When In Doubt… Swing a Stick!

A couple of clips of Eric Knaus, one of the legendary Dog Brothers and pretty much the baddest man on the planet when it comes to stick and blade fighting.

Here is some Pekiti Tirsia Kali Solo Drilling:

Seminar Footage:

The UGF has opened registration for their July 28th, 2012 Oregon State Grappling Championships in Portland, OR.  Register by July 9th with code “UGFOR” and save $15.  This event will have both gi and no gi events and they seem to be running smoothly from what I hear online.

For registration, or to get more info please click here!

imageKeep checking their website and FB page for updates on the tentative August 11th Washington State Championships!Though I have not personally trained with him, I have heard nothing but positive things about Rener Gracie and his teaching style!  I just got word of this extremely rare opportunity for grapplers in the Pacific NW to get in on Rener’s first ever No Gi Jiu Jitsu Mastery Camp to be held in Vanderhoof, BC. September 8-9, 2012.

WTF is Vanderhoof, BC. you ask??   I too had to look it up… about a 13 hour drive north of Seattle, WA.  Found on Can. 16 just west of Prince George, Rener is opening this first no gi seminar to any and all levels, but space is limited.

For those of you contemplating driving up I must admit it is one of the most beautiful places in North America.  The wife and I took a 2 week trip through BC and toured the Canadian Rockies on both the Alberta side as well as British Columbia side, and it will remain one of the most gorgeous journeys I have ever been on.  September will be a perfect time for traveling through there too!

So check out the info on the camp below, and do me a solid and vote on the poll to your right —–>

Dates: September 8-9, 2012
Location: Nechako Valley Secondary School
Address: 2608 Bute Avenue, Vanderhoof, BC, Canada
Time: There will be a total of 9 hours of training over two days.
Saturday, June 2, from 10am – 1pm and 2:30pm – 5:30pm
Sunday, June 3, from 10am – 1pm
Cost: $300 for the entire camp (9 hours).
Attire: Standard no-gi attire. Gi pants or fight shorts with t-shirt or rashguard. No cutoff t-shirts or tank tops allowed.
Reserve Your Spot: Mat space is very limited so if you’re interested in attending the camp, please contact the host, Scott Stewart, at [email protected] or call 250-612-1961.
Where to Stay: If you’re coming from out of town, you may want to stay at Glen’s Motor Hotel: 250-567-2218 or North Country Inn Motel: 250-567-3047.imageAvid readers of “The Ground Never Misses” will remember summer of last year when I reviewed Origin’s Genesis 550 kimono.  This was one of their limited prototypes with the intention of gaining feedback and improving the design and function for the 2012 release of the Comp 550.  I must say Pete and his crew have taken their task of searching for the perfect gi quite seriously.

The first important thing about Origin is that the owner/designer Pete Roberts is not only a businessman, but also a competitor at the highest level, most recently fighting his ass off at the World Pro Jiu Jitsu Cup! So the functionality and comfortability should be top notch, and the improvements made on the 2012 model illustrate that commitment to improvement.

Style & Design:

6’4″ 204#’s This is a A-4

Origin excels at the contrasting color scheme using colors not often utilized in BJJ gi designs.  The new Comp 550’s are offered in blue with orange highlights, white with orange highlights, or black with orange highlights.  Embroidered logo’s emblazon the left shoulder and left calf, with ‘Origin’ in contrasting grey/orange on the right shoulder.  Orange ticker tape lines the inside of the cuff’s and skirt.  Design wise I like it, but the fabric used is a little scratchy and irritating sometimes.  I love the orange color theme and think it really snaps!  The 2012 gi complies with all IBJJF regulations with no two-tone collar color’s.

The kimono itself is a solid fit that allows maneuverability but contours the body decently.  Though I must admit I find a bit too much room under the arms with the new model.  Perhaps my older gi has simply shrunk up a bit and fits better, but the Comp 550 seems to have some added room in the lat’s area.  The same quality double stitching adorns the sleeves and lapel along the pearl weave fabric.  The stitch lines and terminals are clean and locked.  Literally no loose threads with this gi manufactured in Pakistan.

A bit hard to see but notice
the design improvement
in the knee pad.
Lapels are identical

Design improvements include what I think will be the next big addition to all kimono’s in the near future, and that is a triangular shaped reinforced knee pad that extends up to about mid thigh.  How many times have you rolled with that Judo cat who grabs your pants right above the knee’s and rips the shit out of them simply trying to pass your guard!?  Being a heavyweight I can only assume Pete ran into many a dude with grips of steel and a general disregard for his gi budget, so he built this reinforced, double layered, and double stitched knee pad.  Brilliant idea Pete!

Another great improvement on the pant design is the drawstring “tunnel” system which feeds the cord (again, bonus!) through a ripstop “tunnel” that keeps the pants on your hips more securely, and seems to dampen the wear and tear on the stitching on the pants.  I have wore the hell out of this gi for the past 2.5 months and I must say it has stood up to some serious abuse!  Absolutely no sign of wear nor tear on any piece of the gi!

imageAnother aspect setting Origin apart is the inclusion of a rash guard with each order.  This years version of the orange rash guard is honestly one of the most comfortable rashies I have ever put on my silky smooth skin!  Tight but warming keep in mind you are getting a bit of a bonus when you are purchasing an Origin kimono.

Overall Quality:

As you can see the “tunnel” system is a big
design improvement with the Comp 550

Overall Origin has another home run!  The pearl weave A-4 weighs in at just over 4.5 pounds and will make your wallet about $190.00 lighter.  For a top tier gi the Origin Comp 550 is a solid design and fit, coupled with awesome customer service from Pete and his crew up in Maine.  Solid enough to hold up over months, quite possibly years of weekly dojo practice.  Or if you are of the competitor mindset this is a solid gi that will hold up and keep you cool all the way to the medal podium!

Make sure you bookmark  Origin’s website where you can order a gi, check out some new designs they have come up with including competition minded backpacks (hope to review the OrangaHang in the near future), and follow the adventures of Pete via the BJJ Weekly newsletters!

Thanks to Pete for the sample gi for review, as well as DKB Images for the photo’s!


Jake B.

imageScrew Wiki leaks, all you need my grappling friend is Kimura-leaks here at The Ground Never Misses!
Rumor has it that the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation will be stopping in my favorite Canadian city, Vancouver, BC. on it’s tour for 2013!  This is EXTREMELY exciting news for the Pacific NW as it will be the first IBJJF sponsored event in the area ever!!

Get your passports and warm up those wrists, we’s goin’ north to Canada next year to pick a fight!


imageimageI am UBER late in posting this info, and for that I do apologize.  About a month or more ago I got a random email that I thought for sure was spam by the format of it, but it mentioned my good friend and teacher Mike Martello and something about a book.  As most of you know Mike moved on a couple years back, so I replied curtly to the email stating if this was a joke, or spam, I did not find the humor in it.  Thankfully I was wrong and author Yves Verbeeck responded:


“A month before Michael Martello Laoshi suddenly died of  a congenital heart  disease (Wolff Parkinson White syndrome) he gave me a CD. It was a treasure of information with hours of audio recordings and hundreds of pictures.For one year I listened to these deep, very valuable insights.It was quite a  challenge to type these random texts and create a coherent whole. Due to the enormous support of Lucia it became an easily readable book. I deeply appreciate that Rosa Mei took care of  the Chinese terminology and made sure everything was in line with the tradition
Now, almost 3 years later, the book is finished. It is a tribute to a great Master. ‘Insights of a gentle warrior’ is a book of 205 pages with deep insights of the common characteristics  of all the martial arts Michael Martello Laoshi embodied.

To state it in his words:I hope all can enjoy objectively.”

Miss you Mike!

I have not had time to read from cover to cover, so this is simply an announcement (review will come later).  At first glance this is an amazing collection of Mike’s notes and thoughts!  Just prior to his passing Mike and I were conversing about doing some writing projects together and he shared many of these notes and others with me to ask my thoughts.  I told him I would do whatever was needed to help him disseminate not only his knowledge, but his philosophy and way of life as well.  This text is a HUGE jumping off point for just that goal!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Yves Verbeeck for his hard work and effort in this project!

To order please click here and follow the link!

In our largest (participatory wise) poll yet we witnessed a rather one sided victory kind of like this Judo toss (is that actually a throw in Judo’s arsenal??):

With 23 people voting, only 13% of you said steroids should be allowed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition.  20 of you said “nay” to the idea of PED’s being allowed.

I think the overwhelming majority of people do not wish to see roids become common place in our sport and art of BJJ, though I would love to hear from the 3 of you who mentioned it should be allowed.  Perhaps I am not seeing a perspective.  But I think overall they are not a wanted part of our sport.

Now the question remains as to how to control their use?  Testing is SUPER expensive and not reasonable for amateur athletes.  Leaving it on good merit has never, nor ever, worked.  For the most part we have to self regulate.  If you know someone who is using, confront them.  Let them know what you think, let them know you care about their longevity in this sport and about them as a person.  Bring it to the attention of your coach, as ultimately it is his/her decision to allow such things in his gym.  Conversely if your coach is the one roiding up and providing an atmosphere where it is not only allowed but encouraged… perhaps it is time to do some soul searching as to what you are looking to get out of a gym and training environment.  Keep in mind your own safety and well being as well.  I have trained with some roiders before… they rely on their strength all too much often causing injuries to training partners or themselves when they try to power out of positions or submissions.  Also I have seen the “rage” elements creep in to training as well.  Like they are not even present in the room, almost like the 1000 yard stare.  Not healthy for them, not healthy for me!

I appreciate your input on the poll!  Look for another one in the coming days.


imageErrr… well it is now a bit past the ides of April but the past month has given me time to reflect on the most intense month of training and competing I have ever done.  March represented three tournaments (Arnold Grappling Championship’s / Revolution BJJ Tournament / 2012 Pan Am’s) with seven fights, all of them losses on my end.  Every other weekend I was fighting in a tournament with two of them being out of town.  Much to my surprise many personal things came to a head as they so often do at the least convenient times which made the challenge of fighting all that more complex.

I learned much about my grappling game, and the sport itself.  Namely it is uber important to be on top dictating the pace.  Also across the board I need to work my takedowns as well.  Tim has some foot sweep material I want to work next time I see him.  Regardless of what I train I need to work on it as it is, and has been, a weakness of my competition game for far too long.

The priority and emphasis on gaining a top position and MAINTAINING it to attack from cannot be overstated.  Mount / side control / back mount even are key.  You may be sitting at home going “Duh Jake” but keep in mind we train from the bottom in BJJ too!  I think it is an essential part of the game, the guard.  But dominance, especially at the higher weights, is important on top.  Then we must  discuss patience!

Patience is a lesson I have been rather stubborn to learn (ask my mom who has been trying for 35 laps around the sun now!), but I feel I am starting to grasp the idea.  Below is video of my gi match at the Arnold’s.  Once again the importance of the top position comes into play, but more importantly is the lesson on patience here.  In the waning seconds of the match I am able to pull off the Ballard Bridge reversal and (mistakenly) get points for it.  Now…. I am not going to argue with the ref at this point since I was up by one point, even though he wrapped me in 1/2 guard.  In my mind I hear “Settle down Jake, the match is almost over” in the form of my coach Brians voice.  But I stubbornly refuse and decide I am going to stay active to the end trying to pass his guard.  Well…. this was a hard learned lesson on patience:

The Revolution on March 17th was a great experience because for the first time ever we had a large fight team from NWJJA.  Personally I think I fought pretty damn well though I ended up losing a closely fought battle to Kacey Thompson from Impact.  Kacey is uber strong and went on to fight really, really well at the Pan Am’s (I think he placed but not sure).  I was very active with my guard and overall happy with it.  Kacey mentioned how off balance he felt in it the whole time.

Strategy is finally coming into play for me.  I think in large part this is due to me relaxing and being comfortable fighting now.  Though the level of competition is greater, I feel more relaxed and chill then ever before.  I love to fight and compared to my personal life as of late… fighting on the mat is peace…. a sublime truth where I may not excel, but I feel at home.  Not sure if that make sense, but it does to me.

As you can see in the video he eventually works into my 1/2 guard and I start to feel that he is for sure going to pass.  So I start to work my Ballard Bridge Reversal (no longer a sweep as it has been surmised it is a reversal, not a true sweep) grips and set up as I know when he passes my guard he will come with pressure on my head and this will be my opportunity to nail it.  Kasey’s balance is impeccable, as he rolls with me and comes back up driving into me!

Again I feel this was probably my best performance of the month.  Though I did not win I played my game and tried my hardest to dictate the pace.  My guard game has really come together, now it is time to start filling in gaps and working the finish.

imageMarch 28th 2012 would mark my second voyage to the IBJJF’s Pan Am’s (last was 2010) and this would prove to be their biggest tournament yet, as apparently the shitty economy is not affecting 3,250 competitors from visiting sunny So Cal to fight!  Walking amongst a virtual who’s who of the grappling world one cannot help but get giddy as a girl in a candy store.  The level of competition was fierce where I had over 15 fighters in the masters purple division alone!  Scott had over 50 in purple belt adult.

Again I was rather surprised at my level head and calm nerves at such a big venue.  Run pretty much on time for my portion of the fights, later on many an empty mat were to be found with black belt divisions dragging well into 8pm at night.  By the time me and my opponent Barry Reid fought the air was warm, but not yet over bearing.  Rumor had it that the IBJJF did not want to foot $3000 extra a day for AC.  It was needed guys… don’t be cheap at the largest tournament in the world!

Once again I found myself fighting an MMA trainer who is a solid purple under Rodrigo Medeiros out of San Diego, Barry Reid.  Barry set up a snap down perfectly and nailed his takedown points.  Securing side control he kept me pinned for the majority of the fight.  I am not sure if it was his knee or hand or what, but my right hip hurt for days after the fight!  Great control!

Apologies for the shitty video.  Thanks to my bro Duchess who shot and edited the fight.  We lost battery power on one phone right as I was dominating the fight with flying omoplata’s and huckleberry handshakes!  But Reid was too tough and had seen those all and came back down in side control.  Once again we see the success of the Ballard Bridge reversal, alas it be too late as I attacked but could not secure anything in time.  Great fight bro!  Look forward to seeing you at future competitions.  You are always welcome to Seattle!

imageOnce again a lesson learned in getting and maintaining top control.  Time flies in the adrenaline realm and things do not seem as they are.  Much like a psychedelic experience all senses are altered.  This year the IBJJF had this huge electronic sign that I fought right in front of that changed every few seconds and the lights were seriously trippy and something to get used to.  I could hear my coach Brian yelling but it seemed muffled, far.  The smell of sweat, adrenaline, pheromones, plastic… was all draining energetically.  Even sitting watching would drain you as the energy in the place was alive and buzzing!  Amazing how our bodies work and interact with each other and the energetic toll on newbies at an event this big where you are on the floor with 200-300 other competitors all jacked up and getting ready to fight.  One cannot help to imagine gladiators coming into the arena!  Wow… imagine an absolute division where you fight lions!!  Mata leon!!!!!!!!

I digress….

Again the Pan Am’s marked the first NWJJA “team” to travel and fight at a major tournament.  This marked my 6th major tournament, but first time I fought alongside 4 of my team mates, who all got bit by the competition bug it seems!

  • Short Round finally surpassed her performance jitters and stepped onto the mat at to fight two hard battles against a chica from Texas.  Kim played her game and did really well, gaining some invaluable competition experience.  Overall… she had a huge smile on her face because she had fun!
  • Randy had a tough draw against one of (who can tell them apart) the Miyao brothers.  His first major tournament and he draws pretty much one of the best in the world!  Tough draw but great fight experience.
  • Scotty did amazing!  Just a week (yes, 1 week) after being awarded his purple belt, Scott stepped up and fought three killer matches subbing two cats on the way to a tough point loss in the quarterfinals.  Dictating the pace and having a blast, Scott is an inspiration to all around him on enjoying the BJJ experience.
  • Stache was like a little kid at X Mas!  He was just happy to be in the sun doing jits with his homies, let alone step onto the mat and fight in his first major tournament.  Chris got the opportunity to train at Roger Machado’s, and Ace Jiu Jitsu while competing at the Pan’s!  Again suffering from the competition flu, look for a tattooed stache at the No gi worlds!

imageThis is what competition is all about.  Camaraderie, learning, making friends, and in the end having fun.  2012 has been bitter sweet for me.  1914 has taken me on as a sponsor and I feel so blessed and honored to even be considered!  I wanted to do as many competitions as I could this year, but with finances in the tank I am not sure how realistic that may be.  Sponsorship and support from people like Blake and Dallas at 1914 is so, SO appreciated!!  Without them nothing in March would have been doable!
Lessons learned:

  • 1914 Kimono’s are hands down the best in the bizz!  I know it is a biased opinion, but it is still a correct opinion!
  • I have one of the most giving, talented, and caring coaches in the world!  We often butt heads, but in the end it makes our friendship all the stronger.  Thank you coach!
  • I have some awesome team mates who are integral in my development: Shadow / Scotty / Kool Aid Kid / Eric / Kelland / Stache / Big Walker / Omar / Denise
  • Mucho thanks to my awesome family and wife for their never ending support!
  • Sanuk sandals are the BOMB!!!  Hands down THE MOST comfortable sandals ever made and they are produced from old tires!!
  • I am blessed with two great coaches, the other being Tim Cartmell in So Cal.  Thanks to Tim and his wife Amber for their friendship and house over the past 10 years!  I look forward to 10 more!
  • Steph Gaspar is THE best bodyworker in town!  Hit her up 206-525-2811 today!
  • Work my takedowns!!
  • Work my takedowns!!

Scott, Shortround, and Stache brought home silver, 2 bronze for NWJJA from Subleague over the weekend.  More importantly Stache got his first win via kimura!!  Way to go bro!
Proud of all of you for stepping up and fighting just two weeks after the Pan Ams!


imageBest of luck to all competitors fighting their asses off as you read this in Iowa City, Iowa at the 2012 Olympic Wrestling Trials!  Greco, Freestyle and womens champion’s will be crowned and the teams formed by tomorrows dusk.

Tune into NBC Sports network (590 locally with Frontier) at 1pm Pacific for tape delay coverage tomorrow afternoon.

When I asked my good friend Scott Stilwell to be my first guest author on “The Ground Never Misses” I never imagined our good fortune as to how gifted of a writer he is!  Scotty and I went down to Portland this past weekend to train with my teacher Tim Cartmell who was in town offering seminars all weekend.  I am sure you guys are tired of hearing me rant and rave about Tim with biased opinions swinging left, right, and center.  So I thought I would offer you a fresh perspective from someone who has never met, nor trained with Tim.  

Much thanks to Scott and the crew at 1914 Kimono’s!  Enjoy!image
“Being Able to Learn”written by Scott Stilwell   For a student, the ability to learn is a skill passed on by their coach.  It sounds pretty obvious; the better the teacher can teach, the better the learner can learn.  Knowledge is transferred from the teacher to the student through realizing the desire to learn – the beginner’s mind.  This ability to teach develops a technical ability for the student, not just for what they learn specifically but how they learn broadly.   
   But teaching is not – at all – as simple as ‘I show you the move, you do it.’  And unless the student has the ability and experience to recognize good instruction, a lot of technique can go glossed over or completely missed.  Acquiring knowledge is a technique built through instruction.  Tim Cartmell, I have discovered, is a master of instruction.   
   Tim’s ability to engage his students during demonstrations proves that his goal is not to show you a move and let you drill it, but to open the students mind and allow them to absorb his teaching.  He does this by showing you exactly what to do, why it works, what to avoid and why to avoid it – all before he even lets you go to start drilling.  I don’t know the skill levels of all the other students joining us in the seminar, but regardless, we were all on the same page, learning at the same rate.  Tim has a real grasp on the beginner’s mind, which is a concept every learning person should strive for.  He doesn’t need to convince you to pay attention; you do it all on your own, with an inherit understanding that you have something in common with the guy in front of you – you’re both there to learn.  

 Full episode can be viewed by clicking here!
   Saturday afternoon Jake and I arrived at Ecole de Budo (beautiful dojo!) for a session of no-gi grappling instruction.  The day’s curriculum was composed of leg locks – submissions for the first half and escapes for the second.  Right away, my approach to all submissions, not just leg locks, was improved.  Tim does a great job of showing you how to get the most power out of your body, stressing the importance of angles in your setup.  There are very fine lines between getting the tap and missing it, and these lines were made strikingly clear by attacking the legs, which for me, has been an area of difficulty.  Each attack had a corresponding escape, and at the end of the day, Jake and I were able to drill our way through each attack and escape in succession.   
image   Sunday morning the second session began, this time with gi.  Similarly to the day before, the first half of class was devoted to sweeps, while the second focused on guard passing.  Once again, Tim was very good about breaking down the sensitivities of angles when you set up your sweep.  I play a lot of open guard with hooks, and as before, I was made aware of how small the margin for error can be when playing off your back when the guy on top is doing everything he can to keep you there.  But this wasn’t really clear to me until we began to work passes.   
   Now, I can’t be certain, but I’m pretty sure Tim has magnets in his body, pulling his center of mass toward the core of the f***ing earth.  That’s how heavy he feels on top.  Which is pretty remarkable when you consider that the guy is about 5’ 9” and weighs 150 pounds.   That kind of pressure is insane, and comes from total knowledge of how his body works and how to distribute his weight, which is yet another indicator that the guy has some serious knowledge for the art.   

(L-R) Jake and his shiny new 1914 Gi, The man himself
Tim Cartmell, author and general ass kicker Scott!

   As before, Jake and I drilled through each sweep and pass seamlessly.  Doing this, I learned that the keys to success for your setup are the areas your opponent wants to shut down.  Tim did a beautiful job of subtly imposing the general principles of attack and defense through combinations of drills that compliment each other. 
   When it was all said and done, I think we both left the dojo as better grapplers.  Not only is Tim a great teacher but also a very nice person, and his enthusiasm is fantastic.  Like I said, it’s very clear what kind of coach you have when you feel like the guy teaching you is actually participating in your learning.  I’ve been very fortunate to find that in my coach Brian Johnson, whose desire to learn is coupled beautifully with his ability to teach.  Seeing these qualities in my coach has allowed me to recognize them in others, and Tim Cartmell is no exception.  Excellence, in any facet of life, begins with an understanding that you are always learning and striving to improve, and Tim is one coach who personifies what it means to have the beginner’s mind. The Bishop grappling duo over at Bishop BJJ have some of the greatest breakdown statistical info I have ever seen regarding BJJ on the net!  I just stumbled upon their blog and I see I have TONS of back reading to do, but check out a couple of their charts regarding the 2012 Pan Ams:
Revolutionary with it’s info?  No.  Conveniently packaged and bundled for my reading convenience?  Absofrickinlutely!  Expect to see more on my blog from this grappling duo from the Midwest.  Read more by clicking here!imageThis is quite possibly the closest we will ever see a Grapplers Quest event to Seattle.  June 9th, 2012 Boise Idaho will be hosting a Grapplers Quest event.  Women compete for free Shortround!
The only down sides are; $80 entry fee & it is a week after the Mundials!

Either way get off your ass, train, fight, and have some fun!

imageimageATTN Students & Friends – 

   Our new neighbors across the street (south side of 95th) are in need of all their space and we have lost the agreement we previously had that allowed parking along the fence on 95th St.  Effective immediately (they are threatening to tow already) please do not park across the street from the dojo (south side of 95th) anywhere near the fence.  Please find ample parking on the surface streets.  
Apologies for any inconvenience but please pass word along as we do not want anyone to get towed.A hot subject as of late, Monta Wiley over at Monta Blog has written a nice short article reminiscent of Caio Terra’s rant last Pan Am’s (see my blog post from last year).  After reading make sure to voice your opinion to the right on wether or not roids should be legal in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu——>

The article continues after the jump:

image“With the past interview I did with Caio Terra and the recent bashing video I posted concerning the subject a lot of people have been asking me about my opinion on steroids in the jj community. The reason why I kept quiet about the situation is its kind of a close to home topic being that I have seen friends and childhood idols lives ruined because of it. However since I’ve been throwing jabs at the situation gonna finally speak about it. 

When it comes to steroid usage in actual sports that PAY money to athletes to perform at a certain level it is quiet common and maybe even justified why a person would take steroids. It is no different from a drug dealer selling drugs to provide for his family. Yeah you are taking a risk that endangers your health and it is wrong but you are doing what you have to do to make it in a world that is gradually getting worse economically by the minute.”

Click here to continue reading!

Words are power.  Thanks to my bro Josh for sharing this and breaking my heart before 8am!

I wanted to re-post this letter Justin Rader threw out on Facebook about 24 hours ago.  It addresses some rule changes he would like to see in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Competitions.  Agree or not, he raises some solid points and has very reasonable suggestion (especially more compensation and accountability for refs!).  Check it out:
image   “Hey guys, I don’t normally do this, but I would like to voice my opinion and viewpoint on the rules for the sport of jiu-jitsu, and some of the changes I would make. I have thought about this a lot lately from things I have seen over the past few years, and I really wanted to express what I feel. I emphasize, these are only my opinions, and you’re welcome to agree, disagree, ignore, share, etc. I am in no way saying these changes will or should be made, they are just what I think would help make the sport more exciting. This is also not based on any one single event or incident or is meant to target any competitor, it’s just what I have seen over the past few years many times. This is based on my interpretation of the points and how I view the art.

The first change I would make would be to get rid of advantage points. I understand their intention to help reward athletes to be aggressive and promote action and submissions, but I do not believe from what I have seen that they accomplish this. My own opinion on advantages is this: “Advantage points reward shoddy offense and punish good defense or toughness.” I do not believe an athlete should be rewarded anything for “almost” or “close but not close enough”. I believe the expression “the greater the risk, the greater the reward,” is how the sport should be scored, especially for submissions, which already has the greatest reward which is end of match. I believe this would force athletes to open up much more and risk much more to win, and make the sport more exciting.
Now, because there would be no more advantage points, I also think there should be an overtime period that is half the time of the regulation match time if the score is tied (if 10 minutes then 5 minute overtime if necessary). And in the case of a tie at the end of an overtime period, then it could go to a ref’s decision. I have heard the argument at times that this would make tournaments take too long, but I really don’t believe it would as I would also like to see more of the local open tournaments start to in some way count as qualifiers for the bigger tournaments to really help limit the number of athletes in a division and give people something to strive for.

Next, in case of a ref’s decision, I think the decision, I think the win should go to the athlete who was really pushing the pace and trying to progress and finish the match, not to the one who was in “control” for the majority of the match. As holding somebody in spider guard is considered “control” even if the athlete is making no real attempt to progress in position and the other person keeps breaking grips and trying to pass.

I also do agree with having to engage to pull guard, as I think this will help force a person to at the very least develop good takedown defense. I have also never made the argument that a person should be penalized anything for pulling guard, as this is not a real fight where punches are being thrown (which in my opinion makes being on top the more dominant positions) and is part of the art to develop a person’s skills to sweep or submit from their back. Athletes should not be allowed to just sit, as they wouldn’t necessarily do so in a real fight.

Another thing I would like to see being enforced more is stalling, and I’d like to see the addition of a stalemate call. I do believe this does have to be left to the ref’s discretion, but I would like to see more stalling calls made (if justified) especially if a minute has gone by with no movement from just one athlete. If one minute has gone by, but both athletes have made no movement, then a double stalling call could be made (if justified, like to athletes on their feet), but if they are in a position that locks each other down (one example could be the 50/50 position), then I think the call should be a stalemate call, and both athletes stood back to their feet. I’ve seen matches go 8 minutes of no real movement in the 50/50 position, and that needs to be fixed. I’m not saying at all that the 50/50 position shouldn’t be used or allowed, I just want to see people use it to advance or finish, and limit the amount of non-movement and non-progression. Also, if an athlete repeatedly seeks and forces a position like this with no movement or progression, then he will be given a warning or penalized for stalling.

I’d also like to see is boundaries honored more and called consistently. I really do not have any idea anymore on where out of bounds exactly is with the calls I have seen made over the years. I have heard so many arguments one way or the other about calls made about out of bounds, I would just like to see consistent calls about it made.

With these changes, I would also like to see ref’s compensated more for their time and effort, but also held to a higher standard and fired if they have proven to be repeatedly and blatantly incompetent. I think that whoever hires the ref’s should take complaints about their ref’s very seriously and review on video a ref’s actions, and make a decision whether a ref needs to be fired or not. This should also take place after an event or events, and I do not believe calls or matches should be reversed once a match ends. If a call needs any further clarification by a ref during a match, it should be handled at that point in time, and the match should not be continued in any way until the call is final.

Again, these are just my thoughts and opinions on how I think the sport of jiu-jitsu could be improved. It’s not based on any single event, incident, or meant to target any competitor. And I have tried to be as complete and absolute in objectiveness as I can. I am also not saying these changes would or should be made, and I’m also not complaining either. This is solely based on what I have seen and improvements I think could be made to help make this sport more exciting and something people might like to watch more. You’re welcome to comment and agree, disagree, ignore, share, etc. These are just some of the things that have been on my mind for a while now, and I wanted to express them.” – Justin Rader

Here is an interview that slipped by me in the past with both Justin and his coach Rafael Lovato Jr.:

Inspiring movement, amazing guard work, and killer armbar!  The first video of the World Pro JJ Tournament on BJJ Fights.  

Music is a very powerful energy that, with few exceptions, can only be positive.  We have yet to discover even the most moderate of caverns within the mind yet music has proven to stimulate our central nervous system like no other.  Even in 2012 this baffles scientists and laymen alike.

I would not say I was “raised” with music (still trying to suppress the horrible memories of Barbara Streisand and Hall & Oates!!!), but I was raised by open and loving parents who encouraged my own exploration… a parenting decision often questioned as my formative years were spent with the likes of Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest etc.  To this day music plays an integral role in my everyday life, though my tastes have broadened a bit.

This short video is touching, moving, and in general just case in point that music MUST play a role in your life.  If it doesn’t, no time like today to start a CD collection, or buy an i Pod.  Either way listen to some music today and be moved.
Thanks Puja for sharing this awesome clip!

Much thanks to Dstryrsg for sharing this great mini documentary by BJJ Hacks.
Checkmat’s co-founder Ricardo Vieira is one of the most accomplished grapplers alive today and in this short film he shares his idea’s and passion behind his teachings of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu straight from the Fight Zone in Copacabana.
Enjoy and Study this!

imageThis past Friday 1914 Kimono’s hosted their first open seminar in Seaside, Oregon with Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes and it was a huge hit!  Attended by over 35 students representing at least half a dozen different academies, participants were treated to over 3 hours of instruction from world class grappler Tanquinho who shared the intricate details of his open guard game.  This seminar also represented the expansion of Seaside BJJ which just doubled their school size with a beautiful new addition to the academy, and the Tanquinho seminar was where we broke in the new mats!

Like many accomplished Brazilian competitors, Tanquinho wanted to share his game and what has been successful for him in competition.  UNLIKE most similar seminars, Tanquinho actually had a progressive plan and strategy for the series of open guard sweeps utilizing your opponents cross lapel, under hooking their leg.  I immediately started integrating concepts learned at the seminar into my rolling yesterday at the academy!  I have been to those seminars with famous grapplers where they just show up and teach random shit off the top of their heads.  To them it makes sense… the rest of us are left in the dark.  Rest assured Tanquinho is NOT that guy!

imageThough his English is much better then my Portuguese, Mendes admitted he was a bit embarrassed by his language skills, but truth be told his teaching was crystal clear and easy to follow.  The language barrier was not an issue, and keep in mind these were not simple / easy techniques.  Though he requested no video taping (which was rudely ignored by a couple of black belt attendees!), Tanquinho gave us plenty of time to practice the techniques, take notes, and ask questions.

I prefer this type of teaching where we start in one place and progressively troubleshoot as different variables arise with our opponent.  I must admit a bias here as I like to play open guard and this use of the lapel has given me a new perspective on the use of the gi in our great sport.

Towards the close of the seminar Tanquinho offered a few guard passes and a great wristlock (which BTW he says he nails ALL the time!  Respect it!), followed by a short Q&A session.  Tanquinho has a wonderful personality, warm sense of humor, and a thorough understanding of the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  He recently moved to Phoenix, AZ. where he is currently training out of Megaton’s academy but will soon be opening his own school representing Soul Fighters (I stand to be corrected, but I think this will be the first Soul Fighters Academy in the USA).

imageThis is the first of many seminars, workshops, and learning opportunities that 1914 Kimono’s is going to offer where they are not just another apparel company, but a group of grapplers who actually want to give back to the sport that has given them so much.  Because of 1914, seminar’s with world class grapplers like Professor Mendes are only $35!!  That is a bit over $10 an hour to share the mat and train under one of the best.  Lots of new things on the horizon nationwide as well as here in the PAC NW with 1914.  Stay tuned to the Ground Never Misses!

My thanks to Prof. Mendes, the Adamson brothers, Dana at DKB Images for photography, and of course all the crew at 1914 for sponsoring and believing in me!


All photo’s courtesy of DKB Images
Red Schafer, 7x UFC vet
ADCC Heavyweight Pro Winner

When I visited Columbus, OH. early last month I was fortunate to time my visit to coincide with the Arnold Grappling Championship, which was also hosting the first qualifier for the ADCC North American Tournament.  Being game I said what the hell and dove into the pro division head first (after all…. you don’t win a free entry in any other division!).  In just over 5 1/2 years of training this would be my first foray into a pro tournament where any submission is game (no striking), and just my luck I would draw UFC vet Eric “Red” Schafer for my first fight.  A black belt under Pedro Sauer he has been training in BJJ at least 12 years and probably had about 10 pounds on me the day of the fight.

I had been given a heads up that he favors a underhook leg trip takedown and sure enough he went for it.  Instinct told me to jump guard.  I NEVER jump guard, and about 2 seconds into me jumping this fact becomes painfully evident as I scramble to gain a grip and really I had no plan (lesson one).  I was hoping my weight would bring him down so I could work my guard, but he was way strong and had been there before.

His pressure was decent and though the ref is ready to call the match the fist choke he tried was not threatening though I could not move much.  I manage to regain 1/2 guard but he actually attacks me with my move the kimura.

I was happy as a kid to be fighting in the pro division, and I was overall happy with the match all things considered.  He had way more experience and skill then I did, coupled with the fact I had fought twice the day before and was running on very little sleep I think all in all it was a solid experience.  Next ADCC I will be better prepared and have the confidence to know I belong there.
A big thanks to sponsor 1914 Kimono’s (sorry no rashguard for the pics guys) without whom none of this would be possible!

Though this is a poor example I certainly feel training in the gi helped me prepare better for ADCC rules and tournament strategy.  Take a second and vote on our poll to your right ————> and let us know your opinion!


imageHere is a great article translated from Portuguese by Natalia Leao from the Brazilian magazine Boa Forma, where the author offers six reasons why women should train in combat sports.  Click here to read the entire article!

I have always been an advocate for women training martial arts simply for the self empowerment aspect of the training, but Natalia offers five other awesome benefits!  In the meantime stop by and check out a Three Harmonies class Mon-Thurs at 6pm, where I have about 5 female students any given night!

“Once seen as brutish, the practice of martial arts is now recognized as an exercise that aggressively combats flab. “The idea isn’t to hurt or show you’re better than your adversary. What you gain from practicing a martial art is loss of fat, relaxation and overall improved health,” Leão further claims.”

  1. Shed Fat
  2. Gain Muscle Tone
  3. Relieve Stress
  4. Improve Sex Drive
  5. Increase Brain Function and Memory
  6. Gain a Solid Core and Improve Your Posture

Here is one of the most comprehensive and humorous breakdowns as to what exactly the reason is for MMA STILL being illegal in the state of New York.   I will not get into the details of the problem, but with the economy the way it is can we seriously deny the state of New York the potential tens of millions of dollars in revenue??  I will let our friend Steven Crowder break it all down for you.

imageI apologize for the EXTREMELY short notice, but I literally just got word myself and I live up I-5 from these guys!

Tim Cartmell returns to the School of Budo for a weekend seminar in Self Defense and Jiujitsu.

Saturday 4/14/2012

9:00AM – 12:00PM – Standing Self-Defense Work

12:00PM – 1:30PM – Lunch Break

1:30PM – 4:30PM – No Gi Jiu-Jitsu

Sunday 4/15/2012
9:00AM – 12:00PM – Gi Jiu-Jitsu

Price for entire seminar is $100. Single sessions and privates available.

Really hoping that everyone can join us! Please let me know if you have any questions.


Michael Selin

Ecole de Budo – USA

7506 N Chicago Avenue

Portland, Oregon, 97203

Tel – 503-705-5275

e-mail – [email protected]


Please join the 1914 Kimono Krew and Seaside JJ in welcoming World Pro Cup Champ Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes April 6, 2012 to Seaside, OR.  One of the slickest lightweights competing today, this is an amazing opportunity to train with an up and comer in the world of competitive grappling.


Tanquinho is a second degree black belt under legend Francisco Mansur and one of the most respected referee’s in the sport. 

And while you are here, check out our latest poll to the right——-> on wether or not you feel training in the gi has helped your no gi game.



A true warrior; Barry Reid!
That is the new 1914 Pearl Weave i’m rocking!

Hey all, I just wanted to drop a quick note and say “hi” from chilly Huntington Beach, CA.  Came down with some of the crew for the 2012 BJJ Pan Am’s, officially the largest grappling tournament in the world at over 3250 participants… needless to say it was AWESOME!

I will offer a more in depth review when I get home, but for the moment I wanted to express my thanks and gratitude to a few people who have made my life a dream come true, and I feel I do not thank them enough:

  • Blake Kerr and 1914 Gi’s for their sponsorship and support.  Though I have yet to bring one home, you guys make me feel like a champion!
  • “Doc” and his beautiful family for their hospitality and warmth.
  • My teacher Tim Cartmell for his lessons on and off the mat, and always a place to crash.
  • His wife Amber for her killer cooking!
  • My brothers and sister who came along to their first major tournament and repped their teacher and art like true warriors: Scotty / Randy / Stache / Short Round.  You guys did what most will never have the balls to even think of attempting.  You stepped on the mat at the biggest BJJ event in the WORLD and fought your asses off!  Mad respect to all of you.  It is truly an honor!
  • My coach and friend Brian Johnson.  Do not ever let anyone question your heart nor passion for teaching and sharing the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  I have begun to believe finding you and the dojo was the sole reason for me moving to Seattle.  I look forward to many more years sharing the mat!
  • Mandy and Brett for coming out JUST after moving to support their team mates.  A true show of respect, and what it means to SUPPORT your team!
  • My sole opponent Barry Reid for a hard learned lesson to work my takedown’s as well as their defense.  It was a honor fighting you sir!  I look forward to our next tournament together.
  • Last but certainly not least my wife.  Without your support and caring, none of this is possible.  Thank you!

I am beat!  Hitting the sack.  Thank you all for making my simple dreams come true!Jake