March 29, 2011

DVD Review - "Combat Sambo: Dynamic Entries" by Reilly Bodycomb

Following in the footsteps of his excellent two part Leg Locks tutorial (should be considered the new "bible" for leg locks IMHO), Reilly Bodycomb has just introduced his latest release "Dynamic Entries."  To the best of this reviewers knowledge this is the first instructional DVD to specifically address some of grappling's high flying fancy techniques, subs, and entries.  Aoki and Imanari include some crazy moves on their respective DVDs, but not to the extent of Bodycomb.  Asked what his impetus was with creating such a DVD; "Flying Arm bars are awesome!"  'Nuff said!



A Combat Sambo student of Steve Koepfer out of NYC, Reilly's approach is multifaceted in that he is not just a grappler, but also does stand up striking and MMA.  Throughout the DVD the student is taught via a self defense / fighting framework.  Certainly the majority of the moves will work in grappling only environments, but being from Combat Sambo Reilly addresses defensive techniques against kicks, covers from punches, as well as specific collar ties.  Students of all backgrounds will benefit from this DVD regardless of your style or approach!

Organized in nine easy to navigate chapters, "Dynamic Entries" flows in a very easy to follow progression from Kick Counters - Overhook Entrances - Underhook - Collar Tie (Muay Thai Plum) - Guillotine - Dynamic Shots - Takedown Counters - Leg Control Simplified - The Knot, ending with a rolling credit page which highlights Reilly nailing some of these crazy entries and subs in competition footage!

Here is a sample entry:


As you can see Reilly's instruction is clear, concise, and precise even when teaching something as crazy as this move made famous by Masakazu Imanari (shown at :06 of this highlight):



Demonstrating the technique at full speed first, then showing multiple angles and repetitions as Reilly is instructing in a voice over make this DVD super easy to follow at home with a training partner.  I really liked the black mat background, but I would have liked to have seen Reilly in one color and his partner in another just to make it easy to see whose leg goes where, especially in crazy leg tie up submissions like The Knot.

The video is shot from one camera angle and is clear and stable.  Reilly does a great job ensuring many different angles are presented, as well as using stop action frames so the student can see progressively how the technique is done.  This is an absolute necessity when shooting something like Flying Arm bars and their ilk.  Unlike submissions in the guard where one can demonstrate slowly and methodically, most flying techniques are at the mercy of gravity, so stop action filmography is a must and Reilly and his crew nail it!

As mentioned previously the audio is voice over instruction so their is no garbled rustling around with mics on uniforms, and no do overs when someone misses a line, or gets jumbled up.  In my opinion this is the way to go with instructional's and I am not sure why others do not follow this line of thinking.   DVD creators take note, use "Dynamic Entries" as a template for projects projects.

The score for this DVD has to be given a huge shout out since it is reminiscent of 80's video games taking us back to the high flying Donkey King and Mario Bros. days!    8 - Bit music provided by Mark Denardo.

Overall this DVD is much more than just entries, though the focus remains on bridging the gap and getting hold of your opponent.   Students of stand up as well as ground based systems will benefit from these techniques as Reilly covers a wide spectrum:

Kick Counters - Leg catches and follow up submissions from round kick and push kick defenses.  Leg locks are an obvious right off the bat when catching kicks.  Not only does Reilly guide us through the take down, but also the quick leg attack; "The best submission is the fastest!"

Overhook - Defensive entry followed by teaching the legendary Victor Roll (you will see this throughout the DVD so pay attention) as well as high percentage take downs into side control positions.

Underhook - Again working a defensive entry into tying up the under hook.  I like this approach as it is comprehensive and usable immediately in self defense situations by students.  All too often instructionals show one aspect of a technique, but if the student does not know how to get into that exact position... well then it all becomes superfluous!  This is where Reilly shows quite possibly the awesomest (yes, yes, I did!) technique ever: Flying Head Scissor.  "The flying head scissor is about as awesome as it sounds!" - Bodycomb

Collar Tie - Offering six various techniques including a detailed tutorial on tightening up your triangles, this is a great chapter for budding MMA fighters!  I also appreciate that Reilly offers sound warnings and advice on avoiding injuries with high flying techniques and dangerous takedowns such as scissor takedowns and the like.  Shows the maturity of a coach who has been there and done that, even at such a  young age.

Guillotine - This chapter meshes well with the previous offering a detailed tutorial (and a variation I have never seen) on the Guillotine along with flying arm bars and rolling shoulder locks.

Dynamic Shots - Reilly is renown for his crazy entries usually ending up badly for his opponent's knee, foot, or ankle.  When I met him at NAGA World's last December he enthusiastically came running up to show me his 25 second heel hook he just nailed!  Here is him breaking down several of those entries.  Valuable unto itself!

Takedown Counters - Here is the meat and potatoes of the DVD showcasing seven different technique flows, but the gold is in the details.  Reilly offers so many little tidbits of info even discussing his opponents takedown attempts in detail.  These are all scenarios one could end up in such as attempted double legs, caught kicks, as well as reverse Victor Rolls.

Leg Control Simplified - If you do not own Bodycomb's two volume leg lock bible, this chapter will convince you of it's value!  Reilly offers great advice on how to control your opponents free leg when attacking his other foot.  A topic very few have covered, and none of them as thorough as Reilly.

The Knot - Carrying on from the previous chapter, the Knot is a leg tie up position that needs to be seen to be understood!  Variations including Reilly's favorite The Love Knot are also explored.  Besides the lesson on tying the knot, the submission chain, and leg attack defense elements of this chapter are invaluable.

Just in case you did not know who this young grappler is....


"Dynamic Entries" is a great addition to any martial artists library.  I caution newbies with trying a lot of these techniques out as they could end badly for both you and your training partner!  Train hard, but train smart!   Reilly has a great sense of humor and is very humble considering his depth of knowledge in the art of Sambo.  He is currently training out of Guy Mezger's gym in Dallas, TX. and is available for seminars and workshops.

To order "Dynamic Entries" simply click here and you will be lead to Budovideo

Enjoy,
Jake

March 28, 2011

Eric Winston Wins his KOTC Debut

What a hugely amazing weekend for Ace Jiu Jitsu out of Fountain Valley, CA. as Eric Winston won his first pro MMA bout with King of the Cage "Turning Point".  Winning in Ace fashion by taking his opponents leg apart just 30 seconds into the fight with a wicked heel hook!

Funny... reminds me of a certain local Sambo guy whose response to an invite to a seminar with Tim Cartmell on leg attacks was, "What can a BJJ guy teach me about leg attacks?"


Congrats Eric and team Ace!
Jake

March 27, 2011

2011 Pan Am's Results

Some congrats are in order as the weekend winds down with the IBJJF's 2011 Pan Am BJJ Tournament in Irvine, CA.

Big ups for our friend Georgette for stepping up and fighting in her first Pan Am fight.  The experience is an invaluable learning tool.

NWJJA's master instructor David Meyer took the Senior Black Belt  division in dominating style.  One of only a few Machado black belts fighting.

Ace Jiu Jitsu had an amazing tournament when the dust settled.  Instructor Chris "The Broom" Thue won his first major tournament as a black belt, sweeping up the competition in the senior division.

Edmund "Young Master" Kim absolutely dominated the blue belt middleweight division.  82 competitors.  7 fights.  4 won by submission.  Not a single point scored against.  Rumor has it Shoyoroll even picked him as a sponsor!  Keep it up Edmund, sky is the limit brother.

Joaquin Galdamez placed second in his first purple belt tournament, and all told Ace took six medals with ten fighters.  Not bad at all guys!

Congrats to all who stepped up and fought.  Regardless of the outcome you are a warrior and no one can ever take that away from you.  I hope to join you next year!

Congrats,
Jake

March 24, 2011

DVD Review - "Mastering Sweeps" with John Will

John Will's latest media venture "Mastering Sweeps" has just hit the market and is arguably his best DVD instructional on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu yet!   "Mastering Sweeps" is the third DVD in the Master series from Will, following in the footsteps of the excellent "Mastering Armbars" & "Mastering Chokes."  For those of you still living in the dark John Will is one of BJJ's "Dirty Dozen" representing Australia's first BJJ black belt and making him one of the most experienced martial artists still teaching.  The art of troubleshooting is nearly lost, yet Johns ability to reverse engineer and zero in on problems has earned him the moniker "The Coaches Coach."  Read on and see why...



Encompassing 24 sweeps over two hours, "Mastering Sweeps" flows like a private lesson with John.  Speaking directly at the camera  John's demeanor commands your attention, and his instruction is a lesson unto itself.  I have had the privilege and honor to train with John on a handful of occasions and I must admit he is unquestionably one of the best instructors I have ever met.  Extremely focused, John ensures that not a syllable is wasted in instructing students how to do something.  His pedagogical approach is second to none (in fact many top coaches hire him to teach them how to be better coaches!) and that zeal is not lost in digital format.

For those of you who thrive on the latest, coolest, craziest variation on a sweep are bound for disappointment with this DVD.  Ignore the rest of this review, stick to YouTube and you will be much happier....


Okay, now that I have the serious BJJ players attention...
Don't get me wrong there are plenty of sweeps and variations on themes here, my point with the above comment is that John Will is not interested in re-inventing the wheel.  He is not known for his newly developed, crazy named, ego stroking maneuvers.  Rather John takes the most basic, simplest, oldest technique and analyzes the living day lights out of it!  The logical and detailed progression is a caveat of Will's and he prides himself on ensuring the student knows WHY something works.  In other words Will details the movement down to the bio mechanical leverage that is being used, yet teaches in the most basic and simplest of ways for students to understand.  On top of all this he offers little drills throughout the DVD to get better at the particular sweep he demonstrates.

Above and beyond the WHY's of a given sweep, Will then offers the golden nugget in this DVD... common problems one can encounter when attempting such sweeps.  This is where "Mastering Sweeps" goes from average DVD instructional, to a must have DVD instructional!  A black belt under the Machado brothers (renown for their attention to detail) since 1998, John has so much mat time logged in that one would be hard pressed to stump him with a reaction to a technique.  It is this troubleshooting that has earned Will's nickname "The Coaches Coach."

Composed in 24 easy to access chapters the overall technical aspects of the DVD are solid.  Filmed with one camera, John ensures multiple angles, as well as multiple repetitions, are shown throughout the DVD with all the sweeps taught.  The audio is crisp and clear even when John is rolling and speaking into the mat (because of a certain position or transition).  He has a bit of an accent, but I notice in his DVDs he refrains from using certain Aussie colloquialisms (one seminar was rife with conversation on the subtle difference between bumper cars vs. dodge 'em cars!) and analogies.

One of the best aspects of Will's "Mastering Sweeps" is the use of an overhead angle when reviewing each sweep.  This is hardly ever used in today's instructional productions and is an excellent addition to seeing how certain sweeps are set up and executed.  More striking DVDs should take this approach as it is often quite difficult to ascertain certain head movement details from a profile.  Kudos to John for adding this little thing that makes a huge difference!

A list of the 24 sweeps taught on "Mastering Sweeps"

  • Basic / Scissor
  • Hook
  • Back
  • Front
  • Leg Grab Rollover
  • Butterfly
  • Sitting Rollover
  • Catapult 
  • Open Guard Knee Hook
  • Open Hook Leg Reap
  • Knee Pinch
  • Back Rolling Single Leg
  • Bear Hug Ankle Roll
  • Bow & Arrow
  • Reverse Scissor
  • Reverse Hooking
  • X Guard Split
  • Outside Hook
  • Cross Sleeve Cross Hook
  • Omoplata 
  • Double Leg 1/2 Guard
  • Single Leg 1/2 Guard
  • Backward Rolling 1/2 Guard
  • Arm Control Rolling 1/2 Guard

If you think you know these sweeps, I implore you to check out how John teaches them and approaches their proper usage.

Detailed instruction showing multiple angles and breaking down the mechanics of each technique in amazing detail... what else can one want from a BJJ instructional DVD?  As I mentioned earlier watching a DVD with John Will is like taking a private lesson with him.  First of all be prepared to allow the information to saturate, as their are a ton of details and subtle nuances that even the most seasoned  veteran may miss the first time through.  Secondly I would suggest writing bullet notes along with the instruction as this helps drive home the main pointers with each sweep.  John does a great job summarizing key points at the end of each chapter (perhaps a visual bullet point would be a welcomed addition to future projects).  

Relatively unknown in this hemisphere John Will is perhaps one of the most underrated grappling guru's available to the masses!  He makes one trip a year to mainland USA and the NW Jiu Jitsu Academy is one of his ONLY stops!  Teaching at one of his sole US students gym's is always a welcome visit come July each year.  Travel is tough now days so if you cannot make it out for the open seminar, make sure you pick up this DVD as I am sure it will end up on your top 10 must have BJJ training DVDs!  And if you can make it to the Emerald City you will see that this DVD is basically a carbon copy of a private lesson taught by John Will.  

Both PAL & NTSC versions are available.



Here is a direct link to John Will's BJJ store! 


Train Hard.  Train Smart.
Jake

March 22, 2011

World Order's, "Machine Civilisation"




New stuff from Genki Sudo and his group World Order.  Here is a translated message he has offered the people suffering in Japan (thanks to Grappling Dummy), that shows you just how classy the man is:


"Hi everyone, I’m Genki Sudou
First, i feel sorry and i will pray for all the people that has been go through this horrible disaster
Then thanks for all the hard work that all the staffs have been done for helping the people to get through this disaster
Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Crisis, these problems have been surround us like never
Especially the nuclear crisis problem
I think that no matter how strong the light is, the darkness will eat it someday
AND I ALSO BELIEVE THAT, NO MATTER HOW STRONG THAT DARKNESS IT, WE CAN ALWAYS USE LIGHT TO BEAT HIM BACK.
So i hope everyone can think, talk, and act positively
The world won’t change by himself, but if every little one of us changed, then the world will change with us
I hope everyone can open their heart, their voice, encourage the people, to get through this crisis
WE ARE ALL ONE"

Mad Respect to Genki, and prayers to those in Japan.
Jake

Good Luck at the Pans!

Not sure where this little tyke is from,
but he has the heart and balls of a Tiger!
Today and tomorrow across the world, grapplers are getting on planes and jumping in cars to make the trek to what has become BJJ mecca; Southern California!  In preparation for the 2011 Pan Am's thousands of competitors will fight from Wed - Sunday of this week for the title of Pan Am Champ (considered the most prestigious BJJ tournament behind the Worlds).

Wanted to offer my heartfelt good luck to Georgette, and the Young Master!  Kick ass guys, but more importantly have fun!  Wish I was there with you.

Good luck,
Jake

March 21, 2011

Two Great Articles

Not sure how I missed this one, but My Muay Thai has an excellent article called "Is MMA Counterproductive to Muay Thai?" on their site.  Well worth the read as the writer brings up some solid points regarding striking in MMA, skill base, and overall how misunderstood Muay Thai is.










Along a totally different line... Gary Taubes  recently taped a session with Dr. Oz (Oprah's little crony) and of course they sensationalized and manipulated the entire session, but I thought Taubes response on his blog was not only professional, but very informational in terms of how to approach dieting and losing weight in modern day society.

Read the entire post here.

March 20, 2011

NCAA Wrestling: Congrats to Penn State

Big congrats to Penn State for their first NCAA Wrestling Title since 1953.  Blowing away the competition Penn St. brought a solid team that did well with Quentin Wright taking the 184# bracket.  This was without a doubt one of the most exciting tournaments I have watched in collegiate wrestling.  Their is some amazing talent out there and I am excited to see how many of them transition in to MMA in the near future.

Some stellar performances such as Anthony Robles (ASU) winning the 125# title in his senior year in dominating fashion.  You may remember Robles story from last month.  Bubba Jenkins (ASU) without a beautiful rolling pin in the second period to win 157#.  In the 197# Kent State (hells yeah, Ohio!!) prodigy Dusting Kilgore got a funky pin when his opponent tried to roll Dustin for a pin himself, but leverage and balance paid off in Kilgores department and he nailed the defensive pin!  This would be Kent St. first ever national wrestling title.

Jordan Burroughs (Neb) was dominant throughout the tournament at 165#'s.  He plays such a fast, dominating style of wrestling.  Very impressive.

Congrats to all the warriors who stepped on the mat, many for the last time in their young careers.

125# - Anthony Robles (ASU)
133   - Jordan Oliver (OSU)
141   - Kellan Russell (Mich)
149   - Kyle Dake (Cornell)
157   - Bubba Jenkins (ASU)
165   - Jordan Burroughs (NEB)
174   - Jonathan Reader (Iowa St.)
184   - Quentin Wright (Penn. St.)
197   - Dustin Kilgore (Kent St.)
HWY - Zach Rey (Lehigh)

Along the Same Lines as Below

Another friend is trying to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 
Team in Training is essentially a portal to help those wishing to race get in touch and train with coaches, fellow athletes, and professionals in the various races that have become popular for raising money for charities.

March 17, 2011

69 Flights / 1311 Stairs / 788 Ft. Vertical Elevation / One Cause

Tallest building west of the Mississippi
Seattle's Big Climb is happening this weekend at the Columbia Tower, and one of my students, Jamie Neil, is running it for the second year in a row.  Proceeds raised go towards the research and development in the studies of Leukemia & Lymphoma, two terrible diseases affecting thousands of people yearly.

The Big Climb happens in many cities across the US with firemen competing in full equipment as well!  If you would like to help please click here and you can donate any amount big or small to help this great cause!

Lets work to completely submit cancer on all levels!
Jake

March 16, 2011

Attitude is Everything

Here is a snippet of a post Georgette shared about taking a private lesson with one of the black belts at her academy in Austin:

"Then I asked how I can be a better training partner to one of my friends, who is a blue belt about 30-35 lbs lighter than me. I finally think I get it-- a little bit-- because he showed me how it felt. When they do the right thing, you give it to them. When they don't, you wait a second, then YOU do the right thing, which shows them where they went wrong."

There are a couple of things that really stand out in this simple paragraph; one is her excellent question as to "how SHE can be a better PARTNER" which is something I have never heard asked before as both a teacher nor a student!  The awareness and desire to help (read: nurture) her team mates grow and learn will be reciprocated ten fold in the future.

Secondly the approach to rolling... allow your partners to work on something and reward them when it is right.

Men especially get all too wrapped up in competition and "winning" (the more I compete, win or lose, the less I understand that word).  It is nice to get a women's perspective on the art as I see them as much better teachers in general.  I have been increasingly frustrated with the lack of support and help when it comes to the development and learning with some of my training partners.  It seems the less folks compete for real, the more competitive they become in the dojo and while at times this is good and positive, most of the time it makes for a rather stagnant environment in terms of learning and growing.

  Learn from Georgette's post, she may be only a blue belt, but with the wisdom of a brown belt!

Enjoy,
Jake

Bacon Whoops the Competition

This is what pops up when typing "competition" with Google!
Tough call, but I am saying the one on the right!
Big congrats to my friend and great training partner Randy Bacon for his sweeping success over the past weekend at the Revolution Tournament here in Bonnie Lake, WA.  Randy won both gi and no gi weight divisions.  I have not received details to his wins, but I am sure he dominated as he has been in the dojo.  Kid is good!

Congrats & Cheers brother!
Jake

March 13, 2011

ADCC North American Trials 2011

According to Kid Peligro, Jeff Glover owned the North American Qualifiers for the ADCC 2011 yesterday in San Diego, CA.  Winning all of his matches via submission, I was able to find this short highlight reel which is mostly Glover:



Apparently the promoters needed to find a new venue in under 24 hours as their old venue became a tsunami evacuation area.  Luckily things went off without a hitch and the tournament was solid.

Enjoy,
Jake

March 11, 2011

Seattle is NOT on the Coast Kids!

Holy christ on a crutch... the state of education in this country is really in dire straits!  To all my friends, loved ones, and knuckleheads across the world that have been inquiring if we are safe in Seattle from the Tsunami.....

  There is a little thing called the Olympic Peninsula that contains a small mountain range called the Olympic Mountains, all acting as a HUGE buffer before one even gets close to this tiny city!



I do not quite understand how people cannot know foreign countries, but come the fuck on guys.... you don't know your countries geography!?!?!?!?!?!  None the less... yes, we are safe.

STOP watching / reading / listening to the sensationalistic propaganda based mass media!!  They blow shit SO out of proportion.  Save your prayers and thoughts for the people of Japan, as the numbers of dead continues to rise.  Meanwhile go grab an atlas and study this weekend!

Jake

March 9, 2011

Prodigy's

Georgette is quickly becoming my best damn BJJ friend!  Mucho thanks to her for taking the time and finding these vids on her blog.  If you are not reading her blog already, do so!

Here are some vids of the kids I spoke of in San Diego; Michael Liera Jr.:






This is the future of BJJ.  You have been warned.

Michael, if by chance you read my puny blog... mad respect sir!  Keep the humble attitude and focused mind and no one will stop you from your goals!


Angelo Barden was another sick fighter!


Clark Gracie vs. Galvao



Thanks Georgette!

Enjoy,
Jake

Ace Jiu Jitsu

I wanted to take a moment and give a shout out of much thanks and mahalo to all the crew at Ace Jiu Jitsu in Fountain Valley, CA.  It was great to see Todd, Uncle Jack, The Young Master, Gabe, and to meet some new friends like Logan and Jeff!  It was great rolling and training with you all and I really appreciate the help in preparing for the Pro Trials.  I hope to give a better showing next time guys.

Much thanks to my teacher Tim for everything he does on and off the mat.

If you are in the Orange County area you owe yourself a visit to Ace.  Easily located off the 405, all the instructors and members are super cool and very, VERY, good!  Any given night you will have at least two black belts teaching a class of 15-20.  The attention to individual growth and learning is second to none.  Once you are in with Ace their is a bond that is indescribable but very palpable.  I have met Asa only a handful of times, yet he took the time at the end of Thursday nights class to both welcome me, and to offer some good luck to Edmund and I as we went to fight on Saturday.  It was really appreciated!  The sense of team and camaraderie shines forth in every class at the Ace.

Regardless of your skill level, or your fitness level you are welcome to stop by Ace Jiu Jitsu and check out a class for free.  Ace was founded by three of Southern California's top grappling coaches with 2nd degree Black Belt Tim Cartmell, Black Belt Asa Fuller, and Black Belt Chris "The Broom" Thue representing over 50 years of martial arts training and coaching!

Ace Jiu Jitsu
18225 Brookhurst
Fountain Valley, CA. 92708

Classes:
Mon - Fri
9am-10:30am
6pm - 7:30pm

Sat.
10am -11am
3pm - 5pm

Also offering Muay Thai classes as well as a great kids program.
Call for pricing and more info: 714-964-4488


Thanks again guys, I really appreciate it!  See you in June.

Jake

March 7, 2011

World Pro Trials San Diego - View From the Bottom

I attended my first Abu Dhabi World Pro Trials this past weekend held at Point Loma HS in San Diego, CA.   421 others had their eyes on the prize along with me... an all expenses paid trip to Abu Dhabi to compete in the big show next month.  For blue belts you had to place in your division to qualify for the absolute, and then win the absolute to get the trip.  Such a prize brought out some of the most competitive fighters I have ever seen.   The talent at all levels was absolutely amazing!

VENUE
I cannot imagine how tough it is to try and find an appropriate venue to hold such a tournament but damn guys we really need to try and improve the facilities for such prestigious events.  The HS was old.  DAMN old!  There was a plaque on the wall commemorating the fallen students from Point Loma in World War II!  And from the looks of it, the bathrooms had not been renovated since the plaque was hung.  No changing rooms, one bathroom with one stall and one urinal was just asinine.  Just prior to the tournament starting a guy announces that a "huge bathroom" was just opened in the other building outside.  Run over to find out "huge" is a relative term.  Then by 2pm it was closed and locked again.

The gym had three mats going but could have easily broken them up into six arena's.  I have mixed feelings about this because it does prepare one for fighting in front of large crowds, but then again the hurry up and wait syndrome could have been alleviated with more rings and refs.

FLOW
The Brazilians are notorious for taking their time, and this event was not much different.  Scheduled to start the blue belt division's by 9:50 am, I did not fight until after 1pm.  By the time the black belt divisions were called they were a couple hours behind schedule.  This is something that is certainly avoidable as we rolled in about 8:30am and they had not even opened the venue up yet!

The loud speaker system was a joke, and the girl running it (bless her heart she was trying) was not very understandable when she spoke into the mic.  In the warm up area you could not hear a damn thing, then the bullpen personnel were getting pissed because people were not answering their calls.  I ended up standing around for 3 hours before fighting.

I must admit they were all over the mats ensuring no downtime though.  I never saw a mat without fighters for more than a minute or so.

COMPETITION
All I can say is simply WOW!!!  Hands down the most talented group of grapplers I have ever seen in one venue (mind you I have not been to tons of big tournaments, but this was without a doubt the toughest tournament I have ever been a part of)!  From white to black everyone brought it 100% and I have to admit that the blue belt divisions were the highlights of the weekend.  No joke, their are some amazing grapplers coming up in the ranks.  They were more exciting then any of the upper ranks.

The two most prominent teams were Atos and Saulo's Jiu Jitsu University.  They had tons of competitors and even more supporters in the crowd!  It is amazing to hear the Portuguese chants and insane cheering they were all bringing for their boys and girls.  Unfortunately I do not belong to an academy that has that camaraderie and support, so I can only speculate... but to have your boys cheering and encouraging you has to be an amazing feeling and obviously it gives an ever so slight advantage.

Two kids stand out... I am not sure of their names but one each from Atos and Saulo.  Both were 16-17 years old and they cleaned house in their weights and absolute divisions in the adult brackets.  Saulo's student was simply amazing; I watched him finish at least 3 fights in under 30 seconds (not a typo).  Rumor has it that he is home schooled and spends all day training with Saulo, who is grooming him as his next protege!  I do not think I even saw the kid break a sweat.  He was amazingly prepared and talented.  I am not sure if he won the trip, but I am guessing he did.

Watching him fight was half of the pleasure, but I found myself also watching his coach Saulo.  He rarely said anything because this kid was so well prepared, but when Saulo did say something he was calm, cool, and precise.  As a coach I get so much out of watching others approach the arts I practice.
The blue belt final with Saulo's guy vs. Atos was mind blowing!  The crowd was nuts!

All levels of competition were solid though (I will speak more of my matches in a separate post).  With such prizes (money, gi's, and of course the big prize was airfare / hotel / meals / transportation to Abu Dhabi) you can expect the competition to really bring it and they did!

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • Nickel and diming needs to stop.  We had to pay a $20 "membership" fee to enter the competition on top of the entry fee.  No one offered an explanation why, and I will be curious to see if I actually get anything in the mail.  Not to mention they never really checked if we did pay.  Just a bullshit way to squeeze a little more blood out of the turnip.  
  • No one else is saying it so I will... we need to get more diversity in the refereeing.  Too much Brazilian machismo / personal grudges bullshit happening at all levels.  I saw so many guard passes that were not awarded points when they should have been.  I even saw ref's completely not paying attention to the matches they were reffing.  I also tire of ref's speaking little, to no English.  This is fine in Brazil, but when you are in America it should be a requirement to be fluent in the native tongue since the majority of competitors are speaking English.  Seems to be a problem only in IBJJF events and the like.  
  • I am also getting tired of the rule sets pussifing (hells yeah that is a word!) BJJ.  Soon it will be just like Judo where we have more restrictions then legal techniques.  Whatever happened to tailoring the rule sets after a street fight?   I agree with no neck cranks, but no 1/2 nelsons?!?!  I saw several black belts get DQed because they threw their foot over their opponents leg attempting straight ankle locks (this is the proper way to do them) but it is illegal because most people foolishly try to twist out to escape, essentially tearing their own knee apart.  
  • Galvao rolls even smoother in person!  Amazing to watch, what an inspiration. 
  • Gui Mendes does NOT roll as smooth as in his videos!  Very rigid and seemingly dependent on muscling his opponents.  That said he subbed Barret Yoshida in the absolute.  
  • The use of steroids are becoming common place in BJJ, and I am not sure what to think of it.  As I get older I can understand wanting to recover faster, but it seems to be getting out of hand with high level competitors who will remain nameless, but just look at progressive photos of some of the top players over the years!  Certain guys are getting much more bulk VERY quickly, and then all the sudden have a burst of acne.  Coincidence?  Perhaps.  I doubt it, but perhaps.  I understand the drive to get any edge but is this the way?  Whatever happened to winning with some nobility and dignity?  I have no answer but I am tired of "cheaters" marginalizing their use as "getting an edge."  
  • Having a team and support is something that is huge.  I hope I can experience such an atmosphere sometime in the near future, as I plan on competing a lot this year.
  • I love the sportsmanship in BJJ.  With only an exception or two everyone was polite and fought with dignity.  Good on you guys!  Nice change of pace with most sports today.  
  • You cannot swing a dead gerbil in San Diego without hitting a BJJ school.  From the HS alone we could see two BJJ schools, and Kid Peligro has stated over 60 schools are in the city limits itself!!!!!!!   
  • The weather in Southern Cali is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Overall it was fun watching this event.  I will post later on my specific fight and experience, but in the end this was a great event that really brought forth some of the amazing talent that is out there climbing the ranks.  For all you slackers you better get your ass in shape and start pushing harder because your opponents certainly are not being lazy!

Cheers
Jake 

March 2, 2011

Awesome A&P Site

If you are not reading Georgette's blog  already you should be!  Not only does she have a pair of the most awesome green eyes, but she also shares wonderful finds such as this little site which helps break down and find all those pesky little muscles, but also offers tutorials on how to build and develop those muscles in the gym!

Check it out, an invaluable reference:

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

Great Quote from Saulo

I had to share this quote I found on Shakia Harris' blog "I Wonder as I Wander."  It is from the great Saulo Ribiero on belts and promotions:


“If you worry about the time and speed of your promotions, you lose yourself. Remember, before you are a blue, purple, or brown belt, you want to feel like one. You must feel that your skills are there. You cannot fool yourself. Attaining a belt is just proof that your teacher is connected with you. You will know when you deserve it. My role as a instructor is to be there and say “Its time.” But you should already realize this on your own.
Jiu Jitsu Is not math, and promotion is not based on attendance or calendar dates. A regimented promotion schedule based on dates or attendance is the worst way to gauge development. Jiu Jitsu is more complex than this.
There is no sense in chasing a belt and getting it as fast as possible. Often, people do not see that black belt will be their longest belt. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you get it in four years or fifteen. Either way, you will have the rest of your life with a black belt around your waist. Building the belt is what matters.
-Saulo Ribeiro


I like her blog, plus she has excellent taste in collegiate sports teams!
Enjoy,
Jake 

March 1, 2011

A Rope is All You Need



"10 minutes of skipping [rope] burns the same calories as 30 minutes of jogging" 

- Jon Hinds, NBA fitness coach





Strive for Mayweathers smoothness, quickness, and agility!  Excellent!