March 22, 2015

THE Ohio State University & Logan Steiber - NCAA Wrestling Champions

March matness wrapped up with a bang for 2015 as THE Ohio State Buckeyes won their first NCAA wrestling title in 94 years of grappling in Columbus!  Nothing short of a storybook season for the Buckeyes who claimed the Big Ten title just a couple weeks ago, the NCAA tournament was back and forth until the finals where the Bucks clinched the team title.  In a nice show of respect and love the entire squad wore patches on their singlets emblazoned with "KK" in honor of Kosta Karageorge, the wrestling/football team mate who took his life last year after suffering from concussions and the depression often associated with such head trauma.  A class act by a world class team. 

Led by senior Logan Steiber who won his fourth individual title, only the fourth in NCAA history to ever do so (Pat Smith / Cael Sanderson / Kyle Dake ).  Sink your teeth into that... only four individuals ever to win four titles.  More folks have spaced walked, climbed Everest, and been to the moon.  An absolute cherry ending to a storied collegiate career and it could not have happened to a more humble, gracious athlete.  

 "I'm extremely proud of my teammates," said Stieber, who finishes the season with a perfect 29-0 record. "As an individual to win it's amazing. For the team, it's something I've dreamed of ever since I came to Ohio State. When I was a freshman in high school I dreamed of doing it my senior year of high school. We did it and I've been dreaming of it for four years here at Ohio State and to finally do it, it's unbelievable." - Intermatwrestle
.com

Nathan Tomasello also took his first title at 125 with outstanding wrestling by Jordan, Courts, and the entire wrestling squad coached by Tom Ryan who could not be prouder of his boys!  

I cannot express my happiness for the Buckeye squad, but even more fulfilling was the fact I got to share dual meets and the Big Ten Championships live with my family and girl.  One of the greatest sports on earth shared with the greatest family and loved ones.  What more could one ask for? 

Well... I won't lie... a National Title certainly does not hurt;)

Team Standings (Top 10):
1. Ohio State 102
2. Iowa 84
3. Edinboro 75.5
4. Missouri 73.5
5. Cornell 71.5
6. Penn State 67.5
7. Oklahoma State 65
8. Minnesota 59.5
9. Nebraska 59
10. Virginia Tech 56

March 12, 2015

How To Properly Argue by Barry Eisler

Barry Eisler is one of my favorite authors and overall somebody that is educated, articulate, and down to earth.  He runs a blog called Heart of the Matter which is primarily political based but he has laid out a very simple format, a guideline if you will, to help folks argue better in the world of keyboard experts/quarterbacks/trolls (pick your term). 

I put this up in an effort to help some of my internet "friends" on how to properly handle themselves in an argument as the age of Facefuck has given many folks an unspoken 'rite' to spew their opinions and stances often out of context, and usually without logic. 

I hope these guidelines help in your overall internet / day to day experience when sharing your opinions on diet, guns, education, global climate change etc.  In the end I would suggest the majority who troll around the interweb arguing for arguments sake should go buy the John Rain series by Eisler and read them.  Some of the most entertaining books on the market. 

From Barry Eisler:
Judoka and author Barry Eisler
There are a lot of terrific blogs out there on the world of writing, but Heart of the Matter isn't one of them. HOTM primarily covers politics, language as it influences politics, and politics as an exercise in branding and marketing, with the occasional post on some miscellaneous subject that catches my attention. 

HOTM has a comments section. Sounds simple enough, but as even a cursory glance at the comments of most political blogs will show, many people would benefit from some guidelines. Here are a few I hope will help.  

 1. The most important guideline when it comes to argument is the golden rule. If someone were addressing your point, what tone, what overall approach would you find persuasive and want her to use? Whatever that is, do it yourself. If you find this simple guideline difficult, I'll explain it slightly differently in #2. 

2. Argue for persuasion, not masturbation. If you follow the golden rule above, it's because you're trying to  persuade someone. If you instead choose sarcasm and other insults, you can't be trying to persuade (have you ever seen someone's opinion changed by an insult?). If you're not trying to persuade, what you're doing instead is stroking yourself. Now, stroking yourself is fine in private, but I think we can all agree it's a pretty pathetic to do so in public. So unless you like to come across as pathetic, argue to persuade. 

3. Compared to the two above, this is just commentary, but: no one cares about your opinion (or mine, for that matter). It would be awesome to be so impressive that we could sway people to our way of thinking just by declaiming our thoughts, but probably most of us lack such gravitas. Luckily, there's something even better: evidence, logic, and argument. Think about it: when was the last time someone persuaded you of the rightness of his opinion just by declaring what it was? Probably it was the same time someone changed your mind with an insult, right? And like insults, naked declarations of opinion, because they can't persuade, are fundamentally masturbatory. And masturbation, again, is not a very polite thing to do on a blog. 
 
Argue with others the way you'd like them to argue with you. Argue with intent to persuade. Argue with evidence and logic. That shouldn't be so hard, should it? Let's give it a try.

March 11, 2015

The NCAA Wrestling Tournament and THE Ohio State Buckeyes

Intermat just released their final rankings for the 2015 NCAA wrestling season with five of the top ten spots held by Big Ten squads, and with your Ohio State Buckeyes ending up third on the overall team rankings. 
    The NCAA also released the tournament brackets which will feature a Buckeye in EVERY single weight class!  This is very exciting news as Logan Steiber eyes his fourth straight NCAA title and the Buckeyes look to lay claim to the championship. Make sure you tune in March 19-21st for the tournament broadcast from St. Louis, MO. and cheer for the Buckeyes! 

Click here to see the brackets.


1 Iowa Iowa 99.5 Big Ten
2 Missouri Missouri 96 MAC
3 Ohio State Ohio State 93 Big Ten
4 Minnesota Minnesota 89 Big Ten
5 Cornell Cornell 84.5 EIWA
6 Oklahoma State Oklahoma State 60.5 Big 12
7 Penn State Penn State 60 Big Ten
7 Virginia Tech Virginia Tech 60 ACC
9 Edinboro Edinboro 57 EWL
10 Illinois Illinois 54 Big Ten


Polish Wrestling Stamp

On the subject of wrestling, much thanks to our friend Felix who was kind enough to share a great classic stamp (for you youngin's a stamp is how one paid for a letter to get sent back in the dark ages before the interweb!) from Poland circa.1985.  I have had a hard time finding much (in English that is) but I think it is great none the less.  Thanks Felix! 


March 9, 2015

Tim Cartmell Seminars Portland, OR. March 20-22nd 2015

Martial genius Tim Cartmell will be returning to the Rose City (Portland) on March 20-22nd of this year.  Truly not an opportunity you want to miss, Tim will be covering all aspects of self defense and grappling.

All Classes Held at Ecole de Budo (7506 N. Chicago Ave. Portland, OR.)

Friday, March 20th - 6:00PM - 8:00PM
Saturday, March 21st - 10:00AM - 1:00PM / lunch break / 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Sunday, March 22nd - 9:00AM - 11:00AM

Price is $100 for SOB members and $150 for non-members

Machado Talks About the Hammer and the Nail

Make sure to check out Prof Carlos Machado's latest article in issue #24 of Jiu Jitsu Style where he offers sage advice on humility, learning from all our partners, as well as the ebb and flow of training.  Check out the "Hammer and the Nail" on your local newsstand now! 

THE Ohio State Buckeyes: Your 2015 Big Ten Wrestling Champions

It has been over 64 years since the Ohio State Buckeyes last savored the sugary sweet taste of success in Big Ten Wrestling, and WOW what a season 2015 has been!  This past weekends tournament performance was quite impressive both on the individual side of the brackets as well as the team coming together and earning 120 points in a tie with Iowa.

To watch Logan Steiber wrestle on TV is truly amazing.  The dominance, the speed, the strength... amazing to say the least.  But to witness such an athlete in his own house at the peak of his career... I struggle to find the words adequate to describe such a wrestler.  Logan's last performance at St. John's Arena was arguably one of his most impressive.  As he scoops up his 4th Big Ten title and heads for his 4th NCAA title (first in Buckeye history), his explosiveness and back control is unparalleled in collegiate wrestling!   

The Buckeyes head into the NCAA tournament with the greatest prospects of winning a national title they have ever had with nine wrestlers hitting the mats in St. Louis.  Logan Steiber was named most outstanding wrestler of the Big Ten (first ever from OSU) as well as the champions, and coach Ryan was named the Big Ten Coach of the year!  

This past weekends Big Ten Tournament was a great time had by my family and I. I highlighted Steiber but in reality the entire squad wrestled well.  Nate Tomasello put on a clinic defeating Delgado and moving on to take the title.  Bo Jordan fought his cousin Isac Jordan (Wisconsin) in the finals getting narrowly beat in what was a great match.  Good time spent supporting some of the most amazing athletes in Collegiate sports, all for $15 a session!!!  The staff and customer service with the Ohio State Campus is typical of Midwest hospitality and care.  Also met with a smile and a hello, the only gripe one could have about the weekend was the overwhelmingly stifling air, but alas... it is wrestling. 


One noticeable exception to my above statements about Midwest pleasantries would be the Iowa contingent.  Both fan and wrestler alike were rather disrespectful and unsportsmanlike across the board.  From running off the mat without shaking hands, to leaving the medal podium prior to getting pictures taken with fellow champs when Iowa placed anything other then first, to the Iowa fans clapping only for Iowa wrestlers.  I have witnessed this before on TV, but observing it for the first time in person was a bit of a slap in the face.  The sweet couple I sat next to went to EVERY wrestling meet they could and said this was very indicative of Iowa and their fans.  Jim told me he had even asked Dan Gable about it stating that Gable was much  more respectful in his day.  The response was a shrug of the shoulders coupled with "We have the mindset that we must dominate."  Domination is one thing, but sportsmanship and respect are totally different.  One cannot argue the results of such a mindset/program, but I certainly can (and will) call them on the methodologies.  And shame on the majority of the fan base from Iowa too. 

Overall I cannot suggest enough that you and your family support your local wrestling at the high school and/or the collegiate level.  An amazingly affordable adventure for the entire family where you will witness some of the best athletes in the world! 

March 2, 2015

Surviving A Gunfight with Lt. Bob Stasch of the Chicago PD

Our friend Darrin Cook over at Big Stick Combat has a great blog where he brings many great perspectives and opinions to the martial arts self defense realm.  He is a realist and seems to have common sense hence why he often posts about 21st century combat; ie. gun defense. 

It has been my experience that the overwhelming majority of folks involved in the martial arts have about 0-5% knowledge base when it comes to guns.  That is an all encompassing statement (obviously I am ignoring variable demographics) but in all reality the majority of people I run across have not even fired a weapon before let alone know what to do if faced with an armed opponent (weapons are more and more prevalent in assault cases).  So when Darrin shares a great clip like this one I tend to listen and learn. 

Lt. Bob Stasch has survived  14 gun fights in his nearly 35 years of service on the Chicago Police force.  Few individuals have such experience and are alive to speak of it.  I have included the video interview and also provided the highlights from the interview (thanks to Darrin):



  • Go for head shots instead of center-of-mass shots, especially at very close range, where most gunfights occur.
  • Practice shooting a 6-inch paper plate. If you can hit the plate, you can hit the head.
  • Most of his gunfights were under 12 feet.
  • Train for instinctive, point shooting instead of aimed shooting.
  • In most instances, your off hand is occupied doing something else –be prepared to shoot one-handed.
  • Carry a minimum of 2 extra magazines.
  • Carry a backup weapon in case your gun malfunctions or you’re disarmed.
  • Lieutenant Stasch likes a lightweight .38 revolver as a backup.
  • He carries a Sig Sauer P220 in .45 because of the feel in the hand “The key to being a good handgun shooter is to have a weapon that’s an extension of your hand. Don’t get the gun that people recommend –get the gun that feels right in your hand. Go to a gun store and pick up every gun with your eyes closed, pick the one that feels like a 6th finger.”

 Lt. Stasch's findings are congruent with the NYPD's SOP 9 study on combat cases: click here to be redirected.

Food for thought here no matter what your opinion of firearms is.  Are you prepared? 

March 1, 2015

Do MMA (BJJ) Gyms Have a Sexual Harassment Problem?

Inappropriate in Yoga and martial arts!
Nursing the hangover of what can only be called "WOW... WTF was that?!?!?!?" 14 second submission of Cat Zingano via Ronda Rousey, Jake Rossen also dropped a great article over at ESPN entitled "Do MMA Gyms Have a Sexual Harassment Problem?"  Highlighting what seems to be an ever present cloud hanging over the martial arts community with both male and female instructors abusing positions and relationships within various martial arts schools albeit mixed martial arts (MMA), Judo, traditional martial academies, or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) schools.

Click here to read the entire article:

"I believe a Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor's influence on a student is stronger than a doctor, psychologist or lawyer," says Rener Gracie, a member of the legendary martial arts family and a head instructor at the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California. "They put students in impossible scenarios where they have no answer and then teach them the solution. It puts them in a position of being a purveyor of absolute truth and effectiveness. And if this instructor has this degree of truthful knowledge, they must have same answers for life."

(Solid point, but an interesting choice for a quote considering one of Rener's affiliate schools just had a female instructor arrested for alleged molestation crimes)

   In 2013, New Hampshire instructor Aldo Batista dos Santos was charged with multiple counts of felonious sexual assault against a teenage student. A mistrial was declared in August 2014 when a relative of the alleged victim began screaming at dos Santos' lawyer during cross-examination. Dos Santos was subsequently found guilty in a December jury trial.
   "He created an atmosphere where you weren't allowed to question him," says a former male student at dos Santos' academy who asked not to be identified. "When the case broke, he said the student was just trying to sue him for money. But it's a criminal trial."

"It's a situation where you have someone in a high position who isn't often questioned," says AnnMaria De Mars, Ph.D., Rousey's mother and a longtime judo practitioner. "People assume if you can stand up for yourself physically, you can also stand up for yourself emotionally, but that isn't always the case. You can have someone good at a sport that isn't that self-confident."
   Unlike most sports, jiu-jitsu, judo, and other ground arts have mixed-gender practices. Because men far outnumber women, training with the opposite sex becomes a necessity, and female coaches are scarce. As more young women seek out training for recreational or professional goals, few expect the situation Rousey spoke out against -- that they would someday need protection against their own instructor.


I realize there is no one, simple, easy answer to such a complex and variable problem that is not only a part of our own microcosm but in reality is quite a problem throughout society.  But two common aspects I have seen in the majority of these cases are; 1- No oversight from anybody, and I mostly direct this towards parents.  Where are the parents in all this?  A martial arts dojo is NOT a daycare/babysitter.  WHY are you not watching and involved in every aspect possible when your child is in such a situation with ANY adult??  Time to buck up and take some responsibility parents. 
   Secondly an awful lot of these academies are part of chain / affiliate academies.  The economic drive to open multiple schools and subsequently the pressure to fill them with competent instructors and paying students seems to over ride the common sense thought process, or as my grandfather used to simply put it... "You're getting too big for your britches."  Again a lack of control and oversight coupled with poor, quick character judgements by business owners/head instructors.  In my humble opinion there is too many Mc - Academies which carry the names of famous instructors, but don't necessarily extort their morals and lifestyle. 


Attention Three Harmonies Students

There will be no class March 3-10th.  See on the 12th!  Go Bucks!!