How green tea & cacao can help heal your injuries, burn fat, increase strength, and kill cancer cells

Green tea (especially matcha) and cacao have some things in common. And these can be used to help heal your injuries, burn fat, increase strength and kill cancer cells.

But it’s probably going to take large quantities.

Green tea contains something called EGCG.

And this study says (if I understand correctly) that EGCG found in green tea helps grow new bone.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6485322/

If it can help bones and skin maybe it can help cartilage.

Matcha since it’s the whole plant is considered by some to be 3x higher in that compared to normal green tea.

Also…

Green tea and cacao both contain epicatechins which are said to be good for arthritis, building muscle strength and burning fat.

Yet the amount in both is much lower than in supplement form. I’ve heard doses ranging from 150mg to as high as 500mg  (said Tailormade Compounding) of epicatechin will show some results in strength and fat depletion.

I’ve read that some studies show that consuming 150mg of epicatechin could improve your strength (possibly grip strength) by 7%.

Maybe if I consume that much my judo and jiujitsu game will improve since your grip game in grappling is so important.

Or if you’re a carpenter it might improve your hammer game.

I read a cup of green tea contains about 10mg.

So you would have to drink 10-15 cups of green tea or maybe 5 cups of matcha.

Matcha might contain 3 times as much. So a cup might get you 30mg.

Cacao is high in epicatechins too.

Cacao powder is the best form.

So can you eat a bunch of chocolate?

Cacao (not chocolate) is what is good for you. Chocolate contains sugar and milk+.

Milk chocolate contains the least amount of epicatechins.

A dark chocolate bar might contain 46mg.

“…these effects are ‘markedly reduced’ when the chocolate is consumed with ‘milk’ or if milk is incorporated as milk chocolate.” – Source

As a test one day I ate the whole box of these cacao bits (95%) as an experiment which is a total of 60 grams and the next day I felt kind of hung over.

But that’s probably not epicatechin.

There’s caffeine and theobromine and other things in cacao.

I’ll have to try it again sometime.

I do think it’s kind of addictive so I don’t eat it everyday and I sometimes vary the amount because  if I eat the same amount everyday and then suddenly stop I feel withdrawal.

Other benefits of cacao and green tea:

So maybe supplementation with epicatechins is the best way to get high consistently high quantities.

I love green tea and drink it everyday.

I probably easily drink 10-15 glasses a day recently although I reuse the tea and probably get 5-6 small cups out of the same tea so maybe not close to a 150mg of epicatechin.

And recently in the same day I will drink both matcha and green tea.

Recently I haven’t but in the past I would pour off the first cup to reduce the caffeine, but when you do that you also reduce the epicatechins and phenols.

How does cacao compare to green tea?

Green tea is an infusion and cacao is a whole food.

This PDF says cacao has 3 times the phyto chemicals, but it’s not an equal comparison.

A more equal comparison would be cacao vs. matcha powder. Matcha is green tea leaf powder.

It’s the whole plant.

I also read grape seed extract contains epicatechins too.

My experience with BPC 157 to heal injuries (especially my knee)

I first heard about BPC 157 in this thread I started about my torn meniscus and what to do. Someone there mentioned it then and it didn’t sink in.

At first…

But I kept on looking into surgical options, PRP, stem cells, etc. and kept running into BPC 157 and other peptides. So I decided to give them a whirl as they sounded pretty good.

I ordered BPC from an Alibaba shop.

Then I got it about Jan 24th and did my first injection.

Yeah, so needles are weird.

I never thought I’d be injecting my self with anything. But when you’ve got pain and you know that it will help then you do what you got to do.

So I injected it everyday about 3 times a day for 2 weeks. A day anywhere from about 700-1000mcg.

I mostly injected it in my knee (knee capsule), around my knee (sub cutaneous) , and then my shoulder and a few times in my belly felt.

But you don’t want to inject the same spot many times. And BPC has a short half-life that’s why you have to inject it more often.

I even combined it with blood on a couple of occasions.

Recently I have taken it orally by squirting it on my gums that are receding. And wonder if that has had a different effect.

If you take it orally it needs to be twice the amount and a bit more according to Jean Francois Tremblay.

Did I have side effects?

Not really. The first time I injected it I got a bit of anxiety or fear after, but I think that was psychological.

After that not.

I got a little burning sometimes immediately following the injection.

For 2 weeks I felt fine and then the last 2 days or so after injections I felt some pain and inflammation where I injected so I stopped and took it orally.

Could have been because the needle was dull. I reused the same needles after cleaning them. I would typically use one needle a day, but those last days I might have used one needle in 2 days.

I would either boil them to disinfect or wipe with an alcohol wipe that contained ethanol, paraben and benzlkonium chloride.

But IDK something caused irritation in the last two days.

Of course best practice is to use a new needle every time.

Also could have been the bacteriostatic water went bad or something and caused irritation.

I made my own.

Which is normally .9% benzl alcohol and water, but I couldn’t find benzl so I got ethanol and used about 1%.

Like I said I was fine for 2 weeks.

I think a dull needle was part of the problem especially in the one location that caused the most pain – the skin over my patella tendon.

But I always used a ‘new’ needle when I would inject in the joint space.

Anyways those were my minor side effects.

Dosage?

What’s the right amount?

IDK. If you look online you will see 250-1000mg a day suggested or common is 250mg 2-3 times a day.

But one of the more popular studies that you will see is the one about rats that had their ligaments sliced up and then repaired with BPC.

After MCL transection BPC 157 was effective in rats when given once daily intraperitoneally (10 microg or 10 ng/kg) or locally as a thin layer (1.0 microg dissolved in distilled water/g commercial neutral cream) at the site of injury, first application 30 min after surgery and the final application 24 h before sacrifice.
Source

Another site said:

“Rats and mice ingesting BPC 157 in their drinking water, the typical dosage ranged between 10 nanograms to 10 mcg (micrograms) per kg.”

Which kind of looks like the quote above, but in the study above they were injecting or applying with a cream.

Jean Tremblay said that if you take it orally you need 2 times the amount and a little more.

So I am about 155 or 71kg or so normally.

So I guess the dose would be around 700mcg a day.

So how has it helped?

My knee feels a bit more stable and stronger than it did before. I had pain for a good 6-7 weeks especially standing still and after about 3 pm.

Walking was o.k. for a while early in the day but then later in the day would start hurting more.

And I had to move more cautiously.

Now I feel it is more stable and stronger at about 9 weeks post injury.

But it still has a way to go and I will be trying some other peptides and continue using this until finished.

I haven’t noticed it helping my shoulder much although I injected it there less often. Jean Tremblay says it doesn’t actually matter much usually where you inject it because the peptide will find it’s way to the injury.

He says it’s systemic.

Although if it’s in a place like your knee: meniscus, acl, pcl, etc. then it’s going to travel around your blood stream before it makes it’s way into the joint and the knee is a capsule so really if you have an injury there you should inject into the joint space.

Of course you ‘shouldn’t’ do it yourself they say. You ‘should’ get a professional.

But I knew I had to do that to get the best results so I did. I think TB500 which I ordered would be a bit better for that one perhaps or used in conjunction with because it has a longer half life.

I heard maybe 7-10 days vs. BPC’s 4-6 hours.

I don’t want to inject everyday into my knee capsule because the space is small and it’s not good to keep injecting into the same area.

Other people suggest injecting it locally near the injury.

So I’ve also done 2 blood injections of about 2-4ml into my knees. One time my left and right and 2 times into my right and one time with BPC.

Oh, there was another time I tried blood, but it coagulated in the syringe and wouldn’t come out. I did managed eventually to squeeze out most in the sink and it had a little residue left and then I added BPC to that and injected that.

One time my left knee was hurting in the morning when I woke up more than my injured right knee.

In the past my left knee was the worst of the 2 (old MCL injury+patella tracking issues), but has been compensating for the right as I have been limping around.

So I injected both knees inside the joint and I felt a little burning feeling for about 30 minutes in my left knee and then the pain was gone.

And actually since then that knee has also bothered me less.

One of the times I did DIY blood injections was also about 1ml of blood and bpc in that knee.

Anyways…

I think the BPC does have some anti-inflammatory response like is said.

Most other times I noticed no immediate relief and the process of pain reduction and improvement has been slow.

One thing I noticed is that since I’ve taken it orally (last 4 days or so) yesterday I drank ‘raw milk’ and this time it did not cause any sort of tummy rumble like it often did in the past.

Can’t say for sure if it was the BPC. But it is supposedly good for your gut.

I’ll try it again and see if I get the rumble.

I will continue to use it until gone and then update this.

The placebo effect

I’ve wondered about the quality of the BPC I got because I got it from China (Alibaba) from a vendor that a few people recommended on Reddit.

They say 95-99% of the peptides out there come from China. Even most of the sites that sell them in the US or UK are still selling peptides from China.

They buy them in bulk and then raise the price a lot.

So if you are savvy financially you might just buy them from China.

But…

Then if you start researching you may hear that they may be fake or under dosed or have bacteria or ____.

There is probably some truth to that but I think there is a lot of fear mongering out there and a lot of the people saying those things have self interests.

Also the the bacteria one was an isolated case as far as I know.

So it’s like bad news and fear.

You fear the water and sharks more than you do driving your car, but in reality driving your car is way more dangerous.

If you want to get USA made peptides or Canadian made peptides you could try Tailor made compounds or Canlabs.

But you are going to pay 5-10X the price.

The placebo effect I think can go both ways.

You start to think ok these peptides are from China and they don’t work or the fragment is broken or it’s under dosed or maybe there is bacteria in it.

So it becomes true.

Or what the anti-doping organization in Australia made some claim that 80% of peptides are fake or under dosed.

Maybe, but I don’t really trust that bit of news because it’s in their self interests to say so.

And possibly the people who keep saying it.

So if you want to get the most out of the placebo effect then you can buy from one of those places that do regular testing in North America.

But is it possible that what you can buy on Alibaba is the exact same thing?

Yep.

All of the vendors on Alibaba try to make it look like they are the factory, but they are not.

I found two companies on there that used the same building with their photoshopped name on it to make it look like it was their factory.

Those sellers there are definitely not transparent as to who they are. A good business would be to be a seller there who is.

Make a video about who you are and what you do, but they don’t.

From what I’ve learned from Jean Francois Tremblay is that there aren’t that many factories in China that make peptides, but the vendors on Alibaba all probably buy their peptides from the same few factories and then resell them.

And there are rules and regulations in China.

It’s the middle men you got to watch out for.

There is a lot of fear out there (sinophobia) about China too.

Sometimes if you feel that you got fake peptides it’s possible that it’s from a bad batch. Like the peptide fragment chain broke and wasn’t that they were trying to make a fake peptide.

It’s that they are big factories selling lots of peptides to resellers and they probably don’t test every batch.

So you may be getting inert amino acids.

Could there be factories out there making and selling fake peptides?

IDK. Maybe little ones, but you know they won’t be in business long. And the cost of setting up a factory just to make fake look alike peptides is too high I would think.

I also recently ordered from Canlabs a couple peptides and will see how they go and I will probably get a better placebo effect too since I know more about who made them.

But they were way more expensive.

Learn more about peptides (good videos and podcasts with Jean Tremblay).

Or read this article.

My DIY PRP Knee Injury Experiment #1, 2, 3, and 4

This is a blog post about injecting my blood into my knee because I tore my meniscus and didn’t really want to do surgery and a $1000 for PRP seemed ridiculous.

And my knee hurt.

I did a lot of research about surgery, PRP, stem cells, etc.

Then I decided to take matters into my own hands…

Whoa…

Of course it’s not something you ‘should’ do. You ‘should’ always have a ‘professional’ do it.

But sometimes you do what you got to do.

This started with a desire to do PRP, but the cost was too much and it was a little difficult the first few times that you can see below.

I failed twice and stabbed myself countless times.

But basically I ended up doing autologous blood injection (ABI) which is a whole blood injection vs. PRP which is when they separate the red blood cells and just use the plasma and platelets.

Actually autologous just means your own and PRP is that too, but not usually referred to as.

This goes from most recent to lesser so.

Update Feb 26th, 2020

I did a fast for 66 hours and towards the end of the fast I withdrew almost 3ml of blood. This time I didn’t inject it into my knee but I mixed it with peptides and injected it around the knee in three locations: sub q lateral side, medial side near MCL and intramuscular near where the hamstring attaches to the bone.

Why?

They say if you injure your knee it’s not only the specific area that is affected and sometimes you have to treat the whole knee.

So it’s likely the MCL was also injured when that careless guy tried his flying judo move and collapsed my knee inward.

Anyways…

Since in the past I had a problem with coagulation and I used sodium citrate which is basically baking soda and citric acid about 3-4% to the blood and that stopped coagulating.

A few days prior I had made centrifuge out of a fan, but the blood coagulated in the tube and then it would be best to put the blood in a separate container.

As opposed to leaving it in the syringe because if you do (even if it is capped) some will likely come out when you spin it.

Update Feb 9th, 2020

So it’s been a few weeks… maybe 3. So since the last time I’ve tried 3 more times.

The 2nd time did not work because I could not get blood and got tired of pricking myself.

The 3rd time (a few weeks ago) I did get blood, but then it coagulated in the syringe and wouldn’t come out. I lost 96%, but there was still a little blood residue in the syringe and I added BPC 157 to it and then injected that.

The 4th time (about 4 days ago) I did get blood easy compared to the 1st time (below). It took one prick and before I did I added a little BPC to the syringe and then withdrew about 4.ml.

So I learned I have to work fast or the blood will coagulate. They use something called sodium citrate??? I think for PRP to stop the blood from coagulating.

I was going to centrifuge my blood this time, because I know it will work, but my down transformer broke a few days before so I could not use the dremel tool.

Oh well, I will use the whole blood and BPC.

And this time my plan was to do my right knee, left a bit and shoulder.

Success 🙂

I learned some tricks to make withdrawing blood easier by opening the syringe a little so it has a little suction to begin.

As the 1st time I had pain for about 3 days post injection, but it’s less. I injected mostly into my right knee about 2.5ml and about 1ml in my left and 1ml in my shoulder.

In my shoulder I did intramuscular injection and that actually felt good^^. IDK I hit the right spot.

Recently I have been doing those in my shoulder with BPC.

Learn more about my experience with BPC 157 (blog post coming soon).

Probably the best knee injection video I found:

Update a few days later (January 20th, ’20)…

I felt a bit increase in pain in the days to follow, but gradually decreasing as it’s 3 days later.

I have done a little bit of research regarding injecting whole blood vs. PRP. And it seems some people say that red blood cells have more inflammatory markers in it.

Which may not be what you want, but…

My limited research shows that there are cytokines (which can be positive or negative), and maybe hormones in red blood cells too that could help.

So it seems to depend on what your goal is.

If you have arthritis then maybe the PRP would be better to reduce inflammation, but if you have an acute injury like I do then I don’t think it will hurt to inject whole blood.

Actually it might hurt more initially in the few days prior. As I am updating this as we speak and I felt more pain after the injection. Now it’s 3 days later and the increased pain has gone down some.

I think more tests have been done around PRP than whole blood.

I could not find much information on whole blood injections and how they compare to PRP.

I do think that it might be better to take your blood in a fasted state. Eating does cause inflammation (no matter what you eat) and those markers may be in your blood when you draw it.

Some studies show that fasting for 24 hours or longer will increase stem cells in the body. Some said 24 hours and others 2-3 days.

And if that means they are floating around in your blood or if they are released after eating or before or where they are exactly I don’t know.

Some questions I had were:

  • Where is testosterone in your blood? (red cells or white cells)
  • Where is IGF-1 in your blood? (red or white cells)

I think those would help to heal an injury. It sounds like platelets are good, but are they the only good thing in blood that could help an injury?

Are ‘whole blood injections’ cause for concern?

I am not sure what I have read or completely understood some studies, so do correct me if I am wrong but I think I found a few studies suggesting whole blood injections into the knee could adversely affect it and cause articular cartilage damage.

Maybe many whole blood injections could be bad.

Not sure on this. I emailed one of the doctors on Researchgate I found to try to clarify what I read.

If I understand correctly this study with dogs suggests whole blood injections are bad. Although they used both “homologous” and autologous blood.

And it’s related to hemophilia.

This one suggests that if IL-4 or IL-10 is added no adverse affects are found.

Wonder if PRP would be included?

I found another page by the Stone clinic about blood in the joint.

Said that there are good things and bad things to blood in the joint.

Red blood cells bring oxygen to the area to help heal and repair, but said repeated exposure is “toxic” to articular cartilage.

He said that white blood cells are inflammatory, but consume bacteria and injured tissues.

And he said platelets are the ones that contain growth factors that stimulate healing.

In regards to the needle size

I did further research as maybe I was thinking the needle wasn’t long enough, but I found an interesting post saying that for thin individuals 1 inch is fine and for obese people 1.5 is better.

I used a 1 inch needle.

Now I feel more confident that the blood was injected into the knee since pain increased in the days following and I may have had some sort of leakage from the puncture to the knee capsule that leaked to the outside membranes, but not externally.

OG post… mid January 2020

In a previous post I mentioned I had a torn meniscus. Being the moron that I am I decided I wanted to give DIY prp (platelet rich plasma) a go.

I was super happy yesterday that my needles arrived. I wasn’t sure that they would since Japan is so strict and you can’t buy them here. I was actually so excited last night that I hardly slept.

Then today we got the rest of the tools we needed: some rubbing alcohol and alcohol wipes and then I went home to begin.

And I learned…

Withdrawing blood is hard.

Way harder than I thought.

I had very little luck. I went first for the veins they usually go for and once got a little with a syringe and doing it myself was very difficult with one hand and I was moving too much.

Really stupid.

You need this thing called a butterfly needle adapter thingy.

So then I did a little more googling and saw that I could stick myself in the foot since that would be easier since I could use 2 hands.

But it wasn’t.

I probably stuck myself in the foot 20-30 times and then later I tried my hand (you can also do that). But no luck.

It’s easy to get under the skin, but not easy to get in the vein and draw blood. And then doing it to yourself makes it twice as hard.

About 2-3 hours later and probably like 50 or so needle pricks later I finally said, “what the hell”.

I’ll try my left hand and go into my right arm since those veins look big.

And I actually I had some luck.

With my left hand???

It’s really retarded though trying to do this yourself with the tools I had. But I managed to withdraw maybe 3-4ml of blood.

Awesome.

Ohh…

Yeah, it’s really scary at first sticking yourself with a needle, but then after a few times lesser so.

I did some googling before and saw some different make shift centrifuges to separate the platelets from the red blood cells.

I made one with a dremel tool I have and some of that instamorph moldable plastic.

I didn’t actually use it though.

Because I just spent like three hours trying to get blood and ideally I wanted to get two syringes full and actually inject both knees.

But I didn’t want to lose the blood that I had worked so hard to get should something go wrong with my DIY centrifuge and I didn’t really have a lot to begin with.

So next step.

This was way easier.

So I had watched a lot of videos on knee injections and decided to try it sitting.

You can get it done sitting or lying down depending on the doctor.

And some doctors will use an ultrasound too.

Since my injury is in the meniscus there is little blood flow there. So even if I inject pure blood in there it still has platelets and that can help, however it’s not as concentrated as the PRP.

Anyways I did it sitting.

Like the videos I saw I marked off the upper and lower bones and the patella tendon with a pen and then marked a spot with an unclicked pen in the middle roughly.

And of course clean the skin with alcohol before.

Then you want to inject towards the center of the knee so it’s at an angle.

You don’t want to hit the meniscus so you go about an thumbs width above it.

This guy explains knee injections way better than I could.

Took some concentration that’s for sure cause you don’t want to hit the bone, meniscus, or patella tendon.

So you are going in on an angle like roughly 45 degrees or so.

Yeah, so at first I felt a light prick and the needle is 1 inch long and I am going slow and then it breaks the skin, “ouch” and then it goes in a little and then I felt a give (which from what I learned was that was when it entered the knee capsule).

And then I slowly inserted it until all the way inside.

And then I made it all the way in (1 inch) so I try squeezing the blood out and it was kinda resistant and I had to squeeze it pretty hard.

I was a little frightened that I might suddenly move. Like when the doctor used to test your reflexes by tapping on your knee??

And be in a sh** load of pain.

But o.k we gradually fully injected the blood into the knee. And now we are slowly taking it out.

Yay.

I did it.

It’s been about an hour and it feels a little sore and funny since there is more fluid in the knee.

At first there was a little swelling out side the knee so I thought maybe it didn’t go into the knee capsule.

I got a 1 inch needle and some said that was fine and one even said 13mm which I think is 3/4 of an inch, but most others said 1.5 inches. Next time I would get the 1.5.

So if it didn’t go into the knee capsule then that’s not good.

But I remember the “give” like they said. So I am hoping that it did. Anyways…

They say some pain after a shot is normal and I feel it so…

I am going to take it easy. And then in a week if I am still alive;-)

I’ll try it again.

With my learned lessons…

And I’m looking forward to BPC 157 (peptides were mentioned in the last post).

Since that is just an injection in the knee vs. trying to withdraw, separating the blood and re-injecting it.

It’s more simple and the results sound pretty good.

Advice

If you are crazy enough to try this… At least get a butterfly needle. That thingy or even better find a friend who is a nurse to withdraw your blood. That’s what I need.

The next steps won’t be nearly as hard.

I think making a centrifuge is not hard.

You can search.

  • DIY centrifuge

It was almost a total failure, but I’d say I may have had some success if that blood when into the joint. The swelling initially on the outside of my knee after the injection made me think otherwise, but that went away.

I feel a little more pressure on the front side of my knee, but more pain inside now than at first which I think is good.

Next time will be a bit better.

Really PRP should be way cheaper. It’s way overpriced and it should be covered by insurance.

So what they do is…

Withdraw your blood, spin it in a machine, dump out the red blood cells, inject the rest of it into your injured area and then charge you $1000 (for one shot).

That’s what they charge here in Japan and in most other places I have seen.

Although in some places you may $500 or maybe even less in some countries.

Related:

How to withdraw blood if you’re an amateur

Trying to heal my meniscus…

And other injuries… so here are some other things I am throwing at it.

  1. The usual intermittent fasting which actually may improve the quality of your blood before PRP. Eating increases inflammation in your blood.
  2. Lots of spirulina
  3. Lots of chlorella (CGF)
  4. Taking collagen (not a fan as it’s animal or fish parts) anyways until…
  5. I got some colostrum
  6. BPC 157 is in the mail
  7. And we’re doing rehab

Lots of isometrics…

And a girlfriend would help… especially if she is a nurse;-).

Lastly, it’s been a long day of sticking and stabbing myself so I am looking forward to eating something now.

Peptides may add 20-30 years to your life & Heal your injuries

Recently I have been studying and learning about peptides. It all started from a injury to my knee in judo/bjj. I tore my meniscus and in a previous post I was talking about my options and one of them I mentioned called BPC 157.

I’ve read a lot about it recently and it sounds really cool and maybe even better than PRP.

It’s orally active although you have to take maybe 2x the amount than if you inject it. Some of the other peptides can only be injected.

Very few side effects from most peptides…

For most of them you can’t overdose.

TB500 and BPC 157…

“The more you take the more it’s going to work” says, Jean Francois Tremblay below…

It accelerates the healing process of many things, but they are not so sure how.

Really good for the gut and…

Tissue…

Apparently they made some mice paraplegic and then gave them BPC and they started to regain some movement.

Amazing.

Although some people say it doesn’t work for them.

But from what I’ve learned it didn’t work because they didn’t take enough or they may have gotten poorer quality peptides.

Here are some links to BPC 157 and cartilage repair (both rat studies and human experiences)

There was one with rabbits too.

If you have damaged cartilage…

These articles might interest you.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5835815/ (cartilage repair)
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266737101_The_Effect_of_Pentadecapeptide_BPC_157_on_Condylar_Subchondral_Bone_Function_and_Transmandibular_Bone_Defect_in_the_Model_of_Surgically_Induced_Temporomandibular_Joint_Osteoarthrosis_in_the_Rat (THEY MUTILATED THESE POOR RATS AND THEN THE BPC PUT THEM BACK TOGETHER)
  3. https://www.reddit.com/r/PEDs/comments/3r1t1s/knee_pain_cured_using_tb500_torn_meniscus/
  4. https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/supplements-articles/how-to-use-bpc-157/
  5. http://112.196.20.91/forum/6480-cartilage-tendon-recovery-combination-tb500-bpc157-ostarine-pal-ghk.html  (“I have stacked BPC157 and TB500 off and on for a long time with great results. Great for tendons and cartilages…”)
  6. https://www.tgbsupplements.com/bpc-157-joint-healing-miracle-drug/

Peptides may add 20-30 years to your life…

I’ve been watching and listening to this guy from Montreal today. Here’s the first video I watched.

Although the add 20-30 years to your life might have been from the podcast…

An interesting podcast:

Peptides and anti-aging and injury

And also in the video below.

The two peptides that might help you live longer:

  1. Epitalon (lengthens your telemeres)
  2. Thymulin

The first one he mentions more…

Epitalon. Astralagus root is also supposed to lengthen telemeres (basically your life span). In SF I would sometimes get that and make a tea.

Sounds like I need to get more or try this stuff.

I thought the recommended dosing for these peptides was kinda interesting…

Epithalon and thymalin 5mg for 20 days (twice in a year) improves a lot of systems in the body including bone density, but he says you got to inject it.

Twice a year for 20 days at a time. He does say there are different protocols, but that is what he does.

Interesting these peptides are unlike a supplement. You can take them for short periods of time and get lasting results.

Cool.

The BPC sounds similar in that you could take daily maybe even 2 times a day from anywhere 2 weeks to a month and expect results.

In the beginning of this video he explains what a peptide is.

And also says that even if you don’t live 20-30 years longer you’ll improve the quality of your life here and now.

He mentions in the video that he had some sort of genetic defect with his heart and had to get some sort open heart surgery and then took the BPC and then was back at work within a week.

Why do all of these peptide sites look the same?

If you start looking at these peptide sites you’ll notice they all look the same. Why is that?

They all have the same 5mg little bottle and the same looking website.

A few reasons…

One is that they may actually be getting them from the same place in China and then slapping a slightly different label on them. According to the videos here 95-99% of peptides are coming from China.

The other reason is that people copy. I see it all the time in the TEFL course industry. Everyone looks the same. Trickle down copycats.

OHH! I almost forgot this interesting fact

He mentioned that many of these peptides are found in the body or in animals bodies such as organs. And that’s why perhaps some people would feel good after eating things like hearts and stuff.

Not into eating organs or flesh (not that hungry), but I’ve been eating a lot of spirulina lately. Spirulina also has some peptides in it too. Not ones I know anything about though.

Apparently there are like 7,000 peptides.

Been eating like 30-50 tablets a day recently. It’s a superfood: amino acids, 60-70% protein, vitamins, EPA, DHA, anti-inflammatory (the pigment), etc.

And chlorella is on the way. Has some cool growth factor in it called CGF.

Torn Meniscus? Here’s What You Can Do To Heal It. (What I am doing)

Have a torn meniscus? So what can you do? Should you do surgery? Try to let your meniscus heal without surgery?

Before you jump to a conclusion (like I sometimes do) I would keep in mind while doing your research that everyone is biased to some extent and that definitely includes your doctor.

So…

I just tore my meniscus about 2 months ago (for the second time) so I’ve done a lot of research and in this post I’ll share with you some of the things I have learned.

I tore mine in judo/bjj two times or so…

And I hobbled around for a good 6 weeks before I began to see some improvement likely because of some of the things I did below.

Things you can do.

  1. Surgery (partial men. or stitch)
  2. PRP or stem cell injections
  3. Wait for it to heal
  4. Rehab
  5. Peptides and lesser known options (below)

There is risk to doing everything including nothing, but probably less risk if you wait for some time like a month before giving anything a go.

I was close to signing up for a surgery, but…

My bias is that I don’t really trust doctors and I don’t like the uncertainty of knowing what the doctor will do. Or having to put my health in his hands.

Plus…

All the info out there on failed surgeries, second surgeries, etc. has me not convinced, but to be self-deprecating that could be to my detriment too.

And it might also have been that nose surgery I got in Taiwan to correct my deviated septum.

That was frightening.

I remember being tied down to a stretcher totally wrapped up in sheets with my whole face covered except for a small place for my nose and mouth.

I couldn’t see and I couldn’t move.

Then during surgery he dropped a piece of cartilage that he cut out from my nose into my mouth.

After that I had to stay in the hospital for a day or two in an uncomfortable position and then I couldn’t breath through my nose at all for like a month and to top it off I don’t think it improved anything.

So you’ve read about the red and white zones right?

Conventional medicine says that if your tear is in the red zone it can heal (or be repaired) and if it is in the white zone it can’t heal.

Is that completely true?

Before I tell you about that…

Here’s one thing you can do.

1. SURGERY (repair or partial meniscectomy)?

You have 2 basic options for surgery (depending on the surgeon).

Here’s the first.

Shall we ‘trim’ your meniscus?

BZZZZZZZ

There goes your meniscus.

I wouldn’t do a partial meniscectomy.

This is where they remove the torn bit. It can reduce your symptoms very quickly, but…

I read very little good about this. And this is the more likely thing a surgeon will do.

Although some people can quickly return to sport and feel fine (see the Reddit thread link below), but the chance of early onset arthritis years later is high.

I remember one study that said that there was no better outcome between partial meniscectomies and sham surgeries.

If you cut it out (even a little) you alter the biomechanics of the knee. And one source said even cutting out as little as 10% increases risk of OA.

That was a Regennex (kind of PRP) video I think so they may have some self interests to say so, but other studies still said the more you cut out the greater your risk of arthritis.

If you cut it out you’ll have less cartilage where you are supposed to have it.

The other option for surgery…

Shall we try to ‘stitch’ your meniscus back together?

There seems to be a shift towards stitches when possible since the studies show that partial meniscectomy often leads to arthritis.

But it depends on the doctor.

Repair does sound better.

But it’s still not without risk.

Some doctors say that stitches and repair won’t work if the tear is in the white zone (non-vascular part) of the meniscus.

I would avoid these doctors as there are techniques out there…

Others say it can work and there are different techniques to encourage bleeding to help it heal.

And…

I saw one Youtube video (sorry can’t remember which one) of a before and after stitch (1 year later) in the ‘white zone’ that healed.

You could see a scar of the stitch mark in the healed part (scoped).

And this also suggests (to be mentioned below) that the non-vascularized part of the meniscus does have some healing potential.

Which goes against popular opinion.

Yet…

I read that in one study there is still a chance of 25% of failure or second op with repair. I saw two surgeons here in Fukuoka. One said he would go in and try to stitch it, but if the condition was bad cut it out.

I didn’t like that.

But I think a lot of surgeons will say that.

I saw a second one and he seemed against partial men. and pro stitches. But repair is like 5 months out and like 6 weeks on crutches.

And you are still placing a lot of trust in someone.

Both surgeons said PRP was like the 2nd best option but remember they are orthopedic surgeons.

Ask a surgeon what you should do he will probably say, “surgery” because that’s what he does.

There are some surgeons who will use stitches that don’t dissolve and even one guy in the linked-to thread below said he has anchors left in his knee from the surgeon that he can feel when he walks around.

I met one guy (Absenceofgoodnames) in this thread I started that had multiple surgeries on his knees and suggested that I wait. That might have affected me as there were some in that thread that had bad experiences with surgery and a fewer number not.

So I would do thorough research (and on your doctor and his methods) before trying any surgery.

Because different doctors have different methods and beliefs about what works and doesn’t.

Based on what I learned…

Maybe consider surgery especially if:

  • the tear is unstable
  • there is catching or locking

But maybe consider some other options first despite your pain and desire to ‘fix it’ now because it might not actually fix it and it could make it worse.

Yet, if you don’t do anything there is a chance that you will get arthritis too.

Unfortunately, there are 800,000 meniscus tears in the US annually, but only 10% are repaired. Source.

Learn more about surgery and how to heal your meniscus.

2. PRP (inject your own blood into the knee) or stem cells to help heal your meniscus

I would try this first before any surgery and I can now say that I have done something like this.

That’s right.

I withdrew my own blood and injected it in my knee 2 times successfully and failed two other times.

Probably not something you want to try, but I did since…

The price is high here in Japan at $1000 for one shot which may help but one shot may not be enough. Some recommend 3-4 shots.

PRP is not usually covered by insurance.

I injected my own blood into my knee (DIY PRP?)

Is whole blood as good as PRP?

I can tell you that your whole blood probably has plenty of platelets in it as one of the times that I failed injecting it was because the blood coagulated in the syringe and wouldn’t come out.

PRP or whole blood makes sense cause think about it

If you do your research you’ll read that only 1/3 of your meniscus gets blood so the other part can’t heal.

This is everywhere on the web.

That’s what all the orthopedics will say.

Like I said everyone is biased including doctors because it’s in their interests to do surgery as that’s how they get paid (usually).

Sometimes they may get paid regardless like here in Japan with public healthcare, but it’s still their training.

Some people (including doctors) are more conventional in their beliefs and others lesser so.

Convention is likely old medicine and that’s likely what your average doctor is practicing.

Better than PRP or whole blood would be ‘STEM CELLS’

Whoa.

But those are going to cost you more. Like maybe 2-5 times as much as PRP.

Joe Rogan had them injected in his knee (mentioned in his podcast with David Sinclair) and Conor McGregor had them done for his ACL.

Another option…

Learn how to maximize your body’s ‘stem cells’ without injections here.

3. WAIT (stay off it and let your body try to heal your meniscus without surgery)

When it hurts you don’t want to wait, but chances are it will get better… if you wait. If you go back too soon you will make it worse and then you are going backwards.

Just stay off it.

Maybe even get some crutches for a while.

When it hurts more sit down or lie down and wait and rest.

Don’t push through it.

But your doctor may tell you it won’t heal…

The first tear I had in 2015.

I stopped bjj/judo for 2 months. It healed about 90% it’s original…

Then starting about 9 months ago (2019) I think I might have torn it again mildly.

Then there was a slow downward progression with it getting worse with occasional popping and a little pain probably cause I didn’t stop and let it heal.

Then one night POP, POP, POP trying a reverse triangle choke.

I went to the doctor. Got radiated with an X-Ray and then an MRI which said a medial meniscus tear.

The same spot as the first.

Hmm.

So perhaps that spot was weakened from the first or it didn’t completely heal the first time or I just re-tore it again in the same spot.

I think it probably didn’t completely heal.

Will it heal on it’s own?

I think that depends on the tear type. From what I’ve gathered it doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t heal on its own if it’s in the ‘white zone’.

But if the tear is big and open then maybe that’s harder to heal on its own.

And unfortunately I don’t think there is any way of knowing the true condition of the tear without going in with a scope.

And your doctor probably won’t go in and let you look at it to decide what to do even though that might be best.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WHILE YOU WAIT?

Learn how to heal your meniscus without surgery here.

4. REHAB your meniscus

You need to rest before the rehab so don’t push it too soon.

You can do some basic leg lifts to the front, side and back. A lot of reps and work your muscles without stressing your knees like you would in a squat.

Here’s a good gentle one…

Do this exercise as it helps lubricate the knees and helps transport nutrients in the knee. I did this daily for a year after I tore my meniscus the 1st time. And just got a reminder to do it again.

Start learning a complete meniscus rehab protocol now.

How does the meniscus get its nutrition?

So I looked at a few papers. And what I gathered is that it gets it from synovial fluid, possibly the underlying bone and peripheral part that gets blood flow.

And I read one source that says there are blood cells in synovial fluid and another that said only minimal blood cells.

The transport of solute from the joint cavity into the cartilage can take place by two mechanisms:
(1) pure diffusion due to solute concentration gradient and (2) by mechanical pumping action. Source

…vascular recession does not significantly alter nutrient levels in the meniscus, reducing at most 5% of the nutrient content in the central portion of the tissue. Therefore, our analysis suggests that reduced vascularity is not likely a primary initiating source in tissue degeneration. However, it does feasibly play a key role in inability for self-repair, as seen clinically. Source

And remember those stem cell shots mentioned above?

Well, guess what you actually have some there right now.

So that suggests that even though there is no blood flow the synovial fluid does contain nutrients although lower in number.

Although relatively uncommon, spontaneous healing from a meniscus injury has been observed even within the avascular area. Source

Also… I am looking into…

Learn more about healing your meniscus.

5. BPC 157 to heal your meniscus

As of now I haven’t made a post about this yet, but I will.

Peptides are one of the cheaper options and in my research possibly better than PRP, surgery, stem cells, etc. But there is not many studies on them with humans.

TB500 and BPC 157 as well as others have shown in animal studies that they can repair and regenerate cartilage, ligaments and bone.

I’ve been using the peptide BPC 157 and injecting it in my knee or around my knee.

It’s a peptide that is in your stomach acid originally, but is made in a lab and has 15 amino acids. I read quite a few favorable stories about this and cartilage repair.

My experience has been…

Like I said I hobbled around for about 6 weeks before I noticed much improvement.

But…

Around the 6 week mark I did my first DIY blood injection mentioned above. And then around 7 weeks I started BPC.

I have seen improvement with a decrease in pain later in the day. Previously I had more pain standing and walking later in the day after 3 or 4 pm.

Before walking felt more sketchy. Like if I wasn’t careful I could twist it a certain way and re-injure it.

It’s feeling more stable and strong. As of now I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks. Mostly injecting it 3 times a day (short half life of 4-6 hours), but recently I’ve been squirting it in my mouth.

It’s not as strong orally so you should double the dose. I had no side effects really see the post I made on BPC 157.

There are other peptides too.

Start learning more about using peptides and other methods to heal your knee injury.

GROWTH HORMONE

Read Kareem Abdul jabeer regrew part of his meniscus that was mostly gone. I probably won’t mess with this one. Read it was pricey and has side effects.

I would try a peptide that is a growth hormone secretagogue before straight HGH.

But you can look it up.

Learn how to maximize your body’s growth hormone.

TESTOSTERONE

How can you naturally increase this hormone?

Learn how here.

PROLOTHERAPY

It’s like a mix of saline or sugar injection that causes inflammation and then maybe healing. Not sure about it. Haven’t read much about this, but one doc was talking about combining it with testosterone and another with PRP.

Sounds less convincing than most other injections to me although better than something like cortisone or hyaluronic acid as the later are temporary fixes.

WHAT DOES A MENISCUS TEAR FEEL LIKE?

It effin hurts.

It feels a bit like a big cut and bruise in your knee.

Imagine if you sliced your foot open and then you walked around on barefoot on it.

That’s what it feels like.

Some people get catching and locking. Recently when I re-injured it I got some catching I think in certain positions. Although I haven’t experienced that lately that was closer to the time of injury.

Often on the ground and in newaza and BJJ sometimes. I would feel something hitting or snapping in there. It didn’t ever lock and I don’t want to push it there.

So we are chilling out until 100%. I hope I can get back to 100%.

Two tears…

I’ve had so I am being more cautious with this and feel like I have to intervene and do something. So I’ve so far done 2 blood injections and many injections of BPC 157.

I haven’t been training in almost 9 weeks.

Tell the community about your pain.

What should you do?

My advice…

I wouldn’t rush and I wouldn’t do a partial meniscectomy or if you do that definitely follow up with stem cells or peptides.

I would probably only do surgery if you can’t move your leg or it’s locked, but look for a doctor that will stitch it and make sure you clear that with your doctor.

Because maybe they will say that they will try that, but if they can’t stitch they will remove the torn part.

I don’t know about you but I don’t like that uncertainty.

You don’t want to wake up without a meniscus.

It’s up to you.

I don’t know what’s best.

It’s hard to know what’s best.

I thought about giving all these things a try that I am planning on and then going back to get another MRI ($70 here in Japan) to see if it healed the tear.

And then I could rub it in the face of conventional medicine.

Hehehe…

Some studies show that some people have tears in their knees, but manage fine and have no symptoms. Although some surgeons say they may be more likely to re-tear if untreated.

That’s why they cut it out or stitch it.

And I would also look into PRP, stem cells or peptides to help it heal.

Also waiting and resting and rehabing will likely help some.

And if you are considering surgery I’d see the Reddit thread for possible outcomes.

Oh yeah think that’s where I first heard of BPC 157.

Related:

P.S. Are you a grappler?

Both tears happened with big fat careless f*&@! (YES, I AM BITTER ABOUT IT) who tried jumping moves:

  1. Jumping guard
  2. Kani basami (scissors throw)

Both have a history of knee injuries. Very dangerous and stupid to do. Now illegal in judo for that reason.

You can see that post and video here (with gnarly footage).

Don’t experiment on your partner.

Do you want someone to try their flying moves on you?

If you are bigger than your opponent or partner then effin respect the difference.

RESPECT YOUR PARTNER.

Big or small.

Get out of your head.

Play the game, but play smart.

If you happen to encounter a wild boar in the woods in Japan here is what you do

trail in japan
I saw big ugly mama boar down on the trail in front of me.

So I was about 20-30 minutes into a hike here in Fukuoka and having a good conversation with myself when I heard some noise in the woods.

I stopped, looked and listened.

Then below me on the hillside I saw something moving. Was it a squirrel? Was it some sort of muskrat? No, I suddenly saw it and it was a wild boar.

He was pretty small and brown, but there was more noise and then I saw another run along the hillside below me. And then I looked down the trail in the direction I was heading and there was a big ugly one there staring at me.

For a second I felt spooked then I put my hands up in the air. He barked and ran off down the side of the hill.

So what they say works with bears and other wild animals works with wild boars and I didn’t even have to use my judo or jiu-jitsu^^

Perhaps that’s another form of jiu-jitsu.

First time I saw them in person. I’ve seen their marks and spots where they dig up the forest. And I even saw a skull of theirs once.

I see cages sometimes where they try to trap them so they might be a nuisance in Japan.

There’s a picture of one here. I think the big one I saw had tusks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_boar

 

My 2nd Judo Competition for shodan (black belt) in Japan

On Monday I did this competition again. This was the 2nd time. I had a tie and only got a half a point. So now I have 2.5 points.

This was taken from the other day when I did a judo competition at the Fukuoka Budokan. This competition is called “shodan shinsa” and it’s a test where if you get a certain number of wins you can qualify for a black belt.

It’s a bit anxiety producing and if you ever competed before you will know.

This was a draw.

Neither myself or opponent won so I only got a half of a point and was eliminated. If you lose or tie you get eliminated. To lose is zero points. In my first one I won two matches.

I almost got some submissions. An arm lock from reverse triangle in the beginning, but the ref called matte right when I was about to get it.

ARGHHHH^^.

And another armbar, almost but not that time my technique might have needed an adjustment.

In judo they call matte pretty quick when you are on the ground.

Cheesy yoga on the beach in Japan

This was a hot summer day from a few months ago. I rode my bike out to Nishijin in west Fukuoka and went to the beach. I like it out there.

I then decided to do some yoga.

Here we go. Hmm, my posture is not perfect…


This was actually the second time in the same day. Sometimes I do that. But I usually do yoga in the late morning.

BJJ vs. Judo – What’s the difference?

I’ve practiced both BJJ and judo. I currently live and train in Fukuoka, Japan, but started in San Francisco, CA.

I made this video out near Meinohama beach. There is an area that I like going to and I rode around on my bike and talked. Later I added some footage of myself practicing judo and BJJ mostly in Japan, but there is some from CCSF.

What judo is mostly

First let’s start with the goal.

Ippon is the goal and that is either a throw where the opponent lands on his back, a pin or a submission.

Kodakan judo was a complete grappling program, but nowadays judo is mostly stand up grappling and throws. The rules to judo have changed over the years to partly suit the needs of television viewers.

Watching ground grappling was boring, but watching someone getting thrown is exciting. So they changed the rules to please the TV viewers – so my former sensei Mitchell Palacio said.

In a judo competition a person can win by ippon which is either a throw where the opponent lands on his back, a pin, or a submission.

If the fight goes to the mat and there is no submission within a certain amount of time they will stand them back up again.

What’s judo practice like?

It depends on the school. At CCSF in San Fran, practice starts with some running and light calisthenics, then forward rolls, ukemi: side and back falls, then maybe the teacher will teach techniques, uchikomi: drilling the throw without throwing, nagekomi: letting your partner throw you and then finally randori.

That was at CCSF.

I have been training at Fukuoka univ. and that’s higher level judo. Some stuff is similar to CCSF, but more intense and I didn’t see anyone teach a throwing technique.

Maybe cause all of them were black belts (except me) and it is assumed that you know all of them.

There practice looks something like this:

  1. Warm up: stretching, falling, rolling, walking, running, walking on your hands, cartwheels, etc.
  2. 5 minute intense interval exercises: jumping, running in place, push ups, sit ups, burpees, side steps, mountain climbers, etc. (It gets the blood flowing!)
  3. Uchikomi – drilling the throwing technique without the throw
  4. Nagekomi – letting your partner throw you often 5 times and then switching
  5. Different kinds of randori – free sparring sessions
  6. Something where one person has to fight many people in a row without a break
  7. Newaza – ground sparring where you try to pin or submit your partner

So far out of the 4 classes I have been to there hasn’t been much newaza. One day they practiced some pins from the turtle position and another did newaza sparring.

All of my judo practices have been 2 hours.

The place where I train now is called Sekiryukan and we don’t really do much of a warm up. You can on your own and then we do uchikomi or newaza sparring and then tachiwaza or standing randori.

What jiu-jitsu is mostly

First off you should know that jiu-jitsu or “BJJ” evolved from judo. However, it’s focus is newaza.

The goal of jiu-jitsu is a submission. Unlike judo a pin or throw can’t end the match or win it.

What’s jiu-jitsu practice like?

It depends on the school. Some schools have an intensive workout and others not.

Many have a warm up like this:

  1. Running
  2. Backfalls
  3. Shrimps (sometimes in reverse)
  4. Hip escapes
  5. Forward rolls
  6. Backward rolls
  7. Side shrimp (not that common and difficult)
  8. Back fall with technical stand up
  9. Bear crawls
  10. Crab walks

Then the teacher usually teaches some techniques and you get to practice them with a partner.

Then sometimes there is drilling where you start in a certain position try to escape and/or submit your partner.

Sometimes there is a king of the mountain where the winner stays and the loser goes. And others where one person stays regardless of if they win or lose.

Then there is sparring. You are free to spar with your classmates. The times are often 6 minute rounds although I have seen 2 minute rounds at CCSF and at another school when it is busy.

Sensei Palacio at CCSF has a sort of nagekomi version of jiu-jitsu where you let your partner do a few moves and then switch.

I think that is cool. You choose the technique. I haven’t seen this at any other school.

Jiu-jit$u is more profit driven

BJJ is more profit driven. It’s more of a money making scheme. It’s more entrepreneurial.

Judo on the other hand is not. In Japan it’s part of the school system. Many students will choose whether to do kendo or judo.

That’s part of the school system. I know judo and kendo are both part of many school systems and I had friends in Japan that both did kendo and judo in school.

So it’s kind of like wrestling in the USA which is also part of the school system. Not in all schools, but in many.

Here are some examples from here in Fukuoka, Japan where I am currently. I have been to 3 different places inquiring about judo.

  1. Meidoukan. Charges 10,000 Yen ($100) a year plus an additional fee of 1,900 Yen a month I think. You can train 3 days a week.
  2. Sekiryukan. Charges 3,500 Yen a month and you can train 3 days a week.
  3. University of Fukuoka. Now I just walked into this place and it’s quite impressive. It has a huge bright yellow and red mat and so far they haven’t asked me for any money.

So you can see that it’s cheaper.

BJJ on the other hand is entrepreneurial.

I currently pay 10,800 Yen ($100) a month to train at Axis jiu-jitsu.

Tri-Force jiu-jitsu charges the same.

I went to another place called Carpe Diem and the guy said 20,000 Yen a month. And I thought the guy was trying to take advantage of the dumb new foreigner in town…

Haha.

Nice try.

So I left.

I train at Axis jiu-jitsu now for 2 reasons. One it’s closer to my house and two the sensei invited me to train for free on my first day.

The other 2 schools in Fukuoka wanted me to pay right away.

I guess in the USA I got used to a free first class.

In San Francisco I used to train judo and jiu-jitsu a lot at City College which is almost free or is free now I think.

I also trained at Romelo Melo occasionally which was like $160 a month or $130 when I signed a contract for my first year.

I don’t like contracts though and after 14 months there I went to CCSF to learn some judo and jiu-jitsu.

Caeser Gracie was like $120 for a few months.

Evolve jiu-jitsu was like $130 I think, but I only went there for the free open mats on Friday.

Ralph Gracie was like $180 a month, but I only went to a few open mats in Berkeley and once in downtown SF.

So jiu-jitsu costs more money and it’s more entrepreneurial.

Jiu-jitsu is also more branded like: 10th planet, Gracie, Alliance, etc. In judo there are no brands.

Judo is judo.

Judo is usually more academic and less profit driven

You can probably train judo somewhere for free actually. Well, you might be able to depending on where you are. I did. City College in San Francisco is now free as far as I know. When I started there it was like $80 a semester.

Certainly there are places that will make you pay for judo probably like BJJ, but I haven’t been there. Where I currently train in Fukuoka, Japan costs about $30USD a month. On top of that I have been a guest at a couple of universities and a high school in Japan for free.

I also entered a competition for judo shodan for free.

Competitions in BJJ can cost quite a bit like maybe $100. The only BJJ competitions that I did where at City College and those were pretty cheap like maybe $25 if I remember correctly.

Are the mat’s the same?

Mats will vary from gym to gym, but in my experience I’d say that BJJ mats tend to be softer which may seem ironic. Both the surface of the mat and the cushion part of the mat tend to be softer in BJJ gyms.

And judo mats tend to be more firm, but sometimes have springs in the floor. Judo mats tend to also have rougher surface material on them too. One thing that I have noticed about the really soft mat where I currently train BJJ is that doing stand up techniques like throws and moving around is more difficult cause the floor is spongy like.

Are the gi’s the same?

At first glance it may look as if the gi’s are the same. They are similar, but judo gi’s have a longer skirt – the part of the jacket below the belt.

White is the traditional color and blue is also usually acceptable at least for competition.

Jiu-jitsu gi’s have a shorter skirt and the gi’s tend to have a lot of advertising on them with logos and what not.

In jiu-jitsu there are:

  • White gi’s
  • Blue gi’s
  • Black gi’s
  • Camouflage gi’s
  • Pink gi’s
  • Purple gi’s
  • Red gi’s

And probably more.

But in judo it’s only white and blue. Logos are not common like in BJJ, but some companies do put smaller logos on their gi’s like “Mizuno”.

And then in Japan the judoka’s often put their name on the back of the jacket.

Also another slight difference is what people wear under their gi’s. In judo most males do not wear anything under their gi, but in jiu-jitsu I would say many males wear t-shirts or rash guards under their gi’s.

What are the belts like?

In BJJ you have five belt colors: white, blue, purple, brown and black. Some schools also place stripes on belts to measure progress through the belts.

The belt colors are similar around the world.

In judo you have some variance of the belt colors depending on the school and country. Where I trained at City College in San Francisco we had: white, green, brown (w/ 3 degrees) and black.

I have also seen students from other academies and countries wearing yellow (which might be a youth belt) and blue belts which might be higher than green belts.

In Japan there’s usually only white and black belts. At the youth level there may be some schools that use brown and green.

There are also certain levels of black belts called degrees in BJJ and dans in judo. In judo a very high level black belt may receive a red belt at 9th or 10th dan, but these high ranks are rare.

How long does it take to get a black belt?

In BJJ most say it takes 10 years, but it really depends. I know brown and purple belts who have been practicing for 10 years. I even met a blue belt who said he had been practicing for 10 years.

If you are extremely gifted and you practice often It can take less time.

In judo it’s generally easier to get a black belt called a shodan. It depends on the school – always and you.

My teacher at CCSF said you can do it in 2. Judo is more academic so it seems like if you just apply yourself every semester and do the tests you can level up. But most took around 5 years there I think.

Here in Japan you have to do a competition called shodan shinsa. You have to win 4 times and do the kata.

Judo is more formal and there are more rules

As mentioned earlier it’s common to bow in judo when stepping on the mat or at the beginning or end of class. Traditionally you either sit on the mat kneeling or cross legged.

If you don’t your teacher might yell at you.

In jiu-jitsu I haven’t been to a school that told me to sit a certain way. It’s just generally more relaxed and less formal.

If you’re belt comes undone then you tie it back up and tuck your gi in. If your belt comes undone in BJJ it doesn’t really matter in fact many people will just take it off. And throw it to the side.

If you try that in judo you will probably get yelled at like I was once.

In judo there are certain ways of bowing and beginning randori, competitions and even uchikomi sometimes. You bow and step in with your left foot first and then your right and then “hajime!” begin.

When you finish you step out with your right foot first and then your left and then bow.

At the end of the class you bow out usually and hands at your side left foot back to your knee, right foot back to your knee while on your toes and then point your toes back and come to seiza – kneeling.

To get up you get off your butt, get on your toes and then step your right foot forward and then left and stand.

Should you bow or handshake?

In jiu-jitsu it’s common to shake hands with your classmates in some dojos and then again when you leave. And in all of the dojos that I have ever rolled in you always slap hands and then fist bump your partner before you spar.

In judo shaking hands is not common.

I remember when I first started judo after about a year of jiu-jitsu. I went to the class and tried shaking my teachers hand and he just kind of looked at me in a cold and indifferent manner and offered me a limp hand.

I don’t think he liked hand shakes.

In judo you bow and it’s called “rei”. You often bow in the beginning of class and at the end and at those times you sometimes kneel and “bow”. Sometimes you bow when you step on and off the mat.

You usually bow when you do randori with your partner too.

What’s the difference between judo newaza and BJJ?

Well, as far as Kodakan judo goes I’ll make some generalizations here based on my experience. Of course a judoka could train Kosen judo which is uncommon and that could affect their style or maybe they also train BJJ or wrestling.

But…

  • A lot of the judokas are going to go for a pin if you “roll” (BJJ term) with them and when they pin you they might stop because they won in their mind. Their are a lot more pin positions in judo that aren’t commonly used in BJJ.
  • They tend to be top dominant and don’t play guard.
  • They might roll over and give you their back which doesn’t happen in BJJ.
  • They might be faster and more aggressive. Not sure why it seems that way, but maybe because there is a time limit in judo for newaza.
  • There are also shorter sparring rounds in judo which have been 2-3 minutes and in jiu-jitsu 5-6 minutes. Kosen judo competitions are 6 minutes long.

Kosen judo

Kosen judo has a different rule set that allows for more newaza and some of the techniques currently forbidden in Kodokan judo.

It is more akin to old judo.

  1. You can pull your opponent to the ground (kinda like pulling guard in BJJ)
  2. You can do ashi garame which is not allowed in kodakan judo and in some BJJ competitions.
  3. You can’t do any leg submissions.
  4. You can win by ippon: pin, submission, or clean throw.
  5. There is no time limit to be on the ground.

Watch this video of a Kosen judo competition.

I did a judo competition in Japan called “shodan shinsa” yesterday

This test for judo is called “shodan” shinsa. Shodan is the first level of the black belt in judo. I did this test in Fukuoka, Japan yesterday.

In America and at least where I started judo at CCSF there is a different ranking system for belts.

white>green>brown>black

And brown belts have 3 degrees. And then of course black belts have varying degrees going upwards of maybe 9 or so degrees.

But in Japan there is only:

white>black

There are no colored belts between white and black.

And…

To get a black belt or even the next level of black belt you have to do a test. And this test varies for adults and children. For adults you have to compete and fight against others who are also competing for a black belt.

It’s a single elimination competition which means if you lose once you’re out. And you have to accumulate enough points and your first time that is 4.5 points which means you have to win like 4 or 5 times in a row.

If you don’t you can try again at the next competition.

I did this in Fukuoka yesterday. I probably wouldn’t have but my dojo where I got the cultural visa to stay in Japan encouraged me to do so.

As you might expect it was a bit scary like other BJJ competitions that I did. This was the first judo one that I did.

I get a lot anxiety and anticipation and all the fears like: getting hurt, this isn’t that important, why should I do this, I am going to lose, I’m not good enough – all those fears that other people get.

But amongst all those negative thoughts and feelings – actually most of the time it’s a feeling – kind of like public speaking or a performance if you have ever done that.

But I try to inject into my mind some positive thoughts too like:

“You’ll probably win or learn something” which was true.

But when the fight starts the feelings are gone and you are in the moment.

I did win two and I did learn something about the rules and about how I can work on my tani otoshi counter.

Getting a black belt isn’t the ultimate goal. The goal is to learn and have fun doing so. Although I am not sure it’s always fun, but 99% of the time it makes me feel better.

Like the competition it would have been easier to just say no I don’t need to do this because I have done that before with jiu-jitsu competitions, but I knew that if I did it I would feel better.

It’s just about pushing through those fears and discomfort.

I am also happy that I got a couple of throws because I am better on the ground and have about 4 times the amount of experience and hours doing BJJ than I do judo tachi waza (throws).

There is another competition like this in November and I will probably do it because I started it so now I feel like I have to finish it.

Occasionally some people will win 4 or 5 matches in a row and get the black belt, but my friends tell me more often than not it can take 2-3 times.

I know one that said it took 7 times as a teen, another 4 times and another who actually won 6 in a row on his first time for shodan, but then said for yon dan (4th degree) it took him 3 or 4 times.

Judo is actually called “the gentle way”

Haha… really?

Yep, but it doesn’t look or feel gentle most the time. But what is meant by that I think is finding the opening for a move or submission or where the opponent is off balance for a throw. Like in the pic above in the thumbnail to this video.

I threw that guy with an osoto gari.

He was stronger, probably weighed more, more aggressive and a bit spastic, but I found the path of the least resistance and threw him there and that’s judo – finding and seeing the openings and then capitalizing on them.