June 4, 2016

Rest In Peace Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)

I couldn't imagine a better ambassador to the next realm.
Thus far 2016 has proved to be an absolute abomination when it comes to loosing some of our greatest musicians, and now the greatest boxer ever to live has moved on to the next realm.  Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, lost his battle to Parkinson's yesterday in a Phoenix, AZ. hospital. 

I never saw him live, but my father was fortunate enough to see him fight as Cassius Clay back when he was climbing the ranks.  Toledo Ohio was actually quite well known for its boxing with its proximity to Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland.  Imagine being fortunate enough to see Cassius in his prime!?  How fortunate. 

I have so much to say, yet I find myself speechless.  My condolences to his family.  I hope that he arranged to have his brain studied for Parkinson's research so we can find a cure for such a terrible disease. 

May 31, 2016

Detroit Kali - A Study In Counters

Apologies for a lengthy absence.  I have had quite a busy life and have tried to refocus and prioritize my energy and time, and quite frankly a lot of it was removing myself from the electronic hum that is such a part of our lives now days!  I am not sure how much I will be posting, but I can promise it will be the same quality you have come to expect (if anyone reads this blog any more).

Guru Jeff Davidson has released a couple new short clips on Kali counters.  You will notice a couple of things...
Firstly Jones (gentleman wearing the baseball cap) ALWAYS has his weapon/empty hand in between him and his partner.  An essential fundamental often sacrificed for power.  His partner keeps his in front about 50% of the time. 
Another key element I want to highlight is the control and gentleness of the entire drill.  I have trained for years with "soft handed" Taiji "masters," in the "gentle art" of Judo, and the "flowing" art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and I have yet to meet an entire group (not just the teacher) with better control and more gentle of a touch whether it be a stick, knife, or hand.  There is no need to go hard and beat the shit out of each other.  As a matter of fact it is often counter productive to the learning process, but ego and machismo (especially in the FMA!!!) often win out leading the way to less technical practitioners and eventually teachers. 

March 16, 2016

2016 NCAA Wrestling Tournament

The luck o' the Irish is upon us as the NCAA Wrestling Tournament kicks off on St. Patty's Day in the Big Apple!  Wishing all the wrestlers the best, but of course we here at the Ground Never Misses are dye in the wool Ohio State Fans; GO BUCKS!!! 

It will be a tough mission to repeat as Team National Champs, but we have eight grapplers hitting the mats starting tomorrow on ESPNU that are going to give it 120%!



February 23, 2016

Book Review - "Lameco Eskrima: The Legacy of Edgar Sulite

It is the hopes and desires of most martial arts instructors to leave a legacy of students to carry on the traditional arts they worked so hard to perfect.  When a teacher such as Professor Edgar Sulite leaves this earth prematurely, the teachings of his students speaks to the strength of the lessons he left behind.  I would have to imagine that Mr. Sulite is smiling down from above with his student David Gould who just published "Lameco Eskrima: The Legacy of Edgar Sulite" with Tambuli Media. 

Ten chapters spanning 270 pages, Gould has put together quite an awesome text with a unique approach.  Unlike so many authors out there that try to cover an entire system in one book or those that focus on solely the physical aspects of an art, Gould has written a wonderful recollection of his training with Sulite that focuses on the renown teachers influence throughout both the east and the west.  Sulite's skills were surpassed solely by his willingness to share, his love and passion for the art makes his early passing all the more heartbreaking in 1997. 

For those seeking a compendium of techniques and applications you may want to look elsewhere.  Though techniques are well represented by a number of Sulite's inner core of private students (SOG members), this volume goes above and beyond pure physical movement.  Gould lays out a history of how Lameco developed, Sulite's upbringing in the art, and the evolution of Lameco up through Edgar's untimely passing at just 40 years old. 

Gould's book is a virtual who's who of the warriors of the Philippines, the early days of stick and knife fighting.  The only criticism I have (and has been consistent with Tambuli's books) is the discipline of pictures.  The flow is not always evident and quite often both participants are dressed in the same colors making it very difficult to discern whom is doing what.  Outside of such a minor criticism I can hardly find a flaw with David Gould's excellent book. 

This book is deserving of a place on your shelf, absolutely mandatory reading for Lameco students.  Order your copy of "Lameco Escrima" by David Gould by clicking here. at a steal for only $29.95

February 19, 2016

Alberto Crane to Teach 50/Zero Guard in Seattle

   Our good friend and coach Alberto Crane will be teaching his 50/Zero Guard game here in Seattle, WA. March 4th 6-9pm.  We apologize for the last minute seminar surprise, but Prof. Crane is in town on other business and we offered to arrange this as a way to help him spread word about his unique approach to attacking the leg and sweeping unsuspecting opponents. 

Alberto Crane 50/Zero Guard Seminar
NW Jiu Jitsu Academy
942 N. 95th St.
Seattle, WA.

Fourth degree Alberto Crane needs no introduction to any student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu history.  One of the very first Americans to travel to Brazil to train and compete, Crane studied under "Draculino" prior to Draculino moving to the US.  A veteran of the UFC, Alberto continues to compete to this day always innovating and looking to deepen his grappling knowledge.  Don't miss this great opportunity to train with BJJ history. 

February 4, 2016

WAR Wonderboy!!

The Ground Never Misses wants to send a shout out to Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson as he heads into his first main event with the UFC this weekend on UFC Fight Night FS1!  This will be by far Wonderboy's toughest challenge to date in Johnny Hendricks. 

Thompson surely has the upper hand in striking as his long reach enables him to stick and get out with powerful punches and traditional karate kicks that catch many MMA fighters off guard.  Hendricks brings an amazing work ethic and conditioning protocol to the octagon where he will rely on his wrestling pedigree. 

A win Saturday night puts Thompson into serious talks for title contention in the next year or so, but we get ahead of ourselves...

Kick ass and take names Wonderboy!  Seattle is behind you! 

January 18, 2016

"Fundamental Iron Skills" - Book Review

Though we have yet to meet, Dale Dugas and I have known each other for years, perusing the same Chinese Martial Arts boards and sites.  I have had many a great conversation, and a few heated debates with Dr. Dugas, and I am delighted to see him finally publish a text on his famous Iron Body techniques and formulas!

For many of us the allure of Chinese Martial Arts was often initially piqued by a demonstration of some sorts or another.  Coupled with the poetic and mysterious history, Iron Body techniques were glorified in movies and pop culture yet remained elusive to many serious practitioners.  A handful of books were printed through the 70's and 80's but quickly went out of print, and frankly they contained little substantive information.  Many teachers consider Iron Body training as "secret" or for disciples only, therefore they were not so willing to publicly write all the details out in a public forum.

Fast forward three decades and the information age has changed everything, and some teachers have decided to teach many of yesterdays "secrets" in lieu of losing the legacy of their teachers and art.  Dale Dugas has written a basic guideline of training not just Iron Palm but Iron Body as well.  Over 150 packed pages describe all aspects of the training including qigong, liniment production and usage, Dugas goes through conditioning head to toe offering a step by step guide on this rare training.  This book is certainly no replacement for a competent instructor but offers a great reference.

One of the most valuable aspects of this book is that Dugas shares two of his recipes for jow and Iron Palm Liniment!  These are some of the most guarded secrets to many instructors but Dale shares two really quality and easy to make recipes.  

All in all "Fundamental Iron Skills" is the most up to date and accessible text on the subject to date.   This book will be of interest to Chinese Martial Art practitioners of all styles since Iron Skills were not unique to one system or group.  Herbalists and healers will also find this a valuable reference as Iron Skills at the highest level are all about healing and nourishing the body, mind, and spirit. 

Click here to purchase Dr. Dale Dugas' "Fundamental Iron Skills" by Tambuli Media.