Alliance Blog

BJJ benefits- Social circle



Many people feel incomplete or a lack of belonging in our world. Sometimes it really seems like there is a drastic shortage of good people out there, it can be hard to find good friends. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be one of the best places to: find friends, be inspired, learn to set goals, and experience rapid personal growth.

Find lifelong friends

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes are usually loaded with people from all walks of life. No matter what type of person you are, or what other interests you have, chances are there is someone at your gym that you can relate to. Not only will you talk with these people daily, you will sweat with them, compete with them, and often help encourage each other in times of sorrow. BJJ is an awesome environment filled with comradery, its a unique culmination of many different people united with one goal. These bonds become like family ties, you will form some of the strongest friendships you could ever imagine in BJJ.

Find inspiration

Most of the people you will meet will have stories of inspiration. I have met some of the most inspiring people I have ever talked to right at Alliance martial arts. A perfect example of this is, recently one of the other students at my gym suffered a serious injury of the arm during a judo competition. He required several surgeries and extensive rehabilitation. The entire process has taken months, but he continues to exude positivity. He posts updates to facebook showing his progress and always sends out words of encouragement and inspiration along with his pictures. This is only one example of many that I have seen, you may even be a source of inspiration for someone else you meet.

Find your drive to succeed

All the inspiration you’ll be getting at BJJ will start to change you in many ways. You will find yourself becoming more organized and often you’ll have more focus. As you start focusing more on whats important setting goals becomes a natural part of the process. Bjj is about dedication and hard work, as you embrace the ethic of hardwork you’ll start setting goals to get you where you want to be in life.

Find the you, that you have always wanted to be

As you start setting goals and get inspired, you’ll start getting better. BJJ has a way of improving many aspects of your life, helping your interpersonal skills, making you more organized, helping you stay motivated to eat better, and it pushes you through many uncomfortable situations, all these things will lead to a better you. I have grown tremendously since starting BJJ, and the mental toughness and dedication I have learned from taking classes has made me better prepared to face adversity and grow as a person. In all aspects of my life I can say BJJ has made me better, and most of my training partners would feel the same way.

Posted by Shane Sorensen at July 28th, 2014 Comments Off

Why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the best choice for self defense.



There are many different options for those seeking to learn martial arts as a form of self defense. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is undoubtedly the best choice for men, and women alike, who are looking to prepare themselves for a self defense situation.

Size doesn’t matter (or can be overcome) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the gentle art teaches techniques that allow a woman or even a small child to protect themselves against a much larger or aggressive attacker. Watch some of the earlier Ultimate Fighting Championship events and look for Royce Gracie, who despite being outweighed sometimes by 100lbs or more, is able to defeat his much larger opponents without taking large amounts of damage from punches and kicks. If a 160lb man can defeat a 260lb professional boxer with nothing but Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training, then of course it stands to reason that a 130lb female who is keen on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can defend herself against a 180lb man with no martial arts training.

70% of fights end up on the ground anyway (or something like that) There is an old saying by the Gracie family that 70% of fights end up on the ground at some point during altercation. While this number is very vague and hard to verify through research, if you look at most street fights the majority of them do end up on the ground at some point, this is with zero Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training to speak of. Most fights you can find on youtube where two untrained fighters are in a scuffle will end up on the ground, usually there is no definitve takedown attempt, but in a live altercation things happen, people slip and fall, trip over something, lose their balance in a clinch. In this type of situation, once the fight is on the ground, the person with the best grappling skills or greater strength (assuming there are no grappling skills), will most likely be the victor.

People who have never trained grappling have NO IDEA how to grapple. Everyone instinctively knows how to throw a punch or an elbow, the technique and efficiency may be very low but most people will still flail wildly to win a fight. However, if you have never trained grappling or done Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, then you are literally out of your element when a fight ends up on the ground. A man can be the best boxer on the planet, but if a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu takes him down to the ground with a double leg, all of the boxers training goes out the window, suddenly it is a grappling match. Though anyone can throw a punch, it takes experience grappling in order to be good on the ground.

All of these reasons should be a clear cut case that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is by far the best option for someone looking to learn to better protect themselves or their family.

Posted by Shane Sorensen at July 22nd, 2014 Comments Off

Why learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is safer than learning MMA



Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has often been referred to as the gentle art because, one of the basic principles of BJJ is to use your opponents strength against them. If your opponent is agile you learn to slow them down, if they are strong you learn to use leverage to counter their strength, and if they are much bigger than you you learn to control their weight and stay out from under them. As more and more people look into the martial arts for an effective way to defend themselves BJJ continues to shine as a highly effective, and relatively safe option for those looking in this direction.

Mixed Martial Arts is a mix of several different types of fighting styles usually striking (boxing, kick boxing, muay-thai, or karate), take downs (judo, wrestling, or sambo), and grappling (catch wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or sambo). Learning to use Mixed Martial Arts safely and effectively can take many years, because you must focus on multiple types of fighting styles and create a system to use all of those different arts in conjunction. Because of this requirement to learn many different aspects of fighting, the learner sometimes loses the ability to focus on fine details of techniques which can increase risk of injury.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is also a non striking art. Unlike Mixed Martial arts training, or most other martial arts for that matter, BJJ does not use punches, kicks, elbows, headbutts, knees, or any other concussive blows to render an opponent unconscious in order for self defense. These attacks carry a high risk of injury, broken bones are not uncommon in these sports, and concussions are also a semi-regular part of training for many of these practitioners. Concussions are highly dangerous especially when experienced multiple times. Most striking arts engage in regular live sparring which will of course increase the risks of obtaining a concussion during training.

Mixed Martial Arts is often much rougher in practice than BJJ. Because of the unpredictability of the sport, many times unexpected slams, falls, and strikes can leave training partners injured. Mixed Martial Arts often carries with it a host of “tough guys” who want to prove themselves especially when they are new to the sport, these people often will hurt people trying to prove how “tough” they are, they will use excessive strength and energy in order to assert themselves over others in training. Because of the strong focus on things like respect and consideration the traditional martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is often times a much better environment for those looking to learn without all of the hot heads in an MMA gym.

To sum up, the lack of striking gives BJJ less risk of concussions and broken bones, BJJ is safer and more controlled than an all out fight, BJJ encourages the use of less strength and more technique, and lastly BJJ usually has a safer and more welcoming environment for training. Stop by Alliance Martial Arts Center in Dunwoody, Georgia, and see what its all about!

Posted by Shane Sorensen at July 17th, 2014 Comments Off

Does BJJ still work in Mixed Martial Arts?



There has been an increasing trend in people saying that Brazilian jiu-jitsu has lost its effectiveness in the realm of combat sports like Mixed Martial Arts. Most people now are coming to terms with the effectiveness of Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a means of self defense, and most people will agree as to its effectiveness in the early Ultimate Fighting Championships. Royce Gracie, the 180 pound BJJ fighter and black belt made himself and BJJ famous as he demolished opponents many times twice his size, because they were not versed in the intricacies of ground fighting. But, many people feel that BJJ is now becoming obsolete in the world of Mixed Martial Arts.

First, a large number of the best fighters in the UFC (including the current title holders) have trained in the traditional BJJ kimono and hold rank in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Even those who have never actually worn the “Gi”, still often manage to use BJJ techniques to submit their opponents. While BJJ is traditionally done in the Gi, NoGi (or training without the kimono in shorts and rashguards) is a regular part of almost all BJJ gyms and serious MMA fighters training regiments.

Secondly, even for those rare fighters who have never landed a submission or don’t engage in grappling in the ring/cage, submission defense is crucial. Whether or not the fighter chooses to grapple, he still has to be able to defend takedowns and also prevent his opponent from catching submissions during the fight. The best way to learn this submission defense is through regular training in Brazlilian jiu-jitsu.



Third, in 2012 a list of all results of all fights held in the UFC were compiled and it was broken into percentages of how the fights resulted. Out of 200 fights there were 46 submissions, 23% of the total fights in the UFC in 2012 ended in a submission. That is nearly ¼ of all fights ending up in a submission finish. Certainly BJJ can’t be completely obsolete with a number like that!

I’ll conclude by saying that of course with the current level of competition in the UFC, that Brazilian jiu-jitsu training alone is most likely not enough for someone to become a world champion. The days of Royce Gracie destroying giants with BJJ magic are over and replaced with days of a new crop of athletes emerging to claim their spots in the history books. The most successful fighters in the UFC now employ multiple trainers, all working together to create a very well rounded and skilled fighter throughout all aspects of fighting. Today’s successful fighters have to have excellent: striking, takedowns and takedown defense, and of course Brazilian jiu-jitsu to reach their full potential.

Whether or not someone has to train in the Gi or not to be a champion in the UFC is certainly up for debate, but like it or not BJJ is here to stay as staple in any successful fighter’s game.

Posted by Shane Sorensen at July 1st, 2014 Comments Off

6 reasons to add more RAW fruits and veggies into your diet.



Raw foods are becoming increasingly popular in modern nutrition. Raw foods have higher levels of nutrients, aid in digestion, promote a proper PH balance, add fiber into the diet, and are also very convenient to prepare. Subjectively, raw foods often also: increase people’s energy levels and feelings of well being, don’t leave you feeling as bloated and “heavy” after a meal, and can even decrease feelings on hunger.

#1- Higher nutrient levels. Many nutrients are destroyed at the temperatures required for cooking. By cooking foods (and especially overcooking foods) many of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in the food can be destroyed, this means less of the things you need are actually getting into your body. This, is a part of why eating a large amount of raw fruits and vegetables can contribute to a better nutrition status.

#2- Better digestion. Raw foods contain natural enzymes that allow them to be more easily broken down for the body to use. When we cook foods, the high temperatures destroy these naturally occurring enzymes. It is then necessary for our own bodies to produce these enzymes, adding additional stress and work for digestion.

#3- Better acid vs. base balance. Most raw fruits and vegetables are alkaline in nature. Alkaline foods are very beneficial for the body since the body’s regular PH must be maintained between 7.35-7.45 to maintain life. Alkaline foods encourage the body to stay in this alkaline range, which is optimal for good health. Highly acidic foods like processed meats, grains, and dairy should be eaten sparingly as high consumption can leech minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous from your body as it attempts to maintain a proper balance.

#4- Low sodium.- Raw foods are naturally low in sodium. Over consumption of sodium (especially highly processed salts found in processed foods) can contribute to: hypertension, high cholesterol, and bloating and water retention.

#5- Easy to prepare.- Raw foods take zero prep work (other than maybe peeling a fruit or veggie). Just peel and eat, or grab and eat. Little work is required to eat a raw food. Of course you can actually prepare a raw meal (raw foodism), but it definitely is not required.

#6- High fiber.- Most of the foods you eat raw (fruits and veggies), are naturally high in fiber. Fiber aids in digestion, weight loss or maintenance, decreases some cancer risks, and helps to detoxify the body.

If you aim to make 75% or more of your diet raw fruits and vegetables, I am positive you will be feeling better in no time, so give it a try!

Posted by Shane Sorensen at June 3rd, 2014 Comments Off