December 25, 2014

Happy Holidays & Merry Chrishannakwansmiss

I am grateful to have a warm meal, a roof over my head, my Kali coach Jeff, and an amazing woman and family.  Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season! Stay true to your nature. 

Kron Gracie's MMA Debut

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


December 24, 2014

NWJJA Seminar & Tournament

Join the NWJJA affiliate in Maple Ridge, BC. for a weekend of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training and competition.  Brian Johnson will be teaching seminars for women, kids, and adult's which will be followed by a tournament. 

Attn: Three Harmonies Students

There will be no class December 25th, 27th, and January 1st 2015 in celebration of the holidays.  Please be safe, have fun, and enjoy the loved ones in your life. 

December 22, 2014

"Wisdom of Taiji Masters" by Nigel Sutton - Book Review

Tambuli has classically been known for being the preeminent publisher of all quality things Filipino Martial Arts related, but there most recent releases are setting the precedent for Chinese Martial Arts texts.  "Wisdom of Taiji Masters: Insights into Cheng Man Chings Art" by Nigel Sutton is the best text to come out of Tambuli's stock and across my desk.  A work well over 30 years in the making, Sutton's book is a perfect last minute stocking stuffer for the Taiji player on your list.

Nigel Sutton has had the absolute honor to train under two generations of Cheng Man Ching disciples and decided to share the insights and philosophies of eight teachers of Cheng Man Ching Taiji: Lau Kim Hong, Lee Bei Lei, Zhou Mu Tu, Ho Ah San, Tan Ching Ning, Dr. Fong Fung Tong, Wu Chiang Hsing, and Koh Ah Tee.  Not only is it unheard of to gain access to such a bevy of teachers, but to record, organize, and eventually publish the insight of these men into their art is a gift unto itself for those of us that would never have the chance to train with even one of these men.

Written with a smooth even tone, Sutton does well conveying the interviews as they were given.  In other words he does not interrupt the flow and context of the information being shared via the teacher, but rather interjects contextual or cultural notes as needed.  I liked reading "Wisdom" because though I was aware Sutton was guiding me through a story (series of stories) his presence was always well in the background, ensuring the spotlight was solely shining on the interviewee.  He allows the teacher to spit his knowledge and leaves a trail of words for the student to continuously ponder on their path, as surely those words will never change in print but their meaning will endure a constant change of meaning.

Any time a task such as culminating a number of interviews and lessons into print form is taken on, one must take great care to ensure the "masters" at hand do not become too grandiose.  Once again Sutton's smooth editing circumvents such masturbatory tendencies and makes for quick reading.  It is fascinating to garner so many different perspectives on the same art from disciples of the same teacher, a testament to the complexity and individuality of the martial arts in general, and Cheng Man Chings Taiji specifically.

Subjects such as push hands, nei gong, weapons, form, etc. are all covered, but honestly it is the actual process of listening to these teachers that is the gift.  You can read about push hands all over the net from a number of people, but very few places can you sit and listen to a teacher convey a story and layout a lesson where you least expect it.  "Wisdom" surprises you left, right and zhong ding! 

Whether or not you are a practitioner of Cheng Man Ching Taiji, or just Taiji in general, I think you will enjoy "Wisdom of Taiji Masters" by Nigel Sutton.  A unique and different perspective on a martial arts book that is well written and easy to read.  Does the text harbor any ancient secret that will make your Taiji better?  Most likely no.  But perhaps a tip, a word of encouragement, or an honest criticism read herein will give you a different perspective on your practice and be the ripple that offers a fresh breath of air igniting your curiosity into the deep art of Taiji.

Click here to order "Wisdom of Taiji Masters"

December 21, 2014

Tsunetane Oda - When The New Ain't So New

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




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


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

December 18, 2014

Book Review: "Eskrima Street Defense" by Bong Abenir

Scratching your head trying to figure out the perfect stocking stuffer for the one stick swinging, balisong flipping martial artist on your list?  Tambuli Media's most recent FMA title "Eskrima Street Defense" by Bong Abenir just might fit the bill.  An affordable addition to any collection, Abenir's first book offers a direct approach to dealing with weapons in real world situations.

One of the first things that sticks out is the no nonsense approach Bong takes to the applications, incorporating fast powerful strikes with fast takedowns all the while utilizing his environment.  All keys when speaking about true self defense.  Offering common situation such as knife attacks, choke attempts, multiple attackers, as well as strikes Bong Abenir does not waste time going into complicated locks and convoluted flows.  Rather he takes a very pragmatic approach offering fundamental, simple movements that can be applied with purses, scarves, umbrella's, etc.

The pictures are laid out well and for the most part are very clear as to what is going on, though I would have liked to have seen numbered progressions for ease of reading and following.  Overall the book is written well but seemed a bit rushed, and offered minimal explanation.  I can't help but feel Abenir has a LOT more to offer and would like to see the result of some serious time spent on laying out a comprehensive treatise.



At just over $21 "Eskrima Street Defense" is a perfect sized stocking stuffer for the stickhead in your life.  Though I feel Tambuli has stronger, more comprehensive titles on Filipino Martial Arts, they remain the leader in publishing and disseminating knowledge focused specifically on SE Asian arts.  The importance of exposing these arts and teachers to the world cannot be understated.  Prior to Mr. Wiley talking about Bong Abenir I had never even heard of him nor his system.  I cannot help but wonder how many more arts are out there that are dying every single year simply because those teachers/fighters have not had the outside exposure to document their art!  A huge thank you is due to Mark Wiley and Tambuli Media for helping keep these arts alive at the very least in print form.  For instance my old friend Dan Medina just released his text on Derobio Escrima, a rather closed off / reserved art up until now.  It is amazing that we finally have a publisher propagating these lost arts! 

Click here to order "Eskrima Street Defense"

The Principles of Abenir Kalis
  • Don’t waste moves; be flexible.
  • A parry which does not incorporate an attack is wasteful movement.
  • A defense is an attack, an attack is a defense.
  • Overwhelm your enemy with multiple attacks.
  • Striking directly at the enemy’s flesh is preferable to blocking the enemy’s weapon.
  • Your fighting position should be designed to make you a difficult target to hit.
  • Don’t be overconfident; be alert at all times.
  • Be fiercer in your attack than your enemy.
  • Be strong in your defense, and powerful in your offense.
  • Move with speed and precision using correct distance against the enemy.
  • The faster you hit the target, the better.
  • Hit the nearest targets and those open to you.
  • Attack when you see an opening.
  • Employ your defensive skills when needed.
  • Attack, attack, attack until the assailant ceases to be a threat to your safety.
  • Hand techniques should correspond with footwork.
  • Avoid wide movements in delivering your blows. Strike without telegraphing your attack.
  • Wrist locks and disarming techniques are only incidental. A strike could cause a disarm that only counts as one beat which is faster and more practical to use than complicated locks during a heated encounter, especially against multiple opponents.
  • Only engage in a fight if no other option of escape is possible.
  • Run if you must, fight if you must

December 14, 2014

Inverted Knee Bar from Sambo Championships

Thanks to Reilly Bodycomb for sharing this awesome inverted knee bar.  A lesson to always be aware of your openings even when it seems as if you are pinning / submitting / winning...


December 9, 2014

Martial Arts Book Collection For Sale

Stuck for stocking stuffer ideas for the martial artist in your life?  I have been slowly culling my redonkuless book collection.  In addition to the various martial arts texts I also have a number of Asian philosophy, religion, and healing books.  Contact me for more info.  I am happy to ship anywhere, but keep in mind none of the prices reflect S&H.
   I have a number of various Chinese manuals on Praying Mantis Boxing, and Baji Quan that are not listed.  These are in Chinese, email me for more info. three_harmonies@hotmail.com

"Mastering the Rubber Guard" - Eddie Bravo                   $30
"Mastering the Twister"            - Eddie Bravo                   $15
"Mastering Sambo for MMA"  - Scott Sonnen                 $15
"Mastering MMA: The Guard" - Antonio Nogueria          $10
"Advanced BJJ Techniques"     - Marcelo Garcia              $50
"BJJ Theory & Technique"       - Renzo and Royler Gracie $25
"Fundamentals of Shuai Chiao" - Daniel Weng                   $25
"Warriors of Stillness vol I"       - Jan Diepersloot              $20
"Tao of Yiquan: Warriors of Stillness vol II"                       $20
"Taiji, Xing Yi, Bagua Throwing" - Mark Small                 $25
"Martial Arts of Ancient Greece" - Kostas Deruenis         $10
"Fighting Strategies of Muay Thai" - Villa Lobos               $10
"Muay Thai Textbook"                                                    $20
"Comprehensive Applications of Shaolin Chin Na"
                                                    - Yang Jwing Ming       $10
"Muay Thai Advanced Thai Techniques" - Delp                $10
"JuJitsu: Japans Ultimate Martial Art - Daniel Craig         $10
"Baguazhang Theory & Applications"
                           - Liang Shou Yu & Yang Jwing Ming    $15
"Healing Art of Qigong"                - Hong Liu                   $10
"Combat Techniques of Taiji, Xing Yi, Bagua"
                                                   Lu Shengli                     $15
"Essential Guide to Sumo"              - Buckingham              $5
"Father of Judo - Jigoro Kano"      - Brian Watson            $30
"Dictionary of Martial Arts"            - Frederick                 $5
 "Last Samurai"                               - Marc Ravina            $5
"Gaijin Yokozuna: Biography of Chad Rowan"
                                                      - Paenek                   $10
"Root of Chinese Qigong"               - Yang Jwing Ming     $5
"Yiquan and the Nature of Energy"  - Fong Ha                 $10
"Essential Anatomy for Healing and Martial Arts"
                                                       - Tedeschi                $5
"Eight Simple Qigong Exercises for Health - YJM            $5
"Wrestling Tough"                           - Mike Chapman       $5
"Chinese Healing Arts"                    - William Berk          $2
"Dachengquan"                              - Wang Xuanjie         $20
"Nei Gong Authentic Classic"         - Tom Bisio              $10
"Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy" - Jerry Allan Johnson $250
"Zen in the Martial Arts"                 - Joe Hyams              $2 (or a beer;)
"Wushu Among Chinese Moslems" - U/K Author            $5
"A Tooth From the Tigers Mouth"   - Tom Bisio               $5
"The Way of Qigong"                      - Ken Cohen            $12
"Wu Style Taijiquan"                        - Wang Peisheng      $10
"Body Mind Mastery"                     - Dan Millman          $5
"Light of the Kensei"                       - G. Bluestone          $10
"Karate"                                         - Bruce Tegner         $5
"Seven Star Mantis: Section I & II  - Lee Kam Wing      $20 ea.
"Soft Weapons: Nine Section Whip & Rope Dart"
                                                      - Li Keqin                $10
"Chinese Weapons"                        - ETC Werner          $5
"Sword Polishers Record"              - Adam Hsu              $5
"Iron Palm in 100 Days"                 - Lee Ying Arng        $20
"Ultimate Iron Palm"                      - Wing Lam               $10
"Dynamic Strength"                        - Harry Wong           $5
"Kama"                                         - Toshishiro Obata     $30
"Chinese Gung Fu"                        - Bruce Lee               $5
"Ip Man"                                        - Ip Ching                 $5
"Jeet Kune Do: Entering to Grappling" - Hartsell              $5
"Scholar Warrior"                          - Deng Ming Dao      $10
"The Martial Way and its Virtues"   - FJ Chu                   $5
"Secrets of Iron Fist Training"         - Jamal                      $30
"Iron Fist Training in Hung Gar"      - Jamal                      $30
"Jun Fan / Jeet Kune Do Textbook" - Chris Kent             $5
"Praying Mantis Kung Fu vol. 1-5"  - Paul Eng                $10 ea
"Praying Mantis Seizing the Cicada" - Stuart Alve Olson  $20
"Praying Mantis Kung Fu"               - HB Un                   $5
"Taiji Praying Mantis Freehand Routines vol I & II"
                                                      - Lam Wing Kit        $10 ea
"Kung Fu Basics"                           - Paul Eng                 $5
"Qigong Empowerment"                - Liang Shou Yu         $10
"Still as a Mountain, Powerful as Thunder"
                                                     - YP Dong                $5
"Chi Kung Way of Power"             - Lam Kam Chuen    $5
"Creating an Abundant Practice"    - Andrea Adler         $10
"Who Can Ride the Dragon"          - Zhang Yu Huan      $10
"Taichi Health for Life"                   - BK Frantzis           $5
"Mastering Kung Fu"                     - Garrett Gee           $5
"Chinese Wrestling" Written by Dong Zhong Yi
                              Translated by Marcus Brinkman      $20
"Art of Throwing"                           - Tedeschi               $10
"The Gracie Diet"  Signed               - Rorion Gracie       $20
"Jiujitsu Vol III"                               - George Kirby      $5
"The Complete Kano JiuJitsu"         - Irving Hancock    $10
"A Discourse on the History of Praying Mantis Boxing
in China for the Last One Hundred Years"                     $15
"Jade Emperors Mind Seal Classic"  - Olson                $5
"Dynamic Jiu Jitsu"                          - Wally Jay            $10
"Kwan Dao"                                   - Leung Ting          $10
"Hsing I"                                        - Robert Smith        $5
"Illustrated Shaolin Grappling Kung Fu" - Yong Wun     $5
"Secret Chin Na Techniques of Hung Gar" - Jamal        $20
"Simplified Capture Skills"                                           $5
"Essence of Shaolin White Crane"   - Yang Jwing Ming $10
"Hsing Yi"                       - Liang Shou Yu & YJM       $10
"Wu Shu Standard Course"             - Joseph Eager     $20 

Attn: Three Harmonies Students

This Saturday (Dec. 13th) our group class will be from 9-10am.  I apologize for any inconvenience but this time change is only effective this one day. 

December 6, 2014

The Program: Ohio State Wrestling


Thanks to my broski JP for sharing this.  I truly believe this is THE year for OSU wrestling.
The plan was to make a run for a National Championships in 2014-15. Well, whatta ya know? It's 2014-15, and the Ohio State Buckeyes have never been more primed for a team title. A brilliant coach: Tom Ryan. 3 blue chip freshman: Tomasello, Jordan, Snyder. One of the greatest wrestling brother combos ever: the Stiebers. Can this juggernaut team be stopped come NCAA tournament time?



Ross Enamait Interview

Our friend Ross Enamait over at Ross Training offers some sound advice for fighters, martial artists, and fitness freaks across the board in a recent interview on Expandercrank.  When Ross speaks, we should all listen.  Here is an excerpt:

How do you progress your fighters? Do you approach a beginner in the same fashion you approach a champion contender? Or is there something that you do differently with beginners and champions respectively, except of course for scaling weights and training intensity?
 
"Fighters progress through fighting more so than anything that ever occurs inside the gym. Speaking as a boxing trainer, when I consider a prospective opponent for one of my fighters, I look at what he has accomplished inside the ring. For instance, I look at his amateur background, who he has fought as a pro, and how active he has been in recent months.
   No one cares how much weight a fighter lifts or how many pull-ups he can perform. We want to know what the fighter can do inside the ring. The best way to gauge progress is by observing the fighter’s sparring as well as his actual bouts. A fighter should improve with each bout. Nothing is as important to a fighter as actual ring time and competitive experience.
   As for the novice vs. champion contender, beginners naturally require more work in the mental department. It is not uncommon for beginners to be quite nervous when sparring or fighting. They are dealing with anxiety and fear that the more seasoned fighters have learned to control. And it is these mental aspects which make real experience so critical. The gym will never prepare a novice fighter for the emotions that are experienced when fighting a stranger in front of a large crowd. True experience is earned one fight at a time. There are no shortcuts."

To read the entire article click here.

December 2, 2014

Brawn and Bouncers - How Traditional Wrestling Changed an Indian Village

Much gratitude to Wrestling Roots for sharing this article on the muscle men of Asola-Fatehpur Beri India, whom use traditional wrestling and diet as their foundation of training.  An incredible surprise coming from CNN, but a great little piece none the less.

   'For generations, men have held two-hour workouts every morning and evening in this countryside community on the southern rim of Delhi... Disciplined training is very important for these men and part of a tradition in the village.  "There are few modern gyms in the village, but most men prefer the traditional style of working out," Tanwar says. "It makes your body flexible and the risk of injury is less as well." 
   The musclemen don't drink or smoke. And the majority of them are vegetarians with diets that consist mostly of fruit, nuts, yogurts and lots of milk.  "We do not consume any muscle enhancing supplements," Tanwar says.'  Click here for the entire article.


November 30, 2014

Jiu Jitsu World League

Professor Rigan Machado has a brand new Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament format called the Jiu Jitsu World League that will be premiering January 17th 2015 in Irvine CA.  Lets spread word and get out and support any and all formats that encourage the growth and movement of BJJ in lieu of stagnant advantage counting. 
What a way to start 2015!!







November 29, 2014

Way of the Warrior - Escrima

Here is an oldie but goodie for us stickheads... Way of the Warrior was a mini series BBC put out over 32 years ago highlighting a number of martial arts from various cultures.  In this segment we are introduced to Doce Pares Escrima via GM Canete. 

No better time to train some better carving techniques then the weekend after Dead Turkey Day:


November 28, 2014

Insights Training Center Review

One may ask why we are discussing a gun based training course on a martial arts blog?  Well I am of the humble opinion that a a true martial artist is well rounded and has at the very least a base working knowledge of all forms of combat be it via a wristlock, or how to handle a pistol.  I will not jump on my political soapbox here, but I have a firm belief that if every child was raised with the knowledge, respect, and honor of a responsible gun owner (as are most gun owners) then we would witness far fewer gun deaths on both sides of the badge. 

Last month my student and I decided to take the Multi State Concealed Carry Course, at Insights Training Canter in Everett, WA. as an opportunity to gain knowledge about the law and legalities of concealed carry throughout the United States.  A 4.5 hour course designed to give the participant and better understanding of the responsibilities and legalities of carrying a concealed weapon.  One of the best things about this course was the constant reminder of the toll, both financial and emotional/psychological, that choosing to engage someone with your weapon will take. 

The instructor Alan Hines was nothing short of excellent.  A solid combination of experience, honestly, and humor to make the 4.5 hour class fly by.  Alan answered questions quickly and honestly, and presented us with challenging situations in various scenarios.  Even with 15 minutes to think and discuss, we couldn't come up with a definitive answer as to what to do.  Alan chimed in with a stark reminder, "You would have to react in about 2 seconds to be effective." 

Overall the learning atmosphere and overall experience with Insights is certainly something I would suggest for anyone interested in furthering there martial knowledge base.  They offer a bevy of courses including self defense, first aid, as well as a full array of LEO based classes.  And if you sign up today only for any scheduled class you will receive 20% off!  Call Jenna 1-888-958-0884 right now!

My one and only criticism of Insights is that many of the courses are quite cost prohibitive to your average Joe and Jane.  Standard course fee's are $400-500 which is not bade, but when coupled with the need for 1000 rounds of ammo, that can quickly become a $1200 weekend!  I hope perhaps in the future they will take into consideration how costly such training is and make it more accessible to middle to low income families that could still benefit from such professional training. 

November 25, 2014

Collegiate Wrestling on Big Ten Network

The Big Ten network just announced its most extensive wrestling coverage ever with some sure fire barn burners that will be televised!  Big Ten network is available as an add on in the Seattle market (if you patronize the evil conglomerate Comcast).  This is super exciting for wrestling fans the nation over but also for anyone interested in seeing one of the oldest, toughest, purest sports on earth that is shared in damned near every culture the world over.  This is your opportunity to watch THE Ohio State Buckeyes capture a national title!! 


2014-15 Big Ten Wrestling on BTN and BTN Plus (all times ET)

Sunday, November 30 Lehigh at Northwestern 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, December 6 Cal Poly at Northwestern 12:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, December 6 Drexel at Northwestern 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, December 6 Davidson at Northwestern 4:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, December 6 Princeton at Northwestern 6:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Thursday, December 11 Penn State at Maryland 6:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Thursday, December 11 Indiana at Wisconsin 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, December 13 SIUE at Indiana 10:00 AM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, December 13 Manchester at Indiana 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Thursday, December 18 Northwestern at Minnesota 8:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Friday, December 19 Virginia Tech at Penn State 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Monday, December 29 Midlands Championship at Northwestern All Day (Live on BTN Plus)
Tuesday, December 30 Midlands Championship 8:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Friday, January 2 Iowa at Rutgers 8:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Sunday, January 4 Iowa at Ohio State 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 9 Wisconsin at Northwestern 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 9 Michigan at Minnesota 9:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Sunday, January 11 Penn State at Ohio State 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, January 11 Minnesota at Rutgers TBA (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 16 Ohio State at Michigan State 7:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Friday, January 16 Northwestern at Purdue 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 16 Penn State at Rutgers 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 16 Illinois at Iowa TBA (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, January 18 Ohio State at Michigan 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, January 18 Northwestern at Indiana 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, January 18 Illinois at Minnesota 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 23 Wisconsin at Michigan 7:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Friday, January 23 Nebraska at Illinois 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 23 Northwestern at Iowa 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, January 25 Rutgers at Nebraska 1:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Sunday, January 25 Michigan at Indiana 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, January 25 Illinois at Northwestern 3:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 30 Penn State at Michigan 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 30 Iowa at Minnesota 7:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Friday, January 30 Purdue at Ohio State 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 30 Nebraska at Northwestern 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 30 Maryland at Illinois TBA (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 1 Illinois at Purdue 2:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Friday, February 6 Minnesota at Ohio State 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 6 Iowa at Maryland 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 6 Nebraska at Michigan 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 6 Rutgers at Wisconsin 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 8 Iowa at Penn State 1:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Sunday, February 8 Minnesota at Maryland 1:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 8 Wisconsin at Illinois 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 8 Nebraska at Michigan State 3:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 8 Rutgers at Northwestern 6:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 13 Michigan State at Indiana 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 13 Michigan at Iowa 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 13 Stanford at Nebraska 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 13 Maryland at Northwestern 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 15 Michigan State at Purdue 1:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 20 Duke at Michigan State 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, February 21 Cliff Keen National Duals - Semifinals at Iowa 4:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Saturday, February 21 Duke at Michigan 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, February 21 Central Michigan at Michigan State 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 22 Cliff Keen National Duals - Finals at Iowa 12:30 PM (Live on BTN)
Sunday, February 22 Rider at Penn State 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, March 7 B1G Championships TBA (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, March 8 B1G Championships 3:00 PM (Live on BTN)


All dates/times of scheduled events are subject to change. Please check www.BTN.com for most updated listings.

Attn: Three Harmonies Students

There will be no class on Thursday November 27th in observance of Dead Turkey Day.  Enjoy the time with loved ones, be safe, and reflect on what to truly be grateful for. 

November 24, 2014

Evidence of Pre Colonial Filipino Martial Arts & Blade Design In Relation to Techniques

Here are a couple of excellent articles by Manila Times Fight Times Editor Perry Gil S. Mallari that offer some serious food for thought before settling in to carve up that turkey.  I would like to see a more detailed writing on this research as it has some solid points, but does not expand much at all. 

"While there is scant mention of the specific names of the martial arts that pre-colonial Filipinos practiced, I believe that various prototypes of Filipino martial arts (FMA) were already in existence long before the arrival of Spain. To me, three things serve as indicators of the existence of indigenous FMA: organized method of warfare, metallurgical technology and sophisticated blade culture. All three aforementioned were chronicled by the Spaniards when they arrived in the Philippines."  Click here to read the entire article.

Again Mallari teases the reader with a taste of his theory of blade design and how it is used but does not offer much depth.  I hope he comes out with some follow up articles offering more research and opinion. 

"Some escrimadors have the habit of bouncing their sticks on the opposite arm (or other bodily parts) either to reposition for another strike or to arrest the momentum of the weapon after a forceful swing. This practice may still work safely with a single-edged sword but if the practitioner carried this habit while using a double-bladed sword, he will definitely cut himself. The safer way of regaining control at the end of a fast cutting motion is to use the palm of the non-weapon hand to catch the wrist of the hand holding the sword. The catching hand not only prevents the other edge from cutting the wielder but it can also aid the weapon-hand in generating more force in cutting or hacking."  To read the entire article click here.

 

November 22, 2014

Traditional Tajik Wrestling

With all the bullshit in traditional Judo and their strides to keep it "pure," coupled with the seeming lack of integrity with "role models" such as Braulio Estima who can't even own a fuck up when they get caught red handed... I have decided to start training strictly in Tajik Jacket Wrestling!! 

Thanks to BJJEE for this rare glimpse into the traditional folk grappling of central Asia.  This is a Gushtingiri tournament somewhere in the balmy coasts of Tajikistan.  In tough times I welcome the reminder of the wonder that are the martial arts.  Every culture in the furthest corners of the world have developed some sort of native martial art, most being grappling based.  Fascinating stuff...



November 19, 2014

Fut Sao Wing Chun by James Cama - Book Review

Tambuli Media's latest offering by James Cama offers a glimpse into the little seen world of the Leung Family Buddha Hand System of martial arts with "Fut Sao Wing Chun."  A 115 page overview of a little known branch of the Southern Chinese Martial art known as Wing Chun, a system renown for its pragmatic approach to self defense and health.

The author, James Cama, offers a brief historic overview of the art before leading the reader through the various aspects of Wing Chun. Subjects such as weapons, empty hand forms, internal healing (nei gung), and two person form are touched upon.  Cama also shows a taste of the self defense aspects that Wing Chun has to offer.   Unfortunately these are mere appetizers to the uninitiated!  Though written decently it almost seems rushed as I was left wanting more details on every aspect; lineage, pedagogy, mindset of a Wing Chun fighter; how to deal with specialists in other methods of combat etc.etc.  A smattering of self defense scenarios are presented but little explanation is offered.  For instance on page 106 the author talks about the importance of controlling the opponents energy in a self defense situation.  But ultimately this is merely a maxim as their is no further details offered nor explanation.

Edited well the photo's are well lit and clear, offering a single angle on the subject in most instances.  The  form stills are solid and clear though again only offering one angle, not multiples. The reader is left yearning for more info and depth unless of course you already practice the Buddha Hand system of the Leung Family.  To those practitioners this book is of the most value since Cama offers the basic forms broken down into over 200 photos as well as the two person set.  A wonderful source of the movements to any student of the art.


The Hei Gong (nei gung) form is also presented (and to the best of my knowledge this is the first time it appears openly in print).  A strong, powerful healing set that combines breath work with dynamic movements and mental acuity training. 

One is left feeling as if there must be a follow up volume diving into more details of such a rare art, but that desire is overshadowed by the sad fact that James Cama unexpectedly passed on the day this title was in fact published. A legacy cut short for sure but none the less one cemented in the foundation of time with this text as a treatise to his past for the students of the future. 

Fut Sao can be purchased by clicking here

November 18, 2014

Training With Guru Jeff Davidson

Once again I have had the distinct pleasure to train with Guru Jeff Davidson of the Detroit Maphilindo Pitbulls.  I believe all things happen for a reason and though I had followed his blog and online offerings for years, it wasn't until earlier this year I decided to reach out and ask to train with Jeff.  He accepted and as they say the rest is history. 

I must admit that his tutelage comes at a very pivotal time for me as quality people in general but specifically quality martial artists have become a rare commodity in my life.  Guru Jeff sees something in me that others choose to look past, most likely because they are too preoccupied with trying to get something from me.  Regardless I cannot express in words how grateful I am to have such a talented and giving teacher both in the martial realm and spiritual. 

As if the gift of having a solid teacher was not enough imagine my surprise when Guru Jeff offered to accept both my student Lara and myself as closed door disciples!  We could not be more honored and grateful for such a wonderful opportunity and thankfully we were both accepted.  Many more great things coming in the future! 


Mabuhay! 

November 15, 2014

Ohio State Wrestling

The seasons first snowflakes whisked through the crisp air as we shuffled into the historic St. John's Arena on the campus of THE Ohio State University.  The Buckeyes were to face Kent St. at the home opener for the 2014-15 wrestling season, one filled with murmurings of the possibility of Ohio States first national championship. This would be my first live Ohio State wrestling match.

St. John's Arena is a beautiful building that my father and grandfather used to take me to as a kid to watch OSU basketball, and is actually perfect for wrestling.  Not a bad seat in the house and the home team had a solid showing though Kent St. is not necessarily a powerhouse.  The evening started  with the presentation of Logan Stieber's national championship banner (3 years running, looking for his fourth this season).  The championship banners lined the north and south upper bowl and included some familiar names to fans of MMA; Mark Coleman & Kevin Randleman, as well as champions going back to 1940.  Just a wonderful atmosphere to watch NCAA Collegiate wrestling. 

Watching Logan Stieber dominate his opponent was certainly a highlight, but the premier of true freshman Kyle Snyder was what most of us were eager to see.  I mean check out these stats, they literally seem unreal:
  • 179-0 in three years of HS wrestling
  • Was taken down once in that span.  (No, that is not a typo!!  Has only been taken down one time in 179 matches!!!)
  • Youngest Junior World Champion in 2013
  • Returned in 2014 to bronze
  • Undefeated in what is considered the top three toughest HS wrestling tournaments in the US.
Wrestling champs before they "bulked  up"   





Between the Stieber brothers, Kyle Snyder, and stand outs such as Josh Demas their are high hopes for a solid shot at the NCAA championships for OSU.  If you are in the area you really should pick up the fam and take them.  It is affordable, fun, and you are supporting one of the most important sports in the world.  



November 14, 2014

Attn: Three Harmonies Students

There will be no class Thursday November 13th - 20th.  Apologies for any inconvenience, but train hard and practice while I am gone. 

November 9, 2014

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

Best in the biz... Burroughs with his double

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


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

To read the entire article click here.

November 7, 2014

November 3, 2014

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Enson Inoue's Tattoo's

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

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

November 2, 2014

Carlos Machado - The Professor

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

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

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

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

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

October 31, 2014

Tricks and Treats With Dominick Cruz & BJJ Scout

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



October 30, 2014

Foxcatcher


I have been looking forward to see the new movie Foxcatcher, but I must admit I am a bit reserved as the true story is one of heartbreak and hurt that rattled the wrestling community.  It looks like landmark performances by all involved:


Attn: Three Harmonies Students

Apologies for any inconvenience but there will be no class Saturday November 1st. 

October 29, 2014

Concussions and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

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

guard, that will help prevent against concussions. 

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

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

October 28, 2014

Carlos Machado is EVERYWHERE!!!!

I get home from over 15 hours of mat time with the most amazing family in grappling and what do I find in the mail.....

Prof. Carlos Machado is literally everywhere!  I just saw him in his hometown of Dallas, we will be hosting him this weekend here in Seattle for a seminar, and he has an article in the latest issue of Jiu Jitsu Style!  Read what Carlos has to offer at your local B&N or subscribe electronically, then swing on by NWJJA to register for this landmark seminar Saturday November 1st where Carlos Machado will make his first trip to the Pacific NW to offer some tips on making our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu better.  This will be the third red-black belt we have hosted at NWJJA, and the fourth Machado brother.
 

October 26, 2014

2014 RCJ Machado Brothers Camp A Huge Success

What a great weekend spent training under THE best family in martial arts, alongside amazing training partners in DFW!  Too much info to sift through right now but I can honestly say everything from Rigan's handcuff series, to John's quick reminder to remember the fundamentals that this system was built upon; SELF DEFENSE, the 2014 camp is arguably the best one yet. 

A quick shout out to NWJJA Seattle and Maple Ridge.  I appreciate my training partners.
I also want to thank my coach Brian Johnson for his time, effort and guidance. 
EVERYONE owes Lindsay Machado a HUGE thank you and hug, for without her ... no camp.  Period.
Lastly but certainly not least I want to send my love and gratitude to Carlos, Roger, Rigan, and John for their unbiased sharing and teaching of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Truly an inspiration for me both on and off the mat.


Rigan and Team Nexus


John Machado...sign behind us says it all!

Carlos The Wise
Roger the firefighter
I am already looking forward to 2015's camp, which from what a little birdie told me will most likely be in a different city!