The Flow “Soul” Role

The flow soul role in my 14 years of Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) training experience is when you have an outer body experience and see yourself move as your mind can drive your body. It happens when both training partners agree to train that round seeking the soul roll. When I was training 5 times a week at Clockwork BJJ in NYC under Josh Griffiths, my soul role partner was Dr. Paul. He was the master of soul rolling.

So today in training at my new accademy, RMBJJ in Delray Beach Florida, I was training with a good blue belt who was 30 years my junior and a great training partner. We began slow and fluid and picked it up maybe 1 level and maintained that pace for 6 minutes. My goal was to accomplish as many transitions as possible at half speed and continually moving, passing, sweeping and positions.

During one of the passing of my training partners bottom half guard, I started my pass at even a slower pace than what we were going. I read an article about Gary Tonon training super slow no matter what happens. I tried it and that’s when I hit the soul role and took about 60 seconds to complete the pass. I was in 100% correct anatomical alignment with my inside shoulder and fist stacked on mat to block guard retention. My toes were on the ground as the only contact point on the mat while my hip was 90% to his hip. The other contact points were my forehead placed in his far side inner shoulder and my outside top grip on his collar deep. That deep collar grip allows me to “look at my watch” and my partners head naturally turns away from me preventing my partner from turning in.

At the height of the soul roll, I felt like a professional football line man digging in ready for an oncoming player. At the same time, I remember the Brotherhood of Jiu Jitsu founder saying that when you train with a really good partner at any belt level, while performing your flow soul roll, always look good. You must look good he stated and that is because it forces you to move correctly and slowly before you can move quickly so you maintain correct movement. In my humble experience, the flow soul role is a much needed component to your daily training.

Thank you.

Spinnex Vitality and No Limits Jiu Jitsu Foundation use Elite Gi’s and they have agreed to sponsor Angel Adorno with his competition Gi and rash guard. Thank you Born Tough. After washing and drying both the gi and rash guard, they maintained a perfect comfortable fit. Allen Spindel

Born Tough Rash Guard Gives Me Muscles
Elite Sports Gi fits me like a glove and is so comfortable when training
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Competition Flow Roll

That doesn’t make sense because when you compete, you put the pedal to the metal and the go is very fast and much harder than when you do a flow roll and just move like yoga.

But today for some reason, I was able to merge together a competition roll with a young white belt and myself and had that “out of body” experience where I’m watching myself moving.

We played the passing game because I always say to my training partners “is there anything that you’re working on that I can help you with.” They always say yes and they tell me what it is and this young man’s goal was to work open guard passing.

So I start sitting on my butt with my feet on the mats, my elbows connected to my knees with my hands in front of me guarding my space so no one‘s coming in and we both know that I have bad knees and I’m not gonna go crazy with my knees. He comes in at 110% speed and intensity, blowing passed me with ease.

I go “beautiful wow” and we both smiled. Thats the purpose of working together with someone as compatible as this training partner. My training partner gets to work on his passing game in a real live and resisted situation, without the risk of injury. Higher belts understand how to move and therefore lower belts can can have a great experience and learn much from it.

We both have to benefit during the training session. I’m challenging my brain to experience a faster moving opponent. In my division master 7, which is age 60 and over, those guys move slowly and very technical.

So this is an opportunity for me to see what the other half of the world looks like, get my eyes used to a faster moving target and teach myself to either recover my guard or take an offensive position such as top side control. It’s that simple.

My 30 year old training partners goal is to pass my legs. He’s got to get pass my legs in order to use the benefits of Brazilian jiu jitsu and get topside control for three seconds. We then reset and start again.

So the way this works is that he normally goes pretty hard and fast with all the other belts and now that he’s going against a black belt, he really wants to perform. I encouraged him to bring it on.  I felt his first pass was legitimate. He used speed and technique and I applaud him. Now we go to the second pass and I immediately go into “a reflex reaction, muscle memory movements, fight or flight domination attitude…go with the flow and don’t worry about anything.” 

As I was working my competition flow,  I reminded myself that “I am a black belt and a 4 time medalist in national competitions.  I can out maneuver anybody, because I am stronger than my training partners. Let’s see what I can do.”

As my training partner moved one way as a fake and then moved the other way to get the pass.  I naturally anticipated his move and went to the turtle position because that’s the move of last week. From the turtle position, I fish behind me with my elbow looking for his over hook arm to secure for a brief moment.  From that turtle position (with his now outside hand or elbow trapped under my outside elbow), all I do is collapse my inside leg by straightening it out and replacing it with my other knee by sliding my knee 6” to the inside. This allows for my training partner to start his roll over my top hip. It’s a very high percentage sweep and it’s been done many times to me. The finish is when I roll backwards over the shoulder my trapping arm is on. The actual sweep is slow and in total control, so this makes for a great turtle sweep no matter what division you are in.

Well, I can’t tell you what or who initiated this competition roll pace before it turned into a flow roll, but we circled and went round and around and upside down in many positions because I was flowing but I was flowing at a competition rate and he was really pushing the pace to out maneuver me.

He looked and felt a little bit like he was gassing out and I was not at that point. Hmmmm. Now let’s talk about why a 69-year-old man with a heart attack, four stents along with 2 total knee replacements outmaneuver a 30 year old paramedic who is very physically fit.

As the founder of Spinnex Vitality at any age, I’ve been performing dynamic tension breathing with resistance bands for many many full moons. I do jiu jitsu three days a week, the other three days a week I do jiu jitsu conditioning where I spent 15 years of my life learning, honing, practicing and coaching high school kids to their national championships using this conditioning program.

So what I’m saying is that not only do I have 14 years of five days a week BJJ training under my belt, even though I took off three years, but apparently my skill level is better than a white belt training for a year.

So if you combine my skill, Spinnex Vitality conditioning, jiu jitsu conditioning, and the fact that my longtime training partner sensei Tom from Iron Guard dojo in Pine Bush New York asked me a question today on the phone. He asked if I think my knees can go to a competition. I answered that I don’t know. I’m wondering if subconsciously I answered Tom‘s question by doing a competition flow roll.

The only variable that I haven’t mentioned is the fact that I took my vitamins at 10:30 this morning, when my class starts at 11 am. The vitamin usually gets digested and goes to your bloodstream within an hour. That would mean at 11:30 my vitamins are fully activated in my body and whatever effect they are, it would start to take place in addition to using my sports tape and amino acids before and during training.

Also, I used sports tape https://thrivetape.com/, as we recently got sponsored by Thrive Tape for the
No Limits Jiu Jitsu Foundation competition October 1 with Ascension Grappling in Connecticut.

So my next training session I attempted to duplicate my competition flow roll and here is what happened.

I did “not” take my 10:30 vitamins before the 11:00 morning class. Everything else is exactly the same.

We had 2 rolls left in class and both a brown belt coach and purple belt coach approached me at the same time to train.

I went with the brown belt first and as usual, we flowed as he was pushing me, forcing me to continue to keep moving. That is the sign of a good training partner.
We started the round in a very slow training pace and as we got warmed up, our flow roll got faster and more intense. We were in perfect harmony, as we began to increase the pace. What I am articulating here is, at the more experienced and higher level belts, the goal is to move and be in total control of your body and your training partner. It was indeed a flow roll of the week.

At the end of the roll, I paid my training partner the ultimate compliment by saying that “it appears you train as if you were helping your training partners get better and allowing them to grow so you could have an even better training partner to train with.” He smiled and we both knew that we were both on the same page, as we are both great full we have great training partners.

The next round begins and the purple belt and I begin to train and it was an exact replication of the brown belt roll.

Now comes the best part. After class as we were getting dressed to leave, one of the white belts with 3 stripes approached me and said he was watching me roll with the brown belt and it looked like we were really going at it.

I smiled, said thank you and said that we were doing a high level training roll. I further said that is the goal. Train slow, perfect your technique and most importantly… look good as you move. You can always go faster, use more strength and before you do that, you must learn and must perform the moves, the positions, the set ups and the submissions slowly and to perfection. After training for 14 years, 5 times a week and having 2 total knee replacements and rehabbing for 3 years, I am great fully back.

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Another Great Flow Roll

Had another great flow roll with Professor Renod and by recording it and playing parts in slow motion, I saw tons of mistakes I made that are easily tweaked. As an example, at the end of the video I did a 69 year old man sweep and came up with a possible under hook sitting on my opposite hip, which is optimal for a sweep. In my case with my physical and structural stature, I would come upon my knees, cup my opponents far knee, drive with my legs and use my upper body to stay glued to his upper body as he is falling back at a 45% angle and I am driving forwards in his direction of falling. This could be considered a smash pass and its my version for my body type.

Also, professor Renod was able to not only back step me and perform a technical master piece by pulling my knees towards him to easily get the mount.

I need to engage my legs more, even though I am timid because of my total knee replacements. That is why video recording and self feedback is critical and I will ask professor Mendes if I can bring my mini tripod to record select rolls.

Here is an edited video of our flow roll so I can learn.

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The Power Of Specialized Conditioning For Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Resuming Brazilian Jiu Jitsu After Double Total Knee Replacements.

Does a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete ever quit, take time off, change academies and change their entire lives? Yes to all the above and no judgements because we only live in our own shoes. I just resumed my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training after a 3 year rehab for my knees. Now that I am back, it felt like I never left.

The only difference is I will be augmenting my training to:

*Reflect any decrease in mobility because of the titanium hardware that my knee and knee joint is now made of. Knees don’t bend much and can hurt if bent too much.

*Lost timing because of no drilling or training for 3 years.

*Decrease in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu conditioning. This will be the focus of this post, which might turn into more than just a post.

This blog post that will take me several days to complete, will serve as documentation that by practicing Spinnex Vitality, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) athlete can maintain a high percentage of conditioning while not training in BJJ. All that is required is to take the same amount of time, the same time of day and practice Spinnex Vitality on your own in the comfort of your own home.

Drill, train round 1, train round 2, train round 3, rest round, train round 4, train round 5
Left to right…Age 71, age 47, age 69
11:00 am – Noon class. The black belts ask me to train, which is a complement for an older black belt

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15 Years Of Teaching/Coaching Turned Into Digital Formats: audio book, ebook, paperback book and hard cover book with color photos

There are 10 Amazon books that compile my 15 years of teaching and coaching. I was born to be a coach and now use technology to coach world wide.

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13 Years In The Making

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SpinnEx “Vitality At Any Age” Program

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Exercise While You Relax

Put Up or Shut Up!!!
I am Putting Up!!!

Test Summary Exercise While You Relax

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Week 1 of 4 Lifetime Fitness and Health

Week One. Enjoy and stay tuned for week Two.

Week 1 of 4

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Old School BJJ

Since the “sport” of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) has evolved and is centered around winning tournaments, the point system has taken away what BJJ was originally designed for. BJJ was originally designed for self defense. Therefore, at my current level of training since 2005, I am now taking all what I have learned and adapting it for self defense, not sport.

What that means is, I have narrowed down what techniques, what strategy and what type of training I am employing. To further clarify, I am eliminating all techniques that expose areas of the body that can be attacked when in a self defense situation and only using very tight techniques such as attacking from the closed guard, side control, the back and a straight foot lock. Out of respect for my academy, I will drill the move of the week (month) and learn it well. The first 2 rolls we do are from the move of the day position and I like that system of learning for several reasons. No need to expand on it because all BJJ players know exactly what I am talking about.

The good news is at age 65, I am able to train successfully with younger and stronger partners using this strategy. Since employing this strategy, I hit the Kimura from several positions, X choke, triangle, rear choke and a quick foot lock finish. This is the new and improved Allen Spindel.

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