February 28, 2010

09 San Shou World Championships Highlight

Though the music is a bit lame this is a great highlight reel of the 2009 San Shou World Championships held in Toronto I believe.

February 22, 2010

Rafael Lovato Jr. Seminar Review

Martial art road trips are often some of the most fun and educational (on many levels) events that everyone should participate in at some time during their martial journey. The bonding with fellow students / teachers builds a camaraderie that cannot be replicated elsewhere, especially when engaged in the combat sports world.

Dragging myself out of bed at 5am Saturday morning, I quietly said to myself "This guy better be good." I instantly started making coffee to fill the thermos for I am no fan o
f early mornings but I can adapt pretty well to lack of sleep and early start ups. My coach Brian on the other hand thinks "morning" starts around 11am, and goes until about 2-3pm! Not what most of us consider a mo
rning person.

But it is not often that a world champion BJJ star makes his way to the Pacific NW, and though I met him briefly at the Worlds, Brian and I have never had the opportunity to train with Rafael Lovato Jr. a multi time world and Pan Am BJJ champ, Abu Dhabi champ etc. etc. Basically one of the best heavyweight competitors still competing today!

Rafael has an affiliate (Seaside BJJ) in Seaside, Oregon where he visit's a couple of times a year
to offer coaching, seminars, and grading opportunities. For such a small town to have the opportunity to be affiliated with one of BJJ's best is truly a rare situation, and I have been meaning to head down and take advantage of such a great opportunity.

Due to some logistical changes Brian and I arrived a bit late, but luckily they were running a little behind too, so we quickly changed into our gi's and started the seminar.

Rafael has a very direct, detailed approach to his instruction ensuring all participants are doing the movements correctly, and stopping the class as needed to address issues that come up with what he was teaching us. It was quickly apparent this was NOT a basic BJJ seminar (something refreshing to see since many BJJ instructors simply phone it in and show a basic arm bar with little to no detail)!

Rafael started us on our feet (again, a refreshing change to see in a BJJ seminar) talking about the strategy and methodology behind grip fighting, breaking grips, and setting up the take down. Wiping the cobwebs of 3 1/2 hours of driving out o
f my hard drive, I quickly had to transition into absorption mode. It was great to see that the grip breaks were identical to what Brian teaches.

This portion of the seminar was great as we worked areas I was semi-familiar with. Working from the 2 on 1 we went into one of my favorite sweeps, I call it a elevator sweep, where I isolate one arm (usually with an arm drag) get my same side hook into my opponents opposite (of their arm) leg, and roll them over their isolated shoulder. This time Rafael showed it from a standing position which was great.

We moved on to the situation if we both get locked up in a classic Judo style grip (lapel - elbow) where we could not transition to the 2 on 1. Here we worked on Kouchi Gari (small inner reap) and variati
ons on such a theme. Those unfamiliar with Judo terms can think of this as being a bit analogous to an ankle pick. Rafael was precise with his explanations on the setup and positioning of the feet which really made a difference between the technique working and not!

Flowing into other situations one finds in competition Rafael then addressed how to properly pull guard. Yet another situation many in the BJJ world avoid, and many outside of BJJ world are critical of! Rafael emphasized being aggressive, attacking when puling guard. "It should not be a defense maneuver for you."

From here on out we
worked on the ground. Again nothing was basic here, but fundamentals were emphasized throughout. We were doing 4-6 movements flows working on a couple of hooks in guard passes, and forcing the 1/2 guard. Forcing your opponent to pull 1/2 guard was part of a flow Rafael has been working in an attempt to get to mount and finish. From the beginning to the mount if you pull this off it is a 7 point move! We also worked some guard attacks which were a little challenging for my big ass, which is no excuse since Rafael is just a bit smaller then I am!

In the beginning everything seemed a bit scattered, but as the day stretched on Rafael started to bring things together, and as of this morning I can remember most of all the details we covered.

Rafael's approach was nothing short of great! Many BJJ seminar's focus on a bunch of subs' and finishes. But Saturday was much more about strategy and positioning which is something I personally need, and my personal opinion is this is needed in the grappling community in general! I liked Rafael's attitude in that he constantly reminded us to add our own game to the mix. He was not trying to say his way was the only way, but actually encouraged us to experiment and incorporate aspects of his game into ours! Strategy was a constant theme over the seminar, working 2-3 moves into the game, anticipating (sometimes actually forcing them) your opponents next move. By eliminating options for your opponent to escape or sweep you, you can actually control the game and this allows you to have more fore thought as to where you are going in the fight. For me this was invaluable.

I cannot believe only 20 some people attended this seminar! Someone of RLJ caliper in the Pac NW is something not to be missed! I have only trained with RLJ and Saulo Ribeiro so far, but it seems that anyone and everyone from Jiu Jitsu University is nothing short of genius. If you ever get the chance to train with Rafael I suggest you take advantage of the opportunity! You will walk away with a very positive experience having added depth to your game.

I want to thank Rafael for the great lessons, thanks to Zach and Nate for hosting the event, and also thanks to all who attended from Oregon and Washington! Lets keep supporting great events like this so that the community as a whole grows.


World Champ Cobrinha visits The Emerald City

Living Legend Renzo Gracie visits Sea-town

February 19, 2010

On the Road....Again

I know I have been absent from the blog for about a month or so, but there really is a good reason I promise. More on that later.

For now you will have to settle for a reminder of the Rafael Lovato Jr. Seminar coming up in Seaside this weekend. Brian and I are heading down buck ass early tomorrow morning to train with one of the best in BJJ. I will post a review of the event sometime over the next few days. Really been looking forward to it!

Just in case you forgot...

Seaside BJJ is hosting their teacher Rafael Lovato Jr. for a seminar Feb. 20th from 11am-3pm. Cost is only $80 to train with a world champion. Don't pass up this opportunity to train with one of the most sought after BJJ players in America!

Train Hard, Train Smart!

February 15, 2010

Cartmell's First Seminar in Portland a Huge Success!!

The necessity for a basic ground defense, and ability to get back safely to their feet is slowly starting to become a realization for many students and instructors alike! Evidence is in over 40 people attending Tim Cartmell's "Ground Proofing" seminar this past weekend in Portland, OR. Hosted by Sensei Michael Selin and Kit LeBlanc, at the beautiful Ecole Budo Dojo in the St. John's neighborhood of North Portland.

"If one more person had come I would have had to turn them away, we are at m
aximum capacity!" - Michael Selin to Jake Burroughs

Tim worked students and teachers alike, through basic exercises designed not only for strength and coordination, but also to ingrain martial movements into their muscle memory. This gives students a method, form if you will, to practice at home in their solo training that will
be directly applicable in their martial practice.

From their Tim covered basic break falling, using your guard properly when one has a standing opponent trying to engage in a fight. Incrementally working the students from the worst possible scenario (student is on the ground with their opponent standing above them and engaging), through the proper way to defend and rise to your feet, to escape. After this segment of
the seminar Tim then addressed escapes from common positions such as back mount, full mount, and headlocks (common positions in self defense scenarios).

All of the attendees of the seminar worked hard and did really well with working both sides and absorbing the concepts and principles Tim taught.

Sunday morning again brought awe as we stepped onto the mat at Ecole Budo Portland. Hands down the most beautiful dojo I have ever stepped foot into, and I have really only seen about 4 or 5 pictures of dojo's in Japan that would rival. Remodeled two story church, the dojo sits on the second floor with cathedral ceilings (of course), Olympic rings
for strength training, a heavy bag, and climbing rope. The first floor has showers, bathrooms, offices, and a common room.

Tim brought students a series of flow drills working the major positions of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Sunday's BJJ seminar. Breaking the guard, passing the guard, establishing side control into mount, sweeping and beginning the cycle all over with the opposite person. The devil was certainly in the details as we worked only one technique but detailed the hell out of every aspect of the movement. This is the genius of Tim Cartmell. He can break down the minutest detail that most of us pass over, and works it until he completely understands that pass, or submission, or sweep, or position.

The majority of the 20+ attendees were relatively new to BJJ, but even those of us who have been training for a few years took away tons of details with this great seminar.

Subscribe to this blog as I will be posting any and all seminars we host with Tim on the West Coast here on The Ground Never Misses.

For those of you who do not know, Tim has produced two excellent instructional DVD's on Ground Proofing, and Stand Up Grappling Counters. For a preview of the material check out the November 2008 Issue of Black Belt Magazine where I wrote a brief article on Ground Proofing.

Tim, Michael, Kit, and Myself would like to thank all those who came from all over Oregon, and Washington to attend the weekends events and make this one of the largest seminars for Tim yet!


February 12, 2010

Off To Portland...

Off to Portland to train with Tim this weekend. Anyone in the area is more than welcome to join the seminar, get in touch with Michael below for any questions or concerns. Hope to see you there on the mat! I will write a review of the weekend next week.

Train Hard. Train Smart

Tim Cartmell will be visiting Portland for the first time offering seminars on ground proofing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Below is the info, the seminar is open to all levels, styles, and ranks.

Saturday, February 13th and Sunday, February 14th

Saturday from - 12:00 - 5:00PM Ground Proofing
Sunday from - 9:00 - 2:00 BJJ

Saturday - $60 (5 hours)
Sunday - $60 (5 hours)
Both days $100

Michael Selin
Ecole de Budo - USA
7506 N Chicago Avenue
Portland, Oregon, 97203
Tel - 503-286-3625
Fax - 503-286-3635

February 10, 2010

Great Article On Perspective

TJ is one of Roy Dean's students in Bend, OR. I met, and trained with, TJ a bit while visiting Bend last year and a nicer guy couldn't be found on the mat! Congrats to TJ on his promotion. I think his short article will offer some perspective to students of all levels.


February 5, 2010

New Blog For Prevail Training NW

M good friend Kit LeBlanc has started a new blog "Prevail Training" for his Close Quarters Combat (CQC) group he runs in Portland, OR. Kit is a long time practitioner of the traditional, and modern martial arts, as well as a corporal in the Vancouver Police Department. Kit brings many interesting facets to the table of real world violence and dealing with armed and unarmed assailants. If you are ever in Portland and looking for good, solid, realistic training... call Kit.


Sakuraba Documentary

I found this on Youtube, where it states this clip is taken from an upcoming documentary my favorite, and one of the best ever, fighters in MMA history; Kazushi Sakuraba. I searched around but could not find any more information. If anyone has information on this project please feel free to email me the details.

Sak is one of MMA's legends, known as the Gracie Killer, his style, personality, and class earned him the admiration and respect of fans worldwide, but it was especially his Japanese fans whom he gave a sense of class and dignity to.



February 4, 2010

Roy Dean's Latest DVD Project

Our good friend, and student of Roy Harris, Roy Dean will be offering his latest DVD project on No Gi grappling. Here is a preview clip of the production. As usual it looks high quality with solid instruction and technique.


Rafael Lovato Jr. Coming to Seaside

Seaside BJJ is hosting their teacher Rafael Lovato Jr. for a seminar Feb. 20th from 11am-3pm. Cost is only $80 to train with a world champion. Don't pass up this opportunity to train with one of the most sought after BJJ players in America!

Train Hard, Train Smart!