June 30, 2013

Rachel Lin of NWJJA Takes Silver at Rome Open

HUGE congrats to NWJJA very own Rachel Lin and her silver medal at the Rome Open!  Rachel fought in the white belt middle weight female adult division and above that I have no details (BECAUSE SHE DOES NOT LET ME KNOW!?!?!?).  This was Rachel's first IBJJF tourney and we could not be more proud!  Congrats girl!

WHITE / Adult / Female / Middle
First - ANNA FRENTZOU - CheckMat
Second - Rachel Lin - NW Jiu Jitsu Academy
Third - Zeynep Atabek - GF Team

June 29, 2013

Jean Jacques Machado Windsor Seminar Review

L-R: Ron Dupuis/JJ Machado/Some Bald Dude/Jay Zeballos
Spent the better chunk of the day training with Jean Jacques Machado today in Windsor.  His friend and longest affiliate Ron Dupuis of Windsor BJJ, hosts JJ every year and the seminar was attended by folks from Ohio, Michigan, all over Ontario, Pennsylvania, Washington state, and even Mexico.  Surprisingly there was little local support from schools other then Ron's, even with Rigan Machado affiliates just over the Ambassador Bridge.  But the 35 or so attendees were treated to an amazing seminar with Jean Jacques and host Ron Dupuis and his crew were ever so warm and welcoming.

The Machados as a whole treat each and every student they share the mat with as family first and foremost.  So reporting on a "seminar" is a bit awkward for me as it is more like a personal training session.  Jean Jacques has a presence one must experience... hard to articulate, but it is as if he is talking directly to YOU every time he teaches. You forget that the guy over there has 40+ years of experience; was voted the most technical grappler at ADCC; and is considered by many to be one of the greatest grapplers walking the earth.  So when he shows you a "basic" armbar from the guard along with the drill to burn it in... you pay attention to the details. Typically what you assume is "basic" ain't so "basic" and that is exactly where the money was at this seminar. 

If I was forced to name a theme I would have to say 'Working from the cross lapel grip,' not because of the way it rolls so eloquently off your tongue, but simply because you forced me.  To the inexperienced eye it may have seemed that we bounced around, as Prof. JJ worked mount / guard / open guard / top four quarter as well as transitioning throughout these positions.  Yet every position had a common element... our right hand grabbing our partners right lapel. 

We used the lapel grip to attack with chokes.  Set up armbars and omoplatas.  To off balance our partner.  To push.  To pull.  Jean Jacques guided attendees of varying levels effortlessly through each series and if he saw an issue he would address it by re-teaching the movement, emphasizing our attention to his hip placement and movement.  Then we would drill the movement.  Repetition is key with the Machados!

Love this country!  Been forever Ontario!
One of the best attributes of Jean Jacques is his mind.  Though I have not had the opportunity to sit down and pick JJ's brain and have a deep conversation about BJJ, what little I have spoken with him and trained under him I can say with confidence that he is one of the most strategic grapplers out there.  Throughout the seminar he wove in minor strategies on how to deal with bigger, stronger opponents.  Proper grips and weight distribution when your opponent counters your original technique, quickly followed by another attack of yours.  "Anticipate your opponents reaction.  When you limit him to only a couple of ways to react, you know those reactions!"  These types of lessons are invaluable to me at this stage in my game.  And getting a glimpse into how Jean Jacques thinks is awesome from my perspective as a coach.

What can I say that I have not before in the past... you need to train with Jean Jacques Machado!  Next year ensure you contact Ron Dupuis and make this annual event, as there is no reason the whole Midwest and Canada should  have missed this.  Ron, and really most Canadians, are warm and welcoming as all get out.  You get great training partners from Ohio (thanks Matt "Iron Man" Reilman)!  Plus you get to train with a living legend of the art we love.  Check out Jean Jacques teaching at the 5 Brothers Camp in October, as well as his first visit to the Pacific Northwest when he lands in Seattle, WA. November 16-17 of this year!


June 27, 2013

NWJJA Figher Rachel Lin Off To Rome

Wanted to wish our very own Rachel Lin the best of luck this weekend at the Rome International Open!  This will be her first major tournament and we hope to see some shiny new necklaces when you get back.
Play your game, do your thing, and have some fun!


June 25, 2013

UFC 13: Enson Inoue vs Royce Alger (MMA's Most Underrated Fight!?)

Over 16 years ago on May 30 1997, one of MMA's most historical fights took place in Augusta, Georgia.  Enson Inoue (Shooto champ / one of the earliest black belts in BJJ in Japan / overall awesome cat!!) took to the UFC's octagon and squared off against three time all american Iowa wrestling superstar Royce Alger!  Royce was considered by many to be the protege of Gable and even Enson offers mad props saying Alger is "...Gable's toughest wrestler."  This would go down as being one of the most important and future shaping bouts in MMA history.

You all know I am a wrestling fan, and most know that I have a man-crush on Inoue (one of the pioneer grapplers who transitioned smoothly to MMA), so this analysis may be a bit biased... but that makes it no less accurate.

Back in the early days of bare knuckle UFC one could almost always count on the wrestler shooting without much of a back up plan if it fails, and you can see Enson just about nails the crucifix before setting up the arm bar from closed guard.  He eats a few shots in the process but gains a W in the UFC with one of 9 career submissions in 12 victories.  In other words Enson is the shnizel! 

Above and beyond the arm bar victory this was a historically pivotal fight as Enson got injured in the bout with Alger.  Back in 97 the UFC was still tournament style with each winner advancing throughout the same evening.  By the 13th installment of this style of fight, the UFC realized they need back up fighters in case of injuries.  As luck would have it a very young (the youngest to fight in the UFC at that time at 18 I believe) kid by the name of Tito Ortiz won the alternate bout and replaced Enson who was set to face Guy Mezger.  Though Tito would go on to lose via a guillotine, this scrap with Mezger would catapult Tito into stardom as he would quickly climb the cage of success and become one of the most dominant and controversial fighters in MMA history.

Who knows what would have come of Enson moving on to fight Guy Mezger.  It would be the first and last time we would see Enson grace the octagon, though he would go on to win the Shooto LHWT title, fight the likes of Randy Couture, also throw down in a few Pride FC events.

Now days you are more likely to find Enson at an arts fair where he sells his hand made Yamato Damashii (Samurai Spirit roughly) bracelets which the profits of go to those still in need after the devastating earthquakes and subsequent nuclear disaster in his native Japan. Here is a link to a write up I did a couple years ago on his bracelets! I still have yet to get one and do a review, but check out the great selection he has.  Plus it is hand made by the man himself!!!!

Don't forget your roots kids, Enson was a BJJ and MMA pioneer!

June 24, 2013

Chicago Blackhawks: 2013 Stanley Cup Champions

24 game unbeaten streak / First team to win the Presidents Trophy and to move on to win the Stanley Cup / First team to come from a 3-1 deficit to win the quarterfinals against Detroit / One of the greatest hockey - coach combos ever in the NHL.  Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks on the second Stanley Cup in three years!  I am so happy to be a hawks fan right now! 

From L-R..... LOL just kidding! 

John "The Coaches Coach" Will: Member of BJJ's "Dirty Dozen"

Renzo Gracie always clowning, with Renato Magno chilling!
For those of you unaware, we have a very special guest making a quick pit stop here in Seattle, WA. next month goes by the name John B. Will.  John is Australia's first BJJ black belt, as well as being a member of the "Dirty Dozen" (first 12 non-Brazilian's to attain black belt in BJJ) under the Machado family.  Teaching over 300 seminars a year around the globe, John has become renown for not only his near perfect techniques on the mat, but also his presence while teaching.  It truly is something to experience just how planned, detailed and intricate his instructions are, as well as his control of the room.

If you are still on the fence whether to attend (Click here for more information on the seminar July 14th here in Seattle) I have found some solid examples of John's teaching method for your perusal:

teaching MMA star Gil Melendez

June 23, 2013

Blast From the Past: 1996 World IBJJF Championships

Does anyone remember this thing called a closed guard in competition?  Like I said before I want to share classic fight videos with you all from time to time on some of the BJJ masters of today when they were competing yesterday.

Here is a great match between Wellington "Megaton" Dias and Helio Soneca.  Some great guard work and back and forth action followed by some awesome mutual respect:

And you may not recognize this face with less grey then now, but here is the genius behind American Top Team's success fighting in the worlds 17 years ago!  Thats right Ricardo Liborio versus Hollands Remco Pardoel (whom may look a bit familiar... UFC 2 I believe.... elbowing the crap out of a dude in the crucifix!):

ATTN: Three Harmonies Students

All my Three Harmonies Martial Arts students please pay attention to the following schedule notes:
We will have a make-up class Monday June 24th 2013 at 6pm.  Bring both combatives gear and kali gear. 
There will be NO CLASS June 26 - July 6th!  Enjoy the holiday and please be safe. 

June 20, 2013

Jean Jacques Machado on Achieving Rank

Words to Live by! 

This is the school poster at Windsor BJJ, an affiliate of Jean Jacques Machado.  These are some of the words of Jean Jacques in regards to attaining rank in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, set against the picture of him being promoted to Red-Black belt but none other then Rickson Gracie himself.

As you can see Jean Jacques does not speak much, but says A LOT when he does!  To train with this legend keep your calendars open June 29-30 for the Jean Jacques Machado Canadian Open in Windsor Ontario; October 25-27th for the Machado camp in Dallas, TX.; and then November 16-17th here in Seattle, WA. as Jean Jacques Machado visits the Pacific NW for the first time ever! 

Neck Training for Muay Thai

Much like a seal or walrus (I have to imagine that is the influence), the Inuit people have created a competition based solely on the strength of your neck!  This is perfect training for Muay Thai or anyone who works with the clinch:

June 19, 2013

B12 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Curriculum App For Windows 8

We are pleased to announce the first, and so far only, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu app for Windows 8!  This is a great mobile app to add to your library of training aids and entertainment, where you can literally take our coach Brian Johnson and train anytime, anywhere. 

To read a quick review of volume three click here!

To be redirected to microsoft's app page click here! 

Enjoy, and please offer us your feedback! 


June 18, 2013

Naturally Fit Grappling Games 2013: Updates

Time is closing in on RCJ Machado's "Grappling Games" Tournament at the Naturally Fit Expo July 26-27th!  With guests such as Rafael Lovato Jr., Travis Lutter, Renato Magno, Colton Smith, and of course the Machado brothers, this promises to be one of the biggest tournaments in Texas this year.  Mike Calimbas will also be photographing and videotaping the entire tournament as well. 

All competitors get free entry into the Naturally Fit Expo, and current military also receive discounts for the all adult tournament.  Make sure you check the website for updates and messages!

June 16, 2013

Happy Fathers Day From RA The Rugged Man

A great track "Legends Never Die (Daddys Halo)" from the must have hip hop album of the year so far of the same title.  RA encapsulates it all pretty damn well in a very personal tribute to his father who passed a couple of years back.

 Happy Fathers Day to my pops, and all those who are there for their little ones no matter how old they are.

Jean Jacques Machado Canadian Open 2013

Just a couple weeks away from the 3rd annual Jean Jacques Machado Canadian Open June 29-30th of this calendar year.  This promises to be a great time as one day we have a seminar with grappling legend Jean Jacques Machado, followed the next day with a tournament!  If you are in the midwest do not miss this opportunity to train with one of the best BJJ practitioners ever to live.

If you attend make sure to stop and introduce yourself.  I am stoked to be training and competing amongst my Machado brethren in Canada! 

Check out this great clip from JJ Machado's online training program (which I hope to have some insight into in the near future).  You can expect this level of instruction at the seminar:

NWJJA's Brett Smith Take Bronze at Subleague

NW Jiu Jitsu Academy's very own Brett "Dutchess" Smith stepped up to the advanced division, and was forced to fight the weight class higher then he was prepping for, and still nailed bronze in Portland at the Subleague!  Congrats bro, we are all proud of you! 

Quite simply if you want to train with the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners in the Seattle area, stop by NW Jiu Jitsu! 

June 15, 2013

Alberto Crane vs Daniel Souza: 2002 Copa Pacifica

Here is a blast from the past... Alberto Crane fighting Daniel Souza at the 2002 Copa Pacifica (the largest tournament outside of the IBJJF).  This was before Alberto's stint in the UFC when he was still at the peak of the BJJ competition scene.  Some great technique in there, and for those of you familiar with Al's style... check out his signature cross guard game!


June 14, 2013

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Seminar w/ John Will - July 14th, 2013 - Seattle, WA.

NW Jiu Jitsu Academy Presents:
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Seminar
w/ “The Coaches Coach”
    John B. Will
John training with Renzo Gracie back in the day! 

July 14th
   942 N. 95th St.
    Seattle, WA.

      $65 for 3 hours with a grappling legend!
*Revolution Competitors Special: $35*

John Will’s martial resume reads like a virtual who’s who of the martial world.  One of BJJ’s “Dirty Dozen,” Australia’s first BJJ black belt, John has trained under the Machado family loyally for over 20 years!  Renowned for his teaching prowess, John travels the world teaching martial artists and coaches alike!  This is one of only three stops he makes in North America so don’t miss this opportunity to train with a legend.

Contact Brian Johnson at 206-440-8856 or stop by the Academy to reserve your spot ASAP!

Here is a great intro interview John did a couple of years ago:

John and David Teaching:

June 12, 2013

"Secrets From the Masters" DVD Review in Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine

Check out the review on RCJ Machado's DVD "Secrets From the Masters" in the latest issue of Jiu Jitsu Style magazine.  If you have not subscribed to Jiu Jitsu Style then you need to remove your head from the sand and start paying attention!  THE best rag on the market in terms of covering our beloved art.  And now they are offering reviews of DVDs and products.  "Secrets From the Masters" covers the training sessions from 2011's Five Brothers Camp, the 2013 version of which is coming up this October. 

It is an excellent DVD.  Literally one for the history shelf as it is a rare treat to get all five of the Machado's on the mat at the same time! 

Draculino's Sage Advice to Romulo Barral

L-R: Draculino / Alberto Crane / Orlando Sanchez / Barral
I have made the confession before that I have a BJJ man-crush on Draculino!  Arguably one of the most technical grapplers alive today, Draculino has produced more champions then I can shake a stick at (check out the pic on your left.  Taken years ago we see multiple world champions here with Alberto Crane, Orlando "Cuban Tree Stump" Sanchez, and a young Barral) one of the more prevalent ones being Romulo Barral.  Thanks to Gracie Mag for reporting the following exchange between coach and student at the 2013 Mundials:

“How’s the leg? You 100%?” asked Draculino.
“Absolutely one hundred! I suffered but I wasn’t gonna let one muscle stop me from competing here,” smiled Barral.
“So if you are at 100%, listen to me: no one is gonna stop you this year. Tell me this: why do you practice Jiu-Jitsu?”
“Why, because I like it a lot, and besides –”
“Stop right there, that’s all I need to hear. If you love this, get in there and crush whoever’s in your path!”

There is so much that goes into a champion on both ends of the coaching spectrum, but what I love about this dialogue is that the first thing out of Barral's mouth is that he likes BJJ, and that is all Draculino cares to hear!  That is all that is important at a certain level... passion.  Why are any of us on the mat any given hour of any given day?  Money?  Fame?  Women?  HA!  We wish!  

Plain and simple, if you aren't having fun and enjoying every moment you are blessed with on the mat then you need to re-evaluate some things in your situation because that isn't living.  

Something must have worked.... Romulo took gold in the medium heavy division! 

June 10, 2013

Lineage Photography: Capturing the Experience of a Lifetime

When you enter a big tournament such as the Pan Am's or World Championships you are literally fighting against the best in the world.  This is not a "moment" or an "event," but rather in all true essences of the word this is an experience.  One of a lifetime to be quite honest.  Regardless of the outcome those few precious moments on the mat will be burned into your soul for the rest of your life, and that is something you would certainly want captured on film if at all possible.

Enter John Cooper and the collective brother/sister - hood of photographers known as Lineage Photography.  Covering grappling / MMA events have become their specialty, and let me tell you they are PHENOMENAL!  When John offered dedicated coverage of my experience at the 2013 Worlds I anticipated good shots but what he delivered far exceeded what I expected.  Within seven short minutes he nailed over 20 amazing shots, everything from black and white, to close ups, to more panoramic views.  Not only did John capture the moments of transition, but he conveyed the energy and excitement of fighting in the pyramid with various shots.

Now I already know what dialogue is running through your head.... "Why spend the money on this Jake when my __________ is basically a professional photographer?!"

Well I used to be married to a "professional" photographer and though her images were good, she did not understand the fight enough to be in the right spots at the right times to capture the perfect shot.  Cooper and his crew have complete access via press passes and work hard moving around the mat hitting various angles and getting a variety of shots.  Knowing the lay of the land is so vital to getting the right picture.

The crispness and clarity of the pictures are second to none, and John almost instantly has them downloaded to an easy to access site, as well as a smart phone sticky gallery (free to download) for your i Phone/ Pad where you can see the images on the go.   Again these images you are seeing have not been altered or photo shopped.  With dedicated coverage, Lineage photographers capture all aspects of your fight; warm up in the bullpen (you don't see many of those because John could not find me as I was standing outside the bullpen warming up), the fight itself, and post fight podium coverage as well if you are that lucky. The best thing about it all is that you do not even notice the photographer snapping shots of you.  They are excellent at giving you your space and not interfering with any aspect of your preparation. A minimum of 20 images is guaranteed on top of the coverage... all for $100.  This gives you unlimited access to the images online (you can download or send them to a print shop all very easily from your computer).

You can also vie for a $35 sitting fee where they cover your match but no images are included in this package.  Depending on the size and where you print them, prints will run $7+ each.  So really it all depends on your goals and motivation for the photo's.  But Lineage Photo has plenty of options for all budgets so give John a call and talk with him.  A lot of photographers are a bit pretentious and act like their jock strap don't stink, but John is super down to earth and quite personable, answering phone calls and emails immediately.  To be honest the only negative criticism I have is that the subject is not allowed to use the photo's online because of copyright issues, which for most I would imagine is not a huge issue as you are using these photos personally.  Either way I am sure you could talk to John and work something out if you needed something.

Quite honestly I will be budgeting $100 each major tournament I do as John's images are spectacular!  Like I said these are moments in time that you will never get back, plus with the adrenaline pumping it is quite easy to forgot details of the match.  With Lineage photo they freeze those moments in time forever and offer a piece of art in return.  Check out the photographers of Lineage:
Yes, John captures the awkward moments as well!
So prior to planning your next tournament make sure to reach out to John at 714-904-1341 or Cooperfoto.com  , or Lineage Photos, and book your coverage.  Just take a look at these shots that no one is going to be able to get from the stands!  And you never know when you might be in a situation that calls for you to "Clark" it up! 

Train Hard.  Train Smart.

June 8, 2013

Kyuzo Mifune: The Most Beautiful Judoka Ever

Thanks to my bud Kijafa on FB for sharing this gold nugget!  Rumor has it Kyuzo Mifune (1883-1965) was never thrown as a black belt... even in practice.  It is also rumored he was feared more then respected, but taking a look at this old footage of him leaves you nothing short of awe struck.  Mifune moves so elegantly and smoothly.  I would have loved to have spent just a few days on the mat with the man to feel his way of grappling.


5 Brothers Camp: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu w/ The Machado Brothers

Once again RCJ Machado is proud to present the Five Brothers Camp October 25-27th 2013 Dallas, TX.  This is literally a check mark on the bucket list of any serious grappler as you get unprecedented access to Carlos / Roger / Rigan / Jean Jacques & John Machado over the course of three intense training days.  That is over 180 years of collective grappling knowledge and experience on one mat, in one location, at one event and one event only! 

This will be my third Camp and they just keep getting better and better, here is the link to 2012's Five Brothers Camp Review. 

I cannot convey in words the warmth and welcome feeling the Machado extends in everything they do.  The brothers themselves will admit these camps are a way for them to get together and share info.  With all five brothers living in different spots with crazy schedules and family events it is tough to get together and exchange ideas.  These camps prove to be a laboratory for the scientists to share their latest experiments, and we are the right alongside as lab assistants learning the craft from one of the founding families of BJJ in North America! 

You can follow the link to your left or you can click here to be redirected to the RCJ Pro site where you can reserve your spot today!  For those from the Pac NW I recently looked into tickets and they are about $260 round trip to DFW!  Leave your ego at the door, and join us on the mat!Jake

June 6, 2013

2013 IBJJF Mundials In Retrospective

What a whirlwind of a past week... month... year.  When I started getting serious about competing a few years back I was fortunate enough to go to the 09 No Gi Worlds and have a wonderful trip.  I told myself on that trip that despite my advanced physical age I wanted to compete in the Mundials, the Worlds, where there are no age categories; 18 years and up at your weight and belt!  After very little self deliberation I came to the conclusion that 2013 would be the year at purple belt.  And so I began training.

I was at the Worlds every day for at least a little bit and overall it ran very nicely.  Rarely a mat without action, though I did not hear final numbers the mats saw 100's of fighters a day and each division started on time.  Some participants I heard griping about how long their brackets were taking, lest they forget some brackets such as purple lightweight had 100 plus fighters in it!  But it was my observation and experience that most everything ran quite smoothly.

What can I say in regards to the refereeing?  I realize it is a tough position, but I see more and more blown calls / misunderstanding of muddled rules / poor communication (sorry... ref's should be at least bi-lingual) each and every tournament I attend.  Penalties are thrown around like candy when players are confused as to what they did and ask.  I agree if they are rude or inappropriate they should be penalized.  But if they are simply asking what they did wrong, an answer should be provided.  On the flip side of the ref coin I will say this... what happened to the days when we did not settle until a submission?  Who the hell wants to gain an advantage point and stall out for 5 minutes??  Not Tanquinho.  Not Braulio.  Not Buchecha.  

Courtesy of John Cooper Photography
The worlds truly bring together the best of the best in an open tournament format from all over the world.  Met some cats from Mongolia there.  Yes the blue belt champ at ultra heavy did beat a 350 pound man in the finals.  Said Mongolian mountain tipped the scales at 450 pounds and was about 2 inches taller then me.  I must admit the brown belt matches were some of the most exciting fights throughout as the top competitors in the world rarely stalled out.  I think brown belts still have that impatient eagerness to attack like a teenage puppy which makes for some fun matches.  And of course watching the black belts thin out competition over two days was amazing for the most part.  

Overall great fights and competition, though I have one request of the IBJJF.... please bring back heel hooks! I have grown tired of the double guard pull into 50-50 guard where two "grapplers" play footsie all day and win by an advantage point.  This is not Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!  And one simple solution to all this.... allow heel hooks, with the experienced levels at the very least.  I  must admit it was nice see the Mendes brothers knocked out rather early, though we did have to suffer through the Miyao love of 50-50.

A few other quick observations from the tournament:
  • Andre Galvao is a sore loser...chewing the head referee's ear for over 10 minutes after Rafa Mendes  lost to Tanquinho
  • Dude... you are a black belt.  At this stage in the game I should not have to explain to you that it is gross beyond comprehension to be barefoot in the bathroom changing!!!!!
  • The level of BJJ has drastically improved even in the 4 years since my first IBJJF tourney!  
  • Always, ALWAYS, bring an extra gi and belt.  Too many BS DQ's because of stupid gi issues.
  • The camaraderie amongst BJJ brethren is second to none.  Heard nothing but positive encouragement before, during, and after my match! 
  • Leo Lo has a sick guard!  Period! 
  • We all love Brazilian BBQ and Acai bowls, but do we really need to inflate the prices so high?
  • UC Long Beach is a MUCH nicer venue then UC Irvine for both the competitor and the fan alike.
  • Apparently standing in front of folks trying to watch a fight is par for the course in Russia, Bulgaria, and Brazil! 
My fight...
First and foremost a HUGE shout out to my friend Asa Fuller at Ace JJ who was gracious enough to coach my big dumbass!  I really appreciate it Asa.  And a second HUGE shout out to John Cooper at John Cooper Photography for taking AMAZING shots.  I will write a separate review of John Cooper's services and photography later this week, but if you have not already make sure to check him out! 

John Cooper Photography
Overall I feel this is the most prepared I have ever been for a tournament. My physicality is great. I feel my rolling has been sharp, focused, and in general I have a firm grasp of my game. Brian my coach really helped stitch up some of the holes in my top game (yeah... I'm kinda weird like that.... big guy with great guard, and so-so top game!). Mentally it is the most focused I have been ever tournament wise. Coming into a tournament like this I had to impose my will from the get go, and my apologies to my training partners who bore the brunt of said training.

One of the most positive observations I gleamed from this past weekend was my ability to finally control my nerves. Don't get me wrong I still get the little butterflies just before stepping onto the mat, but overall I felt comfortable, confident I had been here before and it was just a fight. This is helped by my avoidance of the bullpen for the most part. The testosterone and nervous energy is unwelcoming to me, so I typically stay on the peripheral where I can still hear announcements but am away from the stagnant air.
As to how I fought.... what can I say?  I fought a decent guy but overall I know I could have beat him and feel like I was doing well throughout until I made a fatal flaw.  I opened his guard once by pressuring his throat.  He ends up scrambling and getting me back into guard.  Holding my elbows strongly I could not open his guard with pressure on his legs, so I reverted back to the throat press pass.  In hindsight he was TOTALLY anticipating me doing it and threw on the armbar quickly. 

I apologize for the limited camera view.  People were rather rude in regards to standing in front of others!

This is frustrating because I should know better and have a number of different looks.  Overall I was happy with my open guard.  His balance was good and I should have mixed it up giving different looks to him.  I suppose these are the lessons we learn, but they are frustrating none the less when you have poured out the sweat and tears (thankfully very little blood was shed!) into the hours of practice.  I keep reminding myself that if I'm going to swim I will most likely get wet, and there was only one champion last Friday. 

As you watch the video you will most likely notice a small lull in action.  Yes, thats right, for the first time ever the referee noticed (kinda weird) my piercing and made me remove it!  I have no complaints as it bought me an extra 40 seconds or so.  I thought it was pretty damn amusing. 

Much thanks and love goes out to my coach Brian, my sponsor 1914 Kimono's (the best gi's on the market), my mom and pop, my mat family at NW Jiu Jitsu Academy, and my coach Tim Cartmell. Also thanks to Chad Hospodar at Arm Bar Soap Co. for keeping me cootie-free!  I hope to offer a much better showing in the future. 

Train Hard.  Train Smart.

June 4, 2013

2013 Naturally Fit Grappling Games

RCJ Machado is proud to present the 2013 Naturally Fit Grappling Games Saturday July 27th, Palmer Event Center in Austin Texas.  This is the first tournament organized and promoted by the Machado brothers and promises to be a barn burner!  Both gi and no gi divisions (adults only tournament), leg hunters take note... purple belt and higher are allowed to do toe holds.  So grapplers from throughout the southwest, come experience a BJJ tournament that will set new standards for grappling competition. 

June 3, 2013

On The Mats Scotty Nelson and His Campaign to Save Jiu Jitsu

One of the greatest things in the martial arts is making new friends and meeting online ones face to face.  Such is the case of Scotty Nelson, On The Mat's owner and master in command.  Scotty has been a supporter of The Ground Never Misses since the early days offering gi's and apparel for review and always offering encouraging words and support through my tournament ups and downs.  So I was quite pleased to be able to meet the man face to face at the IBJJF Worlds over the weekend, and was as giddy as a kid when he invited me to OTM's warehouse.

Scotty is old school BJJ... many don't know, but he has been around since before the Gracie craze.  That is what is great about Scotty... his first and true passion is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and his passion is conveyed in his kimono's and rash guards too (I snagged a new OTM rashie on the way out, check back for the review soon)!  So it should come as no surprise to anyone that Scotty has produced a limited run t-shirt that sends a message to modern day sport BJJ practitioners:

I will write a separate review of the worlds later, but I must say something here... to the officials at the IBJJF:
BRING BACK THE HEEL HOOK!!!   I am SO tired of seeing this bullshit 50/50 guard and I can only imagine Helio and Rolls are rolling in their respective graves!  This was NOT the vision Helio had for his blessed art.  Did we forget that BJJ was created as a MARTIAL art, a method of self protection and preservation?  Dropping down and playing footsie for 10 minutes and winning by an advantage is how you wish to win the Mundials??  Not Buchecha.  Not Rodolfo.  Not Braulio.  And certainly not the master class of yesterday where pressure, control, and dominant position led to wicked submissions.

All of our 50-50 gripes and issues would be negated in one simple tournament simply by allowing heel hooks, at the brown and black belt level at the very least.  So bombard the IBJJF with messages and emails demanding the inclusion of the heel hook (who has been unfairly maligned and marginalized for no good reason!), and in the meantime hit up On The Mat to order your "No Scissor Banging" t-shirt today! 

Super soft poly-cotton blend and a relaxed fit as with all OTM shirts, you will no longer have to explain BJJ competition to your friends who don't roll!

Show some love to Scotty, OTM and BJJ!

Thanks again to the awesome crew at OTM and Scotty!