Awesome UFC Champion Breakdown!

Thanks to Sherdog for this awesome UFC Champion’s Breakdown!  Quite telling!

imageimageI wanted to take a moment and send out a shout to two of my friends, and two of the best training partners, Brett “Dutchess” Smith and Scott Stillwell (and any other NWJJA members) who are fighting this weekend in the Oregon Open.  I have been watching your training and you guys are more then ready.  You have already won the fight via your training… go on the mat have fun and be the best you can!  Kick ass guys!

I hope next year to be in a bit better of a financial situation to join you.  Sorry I could not do it this year.  I am there in spirit.

To inspire I wanted to post this clip and short excerpt from Daniel Faggella at his excellent blog The Science of Skill.  His teacher is the famous Alexandre “Soca” Freitas who know lives in New York I believe.  Recently Dan sat down with his teacher and asked him about his preparation for competition.  Interesting stuff in my humble opinion.   To read the entire article click here!

The Tournament Preparation of a BJJ Champion

Alexandre also shared with me some of his general strategies for preparing himself for higher level competitions. Here are some of his general guidelines that he recommends anyone use for the tournaments that matter most to them.• Around 3 months out, its best to be pushing yourself thoroughly in terms of your physical limits on the mat.• Around 2 months out Soca likes to also add a lot of sparring with the exact same rules and time limits as the big tournament he is preparing for.• 2 to 3 weeks out, its important to tone things down enough to preserve one’s energy, but importantly to also shield oneself from injury.• 1 week out it makes sense to make rolling much lighter, and to drill and use the exact moves you will be doing in that upcoming tournament. (This is definitely something we implement with our competitors at our BJJ gym in Rhode Island Before competing, Soca likes to keep two simple ideas in mind:     1) Never give up     2) To try his absolute bestMaster Soca also mentions that nervousness is never unusual, not even at the elite level.“I still get nervous when I compete, but I like to use the challenge of the tournament to make me excited to go do my best jiu jitsu.”Here is an amazing Ippon from the World Judo Championships in France.  An ippon is a clean throw that wins the match in Judo.  Thanks to Dstryrsg for this clip!  It is called  sode tsuri komi goshi.

It take all of 10 seconds for this submission victory between team mates!  Check out the ref’s reaction!  Priceless!!

Reminds me of the time I fought my broski Chris “Spider” Webb (congrats on your four year coin BTW homie!!!) at the ADCC Regional Tourney in the Absolute bracket.  Brian “coached” both of us… meaning mostly yelling at me for trying chinsy techniques like wrist locks;)  In the end I cannot remember who fought, but I remember we had a blast rolling and dicking around like buds do!

Michael Selin, owner and head instructor at the School of Budo hosted our teacher Tim Cartmell over this past weekend.  Two days of seminars followed by a blue belt eval for a handful of Michael’s BJJ students on Sunday encapsulated a great series of lessons and time with Tim.  Unfortunately yours truly has been quite under the weather this past week (thanks David!!!) so I was of little use at the seminar, but every now and then it is well worth it to sit back and just observe and listen to your teacher.

imageThe majority of the material I was familiar with, but as always Tim’s succinct approach and overwhelming enthusiasm offer little details that are invaluable to a technique’s success.  The majority of the weekend was spent on Tim’s Shen Wu curriculum, which in a nutshell is essentially an MMA approach with self defense in mind, though this material is easily morphed into a sport MMA realm.  That is the beauty of Tim’s teachings… diversity in application, simplicity in training.  With moderate changes a competitive grappler will gain the same skill sets as a middle aged women trying to learn some basic self defense.

It was good to see Tim and catch up with Kit, Michael and their great crew in Portland.  I am very happy to see others reaping the rewards of such a sharing and kind teacher as Tim!  I hope the local and my personal economy improve in the near future so I can bring him back to Sea Town soon.

A huge congrats to Jason Masterson, Erik “The Erik” Rosekrans, Michael Porter, and Chad Williams on passing their blue belt evaluation under Tim.  Tim’s eval is hands down THE toughest test out there in regards to BJJ / blue belt progression.  Chad is one of a handful to ever score 100%!

Blue belt is a big step up in your training and will present lots of new challenges and victories.  I wish you all the best on your continued journey and I thank you for your blood, sweat, and tears we have shared on the mat.  It is an honor.

Jake B.

Had a busy Monday  playing catch up and training so I am a little late to the party, but none the less here are the results of the crazy weekend of grappling at the ADCC 2011 (thanks to Kid Peligro for the brackets).  Ladies first of course:
imageHere we go kids!  Quite a few have offered their 2 cents worth (is that Euro’s or USD??) on the web, so I will not bore you with my thoughts.  Honestly this is one of the greatest collections of grapplers ever put together so to speculate is silly.  Anything can happen.

None the less… enjoy! (oh… and those weights are kilo’s my American educated friends;)

imageimageimageimageNope.  Not even Cash Cab himself is impervious to cute kittens!  Too funny (and available in Spanish)…

I must admit a bit of a man crush on Jeff Glover!  I have always liked his style, attitude, and approach to the art of BJJ, and after training with him earlier this year I left with even a greater respect of him and his attitude about fighting.

Great short interview with Jeff on his preparation for ADCC this weekend!  I am stoked!  Once again listen to how he speaks of his competition… he is like a little kid who gets to meet Santa for the first time.  That is what I love about him, he looks forward to the challenge, the gameness.  Imagine if everyone had his attitude!?

Check out as I have been killing all sorts of time looking at their back posts!

Not sure about anyone else, but between this mornings amazing lessons and ass-kicking, and this weekend’s events… my head is swimming in an ocean of Jits!  First and foremost I want to thank our coach Brian Johnson for putting this seminar on and making David available to all of us.  Secondly I want to thank David Meyer (our coaches – coach) for taking the time to come to Seattle, WA. and share his decades of grappling knowledge with all of us.  Few are fortunate enough to train with their teachers, teacher!

David offered two different seminar formats, one was gi, one no gi.  The main difference obviously is the lack of the gi in no gi.  Above and beyond that fundamental aspect I would have to say the over-riding theme was the use of friction, and sticking to our opponent.  Being tactile creatures it seems us humans are WAY too dependent on using our hands for gross body movement, when in fact they should be utilized in the finite detailed workings.  Through a series of drills both standing and on the ground, David led us through the subtle understanding of how to listen with our bodies and how to stick to our opponents.  The majority of this work was emphasized without the use of the hands.

imageFor instance when switch base do not rest your weight on your under-hooking arm, but also do not grab anything with that hand as the tension will nullify your ability to “hear” your opponents subtle movements.  Those who showed up to Monday AM class got to roll with David and actually FEEL what this was like.  He mounted me at least twice without me having an iota of an idea of what he was attempting, or even capable of doing!

Throughout the seminar he included great techniques like arm drags into two on ones (from a nice pummel break), snap arm bars, and a choke here and there.  But the overall message (that I took away anyways) was to listen and use our bodies in a totally different way then we are used to.   Learning to balance and “ride” our opponent like a wave.

Capping off the no-gi session David spoke about back control and how traditionally hooks in was the standard, then this cat called Marcello Garcia came along and showed us that was not necessarily the truth; as long as we get the seat belt grip (over & under)!  By maintaining this grip we offered ourselves more options as we could dish them off into side control and attack arms, neck, legs, etc.  This portion was amazing as some of us long fellows have a heck of a time maintaining control with our hooks in on smaller opponents.  Sometimes seeing something from a different perspective makes all the difference in the world!

I want to send a special thanks to three of my girls from Team Estrogen who showed up to support the no gi session.  Jamie, Bonzai, and Nicky all kicked ass and learned a lot.  Good to see you girls checking out other aspects of the arts, it will only make you better and richer.

imageWorking with the gi this seminar moved a little faster.  If I had to theme it up I suppose I would call it David’s trick seminar (teaching them, not turning them… just to clarify!), as he shared some of the ways in which he has “baited” opponents into thinking one thing then attacking from a totally different angle.  The modified Ezikiel from guard is going directly to use!  The crazy thing about this choke is it seems to be of no, or little, threat…. then all of the sudden you are going out!  Reminds me of a similar choke Andre Galvao did in his episode of “Rolled Up” with Budo Jake.  Andre mentioned it takes a bit to sink it in, but when it is in it comes fast because it is a blood choke.  Regardless it is tricky and a perfect fit for my guard game.

David’s ability to engage a group, figure out what they need, and introduce it in a succinct manner is second to none.  His sense of humor is excellent even though the jokes are outdated;)  David Meyer should be contacted by anyone who wants to improve their BJJ game, I mean seriously lets take a look at what David brings to the table (and then scratch your head why we did not have 50 people packed in!)

  • One of the Machado’s first black belts, which means he saw the old school BJJ and its evolution here in America.
  • He currently trains fighters like Gilbert Melendez / Jake Shields / Diaz Brothers / Cesar Gracie Fight Team, so he sees the MMA aspect.
  • He still competes to this day (one of the most decorated and experienced tournament fighters to come from the US) so he experiences and trains all the latest positions and techniques in competitive grappling
  • The author of the ONLY book on competing in grappling / BJJ.
  • Co-author of the ONLY book on the subject “Triangles” along with Rigan Machado.  A must have for any collector, though it is not too hard to find expect to pay big prices ($100+) because it is out of print.

David can be reached via BJJ America website
imageAgain thank to all who participated and made it a great weekend (thank Craig Hanumi for the support)!  Thanks again to our amazing coach Brian whose open attitude and love for the art far supersede his already amazing skills on the mat!  David… you are an inspiration to me and have become one of the single greatest influences on the mat… I can never thank you enough for what you have shared.
CheersJake Two wicked side control escapes from (if you are not reading his blog you are really missing out!) with Jean Jacques Machado.  This is the reason they call him the “Wizard!”  Latest news is Kron Gracie (son of Rickson) has been training with JJ Machado in preparation for the ADCC next weekend!  Also keep your eyes and ears open for more news on the retirement fight of Ricardo De La Riva against JJ Machado in November from Brazil!

imageI would like to request a little help for the Three Harmonies Martial Arts Yelp page.  One of my students Nicole was kind enough to start a Yelp business page and offer a review of my classes.  I have heard Yelp is really good for getting clients and generating business.

My request to you is if you have ever trained with me please log in and offer an honest review of the classes and my teaching’s.  Again I want honest criticism, and if you have never trained with me disregard this message.

Your help is really appreciated, as the more reviews I get the higher my ranking goes, which in turn means more people will see the page.


imageGreat news everyone, Brian’s DVD series “Basic 12” DVD series is now available on Amazon!  The three disk DVD set is being offered at the bargain price of $100 and is easily worth double that.  Check out the link to order.

Also if you have the DVD series PLEASE do us a favor and go on to offer your honest thoughts and feedback via a review on Amazon!  Constructive criticism helps us all grow and learn, so please share your thoughts on the DVD’s!

Last call on the seminar with David Meyer this Saturday.  We have a hand full of slots still open for the no gi and gi portion of Saturday.

Also I have about 2 more slots for private lessons left.  Email me ASAP to reserve your spot!


imageDamn guys… a bit of a heads up would have been nice (and most likely more lucrative for you as well;). I attended the last camp in 08 and hands down one of the best experiences of my life!  I encourage any and all to attend this camp… I mean where else can you train with 3 red-black belts, 5 brothers who founded BJJ, and the pure competition record in that room is amazing!
Unless a rich uncle adopts me right quick I will not be attending this.  Way out of my budget without a job!
imageFrom Shooto here is a killer rubber guard, to Omo Plata, to take the back and finish with the rear naked choke!  I will often use a similar set up to isolate the arm for the Omo, but I will have to play with taking the back and RNC them!


Johnny Fu as a white belt!

I am on a roll with interviews this morning… every time Rigan Machado speaks I tend to listen!  I have had the fortune to train with Rigan as well as hang out with him on numerous occasions (he visit’s us in Seattle yearly, and I usually visit him at least once a year in LA) and the guy simply exudes love for the art of BJJ!  His knowledge base of the history, technical aspects etc. are second to none, and it is exactly this combo of passion, knowledge, and modesty that has led fighters like BJ Penn to say: “Undoubtedly Rigan Machado is one of the greatest grapplers ever to live.”

Arcanumbjj is a new blog to the sphere and he offered up a great interview with Rigan during a recent visit.

To read the entire interview click here!

So that leads me to my next question: what makes a good jiu-jitsu coach?Rigan Machado
As a jiu-jitsu coach I remember one time I have a lesson from Rolls Gracie with Carlos Gracie. I was an assistant coach like in the process of learning how to teach and he got for me to teach a guy who I believe was the worse student. I see some of the other trainers got students who is already great athletes, who learn it real fast and I was a kind of upset. I come to my coaches to ask, why you gave me the worse student for me to try and make this guy a champion? The answer was the answer I use in my philosophy today. He came to me and said there is no such thing as a bad student, just a bad coach. The reason I gave you this student because it’s a bigger challenge for you. You are going to have to think, you have to figure out ways to make this guy better than the other guys who are already better athletes. That’s why I put the worse student in your hands; because that’s going to challenge you to develop your abilities to become a better coach to everybody else.I have been a big fan of Rafael Lovato Jr.’s since training BJJ.  He is my size so I look to him for technical knowledge, and when I trained with him a while back in Seaside it was easily one of the best seminars I have ever been too!  His competition record speaks for itself so when he does an interview I tend to take a few moments and sip some Kona and try to glean some insight that will make my game better.

Recently Electric Ocean’s did an average interview at best, but here is the gem from RLJ:

I prefer Gi training but to be at your level, what would you recommend to the new comer to the sport, Gi or No-Gi?imageDefinitely Gi! I didn’t even start doing No-Gi until I was already a brown belt. For a new student, it is important to get all of your fundamentals and technical base with the gi. It will be very easy to transition into No-Gi as you become a high level blue belt and then after you become a purple belt, I think you can start mixing them up a lot without it hurting your technical level. If you do only No-Gi, your technical level will decrease, because it is much simpler and you can get away with slipping out of stuff and scrambling.
Sound advice from one of the best grapplers in the world!   I have grown tired of the no gi / submission wrestling boom going on.  Top notch douche waffles like Josh Barnett talking trash about BJJ compared to Catch As Catch Can being the art of violence!  (Ughh… Cormier PLEASE kick his ass and take the belt!!!!!)  I have just grown tired of some of the representations and representatives in the no gi world.I have seen a lot of slop in the no gi world and a fundamental understanding of the gi game would pay huge dividends for anyone interested in competing in that format!  RLJ’s insight is spot on in my opinion.CheersJake Rolled Up Episode 27: The Never-Ending Path of a Martial Artist with Tim Cartmell

For those of you unaware, Budo Jake just featured my friend and coach Tim Cartmell in the 27th Episode of his web series “Rolled Up.” Featuring interviews, lessons, and insight from the creme de la creme of grappling, Jake has shared access with some of the arts top competitors, teachers, and representatives.
Tim has a very unique history and take on the martial arts of today and shares his thoughts on training in China, the value of the traditional arts, the point of training, competition and its role in the martial arts journey, and also shares some wicked side mount attacks!
Here is what Jake had to say in his blog about the interview with Tim:
I’ve known Tim for a few years now as he used to have a school just down the street from our office. There were a few things about him that impressed me. First, his humble manner. Second, his smooth technique. Third, the unique approach he has to his teaching. The warm ups for every class (that I went to) were totally different and they usually related to what the lesson of the class was. It was funny because he’s 50 years old and a lot of the 20 somethings were huffing and puffing as Tim carried on calmly through his routine.We kept things local for this one as I took Tim over to my favorite park that’s near my house. There’s a beautiful nature walk that made a nice backdrop for the interview. I threw a lot of questions at Tim and he answered everything so clearly and succinctly. In case you’re wondering, I don’t rehearse the questions with the guys beforehand. I think Tim gave perhaps the most insightful responses on Rolled Up thus far.After the park we went back to his school – Ace Jiu-jitsu where he taught some nice side control attacks before rolling me up. If you’re ever in Fountain Valley check him out at
To gain more insight into Tim’s methods and madness check out his books “Passing The Guard” “Effortless Combat Throws” as well as his Ground Proofing and Standing Grappling DVD’s at Shenwu.comTim will also be in Portland, OR. doing a seminar series the weekend of September 24th.  Email me for more information: [email protected] Enjoy,Jake imageYamato Damashii “Spirit of the Samurai” is the code in which Enson Inoue (one of my all time favorite MMA fighters, now retired) lives by.  I am not talking some cliche, BS tag line he tows in his wake!  Enson is the real deal.  You see we often get distracted by the bright lights of the martial arts and fighting, but at the core of what we spend countless hours training is a primal instinct to protect and take care of those who cannot do it for themselves.  A true warrior, Samurai if you will, is not just a tactician of violence, but he is is also a healer, a builder, a caregiver, a laborer no different then the common farmer.

In the wake of Japan’s terrible earthquake, mega tsunami, nuclear crisis, and 200+ aftershocks there still is little hope for those struck in Northern Japan.  Enson has dedicated his entire being to helping out those in need, and has recently travelled into the hot zone to offer this stunning video.  I admit it… I lost my shit when I realized he was buying tons of shoes for little ones!  You must watch this 15 minute video clip:

Enson has liquidated damn near everything he owns in this venture to raise money for the people in need in Japan.  Enson is currently making and selling “Yamato Damashii” bracelets and necklaces like this one:


Custom orders can be made as well.  I plan on getting one once a few extra greenbacks come my way.  Here is a break down of what the various colors / stones mean:

Meaning of Colors
action,confidence, courage, vitality
(Also has negative: anger, temper)

love, beauty, caring,self-worth

earth, order, convention, naturalness, dependability
( Also has negative: lazy, repressed

vitality with endurance

wealth, prosperity, wisdom,

joy, happiness, intellectual, Energy

life, nature,fertility, well-being,
Money, self-respect

youth, spirituality, truth, peace

Dark blue:
truth and moderation,
Confidence, strength


Royalty, magic, mystery,

intuition, meditation,
Deep contemplation
( Also has negative: when use
During depressed state)

purity, cleanliness

death, earth, stability, self-control
(Also has negative: death)

sorrow, security, maturity, dependability

Meaning of Stones

Clear: Crystal Quartz
A healing stone. Amplifies energy in the other stones and increases your emotional energy.
Key words: clarity of though, healing, memory meditation

Black: Onyx
The stone of self mastery and self control. Banishes negative energy and is a stone of protection.
Keywords: vigor, strength, stamina, durability, courage, self-control, and power.

Pink: Rose Quartz
It comforts and heals wounds the heart. It helps the hearts ability to give and receive love.
Keywords: love, tender, gentle, peaceful, kindness, tender, peaceful, forgiveness, and tolerance.

Purple: Amethyst
Amethyst is a stone of the mind. It helps to bring calmness and clarity where there is anxiety and confusion. It is very good for overworked, overstressed, or overwhelmed metal states because of it extreme calming mental effects.
Keywords: forgiveness, mercy, tolerance, peace, stability, and serenity

Red: Jasper
The stone of protection and healing. Helps courage and personal independence.
keywords: loyalty, inner strength, independence,
Jasper helps gather up strength for the battle ahead.

Click here to jump to the Destiny Forever web page to order your bracelet today!  All purchases go towards Enson’s relief efforts.

Here is the full interview by Daniel Herbertson, again a must read!

Enson is one of my hero’s.  Period.  A huge animal lover.  A fighter with the biggest heart.  And a guy you just really want to sit down and drink a cold one, light a fat one, and shoot the shit with for an afternoon.  His work for the Japanese people is inspiring and encouraging.  A lesson for all of us here.


imageDavid Meyer will be visiting the Emerald City (that’s Seattle) in just a couple of weeks to offer a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu seminar (gi and no-gi), and he just informed me that he will be available for a LIMITED number of small group private lessons (2-6 people)!  This is an EXCELLENT opportunity to sharpen any and all aspects of your grappling game, from one of the most accomplished grapplers to ever come out of America!

I have had the fortune to train with David privately on a couple of different occasions and I can honestly say his instruction is second to none.  I think he does great in a group setting, but his ability to pin point minor flaws, and loose gaps in your technique is second only to Rigan from what I have seen!

Not only is he technically sound, but he has a decent sense of humor (for a Vegan 😉 and makes every training session fun and engaging.   Come train with one of BJJ’s “Dirty Dozen” and walk away a better grappler.

For those still in the dark ages of BJJ let me shed some light on the dark horse of BJJ competition, David Meyer:

  • Co created BJJ America with the “Coach’s Coach” John Will
  • Coach and training partner of Jake Shields / Gilbert Melendez / Diaz Brothers / Machado Brothers and a whole list of top notch grapplers in the LA and Bay Area’s
  • Author of “Training For Competition” which remains the sole book on the subject to this day
  • Co Author of the pivotal book “Triangles” with Rigan Machado
  • First American to medal in the BJJ World Championships at Black Belt level
  • 2009 IBJJF American National Champion
  • 2009 IBJJF No Gi Black Belt Champion
  • 2010 IBJJF No GI Black Belt Champion
  • 2011 Pan Am’s Black Belt Champion

Here is a great interview Stephan Kesting did with David where he offers some golden nuggets of information on training and competing.  If you have not listened to it, do it NOW (well worth the 90 minutes):

Grapple Arts Interview with David Meyer

Another excellent interview:

First match of 2011 Pan Am’s:

To schedule a lesson or for more information please call (206-941-3232) or email me: [email protected]


imageJack Shields, father and manager of MMA elite Jake Shields, passed suddenly on Monday at his home in Sacremento, CA.  At the time of this post on Sherdog At the time of this post on the cause of death was undetermined.

Heart felt condolences and prayers go out to the Shields family.