Showing posts with label judo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label judo. Show all posts

May 22, 2015

Rener Gracie Returns to the Emerald City

We are just over a week away from Rener Gracie returning to the Seattle area for another round of seminars.  Next Sunday will be a marathon day of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and self defense with four seminars back to back to back to back!! 

I have said it tons before but just in case you weren't listening... Rener is one of the young guard coming up under Rorion and Helio who is a bit of an anomaly.  For being so young he is without a doubt one of the best instructors I have stumbled across.  Confident, engaging, with a predetermined lesson plan that all gets packaged up with his quick witted humor a Rener seminar is not to be missed. 

Open to all experience levels and affiliations.


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 10, 2015

Traditional Wrestling Styles

This is not it... click link below
Once again I owe a tip of the hat to Wrestling Roots for turning me onto this work in progress by Yasuyuki Fujikura who is documenting the various wrestling styles the world over.  Unfortunately the majority of it is in Japanese but the link provide pictures and video of some amazing grappling that I am sure you have never heard of.

Once again this proves how integral grappling is for cultured society (obviously not news to anyone with a couple of five year old boys).  Fascinating google map:

Click here to be redirected to the interactive map.

January 11, 2015

Roy Dean's "Pure Rolling" - 2014 DVD of the Year

Not that anyone asked but my nomination for martial arts DVD of the year for 2014 is unquestionably Roy Dean's "Pure Rolling."  A three disk DVD unlike any other you have seen, as it is not proper to categorize it as an "instructional" as it does not offer a traditional lesson.  But "Pure Rolling" is much more then a pure documentary as to the trained eye there is actually a TON of lessons to be seen.  A unique offering from one of the most philosophical grapplers out there, Roy Dean. 

Filmed by renowned documentary film maker Stuart Cooper, Pure Rolling brings the best out of the two sharpest minds in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu today.  Roy Dean and seven of his students are filmed free rolling/sparring at their home dojo in Bend, OR. where slow motion, replays, and commentary offer the viewer a glimpse into the strategy and application of students when they free roll.  Analysis by Roy Dean himself as he watches the film with you offering commentary and slowing down critical key points and elements.  Coupled with the technical prowess of Cooper along with his understanding of how to film rolling, makes this one of the best DVD's I have seen in quite some time. 

The complexity is actually in the simplicity of this film, and if I may be so bold to say so... I can't believe no one thought of this years ago!  I mean professional sports teams have used video technology since it has been affordable, why shouldn't grapplers?  One of the best things I have ever done as a stand up martial artist and a BJJ grappler is analyze myself on film.  Be it free rolling, competing, or simply practicing, one can see many areas that are in need of improvement from video analysis.  This video offers insight into a handful of different games, sizes, ranks, and experiences.  The diversity of which is well represented and caught by Stuart Coopers sharp eye, alongside the commentary by Roy Dean (competitor, teacher, student of Roy Harris) whose experience speaks for itself.

A great idea that I am sure is going to be mimicked and become standard in no time, but remember where you saw it first.  Oh... and did I mention the cost?   Free.  Yeah, you read that right... free.  Click here to get your free MP4 download now! 

December 21, 2014

Tsunetane Oda - When The New Ain't So New

Tsunetane Oda demonstrating what is popularly known as the De la Riva Sweep (named in honor of the guy who "created" it, Ricardo De la Riva) over 100 years ago.  Remember your roots:




Here is another clip of Prof. Oda demonstrating Newaza (ground techniques):


I wonder what Sensei Oda would think of the direction of Judo today in 2014.  I have to believe the old school sensei would be rolling in their respective graves! 

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 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 17, 2014

RCJ Machado Five Brothers Camp

In less then a week you could be sitting on the mats with five legends of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu... the Machado brothers invite you to an opportunity of a lifetime where all five of the brothers (Carlos / Roger / Rigan / Jean Jacques / John) and over 150 fellow practitioners will share one mat for three days of great instruction. 

Then literally the weekend after (Nov 1st) we will be hosting Carlos Machado here in Seattle, WA. for his first seminar in the Pacific NW!  Over 18 hours of grappling in 7 days with 5 of the best in 2 of America's most vibrant cities.  That is 1 hell of an opportunity not to be missed! 

October 8, 2014

Roger Gracie Foot Lock Detail

Stumbled across this great clip on BJJEE where Roger Gracie shares the details of nailing the toehold from inside your opponents half guard.  Solid details from one of the best.  I will train with this man someday! 



September 25, 2014

Tribute to the Females of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

A nicely put together shout out to the chica's in the sport and art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, quite possibly THE best martial art for womens self defense.  Check out this nicely shot video... preferably on mute! 


Metamoris V

The latest card on the Metamoris all grappling promotion has been announced.  The famed MMA match between Renzo Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba will be once again visited as well as a powerful undercard with Zak Maxwell, Yuri Simoes, and Rafael Lovato Jr. just to name a few. 

I have mixed feelings about this card.  Saku is one of my favorite of all times and while this is not MMA, I still find it hard to watch one of my heroes continue to fight because of money when in all reality he should have retired a few years back.  As for Renzo... I have lost all respect since his "nightclub incident" and his subsequent response.  Maxwell and Tonon promise to be a barn burner that will NOT end in a draw!  The remainder of the card has promise and call me a curmudgeon but I am not so keen on the secret match shit.  Just tell me who I am paying for!

September 8, 2014

Exercise Science vs Tradition

One of the biggest issues I have experienced in the past 24 years of martial arts is the convergence of traditional martial arts training and exercise science.  The advent of crossfit and other similar gyms has led many Joe Q Public to believe just because you have a certificate "earned" over a weekend seminar that you must be an expert.  Many martial artists and gyms fall into this trap as well.  After all in the martial arts you are taught that it is rude or disrespectful to ask your teachers qualifications.  This leads to problems when science trumps tradition in terms of what is safe and healthy for one to do to ones body!

Two articles recently posted on BJJEE (a great portal of info BTW) address this very issue in modern Mixed Martial Arts / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu happening today.  The first article talks about leg circles and their effect on the connective tissue in your knee:

Fitness expert Chris Shah believes:
"Doing this exercise standing is recreating the number one cited reason for ACL injury. Internal collapse of knee( valgus) you add that with no protecting torque and its promoting bad motor pattern. It’s your choice to do it. It’s hard for many in combat to suspend their beliefs because self value is tied to beliefs and certain exercises. Mastery promotes exploring where one is wrong or limited. I would en courage to suspend emotional investment in argument and research ACL/ knee injury literature. Again it’s your choice."

To read the entire article plus video click here.

Martin Rooney (MS Health Science) the world class trainer of BJJ and MMA fighters around the world had some interesting opinions on circuit training:
"I get guys telling me all the time that they love circuits cause they get so crazy sore. Great, but what’s the result? You do these circuits enough and you’ll get better at them and won’t be as sore, but you’re still weak.
You’re now a weak fighter who’s good at circuits.  
For Regular Dudes: If you want to burn fat and improve your conditioning, use circuits sparingly. Think one, maybe two sessions a week, with the remaining time spent on basic heavy lifting.
“You have to think of longevity,” says Rooney. “Performing five days of circuits a week doesn’t make you tough, it just makes you injured. You can lift weights forever, but good luck hitting those circuits in 20 years.”

To read his entire interview click here.  

Interesting food for thought.  Be honest with yourself and your training partners.

September 4, 2014

September 3, 2014

Genki Sudo Presents Ikkiuchi

One of my personal heroes and all time classy MMA fighters Genki Sudo recently promoted a beautiful martial tournament called Ikkiuchi (One to One Fight).  I am all about anything that Sudo is involved in and I am certainly on-board when a badass kicks some serious ass in a kickass hakama!!!!

Enjoy

Big Mike Taking Big Gold in the Little State of Texas

Big Mike on the far right.  Coach Santos top center.
My good friend and training partner Big Mike Gates recently participated in the Naturally Fit Games in Austin Tx. where he fought his first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament and WON!  A blue belt under RCJ Machado family member Marcos Santos, Big Mike fell in love with BJJ about two years ago. 

Big Mike is called "Big" Mike because he is not so tiny.  His first opponent was 6'5" and 300#'s!  His second opponent was a soldier from Ft. Hood who was much smaller at only 275 lb's.  A five minute battle on the feet ended with Mike scoring a takedown, scrambling for side control time ran out and gold was procured with a two point takedown! 

Congrats my friend on your first taste of victory.  I remember you coming to support me at the 2010 NAGA World Championships and I made the comment... "So glad you don't do this BJJ stuff.  We would be in the same division!"

Cheers brother! 

September 1, 2014

Carlos Machado All Over the BJJ Globe

Professor Carlos Machado has been all over the place as of late with a featured column in the latest Jiu Jitsu Style magazine where he speaks about tournament fighting and the importance of points in our training.  Check out page 51 for the entire article.  The really great news is the Barnes & Noble at Northgate in Seattle has started carrying Jiu Jitsu Style in lieu of Gracie magazine!  So please go support them and sell Jiu Jitsu Style out every month!!!

Carlos will also be one of the featured instructors at the RCJ Machado Five Brothers Camp Oct. 24-26 2014 in Dallas Texas.  Join us where Carlos will share the mat with his four brothers (three of which are red-black belts!!) and be teaching some of the most technically sound Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you will ever see.

And as if that was not enough Carlos Machado will then be visiting the Emerald City for the very first time where he will teach a BJJ seminar on November 1st 2014 at the NW Jiu Jitsu Academy.  All ranks and affiliations are welcome to join us for Prof. Machado's first visit to the Pacific NW!  More info coming...
 

August 28, 2014

August 17, 2014

Soul Roll Alpha Gi & Rashguard Review

Soul Roll Jiu Jitsu rolled out their new Alpha Gi and rashguard earlier this year, and for the past few months I have been wearing and tearing through this gi.  First impression of the blue Alpha gi is just how bright and brilliant the colors and contrasts are on the gi.  A blue gi with a myriad of patches encompassing every major color in the spectrum embodies one of the lightest kimono's on the market.  I first looked at it and thought, "Man, this looks like a big A4." 

Before we talk about the wear, lets address the tear, of which there is none to speak of.  The Alpha gi has held up very nicely over the past few months with no signs of ripping, fading, pilling, nor loose threads.  I wash and dry all my kimono's in machines and often the color fades and the gi shrinks moderately at best.  Again no sign of damage and honestly I wish the gi would shrink more as it has barely tightened up after dozens of washes.







The Alpha kimono top is a 350 gram pearl weave that is super soft and breathes decently.  Triple stitching accompanies every seam, and stress points have been reinforced all of which again hearken to the durability I have experienced wearing Soul Roll's gi.  The patches and embroidery all are tightly stitched and have not ripped nor pilled.  As you can see the patches are everywhere and can be a bit hard to read if you are unfamiliar with the brand.  I am typically a fan of patches but even this gi is a bit much.  I do believe technically all the patchwork is IBJJF legal, but if you plan on wearing it in competition I would highly suggest taking a backup as I have seen ref's disallow perfectly legal gi's such as the Alpha because they "thought" it was illegal.  You have no time nor recourse to argue with the ref (especially if you are not Brazilian) so better safe than sorry.

Soul Roll's ripstop pants feature a drawstring with no fewer then six loops as well as double fabric covering the knees.  The cuff's are double stitched and have worn well.  The ripstop material make this kimono overall pretty light.  A tighter fit with less fabric would most likely assist in a few ounces and this kimono really retains water, so be forewarned.

In regards to wear this kimono actually misses the entire mark.  The A4 I received is extremely baggy throughout making for an uncomfortable fit and bunching at the armpits.  When asking $190 dollars that puts Soul Roll into the upper middle echelon in terms of gi prices, and when paying those prices one expects a tighter, more grappling friendly fit.

The Alpha Gi can be ordered by clicking here!

My experience with the Soul Roll rashie is much the same as the gi.  A very durable and strong rashguard that shows no signs of wear nor tear.  Sublimated graphics ensure no peeling and crap on the dojo's mat.  Triple stitched seams embody the rash guard and a tight fit make this damn near unrippable.  But the XL rashie is a bit too tight and fits one like a hot dog casing.  Though it breathes well the restrictive nature make it rather uncomfortable to wear.  I am guessing the design team in Asia did not compensate for the larger North American build.

Retailing at $59.99 you can order the Soul Roll Rashguard by clicking here.