Ricardo Castaneda

  • Work Your Neck! – Iron Neck Review

    When it comes to strength and conditioning in Jiu-jitsu, many people limit this to every other part of the body except the neck. The neck is overlooked because for one, a lack of insight into its importance or utility, or two, because there isn’t much equipment to train the...
  • 4 Supplements EVERY Grappler should Take [Plus a BONUS]

    As the head instructor of a jiu-jitsu academy, I field many questions about training jiu-jitsu. Most of the time, new grapplers want to know about techniques, concepts, and other philosophies that will help them improve. Further, I’m even asked about lifestyle habits such as how I eat, how I...
  • Post-Training Rehydration: More Than Just Water Weight

    A common post-training Instagram photo is one of a gi that is drenched in sweat. A soaked typically means that we have put our bodies through the wringer and the five or so pounds of sweat we just lost is proof. What most people do not take as seriously,...
  • Getting the Fight to the Ground

    Getting the fight to the ground is the first step to jiu-jitsu practice since the ground is where we can neutralize our opponent’s strength and size advantages.Takedowns, thus, are an essential part of learning jiu-jitsu. The truth is; however, most people are quite uncomfortable with takedowns. Falling hurts, especially...
  • Flow States – Optimizing Your Jiu-jitsu Experience

    The state of optimal mental and physical performance a person experiences when “in the zone” is also known as a “flow state”. Flow states are reached when an athlete or performer has reached a peak state of total immersion and enjoyment with laser focus in a task. In a...
  • Overcoming Plateaus

    A typical learning curve is characterized by a slow start, rapid acceleration, and finally, the dreaded plateau. At first, most people have difficulty learning a new skill because many of the initial concepts are foreign. In jiu-jitsu, this is akin to learning the names of positions and techniques as...
  • What You Can Control in Jiu-Jitsu: Focus Internally and Stay the Course

    One of the biggest challenges to learning the Gentle Art is the inability to control most things jiu-jitsu throws our way.  In jiu-jitsu, just as in life, there are many situations beyond our control. Events come up that keep us off the mats, we train with partners that throw...
  • Giving and Receiving Training Advice

    One of the wonderful things about training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is that there is an endless amount of methods and variations for just about every technique. The near infinite ways to train and practice gives rise to multiple perspectives that are never right nor wrong. Throughout our journeys, we will...
  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Training through the Holidays: ‘Tis the Season to Stay Moving

    The holidays are a tumultuous time for training jiu-jitsu. This is the time of year where most people completely fall off the self-improvement grid and opt instead for glorious feasts and more rest days than training days. This is not limited to jiu-jitsu practitioners. For everyone, the holidays are...
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