February 29, 2012

Open Mat Thurs (March 1) 4pm

To my fellow friends, brothers, training partners, and Kelland...

I catch a red eye (much better then the pink, or brown ones) Thursday night back to the motherland where I will be fighting this weekend.  I wanted to get one more decent roll in and cannot make it to class Thursday night.  So I will be at the dojo at 4pm Thursday afternoon for anyone who wants to come roll and get some training in.  Nothing too formal, just need a solid grapple.

I know it is last minute and an odd hour, but if you can help a brother prepare it would be appreciated!


February 28, 2012

Congrats 1914 Kimono BJJ Family

Sorry it took a day or so to post this, but I wanted to take a moment and congratulate the 1914 Kimono's fight family as lots of competition went down over the weekend.

Firstly big props to Justin Rader (2011 No Gi World Champ) who fought his ass off in NYC at the Ultimate Absolute II.  Justin made it to the finals and lost on points to a very tough Celso Venicius.  Some great fights from Justin including this win over Ryan Hall:

Also congrats to Zach Adamson of Seaside JJ who took silver at the San Fran Open after bumping up a weight class because no one was in his original weight!
And last but not least hats off to Brandon Russell and Dallas Niles who both won their weight at theNAGA OKC gi tournament over the weekend.  Dallas also took his weight in no gi!  A great weekend for the 1914 fam, I hope the positive vibes will flow to the midwest over this coming weekend.  

Brandon winning the NAGA belt!
Congrats guys!
Zach taking silver


ATTN: Three Harmonies Students - Class Notice

Wanted to give a heads up to all Three Harmonies students; their will be no class March 1-8th (Thurs - Thurs), 2012.  I apologize for any inconvenience.  I encourage you to get together with fellow students and work out none the less.

I will see you March 10th at 9:30am for our normal Saturday morning classes.


February 27, 2012

Early Registration Ends Wednesday Night for Revolution

If you are planning on fighting in the upcoming Revolution tourney, make sure you sign up before Wednesday at midnight to lock in the discounted rate ($45 for one division)!  Sounds like NWJJA will have their biggest showing at a tournament ever with this March 17th date, so even if you are not competing please come out and support the troops.  If you have never fought before you do not realize how big of an impact this little thing can have on a fighter.  Trust me... I have flown a 2,000 miles to fight in tournaments where I had no friends.  No coach.  No no-one.  Believe me when I say it is a huge confidence builder to have support from your fellow students, friends, and family.

   This is a great opportunity to discuss the poll from last week.  As you can see only 12 people chimed in to answer if they would participate / like to see an absolute division at local tournaments such as the Revolution?  An overwhelming 91% (11) of you voted in favor of such a division.

I would fight in them
  11 (91%)
I would not fight in absolute
  1 (8%)

Votes so far: 12 

 I know it was a small sample but perhaps this will spark some interest in Revolution, or perhaps other organizations to add absolute divisions!  I have fought in a few and they are exciting, fun, and an opportunity to learn the importance of technique.

Either way I hope to see you on the mat next month!

February 24, 2012

1914 BJJ Kimono's Proud Sponsor of Jake Burroughs, Zach & Nate Adamson

I am honored and humbled to announce my first sponsor for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; 1914 BJJ Kimono's!  Alongside Zach and Nate Adamson of Seaside Jiu Jitsu in Seaside, OR. we will represent 1914 here in the Pacific NW with pride and honor.  Blake Kerr and his partner started 1914 in May of 2011 with the intention of producing kimono's that are both stylish and functional.   Yet it is not 1914 products alone that inspired me to pitch them for sponsorship, it is the attitude and willingness to share and help the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu grow that has drawn me to the company.  Check out the announcement from 1914 on Facebook late last night:

"1914 is proud to announce that we have made a couple additions to the family! We have found the Northwest to be an amazing place for BJJ. 1914 BJJ is very proud to support Zach and Nate Adamson of Seaside BJJ in Oregon and Jake Burroughs of Three Harmonies Martial Arts out of Seattle, WA! These guys are not only fantastic BJJ practitioners, but great examples to their communities! We cannot say enough how blessed we feel to have them in the family! 1914BJJ OSS!"

This is an exciting beginning of a relationship that is intends on helping strengthen the local, national, and global community of grapplers from all walks of life.  Make sure you bookmark "The Ground Never Misses" and check back for updates and details of some great things to come such as:

  • Kimono & Gear reviews  
  • Tournament coverage
  • Training opportunities with world champions (cough*Tanquino*cough) here in PAC NW
  • An exclusive interview with Mike Fowler
  • Seminar recaps
  • Much, much more.  All brought to you by 1914!  
The guys are working feverishly to flush the final kinks out of the website before the launch, but we will announce the launch along with a gi review in the coming week or so!  

I wanted to thank 1914 for their sponsorship of me fighting in the Arnold Grappling Tournament in Columbus, OH. next weekend.  This is an exciting time for me as I am using this tournament as a prep for the Pan Am's that I hope to make later next month.  This will mark the first time I have fought in a professional no gi tournament of this nature, as the ADCC is holding their first qualifier at the Arnold Grappling Tournament!  I am thrilled to fight with some of the best and win, lose, or draw I look forward to the learning opportunity and experience as I take another step in my competition journey.  

Life is funny sometimes... in rough times come golden moments, and without the support of my family and great wife, none of this would be possible.  They all have sacrificed so much with me and I want to let them know it is appreciated.  

Both on the mat and off I owe a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid to my coach, my friend, Brian J. Johnson.  Guiding me like a father, supporting me as a brother, your relationship has made me a better person, and I thank you.  

Last but not least I want to thank all my brothers and sisters on the mat!  My skills are merely a reflection of the talent and quality of those surrounding me and you all have had a major 'roll' in my development!  I bow in gratitude to all you have taught me.  
INSERT SHAMELESS PLUG: So please go buy lots of 1914 gear;) and leave us a comment below letting us know what you think!

Hands folded in respect,
Jake Burroughs

All images © 2012 by 1914BJJ, LLC. Photos approved for http://threeharmonies.blogspot.com. Photo can not be downloaded, copied, used, altered or reproduced without written permission from 1914BJJ,LLC.

February 23, 2012

93 Guard with Denis Kang

What's in a name?  Here is a clip of BJJ black belt Denis Kang showing some variations of what he calls the "93" guard (no clue why).  I have heard this open guard position called many different things, but regardless of the nomenclature he showcases some solid, crisp, sweeps and submissions here!  I am not sure if this is a promo for an upcoming DVD or what, but it is nicely produced and executed. Thanks to DSTRYSG  for sharing this clip.  Study on this:

For those of you ignorant to Denis Kang, he is one of the Pacific NW's fighting pioneers.  Hailing from British Columbia, Kang has fought in every major fight organization one can name: K-1 / UFC / Pride / Pancrase / M-1 Global / Dream / Hero's.... I mean, seriously, do I need to go on!?!  One year younger then me and in those few short decades he has amassed a record of 34-15-2, with 16 wins coming via submission!

You also may have noticed a new feature here on The Ground Never Misses... comments are now open to be posted on.  One word though, you must be a member to post a comment.  So join up and let me know what you are thinking.  Remember... a mind is a terrible thing to taste!


February 22, 2012

Maurice "Mo" Smith Back in the Cage

Wanted to send out a big "Good luck" to hometown hero Maurice "Mo" Smith who just signed (according to mmajunkie) with Resurrection Fighting Alliance in Kearney, NE.  March 30th, Mo will face Kyle Keeney (12-7) who has not won since 2010.

I was speaking with my coach, Brian, this morning about this news and I made mention that Mo is one of MMA's most underrated fighters, and Brian even presented the case that he really should be in the UFC hall of fame!  And while their may be some hometown bias from Brian, I have only met the man once or twice, but have followed his career since I was a tyke.

Smith started his martial career in kickboxing winning his first title in 1983.  Renown for his powerfully devastating leg kicks, Mo went on a ten year unbeaten streak amassing a record of 53-13-5 in professional kickboxing.  Smith would then take his top flight striking game into the MMA arena.

Fighting a bit in Pancrase, RINGS, and Battlecade Extreme Fighting Smith became the first legit striker to start shutting down the grapplers who had been dominating Japanese MMA.  Battlecade folded sending Smith back home to fight in a little organization called the UFC, where he faced off against Mark "The Hammer" Coleman (full roid edition!  Nobody was testing for no-thing back in 97).  Coleman easily outweighed Smith by 20 pounds of pure muscle mass and quite frankly no one expected Mo to do much damage to the dominant ground and pound specialist.  Low and behold Mo once again used his striking to completely shut down and frustrate the former NCAA wrestler, and win a unanimous decision for the title on July 27, 1997!  Smith would go on to destroy Tank Abbot's legs with round kicks in UFC 15, but then lose the belt in a close (controversial????) decision to an up and coming cat named Randy Couture.

Fighting in Pride 7 Mo picked up his first submission victory with a choke over Branko Cikatic.

Later on Mo would coach in the IFL and TKO MMA legend Marco Ruas (his second victory over Ruas) on May 19, 2007.  The following year he would submit world famous Rick Roufus here in Tacoma, WA. on the Strikeforce card.

Maurice Smith has fought in every major MMA organization to hold an event, being a title holder in at least two of those organizations.  A multi organizational kickboxing champ for over 10 years straight.  A successful coach and all around great competitor, we here at The Ground Never Misses wish you the best of luck Coach Mo next month!


John Will - Heading to Europe 2012

I have been following Liam Wandi's rollings and ramblings for quite sometime now on his blog the Part Time Grappler.   Liam is a purple belt author living on the other side of the pond in the motherland (Great Britain) and has been quietly making some noise with various articles all over the web and in Jiu JItsu Style magazine as well.

Liam hosted our mutual friend John Will last year for a series of training seminars and from the sounds of it will be bringing John back over this year.  This is an excellent write up on the man known as the "Coaches coach."

"John is a man. He has worked hard on polishing his knowledge and his wisdom. He has pursued his passion in life and chased his dreams. When you are in his company, you feel that you better listen to what he has to share with you. You leave his company inspired to be a better person. A more rounded person. 

His BJJ and MMA skills and teaching style are excellent. Practically flawless and why wouldn’t it be? He is eloquent, knowledgable and has done his 10,000 hours of both BJJ, MMA and teaching many times over. Just look at his BJJ / MMA seminar schedule. Put it simply: John Will is an excellent BJJ and MMA teacher because he never took anything for granted and has worked hard"

To read the entire blog post click here!  

If you find yourself in Manchester on May 3rd, do yourself a favor and check out a living legend!  And say hi to Liam for me!  If you cannot make it to the Queen's court, then come visit us in the Emerald City in late June for John Will's only US visit!


PS Oh... Liam... John taught us his Helio class and it was fascinating on many different fronts!  Enjoy!

February 21, 2012

If Ever In Senegal... Make Sure to Wrestle

Thanks to Ross over at Rossboxing.com for sharing this 4 minute piece on traditional wrestling in Dakar, Senegal (thats west Africa... the continent, not the country!).  These guys are a MMA / BJJ market just waiting to be tapped!  Yolked to all get out with MAD crazy stand up grappling... add a bit o' kickboxing to the mix and some BJJ... West Africa can be the next hotbed of MMA talent!  You heard it here on the Ground Never Misses first!

Roy Dean's "Brown Belt Requirements"

Roy Dean's latest project, "Brown Belt Requirements" 3 disc DVD set.  Review coming soon on The Ground Never Misses, so stay tuned!  

February 20, 2012

Orthodox vs Southpaw in MMA

Breakdownfights.com is an interesting new (to me anyways) website that gives crazy statistics to MMA fights.  Numbers, like potatoes, can be cooked a number of various ways so lets not get too crazy with the data, but they found some interesting facts about guys who switch stances (think Silva, Machida...).

Looking at over 3200 fights, this graph shows win percentages regarding southpaw, orthodox, and switch stances.  To read the entire article click here!  And while you guys are at it, help me out with my latest poll to your right-----> where I am asking if you would fight in an absolute division in local tournaments if they were made available?


February 17, 2012

Thanks to NWJJA Sub Crew!

I wanted to take a moment and thank Denise, Eric, Randy "The Lost Mendes," "Scrappy" Phil, "Chickenwing," and Chris "McMuffin" for their excellent instruction and guidance this week while our fearless leader is catching some much deserved R&R southwards.  Extra props to Randy and Scrappy on their excellent jobs teaching classes for the first time!   Many folks believe it to be easy to teach, but if you care, really truly care, it is actually quite energy draining and difficult to teach people martial arts.  Both Phil and Randy made it look like they have been doing it for decades!   I have much to learn from both of you.

We are truly blessed to have such a fine cadre of talent within such a small academy.  It is always beneficial to gain insight into another persons game or style of rolling.  One thing I took away from this week's various lessons is the importance of our basic principles!

  • Three points of contact must be maintained at all times
  • Guard passing is essential to a deeper understanding of BJJ
  • The guard is essential to a deeper understanding of BJJ
  • We need to work our guard passing drills more often
  • We should never quit striving to be better partners
Well I guess that is more than one thing, but you get my drift.  Thanks also goes out to the students who came in support of our fellow teachers.  For those of you prepping for the various tournaments it is time to get your ass on the mat and train!  One or two classes a week ain't going to cut it guys.  

Speaking of which, please take a moment to vote on the poll to your right --------->

Much respect and love,

February 16, 2012

Revolution BJJ Tournament - St. Patricks Day Edition

Sign up now for the next installment of our local grappling tournament the Revolution!  The premier tournament in the Pac NW, Jeff Bourgeois has been getting better and better at each showing (all in all 3-4 a year).

I caught up with Jeff to ask a few questions regarding absolute weights and super fights (both missing from the Revolution tournaments).  Here is what he had to say:

"We've had Absolute divisions in the past and had lots of people say they'd compete but then not actually compete. Because of that people are guaranteed a second match already we took the Absolutes out."

In regards to super fights:
 "We feel that stopping 9 rings of competition running the super fight and then trying to get everything back up to full output makes the day longer than people want."

I see Jeff's points and they are solid ones.  Personally I would rather see the second match eliminated and absolute added.  This would eliminate confusion and up the ante a bit in terms of local competition.  For the most part Jeff has tailored his tournament to be just like IBJJF tournies (Pan Am's / World's etc.), and the addition of the absolute divisions would prepare fighters at the local level for the types of fights they will experience in the major tournaments.  

 I also see his point with stopping action for super fights.  One possible solution is to not stop the whole event. 

So I decided our next poll would address such issues at the Revolution.  Vote now to your right on whether or not you would like to see absolute divisions at local tournaments such as the Revolution!  And while you are at it registration is open for the Revolution 3/17/12.  Sign up today and I will see you on the mat!


February 14, 2012

Mendes Brothers Leg Drag's

A great compilation of leg drag passes by those tricky Mendes Brothers.  This is a very subtle movement, but it asserts positional dominance which leads into submission's most of the time with these two!

UPDATE: The Mendes boys are coming to Portland in April.  This is a bit too rich for my blood, but for all you loaded gangsta's this should be a huge seminar!

Enjoy and study on this, if for no other reason I am going to start playing with it in rolling.

February 13, 2012

Striking / Grappling / Traditional / MMA / Weapon Based Arts on the Ground Never Misses

I appreciate all 25 of you who voted on our latest poll which asked what genre of martial art would you like to see more of here on The Ground Never Misses.  Results were as follows:

- 36% of you want to see more grappling
- 24% of you all would like to see more weapon based arts
- 16% of you were interested in seeing more traditional arts covered
- And then the last two groups of striking and MMA brought in 12% each

Clearly the majority of you want to see more grappling themed coverage here on our little blog, which is solid since my personal journey through the grappling world continues to develop new and fresh opportunities and I plan on dragging you along!  Some great upcoming things to look for are 1914 Gi Review, tournament coverage, Roy Dean's latest DVD on "Brown Belt Requirements," Bad Boy board short review, exclusive interviews, and some exciting seminar announcements as well.

Surprisingly 24% of my readers are looking for more weapon based arts, which ultimately means more coverage on the arts of the Philippines (Kali / Escrima / Arnis etc.).  I train Pekiti Tirsia Kali under Meynard Ancheta, and love the system!  Unfortunately the amount of quality information out there is very, very limited and I am a bit.... picky as to what I include on this blog.  By all means I pass along anything and everything I find online that is quality, but all too often the videos, articles, and info online are nothing more then goofy wanna be commando's playing with sharp objects.  This is the same reason you cannot find a ton of info from Tim Waid or GM Leo Gaje.  They are very, very discriminate as to what they put out for the world to see, and want to ensure the utmost quality.

So please send me anything quality you find online from anyone.  I admit my Kali-fu online is weak!

Unfortunately many of the "traditional" arts are in the very same predicament I speak of above with Kali (which is considered a Philippine traditional art) where the arts have been very watered down and poorly represented in many cases.  I have been involved in the Chinese martial arts for over 15 years now, training with some of the best I could access in North America and Europe (never travelled to Asia).   I see a handful of you wish to see more and to be quite honest I too want to report more on the traditional arts of China, Japan, Africa etc.  The Chinese martial arts community is very fragmented and still rather stand off-ish, which in turn creates a very negative, ego based atmosphere where individuals are more concerned with the betterment of themselves then they are with the art as a whole.

I have continued writing as of late and you will see a handful of articles coming out in various martial arts publications this year including Kung Fu - Taichi Magazine, Journal of Asian Martial Arts, and a few others.  What I ask of you out there in the community is lets start at the grass roots with your own individual practice and training.  Lets start focusing more on quality over quantity.  Lets test the limits of our knowledge, push our comfort zone mentally-physically-emotionally and raise the quality of all martial practice.

In closing I thank you all for your support and participation in the polls.  I plan on continuing them and I hope to see participation increasing each poll, so please bookmark The Ground Never Misses and include us on your daily "rounds" if you will.  2012 looks to be quite promising for the blog and training, should be a great ride.  I also have an exciting announcement coming up very soon!


February 9, 2012

Mike Fowler BJJ Camp - Vancouver, WA.

Lloyd Irvin protege and world class competitor Mike Fowler will be visiting Fisticuffs Gym in Vancouver, WA. March 5-9th 2012.  Mike will be running workshops Mon - Thurs from 7-10pm, with private lessons and semi-private lessons during the morning and afternoon hours.

Camp Tuition: $50 per session / $200 for the week
Private Lesson Tuition: $100 an hour / $70 per hour semi private (per person)

This is a VERY affordable opportunity to train with one of the elite grapplers of our generation, as Mike has competed in every major grappling event on the planet beating the likes of Renzo Gracie, and Saulo Ribiero all the while running the North Shore Jiu Jitsu Kids Club in Hawaii.  For more information, or to register contact Jeff Starks 360-772-0686.

February 8, 2012

Kick Ass Banjo..... AND a Sick Millineum Falcon!

That last post of mine was pretty frickin' heavy, so I wanted to lighten the mood a bit.  I am a HUGE banjo fan and this kid ROCKS!  Playing a Ralph Stanley (another AMAZING picker) original.... 9 year old Jonny Mizzone:

Sleepy Man Banjo Boys are a trio from New Jersey of all places.  Just ordered their CD.  Check them out and show your support in an age of illiterate children who all too often have no knack nor drive to create anything other then a high score on Halo.

Thanks to Mr Joshua for turning me onto these guys!

Keep Your Politics off Our Bodies

Mucho thanks to my cyber friend Georgette over at her mega popular blog for posting this moving and powerful clip.  Once again I am not a fan of discussing political BS and for the most part I have stayed out of the tsunami of political wrangling in regards to the Komen debacle.  But this video clip from Linda Burger should be required watching not only for the message she sends our leaders, but also as a testament to the will and fortitude of a woman who has lost more of what makes her whole then any of us can imagine, and who has bigger balls then most any of the men I know!

What does this have to do with a blog dedicated to the martial arts you ask?  Well, number one I whole heartily feel that no one, NO ONE, has the right nor privilege to tell me what I can do to my body.  Period.  And to use my body as a political leverage tool is insulting, shameful, and overall one of the most personal attacks I can imagine!  If our societal leaders (be it politicians, or non-profit "do gooders") can dictate and control what happens to a woman's body, what decisions she has a right to make for her well being.... then how long is it before they are dictating to all of us!  Martial artists or otherwise!?  That is truly self defense!

And secondly it is my blog and I can post whatever I think is an important message;)

Not sure how to end this other then I hope you never have to experience anything like Linda has, but if you do, know that the strength of those before you will help carry you through even the darkest of times.

Thank you Linda for being such a brave, strong woman!    Please share this with every strong woman you know.

February 7, 2012

It's Okay To Tap.... Really!

   Cobrinha   is one of the most accomplished and talented grapplers on the planet, so when he speaks I tend to listen.  Below is a small posting he wrote regarding the ego and tapping.  And while he is making a point in regard to age, I see this problem is prevalent regardless of age, nor sex, and it has been sneaking into dojo's and tournaments around town lately with really nasty ending results.  

   A tap is an affirmation that you respect the individuals positional dominance and you are requesting that the submission stop.  That is all a tap is.  It does not mean your penis is too tiny (coincidentally it might be, but it is not causative).  It does not mean your technique sucks.  It simply means your training PARTNER was successful at his/her technique and roll.  Learn from tapping, but most importantly SURVIVE by tapping out!  When you are injured you cannot train.  Simple concept, right?  Now we are in a combat sport so accidents happen and no one is immune to such things.  But we all contain the ability and control of tapping out provided we are surrounded by solid training partners.  Even going slow if you try to power out, or muscle out of a submission... all you do is injure yourself and make the person you rolled with feel like shit.  Think a little guys.  Think about your training, your health, and your partners.

Enjoy Cobrinha's words!

   "This is some advice for everyone but with specific attention towards age. Jiu jitsu is a sport for all ages so if you are a child or in your 60's it is possible for you to train and learn equally.

   The problem I have been seeing as an athlete and a teacher, is that ego exists when two different ages train together. They have an ego because they don't want to lose. They are too competitive. This ego happens when a younger guy wants to train hard with an older guy and the older guy wants to keep up or vice versa. It does not mean that old and young guys can not train hard together. They can, but they should use technique and leave the ego on the side. Sometimes when you are young you want to show power and when you are older you don't want to lose because you think that since you are older you should be able to handle it. Then, when they forget about the technique and they go hard against each other, they get injured because they are using strength. When they use strength, most of the time either the younger or older guy gets caught in a submission and they don't want to tap because it gets personal. This situation also happens when white belts start to train. Especially when they are stronger, they think they can handle it and go hard with those that are more experienced. Eventually they will get hurt. 

   Both young and not young must step onto the mat with the same mentality: no ego. If there is ego, you are stopping yourself from learning and you can get injured. We have to learn that when we train against someone we will be open minded and not afraid to tap. For me, the more you tap on the mat the more you learn and prevent injuries. Jiu jitsu is a simple art. By tapping you can avoid getting injured. There are ways to escape and you should try it but if you are in danger you should tap.

   "Everybody has ego and pride but you must work on leaving it to the side when you train and when you want to learn something in life."

    Please pay attention to this since I'm sure there are many different age groups at your academy. Let me know how it goes!"

Until next time,

Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles

February 6, 2012

Vote Now...

Hey guys... if you like having a poll feature and would like me to keep doing it help support the drive by voting on the current poll: which genre of martial arts would you like to see more of on The Ground Never Misses -----------------> vote now to your right------------------->


Congrats NWJJA Fighters!

A huge congrats to Chris Webb, and Brett Smith for representing NWJJA at Ivan Salavary's GSubX No Gi Tournament over the weekend.  Chris fought his ass off but in the end was against too big of guys.  I saw Chris Saturday night and he said win-lose-draw it was a positive experience and we all know any mat time is lesson's learned!

Dutchess brought his A game to the tournament and it paid in gold!  Taking the featherweight division gold Brett nailed all submissions including this wicked tight triangle (night, night):

Brett also stepped into his first absolute division opportunity fighting much bigger guys.  Again bringing his excellent conditioning and technical prowess to the fight Brett took bronze in the absolute division Saturday!

Awesome job guys.  Hope I can make it next time!


February 3, 2012

G SUB X - Feb. 4th Seattle, WA. - Best of Luck NWJJA Fighters!

A sincere wish of luck to Chris "Spider" Web, Scotty "Dude, someone tagged my car" Stillwell, Brett "Dutchess" Smith, and anyone else I am unaware of at Ivan's GSubX No Gi Tournament this weekend.  Wish I was fighting along side you guys.  Kick some ass and take some names!

February 1, 2012

ATTN: Three Harmonies Students

No Class on Thursday Feb. 2nd.  Apologies for the last minute cancellation.
Also we will be having Kali at 11am on Saturday the 4th (immediately following combatives class).



Ultimate Absolute Feb 25th 2012 and It's Impact on Professional Grappling

According to our very first poll, of which 19 of you participated, 47% of you guys would like to hear more of my opinions and I can't think of a better subject matter then the upcoming (Feb 25) Ultimate Absolute NYC.  Organized and run by Renzo Gracie black belt Rob Constance, New York City's Ultimate Absolute debuted last year as a true absolute weight no gi, no holds barred tournament.  Winner takes home $10,000!  Andre Galvao took home the win and the dough, along with $1000 per submission!!

On the new Open Mat Radio Rob sits down and discusses the Ultimate Absolute and the upcoming lightweight tournament featuring the likes of JT Torres, Reilly Bodycomb, Justin Rader, Denny Prokopos, Mike Fowler, Ryan Hall, Celso Venicius, Cobrinha, Chris Brennan, Gianni Grippo, Mark Ramos, Renan Borges, Samuel Braga, Roman Flores, Wilson Reis, Bruno Frazatto, and Bruno Malfacine.  Click the highlighted link above to listen to the podcast, and sign up and support the guys over at Open Mat.  They are doing a good job so far!

I won't ruin the interview for you all, but I wanted to touch on one thing Rob talks about as being the reason for starting the Ultimate Absolute; to spark the flame that will get grappling to a professional level.  As your eyes peruse my words dozens of grappling (whichever genera you wish; Sambo / BJJ / No Gi / etc.) schools are opening across the country, throughout the world!  We have "world championships," "pan ams," and yet our top tier athletes win no money at these events (save the Abu Dhabi Combat Championships), and are lucky if they have some of their expenses covered via sponsorship they can drum up.  This needs to change.

The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition community is very distracted right now, quite frankly I do not think anyone anticipated the growth and boom we have seen in the past 5-10 years.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu certainly was born in Brazil, but it has cut its teeth and matured here in the United States.  The IBJJF has been running excellent tournaments, and they have their format down pretty darn well as I have observed it.  Now I believe it is time to take things a step further by facilitating conversation and feedback from their audience; the competitors.  Does the community wish to take BJJ into the realm of professional grappling, or do we desire the often talked about Olympic sport pursuit?  Our direction will reciprocate in future generations and set the standard for years to come, so it is high time to start serious discussions and get the feedback of what the marrow of the sport wants.

We need more communication and open forum in our community.  If no one asks for these things then organizations such as the IBJJF will become complacent and stagnant.  On the flip side of that coin the IBJJF needs to also have some method of contacting and communicating with the those making major decisions.  This is the contact page for the IBJJF via their website.  I have never received a response from the IBJJF contact, but I will admit the referee's address is valid and they respond to questions about rules.  But no other mention of names, nor contact's for them.

I am all for professional athletes getting paid professional money for the hard work, training, and abuse they put their body, minds, and souls through.  We need more of these styles of tournaments and I applaud Rob for stepping up to be one of the pioneers of getting the great of our sport what they have earned.  I hope the Ultimate Absolute is the first of many similar format tournaments to come as it truly showcases grappling at its finest with the most amazing athletes in the world!