Weapons Defense in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Carlos Machado and the Dog Brothers

Here is a vintage clip of Prof. Carlos Machado working with the Dog Brothers on a DVD that converged stick combat with ground work, a crucial topic in any martial art as it is not just common, but probable that at least one individual engaged in weapon based self defense will end up on the ground.  And trust me you do not want to be on the receiving end of ANY weapon (stick, knife, boot, trash can…) when you have fallen, slipped, got taken down, or knocked off balance!

I have tried to get the long out of print video, but have yet to see the entire thing.  This topic is so important in my honest opinion, and so very many schools on both the BJJ side AND the Kali side disregard and ignore weapon based self defense….  Dare I say self defense in general!  I have personally witnessed BJJ schools that teach very sport based jitsu, disregarding strikes, standing throws, and weapon situations.  On the flip side the level of understanding of stand up grappling in the Filipino martial arts is deplorable!  Not only are many practitioners so out of shape they couldn’t grapple with my 1 year old nephew without gassing, they do not even understand the importance of pummeling.

Thankfully my instructors Brian Johnson, Tim Cartmell, and Meynard Ancheta all have a fundamental understanding of these two worlds and teach from a very self defense minded perspective.  Meynard, my Pekiti Tirsia Kali teacher, especially works hard on the grappling aspects of weapon based combat.  A brown belt in BJJ under Tim and a rank of Guro in PTK ensure that Meynard comes at any and all scenario’s with a pragmatic approach, with a heavy emphasis on tieing your opponent up with one of three controls when standing; over hook / under hook / two on one.

If you do not feel grappling is an integral part of training FMA check out this short clip from the 2012 Dog Brothers Tribal Gathering.  Granted this is one step down from “reality” but none the less this is probably the most honest representation of what would happen in an actual weapon attack.  Count how many times opponents enter into the standing clinch.  Then count the number of fights that end up with one or both parties on the ground.

For those interested in working on a more self defense minded approach to their martial arts training I am happy to assist with private or group lessons where I offer Combatives Class Mon-Thurs at 6pm, Saturday at 10am.  As well as Kali class on Wed. 7:15 and Saturday at noon.  Tuition is based on attendance (1-2 classes a week=$85 a month / 3+ classes = $105).

Whether you train with me or not this is some serious food for thought.  Be honest with your goals and objectives training for if you are training for self defense but are not grappling, nor dealing with weapon based self defense… well then your goals need to be re-evaluated.

Train Hard.  Train Smart.

The NWJJA Family lost a friend today, Joyce M. Hubbard moved on leaving this earth at 3pm.  Affectionately referred to as Mama Kamau, many of us never have met Ms. Hubbard in person but we all know her son Kamau.

I am not sure what to say bro… I have lost someone very special to me lately too, but the two do not even compare.  All I can offer is my blessings and condolences.  I am so grateful for your friendship and I thought this poem was perfect.

Joyce M. Hubbard
Dec. 12, 1945 –  Nov. 27, 2012
Rest in Peace

When I Die… by Sufi poet Rumi –

when my coffin
is being taken out
you must never think
I am missing this world

don’t shed any tears
don’t lament or feel sorry
I’m not falling
into a monster’s abyss

when you see
my corpse is being carried
don’t cry for my leaving
I’m not leaving
I’m arriving at eternal love

when you leave me
in the grave
don’t say goodbye
remember a grave is
only a curtain
for the paradise behind

you’ll only see me
descending into a grave
now watch me rise
how can there be an end
when the sun sets or
the moon goes down

it looks like the end
it seems like a sunset
but in reality it is a dawn
when the grave locks you up
that is when your soul is freed

Have you ever seen
a seed fallen to earth
not rise with a new life
why should you doubt the rise
of a seed named human

have you ever seen
a bucket lowered into a well
coming back empty
why lament for a soul
when it can come back
like Joseph from the well

when for the last time
you close your mouth
your words and soul
will belong to the world of
no place no time.


Here is a great omoplata setup from Prof. Jean Jacques Machado.  Great details in this short clip:

Looks like NAGA will be the first major grappling organization to host an event here in Seattle, WA. next year!  There are essentially three major grappling organizations, IBJJF, Grapplers Quest, and NAGA.  GQ was rumored to be bringing an event to the area this past 2012 but nothing ever manifested (rumor was he was having a hard time finding a solid venue).  IBJJF has also mentioned they plan a BC open in 2013 which would be it’s first event here in the Pacific NW.

But it looks like NAGA will be visiting the Jet City in the middle of May 2013, so start prepping to show support. Here is the link to my review of the 2010 NAGA World Championships where I fought at blue belt.  Obviously the world championships will have a bigger draw, but as you can see I had a blast and had PLENTY of opportunities to fight.  Lets hope NAGA has tightened up there ship a bit before landing here, but overall I am stoked about the first major tournament here in Seattle, WA!

imageIt has almost become cliche hearing that us practitioners of the gentle arts should “apply the principles we learn on the mat, off of it” yet very rarely do we actually see it being applied.  Professor Carlos Machado, recently promoted to 9th degree, just released his first book “Putting the Pieces Together.”   Parlaying over four decades of knowledge and skill acquired into a book of quotes, Carlos has written a book that people can read and apply the principles too in every facet of life.

Broken into six chapters over 145 pages we see short parables and quotes that come from different angles; Achievement / Encouragement / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Learning & Knowledge / Love / Wisdom.  I like the fact that you can literally take one quote per day and really use that short phrase or drop of knowledge shared as a meditation throughout the day.  No need to power through the complete text, and as a matter of fact I think you miss the point if you do so.

imageThey say it is not the years, its the miles.  If that is the case then Carlos has racked up enough frequent flier miles to cover this planet called life ten times over.  Drawing on his experiences as a high level grappling competitor, father, instructor to thousands of students, husband, business owner, uncle… I mean the list goes on.  I can think of no other more qualified to bridge the gap between the mat and life.

Interjecting his trademark humor and humble attitude, Carlos Machado shines forth in his first attempt at print.  I have had the fortune to train under Prof Machado on several occasions and he always waxes some philosophy on the mat.  “Putting the Pieces Together” is simply an extension of the lessons we take away from the mat.
From “Putting the Pieces Together:”
“Quotes are like pieces of experiences, the quotes summarize in a line or two a lesson learned for life. The hope is always to save others from our grief and share with them our joy. Quotes of the same subject almost resemble the layers in an onion. You have to shed them layer by layer until you reach the core. Eternal truths have been said all along yet there is always a way to revisit them. Tailored in our own words and experiences, we express our life through quotes. Quotes often come through inspiration or desperation depending upon which aspect of life we are dealing with. Either side of an experience, good or bad, always stays a part of what we treasure and also what we dread. It is up to us to choose what to remember, what to forget and what to pass on. Out of the randomness of life we pick the pieces up and put them together…Putting the Pieces Together”

“I am not here to teach martial arts, but to change lives”

Retailing at $17.99 you can purchase “Putting the Pieces Together” by Carlos Machado  by clicking here to be redirected to RCJ Shop,  Or if you prefer Amazon then by all means click here!   Either way this title makes a perfect stocking stuffer for the martial artist, philosopher, or just the avid reader looking for inspiration.


Mark Small has been training in the traditional Chinese martial arts for over four decades and has combined his understanding of the “internal” arts, with his training in Shuai Chiao (Chinese wrestling) in the writing of his first book, “Taiji, Xingyi, and Baguaquan Throwing By Way of Our Modern Masters.”  Broken into seven chapters over 100 pages, Mark includes an extensive glossary and lineage charts in his self published text, that is furnished with photos of old masters as well as technique breakdown of various movements from Xing Yi, Bagua, and Taiji.

imageMark makes a valid attempt to combine the metaphysical aspects of the Chinese martial arts with modern combative stand up grappling, and overall I think he gives an honest effort regarding a subject matter that is near impossible to convey in English.  Starting off with a short chapter explaining the basic foundation of internal energy, upper-middle-lower dan tien (he defines these as energy centers), and how the masters of old applied this theory.  My first observation is the reader is inundated with foreign, complex terms right from the get go, so the glossary comes in handy for sure. Subject matter such as silk reeling, rooting, “dragon body” posture, etc. are quite diverse and intricate topics and Mark tries hard to convey the metaphysical classical texts in a modern combative context.

Honestly these subjects and topics are intricate and detailed enough to warrant texts of their very own, and while Small offers an introduction to these principles, it is cursory at best and I fear the absolute beginner picking up this text would be lost within a nebulous maze of verbiage.  In one breath “bio mechanics” is mentioned, but then the reader is quickly whisked back into metaphysical talk.  Fort example from chapter three:

image“Let the nei jia principles and tactics needed for throwing your opponent pertain in your bio-mechanical interpretation of his intrinsic energies at the moment you intercept his force, and spiral with it, neutralizing him along changing radii and curves.  Your silk reeling dragon body  will then allow you to press into your bowed arms from your body’s core, as you squeeze yourself into your opponents space or body shape.  Turn your dragon body as he turns his body to avoid being neutralized or counterattacked by him.”  

A lot of info in that little paragraph that is never really clarified throughout the text.  Mark goes into some partner exercises from there which offer sound fundamental drills.  This in my humble opinion is one of the better chapters albeit too short!  Partner drills are sadly overlooked in the Chinese martial arts and true and honest sensitivity exercises often turn into weird ego contests that eventually are ruled by strange dogma.  Here Mark offers a progressive series of four exercises as a primer for getting into the actual throws and take downs that dominate the remainder of the 35 pages.

Chapter seven on the 37 throwing applications from the internal arts is a great chapter showcasing applications from one of the least respected grappling arts…. Taijiquan!  Comprised of 80% grappling and counter grappling techniques, most people think of Taiji as being a goofy, crystal rubbing, tree hugging meditation, Mark shows that to be rather inaccurate of all practitioners.  Teaching a variety of throws and takedowns, Mark also corresponds the pic to the principles found within the book which is INCREDIBLY helpful!

The pic’s are black and white but Mark is savvy enough to ensure his partner is in contrasting colors so that readers can easily discern whats going on (a common mistake by authors).  The photo’s are cut out which gives a rather flat / one dimensional view of the movement, but overall I think the photo’s are clear enough to convey the movements and technique.

Overall Mark Small gives an honest effort with his first book, which could have benefited from some honest, objective editing.  Kudo’s to Mark for tackling a subject that most would not dare, and I feel this is a step in the right direction for Chinese martial artists in regards to dissemination of information.  Far too long have we kept principles and theories “secret” for no good reason.  Way too much info has died with past secrecy.  Part of dispelling this issue is writing and producing material to get to the mass public.

So on Black Friday why not actually support a small business for once, as this book would be a perfect stocking stuffer for the martial artist in your life!

“Taiji, Xing Yi, and Baguaquan Throwing by Way of Our Modern Masters” can be purchased for $30 by clicking this link.

Renato Paquet & Ricardo Viera

Words from me would be a disservice to this video.  These ten minutes I will be studying for the rest of my life.  SO many lessons to be learned from this!

I ain’t going to lie… I shed a tear.  Absolutely beautiful!

Give thanks for BJJ saving my life and having my brothers on the mat!  Most importantly to my coach, my mentor, my friend… Brian.  I can never repay you!

Here is some translation I found online mostly from The Jiu Jitsu Lab:

I couldn’t understand what Paquet said as he was getting up after tapping Leo, but Leo jokingly says something like, “It’s not over yet,” and Paquet breathlessly replies, “For me, it’s over!”

Right before Paquet kisses him, Leo says it (rolling with him) was a pleasure.
Paquet is out of breath and says, “75 years old. Dinosaur. Old.”

Leo says something to the camera guy at that point like, “When he gets to the side he has the strength of a 20 year old.” He then shows his a fat lip and says, “thick as hell” (he says grosso, which could mean “thick” as in the fat lip is a big one, or it could mean “rude” as in the older guy was rough with him.) Actually, then the older guy shows that it happened when he tried the paper cutter choke and I think he was saying that Leo put his mouth in the way so thats why he was hurt. Leo acknowledges that that’s what happened…it’s very lighthearted.

Paquet, 9:05: “The day you get one of those [touches his Red Belt] I won’t be here anymore; nevertheless, when you get it, you will feel my presence, you will feel that my spirit will be alongside of you. Nobody deserves this more than you do. Mind this, and remember me when time comes.”

imageIf you missed the live stream, or you want to listen to it again, here is BJJ Addict’s awesome interview with Carlos & Roger Machado!  This interview alone represents over 80 years of grappling knowledge and mat wisdom.  So since you aren’t doing shit at work today, sit down with your ear buds, throw up a fake “work” page, and snuggle up to an hour long interview with two brothers that helped lay the foundation of BJJ in North America!

Thanks again to BJJ Addict for the awesome interview, great questions and format!

Video streaming by Ustream

imageJust a reminder to students about our holiday hours over Dead Turkey Day:

Three Harmonies Students: NO CLASS WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY!

NWJJA Students: NO CLASS THURSDAY.  But I will be at the dojo 10am for a formal, informal, official mini-seminar camp open mat covering… well…. wrist locks of course!!  So get your ass on the mat and work off the calories you are going to pack on this week!

Be safe and well,

imageHey BJJ fans make sure you tune into BJJ Addict Radio Tuesday November 20th, for a great interview with both Carlos and Roger Machado!  Grappling fans can tune in and listen live via
Fight Fans Radio  at 7pm est. (4pm on the west coast kids!).

BJJ Addict is a great podcast that brings engaging guests and topics each week.  Make sure to tune in and support RCJ Machado tomorrow evening!

Here is an interview they did with Jean Jacques Machado earlier this year:

imageThose in attendance at NWJJA this past week noticed a certain theme with coach Brian, the “S” mount.  Anyone whom has studied with Brian knows that he always offers props and gives credit where it is due, and he credits his instructor Alberto Crane for his success in tournaments attacking with the “S” mount.

This is the only footage I could find of the full fight between Alberto and Joe Camacho at the Professional Sub League back a few years. Ghetto style from Russia!

So I thought it was  perfect time to introduce Alberto to some of our students whom might not be knowledgeable of his influence both to the NWJJA and Brian, but also in a larger part to the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!  Alberto is the same age as me and was born and raised in New Mexico where he started to travel south to Brazil training in BJJ in 1996.  In 2001 Al would become the first American to earn the coveted black belt, under Gracie Barra Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhaes, and would go on to be the second American ever (behind BJ Penn) to win the worlds in 2002!

Flash forward to 2012 and he is a 4th degree black belt teaching out of several schools in the Los Angeles area of California.  Alberto has had an up and down career in MMA amassing a lightweight record of 15-5 (14 coming as no surprise to anyone, via submission!) with several fights in the UFC, and his most notable accomplishment being at  KOTC 21 in March of 2003, where he won a split decision over Javier Vasquez to claim the lightweight title!
Here is Al versus tournament legend Cleber Luciano:

His connection with NWJJA is via Brian’s frequent visits to New Mexico to visit family from approximately 1999-2003, where Brian would visit Alberto’s Santa Fe academy to train and roll eventually earning Brian the promotion to brown belt via Alberto.  When I get access to it I will share a few clips from Alberto’s two visits to Seattle over the past 5 years or so.  To this day much of Alberto’s game can be seen as a major influence in our teacher and our style of rolling including the “S” mount, torture chamber, and switch base positions.  Oh… and did I mention Al LOVES wrist locks???

The first time I rolled with him as a puny white belt I swear he wrist locked me 20 times in a 5 minute round!  Amazing top pressure and a solid guard game.  Study these video’s and learn from one of BJJ’s foremost masters!

And if this does not look familiar then you have not rolled with Brian at all:

Train Hard.  Party Hard.

imageThe collective knowledge shared in this one photograph is beyond description!  From left to right; boxing brawling master Ray Mancini.  Filipino legend, Machado black belt and all around the nicest cat on the mat Danny Inosanto, and Machado black belt, fighter, actor, teacher extraordinaire Renato Magno.  The beating this crew could lay on you would be epic!


All photo’s courtesy of Terry Neal

With just around 42 days until the world ends, oops, I mean X Mas… the RCJ Machado pro shop is in full swing and open for your holiday perusal.  RCJ Pro Shop is your one stop site to get anything and everything Machado related from the latest t-shirt design, to patches for your gi, all the way to instructional DVDs!  Reasonably priced and quickly shipped to anywhere in the world the Machados are not just repping with style, but quality too!

Lets start with the basics… November is in full swing so make sure to pick up your 50-50 blend Gildan heavy blend hoodie that zips up the front with two pockets.  It is light but surprisingly warm and really helps keep the cold wind out too.  Silk screened Machado logo emblazons the back with RCJ Machado running vertical on the front.  Add in a stocking stuffer of a beanie or baseball cap, both priced in the $20 range.

The family is constantly releasing new designs and limited prints of their t-shirts.  I showcase two here but make sure to check RCJ Shop for the latest designs and stock.  Made from 100% preshrunk cotton, their t-shirt selection feature designs for men, women, and kids and I can attest that these things take a beating and stay sharp with the silkscreen in tact and no flaking or cracking.
Patches and everything from bumper stickers to cell phone cases can be found under “accessories” and my test batch of car stickers along with cell phone cover and cuff links prove that they are all made of quality material that simply does not show any wear nor tear!  The patches are tough and rugged and I have yet to have one rip.  They also carry a wide range of designs and sizes… yet another great stocking stuffer idea for your cauliflower eared loved ones!
The only complaint I have is with the green and black rash guards which are WAY big (I am wearing an XL and I could easily fit into a LG and still have room to grow).  Otherwise a very comfortable, durable, breathable rashie that is styling too.  RCJ seems to have addressed the issue with their latest black and white models which have a much better fit.  Just FYI if you order the green and black versions I would order one full size down.

imageThey say BJJ is akin to chess in that it is a thinking mans endeavor.  Newly crowned coral belt Carlos Machado has released his first book (review coming soon here!)which is an essential reading tap on the shoulder for any such thinker practicing BJJ, or living this thing called life.  A book full of insight, quotes, and wisdom learned on the mat and applied in our daily routines.  A great steal at $20 that your hubby will love.

Jumping up a price category or two you can find a bevy of DVDs covering everything from the Hook Flip game the Machado brothers are renown for, to 4 disk sets of the various 5 Brothers Camps from past years.  Any serious student of BJJ could sit down and study just one of these disks for a year and not run out of teachings to implement in their practice.  No joke, not only is the amount of info amazing, but the depth of explanation and teaching that goes on is nothing short of awe inspiring.  These DVDs could never replicate the experience of the camp, but damn me to the pits o’ hades if it is not the next best thing.  Again… a great gift that is in the $30-60 dollar range depending on the DVD you choose.
For those affiliates, or other pro shops, wishing to set up a wholesale account it is uber simple just throw an email to Lindsay at [email protected] and she will get right back to you with all the pertinent info she needs to set you up.

imageStudents of the NWJJA need to get in to check out the selection Brian has in stock right now.  I can say I saw it last night and already most t-shirts and stickers have sold out.  A few t-shirt designs remain along with patches and a handful of DVDs.  Don’t procrastinate as I am pretty sure we will NOT be getting another shipment in before the holidays.

Quality products, killer service, and the peace of mind knowing that you are representing and supporting the family that eats, breathes, and has lived the  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lifestyle since 1925!

Click Here to be redirected to the RCJ Shop!

Like RCJ on Facebook for limited releases and special offers!

Train Hard.  Train Smart.


imageBrian and I want to let everyone know that we will be using the North West Jiu Jitsu Academy Facebook page as our central portal for information regarding classes, specials, seminars, and we also plan on getting up tournament footage of our competitors as well as short snippets from classes.

So in an effort to get everyone on the same page, literally, would you please take a moment and “like” the NWJJA Facebook page by clicking here and then hitting “like.”  Also if you could send a message to anyone you are friends with and invite them to like NWJJA it would be appreciated.

For those wishing to stay informed, but adamantly fighting signing your soul away to Facebook (I admire your reserve BTW), you can bookmark this very blog and I will do my best to make sure all announcements get made here as well.  Either way make sure you check weekly at minimum for announcements and all news regarding the dojo and our ever growing academy.

Lets make sure to spread word so everyone at the academy knows please.  Thanks for the support everyone!

Train Hard.  Train Smart.

imageNot to get all sappy, but I thought these poems were perfect for a friend who had no clue of the importance of the author.  From the master of love and poetry 13th century genius Rumi, a Persian poet as well as a  Sufi mystic.  Almost a 1000 years old his poems seem to be more relevant as time passes.  I find inspiration and solace in his words.
He can express how I feel better then I could ever, I hope you read and enjoy this, because it is how I feel about you.

Burning with longing-fire,wanting to sleep with my head on your doorsill,my living is composed only of this tryingto be in your presence.

Love comes sailing through and I scream.Love sits beside me like a private supply of itself.Love puts away the instruments and takes off the silk robes.Our nakedness together changes me completely.

“They always say I feel too much.
Have they thought, perhaps, it is they who feel too little?
I overwhelm, I know.
But how can I see your lips without kissing them?” 
                                                  – RumiimageThe long awaited documentary on the martial traditions of the Philippines, “The Bladed Hand,” is debuting with a screening at UW November 30th, 201.

Date: November 30th, 2012
Location: University of Washington – Kane Hall, Room 130
1410 Northeast Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA 98195

6PM – Doors Open
7PM – Event Begins
8:30PM – Q&A with Director, Jay Ignacio, and Co-Producers, Sonny Sison and Kent Vives

Price: $10 General Admission
Seats are first come, first serve


I have been looking forward to this documentary for a couple of years.  I plan on going as long as I do not need to work that evening.


A small belt promotion but a great one last night at NWJJA!  My good friend and training partner Chris “Spider” Webb earned his purple belt last night!  Well deserved as Chris has really worked his ass off the past year at finding and developing his “game.” And I speak from experience that his “game” sucks to be on the bottom of!!!  Proud of you and all you do bro, I look up to you for inspiration and motivation to be a better person.  Thank you.imageAlso big congrats to Jay on his purple, Audrey on her blue, and Iodine Mike for his blue as well!
Congrats to all who got striped!  Great family at NWJJA!  You guys have literally been my church, my therapist, my escape from the reality of a rather lousy year for me personally.  I can’t thank you enough!

Props to all who came out and showed support.  I would like to see more of my brethren make it a priority to make future promotions supporting and hanging out!

Train Hard.  Play Hard!

imageF. Scott Fitzgerald was not only a well known author (The Great Gatsby), but he was apparently quite the thinker and an interesting father as evident in this excerpt from a 1933 letter to his only child Frances.  I thought their was some rather deep wisdom in these words regardless of your gender or relationship:

Things to worry about:
Worry about courage
Worry about Cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Worry about…

Things not to worry about:
Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions

Things to think about:
What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:
(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?

imageHeads up folks, our fall belt promotion is upon us, this Thursday at 7pm.  We will have an abbreviated class and training session followed promptly by pizza and beers somewhere in the Greenlake / Greenwood area (heard good things about the Hungry Beaver).

Whether or not you are getting promoted please come to class and show your support as our brothers and sisters shed their old ranks for fresh colors!


Just a quick reminder of the Lucaylucay Kali seminar tonight with Guro Scott Brennan.  Come spend two hours with us learning the fundamentals of blade work as taught by one of Ted Lucaylucay’s first students!  Oh, and did I mention it is FREE!?!?!?!?

imageJoin us tonight at 6pm at the NWJJA, 942 N 95th St. Seattle, WA.  Also Mr Brennan will have a full selection of trainer knives, swords, and live blades as well for purchase, so make sure you bring some extra cash and/or the checkbook.

imageThen you can join Guro Scott at the Hufana International seminar November 16-18 2012 at the Bellevue Martial Arts Academy.  Click here for more info!

imageI have been thinking how to encapsulate the 5 Brothers camp since we touched back down in Seatown on Monday, and quite honestly I am still without words to properly convey the feeling I came away with.  Spending 15+ hours on the mat with Carlos, Roger, Rigan, Jean Jacques, and John in and of itself was mind blowing, add on the extra time spent eating and hanging out with not only the brothers, but also all of our extended family throughout RCJ Machado, and how can you not come away feeling such an amazing sense of brotherhood, camaraderie, and passion!  A passion to share and teach the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Pac NW Crew

In contrast to the 2008 camp (last one I personally attended) this years five brothers camp was not only bigger (from what we have been able to ascertain this was most likely the largest BJJ camp ever coming in at 97 attendees!), but much more organized and ran.  The general theme of the camp technique wise was the Hook Sweep game the Machado’s are known for, with each instructor branching off into others areas each seminar.  Practitioners from white to black belt flooded Carlos’ main academy in Farmers Branch, TX. with folks coming in from Pennsylvania, South Carolina,  Mexico, British Columbia, Seattle, Ontario, California, and all over Texas.

A get together such as this is hard to put into words.  One of the most alluring aspects of the Machado family is just that, they make you feel like family.  Carlos is constantly walking amongst the practitioners making sure everyone is taken care of.  John and his son Jean were chatting it up with folks as well as filming all sorts of candid shots from the seminars.  Roger makes an honest attempt to remember every one’s names, and he just about nails it each seminar!  Jean Jacques’ presence is never missed as it seems he is constantly analyzing movement and technique, while Rigan can most likely be found playing with the kids somewhere.

Jean Machado and Brian

No one on the mat has attitude and everyone is extremely friendly and approachable.  Even doing Rigan’s “fast drilling” where we are constantly changing partners and doing the prescribed drills  and everyone had great control and presence of mind and body.

Regarding techniques… each brother certainly has his own style and approach to the game, though it is fascinating how much they each feed off of the others.  I snuck a peak of both Roger and Carlos taking extensive notes as Jean Jacques was teaching.  I mean how amazingly humble is it when Rigan Machado pulls over John and Jean (John’s purple belt son, who was super nice!) Machado to have Brian show his entangled arm series??  Rigan says “Brian, show them that position you have been working on.  This will be good for Jean’s game.”
imageBrian would never brag about that moment, but the pride and honor I saw in his eyes when 8th degree world renown Rigan Machado asked about something Brian has become known for… I cannot describe how proud I was of, and for, my teacher!

I come from the Chinese martial arts where our grand teachers are often figures lost in lore, much of it exaggerated at best!  But one of the most amazing aspects of the BOOM in popularity of BJJ is that practitioners such as myself are afforded the opportunity to train with history!  I have been on the mat with my teacher Brian daily for the past 7+ years.  I have shared the mat with his teachers David Meyer and John Will on dozens of occasions.  And then I have had the pleasure of training under their coaches, the Machado brothers as well.  Only in an art so relatively “young” in it’s development is this feasible.

My BJJ Familia (L-R): Roger / Jean Jacques / John / Brian Johnson / Me / Carlos / Rigan

Once again unlike the Chinese martial arts, in BJJ rank is earned (at least for the time being), and once again we were all privy to a very special moment on Sunday the 28th.  As Carlos was closing down the camp handing out a few last promotions to deserving fighters, Jean Jacques all of the sudden got the attention of the camp and started to loosen his red-black belt.  And… well… let this video from John Machado speak much louder volumes then I can:

What a beautiful  moment that most likely none of us will ever be part of again.  I cannot express how breathtaking this ceremony was, and again they chose to share this moment with all the Machado students at the camp, not privately.

imageHonestly I feel like I am just rambling and not saying much.  Maybe I am just emotional in life right now but the warmth and love I felt from the Machado family is second only to the love I feel from my own flesh and blood.  Our very own crew from the Pac NW was great and I got to know Mike, Brian, Rick, Perry, Rob, Eric, and MIKE a lot better.  So thank you all, especially Rick for putting up with my bad jokes and giant head.  You are a great training partner brother.  And of course much thanks to the brothers for all they have done and the influence they continue to promote in the arts.
Also a big thanks to Jean over at Neocell, Arm Bar Soap Co., and of course my sponsor 1914 Gi’s!!

Megan and Lindsay!

Many do not realize it but the brains behind the Machado brawn that actually runs the show behind the curtains is found with Carlos’ lovely wife Lindsay, and Megan Thompson.  BIG props to both of them as I helped a bit behind the scenes and y’all haven’t a clue how much work they were doing!  Make sure to shout out a big thanks next time you speak to them.  And please, PLEASE, next year make sure to get on the ball a bit and don’t wait until last minute to register!!!!

To arrange a seminar, more info on future camps, or if you would like to purchase a DVD of past camps please click here to be directed to the RCJ webpage.

Machado For Life!
imageBacon, Spider, and Ivan… I wish you all luck fighting today at the No Gi Worlds!  Keep calm, play your game and most importantly have fun!  Bring home some precious medal to the Pac NW!

Cheers Brothers,

PS Spider…. hit me with results later bro!

imageBig Mike and I go back over a decade in the martial arts.  I would be happy to post an old pic of us back in the day but at the moment I do not have access to them.  But we met as brothers in the Chinese martial arts.  Unfortunately both he and I were a bit disillusioned as to the reality and honesty of some within CMA circles, and have always kept our minds open to new frontiers and change.

The Pacific NW Crew with the Machado Brothers!  Big Mike bottom row right.

I invited Big Mike to the Machado camp mainly as a selfish excuse to see my buddy and hang a bit, but also because I thought it was important for him to meet the Machado’s and see that not everyone in BJJ is a knucklehead!
As some of you know I have been going through some tough times, but the one thing that has kept my sanity, that has helped me through the darkest days, is training.  Martial arts are a vehicle for self improvement and Mike’s letter is EXACTLY the reason I got into the martial arts and why I love teaching! Below is a letter I just got from Mike and I think it pretty much says it all, welcome to the mat brother:

Thanks for the pics bro, they are something that I will treasure always. I’m glad that we had a chance to witness history together with Carlos getting his coral belt. This whole weekend has been auspicious and many new paths were crossed. My feet still haven’t hit the ground yet. Well tell the NWBJJ crew that yours truly is the latest member of the Machado family as I joined Marcos Santos and the RCJ Fort Worth branch yesterday. It really hasn’t even officially opened yet but I start next Tuesday. So I guess I’m one of his first students there. Roger Machado was there as well but was leaving for L.A. today.
Jake I can’t thank you enough for getting me in  the mix. I mean I go to the camp and then they open a school in my hood the same weekend, what are the odds? I know it won’t be easy and I don’t want it to be. But the journey has begun, and to say I’ve been bitten by the BJJ bug is an understatement. It’s more like a velosa raptor gnawing on my shoulder. Anyway, CHEERS my friend and we’ll talk soon.
Saturday Combatives class will be from 10-11am as of Nov. 1.
imageThank you.
JakeAlan Watts is one of the west’s greatest thinkers and philosophers ever to live, and his insight and lectures have given me guidance and enjoyment for years!  This amazing animation short overlapped with Watts’ lecture on death and couldn’t come at more poignant time in my life.  Fall is after all a time of death and rebirth, a time of transformation.  In my own life there is a lot of renewal manifesting itself in varied ghosts both past and present.

On the mat I feel a transformation is happening as I type this.  The Machado camp has reinvigorated my passion for BJJ, and the love I have for my second family, those brothers and sisters that have green and yellow surging through their veins!  I have never, NEVER, felt the love, passion, and caring I have felt with fellow martial artists as when I step onto the mat with any of the Machado clan worldwide.

I hope this video inspires you, moves you, if nothing else makes you think.  I have been “curious” shall we say about death and the process of death since childhood.  I have asked many of the same questions Watts’ does, but I must admit I did not necessarily come up with the same answers.  If one could call any of his thoughts “answers.”

Be inspired,