#210 Xande Ribeiro Returns to BJJ, Yoga and Jiu-Jitsu, and BJJ Research

Ryron Gracie Reylan Gracie jiu-jitsu
Xande Ribeiro watches from the sidelines at a 2009 Grapplers Quest in San Diego.

So much to talk about this week on our humble Brazilian jiu-jitsu internet radio show! This week brought a lot of chatter about the convergence of BJJ and yoga. So we brought on Phil Migliarese, of Balance Studios in Philadelphia. Phil’s been a subject matter expert in both yoga and jiu-jitsu forever, having practiced both for over twenty years. (He was also one of our first ever guests on The FightWorks Podcast, for those who remember back that far!) Phil will share some insights on the best steps jiu-jitsu folks should take if they’re making the wise move of trying yoga. More of his work can be found on Yoga for Fighters.com.

We’ll also speak with Xande Ribeiro, the two-time black belt adult absolute champion in International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation competition (and four time champion in his weight class). Xande has been absent from jiu-jitsu competition for two years, as he was pursuing a career in mixed martial arts. For the time being that plan is on hold according to a blog post from Xande earlier this week. We met Xande at the University of Jiu-Jitsu in San Diego and discussed his return to action. As you’ll hear in the conversation, he is pursuing his third absolute title, which will be a record for anyone! But his old friend Roger Gracie has the same dream this year, setting the stage for a very exciting 2010 BJJ World Championship!

Finally we catch up with Brazilian jiu-jitsu researcher Alex Rosenstein. Earlier this year Rosenstein began work on his thesis for his graduate program in psychology, investigating character traits in jiu-jitsu practitioners. He returns to The FightWorks Podcast this week to share his results, and discuss future wishes for ongoing study into what makes Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners different from others. If you are interested in his work you can connect with him on the website for his research.

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One thought on “#210 Xande Ribeiro Returns to BJJ, Yoga and Jiu-Jitsu, and BJJ Research”

  1. Great show as usual, Caleb.

    I’ve been inspired to give Phil Migliarese’s Yoga for Fighters a try when I’m done with my current lifting regimen.

    I thought Alex’s research was particularly interesting. It sounded like he (and maybe you) were maybe a little disappointed that his data didn’t show marked gains in self-control and other character traits. I was, too; I took the survey and was hoping for some amazing positive validation about my character (I’m one of the white belts who volunteered to repeat the survey yearly). But data is data – it may not have shown the numbers Alex hypothesized, but it did reveal something about BJJ that we didn’t know before, and that’s wonderful.

    I recall the survey being heavily geared towards internal state-of-mind, character and interpersonal relations questions. Reflecting on the survey, I guess it doesn’t surprise me that it doesn’t show growth in these areas. I don’t think these are the areas that BJJ has benefited me in. My character was already forged when I started taking BJJ as an adult.

    I think you both hit it on the head by suggesting that the tool simply didn’t ask the right questions to measure the growth experience that BJJ provides. We practitioners know for a fact that it makes us feel great – the mental and physical benefits are undeniable. For my part, I’d say things like self-confidence, a sense of personal achievement, determination and camaraderie have been more affected than my sense of inner peace or my nerves (both of which were completely annihilated the moment I decided to compete :). There again, it would be interesting to see the different data (with anxiety, for example) with people who compete and who don’t, and where that leads over time. Just talking to black belts versus white belts like me reveals that there is massive personal growth that takes place, and with the right questions I’m sure we could measure that.

    Hats off to Alex for the work he put into this, I hope he feels it was time well spent and continues his efforts.

    In the mean time, I’ll just keep rolling and enjoying the journey!

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