Seminar Time With Phil Migliarese (Athlete Journal 40)

Scranton MMA held a seminar featuring Phil Migliarese last Saturday, which marked the official merging of our affiliations. It was also an amazing training week!

Lots of great stuff happened this week. Training went really well and I got a lot of good rolls in. Eating healthy was a success. And, finally, the seminar we had with Phil Migliarese was awesome!

Scranton MMA held a seminar featuring Phil Migliarese last Saturday. It marked the official merging of our affiliations. We are now dual affiliated with the Royce Gracie Network and the Balance Network! I’m really excited about this. Everyone at the main Balance school in Philadelphia has helped us out so much with training and advice that it seemed only natural to join their network.

The seminar Phil taught was fantastic, if I do say so myself. The whole seminar was focused on collar chokes: chokes from the bottom, chokes from the top, chokes off the takedown. It was mind-blowing. It was two full hours of learning how to choke someone out using their own gi. I wasn’t a huge fan of collar chokes before because I could never finish them. I’m definitely a fan now, though. I learned a few tips and tricks for finishing them.

Everyone who went to the seminar did a great job. They all seemed to like the techniques Phil taught. People have been trying to hit them all week, so I guess it’s safe to say they liked them!

At the end of the seminar, we all got the chance to roll. We did two long rounds. For the first one I walked around and took some pictures of the students (everyone loves having cool jiu jitsu pictures of themselves), and for the second round I had a chance to roll with Phil. The whole thing was a lot of fun. We even went out for sushi afterward. Sushi and jiu jitsu go together like peanut butter and jelly, in my opinion at least.

The rest of the week went great. I got a lot of good rounds in during classes. I feel like my jiu jitsu has improved a lot recently. I’m learning a lot of new techniques that I’m actually incorporating into my game. A few months ago, I would have learned a new move and forgotten about it the next day. I think I’m doing a much better job remembering how to do the techniques and adding them into my regular rolling sessions.

I’m getting a lot better at choosing healthier food options, too. At the beginning of June I would have just eaten whatever was available. But now I really think about what I should eat and how it will affect my training. I’m not focusing on being perfect, because I don’t need to lose any weight for the New York Open, but I’ve definitely improved. I don’t have crazy cravings for junk food anymore.

Overall, I think my training is going great. The next thing I want to improve on is my match recall, which is going back and trying to remember what you and your partner did during a roll. It helps you see where you did well in a round and where you could use improvement. It’s also great for figuring out how you can defend against certain techniques. Talking to your partner about how they pulled off that crazy sweep is a great way to learn and grow. I’ll probably wait until after the New York Open to focus on this more. I don’t want too many things on my mind so close to the tournament.

The New York Open is drawing closer, and I feel confident about it. There isn’t a lot of time left to prepare. All I can do now is keep up on what I’ve been doing and stay positive. I’m a little tiny bit nervous, but I’m more excited to get out there and leave it all on the mats. I’ll have more on my training next week. Peace out!

Jess Papi is a blue belt at Scranton MMA and also pursuing her degree in exercise science. Read her entries every week for insights on competing, training, and juggling BJJ and life.