Master Toddy Seminar Review

Master Toddy visited Tacoma, WA. this past weekend to offer a day of teachings in the art of Muay Thai. Hosted by Venom Fight Skinz the curriculum was supposed to be the same seminar taught twice, but turned out that it would be two different seminars which was a bummer since I came to the later seminar since I was told they would be the same. We did not follow the curriculum that was presented to me, but none the less learned some great stuff.

Toddy is probably best known for producing some amazing female fighters such as Gina Carano (pictured to the right), but is also a very well respected Muay Thai coach for all ages and sexes! He has been doing Muay Thai for over 40 years.

The seminar was poorly attended, possibly due to poor planning and advertising, perhaps due to the economy and the slightly inflated price! Tough for the promoter but awesome for those of us in attendance because we got all kinds of personal attention from Master Toddy. For the seminar I attended Master Toddy asked what we would like covered and for the most part powerful kicking was needed, and a few of us grunted out some clinch work would be nice. Toddy was great in addressing a number of our questions.

Little details for both the clinch and kicking were addressed which tweaked my kicks to be all the better. But above and beyond the physical Toddy talked about some of the mental – emotional aspects of the sport, which in my experience is uncommon with many teachers. Speaking about not showing pain or anguish when hit, and if you see such a thing in your opponent you need to attack like a Tiger ferociously striking over and over. How to look for loss of balance with your opponent in an effort to continue striking them so that they cannot launch counter attacks. Not grimacing when kicking. He also spoke about tricks for your opponent (much the same that Benji Radach talked about last December when Mike and I trained with him) such as looking to the leg but kicking to the head, and vice versa!

Overall the 2 hours went by much too quick, and unfortunately Toddy did not bring his “learning stick.” You can click here to view some nice pics from the seminar.

If you get the chance to train with Toddy I would highly suggest it. He has a wonderful sense of humor and a keen eye for training and technique. I was very impressed by all that he had to offer and hope to get other chances in the future to train with him.

Train hard, train smart

A few weeks ago I was kindly invited to Sensei Chris Herman’s Dojo, Alpha Martial Arts to teach a short guest seminar/class. Here are a couple of pics from the evening where I taught some basics of rising from the ground safely and quickly, as well as teaching a basic defense against a standing Guillotine. Chris has a great group of people with a good sense of humor. It was my pleasure and honor to teach there.


Roy Dean’s latest BJJ DVD gem is entitled “Purple Belt Requirements” and it is a must have for any serious student of BJJ or grappling regardless of your rank. I have quickly come to expect an extremely high level of instruction, production quality, and insight from Mr. Dean’s instruction both in person and via his multi media outlets. Once again I am pleased to announce he has risen to the challenge and lived up to the level I (and others) have come to expect.

I have been looking forward to this DVD for the past 6 months or so as I am about 1/2 way to my Purple belt in BJJ. I was bummed when the DVD arrived literally two days before my 2 1/2 week vacation last month. I managed a quick peak but nothing substantial until I got back a few weeks ago.

Where many DVDs of this nature approach the subject via the instructors personal curriculum of techniques and transitions, Roy Dean’s goal with this DVD is simple, “To move you forward conceptually, so that you can create your own game.” A personalization of your grappling approach lending from Dean’s credo “Discover who you are.”

The two disk DVD starts out with “What makes a purple belt” where Dean makes an excellent analogy of the art with studying a language. At the blue belt level one is still learning words, collecting techniques if you will. At the purple belt level one starts to make sentences which form the basis of YOUR personal game. One of the greatest things about the martial arts, BJJ in this instance, is that the art becomes a conduit for ones personality to come out on the mat.

“BJJ is not about techniques, but rather transitions.” – Dean.

Do not mistake this DVD simply as a collection of techniques. Don’t get me wrong, over the 170 minutes of instruction there are plenty of techniques demonstrated and taught. But the gist of Dean’s lessons here are formulated around the concepts of grappling and the development of your personal toolkit. On disk one the menu is broken into Passing the Guard and Positions of the Game.

Positions of the Game offers the student a look into several of the most prominent positions of BJJ such as back mount / mount / sidemount / guard / leglocks, and approaches them from a principle based perspective including attacks and submissions but the focus is on transition. We are reminded of simple things that us beginners all too often forget such as attacking the neck in an effort to get to the arms (or vice versa), or how to use your legs which is key to the advanced game.

Precise footwork, patience when passing such as overlapping your pressure and not regressing with your progress are the fundamental idea’s of the Passing the Guard portion of disk one. Again techniques are covered but not emphasized. Herein lies the golden nuggets of the DVD; 1/2 Guard Strategies / Passing Concepts / Passing Transitions. Dean expertly talks about, and demonstrates, some of the concepts and strategies (sorely missing in much BJJ instruction) of passing someones guard. Transitions are where most beginners get stuck and Dean addresses problems and solutions with details that often stump us grapplers.

The second DVD offers a number of great supplements to the main DVD such as Donald Bowerman’s Purple Belt evaluation which includes technique demonstrations as well as free rolling. Also included are rolling examples from blue – purple – brown – and black belts showcasing similarities and differences of styles and approaches. These are all a nice fit for the DVD as a whole. Dean also talks about guidelines for a Purple Belt in regards to their skill requirements:
1) Smooth efficient movement
2)Complete game – a go to move in every position
3) Link your combo’s using 2-3 techniques

Dean also includes some his competition footage of a black belt fight with one of his hero’s Dan Camarillo. I am not sure where this fits with the Purple Belt theme of the DVD. It is an amazing match, but does not seem to fit in with the majority of the DVD. The same must be said for the breakdown of the triangle Dean offers from fight footage at Brennan’s round robin tourney. I believe Dean was a purple belt at this stage in his career, but I am not sure. Nice little breakdown but again I am not sure why it is included.

To wrap up the second DVD we are invited into Roy Dean’s Kuwait seminars from last year where he offered lessons on leg attacks, guard passing, and closed guard work. Again these are all interesting and offer some nice techniques and insights into Dean’s teaching approach, but I am not sure how they tie into the Purple Belt theme of the DVD.

Overall 4 out of 5 stars. As usual the production quality is excellent with the picture crisp and clear. Unfortunately in this DVD the sound was a little too echo-ie which was a bit distracting. Students, true students not just technique collectors (go to Youtube for that), will want to include this DVD in their library, as Dean has set a new standard in what we should expect from an instructional BJJ DVD.


Mucho thanks go out to BJJ brother “Scrappy” Phil K. for designing these final brackets for all divisions of the Abu Dhabi this year!
Thanks bro,
WOW! All I can say is WOW! In between teaching and training I have caught over 50% of the fights from this weekend, and it has been nothing short of amazing. If you have not seen the results, don’t look further. VOD will be available from later this evening. I want to say they are charging $15. A steal!!!! If you paid for the stream you will get it for no additional fee.

Here is video of arguably the best match of the tourney; Marcello Garcia vs. Kron Gracie (Ricksons son): A virtual clinic on open and closed guard by two of the best!

Results below thanks to Kid Peligro!

Fabricio Werdum v Saulo Ribeiro Werdum by ref decision 2 OT

Jeff Monson v Robert Abreu _ Abreu by ref decision 2 OT

Xande Ribeiro vs Vinny Magalhaes – Xande by points 4 x 0 OT

Gerard Rinaldi vs Glover Teixeira – Rinaldi by points 5 x 0 OT

Andre Galvao vs David Avellan – Galvao by points 2 x 0

Braulio Estima vs Rafael Lovato – Braulio by submission foot lock

Marcelo Garcia vs K-Taro Nakamura – Garcia by choke

Rubens Cobrinha vs Rani Yahia – Charles by submission – Kimura

Pablo Popovitch vs Gregor Gracie – Pablo by points 3 x 0

Leo vieira vs Rafael Mendes – Mendes by sub choke OT

Penny thomas v Cristiane Cyborg – Thomas by points -2 x -1 OT

Hillary Williams vs Sayaka Shioda – Shioda by Submission arm-lock

Rosangela Conceicao v Hannette Staack – Staack by Judges Decision 2 OT

Luana Allzuguir vs Laurence Cousin – Alzuguir by choke 2 OT

3rd Place Matches:

Over 99KG:Jeff Monson vs Saulo Ribeiro – Monson by Judges Decision 2 OT

Under 99Kg Vinny Magalhaes v Glover Teixeira – Magalhaes by submission arm-lock

Under 88KG Rafael Lovato vs David Avellan – Avelan by sub foot-lock

Under 77KG Gregor Gracie vs K-taro Nakamura – Gracie by pts 10 x 0

under 66 Jeff Glover vs Ryan Hall (Vieira and yahia out with injuries) – Hall by pts 3 x 2

Ladies U60 KG Laurence Cousin v Hillary Williams – Williams by pts

Ladies Over 60 KG Cristiane Cyborg vs Rosangela conceicao – Cristiane Cyborg by jduges Decision


Over 99Kg – Fabricio Werdum vs Roberto Cyborg – werdum by pts 9 (-4) x 0

under 99KG – Xande ribeiro vs Gerardi Rinaldi – Xande by points 2 x 0

under 88KG – Braulio Estima vs Andre Galvao – Braulio by submission triangle

under 77KG – Pablo Popovitch vs Marcelo Garcia – Popovitch by points 3(-1) x 2(-1)

under 66KG – Rubens cahrles vs Rafael Mendes – Mendes by pts 7 x 4 2OT

Ladies Over 60KG Penny Thomas vs Hannette Staack – Staack by submission knee-bar

Under 60KG Luana Alzuguir v Sayaka Shioda – Alzuguir by pts 3 x 0


Marcelo Garcia v Bruno Bastos – Garcia by submission choke OT

Braulio Estima v Janne Pekka Pietilainen – Brualio by submission arm-lock

Dean Lister v Vinny Magalhaes – Magalhaes by Judges Decision 2OT

Chris Weidman v Antoine Jaoude – Weidman by pts 3 x 0

Ricco Rodrigues v Xande Ribeiro – xande byy submission key-lock

Andre Galvao v Tom de Blass – Galvao by pts 3 x 0

Jeff Monson v Gunnar Nelson – Nelson by pts 3 x 0 2 OT

Roberto abreu v David Avellan – Avelan by Judges decision 2 OT

Quarter Finals

Marcelo Garcia v Braulio Estima – Braulio by sub choke

Vinny Magalhaes v Chris Weideman – Magalhaes by sub arm-lock

Xande Ribeiro v Andre Galvao – Xande by pts 3 (-1) x 0

Gunnar Nelson v David Avelan


Xande Ribeiro vs Gunnar Nelson – Xande by Submission Knee-bar

Braulio Estima v Vinny Magalhaes – Braulio by pts 3 x 0


Xande Ribeiro v Braulio Estima – Braulio by saubmission arm-bar

On his 29th birthday, Mongolian Sumo great Asashoryu won the emperors cup for the Autumn Basho in Japan on Sunday. In a classic war, two of Sumo’s most successful rikishii fought on the final day, Asashoryu (14-0) vs. Hakuho (13-1). Hakuho came out fast and strong blasting through Asa’s defenses with Yorikiri (Frontal Force Out). This tied the wrestlers forcing a playoff. The second tachiai was strong, but more controlled by both warriors. Hakuho tried several times to compromise Asa’s balance and structure, but he quickly gained composure and would not relinquish his mawashi grips securing the Sukuinage (Beltless arm throw).

Throughout this tournament (Asashoryu’s 24th winning of the Emperor’s Cup) Asa has looked strong and confident. Knee and elbow injuries have not played a factor in this strong, strong showing. Hakuho also fought very well throughout the Autumn Basho.

Here is the highlight from NHK news:

Kid Peligro over at has broken down each weight category of the upcoming Abu Dhabi Championships. I am not sure how many of my readers check out his posts so I wanted to compile what he has written so far in this post. This year promises to be one of the most competitive tournaments ever!

JABADCC 2009 takes place next weekend in Barcelona, Spain. The event has the top submission fighters in the World competing in 5 weight categories for men with 16 fighters each and 2 women weight categories with 8 fighters each plus absolute.

U77 – U88 Divisions:

Under 77KG Division is perhaps the easiest/harder to handicap, with prohibitive favorite Marcelo Garcia in the division. Having won the last 3 ADCC titles Garcia is a favorite to repeat and would be considered an upset not to, however he has not competed much in the last two years (won the Worlds in ’09) so competition rust may give others a chance.

Other contenders are Murilo Santana (winner of Brazil Trials), Pablo Popovich, Kron and Gregor Gracie and darkhorse in my view is Ben Askren. Santana’s victory of the Brazil trials automatically puts him as a challenger, experience in ADCC matches is a big deal and he has that. Pablo Popovich always seem to get to the finals and has succumbed to Garcia each time. If he doesn’t have anything new to show you’d expect the same but his game is tight and he can surprise a rusty Marcelo. Kron and Gregor Gracie are new blood with little or no ADCC/No Gi experience so it remains to be seen what they do but their BJJ career and last name always carry interest. Ben Askren is a top wrestler that can make life difficult for many, if he understand the rules and plays the game right he will win fights and can be the competition’s dark horse

1. Marcelo Garcia. Brazil
2. K-taro Nakamura. Japan
3. Murilo Santana. Brazil
4. Marcelo Azevedo. Italy
5. Toni Linden. Finland
6. Don Ortega. USA
7. Rodney Ellis. Australia
8. Enrico Cocco. USA
9. Pablo Popovich. USA
10. Kron Gracie. Brazil
11. Yoshiyuki Yoshida. Japan
12. Mike Fowler. USA
13. Ben Askren. USA
14. Gregor Gracie. Brazil
15. Milton Viera. Brazil
16. Leo Santos. Brazil

The Under 88KG division is one of the most stacked divisions int he event. Names like Andre Galvao, Braulio Estima, Tarsys Humphries, Rafael Lovato Jr, David Avellan alone are enough to make best of the best. If Gavao shows up with the same intensity, preparation and technique that he did in the Brazil tirals he is a favorite. Braulio has been a top fighter for some time and his 2nd place to Xande in a higher weight division in ’07 dictates he is a force to be recogned with. Thees two are my choices to make the finals. Tarsys Humphries had an impressive ’07 ADCC campaign and has been on a tear lately. Depending on the bracket (he doesn’t match up well against Galvao) he has a great chance to be in the finals. Lovato Jr is one of the top American fighters and should contend, in my view his only fault is that he likes to fight from the bottom and counter and that doesn’t play well in ADCC’s rules. David Avellan is a tough competitor with ADCC experience, a good stand up game and solid ground, he could upset many and be int he podium

1. André Galvão. Brazil
2. Yuji Arai. Japan
3. Gunnar Nelson. Iceland
4. Tarsis Humphreys. Brazil
5. Trond Saksenvik. Norway
6. Jorge Santiago. Brazil
7. Igor Praporshchikov. Australia
8. Chris Weidman. USA
9. David Avellan. USA
10. Rafael Lovato. USA
11. Braulio Estima. Brazil
12. Daniel Tabera. Spain
13. Kassim Annan. France
14. James Brasco. USA
15. Bruno Bastos. Brazil
16. Tom Lawlor. USA

Under 65kg division:

This week we’ll be taking a look at each and handicap possible winners, first the Under 65KG men:

This is an unofficial list of the -65KG:


1. Rani Yahya. Brazil (ADCC World Champion)

2. Kouhei Yasumi. Japan (Asian Trials winner)

3. Rafael Mendes. Brazil (South American Trials winner)

4. Nicolas Renier. France (European Trials winner)

5. Timo-Juhani Hirvikangas. Finland (European Champion)

6. Ryan Hall. USA (North American West coast Trials winner)

7. David Marinakis. Australia (Pacific Trials winner)

8. Jayson Patino. USA (North American East coast Trials winner)

9. Leo Vieira

10. Baret Yoshida

11. Jeff Glover

12. Rubens Charles Maciel

13. Hiroshi Nakamura

14. Justin Rader

15. Jeff Curran

16. Joel Tudor

This is a tough division indeed with former champion Leo Vieira coming back hungry and current champion Rani Yahia returning to defend his title. Other top contenders should be Rubens “Cobrinha”, Ryan Hall and Rafael Mendes. Dark horses Joel Tudor and Jeff Curran.


Leo Vieira: Handicapping Leo Vieira is always difficult, talent wise he is one of the best if not the best in the category still but distractions of 2 new kids and the efforts of developing his new team CheckMat may get in the way of his focus and training. If he shows up in top shape he is the favorite in my view

Rani Yahia: Rany has been in the finals the last 2 ADCC events splitting the title with Leo Vieira. Rani is a fierce competitor and a great technician. His setback with the Gi in the American Nationals served to awaken the fire inside of him even more (as if he needed) look for him to be at the finals again

Rubens “Cobrinha” has dominated his division the last few years and should be one of the favorites, the only questions is how well his game adapts to the ADCC rules and how he will fare if he meets with Rafael Mendes along the way. Cobrinha is undoubtedly one of the best in the world and if he performs up to par he can take the title.

Rafael Mendes won the ADCC trials Brazil and that is no small feat. Mendes is a 50/50 guard specialist and more. His game is very tight and difficult to figure out and with ADCC expanded use of knee and foot-locks his guard and grape-vining legs will cause trouble to many

Ryan Hall is a submission specialist. His guard and triangles are lethal and he is definitly a dark horse in my eyes. His only drawback in my eyes is his size as he is small for the division and ADCC demands a lot of power in every division

Jeff Curran is an MMA star returning to his roots, his game is very good and effective to be in the top four. One would have to question is the effects of training and focusing in MMA will have in his timing

Joel Tudor is the dark horse of the field. Having just submitted current champion Rani with a triangle Joel will surprise many with other aspects of his game. A good draw will greatly help his prospects of reaching top four.

More to come…..

For any of you readers who are going to order the Abu Dhabi Live stream, here is the fight schedule courtesy of

Fight Times!

ADCC 2009 Barcelona will start on SATURDAY 26th at 11:00 am

The last fight should end at 6:00 pm.

The final fights will be on SUNDAY 27th, starting at 12:00

I could not pass up on this story from Universal Sports! Logan Campbell is an aspiring Olympian from New Zealand who is vying for a spot on the 2012 NZ Tae Kwon Do Olympic team. As some of you may, or may not, know all Olympians need to fund there own way through the trials all the way to the big show. Being at pro level in any sport requires hours of work and dedication a day, so “real” jobs are hard to come by that allow for serious training as well.

Logan has an ingenious plan to earn such money; he opened a brothel!! Genius!! Sex is one thing that will ALWAYS make money. So the next time you are calling up a call girl for a BJ, or stepping into the red light district, think of funding a potential Olympian!


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A New Zealand taekwondo athlete has opened a brothel to help fund his bid to compete at the 2012 London Olympics, local media reported Sunday.

Logan Campbell, 23, told the Sunday Star-Times newspaper he hoped his Auckland “gentleman’s club,” which provided legal escort services, would help him raise about $200,000 toward his London Games campaign.

Campbell, who finished in the top 16 in the featherweight division at last year’s Beijing Olympics, said he spent around $90,000 competing in international events leading up to the games.

Most of the money had been provided by his parents, he said. His father, Max, an auctioneer, had worked two jobs to support his son’s Olympic quest.

Campbell told the newspaper his desire to avoid being a burden on his parents led him to open the brothel with business partner Hugo Phillips, 20. He said he had introduced several of his female employees to his mother who “realized they were just normal people supporting kids and stuff.”

Taekwondo New Zealand funding manager John Schofield said the governing body of the sport in the country would have to consider whether Campbell was suitable for international selection.

“Selection takes into account not just performance but also the athlete’s ability to serve as an example to the youth of the country,” Schofield said.

Check out the 2009 FILA World Wrestling Championships on universal sports live this week. From the looks of it there will also be a video on demand (VOD) section as well. Both freestyle and Greco Roman will be presented.


Several members of the NWJJA , under the tutelage of Brian Johnson, competed in the first NW Abu Dhabi Regional held in Auburn, WA. this past weekend. Everyone fought well and overall Brian was pleased with our performance. Big thanks to those who footed the $15 entry fee and supported us.

The tournament as a whole was very well ran with all aspects being exceptionally professional. Other tournament directors could learn a thing or four from Brett Boyce and his smooth operation of the tournament.

One reason we were done by 1pm is the extremely low attendance. One can only speculate as to the reasoning but a $75 entry fee, coupled with $15 general admission ticket for anyone supporting you, could very well have been an issue in these economic times. I heard a few fighters complain about the absence of a pro seminar on Friday night, which was offered in New Jersey, and Vegas but missing from Auburn, and Grand Rapids. I am willing to bet there were fewer than 80 people competing, including kids!

“Scrappy” Phil Kleffner brought the heat in the intermediate lightweight division. Winning both of his matches via submission Phil took first place!

Mike “Shadow” Robinson brought home the silver in the 180# intermediate division with two heated fights that went the distance. Mike fought a tough fight, but lost on points in his second match.

My “Most Impressive Grappler” award would have to go to Chris “We need to find Chris a nickname” Webb. Though he got edged out of competition, Chris has made the most significant improvement since I first met him at NWJJA. He has stepped up and challenged himself in ways many are fearful of doing, and has improved dramatically because of it! Losing over 40#’s, becoming more focused, and challenging himself by competing in tough tournaments.

Chris and I fought in the intermediate absolute division (it should be noted that Chris got “beat” by a sandbagging asshole wrestler in his first absolute match) and he brought the fight to me like no ones business! He did well and more importantly has improved ten fold since he started! Congrats Chris.

Cash Cab on the other hand played more the part of the nail than anything. I had only one other chap in my division but he was a no show, so they bumped me to the advanced heavyweight division. The two gentleman I fought were awesome sportsmen and solid grapplers, though I walked away feeling I was better. Quite simply I got caught in two submissions. The first guy tapped me with a nutcracker, which for those of you lucky enough to have had done to you lately, McFarland has been doing it for weeks, and it pisses me off that I did not see it coming! Set it up just like John does threatening the key lock!

My second match I simply made a mistake and let him catch my head and arm together. Rookie move. Painful lesson learned.

In the intermediate absolute I rolled against Russian Ivan, whom was previously thought to be one of our members, but at the tournament Ivan rolled under the Ivan Salaverry camp. Ivan showed up late so missed his division, Boyce allowed him to roll in the absolute so he was fresh. I was his first match. Ivan ended up beating me by 8 or 9 points. He simply sat on top of me in side control and pinned me. Ivan even lost a point for passivity, but he was too strong for any of my escapes or sweep attempts. In the final the douche bag sandbagging wrestler mentioned before, beat Ivan 29-0.

All in all it was a very positive experience. Congrats to those who won. Well deserved. Everyone walked away with a checklist of things that need work, and with the pride and valor of those who put it on the line and stepped on the mat!

If you get the opportunity to compete in one of the Abu Dhabi Regionals, do it! Well worth the experience!

Train hard, train smart,

If you search the worlds cultures certain aspects will be common ground. As far as combative sports / arts go, wrestling is one such common denominator. Iceland has ‘Glima’ – China of course practices ‘Shuai Chiao’ – In N. America we practice ‘Free style’ or ‘Folk Wrestling’ – Japan has ‘Judo’ – and in India they practice an ancient form of wrestling generically referred to as kushti (literally ‘wrestling’).

India is one of the oldest cultures know to man and their wrestling arts are perhaps one of, if not the, oldest practiced martial art on earth! I have a couple of offerings for my fellow readers who just may be interested in this rarely heard of aspect of the martial arts.

“The Wrestlers Body” by Joseph Alter

Not only is this seminal work one of the only English language resources for Indian Wrestling, but it is also a landmark piece in regards to the study of martial ethos and their affect on society, culture, and the shaping of Indian identity. A fascinating read all in all. Oh, and did I mention it is FREE!?!?

“Gama The World Champion”

A short paper on Gama and the role of wrestling and its hero’s in colonial India, also written by Alter (considered one of the west’s foremost experts on Indian wrestling). Gama is arguably the best wrestler to ever live. Now I understand that is a loaded statement that can be argued endlessly, but the physical prowess, gameness, and pure dedication to the art of wrestling is what leads many to make such comments. Regardless of his status, Gama was an amazing athlete who dominated the sport of wrestling during turbulent times in Colonial India. He quickly became a hero for thousands who had no voice.

“The Physical Body”

To view the trailer for this DVD click here!

Vincent Giordano is one of the unsung hero’s of the martial realm. A dedicated, meticulous, professional video librarian and preserver of the dying arts of Southeast Asia, Giordano breaks new ground once again with “The Physical Body” an intimate documentary of traditional Indian wrestling, or Kushti.

Two different DVDs offer a rare glimpse into the practically unknown world (to us in the west) of kushti. Training regimens from different schools are offered including demonstrations of club bell swinging, body weight exercises, preparation of the wrestling platform (digging the pit), and of course techniques and free wrestling are included.

The first volume is hands down a must have for anyone interested in grappling. The second volume seemed to contain more of the same from volume one and was overall disappointing in its scope and range.

The role wrestling plays in both traditional and contemporary Indian culture is fascinating especially dealing with the various caste’s and religions of the region. From a technical standpoint I find it nothing short of amazing that most cultures have some sort of grappling “sport” inherent in their physical legacies, and that each culture developed the same techniques (obviously using the principles of leverage and the physiology of the human body) way before one could potentially “steal” moves from Youtube!

Check out these sources for an interesting view into a grappling art that is rarely, if ever, seen in the western atmosphere. To the best of my knowledge there are no Indian Wrestling clubs that teach publicly here in the United States. If someone knows of any please feel free to email me ([email protected]) and forward the information. The book, paper, and DVDs I mention above offer insight into the daily training regimen, strict diet, technique, and interesting belief systems of the grapplers of South Asia.


Before we delve any further if you are offended by the word ‘fuck,’ are not confident that you are a man’s man, or have a tattoo of barbed wire wrapped around your bicep…. this book is certainly not for you. As a matter of fact the interview itself will most likely offend you. So stop reading right now!

If you are still reading it is safe to assume you are looking to improve your fight game, get better at pimping on the ladies, and/or looking for deep philosophical advice from one of MMA’s most prominent fighters; Forrest Griffin.

“My philosophy on getting knocked out is that it renders you unconscious and numb, so why worry about it.” And so starts Griffin’s hysterical book that is part retrospective, part instructional (yes, you do learn the ancient Chinese secret; the Asian Dart), and all fun! Just prior to this first chapter revelation you must take a 7 question test on your manliness that offers questions such as; do you shave your genitals or face more? You wake up one morning with a fat chick laying next to you; what do you do? etc. You see the direction this is going.

Filled with hilarious anecdotes offered by both Forrest and a bevy of his “friends” the easy 180 page read is broken into 6 “books,” The Physical / The Mental / Smart Advice (mostly on women, and perhaps not that smart) / Handling your Business / 42 fighting tips / and the Vault of Supersecret Techniques. “Got Fight” is one of the more entertaining books I have read since Moore’s “Lamb.”

Forrest certainly does not take himself too seriously on any level, yet offers sound advice through the smart ass facade he surrounds himself with. Talking about his first time in a MMA fight and the promoter had to replace the bottom rope of the boxing ring with a chain! Making sure to offer insight into the shady world of promoters and managers Griffin has no motive other than coughing up basic advice he could have used when breaking into the sport of MMA.

In a world of wanna – be cage stars this book should bring some levity to their desire to jump into the cage and get their wits knocked loose. Nothing about Forrest’s’ career is all that glamorous. The pictures of his staph infected knee, and face all busted up after fighting in the UFC are wake up calls via reality. Talking about making $250-500 for your fight, when hospital bills are 3x that amount! How in one promotion a guy blows out his knee and the promoters simply take him out in the back alley and leave him! “Got Fight” really does not promote the sport as something every swinging dick should attempt, yet it fills enough of the void in most of us to peak our interest.

Some have called the book vulgar. Some have criticized it as immature toilet reading at best. I would say it is vulgar, immature toilet reading that should not be missed! Go out and buy (the softcover version) ‘Got Fight’ today and enjoy a good laugh tonight. If you are remotely involved in the martial arts you will laugh out loud and walk away (if not already) an even bigger fan of Forrests’.


I am not real sure how this works but it appears that they are going to offer a live stream, with video on demand (vod) after the tournament, of the Abu Dhabi Fights in Barcelona, Spain Sept. 26-27th. More info can be found here.

Keep in mind the tourney will feature 3 mats going constantly, with one mat dedicated solely to championship matches. VOD services will be available for a limited time, until Oct. 13th, of all matches.

I do not know if this will be live (I assume) or time delayed. Keep in mind that Spain is 8 hours ahead of us west coasters (PST).

Some amazing matches are sure to be had at this years prestigious event. See above for a list of fighters. Also check out ADCCBarcelona for more info, or click here for a breakdown of each weight division.


Just ran across this this morning, a brand new documentary on the Gracie clan is wrapping up post production. Simply called “The Gracies and the Birth of Vale Tudo,” the following is the plot summary:

Fascinated by these principles and via unprecedented access to home movies and family archives, filmmaker Victor Cesar Bota follows the first family of no-rules fighting from their humble origins on the streets of Brazil to a worldwide fascination now called Mixed Martial Arts. In the United States, he discovered most people thought Mixed Martial Arts was brand new, when actually it had existed in Brazil for more than 70 years and during all of that time was almost completely dominated by this single family.

“The Gracies and the Birth of Vale Tudo” is a tale of morality, pride and family tragedy, an unyielding belief in a lifestyle and philosophy that grew to be a booming global phenomenon.

For those competing in the NW Regional Abu Dhabi next weekend here is some updated info for you:

-Friday night weigh in’s are from 5-7pm at the Green River CC. Depending on where I am weight wise I plan on going down Fri afternoon and making weight. If I am far below 217 (do not count on it) I will wait until Sat morning. Anyone who wants to tag along to weigh in, or possibly help those of us work off a few last pounds are welcome to join me. Most likely leave sometime around 4ish in the afternoon to deal with Seattle traffic. Call or email me.

-All divisions and levels are single elimination. Come focused kids!

-No seminar at this regional (big bummer)

-Registration jumps to $100 midnight Fri night. You can register at Fri night weigh ins as well.

-Absolute division is for advanced levels only. No exceptions.

Train hard, train smart!

Love him or hate him, the grappling genius of Eddie Bravo cannot be overlooked. A Jean Jacques Machado black belt, Abu Dhabi competitor, and notorious no gi grappling coach Eddie has earned my admiration and respect as someone who is passionate about what he does and wears that passion on his sleeve. I have taken a ton away from my training sessions with Eddie, especially my 1/2 guard game. Below are some thoughts taken from a MMA forum where Eddie shared some of his insight into no gi training. Here is a direct link. Some good food for thought.

When all the greco roman Olympians striving for the gold in the Olympics train both then I will bring back the gi for my students sake.

Marcelo is very good with the gi, but he doesn’t separate from the pack in the gi like he does no-gi. In no-gi he is the supreme god. Think about the gi gods in the game over the last 10 years. Think of their names. Think of the ones that were KIngs in the gi but for some reason it never translated to ADCC. Forget about the few that did make the transition beautifully like Roger, Jacare, and of course the no-gi Jesus, Marcelo. Forget about them for just one second. Think about all the other amazing multiple time Mundial champions out there that never did much no-gi.

Why is that? Why is there so many?

Why does Marcelo do so much better no-gi than gi? Again, I know he has won the mundials a few times but I can think of a few guys that had unbelievable dominating reigns that eclipse what Marcelo has done with the gi.
But when it comes to no-gi, Marcelo is light years ahead of them. Why?

The answer is that, like all greco roman wrestlers, Marcelo understands that the clinch must be mastered. The clinch in every position must be mastered. Just like the plum clinch in Muay Thai, he who has the most polished plum clinch lands more knees.

Marcelo works on his clinch on a daily basis, clinching medicine balls, and clinching the over/under control while riding on dudes backs. He clinches and rides and works on his clinching endurance without even going for the choke. He’ll ride and clinch for a few minutes working on his squeezing endurance before securing the choke. He understands that every different no gi position requires a different clinch to be mastered there. I know Marcelo, I am not talking out of my ass.

Marcelo is the no-gi god because he has a stronger, tighter, harder clinch than any other bjj player on the planet. Clinching and squeezing while moving into scoring position and clincing and squeezing while choking someone out. In no-gi grappling, it’s all about how powerful your squeeze is.

To be super offensive no-gi you must develope your clinches AND master all clinches. Every second you train with the gi you are not training your clinch. You are training your yank and pull. Totally different. Totally different muscles, totally different base. If you want to get offensive in no-gi like Marcelo, then when are you working on your clinch? Unless you train no-gi grips with the gi on like some do, you are not working your clinch if you are grabbing the gi.

But you don’t need to develope your clinch for defense. You need to develope pushing explosion for defense, which you can get from gi training but you also get that from no-gi training as well. That’s why gi guys with no clinch are still very hard to finish in no-gi competition. Explosiveness, posture and core strength are more important for defense than developing a clinch.

Every time you train in the gi and set up a submission while yanking on collars and sleeves you are not working on your clinch, it’s that simple.

When I get into these gi/no-gi debates, it always ends up with the gi people never giving me specific explanations of how the gi makes your nogi game “tighter”. All they end up saying is, “Roger, Marcelo and Jacare train in the gi so I’m gonna train in the gi”, no break downs like the ones I’m giving. I am giving you detailed explanations and anaolgies, but all I get in return is,”But you trained in the gi!” and stuff like that.

Machida, Anderson, and GSP all have black belts in Karate or TKD, does that mean that all mma fighters should start training Karate? Most submission fiends all came from the gi, that’s all there was in the 90’s. If you were fascinated by chokes and breaking limbs, you had to put a gi on. Even now, most schools that specialize in submissions make you wear a gi.

And the “What about defense?” arguement. Well, yes , it’s harder to explode out of submissions with a gi, so you are working your defensive explosiveness but how do you defend leg locks with a gi? The answer is hold on to your opponent’s collar. How does that make your no-gi game “tighter?”

How do you defend kimura’s in the gi? The answer is grab on to your pants. How does that make your no-gi game “tighter?”

How do you defend against arm bars? The answer is hold on to your own collar. How does that make your no-gi game “tighter?”

How do you defend against rear naked chokes? The answer is cross your wrists under your chin and hold on to both your collars. How does that make your no-gi game “tighter?”

Even when you’re on top caught in a triangle, a very popular escape is to grab your opponent’s collar and push it down across his neck while stacking him. How does that make your no-gi defense better again?

Judo and Greco have the same goal, throw your opponent. Judo with yanking and pulling the gi, Greco with clinching and squeezing overhooks and underhooks.

Bjj and sub grappling have the same goal, pass guard and submit. BJJ with yanking and pulling the gi, sub grappling with clinching and squeezing overhooks and underhooks. That’s it, I can’t put it into simpler terms.

I am not saying only train no-gi, and that the gi sucks. The gi is fun for many people. If you like both train both, it’s all sooo good.

All I’m saying is that the gi does not make you no-gi “tighter”, it makes you better in the gi, that’s it. The fact that a dude who has trained in a gi for years and one day decides to take it off and it turns out he’s got game no-gi does not prove that the gi makes your no-gi game tighter. A tennis champion can hop over to raquetball and be pretty damn good from day 1, but that doesn’t mean that all aspiring raquetball players should play tennis first to tighten up their game?

Most kickboxers in the 70’s came from TKD, Karate, and Kung fu, does that mean that if you want to be a kickboxing champion you have to take TKD first? That’s what they thought back then, but now we know that theory is no longer relavent.

Gi training does not make your no-gi tighter, it actually makes it looser. Watch ADCC 2003 and count how many times top bjj legends lost back control. It’s like 40 times. It’s quite incredible how many times these bjj superstars couldn’t stay on anyone’s back.

Then check how many times Marcelo has lost back control in his entire ADCC career, I think it’s like twice. Diego Sanchez is the only dude I can remember escaping from Marcelo’s back clinch, but it could’ve happend one or 2 more times. And that was before Diego decided to train in the gi, he was a pure no-gi guy. Imagine that. One of the only guys to ever escape Marcelo’s back control DIDN’T come from a gi back ground. Hmmm.

If all this clinch talk is confusing you and you’re not even sure what to make of it or if you should believe me, ask your instructor what he thinks about developing no-gi clinches. You never know, he might have a clinch developing system just like Marcelo’s 🙂





Sunday October25th, 12-4pm

Seattle, WA

ONLY $100

($125 after Oct. 20th

To register please contact

Jake Burroughs 206-941-3232 / [email protected]

Held at MKG Seattle:

10722 5th Ave. NE

Seattle, WA. 98125

Roger Machado is one of BJJ’s most dedicated and talented coaches in the world today. A seventh degree black belt who has trained with Rolls Gracie, Crolin Gracie, Carlos Gracie Jr. as well as his four brothers, Roger brings a unique perspective to the art and philosophy of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Join us for a rare opportunity to train with a living legend of BJJ.

I have been waiting (semi-patiently) for the release of this highly acclaimed documentary on one of the most controversial, fucked up, boxers (read: people) of all time! Finally last night I had a free moment to rent and view this 90 minute movie and I walk away disappointed overall.

The name Mike Tyson is known worldwide whether you are a boxing fan, or you just pay attention to our celebrity infatuated “news” programs. Tyson’s prowess and power in the ring cannot be overlooked, yet his antics and behavior both in and out of the ring are most likely the legacy “Iron” Mike will leave behind. A severely troubled, angry, afraid and fragile man Tyson is the only voice we hear on this feature. Tyson in his own words.

Tyson in his own words is also one of the more frustrating aspects of this documentary. His grasp of the English language is minimal and his attempts at compensating for his lack of knowledge leaves the viewer straining to understand what he is saying. The Youtube like editing is possibly the result of Tyson’s muttering as well, with scenes overlapping each other and someone abusing of the editing table on the computer!

Once we get past these technical difficulties the film lays down an intimate portrayal of a man launched into stardom (he was THE heavyweight champion before he was old enough to drink in a bar!) to early in life only to fall against the ropes when the fame, money, and fast life hit him with a 1-2-3. Tyson is surprisingly candid in sharing his feelings about the various abuse he has dished out to both his opponents in the ring, as well as the women outside of the ring. Yet I cannot say I was convinced. He shares many of his feelings and thoughts, yet seems vaguely indifferent. I find myself wanting to believe his words, but on the same token I cannot discern if this is just another self admitted pay day like his last “fight” with Kevin McBride!

Interlaced with footage of training and fighting (which I could watch endlessly) the best part of the documentary is the 1/2 hour-45 minutes spent talking about Tyson’s development under Cus D’Amato. Fighting back tears Tyson spoke with such admiration and love for the man who literally saved Tyson’s life. Without Cus Tyson would have been nothing but a street thug most likely to find his end in prison or face down in a ditch. Cus took Mike in like a son (Tyson never had a father to speak of) and trained him to be one of the most dominant heavyweights the world has seen. When Cus died Tyson was broken, admitting he could not trust anybody, and started a downward spiral. Ending up in the hands of Don King, Tyson would never be the same.

Overall the documentary is a fascinating look behind the eyes of an amazingly complex, fucked up, interesting individual. The viewer is left wondering “what could have been” if Iron Mike had chose a different path. If you can bear with the lack of articulation and MTV like editing the footage is worth the rental fee alone! Most do not understand just HOW fast Mike was in his late teens – early 20’s! Amazing!

Not quite worth the praise it has received, “Tyson” is still worth a rent to anyone interested in a modern American martial artist, or if you just enjoy seeing the man behind a train wreck.


I am pleased to announce that their will be a new training schedule for Three Harmonies effective this weekend September 5th, 2009.

Wed. 5-6pm
Sat. 9:30-11am

As enrollment grows I plan on including additional classes. This will be the same curriculum, same structure, same tuition only the schedule has moved.

Hope you can join us for some fun stand up training!

Jake Burroughs
[email protected]

Some of you may have noticed that I am an “official” affiliate of Budo Video’s! I do not have a desire to whore myself out to everyone, but I have ordered all sorts of stuff from Budo Videos over the years and I can honestly say they are a very reputable company to do business with, not to mention the selection they offer of hard to find books, DVD’s, and equipment is second to none. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an information junkie and Budo Video’s is the BEST supplier for my addiction! Click on the banner on the bottom of the page and check out what they offer. I think you will like what you find!

Train hard, Train smart!

My good friend Mark passed along Brian Preston’s “Me, Chi and Bruce Lee: Adventures in Martial Arts” for some light hearted reading on my vacation. Preston is by no means a professional martial artist but decided to try some of it out in his late 30’s in an effort to get in shape and have some fun, and the result is quite a humorous ride through one mans search for “real” martial arts.

Preston is a fellow NW-er (living on Vancouver Island) and begins his search with a local cat who teaches Shaolin Kung Fu and Taiji. As his interest piques Brian finds himself travelling to China, struggling to get a press pass for a UFC fight, following Jeff Monson around as he prepares for one of his UFC fights, as well as going to BFE British Columbia to train with Royce Gracie.

Self depreciating throughout, Preston pulls no punches when evaluating his own shortcomings in regards to training (or lack thereof) and the interesting cast of characters he meets on his path. Packed with humor this book requires no previous experience, nor interest, in the martial arts and ends up being a fun, funny read.

Along the way Preston inadvertently touches on a subject that is subject to argument throughout the Chinese martial realm, that being the prowess and efficacy of the Chinese Martial Arts. Meeting up with Jarek Szymanski (a Polish born martial artist living for the past decade or more in northern China), Preston really pushes the issues of how realistic the philosophical theory, and much of the training methodology found in the Chinese Martial Arts (CMA) really are. Seemingly without an agenda Preston sheds some much needed light on a subject that many CMA teachers shy away from. This is the problem in CMA, no one wants to face reality and step up to challenge “tradition.” Unfortunately the art and culture suffer because of peoples unwillingness to evolve in their training methods and approach.

Everything from overweight Shaolin “masters” commenting on Royce Gracie’s fighting prowess, to 60 year old ladies handing Preston his ass, this book is a great fun read for martial artists and wanna be’s alike. For a good laugh and an interesting perspective from an objective point of view pick up Preston’s book “Me, Chi and Bruce Lee.”