March 31, 2010

Ronin Will Blog

For those who follow some of the blog's to your left on my main page, you know that Ronin Will (John Will's son) has had quite a trying 2010. Stabbed by his girlfriend, at 20 Ronin has gone through more surgeries and tests than most of us will go through in a lifetime!

John Will set up a blog to document the progress of Ronin as he has a long road to recovery. John's blogging has been inspirational and heart warming as it is heart breaking. Amazing attitude and clarity by John in his posts as of late.

Anyways, for inspiration and strength check out Ronin's blog as well as Johns!

Here is to a speedy recovery for Ronin. This is where his true warrior will shine through. Be strong brother, never stop fighting!

Sincerely,
Jake B.

Rigan Machado Seminar Review March 2010


One again the NW Jiu Jitsu Academy had the pleasure of hosting Rigan Machado this past Sunday for an impromptu seminar. Rigan was in the area doing some business and called us last minute to come by and train, and for a few lucky BJJ fools we got to spend a few hours training with one of the best BJJ has to offer.

Overall I would have to say the official - unofficial theme was using the aggressive guard, and transitions from there. Focusing on 1/2 guard, butterfly, and spider guard... Rigan led us through a handful of key drills utilizing the hook sweep and addressing certain situations that arise when our opponents react certain ways. For instance he built the seminar like this:

- Arm drag to hook sweep

- If the opponent posts his arm; we collapse the post arm and roll to that direction

- If the opponent sprawls; we shrimp out and take the back, belly down

- And we did an arm drag to directly taking the back if our opponent stayed in bottom 4 quarter position

- If our opponent stand; single leg

The beauty really was in the simplicity of the techniques he showed. Nothing fancy, no flying this's or that's. Just solid fundamental Jit's! The little tips and suggestions Rigan gave us individually were worth the admission alone. We had a small group so we got lots of personal attention from Rigan as he walked around correcting each group having us repeat the movements at least a dozen times before switching and letting our partners work.

Peppered throughout the seminar Rigan had us run drills with ever changing partners where all we did was transition through; arm bar / full guard / butterfly / spider / triangle... all over again. Through constant repetition the transitions started to flow and become second nature. This was what Rigan was talking about when he addressed the "aggressive guard." It does not mean you have to be a spazola trying to kill your opponent, but rather you are imposing your will on your opponent making them react to your actions. Rigan made several comments that the face of Jit's is changing. Becoming less of a defensive game, much more offensive.

Brian, Rigan, and I want to thank all the students who participated at last minute notice to make this happen. Rigan really enjoyed the visit, and I have heard nothing but positive comments from the attendees. We are truly blessed to have such a good friend and teacher as Rigan Machado who has nothing but passion and love for spreading the art if Jiu Jitsu.

Train Hard. Train Smart.
Jake

March 29, 2010

"Needle Through Brick" - DVD Review


"Needle Through Brick" is a great independent production from Season of Light studio, which documents the loss of Chinese martial culture in modern SE Asia. Filmed in Borneo in 2005, NTB is a heart felt story about how the unique gift of Chinese martial arts is fast becoming an antiquated trinket in the age of new gadgets, bells, and whistles.

Running just over 50 minutes the production quality (as with many documentaries) is top notch, and quite frankly the editing work is some of the best I have seen in modern documentaries. Telling the story of the diaspora of Chinese to SE Asia because of the Japanese occupation, and the Revolution via still photographs was both complete and harrowing. Audio and video are excellently executed.

The masters interviewed throughout NTB are not famous by any means. No world champions. No noted authors. These are simple men who share a passion for the Chinese martial arts coming from various backgrounds, and that is the appeal. Normal every day people who are the inheritors of something so rich as a martial art, yet these strong men are as fragile as a newborn babe if they cannot pass along their knowledge to the next generation. Demo's overdubbed with interviews pepper the viewer showcasing the physical beauty of the arts (for those martial nerds, the arts showcased are mostly southern in origin such as Hung Gar, White Crane, Chu/Chow Gar, and some Taiji as well), while listening to the teachers sharing stories of their past and discussing concerns of their future.

On one hand the teachers tell stories of how strict their teachers were, some being forced to pray to Jesus, others not being taught anything for up to 10 years having to prove their dedication, discipline, and loyalty! Then in the same breathe the teachers complain how students now days do not have the desire and dedication to train. Perhaps the casual observer would not think anything of this as lots of mystery and myth surround kung fu, but those who know a bit more about the reality of training would have to kind of shrug and scratch their head. Withholding lessons for a decade, forcing students to adhere to the dogma of your personal religion, one would have to wonder where the mystery is. No doubt students lack interest!

"Needle Through Brick" does not assume an answer to the question it poses. In true documentary fashion it simply reports the story, giving its subjects the conch, if you will, allowing the story to lay out as seen through the teachers eyes. I found myself wondering if the masters of yester-year such as O Sensei, Sun Lu Tang, Chang Dung Shen, Mas Oyama etc. sat around complaining about the laziness of their students 100 years ago. I think to a certain degree every generation thinks the newest crop of students do not live up to the standards set forth decades before. I do not believe this is a uniquely Chinese issue.

A fascinating glimpse into the world of Chinese martial arts through the eyes of those living in Borneo, Needle Through Brick offers a different course then what we typically see in martial art documentaries. As much as I enjoy form and fighting demo's, the real stories such as this one all too often are overshadowed by the glitz and glamour of pure performance with many films! This film echoes the concern many of us have had regarding the traditional martial arts. I know in my own personal practice and teaching I have observed that the overwhelming majority of interest in traditional arts and forms lie in the hands of those 40+. Most young students of mine are interested in fighting much more than the actual specific arts. Perhaps coincidental, or maybe just a reflection of our current state as a society I am not sure.

With this film, attention should be brought to the forefront of Chinese culture of just how important the native arts of China are, and wushu is NOT the answer to our woes! Those of us whom are instructors need to take note that though we are the gatekeepers of these traditions, we need to change a bit with the times and make an effort to reach out and share with those interested, and ensure all of our efforts throughout life are not in vain.


Enjoy,
Jake

March 28, 2010

Hakuho Wins Osaka Basho


Hakuho won the Osaka Basho with a flawless record 15-0. With fellow countryman Asashouryu retired Hakuho is pretty much the top dog in the pack, but look out for Estonian Baruto who has had a very impressive string of Basho's as of late. Going 14-1 in this Spring Basho, Baruto has pretty much assured his promotion to Ozeki. The official announcement is due Wednesday. Baruto also was awarded the best technique prize, as well as the fighting spirit award. Congrats to both Sumo as they have demonstrated great wrestling over the past two weeks!

Cheers
Jake

March 27, 2010

Charley Burley Technique Breakdown

Thanks to Ross Training for this great clip of one of the most underrated boxers ever to live, Charley Burley. This clip should be required viewing by anyone doing any striking art!

Enjoy,
JAB

March 22, 2010

Sun Jian Yun - Sun Taiji

Someone shared this on RSF, and I have never seen it before. Sun Jian Yun, Sun Lu Tangs daughter and Tim Cartmell's teacher, is here demoing a section of Sun Taiji. Not sure of the year but she is well into her 70's at least. Envious to see the energy and happiness her fathers Taiji still brought her well into her Autumn Years! She was a beautiful woman, it saddens me that I never had the chance to meet her and train.

I am not sure of what she is saying. Much of it is explaining the footwork ("Kai Bu"), and the names of the various postures, but I cannot make out the rest over the mind numbing music.

Enjoy,
Jake

Hu Xi Lin Footage / Northern Mantis Fighting Techniques

At the request of some of my friends and students, here is all the footage (that I know of) with Hu Xi Lin, my mantis teacher, online. Of course I have hours of stuff, but these are some clips from various training sessions and seminars we did over the past few years.




Poor John Duffey taking a beating! (Miss training with you brother)






Enjoy,
Jake

March 19, 2010

A Closer Look at the Budo Charter Pt. II - Training


ARTICLE 2: KEIKO

When practicing daily, one must constantly follow decorum, adhere to the fundamentals, and resist the temptation to pursue mere technical skill rather than the unity of mind and technique.

This is quite the interesting subject when regarding training. The first thing that jumps out to me is the mention of practicing daily. Some may say, "Wow, I am happy if I can get to the academy three times a week." And that is a valid issue in tod

ay's modern society. But keep in mind that practice is not just in the dojo, it is part of everyday life. Conflict resolution / prioritization of actions / keeping mentally and emotionally calm / ensuring we take care of our bodies properly etc. are all aspects of martial training that must be practiced at all waking hours of our life. To simply train only when at the school severely limits your growth and potential to become a martial artist.


"Decorum" is relative to culture. Certain etiquette and formalities can be dramatically diverse depending on which culture we are dealing with. This charter was obviously enacted by the Japane

se, therefore certain Japanese customs such as asking the permission of the instructor to speak prior to asking a question is common in traditional dojo's. Whereas most western instructors do not require such decorum. Again these vary school to school, and teacher to teacher.

Students must exercise caution in their expectations when it comes to teachers and fellow training partners. For instance I have witnessed many a broken heart because teachers will have a very strict code of conduct that they enforce diligently, for example some schools strictly forbid the use of alcohol or drugs by its students. The instructor cannot expect to hold students to higher standards than themselves. Many students look to the teacher as something just short of a demigod, and then they find out he drinks / smokes weed / had an affair / or any number of issues we may find unsavory in everyday life. Students and teachers alike need to always keep in mind that we are all human. Teachers are no better / worse than the students. Neither should abuse their position, rank, or authority for personal gain or benefit. Of course you must take this with a grain of salt since I am basically married to one of my students!;)

"Adhere to the fundamentals...." true dat! As my BJJ c

oach Brian states: "They are called the basics only because they have been proven to work." Fundamental underlying principles are what makes the art, an art. Even the fanciest moves out there are set up by the fundamental moves, or the threat of a fundamental move leaves an opening for the advanced fancy move.


This next chunk regarding uniting the mind, body, and spirit along with not pursuing technical skill is a rather in depth topic. Certainly I agree that one wants to make all the movements second nature using all our capacities to execute the technique. But one also must strive for technical proficiency! After all it is a martial art we are studying so we cannot ignore the fundamental difference between martial arts and basket weaving! Many whom are solely interested in fighting, or competing, often do not last at traditional academies, or they simply bounce around from

school to school never really learning about loyalty, dedication, eating bitter, or discipline for that matter.

Personally I believe one needs a bala

nce between attaining technical skill and working on unity of body, mind, and spirit. Ultimately they go hand in hand, but I understand why the charter makes a clear distinction. In today's Youtube culture it seems par for the course for people to be in a hurry and to learn / teach the next neat move. Kid Peligro dedicated a rant about this very subject.

Take your time and enjoy the journey. In the end you will discover their is no end.

Train Hard, Train Smart!

JAB

March 17, 2010

Rigan Machado Seminar Seattle, WA.


There are approximately 10 spots left as of 5pm on Wed. St. Patties Day, for a special seminar by Rigan Machado here in Seattle, WA. This event was VERY last minute, and is capped at 25 attendee's!
Details:

BJJ Seminar
w/ Rigan Machado
March 28th, 2010
2-5pm
$100
Seattle, WA.

"How do I register Jake?" - BJJ Billy Bad Ass
"Well Billy, I am glad you asked... simply get money to me and you reserve your spot. First come, first served. Again, only 10 spots are open for this. Feel free to call or email me." - Jake

I should not have to explain who Rigan is, but just in case... Rigan is to BJJ what Babe Ruth was to Baseball.

Cheers,
Jake
206-941-3232
three_harmonies@hotmail.com

March 16, 2010

Muay Thai Clinch Work

GREAT videos here of some Muay Thai clinch work. Awesome elbow KO, as well as some clean knee work in the clinch.
I post this because it is excellent work in the clinch, plus I want to show an example of what happens in the clinch for my students. Those of you who "eat" knees in the clinch only to counter five moves later... let this be a lesson. You must respect knees!

Also of note it should be evident how dangerous elbows are in combat! Be careful training them, but you must train them!


Lessons Learned; Revolution in Perspective



My Day
I cannot comment much on my game Saturday, since I did not have an opportunity to play it. My opponent (whom I fought twice) was all over me like white on rice! First match was instant survival mode as his pressure was excellent. I was actually uncomfortable underneath him! Using the gi very intelligently he wrapped my arm up with my own gi, and used it to give him leverage to finish the kimura. Of course I have seen this before, but it has never been done in competition to me. It is funny how you can do, or have done to you, a certain technique hundreds of times in practice, yet when it happens in competition it is like a slow motion train wreck.... you know you do not want to be there but you just can't seem to stop it from happening!
My second match was stronger on my end. He tried to muscle the take down but I was not having it. I managed an under hook (I think), and actually nailed a hip toss. The frustrating thing is though I nailed the take down he immediately rolled and reversed the position gaining the 2 points. Not to cry over spilled milk, but in my opinion the thrower should get two points here too! After all I did nail the throw, but he should also get the points for the reversal.

After that it was pretty much the same. I was more aggressive and got a sweep, but he had ahold of my arm and once again reversed the position into some kind of lapel choke. To be honest I am not sure what he nailed me with since it happened so fast.

So my day was over relatively quickly. I slowly changed and got into a different mindset as Brian had asked if I could stay a bit and help coach some of the other guys. Of course I was happy to oblige.


The Tourney
Jeff B. has adopted the IBJJF rules in an effort to unify regulations and make it easier on those who are training for some of the big tournaments and events. Overall I think this is a great idea. For the most part IBJJF's rules are pretty solid and good. I am not a fan of the lack of leg locks
allowed in their format, but they are slowly changing and evolving (for instance a body triangle is now considered the same as "hooks in" so if you put a body triangle on someone and hold for three seconds you get the points, where in the past you did not get points.

I am not going to pitch a bitch about the strange format. Jeff knows this is a flawed method, but in reality their is no perfect solution. I personally have no issues with single elimination formats. Hey I know it is tough, but so is combat. You enter a major tourney you do not get a second chance. One and done. Win, or go home! But at the local level this may not bode well with ones paying clients. So I understand where Jeff is at.

One thing I will say is there needs to be a change in how many mats are running, and how efficiently they are run. Four rings is not enough when you have 400+ people! The white belt division was supposed to be starting at 11:45am... by 3pm (when I had to leave) over 1/2 of our white belts had not even rolled yet!! WAY too much down time! Also too many breaks and dead time on the mat in between divisions. Nothing worse than showing up at a tourney at 9am only to sit around not knowing if you are going to fight for 6 hours! This can totally kill an athlete mentally and physically!

Overall this was the best local tourney I have yet to attend. The sandbagging (if it was present at all) was not evident. All players were respectful and sportsmen like (one exception I saw was a female, of course, throwing a fit because she lost. Poor reflection on her and her coach.). Hands down the deepest competition I have seen at a local tourney!

Always Learning
One thing I noticed with our group of students at the Revolution is the intense nervousness about competing. On one hand I understand; everyone gets nervous with competition. But on the other hand I think it affected some competitors negatively. First of all it is just a tournament; you will go home safely to your loved ones at the end of the day. Your pecker will still work, your financials will not be any worse off, your children will eat that night. Win or lose no big deal in the grand scheme of things. Now of course you want to win, but keep in mind only one person wins! In a tournament everyone else is a loser!

Personally I look at like this: I want to learn. I live to learn. Competition teaches me like no other. To be honest I was more bummed that I did not get to play any of my game, then because I lost. I actually was happy that I nailed my signature sweep (Amauri has been calling it the Ballard Bridge sweep. I like it for the time being!), though it got reversed immediately. I learned though... I learned that if he has my arm trapped and I execute the sweep I can be counter swept all together! Lesson learned.

The best lesson of the day came from Brian Welson (I hope I am spelling that correctly bro, that is how they spelled it on the bracket sheet!). I met Brian down in Portland last month at Tim's seminar, and we hit it off immediately. Brian reminds me of me, but younger. A blue belt who is a bouncer by trade (someone remind me to talk him out of that profession) from Salem, OR. who is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the future! He was at the Revolution alone and asked if I could coach him. Of course I was honored, but I wanted him to get someone better than me. I introduced him to Brian and Brian said if none of our guys were competing at the same time he would happily coach Brian. Well it turns out I ended coaching because Brian was busy with our students.

What Brian Welson does not realize is that he taught me more that day then I could have ever helped him with. To see BJJ played from the coaches perspective is truly a different beast unto itself. I have a LOT of work to do before coaching anyone in any type of ground grappling. My response time was behind, and I found myself trying to figure out what his opponent was trying to do instead of focusing more on my guys position and technique.

In the end Brian took 2nd place in his division. I have rolled with Brian and his technique is solid! He will be a tough, tough competitor coming up through the ranks. I look forward to rolling with him as time progresses, and I hope I helped more than I confused! Great job brother, and thank you for the opportunity to coach you!

Overall it was another positive experience on the mat. I look forward to the next tourney as we are starting to get some solid grapplers from all over the area offering some great competition. The purple belt division alone was stacked full of great fights.

Train Hard, Train Smart
JAB

"Needle Through Brick" - Trailer

"Needle Through Brick" is a documentary about the traditional Chinese martial arts and their legacy in SE Asia. I have not seen this film yet, only this trailer, but it seems like a solid documentary about some of the southern martial families that trace their origins to China. From the looks of the trailer it seems they are practicing some of the Hakka arts such as Chu / Chow Gar (Southern Mantis), Southern White Crane, and / or some of the other obscure southern arts.
Enjoy,
JAB


March 15, 2010

Congrats NWJJA at the Revolution

I wanted to take a moment and offer a big congrats to all from the NWJJA who competed this weekend. This was the largest team we ever took to a local tournament (at least since I have been with the academy: 3 1/2 years, with over 12 people I believe). Regardless of your record Saturday, you all won because you had the gall to step on the mat and to fight for the win. Brian, myself, and all your brothers and sisters are very proud of all of you!

I am going to apologize now as I know this list will be incomplete. PLEASE email me with corrections!! I had to leave at 3pm Saturday so I did not see some of the white belt matches, nor the no gi. My apologies guys.

Kharina - great first tourney girl
Kenny W - 1st gi & 2nd No gi
Craig Walsh - 3rd I think
Greg - 3rd
Matt Walsh - not sure but homie was tearing up the competition without a sweat!
Matt T -
Chris Webb - good fights brother
Phil - same with you scrappy!
Chicken Wing - next time
Taho -
Mike Adams - solid first tourney, keep it up
Rick-Nick - looked good too, another fine first tourney experience

Lets work harder, and train for the next big event! I will offer a review of the tourney in a separate post. Everyone did well though. Hands down the highest level of BJJ I have seen at a local event since I moved up here. There were some amazing purple belt fights with some solid talent coming up the ranks! PAC NW is packed full of talent.

Cheers
Jake

"Training Partners" - great article

One of the better articles I have ever seen on training partners from Jim Gruenwald, two time Olympic Team and current head coach at Wheaton College.

Strive to have these three partners!

JAB


Creating a complete wrestling environment (Part 1)– Jim Gruenwald

In my 12 years at the USOTC, I tried to be a student of the sport, not only as an athlete, but also in preparation for being a coach. This early attitude helped considerably to prepare me for my 4 years at the USOEC and now as a college coach. I looked at my time at the USOEC as an apprenticeship under Ivan Ivanov which added to my earlier learning. What made the transition easier from being an athlete to being a coach was studying the coaches who mentored me. How much of their influence is in the following ideas, I do not know, but I give them credit for making me a better coach than I could have been without them.

With that said, coaching tip number one to create a complete training environment is to have a wrestling room where you have three different types of training partner. I firmly believe, and would go so far as to say I know, that you need these three distinct types of partner to have the necessary tools for thorough training. Just training with any one partner for extended periods limits your ability to grow as an athlete. This does not mean a person cannot grow, but the growth is limited. The argument could easily be made that some people plateau in training because of an unwillingness to adopt or an ignorance of the three partners.

The first partner, in no particular order of importance, is the training partner that you can beat up. This person acts almost like a living throwing dummy. Obviously the individual must be good enough and well versed in the sport to be able to react correctly to set ups and situations, yet they are practically unable to stop you in a live situation. This partner allows one to hit technique in a live situation which allows for a more thorough training for muscle memory than just pure drilling can accomplish. The set up and timing of the move in a live situation is far more beneficial than mindlessly drilling technique for hours. I am not opposed to drilling technique, but like memorizing facts for a math test, it is the lowest level of learning. As with any higher level thinking, i.e. the application of concepts such as the Pythagorean Theorem to the sides of a right triangle, so there must be higher level muscle training which can be developed by applying the technique in a live situation. The downside of only using this partner is that you are never tested in close-to-competition conditions and can become overconfident because inexperience at higher level intensity or pressure circumstances that can be achieved only by the other two partners.

The second partner must be an individual that you have no idea of the outcome. This individual could be someone you beat one day and lose to the next. This training partner requires you to always be learning and bringing something new to the mat to gain an edge. The constant give and take, flowing seamlessly from offense to defense creates an atmosphere very close to competition. This partner requires near to total perfection for hitting a technique. Working out with this individual takes your wrestling to the next level of muscle memory and training. However, the unfortunate shortcoming of this partner, if overused, is the inability to score. Two people always training together will come to know their partner so well they anticipate each other to the point of stagnancy of action or score.

The last type of partner is found in an individual that can crush you. This training partner teaches you how to survive what seems to be the insurmountable. This may not be an easy person to find if you happen to be the biggest and best in the room. Yet, with creative training, it can be fashioned. For instance, having several partners circle in on one person, or going through a short but intense strength and/or conditioning exercise that puts you in a fatigued state. This teaches you to be sharp in your fatigue and to survive in bad situations. Overusing this technique can frustrate a person, and because you are fighting to survive can leave the door to injury open for too long a period of time. Although if we are honest with ourselves, how many of us are really willing to find someone who can squash us? Or willing to put ourselves at a severe disadvantage?

Each partner has a positive benefit and, if misused, a negative aspect. Granted there may be times where having all partners is not possible or practical for individual needs. Some people need a particular partner to get mentally ready pre-competition and using all three may be detrimental to an ideal competition preparation phase of training. Nevertheless, each partner serves a purpose. Each partner provides an opportunity to improve in specific ways. Moreover, if used correctly the training partners can be likened to a ladder. As you improve, you leave behind the person that was once someone you could crush. The person who could go toe-to-toe with you becomes someone you can crush. The person or created situation that could crush you now becomes the toe-to-toe and you have to find a new person or create a new situation to put you at a severe disadvantage. Another step up the ladder and another step closer to a championship or achieving a goal is made.

Some stick with training partner number one and become the big fish in the small pond. Others get caught in a rut of training with partner number two, or become discouraged because of too much time spent with training partner number three. Take responsibility for your career and embrace the challenge to find all three and use them wisely in your training. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, the other choice is to keep doing the same-ole-same-ole and wonder why you never get better - Blaming officials, coaches, or finding some other excuse as to why you lose. In my experience it is the rare person who searches for, finds, and then uses all three training partners. Be that rare person by having the courage to use all three

March 11, 2010

A Closer Look at the Budo Charter Pt. I


As laid out a few days ago, we will dive into the Budo charter and how it applies to all martial arts. Though the Japanese spearheaded this charter the principles and objectives are not unique solely to Japanese arts. I think we will see that truly ALL martial arts share the same goals and outlooks in their practice.

ARTICLE 1: OBJECT

The object of budo is to cultivate character, enrich the ability to make value judgments, and foster a well disciplined and capable individual through participation in physical and mental training utilizing martial techniques.

It should be fairly obvious to even the beginner student of the martial arts that their is a lot more to our practice than just kicking some ass. Actually it is funny how this attitude changes more and more as we accumulate more time training and practicing. When we train a given martial system properly (ie. including some level of uncooperative sparring) we put ourselves in situations of stress. When our bodies, minds, and spirits are stressed we learn about ourselves. How hard can I push my body before it gives out? Can I stay focused on the task at hand even when things are not going my way? Do I have the will, the spirit, the gameness, to step up to any challenge and give it 100% regardless of the perceived outcome?

These questions can be related to anything; your job; your spouse; football; or even making a birdhouse.

One of the key components in this first section is found with making sound value judgements. While sparring you may attempt a certain technique only to have your opponent counter said

technique. Was it worth opening your self up to the counter technique in an effort to score your technique? These are value judgements that we must make in a split second under considerable stress when engaged in combatives. But it is exactly this type of training that enables us to make sounds value judgements in our everyday life when we are inoculated with stress. When we train we understand how our minds and bodies will react. We can reflect on our sessions later and learn from our mistakes and our successes. In essence we are practicing all the time!

Quite simply what this all boils down to is being able to work with anxiety. Contrary to what some believe you will always have stress in your life, it is your ability (inability) to deal with it that either makes or breaks the individual. By training in the martial arts we constantly are forging our bodies, minds, and spirits in the flame of combat. But the true application lies in our ability to translate these lessons into our everyday lives, as for most of us the time spent at the dojo is but a minute percentage of our lives. We spend many more hours dealing with family, work, and the humdrum of normal life!


Cheers,

JAB


Sambo Legend Igor Kurinnoy Highlight

I am borrowing this highlight from Roy Dean's blog. Excellent execution of technique from one of the best in Sambo. Igor comes to the states every now and then, and I would love the chance to train with him in the future sometime.
Enjoy,
JAB

March 10, 2010

No Gi Essentials DVD Release


Our good friend Roy Dean has finished production of his latest grappling DVD, this time tackling "No Gi Essentials." You can order the DVD here!

I have not seen this DVD yet, but I will surely get it down the road and will review it here like Dean's past DVD's (which are some of the best in the industry).

Enjoy,
JAB

March 9, 2010

A Closer Look at the Budo Charter (and how it applies to all martial arts)


The Budo Kensho (Budo Charter) was revised in 1987 by the Japanese Budo Assoc. in an effort to uphold the fundamental principles of traditional Budo. In the latest issue of Journal of Asian Martial Arts Edwin Symmes shares this charter with readers, accompanied by a nice article on forging the warrior within oneself. Symmes is a Kyudo (Archery) student.

The charter according to Judoinfo.com is as follows:

ARTICLE 1: OBJECT

The object of budo is to cultivate character, enrich the ability to make value judgments, and foster a well disciplined and capable individual through participation in physical and mental training utilizing martial techniques.

ARTICLE 2: KEIKO

When practicing daily, one must constantly follow decorum, adhere to the fundamentals, and resist the temptation to pursue mere technical skill rather than the unity of mind and technique.

ARTICLE 3: SHIAI

In a match and the performance of kata, one must manifest budo spirit, exert himself to the utmost, win with modesty, accept defeat gracefully, and constantly exhibit temperate attitudes.

ARTICLE 4: DOJO

The dojo is a sacred place for training one's mind and body. Here, one must maintain discipline, proper etiquette, and formality. The training area must be a quiet, clean, safe and solemn environment.

ARTICLE 5: TEACHING

When teaching trainees, in order to be an effective teacher, the budo master should always strive to cultivate his/her character, and further his/her own skill and discipline of mind and body. He/She should not be swayed by winning or losing, or display arrogance about his/her superior skill, but rather he/she should retain the attitudes suitable for a role-model.

ARTICLE 6: PROMOTION

When promoting budo, one should follow traditional values, seek substantial training, contribute to research, and do one's utmost to perfect and preserve this traditional art with an understanding of international points of view.


I will offer my thoughts and opinions on these 6 articles and how they apply to all martial arts, and everyday life over the coming days.


Enjoy,

JAB

March 4, 2010

Basic 12 Curriculum - BJJ DVD Release by Brian Johnson


We are very pleased to announce the launch of Brian Johnson's (NW Jiu Jitsu Academy) first volume in his BJJ series on his "Basic 12 Curriculum."

For those who are unaware, Brian has structured his curriculum into 12 fundamental positions, with two lessons each position. This is a unique approach in the BJJ world where often instructors have no set curriculum which can lead to frustration and confusion for beginners and fellow teachers alike.

In this first volume (of a planned three volume series) Brian covers the following key fundamental positions:
-Top Control
-Mount To Back
-Closed Guard
-Pass To Mount

Do not be mistaken, these are not meant to be comprehensive tutorials on each given position, but rather serve to introduce the beginning student to the fundamentals of each position, and transition. Of course submissions are included but they are not the focus of the instructional. Rather the focus is on how to gain and MAINTAIN a dominant position!

The brilliance of this DVD is in the teaching formula Brian lays out not only for the student, but also for the teacher of BJJ. Every lesson is done three times showing different angles with clear concise explanations of each movement and position. Instructors will find the teaching guidelines invaluable, as how to teach is a rarely addressed topic in all martial arts.

The DVD is capped off with a warm introduction by Rigan Machado, and some fight footage of Brian using these sound fundamentals to win such prestigious events as Grapplers Quest (3x Black Belt Champ) / 09 World No Gi BB Champ / 08 Silver World No Gi!

Those of you who know me know I am loyal to a fault. so of course this is a biased posting. But those of you who know me, also understand I do not settle for second rate when it comes to anything (beer, women, scotch, martial arts), and I would not be pimping these DVD's unless they were worth every cent of the mere $40 you will spend for this! If you are remotely interested in BJJ you need these volumes in your library.


Future volumes include the following lessons:
-Side Mount / Knee Ride / Mount Escape / Escape to Guard
-Guard Attacks / Open Guard / Top Attacks / Takedowns

Enjoy,
JAB

New Look - New Site - New Article - Same ole' Journal of Asian Martial Arts


A lot has been happening at Go Via Media, publishers of the renowned Journal of Asian Martial Arts. They are in the process of changing their website, as well as the availability of the quarterly journal. Rumor has it the only way you will be able to get your grubby little hands on a copy is via subscription (print or online), or by purchasing back issues.

In the first issue of their new format (smaller journal, still great quality paper, articles, and publishing), vol. 19 # 1, I have an article entitled "North Star: Head Butting as a Weapon in the Chinese martial arts." I feel this is a thorough introduction to the methods of head butting found in all martial systems, not just the Chinese based. As always I welcome any constructive criticism.

Much thanks to DKB Images, Mike "Shadow" Robinson, Dana Benjamin, and Tim Cartmell for making the article happen!

Enjoy,
JAB

Derek Wojcik - Grappling Beast

Mucho thanks to Roy Dean for sharing this on his blog. Derek Wojcik is tearing up the competition in wrestling. Two things really stick out in this video (athletic domination aside); one is his fusion of BJJ / Sambo / Judo / Wrestling techniques. I have no clue of his background, but he does several take downs unique to BJJ, and Sambo! Great pins and transitions! The popularity boom of the grappling arts is starting to really shine through. The second thing that really shines forth is how much of a gentleman Derek is. There are more than a handful of times he has his opponent elevated and could really slam the hell out of him, but he shows his clear domination and sets his opponent down gently into a control position. Some of the knuckleheads out there could learn a thing or two from young Derek.

Enjoy,
JAB