Showing posts with label MMA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MMA. Show all posts

July 14, 2015

Happy Birthday Saku

Wanted to send out a cheers to my all time favorite MMA fighter Kazushi "The Gracie Hunter" Sakuraba!  I hope someday to meet you and shake your hand, until then please accept a remote Happy Birthday, and thank you for your contributions to martial arts and MMA. 

Here is a great HL tribute to the one of the most respectful fighters ever, one whom never knew the word fear though many coughRicksonGraciecough feared him...



July 12, 2015

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson KO's Ellenberger

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson was the main event at the UFC Ultimate Fighter Finale, and he showed up to his first headlining event with style... placing a pinpoint accurate spinning heel kick Thompson KO'ed Jake Ellenberger, whom many felt would be Stephen's toughest opponent yet. 

   Congrats to RCJ's very own Wonderboy!!  It has been exciting watching you climb the rungs of mixed martial arts. 

May 8, 2015

Metamoris = Mega Misogynistic

Spend any amount of time in the martial art / sport realm of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and you cannot help but notice an inordinate amount of machismo, and unfortunately machismo is accompanied by its close relative sexism.  It is something many of us ignore, or laugh off, but in reality it is becoming a serious issue in our community and it is perpetuated by folks such as Ralek Gracie and his promotion Metamoris which has a PPV event this weekend. 

As if trying to monopolize submission only events via offering exclusive contracts to stars such as Gary Tonon where one of the many ludicrous stipulations was that he can only fight in Metamoris events (keeping in mind there are only two a year), was not enough... Coupled with a purposeful ploy at bumping submission only PPV promoters such as Copa Podio where Metamoris scheduled there events on the same days as Copa twice in an apparent effort to directly compete with PPV audiences.  I suppose there is nothing technically "illegal" with these kinds of behavior but in general they are considered a giant dick move that really is not needed in such a niche community. 

But I personally draw the line when Ralek and his organization is blatantly sexist and misogynistic in there attitude and approach to once again not including any female fighters on the card! 
"We had one match and it was cool, but that was more of. 'Thats cool and that was interesting and I want to see that again if the girls are cute.'You know how it is.  The UFC wouldn't even have a women's division if it wasn't for Ronda Rousey."  - Ralek Gracie in response to no women's matches on the Metamoris 6 card. 

So prior to spending your hard earned money on the Metamoris 6 card this Mothers Day weekend, think about how you would like Ralek to address your mother, sister, aunt, or wife in one of his "Women Empowerment" seminars!?  We have enough problems in this world where we do not need to feed (literally) those who are just plain racist, sexist, or just down right assholish in our martial community.  Please do not support Metamoris for any of the crapola reasons I have listed.  Take your mom out to a nice meal on you instead.  Much better time and money spent, I promise. 

May 4, 2015

BJJ Scout: Ronda Rousey - Judo In MMA

While the IJF is busy trying to differentiate itself by limiting what its members can train / participate / compete in, Ronda Rousey continues her tear through every opponent out there by simply perfecting an amazingly successful hand full of techniques into one comprehensive strategy.  The result is nothing short of beautiful:



Thanks to BJJ Scout for yet another awesome breakdown! 

March 1, 2015

Do MMA (BJJ) Gyms Have a Sexual Harassment Problem?

Inappropriate in Yoga and martial arts!
Nursing the hangover of what can only be called "WOW... WTF was that?!?!?!?" 14 second submission of Cat Zingano via Ronda Rousey, Jake Rossen also dropped a great article over at ESPN entitled "Do MMA Gyms Have a Sexual Harassment Problem?"  Highlighting what seems to be an ever present cloud hanging over the martial arts community with both male and female instructors abusing positions and relationships within various martial arts schools albeit mixed martial arts (MMA), Judo, traditional martial academies, or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) schools.

Click here to read the entire article:

"I believe a Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor's influence on a student is stronger than a doctor, psychologist or lawyer," says Rener Gracie, a member of the legendary martial arts family and a head instructor at the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California. "They put students in impossible scenarios where they have no answer and then teach them the solution. It puts them in a position of being a purveyor of absolute truth and effectiveness. And if this instructor has this degree of truthful knowledge, they must have same answers for life."

(Solid point, but an interesting choice for a quote considering one of Rener's affiliate schools just had a female instructor arrested for alleged molestation crimes)

   In 2013, New Hampshire instructor Aldo Batista dos Santos was charged with multiple counts of felonious sexual assault against a teenage student. A mistrial was declared in August 2014 when a relative of the alleged victim began screaming at dos Santos' lawyer during cross-examination. Dos Santos was subsequently found guilty in a December jury trial.
   "He created an atmosphere where you weren't allowed to question him," says a former male student at dos Santos' academy who asked not to be identified. "When the case broke, he said the student was just trying to sue him for money. But it's a criminal trial."

"It's a situation where you have someone in a high position who isn't often questioned," says AnnMaria De Mars, Ph.D., Rousey's mother and a longtime judo practitioner. "People assume if you can stand up for yourself physically, you can also stand up for yourself emotionally, but that isn't always the case. You can have someone good at a sport that isn't that self-confident."
   Unlike most sports, jiu-jitsu, judo, and other ground arts have mixed-gender practices. Because men far outnumber women, training with the opposite sex becomes a necessity, and female coaches are scarce. As more young women seek out training for recreational or professional goals, few expect the situation Rousey spoke out against -- that they would someday need protection against their own instructor.


I realize there is no one, simple, easy answer to such a complex and variable problem that is not only a part of our own microcosm but in reality is quite a problem throughout society.  But two common aspects I have seen in the majority of these cases are; 1- No oversight from anybody, and I mostly direct this towards parents.  Where are the parents in all this?  A martial arts dojo is NOT a daycare/babysitter.  WHY are you not watching and involved in every aspect possible when your child is in such a situation with ANY adult??  Time to buck up and take some responsibility parents. 
   Secondly an awful lot of these academies are part of chain / affiliate academies.  The economic drive to open multiple schools and subsequently the pressure to fill them with competent instructors and paying students seems to over ride the common sense thought process, or as my grandfather used to simply put it... "You're getting too big for your britches."  Again a lack of control and oversight coupled with poor, quick character judgements by business owners/head instructors.  In my humble opinion there is too many Mc - Academies which carry the names of famous instructors, but don't necessarily extort their morals and lifestyle. 


February 22, 2015

Your Triangles Suck... Here Is Rigan Machado To Help

Random rare Youtube find... I stand to be corrected but I believe this is a copy of the DVD that accompanied Rigan Machado's "The Triangle" book, coauthored by David Meyer, that has been long out of print.  Regardless this is a 90 minute tutorial gold mine of information for martial artists of all backgrounds.  Mastering the triangle choke will make you a more versatile martial artist.  Here is pretty much every detail of how to get into and finish the triangle choke from every conceivable position:


February 18, 2015

Royce Gracie Chimes In on PED's In Mixed Martial Arts

It is scientifically impossible to prove whether continuously being choked out, or PED's (performance enhancing drugs) are the root cause for such ignorant and naive statements to come from Royce Gracie, but here is what he offered to MMAFighting.com on the recent subject of PED's in MMA:

“It shows that the system is working,” “You’re trying to look at the bad side, I’m looking at the good side. Instead of trying to encourage people, ‘Oh, let’s ban MMA because everybody is doing drugs, let’s ban NASCAR because they’re advertising drinking and driving.’ Let’s look at the good side. The system is working. Let’s not try to put down the fighters because one fighter made a mistake, decided to party and do whatever.”
“How many people got caught [recently]? Five?” Gracie said. “Five of how many we have in the sport all over the world? I don’t think it’s a problem.”
“I feel like the system works,” Gracie said. “It’s good. Let’s not think of the bad side, let’s think it’s the good side. It works.
“The system works. That’s why they’re getting caught.”

First of all his analogy is not only completely wrong, it is ignorant.  NASCAR drivers are not drinking prior to racing.  To the best of my limited redneck knowledge this has not been an issue since bootleg days.
Secondly it is sad and pathetic to see Royce Gracie, who many consider an ambassador for MMA and the UFC, not only take PED's but also make ignorant statements like the one above.

In my day to day conversations it has become brilliantly clear that this naivety is pervasive in both our culture and the martial art/sport realm.  People honestly believe the majority of MMA fighters are "clean," which to me means they do not take ANYTHING, EVER.  Yet you push the conversation with folks and you quickly find out what they mean is... the majority of MMA fighters know how to cycle properly so they don't get caught.  For example the argument being that Anderson Silva was recovering from a serious injury (leg break) and therefore was off his normal juice - clean cycle, hence his timing was off, the result being popping hot on several tests.

It is becoming abhorrently apparent to me that this is the nature of our culture / race.  We will lie, cheat, and steal to justify our own end.  Shame on me for thinking the martial arts were immune to such cancer.  I sincerely hope that the mixed martial arts world works to fix this.

February 15, 2015

PED's and Weight Cutting Issues = The Unprofessional Fighting Championship

Rousey in the new SI swimsuit edition
The UFC fan seems to be a magnet for every feasible type of shit sandwhich that could be tossed at it!  Anderson Silva tested positive on a second post fight test, coupled with three more fighters not making weight this past weekend with UFC on Fox Sports One, is leaving the "leader" in mixed martial arts with black eye after black eye.  Now current champ Ronda Rousey and former UFC fighter Brendan Schaub are both chiming in with honestly sharp tongues. 

From Yahoo Sports:

"This is a combat sport, and we're not trying to hit a ball harder," Rousey said. "These drugs can make you hit a person harder. The only reason we're able to do this sport is that the level of human potential is just [low] enough that we can barely allow it. We're right at the threshold.
"It's not like we're getting to the point where it's, 'Oh, we're going to start to have higher world records for weight lifting.' No. We're going to be able to hurt each other more. That's what I'm worried about. I'm worried that this is going to keep escalating and escalating and escalating until somebody dies."

   In reference to those who criticize Rousey for not moving up a weight class to fight Cris Cyborg (who has tested positive for PED's:
 "I've been ready to fight her at any point. She's the one who left the UFC. She's the one who hasn't come to fight me. Because she's a cheater and a fraud, the last thing I'm going to do is make exceptions for her. I'm not going to move up and make things easier for her, because she's been making things easier for herself her whole life. She needs to learn a lesson that you can't do that [expletive] any more. And I'm here to teach everybody else that that is not acceptable. Cheating and bringing a weapon and trying to hurt someone with that weapon is not a way to get a consideration made for you."

   BJJEE.com offered this transcription from an interview with ex-UFC fighter Brendan Schaub:
“Listen, I would love to hear an argument for why I shouldn’t do steroids,” Schaub said. “Give me one. Let’s say I take steroids and test positive. Say I’m a young kid [getting to the UFC] and I ask my dad, ‘Dad, why shouldn’t I take steroids?’ Can I say, ‘Well, you’ll never be world champ.’ That’s not true. Anderson Silva’s world champ. ‘Well, you’ll never fight for a title.’ That’s not true.
   “Chael Sonnen tested positive, fought for a title. ‘Well, you’ll never be ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ coach.’ Nope, Chael Sonnen, Anderson Silva. ‘Well, you’ll never be a main event.’ No, not true. Alistair Overeem’s a main event. Bigfoot Silva’s a main event. ‘Well, listen, you might get fired.’ No, not really. Guys pop all the time. If it’s cheating, everyone else is doing it and they’re getting rewarded for it.”
   “You know what’s infuriating to me? It’s not that I’m not champ,” said Schaub. “It’s not that I’ve lost some fights or won some big fights. It’s more that there’s just no reason everyone shouldn’t take steroids. There’s just not. In the UFC there’s no reason. Someone give me a legit reason why you would tell a young fighter not to take them. I would love to hear a good argument. ‘Well, you’ll get fined $3000 and you’ll have to sit out six months, maybe nine.’ I fight every six months anyway.”
   “I fought a guy named Lavar Johnson. At the weigh-in when he weighed in I went to [UFC president] Dana White like, ‘That guy’s on roids.” They laughed. Everyone’s like, ‘Come on.’ Are you kidding me? The guy is jacked. He could go win Mr. Olympia. My team’s laughing. I’m not laughing. I’ve got to fight him.”
   “So then I fight this guy. I don’t stand with him. I take him down over and over. I just kept taking him down because I knew he was jacked on steroids. I’m not going to play that game. I took a lot of heat for that. Everyone from the company, outside the company, fans, everyone. ‘Why didn’t you stand and bang with him?’ Well, I’m all natural and this guy’s jacked out of his mind on steroids. It doesn’t make sense for me. Make it a level playing field and I’m the Leonard Garcia of the heavyweight division.”
   “Anderson Silva landed some shots on Nick Diaz. Those shots, I promise you, are going to catch up with Nick down the road. Now, we don’t know how severe those shots were but I guarantee it’s more severe when a guy’s on steroids.”

Some solid truth in those words whether you like them or not.  I don't pretend to have all the answers but it is high time we stop pretending and either completely accept that the majority of athletes in ALL sports are juicing to some degree or another, or we completely ban the substances and the culture that surrounds them unequivocally. 

January 31, 2015

UFC: The Unprofessional Fight Club

"Chips" Gastelum needs more salads!

On the eve of one of the most anticipated events ever in UFC PPV history (Diaz vs Silva... return of Anderson Silva from a nasty leg break), two of their fighters do not make weight in what has become a common issue with the organizations fighters. 

Kelvin Gastelum and John Lineker could not make weight, with Gastelum 9, yes you read that correctly, nine pounds over the 171 weight class he was fighting at!  For those of you unaware as to how weight classes work, nine pounds is damned near another weight class.  (To read the entire article click here)

I am not sure how to refer to these immature children.  They certainly cannot be referred to as professionals as a professional follows through with whatever he agreed to do work wise (in this case a contract with weight classes).  Neither is the reference of martial artist appropriate because a TRUE martial artist would NEVER be so disrespectful to his opponent.  I mean lets be frank here... nine pounds over indicates that you did not even try to make weight.  Completely insulting. 

Lineker needs to spend less time cuddling and more time on cardio
Dana White specifically and the entire MMA culture in general has some important issues to address here in the near future because taking money from hard working folks for this level of amateur horseplay is nothing more than horseshit! 


January 15, 2015

Bas Rutten and Self Defense

Legendary MMA champion, lifetime martial artist, and all around nice guy Bas Rutten recently took to social media to share his thoughts on self defense, grappling, and the best art for self protection in todays world.  As always Bas offers some great insights and food for thought, morsels we should all chew on given this mans pedigree.

Bas recently answered a fan’s question on his Facebook page regarding BJJ and self defense. Check out his answer:
” Question from fan, this is like the 8th I get about this, I answered a while ago on one of the posts, this time I figured to post it so that you can read it as well
QUESTION:
I have been hearing about your amazing work with Judo, Catch Wrestling, Jujitsu and I need your help.
I have been studying Mauy Thai for 3 years and I want add an good grappling art for real life street self defense.
In your expert opinion which good grappling art offers real life street self defense ?
Many Thanks.

 ANSWER:
    I would say BJJ with and without a Gi would be good. Of course you don’t wanna end up on the ground with friends of the attacker trying to kick you in the face, (that’s what people always say, and that’s why they say it’s “not good for street fighting” but that is of course BS)
    Just understanding leg locks and all other locks is very important, in a street fight you can submit somebody really fast (if he doesn’t know the ground) so even when his friends are helping, its ALWAYS better to have ground experience as well. A good grappler doesn’t have to really look to slap on submissions, meaning, he can keep an eye on the other guys, make sure he keeps his opponent between him and the other guys and go for a submission, when he has the submission, break whatever submission he has so that guy can’t fight anymore or with less “weapons” (like one arm or one leg only)
   For the people who say BJJ is not effective on the street I say: “What if you trip and fall on your back, you don’t think it’s better to understand the ground game? Of course it is, because like I said, you can simply trip and fall.



    I give you an example how it helped me once:
    I was fighting three guys one time in Holland, one broke a glass on my head so I was bleeding profusely and felt my neck get warm, I felt what it was and I saw my hands were full of blood. So my thought was “OK, he has me, but I am going to return the favor”. So I grabbed him in a Thai clinch and pulled him forward and slapped a guillotine choke on. The other guys were trying to hit me, but I simply kept the guy in between myself and his friends and just deflected their punches with head movement and my shoulders (You don’t need to look at the person you are choking you since you have done this many times in training) When he fell down (was choked out) I kicked him first in the head (I had like 39 stitches in my head afterwards, I was pissed) and than I fought his buddies.
    Without grappling training I wouldn’t have known this. Also when somebody grabs you from the back, front, side, anywhere, “standing” you can still do a whole bunch of submissions, and quick ones that can dislocate shoulders, break arms etc
    But if you want to keep it simple, best thing for you, since you are a Thai Boxer already, go wrestle, so they can’t take you down, and even when they are better on their feet than you, you can take THEM down and go for G&P. Train for the G&P though, so that you can make quick work, because again, when his friends come to help him you don’t have a lot of time there
    This is what I always say, “It’s better to know and don’t need it, than to need it and don’t know it”
    When you train in BJJ with and without a Gi, focus a lot on reversals, in street fighting that’s pretty important
Godspeed!
Bas

December 25, 2014

Kron Gracie's MMA Debut

Kron Gracie (son of Rickson) made his MMA debut last week at the Real 1 FC in Japan.  A solid first showing nailing the armbar very quickly, but I look forward to seeing Kron face some serious competition:


November 9, 2014

Are Jiu Jitsu Competitions to Blame For Wrestlings Dominance in MMA?

Best in the biz... Burroughs with his double

Pedro Olavarria over at Fightland just published an excellent article on one possible reason that so many high level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players have had such a difficult time transferring those skills into their MMA careers.  Is collegiate wrestling to blame for such inadequacies?  Or does the modern day rule set as dictated by IBJJF poorly prepare competitors for MMA/self defense?  Food for thought here...


Self Defense Applicability??
"The other reason for sport jiu jitsu’s relative non-transferability to MMA is the same reason for wrestling’s success. In MMA, slightly more than half of all takedowns are done with the double leg or single leg takedown; compare that to the NCAA Division 1 Wrestling Finals, where from 2012-2014, 50% of successful takedowns were single leg and double leg takedowns. The most successful takedowns in wrestling are the most successful takedowns in MMA. In sport jiu jitsu, if we look at the 2012 Pan Ams, more than 75% of the matches got to the ground because one or both players pulled guard. In the 2012 Worlds, roughly 75% of all matches got to the ground because one or both players pulled guard, with more than 50% of the matches going to the ground, in less than 10 seconds. Despite the fact that jiu jitsu requires a fight to be on the ground, sport jiu jitsu competitors are spending comparatively little time training in or fighting for takedowns. Sport jiu jitsu champions who cross over into MMA are hampered by the submissions they have overemphasized and the wrestling takedowns they have neglected in winning tournaments. What is the solution to this overdependence on joint locks and the neglect of effective takedowns?
    The solution to these problems is something for jiu jitsu masters and tournament promoters to figure out. Should they award more points for takedowns? Should they ban guard pulling while both players are on their feet? Should punches be allowed on the ground for higher belts? I don’t know. Certainly, the leaders of the jiu jitsu community need to answer for themselves whether MMA is even relevant to jiu jitsu anymore. The whole point of vale tudo and the original UFC was to prove that jiu jitsu works and that ground fighting is essential for anyone seriously interested in self-defense. Because of the Gracies, future generations of young men and women who want to learn actual fighting will be spared from the boredom and inefficacy of kata, one step-sparring and board breaking."

To read the entire article click here.

November 3, 2014

Enson Inoue's 'Live As A Man / Die As A Man / Become A Man' - Book Review

I have been a fan of Enson Inoue's since early in my martial career.  I remember seeing some old Shooto fights a karate buddy had VHS (that is an archaic recording medium that can now be viewed in the Smithsonian) of and Enson was one of the fighters.  His bravery inspired me, his attitude entertained me, and his fights NEVER disappointed.  From fighting MMA, to rescuing dogs and feeding the needy after the terrible nuclear disaster just a few years back, I have always been drawn to the grappling and MMA legend. So when his self published autobiography "Live As A Man, Die As A Man, Become A Man" hit the market I was stoked, as Enson Inoue IS living martial arts history.

To understand Enson one must have a fundamental understanding of Japanese culture and history.  Enson lives by the motto 'Yamatodamashii' which is loosely translated as Samurai Spirit.  Essentially it is the embodiment of the Samurai spirit they carried into every task, every day and that is whatever you do you must do with 100% heart and conviction.  You must be prepared to die spiritually, emotionally, physically to stand by your honor and integrity.  These attributes Enson finds lacking in the 21st century, again something I completely agree with and can relate to.

The reader is taken along for a ride from Enson's early childhood where he witnessed firsthand the effects of fear and cowardice.  The feeling of despair when a friend needed him and he did nothing laid a heavy impression upon Enson and drove him to never again find himself bowing down to fear.  His candor in sharing his true feelings is admirable and rare as he tackles some of the most difficult questions all men face.

Any true fan of combat sports needs to put 'Live As A Man.." on their X Mas wish list as Enson is the living embodiment of MMA, truly no bullshit a pioneer whose power and influence even I did not realize until reading this bio.  He takes a fight by fight breakdown of his entire MMA history; the wins and the losses.  I mean this is THE guy that handed Randy Couture his first pro MMA loss!  The list of men whom have stepped into the ring with Enson is literally a who's who of MMA, ADCC, and BJJ; Igor Vivchanchan, Mark Kerr, Mario Sperry, Frank Shamrock, Big Nog, Guy Mezger...


His history and unfortunate falling out with the Gracies is detailed, as well as a short stint training with the Machado family as well.  Enson also touches on traditionally taboo topics such as the role of Yakuza (Japanese mafia) in the Japanese mixed martial arts business.  Inoue has been able to walk in both worlds because he carries himself with dignity and stands behind what he says.  Rare attributes in today's society, thus respected by gangsters and police alike.  This position offers Enson rare insights into just how corrupt the organizations like Shooto and Pride really were / are!  Sad and disappointing to true fight fans who want to see the fighters taken care and the organizations follow a legit line to ensure the sanctity and longevity of the sport.

Overall the book is an easy and fun read offering a peak inside the mind of what I would consider a modern day warrior struggling with his identity and purpose.  Enson flirts with being a bit masturbatory in some of the retelling of the tales, and is in desperate need of a solid editor, but overall I think this book is one of the most honest insights into the mind and heart of one of the toughest SOB's on earth.  My singular selfish complaint is that we get only a glimpse of the heart of Enson Inoue, which I can say without doubt, is much larger and greater then his fighting prowess!  Following Enson's life over the years has shown me the generosity and humble serving nature of a modern Samurai where he has dedicated his life to helping out the animals and people in need throughout Japan.  He does not touch on any of his charity work designing and selling bracelets (Destiny Forever), delivering food water and hope to those affected by the terrible nuclear meltdown in Japan, as well as taking a yearly pilgrimage walking over 1300 miles in an effort to raise money for the needy in Japan.    Perhaps these are tales for a second biography  further down the road, but none the less aspects that I think are just as interesting as his fight life. 
To order "Live As A Man" Click here.  For more information on Enson, or to order some of his custom made bracelets (proceeds of which go to charities helping both people and animals) please visit Destiny Forever. 

Enson Inoue's Tattoo's

Since Enson is the subject of the hour check out this Fightland article on his many tattoo's and their significance.  Enson is a pioneer and quite possibly one of the most unique characters ever in MMA and his ink is literally a storyboard of his life.

Enson Inoue: "For me, a tattoo isn't about fashion—it isn't about [having] something that looks cool. It's something that I want to take with me when I die.
    I got my first tattoo before my Zulu fight. Funny how I always gauge things by my fights. I put a little Shooto kanji on my back to show my support for Shooto. That was my first tattoo, and at that day and time, nobody wore tattoos.   I was the Shooto heavyweight champion, so they couldn't banish me from the ring because of a little tattoo. And it was a tattoo that said "Shooto," so it made it even harder for them to banish me.
    The next tattoo I got was a real honorable tattoo, where I put “Yamato Damashii” on my back. That was my nickname. I was a foreigner that still represented the real samurai spirit of Japan. I had two tattoos and they were still allowing me to fight, so it pretty much opened the door for other fighters to get tattoos.
    The tattoos in the palms of my hands mean the most. Not only because they hurt the most..."
To Read the Entire Article Click Here

November 2, 2014

Carlos Machado - The Professor

I have been rattling my brain trying to think of how to encapsulate the past week where I have spent over 6 hours on the mat with red-black belt Carlos Machado.  I could go over each technique and movement he did, but that would be redundant and boring.  I could talk about his unequaled rapport and presence he has on the mat, but anyone who has ever been in the same room as the man knows that.  So I thought I would share a little incident I witnessed on the final day of the Machado camp last Sunday that had nothing to do with me nor the camp, but embodied EVERYTHING positive I could ever say about my experiences with Carlos. 

Carlos' little girl KK was rolling with her bigger brother who had her in guard with lapel control.  Her brother tried sweeping her backwards with the assistance of the lapel that unfortunately went right into KK's throat giving her quite the scare!  Immediately she took her tears to dad and the following conversation happened:

Carlos: "Are you ok?"
K: SOBSOB "My throat hurts and I had a hard time breathing" SOBSOB
Carlos: "But you can breathe now right?"
K: SOB "Yeah but it hurt me." SOB
Carlos: "Wipe your tears and come over here to the side of the mat so I can teach you how to counter that move."

I don't even have kids and it damned near brought me to tears.  More than a grappler.  Much more than a teacher.  Carlos Machado embodies the entire Machado family and their values.  Certainly the Machado family has made me a better martial artist.  More importantly they have made me a better man!  For that I can never repay.  Thank you Carlos for all your lessons. 

If you have not hosted Carlos Machado at your academy then you are severely missing out.  A red-black belt with over 40 years on the mat is accessible, affordable, and unforgettable.  Host this legend at your academy today!  Contact RCJ Machado for more info. 

October 31, 2014

Tricks and Treats With Dominick Cruz & BJJ Scout

Our friend BJJ Scout has once again given us a bag of goodies with a 11 minute plus breakdown of the tricky footwork and body movements that enable Dominick Cruz to be SO frighteningly effective!  Any fan of MMA will appreciate this video as Dominick is a blast to watch fight:



October 29, 2014

Concussions and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

A few weeks back Jared Weiner, head instructor at BJJ United in Philly, put up a very important statement regarding concussions and brain injuries in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Overall a topic few address seriously as many believe head injuries are rare in an art that contains no striking.  Sadly this could not be further from the truth especially when grappling with someone with four sharp pointy things called elbows and knees, a head, and lets not forget throws and takedowns!  It never ceases to amaze me how quickly people pass over spending time and money on one of the most important pieces of protective equipment in grappling arts... a mouth

guard, that will help prevent against concussions. 

The potential of brain damage is great and it is nice to see the topic addressed.  Words of wisdom for all of us below...

  “I was always the first person to tell someone to suck it up and fight through the pain, no matter what the circumstance was. If we were training for a tournament winning was the only thing that mattered. I can honestly look back and say that was a bad mentality and we are very lucky more serious injuries didn’t transpire over the years.
   The back story: On July 19, I was in the finals of the IBJJF NY Summer Open. My opponent executed a beautiful single leg, he lifted me up and my head bounced off the mat. I saw the “camera flash” but kept fighting (This had no outcome on the match, my opponent won with great positions, and I don’t want to take away from his victory). Immediately after the match I became very nauseous and dizzy. I found myself dry heaving in the bathroom, and I wasn’t sure how I ended up there. That night I continued to throw up and feel “off” but I thought I was coming down with the flu and left it at that. That was HUGE mistake number 1.
    Fast forward to exactly one week later: I was still feeling a little “off” but training hard anyways. All I knew was I had the Chicago Open coming up and I had to win coming off that loss in NY. During that training session I was accidentally kneed in the jaw by one of my students and knocked out cold. I have very little recollection of the actual hit, but I do recall coming to and asking what happened. I was  not really sure what was going on but I decided to keep training anyways because if I missed a day of practice (in  my mind) I would be soft and It might effect the outcome in Chicago. HUGE mistake number 2.
   Fast forward to August 3: I finally decided to go to the hospital to see what was going on with me, because since the day I was knocked out, I felt light headed 24/7.  I was experiencing horrible headaches and scalp pain. I had crazy pressure in my left eye, and I was not able to sleep. Any type of light was hurting my eyes, and worst of all I became sad, emotionless, and suffered memory loss. I was scared as I never felt like this before, and I didn’t know what was going on with me.
   I remember the doctor being really cool and trying to talk MMA and BJJ with me.  She then advised me that I suffered two back-to-back concussions within a week and that is rare and extremely dangerous. She told me it could have been fatal to get two right on top of each other. She said it will take time but I should feel normal again eventually. EVENTUALLY.
   So here I am almost three months later still stuck in this “fog”. My headaches are not as severe, but I am still walking around light-headed and really “off”. I have not been able to train live, only teach, but even that is very difficult for me these days. A lot of things have been put in perspective for me over the last three months. The last thing on my mind is medals and tournaments, but being well for my daughter and family is my priority. This has been a nightmare for me, and people who have never experienced a head injury before never really seem to understand, and its very frustrating for me. I may seem normal, and look normal, but I feel far from normal.
   I’m hoping to bring some awareness to head injuries in our sport and they are to be taken very seriously. Take some time and educate yourself on the topic and if you are ever feeling “off” from a head shot get checked out.”

October 12, 2014

A Historical Developement of Western Wrestling by Antonio Graceffo


Antonio Graceffo over at Wrestling Roots has just written a comprehensive and impressive chronological overview of the development of wrestling in the west.  Accompanied by a great bibliography make sure to check this out and spread word to any students, scholars, or other interested historians. 

Click here for the entire article.

1848, Greco-Roman wrestling was born in France. The Greco Roman style is unique in that it forbids attacks to the legs. The wrestlers must possess powerful upper bodies and have the ability to lift and throw their opponents. (Sparta Club, history of the Greco)
1870’s Catch-as-catch-can, or Lancashire wrestling, or just “Catch wrestling” was invented in Lancashire, England. Catch wrestling matches can be won by pin, choke, or submission. They had no time limit. And a title fight once lasted for over 11 hours. (Launchpad)
1896 Greco-Roman wrestling was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been included in every summer Olympics held since 1908. (Olympic.org,WRESTLING GRECO-ROMAN)
1904 Catch wrestling was included in the St. Louis Olympics. All of the competitors were Americans. And consequently, the US won all of the medals. It was also included in the 1908 London Games and the 1920 Antwerp Games. (Nash Aug. 2012)

October 5, 2014

Thanks To Tim Cartmell

Had a great time last weekend training with my coach and friend Tim Cartmell.  As always solid basics were emphasized with realistic scenarios and varying degrees of uncooperative drilling.  It seems almost uncanny how every time I train with Tim in Portland he covers something that is an integral part of my game, such as this visit where we worked a figure four grip as you are being taken down with a single leg. 
Cartmell seminar September 2014
It was a great reminder that I have been blessed with solid teachers such as Tim Cartmell, Mike Martello, Hu Xi Lin, Brian Johnson, and Jeff Davidson.  Check out the pic below and you will see the level of training Tim Cartmell brings to the table as MMA professional Pat "Bam Bam" Healy even joined us on the Saturday sessions.  Tim remains one of the most underrated martial arts instructors accessible to the public. 

Thanks to Tim, Michael and Ecole de Budo. 

September 26, 2014

Rafael "Sandman" Lovato Jr. Wins Pro MMA Debut

Talk about timing... the Daily Show repeat wrapped up and I hit the guide on the TV remote to see highlighted on the bottom "Legacy FC MMA" which of course I switch on.  There it is, one minute into the first round of Rafael Lovato Jr.'s professional middleweight MMA debut!  Showcasing his trademark pressure passing, RLJ slipped through the guard and secured a head and arm choke raising his hips while driving his opponent Canaan Grigsby into Sandman territory, milking the tap with just a few seconds left in round one of Legacy 35 in Tulsa, OK.

SO nice and refreshing to see some solid BJJ and grappling in MMA.  I hope that RLJ will take away a lot from this win as he has some gaps to fill, but this is nothing short of awesome to see a solid pro debut from one of Carlos Machado's early students and current Saulo Ribiero protege.  Congrats Rafael!