Chai Sirisute will be visiting Portland, OR. in June for a two day Muay Thai seminar. I trained with Chai about 1 1/2 years ago and it was a great experience. Super nice guy. Very talented, and overall a decent seminar (bounced around a bit).
He is a living legend who is slowly retiring, so take advantage of one of his only stops in the US this year!
Nothing to add to this either. Nice clip. Thanks Kim!JAB
Much thanks to Ross for posting this great inspirational clip. Nick Vujicic was born with no arms and no legs, and has yet to allow such trivial things slow him down. I really have nothing of value to add to this post so I will let Nick do the talking.
Just remember this 5 minutes the next time you are feeling down on yourself, or someone else. Next time you quit without giving 110%, what will be your excuse?
“I do not need a hand to hold a heart.” – Nick Vujicic
The WEC card on Saturday night is one of the best MMA fights I have seen in months! All the fights were fantastic battles full of action and technique, all of which were crowned by the leg whooping Urijah Faber took at the hands of Jose Aldo. I do not normally cover too much MMA here on the GNM, but take a look at the next day picture of Fabers leg and tell me that leg kicks are not some of the most effective tools in our arsenal as martial artists!? Leg kicks are high percentage strikes that are brutal (keep in mind Faber is a trained athlete, imagine your average Joe picking a fight on the streets!), and are pretty low risk in terms of counters (compared to head or body kicks).
Train (your leg kicks AND defense’s) Hard. Train SmartJAB
Congrats to Baruto for his recent promotion to Ozeki in Sumo. The Estonian has been on a great success streak in recent basho and is now honored with the second highest rank in sumo. He is only the second European to reach such levels in sumo behind Bulgarian Kotooshu.
Cheers,JABTony the announcer booms “Old Guys Rule” when announcing the “masters” and “seniors” divisions at IBJJF events. I suppose I fall into this category now that I am 33 going on 4! Dev’s blog Fueled By Fear linked this great blog about us “old guys” in BJJ:
Masters Division Blog
Perusing the interweb I found this interesting article by world grappling maestro Pablo Popovitch on how he approaches his diet. Though not strictly paleo, he obviously covets clean, lean food and an amazingly strict workout regime.
Pablo Popovich’s Diet Article
For those of you living in grapple darkness unaware of Mr. Popovitch’s mad submission skills, here is a compilation video of his:
Jason Scully breaks down some great pointers about competing. I don’t think you need to be a grappler to appreciate his points and lessons, as they apply to anyone who pushes their comfort zone and puts it all on the line just for the sake of putting on the line. Keep in mind that regardless of the activity we compete in, the overwhelming majority of us (I would say 95%) do not make a penny competing. As a matter of fact we SPEND tons of dinero every year just to go out on the mat, or the shooting range, or the track, or the field…. just to push ourselves to new limits in an effort to learn and grow as competitors, as well as human beings.
Jason lays it out much smoother and more organized than I could have. But I think this pretty much summarizes why I, and many others compete.
Tinguinha is a BJJ black belt who is known for his open guard work, especially his Spider Guard, recently shared a video where he shows a technique in the academy, and offers a clip from him fighting in competition nailing the same move. Pretty slick IMO.
I have also put a few quotes from an interview that can be found on Tinguinha’s website. Here is some insightful philosophies and approaches to BJJ from BJJ black belt Helio Soneca. I missed an opportunity to train with Soneca a couple years ago and I am still regretting it.
Lets talk about tournaments now. those who watched your fights know how much of a pleasure and exciting it was to see them . Your fights were a guarantee of a show ,can you talk a little bit about your style of fighting in tournaments? and why do you think today we don’t see too many bjj sport fights as exciting as your fights used to be?
A: Like I told you before, I used to fight for fun, my opponents did too. Also, in the early days there were a lot of mismatched fights it was easy to see who was the best. Today everyone is tough, they are great, smart fighters and athletes. Today’s fighters are better matched. Everyone knows everyone else’s game. This can actually make the fights more boring at times.
Can you tell us which of your fights you would say was one of your favorites? and why?
A: The fights I lost made me learn a lot of things. Another valuable lesson I learned is that when you are a champion everybody wants to be your friend, you find out who your true friends are when you are not a champion or famous.
How would you describe your teaching style and what would you tell somebody interested in joining your school?
A: Which restaurants sell more? Health food ones or fast food? Obviously fast food sells more. But, what foods do you give your kids? My BJJ is like the health food restaurant. It’s good for you. I don’t give belts just to give belts. You have to earn them, and that takes time. Belts are not part of my business.
Don’t be a black belt scared to spar and tap to a blue belt. It’s better to be a good blue belt than to be a ridiculous black belt.
I have posted a great highlight before on Nino Schembri, but here is a nice little clip (thanks to David Penn at Side Control) of Nino rolling with a purple belt. Notice how smooth, relaxed and controlled their roll is. Many of you reading this can learn from it. Rolling at the dojo is not rolling at the Mundials!
Here is a new promo clip from my brothers in the great white north, Wutan Canada. Though it was only about 8 or 9 years ago, it seems like an eternity since I have visited John Hum and his crew of miscreants! To be honest many of the faces are new to me.
If you are ever in Ottawa (go Sens!) or Montreal (screw the Canadiens) hook up with John Hum or any of his students for great training, and even better Iron Liver skills. These guys are the best fighters I have seen in Wutan, and now it looks like they are incorporating Sambo into their training which is awesome! The secret to their success… they simply spar.
Looking solid guys! Keep it up!
JakeI have quoted from his site before, but I decided to add Marks Daily Apple to my blog roll. He has lots of quality info on diet and exercise which I think will be invaluable to those who train in the martial arts. Check it out and let me know what you all think.
Anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes with me knows my attraction to bacon is a little… much! Who doesn’t love bacon? I have tried all sorts of bacon bacon products: bacon-naise, bacon salt, bacon chocolate, and I am looking forward to trying bacon vodka! And their is a lot of silly non-sense out there regarding the nutritional value of bacon.
So here is a little article from Marks Daily Apple on bacon and its salty goodness!
Interesting points regarding vitamin C with bacon. Always wondered why my body craved orange juice when consuming bacon.
And for all you goofy veggies out there, just look at what you are missing by not including bacon in your diet!
Enjoy,JABFueled By Fear by Dev is a great blog on BJJ. I met Dev down at the Pan Am’s last week. Super nice guy, and from the looks of it he faired a bit better than some of us! Congrats brother!It is always nice to meet others who share the same passion I do. Check out his blog, as he offers good stuff!
Right off the bat I need to make this statement: YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!! Their are two people who read this blog, martial artists and my mom. (Mom, you can read this if you wish, but you have that maddening mom crazy style that only a fool would mess with!) For the rest of you Sgt. Rory Millers pivotal work should be required reading.
“Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence” has been on my shelf for quite sometime now and my recent trip to LA afforded me the time to catch up on some reading and MOV was top of the list.
Rory Miller is a veteran corrections officer somewhere here in the PAC NW, as well as being a 20+ years student of various martial arts. He combines all this knowledge and experience into an easy to read textbook on the realities of combat in our civilian lives. Note that this is NOT a “how to” manual. Miller offers no bear hug escapes. No “secret” techniques to help you survive your next altercation on the mean streets of Seattle. Nope, this book is on the subjects that most martial arts instructors never address, and everyday people do not even think about walking around in our “civilized” society:
- Physiological & Psychological responses to adrenaline
- Predators: their thinking, their actions, their rationalizations
- Common misconceptions and mistakes regarding training and drilling for violence
- The after effects of dealing with a violent encounter, regardless of outcome
Looking at the subtitle of this book, “A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence,” one could assume that Miller was going to have a negative approach to martial arts training. Not the case at all. Miller is very neutral and professional as he lays out the facts of the experiences he has had both while working in the penal system, as well as the handful of street incidents he has had. Now of course the pessimist can argue that none of us would ever have to deal with such monsters that are found in prison, and for the most part that is true. But always keep in mind that those monsters that Hollywood glamorizes do not start in prison! They are caught at some point in their career on the streets of America before ending up in Sgt. Millers care.
I found Millers approach as ego less as an author can be. He never comes across as preachy. Styles of martial arts is never a subject because it does not matter what system of ancient martial art you train. As a matter of fact it is in HOW you train that makes a difference, not WHAT you train. Much of what he offers makes perfect sense, but goes against ever natural grain in our being. Such as this scenario:
Your house has been broken into, and a man is holding your family hostage. Your wife and child are in the bedroom with a gun to their head. The gunman orders you to go to the garage and get rope, duct tape, and a hammer. What do you do?
Our protective nature (as men / as parents) tells us to do as he says, after all he has a gun to my child’s head! But lets think this out (which Miller freely admits does not happen at the moment!). The rope and duct tape are obviously to restrain and restrict movement, ie: everyone is getting tied up. The hammer… well… use your imagination. Then imagine shit you could never imagine and magnify times 10! Some of the stories in this book are beyond sick and will stick with you the rest of your life, which was very intentional on Millers part.
Anyways back to the situation….Basically you have three options. Comply / fight / flight.
Fight: You have missed your chance, or your “go” moment as Miller calls it. So the gunmen has the upper hand and has taken control of the situation. A fight here could get ugly for all involved.
Flight: You run, leaving your family in the hands of a sociopath. He could kill them. He could freak out and run. You cannot control those situations, but one thing in your control… the cops are now involved the moment you get free and get help.
Comply: Most of us probably picked this option first, thinking of the immediate threat to our loved ones. We bring back the tape, all of us are bound (top of the list with Miller regarding situations that are nearly completely hopeless), and now not only are you most likely going to die, you will be the last one to go watching helplessly as the gunmen goes to work on your wife and child! And if you are moved to a secondary crime scene the odds of being helped in time are even further diminished!
Its an odds game. “Protecting” your family by complying will only ensure your loss of control and most likely life. By fleeing you may feel like you are abandoning your loved ones, but in reality you are giving them the best odds of surviving.
MOV is pack full of different scenarios and situations that most of us will never encounter. The intent of the book is not to make you paranoid and fearful, but rather quite the opposite. MOV empowers you with confidence in making wise decisions, in understanding how the body and mind work in our complex social structure. You will be able to discern between an actual threat, and a silly “Monkey Dance.”
As a martial artist this text may make you re-evaluate your training, or at the very least why you are training. I have seen so much bullshit over the past 19 years in the world of “real” self defense. As Miller states martial artists are the most in dire need of lessons such as these! The few serious encounters I have experienced are exactly as Miller states! And my actions and tactics that worked / failed in those scenarios stick with me to this day, even though it has been nearly 8 years since I bounced.
Some observations as a martial artist reading this book:
- All, not some, ALL encounters ended up in the clinch range! No matter how they started; striking, knives, guns etc. they all ended up being in the clinch range.
- The physical, emotional, mental cues that something is about to go off are always present and consistent… if you know what to look for.
- A moments hesitation will cause you great bodily harm! The first to get hit is almost always the first to lose the fight!
- You must know what you are willing to fight for, and what is water under the bridge. Meditate on this well before the “go” moment.
“Meditations on Violence” is hands down the best book I have read on the martial arts, and without a doubt the best piece that YMAA has ever published! Kudo’s to them for this excellent text that should be required reading by anyone. EVERYONE!
“Meditations on Violence”180 pages MSRP $18.95Sgt. Rory Miller2008 YMAA Publishing
Train Hard. Train Smart.Jake
Stephan Kesting posted an article by Krista Scott Dixon (Toronto, ON.) addressing the small grappling with the big. Obviously geared towards women I think this article applies to anyone who is fighting someone larger then them. This is a universal issue as many small people get frustrated when dealing with us big guys. Injury is certainly something to take into account, especially with those that do not respect the size difference. For instance I have a general rule, except for Brian my coach, that I will not crush those who weigh less than 160#. When I roll with women or anyone smaller than me I try to use technique with less use of pressure and force. This is the cardinal principle of BJJ and yet so many struggle with it. Why?
Using technique requires time to perfect said technique. We are used to using brute force in everyday life. But learning proper leverage, angles, and timing requires lots of training and drilling (You should read this as it FAILS a lot more often that not, especially in the beginning).I caution against some of the “cheeky” techniques Krista shares such as pressure point pressing, and ripping / jonesing. Sure they will elicit certain reactions that may be favorable, but remember that no one spends all their time in advantageous positions, and when it is your opponents turn they just may choose to punish you just the same when they get you in a disadvantageous position! What is good for the goose is good for the gander!
Anyways, you can check out the article here.
Here it is, my one and only fight of the 2010 Pan Am’s. Hopefully next time will have a better result. I post this mostly for my coaches to review and give me feedback. I felt I did what I should of. One lesson learned is to expect the unexpected; ie. when one gets kicked in the face still drive forward so you do not get knocked back on your ass!
The Samurai lived every moment as if it were their last, in this manner they were always prepared for death. It was important to die with dignity, honor, and leaving nothing behind. No regrets. I saw this age old attitude in play on the back of a modified chair / ski in Warren Millers latest “Dynasty” over the winter, where an athlete had painted on the back of the chair “Die living.” This has become my official, unofficial moto in life. And this is exactly what happened to me over the weekend. I was killed. Well… in a sense…
Though I do not hide my intent to compete, I do not go around advertising it either. Most who know me are surprised to hear I am actually rather private and quiet when it comes to most things. I had made a choice around December – January to compete in the Pan Am’s, arguably BJJ’s most prestigious tournament, this April. In actuality I went down to LA to train with Tim at the new Ace Jiu Jitsu Academy, and it just so happened their was a tourney as well!
TRAININGI trained hard on Monday and Tuesday with Tim and the crew at Ace. Monday morning was basically a private lesson along with Ellie (Doc Chang’s little brother), and late to the party James. Tim helped clean up some of the many holes in my 1/2 guard game, working a series of sweeps from the position which was worth the trip in itself! Thanks Tim, you make it look stupid simple. After the lessons I basically rolled with Ellie, James, and then another one of Tim students for about 2 hours! Taking breaks, chatting, covering technique all the while. We wrapped up and got some lunch to relax most of the rest of the day.
Tuesday I went to Ace’s no gi class. A couple of us were prepping for the Pan Am’s so the first 1/2 hour was all cardio of various sorts. Asa Fuller led us through intense reps of sprints, sprawls, plyo work etc. utilizing just cones and hurdles. From their we worked on a couple of finishes from scarf hold that were killer! I am not sure if Tim planned it or not, but these fit right into my side control game perfectly, and again the couple of details Tim addressed were well worth the trip itself. After class we rolled for 30-40 minutes before the kickboxing class rolled in.
In free roll I had the opportunity to spar with Asa for the first time. At first he can be a bit off putting, but I think that is solely due to his focus and nothing personal. Now obviously I was not going to do much to the 220# black belt champ, but he played with me for a bit before sweeping me, crushing me, and submitting me rather smoothly. Though only a bit bigger than me Asa is stupid strong! His technique is clean, crisp and top notch. Plus he is a black belt owner of the school who is there rolling and teaching along side partners Tim Cartmell and Chris Thue, all black belts under Cleber Luciano! If you are in the LA area you owe it to yourself to join this growing academy. At least 2 black belts teaching every class!!
My Intro To KaliWednesday night I got together with my friend, and older martial brother under Tim, Meynard Ancheta. Meynard is one of Leo Gaje’s west coast representatives in Pekiti Tirsia Kali a Filipino system of weapon and empty hand combat, as well as being an official “Dog Brother” (Straw Dog). Some say PTK is one of the most effective arts in terms of learning realistic bladed weapon combat. I studied with Remy Presas in Modern Arnis for 5+ years, and I have been itching to get back into some down and dirty realistic knife work for quite some time now. Overall I have not found what I am looking for locally (many of the teachers in town are WAY down south and hard to get to), so I asked Meynard if he would be interested in teaching me, and he graciously accepted.
The parallels between Kali and the arts I have trained such as Xing Yi, Bagua and just about anything with Tim were uncanny. A lot of it had to with the training style in which Meynard teaches. Again modeling it after Tim, as do I, so I suppose we were both on the same page. Either way I got tons of great material that I will work on prior to bringing Meynard into Sea Town for a seminar later this summer.
Oh, the People You MeetI took Thursday off to rest and chill before I fought on Friday afternoon. I decided to get a massage (no, not that kind you sick [email protected]#*er’s!!) at a joint close to the hotel in El Segundo. My neck and back were jacked and really needed to be pounded out with a hammer. I just so happened to get a Brazilian girl (easy fellas) and she asked me why I was in LA. I answered to train BJJ, to which she replied; “Oh, you hear for the Pan Am’s?” Taken aback that she even knew what they were I asked if she trains, and come to find out she is room mates with none other than Rickson Gracie’s ex wife, mother of Kron! Small world eh? I took this as a positive omen entering a tournament the next day.
Pan Am’s 2010Arguably the largest BJJ tournament ever (if not the largest, the 2nd largest) with over 2800 competitors signed up. Held over four days I was scheduled to fight in the blue belt super heavy category at 2:50 on Friday afternoon. I had 20 guys in my division, my opponent was Jerome from Ralph Gracie.
In general I felt very prepared for this tournament. I got great advice from my coaches, as I asked Tim if he saw anything last minute I need to address; “Nope. Your cardio is there, your rolling has improved. The fight is already won.”Just before my fight Brian called me (I flew solo on this trip without anyone else from NWJJA) and gave me a great pep talk and reassured me of my level and rite to be at the Pan Am’s. It was great having the confidence of my two coaches echoing in my head as I stepped onto the mat to fight.
I need to address a certain something here for those who train in combat sports. You will notice no where in the paragraphs above did my coaches, nor my partners in LA ask if I was “ready.” Though loved ones, and especially fellow training partners only mean well in asking, it does nothing but stress out the competitor to be constantly bombarded by “Are you ready? How is your weight? How are you feeling?” etc. etc. etc. If we are ready your questioning it makes things worse. If we are not, we do not need to be reminded. So much of this game is mental, and to be questioned constantly is sabotage from those who mean the most to us! Food for thought if you are around competitors or if a loved one competes.
The whole day is still a blur, and a bit surreal. The event was crazy! Fighters everywhere. 10 mats going simultaneously. A mix of anticipation and testosterone filled every breath. Once I got to the event my nerves were cool, and I started to warm up. I visited with some familiar faces from Seattle as Jeff Bougious was not only competing but also honing his skills as a ref for the IBJJF as well! James Foster was present with a team of guys, so we shot the shit for a bit before my fight. James is a super nice guy, and wished me all the luck in the world.
It was such chaos that when they called me and my opponent Jerome (sorry bro, do not remember your last name) to the bullpen they inspected our gi’s and were supposed to weigh us, but completely forgot to and took us right to the mat. Within a few minutes I was ordered onto the mat. Everything happens so fast! Looking back at the video (I hope to post soon) I can dissect the match.
My opponent was about my height and looked a little slimmer. I thought nothing of it as he pulled guard on me and we settled in. Immediately he started sitting up to try and sweep me over in a white belt killer, and as I tried to push him back down I was completely taken aback by how uber-strong this guy was! I mean retard strong!!! In hindsight I can honestly say I have never competed against someone so strong, and keep in mind I got schooled by a strong beast in March at the Revolution tourney! Jerome was VERY strong!
I noticed that he was holding his breath (may have attributed to his bursts of superman strength), and I couldn’t get his legs open, so I stood and basically rape choked him in an effort to get him to open up. After a couple of attempts he did open his guard where I immediately built my shield. I was solid and started to work a pass when he flailed his legs and booted me twice in the face, the first time in my chin lightly, the second time I got nailed right in between the eyes hard enough to get knocked back on my butt. This is where the proverbial shit starts to hit the fan!
I immediately attempted a leg attack, but my position was not right, so I pulled 1/2 guard and tried to access the situation. He quickly stripped my legs apart and passed with a pass Brian just showed me the previous week. Jerome is in side control.
My recollection of time is skewed and screwed in hind sight, but as I watch the tape I notice that he is VERY aware of the time, constantly looking at the clock. At this stage there was still approx. 2 minutes left. He was not crushing me, but I was pinned pretty solid as I attempted escape after escape with no success. He actually got called at least once for stalling which I kinda of agree with, but kinda don’t. He was riding the clock out pinning me until the last 30 seconds, as he was up 5-0 points wise. He patiently played a competition strategy waiting until it was damn near impossible for me to beat him on points, and then attempted a gi choke which he got and was solid with. I tapped with seconds to go.
I wanted to try my patented Ballard Bridge Sweep, but I was afraid if my arm got stuck outside his body I would not get it back. If i would have known how the fight was going to end I would have tried it.
Both Tim and Dana asked if I was okay when they saw me, as I had a welt right where my third eye would be and was bleeding from the kick. I guess with the adrenaline I did not feel any of it. Bruised ego was all the damage I took. Overall a great experience though. I need to work on my upper body strength as even the “old men” are strong!
PositivesThe best aspects from the Pan Am’s was once again the great camaraderie and sportsmanship throughout. I saw only one case contrary where some douche bag purple belt through a fit by kicking a garbage can all over coming off the mat after losing. I saw later he still medaled. If I were his instructor I would have made him clean it up on his hands and knees. Perhaps next time leave some of that energy on the mat and the outcome will be better!
I had two guys (Dev and Mike, I think!?!?) come up and ask about this very blog! Wow! What a pleasant surprise! Always nice to see my blog is reaching out to those in the community, and is received well. Really nice guys!
Also a big congrats to Brian from Oregon. We met at Tim’s seminar I believe in Portland, and he took silver in the biggest division there: blue belt middle adult (100 competitors!!!!)! 7 matches, 5 sub’s, one point win, and his final loss was by 2 points! Great job brother!
I learned a lot. Had fun, and got some needed sun. I look forward to participating in more IBJJF events, and pushing myself to new levels. Hopefully next time I can finish my blog entry with a pic of me getting a medal. On to the NOVA Cup next month. Wish Shadow and me luck! No rest for the wicked!
Peace,JakeHere is an interesting article by Mark Mullen who is a Calgary based purple belt, about his experiences training in Brazil. I have cut out some of the most interesting points he noted about the differences between training attitudes and approaches with North Americans and Brazilians.
Most of the guys back home wanted to know about the differences between the North American and Brazilian academies. a few observations:
- Far fewer techniques demonstrated in Brazil. Maybe 2 per class and it was not uncommon after a brief warm up to hear “ok,..today we go to training”. The emphasis was on rolling in 7 min timed rounds.
- No stand up. The blackbelts explained that the only time they performed sparring from standup was in a week or so before tournaments. They felt that standup grappling was more likely to result in training injuries.
- I found the jiu-jitsu much more “feint” oriented as opposed to straight ahead pressure. The majority of the techniques were explained in the context of setting it up with pressure to one direction and then reversing to take advantage of your opponent’s reaction. The softer, more flowing style of jiu-jitsu was described by Ari as more pure jiu-jitsu – that is to say in Brazil, there was less influence of other arts like wrestling in the jiu-jitsu.
- No one had stripes on their belts. The majority of the blackbelts were not competitive wunderkind – rather, guys who just had been training for a long time.
- You don’t pick your own sparring partners – the instructor always matched me up.
- I felt that people were less concerned with “who tapped who” or needing to establish the pecking order than in North America.
- The atmosphere was very relaxed – some guys dropping in, having 1 roll and then getting back into their street clothes to go back to work!
When I returned home there were the inevitable questions about “How did you do down there? Did you tap everyone out?” I laugh and respond “I didn’t bring anything down there that they hadn’t seen before or know how to deal with!”
Some interesting points I feel. It seems to be common place in BJJ academies as of late to “fight” and “compete” even in the dojo, which in my humble opinion, is not the approach to take if you are really interested in learning, improving, and growing as a martial artist safely!
I do not have a pic from last night, but congrats to Ryan Hall of 50/50 Jiu Jitsu on his promotion to black belt from Felipe Costa! This is a major stepping stone in ones martial path, and Ryan did it in exceptional fashion… in under 6 years!!
Not only a treat for Ryan, but with the Pan Am’s next week this will mark the first tournament we see Ryan Hall fight as a black belt! Exciting for us all! Best of luck to him and his team.
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Great throws! If I could acquire 1/2 of the skill these guys have in their pinky…….