January 31, 2011

Jeff Glover Seminar Review

I love the path of martial arts.  I love going to a seminar or gathering and learning some new tricks and tips to improve my infantile BJJ game.  I love when certain things start to click and come together, and that is exactly what happened this past Saturday in Portland, OR. at the Jeff Glover seminar.

Tom Oberhue hosted Jeff at his beautiful dojo 5 Rings Jiu Jitsu which has a complete fitness area as well as a spacious mat room!  With just a few people short of 50 practitioners we trained two sessions with Jeff, the first being a position I very much like to play; the Deep 1/2 Guard.  The remainder of the day was spent on something I completely suck at; D'arce Chokes and their setups.  Jeff is a genius on both of these topics, as a matter of fact Jeff has probably developed the most sophisticated Deep 1/2 game in the BJJ world.  And apparently the D'arce is one of his favorite submissions.

This was the first time ever meeting Jeff in person though I have heard much about him via my teacher Tim, who has practically watched Jeff from white belt on (has even fought him in competition) to black.  Immediately Jeff's childlike enthusiasm for BJJ was contagious with his energy fueling the room full of participants.  Jeff has a great sense of humor and a very modest approach to how he teaches.  Throughout the day he was candidly honest in what he knew and what he did not know, repeating over and over that he refuses to use the words "always" or "never."

"I developed what I do and what I know from playing.  I hate working out!  I play jiu jitsu." - Glover

And this attitude is the base for his quirky, energetic style of grappling!  Within the first 5 minutes of teaching us the basic sweep from Deep 1/2 I had all 3 of my questions answered and my problems with the sweep solved!  Right their was worth the money!  So the rest of the material of getting into Deep 1/2 from mount, back mount, and side control; plus the various sweeps and combinations were just cherries on top.  The Deep 1/2 sweep drill is money too!

I must admit I suck at most chokes!  Period.  I have a hard time setting them up and visualizing them whether with a gi or without.  So when I heard Jeff mention a D'arce tutorial I was a bit apprehensive.  Unfortunately we could not video tape (a pet peeve of mine in the 21st century), so being reliant on my smoky memory is a gamble sometimes.  I welcomed the opportunity to revisit a choke I am familiar with yet suck at.  In the end I honestly think some things came together for me.

The D'arce and the variants Jeff went over with us (the hilarious bar D'arce / F'arce / Sl'arce / B'arce / M'arce...) is basically the same principle as the triangle with your legs.  Your opponents arm cuts off one carotid artery, while the blade of your arm cuts off the opposite one.   This seminar did not really teach me anything new in terms of HOW to do a D'arce, but seeing it once more from a different perspective allowed something to click in my brain and my body!  Perhaps not knowing what we were going to cover in the seminar was helpful too so I entered with no preconceived notions of what to expect.  The mental aspect of BJJ never ceases to amaze me, just like the mental aspect of life.  Do we create our own experiences by our mental / emotional thoughts?  A rant for another time.

The golden highlight of the seminar wasn't really any of the techniques for me, but rather in getting a birds eye view of Jeff Glover and how he approaches competing and BJJ.   Yet again a very candid, honest look at his competition when asked who was his toughest fight, where he named those who had beaten him, not those whom he has won against!

"I love the spirit of competition.  There is nothing better then building a rivalry with someone whom you beat once, he beat you the second time.... I do not want to win all the time because I want to be challenged.  Dusting yourself off and getting back into the fight after a loss is the most rewarding experience."

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Big thanks to Coach Oberhue for putting this seminar on, and gathering over 6 black belts in one place!  Makes me wonder why we can't get the same support in Seattle here, especially since the majority of the black belts were from the Seattle area!

Jeff is quite humble as he is most likely one of only 2 or 3 American grapplers whom is considered one of the best!  His open approach is an inspiration to all, and his skills are only overshadowed by his sense of humor and smile!  If you get the opportunity, make it a priority to train with Jeff either in California at Paragon BJJ, or at one of his seminars coast to coast.  You will not regret it.


PS Yet again I got mad compliments on the Blackhawks gi... though the majority of the folks did not know the team!  Even Jeff liked it!

January 30, 2011

Strikeforce Undercard

WOW!!!  That is all I can say from last nights amazing Strikeforce card!  I normally do not post anything on TGNM about MMA, but in reality last nights fights were one BJJ tutorial after another.  Roger Gracie wins his third MMA fight with a rear naked choke and looks amazing doing it!  Jacare did not want to be shown up so he decided his RNC would be a nice fit for Lawler's neck.  Then you have the stunner of the night where Cyborg foolishly decided to take Diaz to the ground after setting the pace with wicked leg kicks.  Cyborg just recently got promoted to black belt under Cleber Luciano, but Diaz is a grappling beast and Cyborg made a HUGE mistake using the inside leg trip (beautifully executed mind you) right into Diaz's guard.  It took Nick all of 5 seconds to start working the arm bar, and like a champ he nailed it and nailed it TIGHT!

Anyways... Sherdog streamed the under card live and now has some stellar fight up on Video on Demand.
Click here to be linked to the Sherdog page with undercard fights.

Perhaps Cyborg should spend less time on painting his nails, and more on BJJ!

January 26, 2011

Catch Wrestling vs. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Hilarious post over at Part Time Grappler on the oh so subtle differences between BJJ and Catch as Catch Can!  Check out the chart below and then read the whole post.  So far my vote for post of the year....

Click here to read the whole post!

Funny as hell!

Sick 1/2 Guard Choke!

Every now and again I run across something on the web that makes me pause and go "Hell's yeah!  That is tits!"
This is one of those instances!  Thanks to Robson Moura for this clip, and thanks to Gracie Mag where I got it.

January 25, 2011

Awesome Moves by two of the Best

Ricardio Liborio is considered by many to be the most technical BJJ coach living today.  Wellington "Megaton" Dias is a true inspiration to us old guys who compete as he is one of the most active competitors ever, and if I am not mistaken I believe he has competed in 15 Mundials in a row!!  Impressive spirit!

Anyways here are two things I am trying in class this week just for the fun of it!


Taking Opponents Back from 1/2 Guard:

Helicopter Sweep:

January 24, 2011

"Iowa Hawkeyes - The Season"

I stumbled across an excellent documentary on the Iowa Hawkeye's wrestling program that was originally shot in 2001 and aired on ESPN's "The Season."Much thanks to BJJ 201 blog and Martin Aedma for finding and sharing! 

Two hours in length this documentary is probably the single best piece of media on the subject I have ever seen, truly catching the essence and nature of grappling and wrestling from the perspective of the single most dominant sports program in NCAA history!  Read that very carefully as I have not mistyped anything.  THE single most dominant team in all of collegiate sports activities is the wrestling program at the University of Iowa!  Legends in the Midwest Iowa has built the best program for wrestlers in all of the world.

Here is the first part:

If you are not hooked yet then guess the rest of this post is not important.  For those who can't get enough go to www.rawteams.com and sign up to see the rest.  I know, I know it is a pain in the ass, but it is free and easy and the only way I found to view the 13 part documentary and trust me it is worth it!  The heartache, the blood, sweat, and tears that these fighters put into their art and their practice is inspiring.  As is the level of coaching and what they expect from their grapplers!  Goes to show us that we all can push harder and train more.


Pekiti Tirsia Seminar w/ Guro Ancheta - SOLD OUT!

I have been hosting seminars for nearly 10 years now from Ohio, to New Mexico, now to the Pacific NW... and never in that decade, not once, have I had so much interest and response to a single seminar!  I have hosted some of the most sought after coaches in MMA / CMA / BJJ and this Pekiti Tirsia Kali seminar has completely booked up a month out from the seminar!  I did not even get a chance to make a flier, and their is no need to now!

If you have not registered with me yet please EMAIL ([email protected]) me so I can put you on a standby list in case of any cancellations or last minute changes.

I want to thank everyone who has made this a success!  To all my students as well as those coming in from all over Washington and Oregon.  Those registered will receive an email about a week out confirming details, address, and addressing any last minute needs of anyones.  Otherwise please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.


January 21, 2011

New Blogs

Here are a couple of great new blogs (new to me that is) on BJJ:

 Georgette's Jiu Jitsu World is a great source for all that is BJJ, and offers perspectives from the female point of view.  I have a lot of back reading to do with her!

Part Time Grappler is a great blog that caters to us average joe shmoes training BJJ every week.

 Never ceases to amaze me how big the BJJ community is growing!  My teacher made the comment the last visit out here that "Martial arts have evolved more in the past 15 years, then in the previous 200!"  And he is dead on accurate!  Why?   In large part due to the popularity of MMA in our pop culture.  MMA and BJJ have single handily revolutionized martial arts training, grappling, and combat sports forever.

Enjoy the blogs,

January 18, 2011

"Xande" - DVD Review

Arguably the most anticipated DVD tutorial to ever hit the market, Alexandre "Xande" Ribeiro has finally released his 5 disk cannon simply titled "Xande."  If you have remotely paid attention to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) competition reals, then Xande should need no introduction.  A third degree black belt under Royler Gracie, 2x Open weight / 4x Heavyweight World Champion, Abu Dhabi Champion, oh and in his spare time he has amassed a 2-0 record in professional MMA, both wins via KO!  In a nutshell Xande is one of the most talented and gifted grapplers of our generation, whom up until now has never released an instructional series nor book.  Though we have had to wait, let me tell you it is very well worth every minute you have been twitching for Xande's game on DVD!

Remember back just 10 years ago when any kind of VHS tapes of BJJ were a rarity that you were happy to see a new, cool submission where we would go work it and try it out, but we were never really taught any details of the setup, nor the reasoning behind angles and leverage.  Instructors of BJJ past would jump around showing neat techniques, but no one ever shared their game, or how they approached the art.  Here in 2011 that is not the case at all where we have high level competitors sharing their games and how they approach THEIR jiu jitsu (Cobrinha, Jeff Glover, and Rigan Machado come instantly to mind).  Xande is no different with his 5 disk set.

Xande does not beat a dead horse in trying to teach as many variations as possible.  Rather he attempts to showcase some of his best techniques from various positions broken down into 8 courses, plus a bonus section on Ginastica Natural.  Guard / Take downs / Back / Mount / Side Control / Submissions / Passing / Defense.  Clocking in at 577 minutes, you basically have just short of 10 hours of material in this one set!  I must apologize to my readers and to Xande for the delay in getting this review written and out.  I pride myself on offering solid reviews and typically watch a DVD at least 3 times before publishing a review.  There is a TON of material in this set.  Honestly if you are going to purchased one set and work on it for the year, this is it!  On his site Xande has a special going for $120 for the set, well worth every penny.

Shot with a single camera and angle the production quality of Xande is not compromised.  Excellent editing combined with Xande showing all techniques from several different angles ensures nothing is missed and no sloppy transitions in editing.  The sound is always clear, and Xande's voice is concise with minimal accent.  His English is quite clear and good.  I like the lack of theme music, something I feel people are obliged to add into their instructional's and I just find weird and awkward kind of like porno music.  Xande's disks are void of music and distractions, they are simple and humble and I appreciate that.

Two things stick out production / marketing wise with this set; one is the awesomely unique disk holder the set comes in.  It is way too hard to explain in writing but you will see when you open the set.  Perhaps I am easily amused, but I have never seen this before and found it clever.  Secondly this is one of the first BJJ instructional series that is offered on Blue Ray, so you can play it on your Play Station 3!

The courses and disks are broken down as such:

Disk 1 - Guard / Takedowns
Disk 2 - Back / Mount / Side Control
Disk 3 - Submissions
Disk 4 - Passing
Disk 5 - Defense / Ginastica Natural

Each disk varies on how many lessons and how long each lesson runs (more on that below), but in general Xande teaches you his game.  Right off the bat it is easy to see he is all about pressure and attacking!  Aggressively seeking out fundamental control positions, the focus over these 577 minutes is NOT on showing a bunch of submissions, but rather gaining advantageous angles, isolating and dominating.   Don't get me wrong, their are literally hundreds of submissions contained in this disk set, but Xande's focus is much broader.

For instance in the Mount tutorial we have 15 chapters, one whole chapter is on mount maintenance and control, another chapter has drills for helping us maintain mount, while their are three (3) chapters on using your feet & hips properly!  Even then we are not remotely close to discussing sub's as Xande shows us how to mount our opponent with seamless transitions from a hand full of positions such as 1/2 guard, side control, etc.  Nothing short of genius is his pedagogy Xande has made the DVD that no one else has and it has to do with the simple focus on basics and fundamentals!

Xande has put his ego on mute and has honestly shared his fundamental understanding of how to build a solid jiu jitsu game from the ground up (pun totally intended for those keeping score!).  I caution the green newbie as this material may be a bit over his or her head, but if you choose to get the DVD focus on a select lesson or two for a month and I promise you will gain from it.  For the seasoned veteran... dude, if you cannot improve your game by watching the subtle nuances in Xande's movement, strategy, and tactics; well then maybe you should hang it up!

The focus of the series is certainly sportive but Xande is constantly reminding the viewer of BJJ's self defense roots, but if you are in the market for a self defense DVD instructional this is not it!

Xande breaks down every technique very clearly and offers tips on where to put the foot, or how to maneuver the hips.  Very subtle details are shared openly, and all I can say is make sure to keep a hawks eye on his hips and how they move!  Amazing!  

I have a number of random notes on each course and I wanted to share those in a kind of notebook format below.   My intention is never to divulge everything in a DVD series to my readers.  I am here to review a product and hopefully either entice you to buy (as is the case here) or turn you away from it.  Either way it is not polite to share every single aspect of the DVD with those who have not purchased said DVD.  

Disk 1 - Guard / Take downs:

- Over 90 minutes long, with 28 chapters!
- Showcasing deep 1/2, X Guard, De La Riva etc.
- Over 20 different sweeps
- Again the first 5 chapters cover important topics such as foot in the hip / breaking posture / controlling distance / re-guarding / protecting the corners
- "Make the guard hard to pass before worrying about submissions.  I feel the closed guard is very underrated!" - Xande Ribeiro
- Entries into deep 1/2
- His lessons on breaking posture and controlling the distance are golden!  
- Watch how he grips with both his hands & his feet!

Take downs:
- 7 Chapters
- Great instructions on breaking grips
- Xande stresses the importance on working stand up game.  His influences are from all grappling styles, but he adapt's them to BJJ
- Great variations on Ipon Seonage as well as a sick duck under
- Xande just shows his favorite throws and demonstrates them with his brother Saulo in a fluid demo with minimal resistance
- Great Katagoruma with a sick ankle pick variation

Disk 2 - Back / Mount / Side Control

- 12 Chapters
- Great control drill
- Focused on getting to back mount from various positions including 4 from turtle, guard, 1/2 guard etc.
- How to ride your opponent when they are escaping (again genius lessons)
- The drills and tips are again the meat and potatoes of this whole series!

- We discussed most of this above, but again how to maintain and drills are great here.  
- Technical mount chapter is worth the money alone.

Side Control:
- Position, position, position
- Control, control, control
- Position & Control, position &.... okay, you get the point.
- Awesome drills on how to control his shoulder, thigh, knee, hip to hip etc.
- As with all the instructionals Xande offers a nice flow in his transitional strategy.  If one pass does not work he gives the student a second option or a follow up technique.  Very fluid and crisp with his movement as well as with his instructions.  

Disk 3 - Submissions:
- All submissions, all the time!
- Here is the total (I think I got all of them!) breakdown for all you tap happy junkies:
2 turtle chokes
6 back chokes
1 back arm lock
4 chokes from mount
3 arm locks from mount
1 lock from knee on belly
1 choke from KOB
4 chokes from side control
4 locks from side control
1 choke from 1/2 mount
2 locks from 1/2 mount
2 chokes from 1/2 guard
2 locks from 1/2 guard
1 choke from your opponent passing your guard
4 foot locks from your opponent passing your guard
2 chokes from guard
11 arm locks from guard
2 triangles from guard
9 chokes from guard

- Great series and flows from failed techniques to certain reactions, to counter techniques etc.

Disk 4 - Passing:
- 34 chapters covering passes from various positions; X Guard / Hooks / Deep 1/2 / Spider Guard / 1/2 Guard etc.  
- Xande shows some of his favorite smash pass variations as well as cross knee passes galore!
- Great care is put into the grips, fundamentals of control and posture.  Again I am ranting about these seemingly moot points but you must understand this is what is needed in today's market, yet few are doing it!

Disk 5 - Defense / Ginastic Natural
- Notice the word "defense" and not "escapes."  I think this is an important note on the mindset Xande brings to the art of Jiu Jitsu, and that is always attacking even in defense.  The Ribeiro brothers never really "escape" from something, but rather they use sound fundamentals based on structure and leverage to prevent their opponent from getting a superior position on them.  Though Xande shows a number of escapes from bad positions, his mindset is always of aggressive pressure even on bottom.  Something my coach Brian and I have been working on for me, so this section really resonated with me.  

- Quite possibly the biggest disappointment in the set is the Ginastic Natural section.  This is the first chapter I went to as I was so stoked to see some GN incorporated into Xandes DVD.  When I trained with Sualo, Xande's brother, he warmed us up with GN techniques and flow drills and they were awesome!  So perhaps my expectations were too high, but when I opened the DVD and put in the disk I was bummed when 10 minutes later the GN tutorial was over!  Only about a handful of drills and it is done!  Not much explanation nor teaching involved.  

  Overall this is one of the best instructional DVD's I have ever come across!  You could take these lessons and put them into play immediately and see a huge jump in your mat game.  Every aspect of the DVD series is of the highest quality, and the instruction is exceptionally clear and concise.  Xande mentions in several places how he used a certain technique he was teaching in a certain tournament.  I would have liked to have seen competition footage edited into the DVD showing how Xande executed said technique.  My coach Brian did this with his DVD's on the Basic curriculum and it adds so much perspective and depth to the production.  

I promised myself over a year ago I would stop buying DVD instructional's, but Xande's set is well worth the $120!  Click here to link directly to Xande and order the Blue Ray or DVD set!

Jake B.

January 16, 2011

Dave Camarillo vs. Edson Missio

Thanks to Scramble for the link of Edson Missio vs. Dave Camarillo.  Dave is SO SMOOTH in his transitions and extremely calculated in every single thing he does in this match.  Absolutely beautiful work!

On the flip side we have Edson Missio, a black belt who has yet to learn some manners apparently.  A little too much machismo comes from the Brazilians sometimes.  Passion and drive is good, but I have fought against a couple in the past who were just outright jackasses because their ego was so fragile.  You would think by black belt one would temper it and be more mature.  You would think....

January 15, 2011

Popovitch's Family Tragedy

"A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds.  A good deed is never lost;
he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gather love."

Pablo with his parents
It seems the world is going to hell in a hand basket over the past couple of weeks.  I am sure you have heard of the devastating mudslides in Brazil leaving thousands homeless, and killing at last count around 420 people!  Well the grappling world took a serious KO blow the other day when Pablo Popovitch announced that his parents house had been hit by the mudslides putting his father in critical condition and unfortunately taking his mother way too soon in life!  I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and suffering he and his family are going through right now, and all I can offer is my sincerest condolences and prayers that the Popovitch family finds peace in this terrible tragedy.

Sadly this is not the worst of the news... Pablo's father is in critical condition without health insurance.  Really without anything.  The retirement house his father built is completely demolished!  They had no warning so everything was lost!

Here is the footage Pablo shot earlier this week:

As you can see Pablo is looking for donations to help out.  Unfortunately I am flat ass broke and cannot help much, but at the very least I wanted to spread word and help raise awareness to the situation.

I have had a few people email me and ask if the Popovitch seminar is still happening here in Seattle, WA. and the simple answer is I do not know.  I am not promoting the seminar so I am not sure.

Please click here to read the whole story and to offer any help to Pablo!

Pablo, I hope you find peace with the passing of your mother.  Know in your heart she is somewhere far more beautiful than earth, and you will see her again!


All Star Fitness Schedule

I have expanded my teaching schedule at All Star Fitness located downtown at the Medical-Dental Building on 5th and Olive Way.  Take advantage of this awesome opportunity as classes are free to members of the gym, and they have all sorts of sign up specials happening right now!  Take a look at how many training sessions you have with yours truly:

- Kickboxing 12-1pm

- Advanced Kickboxing 12-1pm
- Pekiti Tirsia Kali 1-2pm
- Kickboxing 5:30 - 6:45pm

- Advanced Kickboxing 5:30 - 6:45pm
- Pekiti Tirsia Kali 6:45 - 8pm


- Advanced Kickboxing 12-1pm
- Pekiti Tirsia Kali 1-2pm
- Kickboxing 5:30 - 6:45pm

- Kickboxing 12-1pm

All are welcome to join us!

January 14, 2011

Bas in Vancouver....'nuff Said!

Pekiti Tirsia Kali Interview with Leo Gaje

Here is a great interview from 2004 from Bladefighting.com


What is the strategy of Pekiti-Tirsia?
 We only deal with 2 things, strategy and tactics. Strategy is a plan of action, derived from continuous training, a conditioning to the various flows of attack.
 The principle of Strategy is attack-- no defense. I don't teach defense. A tactical move is how to make that attack be effective and how to demolish the enemy. My principle of strategy is Offense, no defense. My offense becomes a counter offense, which is the best defense.
 If you teach your people to do defense, they become more static, they become rigid, they become immobile and they freeze and all they remember is how to defend themselves against powerful blows.
 My training is about speed, timing, power, accuracy and precision. . All of these do not involve defense, there is no strategy of defense there, defense per se- meaning disarm, meet force with force and try some technique. It will never work. The word defense has no meaning in Pekiti-Tirsia. The strategy is offense, counter offense, and functionability.

So how do you defend yourself?

You learn offense!
 You cannot learn defense, there is no such thing as learning defense. It's all offense. The other concept is all defense, self-defense. There is no such thing as self-defense.  It is a misunderstood word, self-defense.
 How many battles in history are there where a castle stood in the middle of the field and was able to win the war?  Always the invading forces are winning. Why? Because you are there in defensive position and when the enemy surrounds you for one year and cuts off the water and food, he cuts of the means of exit, when he catapults stones and shoots arrows over the wall every day?  How will you survive? How much food can you store in there?

So defense has no meaning in terms of warfare.

 When you are on the defensive, you are static, your movements limited, and you have no liberty as far as escape is concerned.
 Is the typical martial artist prepared for a knife on knife or knife vs. empty hands encounter?
 If he is more oriented on empty hands and has no knife training, no he is not. Knife culture is much different from empty hands. All the empty hands came from the knife. The empty hands are very inferior; the person who has only empty hands knowledge has no chance against a knife. No empty hands guy can dislodge the knife from someone trained in the knife, except maybe somebody that is not trained or is drunk. It is impossible for him to subdue a guy trained in knife.

 What do you think about most disarming techniques?

 That is fancy stuff.  That is defeating the purpose. Introducing that sort of technique will get somebody killed. It is impossible. If you are trained on knife techniques and know knife offense, maybe you can use counter offense to survive by getting out with timing to strike the eyes or the head and remove his presence of mind. Then you might have a chance to dislodge the knife.  If it is knife on knife, then there is offense and counter offense. There is no such thing as defense. Knife vs. empty hands, will never work. Disarms and empty hands against the knife, these are Hollywood style techniques. It will never work.

 Should they run away?

 First they should have an equalizer, a gun, knife, stick, anything. If you pull an equalizer, you have at least a 50/50 chance to survive, a deterrent. If someone is trained in only the empty hand and someone pulls a knife, he tends to give his hand to the attacker and gets cut. If you are trained in the knife and have an equalizer, you will respond via training to pull your equalizer. The strong take advantage of the weak. If you have no equalizer, you will lose.  If they pull a knife and you pull a longer knife, you have a better chance. If you have a knife, he has to wonder if you might be better than him. If you have no knife, he will have no fear and run after you and hurt you. Having a knife or equalizer is a reminder to be alert at all times. The less aware you are the more likely you are to be attacked. When you are not careful is when it happens.
 Even if you are on an airplane and the terrorists come, there are equalizers available and instead of them taking you hostage, you take them hostage, but people do not know about how to do this.

 What about guns? Do martial artists need to adapt to the gun?

 A martial artist is someone who is training to be prepared against someone who might attack them. You train for someone who will surprise you and might take your life. Martial arts have to do with weapons as well as empty hands. The gun, and other tools-- stick, and knife- anything, the martial artist must be proficient in all weapons and empty hands. What if you do disarm him of a gun but don't know how to operate it? How can you make use of it? He is going to come with a second attack and perhaps other guys who possibly have weapons.
 If you go into your house and someone is inside and you take hold of a broomstick, you must know how to use it. A gun is an instrument that allows you to equalize another weapon. You need a well-rounded knowledge. Whatever we do in this world has to do with survival.

 You must be skillful in all the tools of the martial arts, knife, stick, sword, gun, a kitchen knife and ballpoint pen; whatever can be used as a weapon. That is the discipline of yesterday; today it is just empty hands.  People are afraid to learn weapons because they say it is dangerous.
 Pekiti-Tirsia is a combat art. The culture is combat culture. PT is directed to follow the old tradition to carry on as a legacy. The gun is a tool like a knife, an instrument of peace.  It is wrong to use the gun as a weapon of violence. If you make peace with the gun you make peace with others.
In the advanced levels of Pekiti-Tirsia, guns are covered in depth and training is based on quick response and counter offense. We deal with all kinds of weapons. I encourage my students to study all types of weapons.  If we remove our concept of combat, we are not teaching martial arts. We would be teaching conditioning. We follow the old traditions, which by philosophy embrace all weapons. Anything you take hold of and becomes a part of you, the tool becomes part of you. The weapon is a protective reminder that keeps your security consciousness alive. You try to avoid all that might irritate other people but you are more confident because of your equalizer. The weapon plus your martial arts training gives you confidence.

 How have some of the other arts lost their way and ended up overly focused on empty hands or sport oriented and lost the focus on combat?

One of the problems is liability. Why has the reality of combat or trueness of the art been lost? There are prohibitions, legal prohibitions that you cannot do this or do that. Why are they afraid to be involved in combat?  Their training is not focused on offense and counter-offense; it is more on defense.   When you are defensively oriented then you are going to suffer, the guy is going to bombard you with multiple kicks and punches and you will be in trouble.
 Their training is not focused on offense and counter offense.
 But if you are trained on counter offense, then you have equalization against someone who attacks you with multiple attacks, kicks and punches. You have the principles of footwork, strategy and tactics, evasion and escape, and the principle of counter offense against offense.
 Much has been lost, because they have removed the whole secret of the tradition. Those Masters of Kung Fu and Karate they will not teach you the secrets of their systems. Do you think I will teach you the secrets of my system?  They teach only the surface. You master the kata that you repeat and repeat and then you become a black belt, then a little sparring.

 This UFC style of sports came into existence because, for many years there has been a loss of a realistic approach of what combat is. But if the system operates within the system of combatancy, and the training is developing somebody on the principle of offense and counter offense he will be more technical, if they are both technical then there is less damage.  I started full contact stick fighting in the US in 1982, since then all my guys involved in full contact stick fighting-- they have not been hurt. The reduction of damage is done by the principles of strategy, the principle of movement, fluidity, and distance. In so doing, they adapt that as part of their techniques. As far as damage, it is very minimal. There is only damage when someone stands there and he is bombarded. There are no such things as pre-arranged techniques in the martial arts.
 What do you think the martial arts are missing today?

 Compared to the martial arts today, the martial arts of yesterday were more traditional and more disciplined. They were based on mental development. The discipline of the mind was more emphasized than the physical. First you developed the mind and then the body.  It was a belief in the early days that if you were strong mentally then you were strong physically.
 Today martial arts are more based on the physical-- forms and things that will fascinate the students. In the past it was based on discipline, in the early days you had to be able to stand against pain.  They had to stand on the threshold of pain. The discipline of pain. If the master said to stand there for 10 hours you have to stand there for 10 hours doing nothing.

 Today we are losing the value of discipline and the elements of combat have been reduced, for fear of being hurt or insurance problems. In the early days in the Philippines the karate guy had to hit the makiwara until blood came out of his fists. The same in the art of Kali, you are bombarded with pain. If you cannot stand pain you have no reason to stay in the martial arts. The path of mental development to physical development is what is lacking today.
 What do you think about the mixed martial arts?

 Mixed Martial arts is a fad today. They mix because they want to learn how to respond to certain techniques.  I want to learn too, I cannot blame these people. But if you mix your martial arts, you have a tendency to develop bad habits. Bad habit because what they give in one martial art may not be workable  in another martial art.

 Why do you want to mix?

 We follow the angles of attack; once you fall into the perimeter of the line of defense, whatever comes in we have to destroy. So why do you want to mix? If the system is equipped with combat technology, you have no reason to mix.
 Many times the person that trains them has no concept of what combat is, he only has limited knowledge, or he is out there for sports and to make a living teaching.

 How long will you master each mix? 

 When you mix in ingredients, you have to know the elements of what you are mixing in.
 I'll give you an example about mixing, you eat Thai food, American food, Mexican food, Filipino food, kosher food; your stomach will be fighting all night. Sometimes you can mix things that are not compatible.
 So the same thing with the mixed martial arts, if someone pulls a knife you don’t know which martial art you are going to use. You hesitate; you can’t decide which technique to use.

 Rolling stones gather no moss. Mixing is not a very sophisticated thing to do. You collect another bad habit here; you collect other bad habits there. All the bad habits put together is what you end up with. 
 I experience this in my seminars, I have mixed martial artists there, you tell them to relax and they tense up. From hard empty hands to weaponry is a very hard thing, they contradict.

 Yin and yang, you have to learn how to be soft and when to be hard. One problem is that many teachers do not have sufficient experience in combat.
 There is a big movement to mixed martial arts.. .it is ok...What is your common denominator, what is your target?
 You have to be accurate and you have to be precise, any mistake you commit during an encounter is a big problem. The game is lost.
 If you are a soldier you have to accurate and precise. The same for a painter, sculptor, and carpenter. If you are making a doorknob it must fit in the door. Everything must be accurate and precise.

What do you think about so-called “Reality Based” martial arts?

 It depends on how they define their reality. What is the reality?
 If anybody comes to me and asks me what reality is, I will stab him, I will slash him and I will see how good his reality is. You cannot talk reality until you have 10 or 15 years experience. What is reality? That is just a marketing word. The traditional knowledge in terms of martial arts has been there long, long…many years ago. The people had practiced and practiced and used this in terms of how many empires and generations of invasions and fighting. This has been tested and proven over and over again.
 They haven't even tested their system? Nobody tested it? Does it work? Reality of what?   Where did you come to reality?
Thats not a knife... this is a knife!

But if we talk about combat, it is a different concept

January 12, 2011

Nice Irish Collar Tutorial

Here is a nice 40 minute breakdown of the Irish Collar from Neil Melanson head instructor of Extreme Couture.  This works well into my Entangled Arm (overhook guard) game and it has given me some good ideas about using your legs and working your guard!

  I am curious to see what Neil's book "Mastering Triangle Chokes" has to offer.  The only other text solely devoted to Triangles is by Rigan Machado and David Meyer and is one of the best books on Jits ever written.  Unfortunately it is out of print and copies on EBay are often in the $150-200 range!  So I am curious to check Neil's text out when it is released.


January 11, 2011

"Traditional Sun Style Taijiquan" DVD - Review

Tim Cartmell's landmark 5 disc DVD set, "Traditional Sun Style Taijiquan" has finally hit the market and is available!  Though this will be a biased (I was minimally involved, as Tim is my teacher) review, the standards I hold dear in the Chinese martial pantheon are shared by my teacher Tim whom is interested in putting out quality productions representing the heart and soul of the Chinese martial arts.  With that said Tim has already surpassed the majority of instructional DVDs on the market both in production quality as well as martial quality.

Excellently produced, filmed, and edited with multiple camera angles, this is a 5 disc set sold in four volumes.  This instructional offers the complete Sun Family Taijiquan form (for ease of learning Tim has broken the form into 12 sections, all of which are taught here), accompanied by detailed instructions on posture testing, footwork patterns, detailed alignment pointers and the importance of proper posture, as well as supplementary power exercises.  Applications to the majority of movements are demonstrated, but not taught.  That would simply involved too many volumes that are out of the scope of the project.

Here is a extensive preview of the DVD set:

Disc 1:
Contents include detailed instruction of:
  • Proper postural alignment
  • Power Building Exercises
  • Footwork Patterns
  • Commencement and sections 1, 2 & 3 of the traditional long form
  • Partner methods for testing alignment, footwork stability and form postures
  • Demonstrations of numerous Sun style Taijiquan applications
Disc 2:
Contents include detailed instruction of:
  • Sections 4, 5 & 6 of the traditional long form
  • Partner methods for testing alignment of the form postures
  • Demonstrations of numerous Sun style Taijiquan applications
Disc 3:
Contents include detailed instruction of:
  • Sections 7, 8 & 9 of the traditional long form
  • Partner methods for testing alignment of the form postures
  • Demonstrations of numerous Sun style Taijiquan applications
Disc 4:
Contents include detailed instruction of:
  • Sections 10, 11 & 12 of the traditional long form
  • Partner methods for testing alignment of the form postures
  • Demonstrations of numerous Sun style Taijiquan applications

This DVD set was made in conjunction with Cartmell and Thomes pivotal textbook by the same name, and is meant to supplement the study of the book.  Just like the text the information contained within the DVD set has never been covered in such detail and attention to proper body mechanics and pedagogy.  Tim's gift is not just in the fact that he can DO the art, but the clarity and simplicity in his teaching model shine through in this set.  

Firstly there is a severe glut of quality CMA instructionals to begin with, and the rarity of Sun Taiji here in the west makes this ever more unique.  

Secondly the few productions available on Sun Taijiquan are very poor representations at best, and most of the forms taught have been altered from the traditional set for any number of reasons.  

Multiple camera angles pepper the form work so that one can see quite clearly what Tim is doing and his explanations are crystal clear and precise.  No funny jargon.  No using of foreign, nor metaphysical terms.  Straight forward instructions coupled with easy to understand analogies make this a DVD one could actually learn straight from, though it is meant to serve as a reference to those whom are training under a qualified teacher.  

The golden gem of the DVD series is Tim's explanation of structure, proper posture and its role in both the martial arts as well as everyday life.  Many teachers rant and rave about the importance of posture training and structure, but I have never met anyone who made it as easy to understand and to perform as Tim.  I had studied with some of the best I Quan / Dachengquan cats in North America before meeting Tim.  When I first met him his lessons on structure were the first one I had, and they remain the most important / memorable lessons of my martial path!  

Not only is this methodology explained on a theoretical plane, but Tim offers physical tests so that the practitioner can actually FEEL their structure doing what it is Tim is purporting!  Immediately the student can tell if they are doing it correctly.  This is contrary to many CMA instructors offering their "It takes years to understand this practice." type attitude towards teaching.  

In a nut shell this is THE premier learning resource available to anyone who is training Sun Taijiquan, or is interested in learning Sun Taijiquan!  Coupled with the excellent book (linked above) these media will prove invaluable to students and teachers alike even if you do not practice Sun Taijiquan.  Get these sources simply for Tim's clear concise lessons on posture, alignment, and posture testing.  

You can order these DVD ONLY through Tim's website or simply 

Train Hard.  Train Smart.
Jake B.

January 8, 2011

I Can't Stand it Any Longer!!!!! Qwest Field Beer Scam

I never get on this blog and rant, but damn it this has gone too far!!!!  I am SO sick and tired of hearing about the frickin' Seagulls in this stickin' town!!!!  A terrible team with a losing record makes history because their division sucks, and now my homie Merph has uncovered this crime against humanity and all that is sacred:

What else is there to say!?!?!???   I don't know what to think about this city!!??!?!?

January 7, 2011

Pekiti Tirsia Kali Seminar w/ Guro Ancheta Feb. 19-20th 2011

Three Harmonies Martial Arts Presents
A Weekend Workshop In The:

Traditional Filipino Art of
Pekiti Tirsia Kali
w/ Guro Meynard Ancheta

February 19th 1-6pm
February 20th 10am – 3pm

One Day: $55
Weekend: $85
Seattle, WA.
(Location provided with registration, and spots are limited!)

To register contact Jake Burroughs:

“Building a Foundation with the Doce Methodos (Twelve Methods of Pekiti Tirsia Kali)”

Join us for a weekend of training in the beautifully effective Filipino art of Pekiti Tirsia Kali, a systematic art of combat fighting based on the science of strategy and tactics.  Considered by many to be the most effective bladed art alive today.  All experience levels are welcome to join, no prior knowledge of Kali is required. 

Please bring a training knife (NO LIVE BLADES), rattan sticks, and safety glasses.

Guro Ancheta –
            Based in Southern California, Meynard has prided himself on training under only the best in their respective fields.  A student of Tim Cartmell’s for over 10 years, Meynard has also been training with GM Leo Gaje and Guro Tim Waid both here in the states as well as abroad for 7 years.  Meynard is also a Dog Brother (c-Strawdog).  

January 5, 2011

On The Mat 420 RSC Gi Review

This is an A 4 sized gi.  I am 6'4" 212#'s here.
After rolling in the new On The Mat (OTM) Rip Stop Competition Gi (RSCG) I am very pleased with OTM's latest creation.  The more OTM products I check out, the more I lam impressed with this Southern Cali based company.  And now with a premiere competition weighted gi OTM has to be taken as a serious contender when it comes to kimono manufacturing and design!

The pants are made of 8oz ripstop fabric, the RSC jacket weighs in at a cool 420 grams (not the 420 most of you were probably thinking;) that's right, under a single pound!   Immediately your first question should be "But Jake, how durable can this gi be?"  Excellent question, and as with my past reviews of gi's, durability is a long term quality that I cannot fairly measure in time for a serious review.  I have rolled in the RSC gi at least a dozen times since receiving it, as well as putting it through some rigorous push and pull training.  So far not even a blemish on the kimono.   Even the pants which seem uber light and easily ripped have held up to some serious grip fights in open guard as well as closed guard.
Again, sorry for the cluttered dojo.  

The gi is clean meaning very few company patches.  This is a pet peeve of mine when the manufacturing gets over zealous with marketing its brand.  I understand why they do it, but by taking the minimalist approach OTM has some class when it comes to patches and what not.  Plus they never put on drooling pit bull's nor skulls getting ear raped with daggers!   This leaves plenty of room for you to adorn your gi with your schools shwag and to give the props you wish to give.  I am only a blue belt so I have had zero success with getting the attention of sponsors, but this becomes a factor with black belts who travel a lot to compete.  They need sponsorship and they need room to advertise for said sponsors.

Hands down I must say the RSC pants are THE most comfortable gi bottoms I have ever worn!  A great thick drawstring cord wraps the waist, and the material does not cling and grab ahold of you when you sweat.  The pants are super thin so they breathe without a problem.  A double layer of ripstop at the knees similar to the Lucky Gi, although the seems are very cleanly stitched triple time.  I do believe this is the first triple stitched gi I have seen on the market (I stand corrected... just got back from AM Jits, and noticed my Lucky Gi also made by OTM, is triple stitched).

My only criticism of the pants is the waist cord has started to fray and come apart.  I hesitate to even mention this because I believe it may be caused by my washing machine.  I am not sure it is a design flaw, but I wanted to bring it up for Scotty to be aware of in the future.  PLEASE do not get rid of the draw cord as it is awesome!  I think it may be snagging on something in my washer.

The jacket takes two pulls to free the skirt for chokes, and chokes are the one aspect to be addressed here.  Made with UVA foam the collar is heat resistant, and with the RSC gi being so light the collar naturally cannot be as thick as say Luck Gi's.   As with anything on the mat this can be a positive or a negative when it comes to giving or receiving gi chokes.  A bit easier to sneak that lapel into creases on the neck or arm to attack them, but vice versa defending gi chokes with your own lapel becomes a very tricky matter!  I also suggest tapping early from the gi chokes as the lapel tends to cut a bit when put on tight.

Again the jacket is great!  Light, triple stitched and clean.  These are all factors that OTM took into account for their sponsored fighters competing in events such as the IBJJF tournaments where their are strict regulations on kimono size, design, color, and do not forget you are weighed in your full gi just prior to stepping on the mat to compete!  So it has become imperative to have the lightest gi available at these events so you can shed every pound needed.  This is exactly what the OTM RSC gi was made for and Scotty and the crew hit a home run!

Solid stitching is holding up great so far!
Clocking in an just under $135 one can order a white, blue, or black ($5 extra) kimono from OTM directly, or at any of their stores throughout Cali, New Mexico, Hawaii, Arizona etc.

I highly suggest checking this gi out for both competition and daily training.  I look forward to testing it out at the Pan Am's if my pant cords hold up!  Hopefully I can add a little gold trim to the uniform while competing!

Click here to order your RSC gi for the New Year of competing!

Train Hard.  Party Hard!