along these lines. :)

leslie said...

ROTFLOL! But definitely true! :P

The worst now is when I'm rolling and my brain thinks, "Oh, I gotta remember that for my blog!" Ahhh!

A.D. McClish said...

Haha, great post! And very true. It's addicting!

Jiujitsunista said...

Great post!

Good luck getting that magazine going. I would love to see some more stuff like this. =)

Jason said...

Thanks Seymour, I always enjoy your posts.

Georgette said...

Whoa, thanks Seymour. I appreciate VERY much being included with the likes of Slideyfoot! Wow. Speechless.

But no so speechless that I can't keep talking. Good article. I hope Matt's thing does get off the ground! Until then and after then, I will of course be following yours, and Can's, and Leslie's, and Elyse's, and Allie's, and so on... :)

Julia Johansen said...

Yeah, BJJ has taken over my life as well. Between practicing, blogging, reading bjj blogs and forums...BJJ is basically 90% of my non-working time.


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