2012 World BJJ Championships: Pre-Tournament Post

Unfortunately I cannot afford to make it to the most prestigious tournament in all of BJJ; the Mundials (Worlds) this year.  I had set my sights on the Worlds at the purple belt level as I wanted to test myself against the best of the best.  Keep in mind, no age categories at the worlds; just rank and weight!  I would be fighting alongside 40 of the best.  Bummed I cannot be there.  But next year for sure!
But just because I cannot be present does not mean I cannot post up a few things about the tournament before it kicks off tomorrow:

  • First of all best of luck to all who are fighting!  Remember with the last two months of training you have already won!
  • Make sure to log into Budovideos to pay for the live stream online.

And finally check out this AWESOME breakdown and prediction’s from Open Mat Radio and JSHO (whomever that is?!?!)
This is the 17th Mundials of the modern era (1996 – ) and despite the absence of a number of Elite players due to injury, MMA or retirement (not least champions Roger Gracie and Braulio Estima) this edition looks to have surpassed even last year’s stellar competitor list.Budovideos will once again be running an online stream on the Saturday and Sunday, more details here: http://www.budovideos.com/online/When not commentating on the stream, Caleb will no doubt be running his excellent live blogging service on http://thefightworkspodcast.com/Some random Mundial stats to start us off:

Roger Gracie: Arguably the best in the world
will be absent this year

*Of the 160 black belt golds won since 1996, Gracie Barra & offshoots have won 52 gold, Alliance & offshoots have won 44 gold, Gracie Humaita have won 22 golds, Nova Uniao have won 13 golds and Carlson Gracie Team & offshoots have won 11 golds
*Roger has won 10 golds (7 weight and 3 absolute)
*Xande has won 6 golds (4 weight & 2 absolute).
*Saulo Ribeiro, Marcelo Garcia and Robson Moura have both won 5 golds at their weight.
*Royler Gracie, Bruno Malfacine, Fabio Gurgel, Roberto Magalhães (Roleta) & Rubens Charles (Cobrinha) won 4 golds at their weight.
*Robson Moura won his first black belt gold in 1997 and his most recent in 2007, the longest span in terms of first and last golds.
*Only 4 men have won 10 or more medals at Black Belt: Xande Ribeiro (12), Saulo Ribeiro (10), Comprido (10) and Roger (15)
*Roleta and Cobrinha have both won the Pan Ams and the Mundials 3 years in a row.
*Royler, Robson and Cobrinha have won their divisions 4 years in a row.
*Saulo won a different weight division 4 years in a row (1997 – 2000 Medio, Pesado, Meio Pesado, Super Pesado).
*Roger Gracie has been in his weight category final 7 years in a row, winning all 7.
*Xande is the “winningest” Champion here, with 6 Mundials, 4 Copa do Mundo and 2 ADCC Titles to his name.*** The Divisions***
Competitors to date here at the IBJJF siteimage*** Roosterweight – Galo ***
2011 Mundials: Bruno Malfacine
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Ivaniel Oliveira
2012 Europeans: Koji Shibamoto
2012 Pan Ams: Caio Terra
2012 World Pro Gi: N/A
2012 Brasilieros: Igor dos Santos
The Contenders?
Bruno Malfacine; Felipe Costa; Koji Shibamoto; Rafael Freitas; Igor dos SantosWhat might happen?
In the absence of Roger, as close as it gets to a sure thing at the Mundials, the identity of the finalists can pretty confidently be predicted with Malfacine will be looking for his 4th Gold in a row here, probably by a 4th straight finals match with Caio Terra. Shibamoto may have won major tournaments, but not when Terra or Bruno have been in the same division. Costa is unlikely to add to his Mundials titles but may break the record for most bronze in a division. Freitas and Dos Santos won’t make it easy for Terra or Bruno, but I’d still see the latter two making their 5th straight face-off in a Mundials FinalRandom facts
*Malfacine will be going for his Fifth Mundials gold and his fourth in a row, with Costa and Terra gunning for their second.
*Felipe Costa has six bronze medals in this division, equaling Comprido’s record at Black Belt.image*** Light Featherweight – Pluma ***
2011 Mundials: Guilherme Mendes
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Adriano Mineiro
2012 Europeans: Carlos Vieira Holanda
2012 Pan Ams: Bruno Malfacine
2012 World Pro Gi (-65kg): Fernando Vieira
2012 Brasilieros: José TiagoThe Contenders?
Daniel Beleza; Carlos Vieira Holanda; Ary Farias; Guilherme Mendes;  Gabriel Willcox; Bernardo Pitel; Laercio Fernandes; Dai Yoshioka; Pablo Silva; Samuel BragaWhat might happen?
Gracie Barra (Braga and Souza) and Atos (Gui & Ary) both have very strong pairings, with multiple Mundials and Pan titles between them. Farias’ vanquisher in the recent Brasilieros final Jose Tiago is not enrolled and Malfacine, who beat Gui at the Pans will not be in contention, but perennial medalists Beleza, Holanda and Fernandes will be in contention as well. Depending on the brackets, I would most likely expect to see Atos vs Barra semi-finals with Gui and Braga the likely finalists.Random facts
*Mendes & Braga will be going for a third Mundials title.
*In 2011 Gui and Rafa Mendes joined the Ribeiro brothers and the Correa brothers (aka Gordo & Gordinho) as world champion siblings, but they were the first to have done it in the same year. They will be confident of repeating the feat this year
*Bernardo Pitel last tasted Gold here in 2001, if we managed to pull off a win here this year, his span between golds would be a new record (surpassing Robson Moura’s 1997 and 2007 goldsimage*** Featherweight – Pena ***
2011 Mundials: Rafael Mendes
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Mário Reis
2012 Europeans: Bruno Frazatto
2012 Pan Ams: Rafael Mendes
2012 World Pro Gi (-70kg): Samuel Hertzog
2012 Brasilieros: Leonardo SaggioroThe Contenders?
Rafael Mendes; Leonardo Saggioro; Eduardo Ramos; Justin Rader; Isaque Paiva; Samuel
Hertzog; Rubens “Cobrinha”; Mario Reis; Marcelino Freitas; Mike Fowler.What might happen?
Former World Champion Mario Reis has recently joined Alliance. The veteran black belt may yet
one day have had more clubs that Liz Taylor has had husbands, but in a way he was already part
of the same club as Cobrinha, the club of people who cannot beat Rafa Mendes.
Mendes blew the competition away at this year’s Pans, mauling Justin Rader and then submitting
Cobrinha in the final, the first time this has happened at black belt. The bracket has depth, with
Frazatto’s conqueror Isaque Paiva; World Pro Gi champ Hertzog and Brasilieros champ Saggioro
in attendance, but as above, which of these contenders has the gameplan to dethrone Mendes?Random facts
*Mendes, like his brother Gui, will be looking for a third Mundials Gold.
*If Cobrinha wins this year, he makes it 5 Mundial Golds
*Two time champion Mario Reis had medaled at black belt eight years in a row, but will be hoping he can add to his golds from 2003 and 2004.
*Mendes is the only reigning ADCC and Mundials champion.
*Gabriel Willcox is the lightest person to ever win his weight (Pena) and the absolute at the same IBJJF Black Belt competition (2006 Masters & Seniors). Mario Reis has achieved the same feat at the 2009 CBJJE Mundials.image*** Lightweight – Leve ***2011 Mundials: Gilbert Burns
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Leandro Lo
2012 Europeans: Roberto Satoshi
2012 Pan Ams: Leandro Lo
2012 World Pro Gi (-76kg): Roberto Satoshi
2012 Brasilieros: Leandro LoThe Contenders?
Lucas Lepri;  Roberto Satoshi de Souza; Leandro Lo; Jonathan Torres; Zak Maxwell;  Davi RamosWhat might happen?
The days of the Alliance Hegemony at Leve are well and truly over, with Langhi and Lepri both without any titles and both having to become accustomed to the sight of Leandro Lo or Roberto “Satoshi” taking the gold. Reigning champion Gilbert “Durinho” has retired from BJJ competition to focus on MMA and all the major titles since have fallen to either Lo or Satoshi. Langhi has reportedly been struggling with visa issues and will not be competing, leaving Lepri an uphill task this time. Atos standout Davi Ramos and the two very talented American players JT Torres and Zak Maxwell (who defeated Kron Gracie earlier this year) will also be in contention for medals.

*** Middleweight – Medio ***

2011 Mundials: Marcelo Garcia
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Adriano Silva
2012 Europeans: Victor Estima
2012 Pan Ams: Claudio Calasans
2012 World Pro Gi (-82kg): Claudio Calasans
2012 Brasilieros: Murilo SantanaThe Contenders?
Claudio Calasans; Murilo Santana; Abmar Barbosa; Alan “Fin Fou” do Nascimento; Otavio Sousa; Bruno Alves; Victor Estima; Lucas Leite; Clark Gracie; Kron Gracie; Bill Cooper; Vagner RochaimageWhat might happen?
A host of champions from many major tournaments, but the greatest middleweight of all time is absent. With Marcelinho away, reportedly due to a broken collarbone, a large number of elite players will be looking for a rare change at Mundials Medio Gold. Heavy favourite is likely to be Claudio Calasans, who, despite modest success as a lightweight has racked up many world level titles since moving to the higher weight class. Others who have tried and failed to best Marcelo such as Victor Estima, Murilo Santana and Lucas Leite are all in contention to make the finals, but the staggering array of talent that has entered (Fin Fou, Clark and Kron Gracie, Bill Cooper, Abmar Barbosa to mention a few more) means that all bets are off and this division promises 8 enthralling quarter-finals, to say nothing of the potential confrontations in the semis and final.Random facts
*With the exception of Pe de Chumbo’s victory in 2002, Alliance or an offshoot have won the Medio Gold every year since 1999.
*Alexandre Paiva, his student Terere and his student Sergio Moraes have all won Medio Gold, the only chain of 3 instructors/students to have done so at the Mundials.image*** Middle Heavy – Meio Pesado ***
2011 Mundials: Sergio Moraes
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Vitor Toledo
2012 Europeans: Rodrigo Fajardo
2012 Pan Ams: Kayron Gracie
2012 World Pro Gi (-88kg): Andre Galvao
2012 Brasilieros: Nivaldo OliveiraThe Contenders?
Andre Galvão; Vitor Toledo; Nivaldo Oliveira; Eduardo Santoro; Rômulo Barral; Rafael Lovato Jr.; Eduardo TellesWhat might happen?
Sergio Moraes will not be defending his title given his focus on the TUF Brazil competition.
Absent too is Pans Champion Kayron Gracie. With Romulo Barral seemingly a shadow of his
former self, Checkmat’s rising star Nivaldo Oliviera, who took double gold at the recent Brasilieros
will be strongly favoured. Multiple time world champion Andre Galvao will also be looking to add
to his World Pro Gi title and even the presence of former champion Lovato and the ever tricky
Eduardo Telles will probably not prevent Nivaldo and Andre meeting in the final.Random facts
*Romulo will be going for his 3rd gold in this division.
*Galvao will be trying for his 3rd Mundials title.image*** Heavy – Pesado ***
2011 Mundials: Rodolfo Vieira
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Fabiano Leite Souza
2012 Europeans: Rodolfo Vieira
2012 Pan Ams: Lucas Leite
2012 World Pro Gi (-94kg): Rodolfo Vieira
2012 Brasilieros: Alexandro CeconiThe Contenders?
Alexandre Ribiero; Tarsis Humphreys; Alexandro Ceconi; Yuri Simões; Rodolfo Vieira; Paulo Tarcisio; Neiman Gracie; Roberto “Tussa” AlencarWhat might happen?
Someone other than Rodolfo might win. Well, that might happen I suppose and with Xande, Tarsis, Ceconi, Yuri and Paulo registered, this will be a well contested division. The possible final between Xande and Rodolfo will be intriguing and after a bit of a lull, Xande seems to be back on form but what will probably happen is Rodolfo demonstrates once again, “to be the man, you gotta beat the man and he is the man!” All bets are off if Ric Flair turns up however.Random facts
*Alliance and Gracie Humaita have both won this category 5 times each.
*Alexandre and Saulo Ribiero have both won this category, Xande 4 times in 2004/6/7/8 and Saulo in 1996. They are the only brothers to have both won gold in the same Mundials division.image*** Super Heavy – Super-Pesado ***
2011 Mundials: Leonardo Noguiera
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Augusto Ferrari
2012 Europeans: Bernardo Faria
2012 Pan Ams: Bernardo Faria
2012 World Pro Gi (-100kg): Alexandre Ribiero
2012 Brasilieros: Leonardo NogueiraThe Contenders?
Antônio Carlos Júnior; Bernardo Faria; Leonardo Nogueira; Antonio PeinadoWhat might happen?
Another year, another collective sigh of relief as Roger Grace has elected to focus on MMA, training with the BlackHouse team and eschewing gi and nogi competition again this year. Alliance has entered 3 elite players with Checkmat in contrast represented only by Antonio Carlos Jr. Antonio may be reigning Pan Ams Absolute champion, but he lost at super Pesado to Faria in the same event. He then went onto to lose in the semis at the recent Brasilieros to reigning World Champion Leo Nogueira. With no Joao Assis or other Checkmat teamate acting as wingman, Antonio may struggle to get his first Mundials title. Xande Ribiero beat Faria in the World Pro Gi this year and clearly still has what it takes to win major titles, but he has gone back to Pesado, leaving this an almost guaranteed Gold for Alliance team.Random facts
*Roger has won this division 6 times.*** Ultra Heavy- Pesadissimo ***
2011 Mundials: Antonio Braga Neto
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Nivaldo Oliveira
2012 Europeans: Alexander Trans
2012 Pan Ams: Marcus Vinicius O. Almeida “Buchecha”
2012 World Pro Gi (+100kg): Marcus Vinicius O. Almeida “Buchecha”
2012 Brasilieros:  Alexander TransThe Contenders?
Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros; Márcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz; Ricardo Ferreira Evangelista; Marcus Vinícius “Buchecha”; Alexander Trans; Michael “Big Mick” Wilson; Roberto “Cyborg” AbreuimageWhat might happen?
With reigning champ Antonio Braga Neto absent, this division will probably be a question of “which Checkmat superstar will get the gold?”, given all 4 “majors” this year were taken out by Nivaldo, “Buchecha” and the newcomer Alexander Trans. Trans has had a fantastic start to his first year at black belt, following up double gold as a brown belt last year with wins at the Europeans and Brasilieros and a silver behind his teammate “Buchecha” at the Pans.
Legends of the game “Pe de Pano” and “Comprido” will be in the mix, but I wouldn’t expect either to be able to take out Trans or ‘Buchecha”. Stalwart Roberto “Cyborg” will be dangerous as always, but I think this will be an all Checkmat final with “Buchecha” taking the title.Random facts
*Pe De Pano will be going for his 4th (& potentially 5th) Black Belt Gold.
Comprido makes a return to competition and is one of only 4 men to have 10 black belt medals at the Mundials. He is also one of only 6 to have double absolute golds (a distinction he shares with fellow Ultra-Heavyweight Pe de Pano and no doubt may soon shares with current stand out Rodolfo Vieira, who will be looking for back to back titles).*** Absolute ***
2011 Mundials: Rodolfo Vieira
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Nivaldo Oliveira
2012 Europeans: Rodolfo Vieira
2012 Pan Ams: Antonio Carlos Junior
2012 World Pro Gi: Rodolfo Vieira
2012 Brasilieros: Nivaldo OliveiraThe Contenders?
Too many to list… this could be interesting!What might happen?
All 6 Major Absolute title holders are present, not so remarkable perhaps given Rodolfo holds three and Nivaldo holds two. Roger and Xande are absent and although all eyes will be on the man of the moment, Rodolfo will face some stiff competition, with Alliance and Checkmat in particular fully laden with talent at this edition of the Mundials.
Bracketing, as always, will be key (this writer’s get out of jail card), but one might expect the semi-finals to comprise Vieira, Galvao, Xande & “Buchecha”. No-one yet seems to have an answer to Rodolfo’s game and I’d expect him to get his second absolute title.Random facts
*Xande Ribeiro, Amauri Bitetti, Marcio Cruz (Pe de Pano), Rodrigo Medeiros (Comprido) Ronaldo Souza (Jacare) have all won the Absolute division twice.
*Roger Gracie has won the Absolute three times.
*Margarida (2001), Pe de Pano (2002) & Jacare (2005) have won their weight division and the absolute in the same year (Jacare couldn’t contest the Meio Pesado final in 2004).
*Xande (2006, 2008) has won his weight and the absolute in the same year twice.
Roger (2007, 2009, 2010) has won his weight and the absolute in the same year three times.
*Roger Gracie made the absolute final 8 years in a row, winning 3.imageThe Absolute winners to date
1996   Amauri Bitetti (Meio Pesado)
1997   Amauri Bitetti (Meio Pesado)
1998   Jose Mario Sperry (Super Pesado)
1999   Rodrigo Medeiros (Pesado)
2000   Rodrigo Medeiros (Pesado)
2001   Fernando Pontes (Pesado)
2002   Marcio Cruz (Pesadissimo)
2003   Marcio Cruz (Pesadissimo)
2004   Ronaldo Souza (Meio Pesado)
2005   Ronaldo Souza (Meio Pesado)
2006   Xande Ribeiro (Pesado)
2007   Roger Gracie (Super Pesado)
2008   Xande Ribeiro (Pesado)
2009   Roger Gracie (Super Pesado)
2010   Roger Gracie (Super Pesado)
2011   Rodolfo Vieira (Pesado)Click HERE to listen to our podcast with JSho where he discusses his Mundial picks and much more!   In our current economic state there seems to be no shortage of new companies cropping up within niche markets such as grappling/Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Many of these companies are great and are doing wonderful things for the grappling community, and many are simply out just to make a quick buck…. not too concerned about the impact they leave in their wake.  Chad Hospodar and his start-up The Arm Bar Soap Co. is all about giving back to the wonderful art that has given so much to all of us, and I hope his attitude spreads like an infected zombie pandemic!
BJJ is truly a lifestyle and a huge part of our life involves staying on the mats training so we can train and help our fellow brothers and sisters grow in the art as well.  Simply put… you ain’t on the mat, you ain’t learning!  So a rich, strong, disinfecting soap is essential in our day to day activities on and off the mat.  Yet Chad did not just want to represent this lifestyle in his marketing campaign; he wanted a simple bar of soap to embody a way of life that for so many of us cannot be put into a few simple words.  How do you do accomplish such a task??

   "I wanted to create a product that came straight from the roots of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. It needed to represent our Jiu-jitsu culture yet remain a very high quality item. I also felt that "other" soap bars were very expensive and also had over priced shipping. At The Arm Bar, we are trying to change that. It's also been our mission to use the most all-natural ingredients in our products meanwhile sourcing locally to create them. The bars themselves are made at a facility in San Francisco, Ca, that has been making all-natural soap products for almost 50 years. The labels that showcase the kimonos that wrap each Arm Bar are made near Stockton, Ca. And last but not least, the display boxes that we had made for re-sellers are made in San Dimas, Ca. This is why each label reads "Made with Love, in the Golden State.". Of course, it costs considerably more to have every bar made like this, but it makes me proud to know that these soap bars are very high-quality and are something I am comfortable putting my name behind." - Chad Hospodar

Designed and made in small batches (1200-1500) ensures the highest level of quality while simultaneously keeping consumer cost reasonable.  This also enables Chad and his team to directly inject feedback from customers, making slight adjustments as per requests from his clients!  Using all natural ingredients that are eco-friendly only make this product that much more appealing.  For instance batch #1 has oats to help exfoliate along with the following blend of essential oils:


  • Peppermint
  • Bergamot
  • Lemongrass
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea Tree

Peppermint does a great job of opening up the pores allowing the Tea Tree and Eucalyptus to clean and scrub, the Bergamot and Lemongrass leave a pleasant aroma and your skin with that “ahhh” feeling.  My criticism of other fight soap companies, or even Dr. Bronner’s all natural hemp soap, is that they often leave your skin dry and feeling “taut.” Not the case with the Arm Bar Soap Co.  Even the wifey likes it and uses it regularly stating she loves the smell and just rough enough natural texture of the bar that really seems to help exfoliation!

The bars last forever as well, as I have been using one single bar for nearly two weeks straight (sometimes twice a day) and I still have 2-3 more uses out of it.  This soap really lathers up too.  I contemplated a demonstration, but I have been trying to bolster numbers here on the Ground Never Misses, not drive folks away!  And by no means are these bars limited to just grapplers, these would be perfect for people from any walk of life looking to use all natural ingredients, insuring protection from skin diseases and ailments.  Perfect for kids too.

As if all this couldn't get better, the customer service you get from The Arm Bar Soap Co. is second to none.  And this is a pet peeve of mine personally, customer service.  Because it makes all the difference in the world now days just to make some eye contact, engage, and offer great service to the customer.  In an Internet based world this is becoming a rare commodity but folks like Chad with good upbringing's are carrying on the flame of killer customer service.

Single bar's start at $4.95 plus shipping, or go 5 bars for $19.95.  Either way click here to place an order.

All photos copyright DKB Images
The older I get the more important certain qualities like all natural ingredients, solid customer service, minimal impact on the earth, and supporting fellow cats in our never ending endeavors swimming the ocean we know as the mat, become more and more important to me.  Chad represents the lifestyle he promotes... a fellow purple belt under Franjinha Miller, he embodies the spirit of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Ma halo,


imageI may not agree with a lot of the policies and choices this country’s leaders make, but I am not ignorant enough to assume the freedom to think what I wish and openly say it on a public forum comes for free.  I want to thank all the veterans past, and present.  And may I wish we never have any in the future.

But since I know reality will most likely play a different hand, I wanted to turn you onto a great non-prof called The Wounded Warrior Project.  They are offering a number of services to soldiers from physical therapy, to mentors for business, to ensuring soldiers get the psychological and emotional help they need too.  Great cause, check them out.

Lets not forget that we still have 1,666 men who have never made it back from SE Asia as well.  Unfortunately the odds of any of these individuals still being alive in prison camps is pretty much nill (to be honest I am not sure I would have wanted to live for 30+ years as a POW).  Help the National League of POW/MIA Families by visiting their website and offering a donation.

Help bring peace to families who never were able to say goodbye to their loved ones fighting for this country’s various political agenda’s.  One way or another take some time and reflect on your day off.

Happy Memorial Day,

imageAttn: NWJJA Students – 
Open mat at 11am tomorrow (Monday, Memorial Day)!  imageWhat a great way to start off the long weekend by celebrating the launch of 1914’s website!  I know since I dropped the 1914 Gi review everyone has been itching to purchase one.  Wait no more mi compadres, as the market place is now open with full stock of t-shirts, hoodies, and of course the signature “Classic” style of 1914 Kimono’s (black / blue / white)!

These guys have been busting their asses to launch the site for the Mundials, so please stop by www.1914bjj.com and see what they have in store.  The best BJJ kimono’s on the market.  Period!

Have a safe and happy holiday!


Franciso Mansur

The cats over at BJJ Hacks are at it once again, breaking new and uncharted ground with amazing camera skills and outstanding mediums.  This spin around the sun brings an awesome project documenting the senior most teachers of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the red belts of Brazil!  Pioneers such as Osvaldo Alves, , Renato Paquet, and Joao Barreto have largely been forgotten about, tucked away in their schools down in Rio.

This type of documentary work is essential to us and I am so happy to see someone realizing it and acting upon it.  I have seen first hand generations of knowledge get swept away when teachers die and no one knew about them or their teachings.  Sadly men and women with decades of knowledge and skill are never heard of nor acknowledged.   An endeavor such as this is not easy, nor cheap!  That is why BJJ Hacks is asking for your help, and with Fathers Day coming up I couldn’t think of a better gift for the cauliflower eared grappler in your family.

Osvaldo Alves

They have just under two months to raise another $12,000 to make this happen.Click here to be directed to the Indiegogo site with further instructions as well as contribution packages and rewards.

Help out if you can, as BJJ Hacks do great work and something like this is so very important for the generations to come.  So many of us will never get the opportunity to experience teachers of this level and magnitude, and this film will preserve their legacy for years to come.


The United Grappling Federation is set to host their first tournament in Washington state August 11, 2012.  I am not sure what happened to the July Oregon date, but registration is open for the Seattle tournament.image

The stitching and design are
tough as nails!

As stated previously, Pete Roberts and his crew over at Origin BJJ are like little mad scientists experimenting with idea’s and designs like no one else in the grappling community.  Much of this is due to the fact that Pete is not only a BJJ businessman, but also a avid competitor and practitioner of our grappling arts.  In my personally biased opinion this is precisely what sets Origin apart from most others in the field.

Add to their resume the OrangaHang Grip Trainers, the latest creation geared specifically towards grapplers and their needs.  How many times have you thrown your gi over a rusty bar in your dojo to work grip pull-ups, only to get your gi all filthy and tore up!?
“But Jake, I NEED to train my grip’s not just plain old boring pull ups!?”

Rest easy mi amigo, Origin has you covered with “The Evolution of Grip Training:”

(all photo’s courtesy of DKB Images

Produced in Pakistan via 100% cotton, the OrangaHang is designed to replicate the most commonly gripped area’s on your opponents body whilst donning the traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Kimono (gi); the lapel, the sleeve at the elbow, and the cuff of the pants/sleeve.  The versatility of these grip trainers allows for creative licensure with what grip you wish to work; collar grip, pistol grip, monkey grip, etc.

Say you wish to work more forearms today, then simply roll the OrangaHang up to the desired thickness and you put more emphasis on your forearms.  But I caution the practitioner not to look at these grip trainers one dimensionally, for you can loop them through kettle bell’s, clip onto weight bars and/or weight machines (I have not done so since I no longer have a gym membership), or even clip them onto Olympic rings if your gym has such a thing.   Really the limit is your imagination, as I have even used them as a tug of war training with my students clipping them together working their grip’s via push-pull exercises!

Want to work the forearms
more?  Roll into a thicker

Retailing at $49.00 a pair, one of the greatest things about the OrangaHang, outside of their versatility, is they are lightweight and very portable.  Easily slipped into your gear bag or carry on, these trainers can be used damn near anyplace!  This is especially nice when as a competitive athlete has to travel and may not have a gym they can train and use, yet we need to keep up our training none the less.  Pack your OrangaHang’s and boom…. you have trainers with you where you can do:

  • Pull Ups
  • Inverted pull ups
  • Curls
  • Australian push ups
  • Leg lifts
  • Knee raises
  • Core work while suspended with the grips
  • etc. etc. etc……

So far these guys have held up tighter and tougher then one could hope.  I have only had them a few weeks so time will tell, but the design and construction tell me it will be a cold day in hades before these start ripping or falling apart on you.  My only slight criticism is I would like the D-rings to be a bit bigger next time.  A wider gauge would accommodate a wider variety of bars and different sized machines one may run into.
imageAs per usual Origin’s customer service is second to none.  Pete told me he was shipping these out to me and I got a tracking number an hour later.  They ship within 24 hours and can be ordered by clicking here!  When you order please let Pete know where you heard about Origin and the OrangaHang Grip Trainers.  Tell him Jake sent you!

OrangaHangs can be used with any equipment!



Thanks to all 12 of the individuals who voted on my poll regarding which leg attacks are permitted in free rolling at your academy.  Many grappling academies prohibit certain leg attacks, or in some cases all leg attacks.  While I admit heel hooks, and toe holds must be approached cautiously, leg attacks are very valid both from a sport perspective as well as self defense wise.  Keep in mind that the Russian art of Sambo specializes in leg destruction’s because when used in combat not only would you incapacitate a solider completely, but one would also drain the resources of the enemy with extra men needed to carry the wounded solider off the field.  Crazy Russians and their strategery!

As you can see the results of the poll were as follows:
“What leg attacks can you use in your academy?”


  1 (8%)

Straight Attacks Only

  2 (16%)

Everything But Heel Hooks

  8 (66%)

All Are Game

  1 (8%)

Coincidentally Coach Brian covered the straight ankle lock and uncommon entries into it all last week.  On Tuesday night all in attendance were treated to a bit of fireside chat as Brian was feeling particularly good and wanted to share some history.  I had heard Rigan Machado tell this story before but of course Brian remembers details much better and is a better story teller in general.  But some of you hooks in guard players might find this interesting.

There was a period in Rigan Machado’s life where he obsessively studied leg attacks, training with Sambo practitioners, Judoka, anyone and everyone that could teach him about leg attacks he trained with and soaked up the information.  Subsequently he came back to the academy and shared with his four brothers Jean Jacques, Roger, Carlos, and John, as well as many of most famous practitioners of BJJ today!

As Rigan was opening up closed guards he was attacking rather then attempting to pass.  His training partners were baffled by how quick the submissions came and how defenseless they felt, to the point no one wanted to open their guard when rolling with Rigan!  So when sparring with Rolls Gracie (1951-1982), and Jean Jacques they started getting wise and when playing open guard they would tuck their feet into Rigan’s thighs essentially playing a hooks guard.  Slowly the game developed as Rolls noticed you could lay down with hooks in or you would get passed.  Started sitting up.

This is exactly how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, really all martial arts, evolve!  We bring a new technique or even just a new perspective of an old technique.  We try it in sparring.  Our partners get savvy and offer various defenses, which in turn we start to develop counters too, etc. etc.

Regardless I thought this was rather interesting historically and technically.  As a side note it should be mentioned that in 1993 (and I believe in 1994) both Rigan, John, and Jean Jacques won the Pan Am Sambo Championships!  As a testament to the above story here is a clip of the Machado’s competing at the Sambo championship.  Check out Jean Jacques submission starting at 20 second mark:

Nuff’ said!


I have the following “Gracie” magazine back issues for sale in sets. I am willing to part with individual issues but discounted rates will not apply. Email me for S&H and to place your order: [email protected]

Also remember to cast your vote in our poll to your right—>

Gotta love Brazil’s blatant sexual
advertising!  This issue is NOT
included unfortunately!

Set #1                                                              Set #2($90)  ($25)
Issue # 110                                                      Issue # 124111                                                             125112                                                            126113   127115117120122123124125126127128157158162A little something to meditate on before mass Sunday morning my Christian “brethren”….

It is said that if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.  But I am not sure this is exactly what is meant by that:

For years it has been rumored that coffee will dehydrate you and that most serious athletes should avoid drinking it.  This is rather concerning news for an individual who lives, teaches, and trains the martial arts in the Puget Sound area which is arguably the coffee capital of the world! So when Mark over at Marks Daily Apple did some research and wrote up a piece on the subject I wanted to make sure I shared his findings.

Dear Mark: “Should I consume coffee before my workout? (click here to view the entire post!

As you see Mark can get rather verbose, but as I sit here sipping my AMAZING Ethiopian (tastes like ripe blueberries!!!) select from Seattle’s top roaster, Fonte (quick shout out to #2 in town Neptune Roasters in Greenwood), I wonder how much if any effect coffee has on my performance.  I do not get overly stimulated by caffeine, so I drink coffee mostly because I love the flavor of it.  I can drink prior to class and have no ill effects.  Never have I overheated from drinking coffee.

Honestly the only negative I can think of when it comes to coffee is coffee-breath!  That shit is nasty!!  But I try to be quite conscientious of my breath 24-7 and always have breath strips handy.

imageSo rest easy my Seattle based combat athletes, coffee is not only a go, it just might be good for you.  I implore you to actually support good, solid, local, non-conglomerate coffee roasters and avoid the Walmart of coffee, Starbucks.  Seriously… if you think they roast a mean coffee (and when I say coffee, I mean coffee!  Not this sugar laden, milk infused, sprinkled, fluffed bullshit some try to pass off for coffee.  I mean REAL COFFEE!!), but if you think Starbucks makes a decent cup o’ joe.  Please go downtown, or online, and get some from Fonte.  You will not be disappointed!


Our friend Slideyfoot just posted a great, VERY detailed, review of John Will’s visit to the UK and seminar series offered a few weeks past.  This is a great post chock full of details and anecdotes.

image“However, Will does it differently, the key detail being that linking arm. Instead of pulling it up and trapping it under your armpit – which exposes you to that linked hands escape – jam your arm next to your raised knee so they can’t get their arm around your back. Will’s route to getting into scarf hold is itself also unorthodox. From side control, Will focuses on the arm pushing into your hip. Underhook that arm and walk your fingers along the mat, then literally lay your body on top of the arm, squashing it flat.

In some ways this is reminiscent of the Sao Paulo/Tozi/Reis pass (it has lots of names), in that it feels counter-intuitive, because you think you’re exposing your back. However, if you’ve distributed your weight correctly, they should be stuck in place. Their next move tends to be turning towards you, which is when you wrap their head with your other arm. You can now switch into scarf hold, remembering to block their ability to reach through for your back. They are probably then going to try and push into your neck, giving you the opportunity to push their elbow to bring their own arm past their head, then transition to the head and arm choke once again.

All in all, it was an excellent class. John Will is without any doubt the best seminar instructor I’ve seen to date, so I made sure to pick up a couple of his DVDs at the end (especially as he was selling them at a discount). I wanted to see if the same style of teaching had been captured for an instructional, so I’ll be reviewing both of them at some point in the future. I’ll also be using them to illustrate this post, along with some of the great photos Esther took on the day.” 
Click here to jump to the full article!

Make sure you are subscribed to the awesome “Jiu Jitsu Style” magazine (it really is awesome!) for the upcoming interview with John Will.  Also it should be noted that John Will and David Meyer will be visiting us in Seattle, WA. June 23rd for both a gi and no gi seminars!  More details coming soon!

imageRecent reports state that 29 states plus are trying to push legislation that would make choking a felony offense (prior to this such attacks were usually classified as misdemeanor’s and/or harassment).  The recent change in law has netted 2000 new arrests in NYC alone.
Click here to read the complete Reuters article.

Click here to jump to the NY Daily News article. 

Overall I think this is great.  We need to eliminate domestic abuse across the board, and though I have little faith in our judicial system, I am left to wonder where this leaves someone in a self defense scenario that utilizes a choke?

imageUsing a choke to cut off the blood supply or air supply, resulting in the choked individual losing consciousness, is arguably the safest and most effective technique that can be utilized in a self defense situation.  They can be used by smaller, weaker individuals to protect themselves.  And if released immediately the receiver rarely suffers more then a sore neck and headache!

We must tread lightly how we lay down our laws, for the very legislature set forth to protect can very well turn around and bite the hand that created it!  Food for thought;)

Our friend Liam over at “Part Time Grappler” recently attended one of John Will’s seminars in England and offered this report:

“Don’t waste time on the mat. Don’t dilly-dally! If you waste time you are building a terrible and costly habit. Here’s an example:

If you waste 3 -4 minutes* per hour of BJJ, and you train an average of 4 hours per week (2 x 2 hour sessions, for instance) then over the span of, say, 6 years of training you would have wasted the equivalent of five to six and a half months of BJJ training! That could easily be the difference between being ready for a purple belt and remaining a blue belt”

Click here to read the entire article!

imageSound advice from one of the most experienced and sought after martial arts coaches the world over.  Make sure to stay tuned to The Ground Never Misses for exciting news about John Will and his trusty side-kick hop-a-long David Meyer for their annual visit to the Emerald City June 23rd 2012!

And while you are visiting here, please take a moment and vote on my poll in the upper right hand corner of the this blog ——->

imageThanks to my homie Scotty, and home girl Shortround who are lucky enough to be mat side at the World Jiu Jitsu Expo in Long Beach, CA.  Scotty and Brett both fought hard matches against game opponents and deserve a “cheers” for stepping up and competing today!

Anyways… on to the results of the super fights, which I have no video of yet and few details, but here goes….


  • Kyra fights off a deep arm to win on points!
  • Bill ‘The Grill’ Cooper defeats Nino Schembri via ref’s (2-2, one advantage each) decision (a rare one NOT going to the Brazilian!)
  • Lovato wins his battle with Leite via points, rumored to be a back and forth war!
  • Kron beats Victor Estima via points as well
  • Jeff Glover beats Caio Terra 10-6 in the gi!
  • Rumor has it Nick Diaz is a no-show!!!  What!?!?!?!?!  Say it ain’t so bro!?

Note the new starting time format.  I like it, but man o man… it’s gonna’ be warm in that gym by 1pm in July!image
My friend Roy Dean will be hosting one of his mentors, Judo expert and BJJ black belt Dave Camarillo on July 21st, 2012 in beautiful Bend, OR.  Bend is an AMAZING town with tons of outdoor activities and great breweries!

Dave Camarillo is damn near a legend in the grappling community being a very accomplished Judoka, successful coach of many MMA fighters, and not to mention a talented writer.  His latest project is an excellent read called “Submit Everyone: The Guerilla Jiu Jitsu Files” (click on the Amazon link to the left and order today!).

Contact Dana Bartus at [email protected] to reserve your spot.  Not sure of times but it is only one day and by days end you will be rolling in a different weight class as your wallet will be $150 lighter!

Last minute breaking news regarding the super fights this Saturday in Long Beach at the World Jiu Jitsu Expo… Kayron Gracie has injured his knee training and had to step down from fighting Rafael Lovato Jr. Tough to find perfect matches at such last minute, Lucas Leite is always game for a fight and stepped up to replace Kayron!  This is such an exciting weekend!!!  So bummed I will miss it all.

On a similar note… best of luck to my good friend Scotty Stilwell who will be fighting in the adult purple middleweight at the Long Beach Open Saturday!  Kick ass bro!


imageI am seriously getting tired of the bad news… revered author and illustrator Maurice Sendak has passed on at 83.  Complications from a stroke took one of our more gifted authors, Sendak is most widely known for “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Here is a nice write up on Maurice and his career.

It seems only fitting….

And he sailed off through night and dayand in and out of weeksand almost over a yearto where the wild things are.