It is with a heavy heart I pass on the news from Sherdog that Dutch sensation Ramon Dekkers passed away yesterday at the age of 43 in his hometown of Breda, Holland. According to the early reports he was biking when he collapsed and passer-by’s could not revive him.
Ramon may be a “new” name to some, but for those of us who have been following kickboxing Ramon is nothing short of a legend posting an unbelievable career record of 186-33-2 before hanging up his gloves in 2006! No… you did not misread… 186 victories alone, and lets not forget to mention the 95 KO’s on the path to 186 victories! That is a 51% KO rate for those keep track at home. “The Diamond” as he was known, was one of the sharpest fighters ever to come out of Holland.
One cannot help but wonder if the years of hard training and abuse contributed to his early passing (WAY too early), but either way lets remember the man for what he was… a true warrior and sportsman!
My condolences and thoughts go to his family and fight crew. May he rest in peace.
(Carl Orf’s Carmina Burana is THE best fight music!!!!)
With just over 600 competitors filling the Kezar Pavillion, the IBJJF’s San Francisco Open was a huge success! I will report on my fight and break it all down in another post when I have a few more minutes. The more exciting news is regarding Nino “Elvis” Schembri’s return to competition! He had one match which he dominated and looked solid. Here is a short interview from Gracie Mag:
Alberto Crane put in a great fight winning his division as well, and we also saw the Miao brothers close out the brown belt weight and absolute. Personally I think it is boring as watching paint dry with team mates closing out divisions, milking the point system now in the place with the IBJJF’s Black Belts. But no one asked Jake how things should be, so until that day comes….
Overall the San Fran open was run as smoothly and timely as any IBJJF competition I have been to. Respect and humility were abound and I basked in the great camaraderie of getting on the mat and facing ones fears and weaknesses with your fellow grapplers. Much respect to all who fought.
To the left here you see my training partner on Saturday night in preparation for the Open, Pablo, or as he is known in BJJ circle “La Burrito.” Not only is he shaped as such, as one can see he is impossible to choke due to a severe lack of neck! Just like a Burrito if you squeeze too hard he slips out. I was forced to resort to paw locks for the remainder of our session.
Any who…. off to hit the mats with one of my idols, David Meyer, whom by the way is coming to Seattle in the near future so make sure you check out one of the living legends of our sport:
“Mastering Competition Strategy” Friday March 15th 6-8pm $40Join David Meyer, (one of the most decorated American competitors in BJJ & author of “Training for Competition”) as he shares a blue print to take your competition game to the next level. Learn to create, establish, and implement a game plan based on your strengths. David will also be addressing the psychological aspects of competition such as fear, nervousness, anxiety etc. Come with a notebook and questions. This is a rare opportunity to speak with the guy who literally wrote the book on competition! We will also be rolling with David after the seminar so bring a gi and stay after to get your roll on!! “Aggressive Open Guard Dynamics”Saturday March 16th 12-3pm $50 (Pre-Register for Both Seminars- $80!!)Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is based upon a foundational understanding and use of your guard, and in this seminar David will share some of the sweeps, submissions, reversals, and fundamentals of developing an aggressive open guard. Open to any and all levels! David Meyer is a 4th degree black belt under the Machado brothers, and a member of BJJ’s “Dirty Dozen” – one of the first 12 non-Brazilians to earn black belt!For more information or to register stop by NW Jiu Jitsu Academy (942 95th St) or contact Jake Burroughs 206-941-3232 / [email protected]No class for Three Harmonies students February 23-26th 2013. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Attention NWJJA members, Three Harmonies students, and any potential visitors to our academy; We need to address some martial protocol and behavior when in the presence of our very own celebrity Taho “Big Walker” Kakutani (registered TM). As evident in the following commercial Taho doesn’t “need” to workout, but here are a few rules to maintain when Taho blesses us with his presence:
– Much like a gorilla, no direct eye contact when drilling or training
– Wait until after class to request autographs, and please bring your own pen and Advil bottle
– Taho’s people will contact your people to schedule a roll. Please refrain from asking “Wanna’ roll braugh?” (In such a case you have no “people” then refrain from rolling with Taho until said people are acquired!)
– Easy on the back and shoulders. Again as evident in the video Taho suffers from severe back and shoulder strains due to the incredible amount of money he must carry day in, day out.
– Refrain from cross faces and any chokes so as to avoid damaging the money maker (aka: his face).
– Hold your judgement with your instructor if he has to prematurely promote Taho. You do not understand the pressure Hollywood types can put on someone!!!!
In some schools when the coach is promoting a black belt, it is common for said coach to remove his black belt and award the student with the teachers actual belt. This is certainly the case with the Machado brothers, when Rigan promoted John Will to black belt in 1998 as evidenced by a picture from John’s personal archives:
|L-R: John Machado / John Will / Jean Jacques / Rigan / Guessing Roger in the socks;)|
Here is a candid glimpse into the humor of the Machado brothers as Rigan jokingly “demotes” himself to brown belt after promoting John!
Pic’s like these are important because we quickly forget that we are living history as it happens, but all too quickly people come and go and we miss opportunities to snap a picture to share a memory. We earn a black belt only once, and it is quite an arduous process simply to attain said rank, as students often spend the better part of 10-12 years to earn faixa preta!
When you get the chance, check out BJJ Dirty Dozen on Facebook. A small group dedicated to preserving the knowledge and info of BJJ’s Dirty Dozen!
I am glad whomever it was captured this moment on film.
Keep The Ground Never Misses bookmarked as John Will will be visiting the Emerald City sometime in the summer months. Remember… a black belt is simply a white belt who never quit! Just keep training!
There is no morning class on Monday February, 18th 2013 in observance of Presidents Day. Brian will be leading conditioning class at 5pm, and I will be running by drilling and training. Come get your roll on!
In the meantime sit down and see how many NWJJA peeps you can scope in this highlight from the UGF Arizona Open last month (thanks Jordan!):
Korea’s cultural grappling gift to the world is still relatively obscure and for no good reason then lack of exposure. Ssireum wrestling is fought in sand pits with nothing more then a loin cloth which practitioners put one arm through on their opponents waist as they clinch with the opposite arm. Rules are simple: no striking, keep your arm in the loop, first to touch the ground is the loser.
Know your roots! Check out these great techniques and moves that could easily be converted to MMA, or any wrestling competition:
Sumo is one of my favorite combat sports to watch, and though it has not gained the following it should here in North America, it is incredibly popular in Eastern Europe. Takanoyama Suntaro is the the Czech Republic’s first professional sekitori.
Study on this great clip where Takanoyama showcases a number of various takedowns and throws, as well as the strategy and tactics he employs due to his lighter weight. Keep in mind Sumo is truly a mixed martial art as throws, locks, and strikes (open hand only) are all allowed.
Thanks to our friend Roy Dean for this clip!
How dare the IOC take away the dreams of children and wrestlers worldwide! Shame on you IOC. Time to re-evaluate your priorities and goals.
Jean Jacques Machado sharing some of his ideas regarding Lapel control. Awesome details even in these short clips:
And following up with the cross choke:
That is what I love about the Machado family… Jean Jacques has never let a handicapped left hand get in the way of becoming one of BJJ’s most dominant competitors, even here where he is executing a cross choke. Great people, caring teachers, amazing fighters!
Once more I awake to sad and unbelievable news… the IOC (International Olympic Committee) has made one of the most ignorant decisions I have seen come down the pike in quite sometime…. the 2020 games will NOT feature wrestling! That’s right folks the IOC has decided to drop both Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling in 2020.
That is right, one of the founding sports of the Olympics has been voted out to make room for new sports. I am beyond words to be honest. Of all the worthless sports out there the IOC feels that wrestling is the one to cut!? EVERY civilization throughout history has some system of grappling that has penetrated its culture. That cannot be said about Tae Kwon DoDo; Ping Pong; Pole Vault etc. I mean could you imagine the IOC eliminating all running events!?!?
One reason the IOC has voted wrestling out is poor viewership…. in response I would state this…
First of all watching events in person is RIDICULOUSLY expensive! I am not even talking about the travel costs, I mean just to get a ticket is crazy expensive, and they make it a weird lottery style to attain such tickets. A pain in the ass to say the least.
Secondly in terms of TV viewership, the numbers are low because the coverage is scattered and shitty to say the least. In lieu of putting on wrestling at 3pm on Thursday afternoon for 20 minutes, but it really only comes on when they want to program it… why not put some matches in prime time? There is an obvious bias towards swimming, gymnastics, and running. Does not mean we can’t interject some wrestling along with educational pieces on the rules and some back stories of the struggles grapplers endure to make it.
All in all wrestling can be voted back in, but as I understand it no sport has ever been voted right back in after being pulled. This is a sad day indeed. I am one of those knuckleheads that honestly believes that grappling is one of those unique arts that can dramatically change ones character and should be required in school! Perhaps that is a little over the top, but I really do not feel people understand the true positive effect and power that grappling has on participants lives.
One of these days we really need top push our spare tire away from Facebook and Twitter and ask ourselves what we are coming to culturally?! In my opinion our priorities are quite askew in society.
I hate coming home from a great weekend of training to bad news but the cogs of time pause for no soul no matter how revered it is here on earth. Sensei Keiko Fukuda passed away just two months shy of her 100th lap around the sun on Saturday February 9, 2013. Sensei Fukuda was the highest ranking female Judoka ever (10th Dan) and was also the sole surviving direct disciple under Judo founder Jigoro Kano.
Sensei Fukuda embodies the true essence of budo and the martial spirit, a true inspiration to martial artists of all disciplines and backgrounds. Sensei had to not only go against the cultural ethos of a very stringent society, but also walked the lonely path of a dedicated martial artist in an art dominated by sexist men.
Find energy, passion, and fire in her story and let her inspire you! I wish I could have met her but I can honestly say her powerful lessons on life I will never forget.
Rest in peace knowing you have positively affected so many individuals.
This little one is simply too cute, and a bit scary all at the same time! Props to her pops for teaching her well. She moves better then most adult men I see.
NW Jiu Jitsu Academy Proudly Presents:Brazilian Jiu Jitsu TrainingWith David MeyerNW Jiu Jitsu Academy Seattle, WA.
“Mastering Competition Strategy” Friday March 15th 6-8pm $40Join David Meyer, (one of the most decorated American competitors in BJJ & author of “Training for Competition”) as he shares a blue print to take your competition game to the next level. Learn to create, establish, and implement a game plan based on your strengths. David will also be addressing the psychological aspects of competition such as fear, nervousness, anxiety etc. Come with a notebook and questions. This is a rare opportunity to speak with the guy who literally wrote the book on competition! We will also be rolling with David after the seminar so bring a gi and stay after to get your roll on!!
“Aggressive Open Guard Dynamics”Saturday March 16th 12-3pm $50 (Pre-Register for Both Seminars- $80!!)Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is based upon a foundational understanding and use of your guard, and in this seminar David will share some of the sweeps, submissions, reversals, and fundamentals of developing an aggressive open guard. Open to any and all levels!
David Meyer is a 4th degree black belt under the Machado brothers, and a member of BJJ’s “Dirty Dozen” – one of the first 12 non-Brazilians to earn black belt!
For more information or to register stop by NW Jiu Jitsu Academy (942 95th St) or contact Jake Burroughs 206-941-3232 / [email protected]Our friend and coach Brian J. Johnson, head instructor at NW Jiu Jitsu Academy, will be over at Seattle Integrated Martial Arts (SIMA) on Saturday February 23rd for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu seminar from 1-3pm.
2nd degree black belt Brian Johnson is in the rare situation where the only thing to overshadow his competition career is his teaching prowess! Come see why many consider Brian the best kept secret in the Pacific NW.
Saturday, February 23rd1:00 – 3:00 PM$40.00Seattle Integrated Martial Arts4159 Fauntleroy SW, Sea Wa 98126simamartialarts.com[email protected]206-935-4531I try to take advantage of any opportunity I can to get on the mat with one of BJJ’s “Dirty Dozen” (first 12 non-Brazilian black belts), and this weekend found David Meyer in the Rose city teaching a few seminars. Dragging our asses out of bed at 5am (different beds of course); Brian, Denise, and I attended David’s first seminar at Sensei Ronald Schubert’s Martial Arts Fitness Center.
A nice academy tucked in the corner of a strip mall, Sensei Schubert is a TKD cat who is getting a BJJ program in works for his students and knows David from back in the day. This was a perfect introduction for the students to BJJ, as most of them had little to no experience with grappling. Ingeniously David split the seminar between guard work and mount work. A well thought out curriculum is essential for successful seminars and David worked it perfectly showing the fundamentals of breaking down your opponents posture and attacking the neck / arm immediately. To top off the guard work he also taught how to safely and effectively get back to your feet.
All too often modern teachers forget that BJJ is based on self defense and they can sometimes neglect the fundamentals of doing a proper technical rise. That is what I love about training with the likes of David Meyer, John Will, Tim Cartmell, the Machado brothers; they are always considering self defense first and foremost. It is important to know and understand your roots and though competition grappling is very exciting and fun, we need to keep in mind that BJJ evolved as an effective method of self defense.
Fast forward two hours at the gorgeous Ecole de Budo Dojo where owner / operator Michael Selin and his crew welcomed David for an afternoon of training the Pillow of Doom and how to make sure one does not get pinned on their back. I cannot go into the details of the POD but rest assured it is essential to ones survival in self defense or competition. David shared some of the principles he finds most important to ensuring one does not get caught on their back in any situation.
For those of you who may have missed this great opportunity, don’t fret as David will be back in the Pacific NW next month with stops here and in Maple Ridge, BC. March 15th David will be teaching a competition strategy course with open rolling afterwards from 6-8pm. Then March 16th he will teach a 12-3pm seminar on Open Guard Attacking! I will post an official announcement this week, so stay tuned!
|4th Degree black belt David Meyer with black belt Denise Holcomb|
In case you have not noticed Brian Johnson and myself are dedicated to bringing you only the best in top level training with some of the most experienced grapplers on earth! I figured no one would be paying attention today with the Superbowl on and what not, so enjoy the view….
A few weeks back Roger and Carlos Machado were interviewed by The Takedown MMA Radio Show but there were some technical difficulties with Carlos’ interview, so they re-recorded Carlos solo this time and came up with a great interview! Many do not realize that Carlos Machado was one of the founding fathers of BJJ in North America, and literally a treasure trove of history and stories from the past.
|Carlos Machado just won TXMMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award!|
Apologies for any inconvenience.