Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nutrition for BJJ'ers 101: Joint Health Supplements: Glucosamine and Chondroitin.

It should be noted that I am neither a doctor nor a nutritional expert. For professional advice one must go to the above. I am, however, a BJJ and combat sports practitioner with an interest in nutrition and anything else related that can help boost performance and recovery from injury and/or training so as to keep me on the mat well into my old age. I also try to take a conservative and skeptical view and do not believe in wasting one’s money on unnecessary products. I highly encourage and hope that others in the BJJ or combat sports community with similar training regimes may also contribute their knowledge and experience via comments or additional blog-posts.

Anyone who's done even a week of BJJ certainly knows the hell we can put our joints through in training. When the object of the game is 'submission', and the majority of these come through the near hyper-extension of the major joints of the body, joint health takes on a whole new meaning.

Some drug stores and nutritional centers contain near sections entirely devoted to joint-care products. Within these one can find bottles with everything ranging from the overly simplistic "Joint Health Formula", whatever that means, to the more specific, but often cryptic, scientific names that can make your head spin just trying to pronounce them. The two most commonly used, clinically tested, and promising substances are Glucosamine and Chondroiton, which are usually combined together with additional sulfur-type substance, such as MSM.

Glucosamine and chondroiton occur naturally in the body, that means your body can make them on their own. They play a major role in cartilage health, and are widely available in just about every shop selling vitamins and or other homeopathic health supplements.

Although they both occur naturally in the body, there are no dietary food sources for them, so the only way to theoretically increase their levels in your system is through taking supplements. The supplements are mostly made from the hard shells of shellfish, although those made from plant sources are also available but not nearly as common.

Glucosamine, and to a lesser extent Chondroiton, got attention as an alternative treatment for osteoarthritis. This is the type of arthritis that results from long term wear and tear on joints, usually the 'weight bearing' joints of the knee and hip. Tons of clinical trials were done but success wasn't 100%. So, in other words, taking the supplements helped take away the pain of arthritis in some, but not in others. The best results happened to people with the most severe symptoms, i.e. really, really bad joints, and those that were taking the supplements Glucosamine and Chondoiton together, as opposed to taking any of these in isolation. But, remember, it helped some but not all.

Now, unless you're like Kimbo Slice (those who watched the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show will know that he was diagnosed with arthritis in his knee), most BJJ'ers will not be suffering from arthritis. BUT, most of us have experienced some kind of major or minor joint injury that may or may not still be bothering us. These are the kind of people that may benefit from these supplements. Also, if you train BJJ or any other type of 'submission' oriented grappling, the extra wear you put on your joints will most likely put you at a higher risk for arthritis in the future. It should also be noted that as a preventative measure for delaying the onset of this painful condition, these supplements have also shown promise. But, as I cautioned before, this is not 100% certain yet.

After a brief scan through relative BJJ and MMA related online forums discussing the above supplements, many posters claimed to have noticed a significant relief in nagging joint injuries after taking these supplements. Injuries listed were constant popping of knees, cartilage damage, and just general joint soreness. But, once again, some posters said that they felt no difference.

Now, if you are interested in giving these a try, I will now move on to recommendations for dosage.

Firstly, purchase a combined Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplement. Although most contain an additional amount of sulfur added to the pills, your body gets sulfur from protein rich foods. So, if you are getting your recommended daily amount of protein, which is roughly 1 gram per pound of body weight or 2.2 grams per kilogram, then you should be getting plenty of sulfur naturally. It should also be added that the cartilage in your body is basically made of sulfur and Glucosamine and Chondroiton are tools in turning sulfur into cartilage.

The pills usually come in around 500mg doses. Most credible recommendations are for taking around 1500mg a day for at least 30-90 days. So that means one pill three times daily. Because there are basically no side effects related with these supplements, you can also take three pills together in the morning for one big dose, but stretching out the dosage over a full day is always preferable because it will be digested more efficiently. After this initial loading period, you can lower the dosage to around 1000mg a day or two pills. If you have any stomach or other digestive problems after taking the pills (which is very rare as far as I could find), take them with food.

Now, notice how I wrote that you must take the stuff for at least 30-90 days at first. This is not a wonder drug, or a steroid with immediate effects. It is a natural supplement that takes A LOT of time to build up to effective levels in your system. The absolute earliest I ever read about someone feeling better was after two weeks, but most people will not notice any difference until at least after a month. So, as I've written before, YOU MUST BE PATIENT! Natural supplements will not generally work overnight. So, once again, with all things BJJ related, the only key to true success and improvement is patience and perseverance. No one, and I do mean NO ONE, becomes good at BJJ overnight. And in turn, no one truly benefits from natural supplements either.

Lastly, unfortunately, glucosamine and chondroiton are not the cheapest supplements in the world. The cheapest I have been able to find a bottle of 180 or so 500mg pills in Hong Kong is for around HK$240. So, if you're on a tight budget and don't have any really painful joint injuries, you just might want to save your money. Also, taking these supplements has not helped everyone, so they are definitely not sure to work for all. Also, don't waste money on a product just because it contains sulfur. As I said before, we can get this naturally from food, and shouldn't need to take it in supplement form if we are eating a healthy balanced fighter-type diet like we all should be doing!

Good luck, stay healthy, and C U ON THE MATS!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


24th DEC (today) 15:00 ~ Kei and Marcio will have `secret` training
19:30 ~ normal training (Taki will come)

25th DEC (FRI) 15:00 ~ X`mas open mat (Taki will come)
19:30 ~ normal training (Taki will come)

26th DEC (SAT) CLOSED (BBQ party)


Monday, December 21, 2009

Kids Promotions

Congratulations to Peggy, Anthony, Sam for getting their yellow belts and jack for getting three strips!
Photos on grading on flickr:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hohoho~, Paty time!!!

Guys, excellent time tonight at KLN BJJ's Xmas party.
Thank you soooooo much for cheering up together. We are the family. Also thanks to the punisher who came all the way from Mexico for only doing the punishments shows.

You guys made me cry, rally. I'll fix up my teeth and pay you back with more submissions. I love you all!!!

Thanks again for all your support and yes, KLN BJJ is your second home.

Dun forget, next week is BBQ party. Let's chill out.
Posted by Samulime

Friday, December 18, 2009

This Saturday Dec. 19 -- KLN-BJJ Christmas Party!

HO-HO-HO, everyone, and a Merry Christmas.

To celebrate the season of giving, we at KLN-BJJ will not only have one, but TWO Christmas parties. Why? you ask. Because that's just what KLN-BJJ members do: train hard and have fun afterward. The first party will be held this Saturday for all members leaving HK for the holidays.

We will have a gift exchange for all those wanting to participate. Bring a small gift of less than HK $100 if you want to join the exchange.

Also, we will hopefully have a special guest appearance by the BJJ Santa.

So don't miss it and bring a friend! Heck, bring two.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


KLNBJJ will be closed on 26th (Sat) due to BBQ party. If you are interested to attend this event, please send an email to: info @ (Pls remove spaces around "@")

*** WE ARE CLOSED ON 26th (Sat), Dec, 2009 ***

Nutrition for BJJ'ers 101: Whey Protein Supplements

It should be noted that I am neither a doctor nor a nutritional expert. For professional advice one must go to the above. I am, however, a BJJ and combat sports practitioner with an interest in nutrition and anything else related that can help boost performance and recovery from injury and/or training so as to keep me on the mat well into my old age. I also try to take a conservative and skeptical view and do not believe in wasting one’s money on unnecessary products. I highly encourage and hope that others in the BJJ or combat sports community with similar training regimes may also contribute their knowledge and experience via comments or additional blog-posts.

Firstly, despite the hype, especially as touted in fitness related magazines and websites, there is no conclusive evidence that protein supplement pills or powders are any more beneficial for building and repairing muscle than a balanced variety of good, whole protein rich foods such as lean meats, dairy, and plant sources like legumes, nuts, etc. In other words, a weight lifter getting sufficient protein from natural food sources will most likely not experience any difference in muscular gains than one who gets a good percentage of their daily protein intake from supplements.

From this perspective, a lot of the hype over whey supplements is once again, well, just hype. So, are things like whey powders a complete waste of money? I say no. There are some definite advantages to “supplementing” your diet with whey powders for the BJJ’er that we must consider, especially as a post-workout recovery aid, or even a pre-workout drink. But, notice how I said “supplement” and not “replace”.

Whey is derived from cow’s milk and is basically the liquid stuff left over in the cheese making process. Milk contains two proteins: casein and whey. Casein makes up 80% of the total protein in milk and whey the other 20%. Whey can be absorbed much more quickly and easily than casein, has all the BCAA’s (amino acid stuff your muscles need), is very low in fat, contains no excessive carbs, and has a near 100 Biological Value (BV) which means almost all the protein is used by your body and not wasted.

So after reading this, maybe you’re thinking, hey, why don’t I just lose the food and just take stuff like whey? Well, the reason is because one of its benefits seems to also be one of its drawbacks: quick absorption. Because the proteins in whey can enter the bloodstream so quickly, it’s almost like a protein injection. Your body can only handle about 30grams of protein per hour (and not every hour either). Protein in natural foods is digested slowly and enters your system as it’s needed so to speak. Whey’s quick entry can make the kidneys work overtime, and anything over 30grams in your system can potential turn to ammonia which is flushed out by the kidneys as urine. Too much and the kidneys get taxed. So once again, it is a “supplement” not a “replacement”. Now I tried to find some solid recommendations on a protein powder supplement to natural food ratio but could find no consistent answers, but personally, I would never take this over 40% or so, i.e. 3 to 4 full shakes a day, on top of protein over 3 sit-down meals.

Next, we need to think of cost. The best way to figure out the price of protein is to look at the nutritional information label on the packaging of most products. To figure out the price per gram of protein simply times the protein per serving amount listed by the total amount of servings per container. Next, divide the cost of the product by this number.

For example, 1 egg has around 6 grams of protein; a pack of a dozen eggs would therefore have 6 x 12 grams for a total of 72 grams. On average, I buy a dozen brown eggs of decent quality in Hong Kong for around $HK 20. So we divide 20 by 72 to get around 28cents per gram of protein. We can do the same with, for example, let’s say, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Label Whey, one of the most popular lower cost whey supplement powders which is sold in the affordable independently owned nutrition shops in HK anywhere from $300 to $380 for 5lbs. For argument’s sake, if I bought 5lbs for $HK 350, and 5lbs has 74 servings with 24 grams of protein per serving, my cost per gram is 20cents. Hey, that’s much cheaper than eggs at that price. So on that level, whey is a great bargain and a cost effective way of getting protein, but this also doesn’t take into account all of the other beneficial nutrients in protein rich foods, such as selenium that exists in eggs.

Of course, supplementing your diet with whey as a cost-effective measure only works if you are buying the cheaper brands of whey powder on the market. Most martial artists and bodybuilders discussing the issue on Internet forums agree that the cheaper available brands work just as well as the more expensive ones, the only difference being taste and fancier packaging. Now, of course, the supplement industry, nutritional shop owners, sponsored athletes and anyone else with a financial stake in the industry will say whatever they can to convince you that the more expensive stuff is better. But, I could find no evidence supporting these claims.

The only time I would encourage someone to maybe spend more would be to purchase whey protein ‘isolate’ over the ‘concentrate’ or ‘hydolized’ forms. Isolate is more pure and thus digested more easily than the others. If you have any digestive issues with powders, than you might want to consider paying a bit more for isolate. If you have some serious issues with digesting whey, you’re probably lactose intolerant and, thus, will need to consult the advice of a doctor or sport’s nutrition expert on what to do.

Besides being potentially cost effective, whey also has a very low fat content, which makes it a good way of getting some extra protein without having to load up on the calories. Eggs have a lot of fat, so if you’re worried about that, this is another benefit. Whey is also low in carbs, as most lean meats are anyway, but this is another consideration.

Another good thing about whey powders is you don’t have to cook them, unlike chicken, or eggs (unless you’re Rocky). So the convenience of being able to drink a shake in the gym immediately after an intense workout is a big plus for many people. I can see many overworked and perpetually “busy” Hong Kongers appreciating this fact. Maybe all those jerks that are too impatient to wait for passengers to exit the MTR before entering should be reading this, hehe.

Like I said before, whey is quickly digested, so drinking a post-BJJ-workout shake, after 1 1/2 to 2 hours of conditioning, drilling, and sparring, is a great way to get some quick nutrition to your overworked muscles. Many people like to drink a pre-workout shake to make sure their muscles are “fueled-up” for the workout and won’t go catabolic (that means digest themselves) when the muscles start really working.

Other benefits of whey that are listed on websites, magazines, and books range from boosting the immune system to increased anti-oxidant activity. Although studies on the above have been promising, these were performed on mice, not humans. I am not a mouse, and sometimes, I feel like I ‘m barely a human after a big workout. So these claims, although potentially true, are not proven.

So, in the end, I think whey as an intense post-workout muscle replenisher is a good thing, and I will continue to use it as such in the future. Its potential protein cost-effectiveness also makes it attractive on a budget. It’s convenience for a guy on a tight schedule is also great. But, in the end, my friend who also sticks steaks, chicken and tofu will probably be okay too, and nothing can replace a good and varied natural diet because that is what are bodies were built to handle anyway, right?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Nutrition for BJJ'ers 101 - part 1

Researching What Really Works

Today, one cannot go to a gym and train without trying, or at the very least, hearing about nutritional supplements. Some people swear by them and see them as vital to peak performance, such as ex- UFC champ Sean Sherk, and some dismiss them as unnecessary replacements for what we should already be getting naturally from good food, Bas Rutten being one that comes to mind.

As with most things, the truth often lies somewhere in between. Nonetheless, regardless of stance, curiosity about the above most certainly exists in most if not all of us BJJ practitioners. I mean, who wouldn't want to be able to train harder by just taking an additional pill or powder. But with ridiculously long (and impossible to remember) scientific names like Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid for one, learning about supplements seems to be like space travel: once you've begun, there's no end in sight. So, this now begs the question, where do we begin? The answer: good research.

First and foremost, we must think about cost. One doesn't need to spend long in a nutritional supplement shop, such as the ubiquitous GNC, to quickly realize that one would have to take on an additional job or two just to start consuming all the latest pills and powders. In short, supplements are not cheap, so one must plan accordingly to get the most for one's money.

Secondly, do all these pills and such actually do what the manufacturer's labels claim they do? Er, well, no. Of course not. In short, most are arguably a complete waste of money. But, at the same time, others, such as whey protein, creatine, glutamine, glucosamine, etc., have a lot of real objective, scientific research to back them up. So we shouldn't be too quick to dismiss, i.e. throw out the baby with the bathwater. But, for those of us on a budget, ahem--like me, we need to take the time to do a little research, gathering information from (hopefully) neutral sources, so our limited funds are going to something that will really help us.

When researching, I try to avoid body building websites and other potentially supplement-industry-connected articles. A lot of what seem to be objective write-ups and advice columns on supplements, tend to actually be plugs for specific company products. A good example are those 'free' magazines given out at nutrition shops after a purchase. Yes, these are merely advertisements in disguise I'm afraid and only tell you about the "miracles" of a certain new substance. Remember what grandma used to say about if something sounds too good to be true, well, you get my point.

For reliable web sources, I've found sites such as the University of Maryland's free Alternative Medicine guide to be the most informative and trustworthy. They objectively look at the research and tell you, in a very straightforward manner, if the supplement manufacturer's claims are either 1. false and/or misleading 2. in need of further research (which means they're not sure yet) 3. is backed by sufficient evidence.

If it is a 1, then don't waste your money. That stuff will do you as much good as sacrificing a duck and praying to the moon whilst wearing a buffalo skull on your head. (No offense to any that practice the later.) If it's a 2, then there's a possibility the claims are real, but there's just not enough evidence to be certain -- thus you can try it but you may be wasting money. Lastly, if it's a 3, then it's worth giving the supplement a try. Now, one must be further cautioned that everyone's body is different genetically and in terms of the stresses and activities we've put it through in our lives. This means that people react differently to different things in their body: some good, some bad.

After you've decided what new products you want to try, next comes the hard part: taking them consistently. Natural supplements do not work overnight. Wish they did. But they don't. It can take your body months at times to build up enough stores of, let's say omega-3's, to really start reaping the benefits. Now, if you have a major deficiency of something, positive changes tend to come much quicker, but now we're back to the 'everybody's-body-is-different' rule again. So, in short, patience and persistence, as with all things in life, is the key to results with quality supplements as well.

As mentioned above, for a great website to start looking into the good, the bad, and the just-plain-lies of nutritional supplements, I suggest starting here:

This is a quality information site by one of the leading medical research hospitals in the U.S. Even though it is a medical center website, it is written in easy to read and straightforward language, and has information on all of the current supplements on the market. Make sure to click the "supplement" option under the "Complementary and Alternative Medicine Index", and away you go.

For purchasing supplements in the HK area, large chain stores such as Watsons, Mannings and GNC seem to have ridiculously high prices. Smaller, independently owned shops, such as tend to have much lower, and in many cases, very reasonable prices. Also, as we are in the mother-land of copy-goods, one must exercise caution in buying their protein powder from just anyone, wink, wink.

So eat right and train harder. C U ON THE MAT!


Belt promotion!!!

The G-man finally promoted to purple belt on last Sat!! Leo has been training with us more than 6 years and he won many comps in blue belt categories in Asia.

He won last intraclub comp by famous "Alien Triangle" and he really deserved the promotion.
Leo san, congratulations and really thanks for your support all the time.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009



GALO- 1st. Gary (GB) 2nd. Nicholas(HKJJ)
PENA-1st. Jerry (IMPAKT) 2nd. Steven Chung (KYLIN)
PLUMA- 1st. Ryan (HKJJ) 2nd. Eago Cheung (GB)
LEVE- 1st Adam Sinnot (MACAU) 2nd. se Chun Yu (KYLIN)
MEDIO- 1st. INDIO(IMPAKT) 2nd. Vussi (JAB)
MEDIO PESSADO- 1st. Guilherme (MACAU) 2nd. Martin (KLNBJJ)
ABSOLUTE-Guilherme(MACAU) 2nd. David(GB)

GALO- 1st. Leo1 (KLNBJJ) 2nd. Fai (GB)
PENA- 1st. Gary (IMPAKT) 2nd. Ken Man(KYLIN)
MEDIO- 1st. Matthew(KLNBJJ) 2nd. Luis(MACAU)
MEIO PESSADO- 1st. Forrest(KLNBJJ) 2nd. Andrew Wong Kee(JAB)
ABSOLUTE- 1st. Andrew Wong Kee(JAB) 2nd. Luis(MACAU)

Congratulations to all competitors! KEEP TRAINING HARD!! we'll see you next year

Monday, December 7, 2009

Copa KLN 2 is over!!

Copa KLN 2 has successfully ended on last Sunday. I think we did more than excellent job with what we have in our hands. Also all the KLN warriors showed tuff heart during the matches. Most of you are training less than few month and most of other fighters have longer experiences than you.

If you are motivated from the competition, lets train harder for next one!!

All the volunteers who did magnificent help, really x 2 thanks! Especially guys helped out to do referee, we are so appreciated of your support (The most stressful job in BJJ)!! Also, thanks to Hoin (AKA lover boy) for organising and running the event.

The official result is to be announced on coming Wed.
Here is quick results of KLN boys. (As far as I can remember)

Forrest (Proved he is the real punisher) : Blue belt Meio-pessado Champion
Matthew : Blue belt Medio Champion
Leo 1 : Blue belt galo Champion
Martin : White belt Meio-pessado 2nd place

** Sorry, I couldn't take pics of some guys due to running the event. If anyone have more photos, please send them to me.


Copa Kowloon Vids

Friday, November 27, 2009

some more photos of Brad`s wedding

"he" is a UFC/DREAM fighter, yeah, this is only in Japan, really.

All the best! Brad and Hiroko!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Prof. Hayakawa's Jiujitsu Demonstration in HK (2005)

This old clip was taken in 2005, when Prof. Hayakawa visited KLN BJJ for seminars. At this time, KLN BJJ was only pure BJJ gym in HK. Time goes flash!!!

Pro. Hayakawa's Jiujitsu demonstration in HK Judo competition.
Thanks Brad for doing dummy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Copa Kowloon 2 - Intra Club BJJ Competition

- HK Intra-club BJJ Competition (GI only)
Date : 6th, Dec, 2009
Venue : Sham Sui Po (Po On Road Municipal Services Building)
Address : 1/F-2/F, Po On Road Municipal Services Building, 325-329 Po On Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon.

Weigh in : 17:15 (Out side of the competition hall)

Start : 18:00~

Categories : Weigh categories + Absolute* We need to install mats before the competition, please come earlier for help.

Weigh categories and rules : according to International BJJ Federation ( : HKD80 (Competitors)

Audiences : Limited entry (Due to limited space)

Contacts :

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fear Taki!

Atos BJJ

This is where Durinho, Rodo and Rafa Mendes trains in Brazil.
Calm dowm style, we dun need mat CEO while sparring.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Copa KLN 2 (Intra club competition)

Guys, just a quick notice.

We have been successfully booked a venue in Sham Sui Po on 6th (Sun), Dec, 09 from 18:00 t0 22:00 for intra-club competition. Please be prepared, draft schedule is as follows.

17:30~18:00 - Weigh in
18:00 ~ 18:30 - Setting up mats and rule meeting
18:30 ~ 21:45 - Competition (GI Only)

* Since we only have around 3 hours to run the matches, we might have to limit no of entries. More solid information to be announced soon.

For inquiries, please contact
See you on the mat.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Prof. Gilbert Durinho

He is just an excellent fighter, teacher and person...

Prof. Gilbert Durinho from Atos JJ is visiting KLN BJJ on 5th and 6th of Nov. Tonight (Friday, 6th) will be No GI class. Members, you can't miss his class, he is so technical and his explanations is really clear. For sure even beginners can enjoy his classes. This is the real BJJ!!

Achievements :
Champion NAGA Carolina - No Gi Absolute Champion
NAGA Carolina - Gi Black Belt (Cruiser Weight)
Silver Medalist of the 2009 World Championship
World champion Black Belt
2008South Brazilian Champion 2008
Black Belt5 x Champion of the Cup of the World 2004 / 2005 / 2006 and 2007
5 x Champion of the Cup of Brazil in 2004 / 2005 / 2007
2 x Champion Brazilian by Teams 2003 / 2004
4 x Champion of the Ranking State
Rio de Janeiro de 2004 / 2005 / 2006
Champion South Brazilian 2004
Champion of the First Open International 2005
Champion of the South Tatame Cup 2007
Champion South American 2007
Silver Medalist of World Championship 2006 and 2007
Silver Medalist of World Cup 2002
Silver Medalist of Cup of Brazil 2006
Silver Medalist of Pan-American 2007

Youtube Clips :

See you on the mat! RAS