The Alavanca Blog

Alavanca Pre-Opening Sale | 25% Off All Memberships and Personal Training Packages

We have officially started our pre-opening sale for the new Alavanca location.  All memberships and personal training packages are 25% off.  We also have some pretty sweet starter packs for kids and adults.

Go to to view all of the options then use the promo code “alavanca” when you check out to receive 25% off.

We are all very excited for the new location to open up and look forward to seeing all of you there.

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Top 10 Pre-Workout Foods

The Benefits Of Eating Pre-Workout Foods

So, let’s start by talking about why you should be eating pre-workout, i.e. before a workout. Many people carry out what’s called fasted cardio, in an attempt to burn and lose body fat, but unless you’re carrying out this cardio from 6am – 7am, you need to fuel your body before each and every workout.

Ultimately, you should picture your body like a car – you can’t expect to drive 150 miles with no petrol in the tank, can you? If you’re looking to perform and train at your best, you need to make sure your body has enough fuel to do so. If you fail to provide yourself with the energy and nutrients required during exercise, the chances are you won’t see results as quickly as you should. Plus, over a long period of time, the likelihood of becoming ill or injured will be increased.


Cashew chicken meal prep

1. Gives You More Energy

Our bodies use carbohydrates and glycogen as the first source of fuel. This is because carbohydrates and stored glycogen can be converted into ATP (adenoise triphosphate, i.e. energy) faster than protein and fat. Therefore, filling up your glycogen stores pre-workout will mean you’ll have more energy to perform at your best.

2. Prevent Muscle Catabolism

When we exercise, glycogen stores are quickly used up and depleted, so the body looks for new sources of energy – our muscles. By breaking down hard-earned muscle, the body can utilise amino acids for energy. This is bad, as it puts our bodies into a catabolic state, which can prevent muscle growth and recovery.

3. Increase Muscle Anabolism

Eating the right foods pre-workout means you won’t only top up your glycogen stores, but by eating a good source of protein, you’ll also be able to promote muscle-protein synthesis and create an anabolic environment in the body.

What and When to Eat Pre-Workout

In every meal, you need to consider the three macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fats. You also need to consider the ratio in which you are eating them.

Pre-workout, it’s best to avoid too much fat. This is because, although high in energy with 9kcal per gram, fats are slow-digesting. This means, instead of making you energetic, they can actually make you feel sluggish and heavy.
Pre-workout meals containing protein provide us with a major benefit – the prevention of muscle catabolism. By consuming a good source of protein before a workout, you can give your body the amino acids (branched-chain amino acids in particular) that it needs to prevent muscle breakdown, whilst aiding muscle recovery and growth.
There are two types of carbohydrates: simple, high glycaemic index carbohydrates, and complex, low glycaemic index carbohydrates. But which one is best pre-workout?

This ultimately depends on your goal and the time of your pre-workout meal. Simple carbohydrates are great for 30 minutes to an hour before a workout, as they provide the body with fast-acting glucose as fuel. However, complex carbohydrates also play a role within energy metabolism. By consuming low GI carbohydrates around 2-3 hours before a workout, you can give your body a slow-releasing source of energy. This means you’ll be able to work out for longer and be less likely to have a dip in your blood sugar levels in the middle of your workout.


30 Minutes to an Hour Pre-Workout:

Consume light meals and foods which contain simple carbohydrates and some protein.

2-3 Hours Pre-Workout:

Consume a meal around 400- 500 calories containing a good source of protein (around 20g) and complex low GI carbohydrates (20-30g).

Pre-Workout Foods


pre workout foods

Bananas are a great source of natural sugars, simple carbohydrates, and potassium. In the body, potassium is only stored for a limited amount of time, so try consuming a banana around 30 minutes to an hour before your workout. Eating a banana pre-workout is the perfect way to boost your glycogen stores and increase blood sugar levels.

2. Chicken, Rice & Vegetables

pre workout foods

The stereotypical healthy meal: chicken, rice, and vegetables. This is actually a classic pre-workout meal. By combining a good source of lean protein and complex carbohydrates, this meal can provide amino acids to promote anabolism (muscle growth) and a slow-releasing source of energy. Consume a meal like this around 2-3 hours before a workout.

3. Greek Yogurt and Dried Fruit

pre workout foods

Dried fruit is high in sugar and high in calories. When it comes to dieting, dried fruit is generally avoided, however, this food is great to be consumed in measured amounts pre-workout to give a quick source of simple sugar. Consuming dried fruit with Greek yogurt can also provide the body with a source of protein to help optimise your workout. Consume a meal like this 1-1.5 hours before a workout.

4. Porridge and Oatmeal

pre workout foods

Porridge and oatmeal make the ultimate pre-workout breakfast. This pre-workout food contains complex carbohydrates and is also a great source of the soluble fibre, beta-glucan. By consuming oats around 2 hours before a workout, you’ll be able to satisfy your hunger throughout your workouts whilst getting a great source of slow-releasing energy. Try adding a scoop of protein powder to your porridge. That way you’ll also get a great source of protein and amino acids.

5. Fruit Smoothies

pre workout foods

Many people think fruit smoothies are great tasting and super-healthy. Whilst smoothies do provide a series of micronutrients that are beneficial for health and well-being,  they’re also full of sugars, including fructose. This means that smoothies are often high in calories and what are often mistaken as drinks are actually meal replacements. However, consuming a fruit smoothie pre-workout is a great pre-workout meal option that can provide you with a good source of fast-acting glucose

6. Wholegrain Bread, Sweet Potato and Brown Rice

wholemeal bread

Wholegrain Bread, sweet potato, and brown rice are great sources of complex carbohydrates that should be consumed around 2-3 hours pre-workout. Combining these foods with a good source of protein means you’ll get a good source of slow-releasing energy to fuel you throughout a whole workout. Carbohydrates should be consumed by all those physically active but in particular those who carry out regular endurance activities such as cycling and running.

7. Apple Wedges and Peanut Butter

pre workout foods

Enjoying sliced apple wedges with a small spread of peanut butter is tasty before a workout food. It’s perfect for consuming around 30 minutes before a workout.

8. Omelette

pre workout foods

Omelettes made using whole eggs and egg whites are a great source of muscle-building protein and amino acids. Omelettes should be consumed 2-3 hours before a workout to avoid muscle catabolism and promote muscle growth.

9. Homemade Protein Bars

pre workout foods

Homemade protein bars are super easy to make and perfect for a quick on the go pre-workout food. What’s more, you can control the content making bars that are high in carbohydrates and protein or low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Check out our favourite tasty high-protein recipes.

10. Protein Shakes

protein shake

Last but not least, protein shakes. If you’re on the go and in a hurry or none of the above appeal to you, a quick protein shake can solve your pre-workout problems. By consuming a shake with a good source of fast-releasing protein, such as whey protein, with simple carbohydrates like maltodextrin powder, you can get all the pre-workout nutrients you need in a matter of minutes.

At Alavanca we teach martial arts to everyone no matter the age or skill level.  If you are interested in trying a free class please visit our website and sign up for your free trial class.


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Top 10 Reasons Why Women Should Learn Martial Arts For Self Defense

Nothing feels better than knowing you can take care of yourself mentally, financially, and physically. However for a lot of people, the physical part is just exercise. Being able to protect yourself in all situations is a confidence booster as much as it is a reassurance. A reassurance that can only be gained through any form of self defense classes. Today, when people think about self defense classes, they tend to think about women and children. However, self defense classes (and practices such as wrestling, boxing, jiu jitsu, ect. ), are for everyone.

I believe in the power of knowledge and practice when it comes to self defense. Below are 10 reasons why learning martial arts for self defense is beneficial to everyone.

1. It builds confidence

One of the biggest advantages to taking self defense classes is the way it makes you feel afterwards. A lot of people are unconfident with their abilities to protect themselves before they join a practice, or take classes. This can be due to personal experiences, as well as driven by the news. We hear a lot about the negativity in our society, and this can leave people feeling unprotected. Self defense classes will build confidence in yourself. If you are getting bullied, it is also a great way to protect yourself and grow confidence in yourself, ultimately molding you into a better person.

2. It works on your balance

Let’s face it, some of us can’t walk and chew gum at the same time – myself included. These types of classes require a lot out of your body, including the ability to do two things at once without falling over. Improving your balance also means improving focus. Martial art and self defense classes teach you how to focus on your target while you control your body. Without balance it is almost impossible to fight. Through gaining your body control and balance, you will be better prepared to protect yourself.

3. It helps develop self-discipline

“The only discipline that lasts, is self-discipline.” -Bum Phillips. In order to learn and grow with your self defense abilities, you have to develop self-discipline. You have to be motivated and dedicated to the practice. In order to be better protected-you have to keep practicing. Actually going to class and showing up on a regular basis develops discipline. Taking these types of classes will get you focused on your personal protection and on your surroundings. Like with any other sport, you can’t get better if you don’t practice.

4. It helps improve your physical conditioning

The whole point of self defense classes is to prepare you for any situation that may bring harm to you. Physical conditioning is extremely important when it comes to self defense. Training and practicing prepares you for the adrenalin dump when a situation arises that may require you to fight. When someone comes after you, you will experience what is called an adrenalin dump. It’s your body’s way of responding to the fight or flight situation. It only last a few seconds, so you need to be physically conditioned to appropriately deal with a dangerous situation. If you aren’t, your body will not work as well as you need it to after the adrenalin dump . Physical conditioning will work on your reflexes and your awareness of an attack. When you are fighting it is important to be focused both mentally and physically. If you are prepared, you will be more successful in a dangerous situation and the dump won’t take all your energy from you.

5. It improves your street awareness

Self defense classes will make you more aware of your surroundings. You’re never planning to be attacked, but your attacker is the one with the plan. Self defense classes will help you to be aware at all times and ready, should this type of situation arise. You might be shocked for a second, but you will have the necessary reactions to protect yourself.

6. It teaches you self-respect

The practice of martial arts  are centered around trust and respect. It teaches respect of each other, and respect for yourself. This is beneficial in life. If you don’t respect yourself, then how can you respect others? When you are practicing your self defense moves you will be practicing with a partner. There needs to be mutual trust between the two of you to not hurt each other, but still practice well. If you do not respect yourself it is unlikely that others will respect you and have that mutual trust.

7. It helps to develop a warrior spirit

We all watch the news and see how terrible it can be. Taking self defense classes will help you develop a sort of warrior spirit. We all know that if we are attacked, the last thing we want to do is get in that van of our assailant. Self defense classes can prepare you for battle and, most importantly, survival. If you are attacked, you don’t want to go to a secondary location, and having self defense on your side will help prevent that from happening. You will have a sense of “I am going to survive here, not down the road.”

8. It helps you develop a fighters reflex

In a fight, movement is power. You can’t stand around and wait for your attacker’s next strike, you have to move! Self defense classes will help develop your reflexes and you will gain a fighter’s reflex. A fighter’s reflex is different from your normal reflexes. In normal situations you respond to something that happens. When you are being attacked it is better to know how to respond. Fighter’s reflex will allow you to move quickly and smartly in the situation. You will know where to step and where to throw your punch. You will be prepared.

9. It will help you with goal setting

Self defense classes help you to set goals. Whether you want to nail a specific move, or work hard to feel like you can protect yourself, you are setting a goal. It gets you back in class each week, and will help you in your everyday life. It helps you develop a drive that you may not have had before. If you take your goal setting seriously within your self defense classes, it can roll over into your everyday life, helping you get through any tough situation that comes your way.

10. It has a positive influence on your life

Unlike a lot of things in life, taking self defense classes will always have a positive impact on your life. Each and every one of the reasons above are proof of this. Taking self defense classes can boost your spirits and make you a more confident and better version of yourself. It’s important to have things in life that we can rely on to make us happy- taking these kinds of classes does just that.

At Alavanca we teach martial arts to everyone no matter the age or skill level.  If you are interested in trying a free class please visit our website and sign up for your free trial class.

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Professor Tim is in Las Vegas with Alavanca athletes Jorgji Qiro and Ilia Timbaliuc this week for the IBJJF American Nationals.  Jorgji was able to win gold in both Gi and NoGi as well as bronze in the absolute division.  Tomorrow Ilia is up!

At Alavanca we teach martial arts to everyone no matter the age or skill level.  If you are interested in trying a free class please visit our website and sign up for your free trial class

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Returning To BJJ After An Extended Break? Here’s What You Should Know

How long has it been since you have attended a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class? Was Donald Trump in office? Maybe Justin Bieber had not risen to fame yet (that’s nearly ten years ago now). Whatever the case, an extended break from BJJ is not the end of the world.

As you’ll soon discover, no one’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey is linear, and you should not let a temporary hurdle stop you from progressing your skills.

Starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the very first time was already challenging enough. You had to overcome the usual fear and anxiety of trying something for the first time. Then, you had to enter the group and accept being the most inexperienced student in attendance.

Eventually, your dedication, commitment, and passion for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu might have resulted in a promotion. For the first time, you were now the one controlling the action on the mats while rolling with lower-ranked belts – and that felt so good!

As we mentioned, the path to black belt is full of ups and downs. No one ever experiences a perfect upward trajectory. Rather, life provides many challenges, and we must face and overcome each of them.

An unfortunate event, or a changing lifestyle, might have resulted in you missing several classes. One week away from class can soon turn into one month, though. And one month of inactivity can quickly become one year off the mats.

We assume that’s why you are here. You have been away from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for too long, and it’s now time to get started, again.

Here’s what you need to know before your (next) first class.


Mindset Matters More than Your Physical Condition

If you’re dreading returning to BJJ class because you consider yourself unfit or out of shape – don’t.

To improve your conditioning and return to your healthy days of old, you first need to walk back through those gym doors and start training again. And when you do, having the physical endurance to practice BJJ at a full intensity for two hours is barely important.

Instead, you need to be mentally prepared for class.

By being mentally prepared, we are referring to accepting that you might not be as good as you once were. Well, you almost certainly are not going to be as good. If you left BJJ for ten years after earning your purple belt, you can’t expect yourself to go in there and train like a purple belt immediately.

It’s not going to happen.

It might take weeks (or even months) before your knowledge starts coming back. If that means you need to attend beginners classes, you really should consider doing so. Remember that accessing some of your prior knowledge, muscle memory, and conditioning is going to take time.

And you should remain entirely confident that your skills will come back to you sooner rather than later – as long as you regularly attend class again!


Take It Slow

Similarly, you don’t need to train with 100% intensity from your very first class.

Too many people are still attending classes after a long break and pushing their bodies to limits that they are not quite ready for.

Instead, consider easing back into the swing of things by taking 2-3 classes in your first week (rather than 4-5).

There’s no need to roll five back-to-back rounds in your first week of training, either. Of course, you can enjoy a couple of rounds of sparring here and there, but there’s no reason to push yourself to the limit.

Here’s our idea of an appropriate return:

  • First week: 2-3 classes, some light rolls
  • Second week: 3-4 classes, some back-to-back rolls with moderate intensity
  • Third week: Your desired training regime

Take it easy and your body and mind will thank you.


Don’t Consider Demoting Yourself


Have you heard stories about people demoting themselves when moving to a new gym or returning from an extended break?

That’s just crazy.

If you earned a purple belt, you’re still a purple belt. There’s no expiry date, and there are likely no reasons why you should consider demoting yourself.

Yes, you might not be at ‘purple belt level’ on your first class back, but no one expects you to be. You’re going to be a little rusty. Your instructor might need to show De La Riva Guard a couple more times before you start practicing it again, for example. A lower-ranked teammate might even submit you in class.

All of this is fine!

If anything, it will motivate you to improve your game faster than ever.

Do yourself a favor, though, and let your training partners and instructors know that you are returning from a long break. We’re sure that your fellow teammates will understand and be willing to work with you as you regain your skills and knowledge.


Communicate With Your Old Training Friends And Coaches

While on that topic, as much as your old friends and training partners would love the surprise of you walking through the door again unexpectedly, we recommend that you reach out to your old training partners and instructor before stepping back into class.

Why? Well, it helps in more ways than you realize.

By communicating with your old teammates, you are openly expressing your intention to return, and that is enough to help you remain accountable. No one likes to declare things and then not take action on them.

Your training partners and instructor are there to help you in all aspects of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Yes, they’re going to be there for you when you attend class. However, it might be that walking through the gym doors is the part you are struggling with the most, and they can help with that.


In summary:

  • Be mentally prepared
  • Take it slow
  • Don’t offer to demote yourself
  • Communicate with your teammates


So if you’ve been away from the mats for a long time and are thinking of taking the plunge once again, there’s no better time than now!

Check out the full article from Evolve MMA here 

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2-Week Fighter Diet Plan

Here is a great article from the Onnit Academy if you have a competition coming up and need to shed a few extra pounds.

Do you have a fight coming up and you need to drop weight? Nutritionist and trainer Lauren Brooks will show you how to quickly shed pounds with this two week fighter diet plan.

I would like to begin by saying that I don’t recommend that anyone should follow this way of eating for more than two weeks. As an athlete, you will not continue to see results with this kind of extreme eating.

These dietary suggestions are mainly for MMA fighters that need to drop 10-15 pounds in order to make weight. I don’t ever suggest that you should wait until the last minute to drop a bunch of weight because it’s not always safe and the weight can easily come right back.

People will, however, try anything, even when they know the dangers. Trust me, I’ve heard it all. Some people have told me that they essentially starved themselves for two weeks, some just drank lemon water with cayenne pepper, while others only ate protein.

All of these can be very dangerous. I would never design a nutrition program like that for anyone because it is not a lifestyle, it’s a temporary way to lose weight that will spare as much muscle as possible.

The reality is, when you go on an extreme diet and lose weight quickly, you will lose muscle along with the fat.

While you are dropping weight quickly, you will need to cut down on your training significantly, otherwise this will not work. When you drastically reduce your calorie intake, your training can suffer since you won’t be properly fueled for grueling workouts.

Use this time to train lightly while focusing on the easiest way to shed the weight. Keep in mind that the first few pounds that come off will most likely be water weight; the rest will be fat and some muscle.

For the next two weeks, focus most of your meals on high-quality, lean protein such as fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, or Greek yogurt. Because you need to reduce calories, you will need to go for the lower fat items.

Rather than 3 whole eggs, take out at least 2 of the yolks in order to lower the calorie content. Since MMA fighters, along with most people, live on the go and don’t always have time to cook, protein powders are allowed but should only be used right before or after a workout session.

Stock Up On Lots Of Vegetables

2-Week Fighter Diet Plan
Reaching for the higher fiber content vegetables will allow you to feel fuller and more satisfied for a longer period of time. Always having vegetables on hand is an amazing way to keep your hunger at bay between meals.

For this plan, you will want to make sure that you are not stocking up on the starchy vegetables, but focusing more on eating the highly fibrous ones; i.e. cucumbers, spinach, celery, red peppers, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini and cabbage.

A few other things to keep in mind:

You will want to make sure to eat a small amount of fat. You can take a fish oil or a DHA supplementthroughout this period. In the sample meal plan, I will include some natural, healthy fat sources that won’t hinder your weight loss.

Fat will be the one thing that you really want to measure out on this program. When eating lots of salads, it’s very easy to pile on the oils which can cause weight gain.

It’s important to measure portions throughout your diet.

Water is Also Going to be Essential For You

2-Week Fighter Diet Plan
When reducing your carbohydrates to this low amount, you will lose a lot of water as well as important electrolytes. Drinking clean water on a regular basis is mandatory.

You can add fresh squeezed lemon or just a touch of pink salt to each liter in order to add back the magnesium you are losing. You can add some pink salt (lightly) to your vegetables as well, but not too much.

I am a huge fan of fruit because they contain so many vitamins and minerals. For this particular diet, however, you will not be eating them very often. Fruit will primarily be your sugar source right before and/or after a workout. THAT WILL BE IT!

If you feel that you are going to fall off the wagon and develop a crazy sweet tooth, then I suggest that you eat apples, pears, and bananas as opposed to ice cream or cookies, but remember this is for only two weeks. Suck it up and you will get your reward during or after your event.

Depending on your starting weight and how much you have to lose, you can tailor these ideas so that they fit your specific goals. If you are a very large male, then you may need much more than what I’ve written down here.

On the other hand, if you are a tiny female, then you may need only half as much. Here is a sample day with a scheduled morning workout.

The Fighter Diet Plan

Wake Up
16oz Water with Lemon

Breakfast (Pre-Workout)
Green Protein Smoothie
1-2 cups Spinach, 1 banana, 1 serving of Grass Fed Whey, Sprouted Brown Rice or Pea protein powder, blended with ice and water)
1 teaspoon of Fish Oil taken separately

Post Workout
Organic Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
2 Tbs of Chopped Walnuts
1/2 cup Organic Blueberries

Large Green Salad made up of 1 cup Baby Romaine, 1 cup of Spinach, 1 cup of Cabbage topped with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Mushrooms
Protein can be mixed in. 1 Can of Wild River Tuna. Just tossed with vinegar, mustard, green onions and celery.
Dressing for salad can be LIGHTLY tossed with Olive Oil, lemon, and vinegar.

1-2 Red Peppers and 1 Sliced Cucumber
3 Hard Boiled eggs with 1 yolk

1 bunch of Grilled Asparagus and Zucchini lightly tossed in Olive Oil and Himalayan Pink Salt
3-4 oz of Organic Chicken or Turkey grilled, baked, or slow cooked.
1/2 cup Organic Low Sodium black beans topped with Pico De Gallo

Evening Snack (Only if hungry)
2oz of Organic Chicken or Turkey
Sliced cucumbers and celery

Keep in mind that you can get as creative as you’d like with this program. Always remember to drink fresh water throughout the day. If you end up doing a very hard workout while on this diet, then you might want to sip on coconut water.

Stick to the main concept of low starchy carbohydrates, lots of vegetables, and lean proteins, along with some fruit and small amounts of healthy fat, and you will see amazing results. If you do try this program, I’d love to hear how it goes for you.

Good luck and stay focused!

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BJJ 101: The Omoplata

The omoplata, which means scapula in Portuguese, is a highly effective Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ submission). Also called the ashi sankaku garami (leg triangle entanglement) in judo and the coil lock in catch wrestling, the omoplata is a technique in which the attacking student’s legs and hips are used to extend an opponent’s shoulder joint past its normal range of motion. The lock applied to the shoulder is similar to the Kimura lock, but the legs are used in place of the figure-four grip. The omoplata, thought to have originated in either judo or catch wrestling, became popular in BJJ in the 1990s due to its successful use by Nino Schembri.

The most popular application of the omoplata is from the guard, and it is achieved by placing a leg under the opponent’s armpit and rotating 180 degrees, resulting in the leg moving over the opponent’s back and around his or her arm. The submission is completed by controlling the opponent’s body, often by placing an arm around his or her waist, and exerting pressure on the opponent’s shoulder by pushing his or her arm perpendicularly away from the back. In addition to being a great submission, the omoplata can be used as a set up for sweeps, armbars, chokes, and other techniques.


How to Perform the Omoplata

Omoplata from Closed Guard

  1. From the closed guard, break your opponent’s posture using your arms and legs.
  2. Shift your hips in the direction of the arm you want to attack.
  3. While continuing to control your opponent’s posture, swim your arm under your leg on the side you want to attack.
  4. Obtain a grip on your opponent’s collar.
  5. Open your legs and rotate your body 180 degrees, stretching your legs in front of you upon the completion of the rotation.
  6. Control your opponent by wrapping your arm around his or her waist.
  7. Point your knees towards your opponent.
  8. Raise your hips off the ground to finish the submission.


Omoplata from Triangle

Sometimes, an opponent will hide his arm to prevent you from finishing the triangle choke. This presents an opportunity to transition to the omoplata.

  1. From the triangle choke position, push your opponent’s head in the opposite direction of his hidden arm. This can be accomplished by:
  2. Pushing away with your hips to make space;
  3. Pushing with the palm of your hand;
  4. Placing your foot in front of your opponent’s face.
  5. If it isn’t already there, place your foot that is on the side of the hidden arm across your opponent’s face.
  6. Rotate your body 180 degrees.
  7. Control your opponent by wrapping your arm around his or her waist.
  8. Point your knees towards your opponent.
  9. Raise your hips off the ground to finish the submission.


Additional Tips

  1. Go for it – In order to perfect the omoplata, it is necessary to attempt it as often as possible during training. Don’t worry about the outcome. Rolling in class is a time to learn and make adjustments, so have confidence in your techniques and success will eventually come. Remember, practice makes perfect!
  2. Control is everything – When practicing your omoplata, be sure to focus on not letting your opponent roll out. The easiest way to do this, as discussed above, is to control the opponent’s waist. Without control, you will have trouble completing the omoplata (or any other submission) successfully. Remember, BJJ is ultimately the art of controlling your opponent, so be sure to always focus on control!
  3. Follow your opponent – If the opponent is able to roll out of your omoplata attempt, be sure to follow him or her and end up in top position. Getting accustomed to following your opponent after a failed omoplata attempt will ensure that you don’t end up in an inferior position, and this knowledge will allow you to attempt omoplatas without fear. Always have a backup plan!
  4. Attempt the omoplata from different positions – Although only the standard omoplata and omoplata from triangle are described above, there are endless ways to achieve this submission. So, experiment with this technique and discover new positions from which to apply it. Not only is this a fun way to learn BJJ, but it will actually increase your overall understanding of the technique. Remember, the more option you have, the better!
  5. Trust the submission – In BJJ, it’s important to trust your techniques. If you don’t believe in your techniques, you’ll be hesitant to apply them, and when you do attempt to apply them, your lack of confidence will often result in failure. So, when you’ve attempted an omoplata and your opponent is attempting to roll out of it, relax, maintain control, and continue to fight for the submission. Believe in yourself!


The omoplata is only one of many submissions you’ll learn in BJJ. Practiced by students all over the world, BJJ is widely recognized as the most effective ground fighting art in existence. Not only does BJJ teach students how to apply submission holds and chokes, but it also emphasizes takedowns, real world self-defense techniques, and many other aspects of fighting.

Check out more great articles like this at Evolve MMA

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5 Drills That Will Improve Your Boxing Footwork

Undoubtedly, when you think about boxing, you think about punching power and knockouts — slick combinations that capture the imagination, and displays of heart and will. But beneath the surface lies a wealth of technique that is responsible for what we see in the ring. One of the most essential parts of boxing is footwork.

From the Ali shuffle to Rocky chasing chickens, footwork has always been portrayed as a very important part of boxing. It allows us to get from point A to point B in the ring fluidly, without our opponents being able to predict how we move.

Footwork sets up our offense and puts us in key positions to unleash our best combinations. It also has the power to get us out of some tricky spots and is an integral component of good defense. Through footwork, boxers are able to create and move in angles. They can accurately gauge distance, and determine the best time to move in and out of danger.

Footwork is one of the most important aspects of your boxing arsenal. Without footwork, you will just be a flat-footed, forward-plodding and highly-predictable fighter.

In light of this, we have a series of boxing footwork drills for you to try, to enhance the way you move your feet. Today, we shars five drills to improve your boxing footwork.

1) The Jump Rope

The jump rope may seem like a very basic exercise in boxing, but it can actually be incredibly complicated in its advanced stages. Learning how to jump rope as a beginner is tough, but once you get the rhythm down and get the hang of it, jumping rope starts to become second nature to you.

The more time you put into jumping rope the better you will get at it. And it poses some interesting benefits to your boxing footwork.

Jumping rope allows your mind to be in tune with the way you move your entire lower body, from the torso, to the legs, to the calves, and right down to the balls of your feet. By gaining complete control of your lower body, your boxing footwork is greatly enhanced.

You gain the ability to move anywhere you want in the ring, however way you want, and execute it flawlessly.


2) The Agility Ladder

The agility ladder isn’t a classic training tool that is used in boxing and has only been incorporated into boxing training over the last few years. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t an amazing tool to use to improve boxing footwork.

The agility ladder can be used in so many different ways, in countless variations of drills. It has the ability to teach boxers how to utilize their feet in various different movements, both naturally and unnaturally. Furthermore, it builds rhythm and fluidity.

If you are looking to improve your footwork, this modern boxing training tool is non-negotiable and can really help teach boxers how to get the most out of their movement. The agility ladder can be found in most boxing gyms today and is one of the most highly-utilized drills in training.


3) Box Jumps

The box jump is a plyometric drill that adds to a boxer’s explosiveness. When a boxer is moving across the ring, gliding with ease and running circles around his opponents, he will need explosiveness to instantly shift between moving around and offense. Box jump drills give boxers more spring in their bounce.

There is a myriad of different box jump drills that boxers can perform, and difficulty can be increased by raising the height of the platform to various levels. You can also perform drills at varied speeds, whether slow or fast. Among the different drills include: marching box jumps, single step jumps, and double feet jumps.

The trick is to perform each drill with the objective of adding to your explosiveness. As with all drills, the more repetitions you perform, the better you get at it and it will soon translate into your performances in the ring.


4) Shadow Boxing

While shadow boxing is often perceived as a mere warm-up drill, the role it plays in training goes far beyond just working up a sweat. In reality, shadow boxing is one of the most significant parts of training with its own unique benefits.

Practicing your moves alone in front of a mirror doesn’t sound like it’s going to help you improve your skills as a fighter, but there are many advantages to shadow boxing that aren’t immediately apparent.

First, it’s an extremely portable routine. You don’t even have to be in the gym to do it. The best place to shadow box, however, is in front of a mirror. When you’re looking at yourself performing your techniques, you will be able to notice various flaws and nuances to your movements that while subtle, can be difficult to correct.

This includes footwork. Some shadow boxing routines focus solely on footwork and movement, which of course will greatly enhance the way you use your feet in the ring.

Shadow boxing is a great way to enhance your footwork, and you’ll be moving like a pro in no time.


5) Observation and Analysis

Lastly, one of the most important boxing footwork drills doesn’t even involve physical activity. All you have to do is set aside some time to watch tape of how other elite boxers move their feet.

Study and analysis is a significant part of a boxer’s career. Knowing how to analyze techniques just by simply watching footage of how other boxers execute and perform is essential to the development of any athlete.

Pick your favorite boxers and watch tape of them online. There are a wealth of resources available at your fingertips. Observe and analyze how they move their feet, and the next time you’re in the gym, try to incorporate some of their techniques to your own arsenal.

Knowing how to take the best from the great fighters who have come before you, and embed them into your own game is essential to your development. After all, imitation is a hidden key to creativity. Soon, you’ll be moving like a pro in the ring.

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4 Essential Strength Training Tips For Muay Thai

Perhaps you’ve been training Muay Thai for quite some time, but feel that your strikes aren’t explosive enough. Well, maybe it’s time to consider supplementing your Muay Thai training with some strength and conditioning exercises!

Of course, it is of utmost importance to execute every strike with the correct technique. So before you worry about having more powerful strikes, you have to ensure that your form is on point and that you’re applying the various techniques correctly. Remember, once you master the technique, power and speed would naturally follow!

Ready to take your training to the next level? Today we share 4 Essential Strength Training Tips For Muay Thai:

1) Build your endurance along with your strength

Running builds your core, leg, back, and hip muscles.

Running builds your core, leg, back, and hip muscles.

When your body isn’t conditioned properly, you might find that you can’t make it through your entire training session without gassing out. That’s why it’s so important to boost your stamina and endurance by running long distances (8 – 12km) and sprinting regularly. Running also builds bone strength and bone density due to the constant pounding on the pavement. Your kicks will naturally be more powerful due to bone density and bone strength.

Apart from that, running and sprinting build leg muscles – which is essential to every Muay Thai practitioner. Think about it: you’re always standing, as well as kicking and throwing knees, so it’s absolutely necessary to have strong legs!


2) Focus on strength and conditioning exercises that work your whole body

Burpees help develop explosive power, and anaerobic endurance.

Burpees help develop explosive power, and anaerobic endurance.

Burpees: You can develop endurance and get in shape by doing burpees. This is because the burpee works your entire body! This includes your chest, arms, abs, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. When you do this full body exercise regularly, you’ll definitely get stronger.

Squats help to tone your lower body.

Squats help to tone your lower body.

Squats: For a good lower body workout, you should do squats as they work major muscle groups of your thighs, hip and butt. As we mentioned earlier, strong legs are important because power ultimately comes from the ground, and that’s where your legs push off to give your body the power it needs.

Lunges improve your balance and coordination.

Lunges improve your balance and coordination.

Lunges: Besides squats, lunges also work your lower body as they target your quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings, and core muscles. If you wish to challenge yourself, you can lunge with weights and work those arm muscles as well!

It is important to do deadlifts with the right form.

It is important to do deadlifts with the right form.

Deadlifts: If you want to maximize your performance at the gym, then make it a point to include deadlifts in your workouts. This is because it’s a great strength-building exercise which can help build your posterior chain.

Push-ups can help improve your posture.

Push-ups can help improve your posture.

Push-ups: You can strengthen your chest, shoulders and arms by doing push-ups. Also, push-ups help stabilize the muscles surrounding your rotator cuff joint, hence, conditioning your upper body for dynamic movements.

Decrease the time in between sets to burn more fat.

Decrease the time in between your pull-up sets to burn more fat.

Pull-ups: The secret to having a stronger, tighter clinch is including pull-ups in your workouts! This is because pull-ups target your back muscles while improving your grip strength. These muscles play a part in helping you have better control over your opponent inside the clinch.

Planks work all the muscles in your core.

Planks work all the muscles in your core.

Planks: You can build your core strength and improve your balance by doing planks regularly. It is important to have a solid core as your core is basically a strong set of muscles that holds your body together, and combines your limbs’ forces into one explosive total force.


3) Always give 100% to your training

If you want to see results, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort. After all, it takes hard work, dedication and consistency to achieve great things. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Muay Thai or strength training – you have to give it your all in order to succeed. So make sure you plan your workouts in advance, and follow through. Ideally, you should train Muay Thai at least 3 to 4 times a week, with 1 to 2 sessions of strength training. Remember, practice makes perfect! So focus on drilling the right techniques before worrying about your strength.


4) Get enough rest

Ideally, you should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

Ideally, you should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

Besides training hard, it is crucial to get sufficient rest so that your body can recover faster. We’re sure you don’t want to put yourself at risk of getting injuries due to overtraining! It also helps to fuel up with nutritious food and stay hydrated before, during and after your training. By making these healthy adjustments, you’ll be helping your body get stronger, at a faster rate!

Now that you know what to do, it’s time to take your Muay Thai game to greater heights. Now go forth and train hard!

Check out this article at Evolve MMA

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ATOS Wins 2nd Consecutive Team World Title!!

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ATOS has done it again!!  We are the best in the world for the 2nd year in a row!  Congratulations to everyone from team Atos on another hard earned team title.  We are so proud of you all!

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Also a special thanks to all the coaches and teammates who were there all weekend to support the competitors and cheer them on.  It has been another successful year and it would not of been possible without the support of the entire team as a whole.  Together we are stronger!

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