Tournament Tips


Scranton MMA will be sending seven competitors to the IBJJF New York Summer Open this weekend. This is an internationally ranked tournament, and we are proud of our students for even wanting to go out there and give it their all. We’re not expecting everyone to bring home medals because in the end it’s about learning, not winning. But we’re very confident that everyone is going to leave everything on that mat and be a respectful athlete!

For those of our students who are competing this weekend or want to compete in the future, here are some tips for the day of the tournament to keep you feeling cool, calm, and confident.

It’s just rolling 

Rolling. We do it every day on the mats with our friends. It’s not that scary, right? So when you’re out there at your first competition (or every competition in the future), just remember that you’re just rolling with a new person! There’s no need to make it too serious, or feel like there’s a ton of weight on your shoulders. Just go out there, slap hands, and do your thing!

Play your game 

Now I know for some people it’s difficult to think about competing as having fun. Some people are very competitive, and want to go for the win. If that’s your gameplan, then you need to do your own thing. Don’t let the other person set the pace or get their grips first. If you know what you want to do, just do it. Set your grips, set the pace, and impose your gameplan. If you get the first move of the match, you’re already a step ahead of your opponent.


Sometimes when you’re competing you forget to breathe. It sounds silly, but it’s true. We’ve all done it. You get so caught up in the moment that you forget to breathe. This leads to rapid fatigue to the muscles due to less oxygen flow to the muscles. It could also lead to feeling light headed and give you a cloudy mind. You want your body and mind to be functioning at 100% at all times throughout your matches, so remember to BREATHE and relax.

So there you have it! It takes a lot of heart to compete, and we’re very proud of all of our students who are stepping on the IBJJF mats this weekend. When you’re out there, remember to keep it light, play your game, and breathe. Good luck to everyone this weekend, and thank you for representing Scranton MMA!
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Eat Right – Train Right – Diet Tips From Scranton MMA


Today I would like to share with you some diet and nutrition tips that will help you get the most out of your training at Scranton MMA.

Get The Most Out Of Your Training

First you have to realize how important you diet is once  you start training.  A good diet will help give you the fuel you need for your training sessions and they will also help you recover from them as well.

On the other hand if you do not eat properly and neglect your diet your workouts will suffer and you will not have the energy you should for your workout.  Your recovery will also suffer and it could negatively impact your next training session as well.

Some guidelines for a pre workout meal are that you want to it to provide energy and protein. You also want to make sure it is something that you can digest in time before you get on the mat.  Having a huge meal and then stepping right on the mat is something most people will not enjoy.

Energy will come from carbohydrates and / or fats.  The energy is obviously important especially with long and intense training sessions. Protein is also an important part of a pre workout meal because it will definitely help you perform better when compared to a meal with just carbs and/or fats.

Give Yourself Options

I want to stress that there are many ways you can fuel your body in a healthy way that will give you tons of energy and it is important that you find a way or several ways that will work for you.  Since most of us live a hectic life with a very busy schedule I suggest you find a few ways to fuel your body before you train.

I like to have some options that I can take with me on the road or leave in my office or in a cooler bag.  I try to make sure I always have something I can eat before training in my car or in a cooler bag that I have with me.

What To Eat

I always pack things like fruit, sandwiches, quinoa salads, greek yogurt, meal replacement bars and meal replacement powders and of course leftovers from earlier in the week.  I want to have a few options and I definitely want to have some options that I can eat cold.

If you are home and have more time to plan then you will definitely have more options but the guidelines are still the same.  Make sure you it has some carbs/fats and some protein in the meal as well.

Make The Most Of Your Training Time

Most of us are only able to train a few times per week and it is important that we do everything we can to get the most out of our training time. If you take the time to plan out good pre workout nutrition it will definitely help you get more out of your training.  You will have a lot more energy which will help you get in more reps during drilling time and it will let you get more rounds in during sparring time.

So please take the time and plan out what you are going to eat before you train.
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Don’t Be The Stinky Guy (or Gal)


Jiu Jitsu and judo are close contact activities. You’re bound to smell all of your training partners sooner or later while you’re training with them. And they’re bound to smell you too. That’s why it’s important to keep your training gear clean. Keeping your gis and rash guards clean ensures you won’t be the stinky guy in class. A clean gi also makes for a healthier academy!

I’ve been training for a little over four years now, and I’ve had my fair share of frustrations with trying to get the stink out of my Gis. I’ve developed a system that works for me, and I want to share my tips with you so your Gis can come out clean and smelling fresh too!

Tip #1: Don’t re-use a dirty gi 

Training at Scranton MMA gets tough. When we work hard during class, we get sweaty and it gets soaked into our Gis. Even our training partners’ sweat gets on our Gis. There’s no getting around it. Our Gis are going to get stinky. The stink is caused by sweat and bacteria. After rolling in your gi for one training session, please wash it before you use it again. This will not only keep you from being the stinky guy (or girl), but it also keeps our mats clean for the rest of the students.

Tip #2: Wash your Gis alone.

When it’s time to do the laundry, try separating your regular clothes from your Gis and other training gear. When you mix your regular clothes with your gis, your washer might become crowded. This causes the washer to work improperly and your gis won’t get the wash they need. Also, separating your Gis will keep the sweaty germs away from your clothes.

Tip #3: Use scent boosters in the wash.

Companies such as Downy, Gain, and Sunggle all make in-wash scent boosters that you can throw right into the wash. I use my regular laundry detergent, and throw the scent boosters right into the drum of the washer. When the wash is over and you open the door of the washer, you’ll immediately smell the freshness of your Gis!

Tip #4: Dry your Gis immediately.

After your Gis have finished washing, take them out of the washer and dry them as soon as you can. If you leave them in the washer for too long, they will start to form mildew and get stinky again. So, whether you like to hang them or put them in the dryer, make sure you do it as soon as the Gis are cleaned!

So there you have it. Those are my tips for keeping your Gis clean and free of bacteria. You don’t have to follow my system exactly, but the one tip I do ask you to follow is Tip #1. It is so important not to re-wear a dirty gi on the mats. We don’t want any germs spreading around the academy! Our staff does our best to keep the mats clean, and we ask you to do the same!
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Advanced BJJ at Scranton MMA

advanced class

At Scranton MMA, we offer nay different martial arts styles including Muay Thai, MMA, Judo, and Jiu Jitsu. One of our most popular classes is our Gracie 101, or the beginner jiu jitsu classes. This program shows you the basics of jiu jitsu, and how it can be used for self defense. After a few months of the program, though, you might feel the need to start learning some new moves, and that’s great! Jiu Jitsu is all about perfecting the basics, and learning new techniques.

If you’ve been taking the Gracie 101 class for a few months, and feel the need to start learning more, than maybe it’s time to start taking our Advanced BJJ class. This class goes more into depth about techniques used in sport jiu jitsu. Now, don’t go getting all nervous on me. Just because you’re going to take a sport jiu jitsu class doesn’t mean you HAVE to compete in a tournament. You can take our advanced jiu jitsu class just because you think it’s fun! There’s nothing more fun than learning a new move in class and pulling it off in a sparring round with your best buddy. Once you start taking the class, you’ll be hooked on the fun and the adrenaline of learning new moves and getting some good rounds with everyone!

If the advanced class sounds interesting to you, then talk to one of the instructors about it. We’ll watch how you do in the Gracie 101 class, and decide if you’re ready for the advanced class. When you start taking the advanced class, we’ll probably ask you to continue taking the beginner lessons in the Gracie 101 program. It is very important that even our most advanced students keep up on their basics. The basics the very foundation of every other move you’ll learn in jiu  jitsu!

So, to all of our Gracie 101 students, just think about how you’ve been doing in the Gracie 101 classes. Are you familiar with the techniques we show you? Are you doing well during the live drills at the end of class? Are you able to help out the newer students when they are a little lost? If so, flag down one of the instructors, and let us know you’re interested in the advanced BJJ classes. Until then, happy training!
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More Sleep, Better Health



As a baby, you couldn’t help but do it. As a teenager, it’s the last thing you wanted to do. As an adult, you envy people who get more of it than you!

When you begin your journey at Scranton MMA, a lot starts to change about you. You start caring more about your physical health. You try to train more often, eat a little healthier, ankd drink more water. Doing all these things is a sure way to improve your health, but it’s possible you could be missing out on a huge factor: sleep!

A lot of people don’t realize that sleep is just as important to your health as regular exercise and a nutritious diet. Sleep is involved in numerous bodily functions and maintainer processes in the body. Some of the processes include cell repair, hormone balance, and immune system strength.

Cellular Repair

You may have noticed that after a good night’s sleep, you feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. But have you ever thought about why you feel so refreshed? It is because while you sleep, the cells in your body are regenerating and repairing themselves. Throughout the day, we are constantly moving and shaking (and training!). This constant movement physically breaks down the cells of our muscles and organ systems. Fortunately, while we sleep our body releases growth hormone, a hormone that stimulates cellular repair. Thanks to sleep, we can spar round after round and still wake up the next day repaired and rejuvenated!

Hormone Balance

As mentioned before, our body releases hormones while we sleep. When we don’t get enough sleep, the balance gets thrown off. Some important hormones involved in hunger are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the hormone that signals your body that it is hungry. Leptin does that opposite, telling you you’re full. When you don’t get enough sleep, your levels of ghrelin increase and your levels of leptin decrease. If you’re not sleeping enough, you feel hungrier which prompts you to eat more. Overeating can cause weight gain. So, to keep your hormones in check and control your appetite, get more sleep!

Immune Strength

Your immune system is an army of different types of cells that fight off anything it doesn’t recognize as itself. When an invader is recognized, special cells emit a protein called interleukins. The job of interleukins is to signal more immune cells to come to the area to attack the invader. A large amount of interleukins is emitted when we sleep. Without enough sleep, there is an insufficient amount of the protein. This means if there’s an invader, the immune army isn’t strong enough to fight it off. The end result is illness, which could put you out of commission for days. Most of us can’t afford to take days off, so get your sleep and stay healthy!

How much sleep do we need?

Now you know why you need more sleep. But how much do we actually need? According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults ages 18-64 need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you’re getting less sleep than that per night, you could run into some health problems as mentioned above.

So, the next time you’re up late watching TV instead of going to bed, remember how important it is to your health. Make better choices today and it will positively affect your health in the future. You’re already off to a good start by training at Scranton MMA and making better food choices. Now you just need to sleep more, and you’ll be the healthiest person you know!
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Independence Day and Bring A Friend Week Success!


It’s the Fourth of July! Or as it should be said, Independence Day!  239 years ago today, our country gained its independence from England by having a goal in mind and persevering through the hard times. The founding fathers of our country should be an inspiration to the rest of us striving to achieve our goals. So, while you’re eating your fruit salad and watching the fireworks shows today, remember why we have our freedom… Because our founding fathers didn’t give up on their goals!


Scranton MMA’s first ever Bring A Friend Week was held last week. Our students brought their friends and family to classes, and were entered into a raffle for cool prizes!

After making sure we had all the participants accounted for, we randomly drew for the winners. The winner of the Best Buy gift card is NICK PERKINS, and the winner of the six month membership is his friend Julie!

We want to thank everyone for being so awesome and bringing their buddies to Scranton MMA last week. And remember, your friends are ways welcome to train with us!
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Women’s Only Self Defense


When you hear “MMA”, you probably think of big, muscular guys throwing each other around right? Well at Scranton MMA, we break that stereotype every day! We make mixed martial arts training available for every type of person. We have classes for adults and children, competitors and hobbyists, and men and women! On Thursday nights at 5:00, Scranton MMA holds a women’s only self defense class for women looking to get their feet wet in Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

During the women’s only self defense class on Thursdays, our female instructor Jess Papi, introduces women to the basics of Jiu Jitsu for self defense. She shows the women in class how technique and leverage can be used against a bigger, stronger opponent in an attack situation. Jess will be the first person to tell you that Jiu Jitsu techniques WORK against the bigger, stronger guys she trains with every day.

The women’s only class has always been on the schedule at Scranton MMA, but as of recently, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of attendees! We’re so happy to see more women taking the initiative to get healthier and learn how to protect themselves. Learning Jiu Jitsu is a fantastic way to stay in shape and gain confidence. Just ask one of the EIGHT women who attended class last night!

Jess showed the women two different ways to escape from the mount position. The ladies in class worked hard practicing the moves, and had a lot of fun doing it. Some of them even said they were going to practice the moves on their husbands at home! Look out, guys!

Jess is always happy to have new students in her women’s only class, so don’t be afraid to stop by. The class is very beginner friendly, and of course, a lot of fun! To schedule your first class, email us at or call us at 579-851-2987!
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