December 29, 2010

"The Gracie Diet" - Book Review

Diet is a popular topic amongst combat athletes on both the pro and amateur level.  Quite honestly it should be a popular topic with everyone and anyone as food is the fuel that drives this machine of a body.  Without decent fuel the machine is not only going to run inefficiently but it will also cause the machine to break and all together collapse.   So you can imagine my surprise opening a small package from Cali when I saw the new "Gracie Diet"book in the mail, autographed by the man himself Rorion Gracie no less!

A couple of caveat's before we delve into the meat of the book;
I do not follow the Gracie Diet, and I strongly urge you to consult your doctor prior to any dietary change! Rorion is quite honest throughout the text in that their is NOTHING scientifically proven that the Gracie Diet is a solid diet!  That said, Rorion relies on over 65 years of research and application with members of his family as well as thousands of others who have tried the diet developed by Carlos Gracie.

Also I am not a member of the Gracie organization at all, as this book was submitted unbiasedly for review here on the Ground Never Misses.  I have no affiliation with the authors nor the family though I practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Prior to the book being published I had a vague idea of the Gracie diet and what it entailed.  In a nutshell Carlos Gracie discovered certain foods do not mix well in the digestive tract with other certain foods.  He categorized these via groups.  For example:
Group A - Vegetable and Greens / Meats & Seafood / Oily & Fatty Foods

Group B - Starches

Group D - Acidic Fruits

By ensuring that food groups are mixed only in certain orders the dieter limits starches and simple carbs, but without excluding foods from their diet.  A vegetarian can follow this diet as easily as a paleo practitioner can!  It is an inclusive diet, with "food" such as ice cream, candy bars, and refined sugars being the sole exception.  Across the board those are not good for you.

Here is the table of contents:

Foreword by Pedro Valente, M.Di 
Introductioniii
PART ONE – THE GRACIE DIET
Chapter 1: Your Diet IS Your Life
Origins of the Gracie Diet 3
Your Diet Determines the Quality of Your Life 4
Dietary Decisions 5
Chapter 2: The Key to Good Health – Proper Food Combinations
The Food Industry Isn’t Interested in Your Health 9
Stories of the Healing Powers of the Gracie Diet 9
You Have Nothing to Lose and Everything to Gain 10
It’s not What You Eat, It’s What You Eat It With 11
Chapter 3: Where Are You Now?
Food is Everywhere! 14
Establish a Base Point 14
Chapter 4: The Hard Part – Changing Your Eating Habits
Make Healthy Eating a Habit 23
Changing Habits Requires a Plan 24
Current Weekly Food Routine 25
Chapter 5: Getting Started
Three Steps to a Newer, Healthier, and Happier You 29
Your First meal on the Gracie Diet 31
PART TWO – USING THE GRACIE DIET
Chapter 6: A Family Affair
The Power of Personal Example 36
A Quick and Simple Way to Kick the Junk food Habit 37
What to Do When Kids Demand Junk Food 37
The Ultimate Halloween Trick 38
How to win the Kids Over, One Bite at a Time 38
How to Inspire Your Loved Ones 38
Chapter 7: Beyond the First Three Phases of the Gracie Diet
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for the Best 40
Your Guide to Food Combinations 41
The Gracie Diet Table 42
Fasting 45
Chapter 8: The Gracie Diet on the Go 
How to Eat Healthily When You’re on the Run 48
Learn the Gracie Diet Food Selection Process 49
How Well do You Know the Combinations? 50
Real Life Examples Drawn from the Menus of Popular Restaurants 52
Chapter 9: Tips for Losing Weight
How Dieting helps You to Acquire The Gracie “Iron Will” 59
Calorie Control 59
Play This game at Your Next meal 60
A Surefire Way to Burn Fat 60
Managing Your Carbohydrates 61
Protein Sources 61
Critical fat Facts 61
How to Lose Weight and Still Occasionally Enjoy Alcohol 62
Chapter 10: The Role of Exercise
Make it Fun 65
Start Simple 65
Keep Climbing 66
Chapter 11: The Final Round
Tips and Reminders 68
The Gracie Diet 14-Day Meal Plan 70
Entrees Menu Index 77
 

The 93 page guide is very simple to read and easy on the eyes. I finished it within a flight from Dallas to Seattle with time to spare.   Diet books can often be heavy with nutritional information and technical talk, but Rorion keeps his book easy to follow and light at heart.  Interjecting helpful tips and pointers throughout, as well as anecdotal stories of success and health via the diet.

Broken into two parts; 'The Diet' and 'Using the Diet' the practical text lays out the foundation of the diet and then helps the practitioner integrate it into their daily lives.  Offering practical advice on how to ease kids and family members into the diet, as well as offering a chapter on how to maintain the diet when eating out or at other peoples houses.  Food is a tricky entity in our culture and for those of us on certain regimes and diets we can often feel awkward eating at someoneelse's house where we do not want to go off diet, but also we do not wish to offend or be rude to our hosts.  Rorion offers solid advice for all these situations, and includes a breakdown of various entrees at nationally found chain restaurants such as California Pizza Kitchen, and Applebee's.

The time and energy put into this book shines through in these chapters as Rorion is offering not just a diet but a change of life including offering chapters on exercise, and tips for losing weight.  Rorion is no snake oil salesmen as he knows the process of losing weight and getting in better shape lies far beyond diet alone.  In reality the Gracie Diet is offering a better way of living and life!

To top the book off their is an index with a 14 day game plan meal guide as well as 16 pages of recipes for various dishes and entrees for the diet.  Both are awesome additions!  Rorion thought of everything with this guide including a handy refrigerator chart with a magnet.

Production and layout are top notch.  The Gracie's print in house (which a lot of people are going to in an effort to save money) which makes this text a bit more expensive at $24.95 MSRP.  I have not seen it on Amazon yet so I am not sure how available it will be unless you go through the Gracie's direct.  This could be limiting in the scope of how many people gain access to this book and diet.  The price is this critics only criticism, as for under 100 pages I am paying a quarter of hundred dollars!

Click here to link directly to the Gracie store and purchase "The Gracie Diet."

In the end what do I think of the diet... I think it is nothing but practical, applicable sense.  Avoid processed food and refined sugars.  Include lots of vegetables and fruits in your diet.  Do not eat in excess.  Exercise daily.  These are the pillars of any healthy lifestyle.  Where as many diets are "fads" the Gracie diet is simply a very healthy way to live.  Rorion makes the change and transition painless with an easy reference chart and guide if ever needed.  I highly suggest this diet book to anyone trying to lose weight and get in better shape.

December 24, 2010

Gratitude

Well it came in a flash!  'Tis X Mas eve and I find myself reflecting on the holiday, and one of the main lessons I believe this holidays teaches us is gratitude.  Sure gratitude for gifts and what not, but lets stray away from the retail side of things for a moment.

Always clowning around!
I do not have many friends in life, but the few I do have are sincere, loyal, stand up people who are good to be around and can be counted on.  Nearly 10 years ago (shit I am getting old!) I met Big Mike and John while competing at Yang Shu Ton's Annual Wutan Tournament in Akron, OH.  At that time they were students of a Mantis coach in the DFW area, and had come up to compete and train.  Needless to say we hit it off immediately.  Our paths crossed many a time over the coming years both at tournaments, as well as seminars I hosted in New Mexico and Seattle with teachers like Ilya Profatilov, Hu Xi Lin, and Mike Martello.  And subsequently our friendship grew from a mutual admiration of the martial arts.

When I decided to go to DFW and fight in last weekends NAGA World Championships, I contact Mike and told him I wanted to get together if time permitted.  Like the friend he is, he refused to let me stay anywhere else but his place and took good care of me all weekend so I could focus on my fights.  I finally got to meet his wonderful family as well.   Rosy took good care of me feeding me like no other!

On Sunday, as a token of my thanks, I taught John, Mike, and Gabe (a new friend whom I met a few years ago) some ground proofing and basic jits.  Without getting into a long drawn out story, these guys are good people who have been led down some shitty paths by ex-teachers.  Much of what they have been taught on the ground is simply impractical and dangerous.  So we tightened up their technique and trained for a solid 4 hours!  They did great and as always trained hard!

I guess my point with this rambling is I wanted to say thanks to John, Mike, and Gabe.  Not only are you my friends, but you inspire me to train harder and beta better person.  I have met few people as genuine as you guys!

Train hard, party hard, and be good!

Thank you for all you have done!

Here is a snip from an email Gabe sent me that I thought was very nice:

"Great to see you again, my friend. I had a blast and learned a ton too. My only regret is that we can't train together more regularly. If I lived closer, I would live at your school. You have a wealth of knowledge and the skills to convey it effectively. You have a fresh yet humble approach combined with a gregarious nature that makes your workouts fun and applicable. That is a rare talent that sets you apart from most instructors with whom I've trained. I look forward to the next opportunity I have to learn from you."



Much more serious!
Sincerely,
Jake



December 22, 2010

UFC in Seattle??

Thanks to my buddy Matt at Allstar for turning me onto this story.  From MMA Junkie it appears the UFC may make its Seattle debut at the end of March with Tito vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira:

"While officials have not formally announced UFC Fight Night 24, the event is expected to take place March 26 in Seattle and air on the UFC's longtime cable partner, Spike TV.

UFC Fight Night 24 represents the UFC's first visit to Washington. While a venue has not yet been announced for the event, Seattle's 17,000-seat KeyArena would seem a likely target. Currently, the Washington State Department of Licensing's boxing, wrestling and martial-arts division hasn't scheduled the show, according to a department official, but that seems a mere formality."


Full story here!

December 21, 2010

The First NAGA World Jiu Jitsu Championships - 2010

NAGA (North American Grappling Association) certainly lived up to its billing as the "Worlds Largest Grappling Tournaments" with their first ever World Jiu Jitsu Championships this past weekend in Dallas, Texas.  Murmurings in the crowd from various officials was that all told they were expecting close to 2000 competitors for the whole weekend!  If so it would be a NAGA record.

This was the first NAGA event I have ever participated in and I signed up for both gi and no gi, masters heavyweight divisions.  Weight brackets were basically 225+ for super heavy (hell's no!), and 200- for cruiser (did not want to have to cut drastic weight when traveling so far).  So I was quite happy at the heavyweight division and actually came in a bit light with clothes and shoes on I was 216, so probably about 210-211 naked (sorry for that image).  There was no healthy way for me to bulk on another 10 pounds.  Eating more just makes me feel slower and sluggish.  I did not have time to put muscle weight on.

The Tournament:
Held at the Nytex Sports complex in Richland Hills Texas, the facilities were pretty nice as we essentially fought on an indoor soccer pitch that had hockey boards and glass enclosing the whole competition floor (this will be important later).  Dollamur mats lined the turf where 12 rings were running simultaneously all day.  The changing rooms and bathrooms were quite honestly sub par.  Basically the complex is a huge ice arena and the changing rooms straddled the ice rink and the indoor soccer pitch, and the rooms did not have showers, bathrooms, nor much fresh air.  For me it brought back great memories of hockey as a teen, for others it was quite bothersome.  The bathrooms were separate and small with toilets overflowing.  Not a very sanitary nor clean environment.

Overall the day was run pretty smoothly.  Officials kept the mats rolling and I never saw more than a 5 minute break with any ring.  NAGA allows last minute registration which is a pet peeve of mine.  IBJJF cancels registration 5 days prior to any tournament so that they can make the brackets and give an rather accurate estimated time that you will grapple.  With tournaments that allow walk up registration the brackets are made as the day unfolds, which translates into a lot of hurry-up-and-wait scenarios with the competitors.  NAGA offers a general timeline that was generally accurate; I was supposed to fight between 2-4pm and I hit the mat at 4:30.  I understand the promoters are trying to get every penny they can, and I certainly do not begrudge them for that.  That said, it makes it tough to get warm, stay warm and know when one can take a few hour break to either eat, rest, or stay warm.  Not knowing is always the worst.

Officiating was spot on as far as I saw.  I heard some competitors bitching and moaning, but from the sound of each complaint it was the competitor blaming officiating for the competitors lack of understanding the rules, or just flat out losing.  Every referee and official I spoke with was super polite, answered my questions directly, and if they did not know they got someone who did to answer the question.  Simply put the best officials I have seen.  Sometimes fighting at IBJJF tournaments gets frustrating as many referees do not speak fluent English, and often come with an air of indifference to ones questions (something I know the IBJJF has been working on).  All of my matches were called cleanly and fairly on both sides.

Overall the competitors were some of the nicest, most polite (one guy was apologizing as he was tapping me!), and respectful people I have fought against/with!  This can only be due to one thing... southern manners (something the Pac NW could use a huge helping of)!  Even during the rules meeting the announcer stated that Texas competitors have the best sportsmanship that NAGA sees anywhere in the world!  I made more friends and laughed the hardest I have ever when competing.  Even while rolling guys were making sure to apply the chokes and locks gradually, giving plenty of time for the tap.  I did see a few knee's get blown, more so due to people trying to fight out of hell hooks and knee bars.  NAGA allows all leg locks in their no gi divisions.  I am not sure how I feel about this as I am a big leg attack guy, but if people do not have experience with leg attacks injuries can happen, and leg attack injuries are quite severe.

Some Feedback for NAGA:


Here are just a few unsolicited suggestions for NAGA:

- Next time get some air flow going in such a restrictive environment.  It was too stifling towards the end of the day.

- Consider pre-registration cut offs for future events this big.  It would run much smoother and allow the athletes time to properly prepare.

- I would like to see a NAGA event in the Pacific NW sometime in 2012!  After all it is the NORTH AMERICAN Grappling Assoc. and the Pac NW is really one of the only places they do not visit (actually most of the west coast).  No other major tournaments exist up here, and with the talent pool from Vancouver and Portland, Seattle would be a perfect place to host a tourney as it is only 3 hours away from both major cities.

Performance:


By the end of the day I fought 6 times in four different division's covering two weight classes as well as two age groups.  To be brutally honest I have mixed feelings on my performance.  I always enter a tournament with three goals (different goals each tournament) which are predicated upon what I have been working on in the lab, something I want to accomplish in my personal game etc. etc.  I never list a goal as "I want to win" as that is redundant and not a personal goal.  For example this tournament I had three goals:
- Impose my will / Dictate the fight
- Flow... I am really trying to not muscle things and be smooth
- Have fun (this is often a goal, because in the end if you are not having fun then competing is misery)

I had one fight, the championship for Masters Heavyweight Blue Belt, where I felt I completely played my game and met all of my goals.  The rest of the fights I had fleeting moments, but my timing was off.

 My opponent in the championship round took me down HARD with a 1/2 double leg, 1/2 tackle.  The sloppiness of his arm positioning allowed me to immediately entangle his arm.  It happened as a reflex which means certain parts of my game are FINALLY sinking in!  I started to work my game getting my grip on his collar and locking down his arm, simultaneously bugging his neck and left arm looking for what he will give up.  Overall he did a pretty good job defending my attacks and started to bring his butt up and drive his right shoulder into my jaw in an effort to clear the right arm.  This is the right thing to do but when you are rolling with Cashcab you are going for a ride!  I quickly under hooked his left leg with my right arm and started to work my Pendulum sweep.  His balance was good so it took me a few attempts rocking him back and forth and finally got him over, mounting and crushing immediately.  I cooked him for a minute or so all the while bugging his neck and arm to ensure I did not get called for stalling.  Naturally I started working for the americana, which he defended decently and then started to work me into 1/2 guard.  I tried peeling his hands off my leg but he managed the angle so I went with it and quickly moved my left arm across his body into the kimura control Brian was showing two weeks ago.

This is where it all gets blurry... Never ceases to amaze me how adrenaline affects the mind and body.  I have yet to watch the fight footage, but from what I can recollect here is what transpired:
I started to work the kimura all the while he was trying to sweep and roll me.  I was controlling him well but had to be relaxed and smooth to maintain my balance.  I attempted the pry bar where I use my noggin to put a bend in the arm and then finish with a wrist lock.  Again he defended well, but started to get lazy with his 1/2 guard where he opened up his legs in an attempt to sweep me, I capitalized and cleared his guard and scooted into mount again.  By now he had turned his arm up so I worked the americana and nailed it!  I did not even see the time left.

It will be interesting to go back and check out how accurate my memory is, but overall I was VERY pleased with this performance.  I met all my goals and got the tap, and got my first gold in gi!  I have been focused on winning with the gi as my past performances have been subpar, and I feel I have little to  prove after winning the 09 No Gi's at blue.  When purple comes (probably not until 2015 at this rate!) I will wipe the slate clean.

I will not banter on about every match as I had five others.  I fought in no gi heavy intermediate; gi heavy masters (gold), gi super heavy masters; gi adult (18-29) heavy.  All my opponents were strong and solid competitors.  The times I got tapped they were new techniques I have never been tapped with before, so at least it is something new.  Towards the last couple of matches I was starting to gas.  The combination of no solid food since the AM, and the ungodly amount of stagnant air and heat in the encapsulated arena did not help.  People were barfing all over the place and getting hypoxia.  No excuses though, I need to better my conditioning so that I can fight 100% even with no food in my stomach over long periods of time.  Imagine warriors of the past complaining about such things on the field of battle!

I made several good friends fighting that day.  My buddy Rashad whom I fought in the masters super heavy deserves a special shout out.  Rashad tapped me with a solid throat crush (all the while apologizing), and while we were laughing and talking about how old he is feeling, I find out he is an Iraq war veteran who was wounded in combat by an IED.  Rashad had a plate thrown into his head to keep his brains from sliding all over!!!  He even showed me the divot in his head!

I reached out and shook his hand and said, "First of all thank you for your service.  Secondly mad fucking respect bro for stepping up and competing in your first tournament!"

Another friend who deserves some recognition is Justin Gonzalez.  Justin is an Specialist with the Army Infantry stationed at Ft. Bliss, and fighting with their fight team.  Justin is a white belt who wanted a challenge so he stepped up to the blue belt divisions and did really well.  Solid cat with a great Jits game.  Justin, thank you for your service brother!  It was an honor to fight you!

So tell me your excuse for not competing!

Lessons Learned: 
As I stated I am still analyzing and going over in my mind what I need to do to improve.  I plan on sitting down with Brian in the near future to analyze tape.  Overall I am frustrated with my game.  I should be doing better after 4 years, 2 1/2 at blue belt!  Some things I realize immediately:

- One really needs a team to help support and warm up.  Thanks to my bro Big Mike for taking me to the tourney, taping, and helping throughout the weekend!  But without a warm up roll it takes a match or two to warm up.  Those are precious matches that cannot be lost!

- I felt my offense was solid, but my defense continues to be riddled with holes.  My arms float out too much.

- On a positive note I got lots of compliments on my guard from my opponents!

- The Machado family is awesome!  Mucho thanks to Brandon Bravo for helping coach me during my no gi matches.  He was super nice and really helpful, though I could not hear him much during my matches.  Everyone in the Machado family are out to help!

- My Blackhawks gi got mad props throughout the day!  That's right haters I wore it and with style!  Got all sorts of compliments on it!

- Hillary Williams and Riley Bodycomb were their, the former reffing, while Riley competed.  Riley is super nice and approachable, and he nailed a wicked strong and fast heel hook in his first fight!

- I met Baret Yoshida and watched him DOMINATE the pro division without even breaking a sweat!  The guy is simply one of the best.  Nice guy too!

Well that is a long enough post, and if any of you are still awake and reading I just want to say thanks to those who did show up last week to roll.  I really needed the minutes on the mat and for some reason the dojo has been barren lately.  Much thanks to my family and Dana.  And of course eternal thanks to my teachers Brian Johnson and Tim Cartmell.  I do my best to make you proud.  I have a lot of work to do.

Back to the mat!
Jake

Joao Assis vs. Nolan Dutcher

Joao Assis pulls off a great submission win at the 2010 World Series of Grappling.  Thanks to Grapplers Quest for this video.
Anyone who has rolled with Brian has seen this "Breaking the Twigs" into a toe hold.  Beautiful submission!


Awesome Inspiration

Amazing montage.  Thanks to Ross Boxing!

Dear Wandy

Having a problem with your spouse?  Trouble with the boss at work?  Feeling down or depressed lately?  Well now you have access to one of the worlds foremost experts in conflict management, when you have a problem just ask the Axe Murderer Wanderlei Silva!

December 20, 2010

Wicked KO!

Here is a wicked head kick KO from Its Showtime fighter Anderson "Braddock" Silva on Freddy Kemayo.  Savate does the block he was trying where you drop your left arm and bring your right hand across to shield.  Freddy did not tighten up his technique and the angle was off allowing the kick to whiz by with seriously consequences.  Personally I think this is a foolish way to cover a round kick to the head, where keeping his left arm high and tight on his head would have protected him better allowing his arm to take the brunt of the force and not his melon!

As always keep your hands up!
Jake





December 14, 2010

Lucky Gi Review

Scotty over at On The Mat is one of the most innovative kimono manufactures in the business right now.  He has spent countless hours and thousands of his own dollars seeking out the very best in Jiu Jitsu gi manufacturing and design.  The Luck Gi line is just one of Scotty's many creations, but it is arguably THE creation that put On The Mat, on the map!

This is the second Lucky Gi I have owned over the past 4 years and I must admit they are DURABLE!  Certainly not a lightweight gi by any stretch of the imagination, Lucky Gi's are probably the most durable and rugged gi's I have ever worn.  Weighing in at a monster 7 pounds this is not the gi you want to be taking to the worlds and competing in.  But as a stand up practice kimono this gi will weather any storm.

For reference this is a A-5, I am 6'4" 215#'s 
The pattern for this gi was designed by a veteran suit maker, making it the only sport cut fit gi on the market that I know of.  I must admit I like the fit overall.  The skirt takes about one pull to get out of the belt which is ideal for gi chokes, the only drawback being it is such a thick collar and heavy gi that gi chokes are often rather slow and clumsy (could just be my lackluster gi choke game too).

All seems are reinforced and believe me they hold.  I do not have a single rip or tear in my old Lucky that I have had for over 4 years.  None of the seems have frayed at all.  The knees on the pants have built in pads which come in nice and handy on those puzzle mats and rough mats still found in some academies.  The collar is solid foam injection and is quite thick.  Depending on your game this is either a positive or a negative.  Be forewarned, the thick collar offers a solid grip for your opponent.

The thick American cotton (the gi is made in China though) and the intricate stitch weave are credited for the amazing durability, the only downside being the fabric does not breathe quite as easily as some of my other gi's.  The pants will often become rather clingy and start sticking to my legs when rolling.  I sweat A LOT and I live in Washington state = moisture-moisture-moisture!  So air stagnation and gi's that breathe are very important.  The Lucky gi's thick cut leave me wanting a bit more air movement.

Sorry for the cluttered pic, it was pouring outside!
I have noticed two main divisions in BJJ when it comes to gi flare and design; the minimalist, and the NASCAR wanna' be!  The minimalist thinks any kind of patch or design is just ridiculous and wishes to keep the uniforms clean and "pure" as they were 80 years ago.  The NASCAR fans love to adorn their gi's with patches, designs, embroidery, basically anything and everything they can find.  With the Lucky Gi you have an obvious Irish theme that I must admit appealed to me.  The not so hidden connotation of gamble - risk - reward are prevalent with the Ace of Spades on the inside sleeve, the lucky number 13 on the skirt mirrored by a black cat on the opposite side.  Overall people seem to love or hate the design, judging by sales and how many people I see sporting the gi's... the majority love it.

Reinforced stitching and knee pads
The Lucky line has a number of kimono's to chose from including the Lucky Gi in white / black / blue, as well as the signature series which are designed by Marcelo Garcia, Jeff Glover, and Rafael Lovato Jr.  Now I have never rolled in any of these designs, but I have tried on a couple at the various On The Mat stores throughout the southwest (lame ass Seattle does not have one) and I must say the major difference I immediately noticed was how soft and smooth the inside of the Lovato Jr. gi was!  I mean baby butt soft!  This is a factor for those who roll without rash guards, as the regular Lucky gi is a bit rough on the inside comparatively.   View the various models and designs here.

No sense in beating around the bush, I pull no punches... the price of a gi is usually the deciding factor if ones wife is really serious when she says she supports ones Jits lifestyle!  Well the Lucky gi will test the bonds of that relationship coming in at a cool $249 MSRP!  Now lets be fair, I just got done telling you I have owned my old Lucky gi for 4 years.  That works out to about $60 a year, about $5 a month over that time period!   A lot of my light weight gi's have not lasted 1/2 that time frame.  So worth is subjective.

One thing you must be aware of is the shrinkage.  My old Lucky gi has shrunk to the point of I cannot wear it any longer.  No holes.  No tears.  No rips.  But major turtling in the shrinkage department!  Exercise caution with the clothes dryer.  

Overall the Lucky Gi is solid.  An extremely durable gi which you will get your moneys worth from for sure, and it is in a limited run (Scotty informed me they are down to the last of the inventory and they will not be made again).  Perfect gift just in time for the holidays, order your Lucky gi here!


Solid stitching throughout.

Nice trident shaped reinforcement

December 11, 2010

Alistair Overeem - K-1 World Champ

Congrats to Alistair Overeem on his first K-1 World Grand Prix (most prestigious kickboxing tournament in the world) championship!  Fighting an 8 man tournament all in one night is impressive enough, doing it with two TKO's in the first round is down right filthy!!

Quarterfinals Overeem beats Tyrone Sprong (decision)
Semifinals Overeem beats Gokhan Saki (TKO 1st round)
Finals Overeem beats Peter Aerts (TKO 1st round)



Hopefully this means we will see Overeem defending his Strikeforce MMA title more in the near future.  He has stated that winning K-1 has been a dream of his since childhood.  Scott Coker (president of Strikeforce) was kind enough to allow Overeem to pursue such goals.  Now it is time to help Coker out with realizing his dream of giving the UFC a run for its money.  This coming year will be an interesting one for sure.

Enjoy,
Jake

Congrats Eddie Bravo: 2nd Degree Black Belt

Big congrats to Eddie Bravo on his promotion to 2nd degree black belt from Jean Jacques Machado!

December 10, 2010

Save MMA in New York

I usually steer clear of political conversation because in general it gets no where fast.  But one topic that is rather important is the legalization of MMA in the state of New York.  For a number of asinine reasons mixed martial arts (MMA) events have not been able to get licensed and sanctioned due to archaic legislature

Below is a letter from my friend Steve Koepher a Sambo instructor in New York City.  As you can see it is clearly laid out with instructions and pre-written letters ready to print, sign, and send!   Both residents and non-residents alike can help to institute MMA in New York.

Thanks
Jake





As friends, members, and supports of the American Sambo Association, you have often come to our aid with many projects in the past. Now, I have a VERY CRITICAL favor to ask all of you who love the sport of MMA and want to see MMA legalized in New York State.
 
Do you want to see Mixed Martial Arts at Madison Square Garden?
Do you want to see Mixed Martial Arts at Nassau Coliseum?
Do you want to see Mixed Martial Arts at the HSBC Arena?
Do you want to see Mixed Martial Arts at the Blue Cross Arena?
Do you want to see smaller local shows in your town?
 
YOU HAVE TO ACT NOW!
 
THE NEW YORK LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR BEGINS JANUARY 5TH, 2011.
 
LET OUR OFFICIALS KNOW WHAT WE WANT ON DAY ONE!
 
For years now, we have sat back and let the lobbyists do our work for us with little result. It is time to admit that pettitions don't work, lobby dollars only go so farand that the only way our elected officials will act is if we tell them to act...ourselves!
 
Below are links to letters which I strongly encourage you to download, print out, fill out and mail to your NY State Senator AND Assembly person. THEY NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU DIRECTLY!
 
If you are a business owner, gym owner, promoter, or just a fan there is a letter for you. Please do not ignore this.
 
 
To find out who your local Senator and Assembly person is and where to mail your letters, visit the following links:
 
If you are not a New Yorker, but still would like to see MMA legaized in New York, please use these letters as a guide and mail one to Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo.
 
Thank you in advance for all your support!
 
LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN IN 2011.
 
FORWARD THIS E-MAIL TO ANYONE WHO YOU THINK WILL HELP!
 
Stephen Koepfer
President, American Sambo Association
Head Coach, New York Combat Sambo
PO Box 5773
Long Island City, NY 11105
www.ussambo.com
www.nycombatsambo.com

December 9, 2010

Its Only Gay if They Go To the Second Knuckle!

Wrestling does not need stories such as this...

Back in my day we had an assortment of names for such techniques; Asian Dart / Checking the Oil / The Shocker.... none of them were encouraged though!

Personally I think taking something to court in a sexual battery case is asinine (pun totally intended!), and as the article states wrestling is having enough problems (I will save my rant on Title IX garbage for another day) without bullshit like this making headlines.  None the less we must respect the laws of leverage, and to a certain degree you have lots of leverage when shoving a finger up someones asshole!  I personally will pass on the Asian Dart practice, but to each their own.

Thanks, I guess, to my bro Merph for bringing this to my attention.
Jake

Great Conditioning Videos

Here are a couple of excellent conditioning videos I found all over the net.  Conditioning cannot be overlooked in ANY combat sport, yet it seems it is often the first thing to be thrown out the door as everyone always wants to jump to cool techniques, sparring, etc. etc.

A couple of months ago I was put in charge of our competition class on Saturday at NWJJA.  I had everyone take off their gi tops and started to do basic conditioning exercises (squats / hindu push ups /  turtles / etc.).  It took all of 10 minutes before a bunch of pissing and moaning was happening (started by a brown belt no less!), which led to no one really pushing.

"When can we roll?"
"What does this have to do with BJJ?"

WOW!!!  I was stupefied!  Of the handful of folks complaining, perhaps one had ever competed!  Yes, that's right... competition class full of folks not competing, bitching about conditioning for competition!!

Anyhoo.... check out these vids and hopefully integrate some of it into your own workout routine (if you have one) as these exercises are excellent!

Train Hard.  Train Smart.
Jake

Abdominal Exercises:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMdSor8_UI0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R34yAmgv-Mw&feature=related



Abu Dhabi Pro Trials 2011

They finally have a site up and going for the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials 2011.   The Sheik is really trying to gain some momentum and interest in making BJJ a lucrative sport for competitors offering substantial prizes for victors both at the trials and the main event.

Check out Abu Dhabi Pro Jiu Jitsu for more info!

Cheers
Jake

December 7, 2010

Rigan Machado Visits Portland, OR.

The legend himself Rigan Machado will be visiting Portland, OR. offering seminars on Feb. 5th 2011!  If you have never trained with Rigan you are really missing out.  Even the great BJ Penn stated, "Rigan Machado is most definitely one of the greatest grapplers ever to live!"

Rigan's eye for detail is second to none.  The drills he develops are essential to BJJ.  Not to mention he is a super nice guy.  Truly a legend in the art of BJJ, and a rare opportunity to train hands on with a 7th degree Black Belt pioneer.

I do not have a flier for this yet, so click here for more information!

Search Amazon.com for Rigan Machado

Enjoy
JAB

Gracie Magazine Back Issues for Sale

I have the following "Gracie" magazine issues for sale in sets. I am willing to part with individual issues but discounted rates will not apply. Email me for S&H and to place your order: three_harmonies@hotmail.com

Set #1                                                              Set #2
($90)  ($25)

Issue # 110                                                      Issue # 124
111                                                             125
112                                                            126
113   127
115
117
120
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
157
158
162

Martin LaPlatney Updated Site

Hey guys, when you get the chance check out my teacher Martin LaPlatney's completely updated site.  He has great information on Liang Zhen Pu Bagua Zhang, as well as some of the best pictures and most detailed writing of Li Gui Chang's Xing Yi Quan.

My brother in arms Norwood, Martin, and my ugly mug.  Backyard training in New Mexico.
Martin is a great guy and excellent practitioner of the arts.  He has taught me a lot about Li Gui Chang and his approach to Xing Yi which is truly unique in my opinion.

Unfortunately I have not seen Martin in a couple of years, but our paths will cross once more I am sure.  He says to say hello to everyone here in the PAC NW.    

December 4, 2010

Buakaw vs. Imada Shootboxing S Cup

From Shootboxing's S Cup last week, Buakaw vs. Tony Imada.  This is classic Buakaw using his excellent understanding of range to pick Imada apart with round kicks to the legs!  Classic example of using range as Imada can barely put weight onto his left leg by the 3 minute mark!

Enjoy,
Jake

December 1, 2010

Martial Arts & Crafts - Hook Rugs

Tis' the season of gifts and gift giving, and their is something special about receiving a handmade item whether it be something artsy like a painting, or something practical like a woven scarf.  Recently my very own mum' had a hook-rug custom made with my logo on it, and not only was this a total surprise and wonderful gift, but the craftsmanship and beauty of the work I cannot convey in this pathetic Internet medium!  Again the picture here does not do the work justice as the detail is flawless.  The brush strokes ACTUALLY look like brush strokes!
This custom hook rug measures 22.5 x 22.5 inches


















The young lady who makes these is Laurie Zimmerman who can be reached at rughooker10@yahoo.com or 419-660-8679 (please keep in mind she lives in eastern standard time zone).  


Laurie does amazing work and these rugs are no exception.  Made of 100% wool, I cannot really explain the hook rug method (because I don't know), but as you can see these are beautifully made and quite rugged.  


Cost varies on size, and intricacy of design.  Great gift ideas for now, or the future.  


Happy Holidays,
Jake 
Close up of the design.

November 30, 2010

Shiko

Shiko is the sumo exercise most common to the layperson.  Essentially it is an exercise to increase balance, strength, and dexterity in the lower body (essential to Sumo and ANY combat sport).  Squats in general are often overlooked but essential to every body's fitness.  Combined with lifting your leg, balancing, and setting down with control... shiko is actually quite challenging.

Readers of the Ground Never Misses will remember the excellent Sumo Documentary post a few days back with Hakuho taking about the fundamental importance of basic exercises such as shiko.  He attributed this "old school" style of training to his success (arguably one of the best ever in professional Sumo).

Here is another great video of the science behind shiko:

"Standing Grappling" DVD Review

Our friend Dojo Rat posted a review of Tim Cartmell's excellent DVD on Standing Grappling.





Also click here to purchase any of Tim's great DVDs or books!


  Click here to read the whole review!

Enjoy,
Jake

November 29, 2010

Gluten Issues

Here is a great article from Jonathan that I thought was important enough to link here.  It is rather lengthy but has some great information and follow up comments with it.  Gluten causes a lot of problems with people and it is one of the most overlooked culprits in intestinal disease and issues.


Click here to check out the article on gluten!


Enjoy,
JAB

Great Resource for MMA Shorts

Jonathan has a great little site where you can get MMA shorts for decent deals.  Perfect for the grappler / fighter in your family this holiday season!

MMA Shorts.

Cheers
JAB

November 28, 2010

Great Vids from Armando Basulto

I have never met the man, but I really like his approach, attitude, and techniques in the following videos.  Armando Basulto runs an academy out of North Carolina: WNCBJJ.com

Enjoy,
Jake



November 25, 2010

The Gift of Teachers

I have been blessed so far in my few decades here on Earth.  I had an amazing upbringing.  I have never gone without the essentials of life.  I have been surrounded all my life with amazing teachers.  Some of my first memories of being taught anything is when my grandfather took me out into the fields of Ohio and taught me basic gun safety and  marksmanship.  My other grandfather was teaching me the finer points of chess at this same juncture in my life.   Two harbingers of the warrior way I seek in life.

  And though I did not always view it in such a manner, my parents have been the most influential teachers in my life.  As I grow older I realize that most people are not as fortunate as I am to come from a home that has never been broken, with two adults that care for their family more than anything else.  My parents have taught me how to live simply been living themselves and allowing me to learn.

   For the past 10 years I have had to travel to train with my teachers.  My first Chinese martial arts instructor Dug Corpolongo I trained with 4-6 times weekly.  When I met my first Mantis and Baji teacher Keith Weiner I continued to train with both teachers as much as possible while living in Albuquerque, NM.  After about a year of training with Keith he moved to NYC for work.  This was the first time I was faced with the dilemma of whom to train with.  No one in New Mexico did the styles I trained.  So I chose to continue training with Keith and thus began my traveling to train visiting New York City and beyond!

   Though I am closer to Hu Xi Lin now, I still travel to train with Tim Cartmell down in LA.  Fortunately I have an amazing BJJ coach here in town with Brian who I see 3-5 times a week on the mat!  But for the most part I have had to travel to see my teachers, coupled with hosting them for seminars these are the only ways I have been able to train.  In short, intense spurts where I am left on my own accord to train diligently and work on the material taught each visit.

   Though this relationship can be trying since one does not get as much mat time with his teacher, it is also rewarding in many other facets such as the quality of time spent together.  Just a couple weeks ago Tim came up from sunny So Cal and spent about 10 days in the Pacific NW.   The day to day interaction of living with your teacher, helping him teach classes by being a demo dummy, seeing how he himself sets an example is invaluable in and of itself!  It is these times were I learn not just how to kick butt, and the next coolest kimura variation Tim worked out.  But it is having a mentor to inspire and invoke that primal fire inside to push, to claw, to fight, to live!

  I remember training sessions at 2am in the morning in the living room with Mike Martello.  Of course we were drunk, watching some footage of Shuai Chiao... Mike would get an idea in his head and want to test it out.  2 hours later we would be getting yelled at by the wife because it was too late to be fucking around!!

   Lessons come at the strangest of times, in the weirdest of places.  Mantis Conference 2005, my student Alex and I come in from New Mexico to present and help out Hu Laoshi teach as well.  Middle of April and Ohio gets DUMPED on with a snow storm coming out of Canada!  A few beers later we are all in the hotel parking lot weaving in and out of rooms doing takedowns, sparring, showing applications from forms!

   The point of this hazy ball of nebulous hyperbole is that I want to express my gratitude to all the teachers in my life past and present.  And I hope I inspire you to look for those hidden teachers in your life, for without instruction could you imagine trying to navigate this maze of life!?  I have been blessed, and it has always been my desire to share those blessings with anyone open to learning.  For those few of you who had the opportunity to train with Mike you know exactly what I speak of.  We miss you Mike.  More than ever the Chinese martial arts need you!  None the less I thank you Mike for the time I had.

Give Thanks, and Stay Warm!
Happy Dead Turkey Day,
Jake

 

November 22, 2010

Sumo Documentary

I have yet to see anything as comprehensive and exact as this NHK production on the art of Sumo wrestling.  A wonderful 5 part series that should be watched by anyone who is a casual fan, or involved in any martial art.  Hakuho's insight into the mental aspect of Sumo-tori is great, and the bio mechanics of his posture when issuing and receiving force is amazing!  Hakuho credits solid basics in his climb to the highest rank in Sumo (yokozuna).

Enjoy,
Jake









Excellent Judo!

My Excellent Shuai Chiao clip is followed by this highlight reel of Isao Okano, who won the All Japan Championships 3 times!!  Beautiful work!

Enjoy
JAB

November 19, 2010

Excellent Shuai Chiao!

Here is video of the 2005 Shuai Chiao King competition.  Beijing's Gao Yu vs. Shanxi native Yun Linchun.  Both are "kings" of there weightclass.  Excellent demonstration (read: schooling) of Shuai Chiao competition.
Enjoy,
Jake

November 17, 2010

John Wayne Parr Training

John Wayne Parr is one of the most talented and prominent kickboxers of our generation.  Fighting out of Australia he is in the twilight of his career, yet still puts on a great show.  I stumbled across some of his training footage with Saenchai while he was visiting Thailand.  Saenchai is a living legend in the art of Muay Thai, and in this clip he and JWP do some friendly sparring.  Notice how relaxed and gentle they are with each other.  Many people have misconceptions on how one should train, but in my opinion the Thai's have it nailed.  You hit the bag and pads HARD, and you focus on technique and timing with your partners.  Fighters cannot afford to be injured, literally!  This is an excellent example of proper sparring:



Compared to his last day of pad work before fighting Yodsanklai:




Train Hard.  Train Smart.
Jake