Put Up or Shut Up (Athlete Journal 28)

James Kearns

Athlete Journal - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, United States

Olympic Weightlifting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

It’s time to put up or shut up, sort of. Time for training is over and this Saturday it will be time to compete in the New York Summer Open. My performance this weekend will play a big role in my decision to compete at Masters Worlds in November.


Put Up or Shut Up (Athlete Journal 28) - Fitness, martial arts, BJJ, athlete journals, brazilian jiu jitsu



The New York Open won’t be the only factor in this decision. I will have some smaller competitions and at least one more IBJJF event before then, but New York always seems to be tougher than a lot of the other tournaments and is the best measuring stick for future success. 


Unlike my last couple IBJJF tournaments when I wasn’t very confident and just wanted to see how I would do, this time I’m confident and expect to do well. All of my confidence has come from my preparation over the last thirteen weeks. My lack of preparation for the previous competitions wasn’t for a lack of trying. Unfortunately, the beginning of 2014 was full of injuries, but the last thirteen weeks have been injury-free. 


I’ve been getting a lot of great mat time, which included at least four days a week of Brazilian jiu jitsu training and a good amount of traveling to other gyms to get some different looks. I appreciate all the great training I’ve got over the last several months from Daniel Beleza, Harrisburg BJJ and Judo, and my coaches at the Tactical Combat Academy.


Keeping My Focus

When I get on the mat this weekend, I will also be in the best shape that I’ve been in the last four years. I am down to 206lbs and am ready to compete at heavyweight. My weight came down during the final phase of my strength and conditioning program, and I have maintained my strength and power and actually hit some new personal records in a few lifts. I’ve been killing the cardio and pushing myself as hard as possible. 


The biggest thing that has helped me this time is that I have been able to keep my focus for three months. Coming off of the worst BJJ performance of my life in the last New York Open has continued to motivate me. I have competed and done well since then, but not at a competition this size. 




All that’s left to do this week is to continue to drill my game plan, work on all possible scenarios, and rest. I will still do a little cardio on Monday, but no more after that. I will have to make sure all my food and drinks are ready to pack and take along, and then it’s time!


This weekend I will not lose due to lack of training, conditioning, nutrition, or focus. I won’t lose because I beat myself. I feel great, I’m extremely confident, and the only way that I will lose is if my opponent is just better than me, and he is the one who beats me. Losing to someone who is a better competitor is an outcome I am okay with. 


Sunday - BJJ:

Competition drilling

25-minute run


Monday - Strength and Conditioning, BJJ

  • Vertical Jump 3x11
  • Plyo Push-Up 3x11
  • Barbell Pop-Up 3x11
  • Push Offs 3x11
  • Dumbbell Bench Press 70 lbs 3x15
  • Dumbbell Row 70 lbs 3x15
  • Dumbbell Overhead Extension/Dumbbell Curl (super set) 60/25 3x15
  • Core Work
  • 20 Minute on Fan Bike



Drills, sweeps from half guard, rolling.


Wednesday – Strength and Conditioning, BJJ

Interval Circuit:

  • 4 Step Agility Run
  • Med Ball Chest Pass
  • Attack Sprawl
  • Med Ball Walking Lunge
  • Shrimp
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Dive Bombers
  • Med Ball Overhead Squat
  • Live Pummel
  • Plank
  • High Knees/w Step Through



Drills, arm attack from guard, rolling


Friday - Strength and Conditioning, BJJ

  • Vertical Jump 3x11
  • Plyo Push-Up 3x11
  • Barbell Pop-Up 3x11
  • Push Offs 3x11
  • Dumbbell Squat (super set) Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift 50x3x15
  • Pull-Up 20, 15, 13
  • Dumbbell Reverse Fly 40 lbs 3x15
  • Core Work



Rolling at Harrisburg BJJ & Judo

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