Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Seminar w/ Brian Johnson – Spokane, WA.

imageDon’t miss a great opportunity to train with Brian “Mr. BJJ” Johnson, multi time world no gi champ, 2010 US Open Absolute Champ, ADCC Champ, Machado 2nd degree Black Belt…. this Saturday at Newborn Jiu Jitsu Academy in Spokane, WA. 

imageBrazilian Jiu Jitsu Seminar
w/Brian JohnsonMay 4th, 2013
Newborn BJJ Academy1604 N MonroeSpokane, WA. 
Come train the latest techniques that Brian has been developing at his NW Jiu Jitsu Academy in Seattle, WA. He will be sharing all the latest strategies to take your grappling to another level.  Sunday private lessons are filling up FAST, so make sure to contact Jason 702-265-6520 to schedule ASAP!  Also bring a few extra bucks to purchase patches, shirts, and Brian’s groundbreaking “B12 BJJ” Curriculum, a three volume DVD set outlining his complete fundamental curriculum!

But if these types of results don’t interest you, then go ahead and miss this seminar:
imageJames Rhodes has encapsulated in the most eloquent and accurate way EXACTLY how I feel about the martial arts in general and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specifically in his amazing article, “Find what you love and let it kill you!”  His passion is the piano, but if you simply replace the descriptive words about music and back fill with “BJJ” or “martial arts” and he has nailed exactly how I feel about my first true love; the combative arts.

Trying to explain my incessant obsession with anyone who does not share the same passion is often futile.  But recent events in my life have forced me to re-evaluate and re-prioritize my goals.  BJJ is top of the list.

Anyways… check out this snippet and then click the link to read the entire article (thanks to Spider for turning me onto this!)

“After the inevitable “How many hours a day do you practice?” and “Show me your hands”, the most common thing people say to me when they hear I’m a pianist is “I used to play the piano as a kid. I really regret giving it up”. I imagine authors have lost count of the number of people who have told them they “always had a book inside them”. We seem to have evolved into a society of mourned and misplaced creativity. A world where people have simply surrendered to (or been beaten into submission by) the sleepwalk of work, domesticity, mortgage repayments, junk food, junk TV, junk everything, angry ex-wives, ADHD kids and the lure of eating chicken from a bucket while emailing clients at 8pm on a weekend.

imageDo the maths. We can function – sometimes quite brilliantly – on six hours’ sleep a night. Eight hours of work was more than good enough for centuries (oh the desperate irony that we actually work longer hours since the invention of the internet and smartphones). Four hours will amply cover picking the kids up, cleaning the flat, eating, washing and the various etceteras. We are left with six hours. 360 minutes to do whatever we want. Is what we want simply to numb out and give Simon Cowell even more money? To scroll through Twitter and Facebook looking for romance, bromance, cats, weather reports, obituaries and gossip? To get nostalgically, painfully drunk in a pub where you can’t even smoke?

Click here to read the entire article!

imageMad respect to Rafael Lovato Jr. who just won the black belt absolute division at the Brazilian National’s!  He is the first non-Brazilian to accomplish such a task.  Congrats RLJ!imageGood luck to all competitors, but especially my bro Scott Stillwell this weekend at the Vegas Open!  Kick ass and take names brother!  Most importantly have fun and learn something.


imageWhat What!?!?  Tis’ true… rumor has it that Red-Black belt, and founding professor of BJJ in North America, Carlos Machado may come out of retirement (I mean really… do fighters ever TRULY retire??) to fight on the Metamoris II card in June!  Again, just a rumor but what an exciting one!  Make sure to check back here daily for updates on the fight card and Machado BJJ being involved.

You saw my post on Carlos below, check out these clips as well:

imageJust this morning, as I rubbed the remnants of dreams of omoplata’s from my eyes, I stumbled across what can only be described as a treasure trove of historical footage from as far back as 20 years ago!  Anyone interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu history, or simply martial history, will want to be checking my blog on a daily basis as I feature some of NJBJJ’s posted videos.

And sticking with the Machado theme this fine morning, here is some rare footage of the eldest Machado, Carlos, competing at the 1997 Rickson Gracie Tournament (the precursor to what would become the Rickson Cup I believe):


It is no longer a secret, mark your calendars kids as Red-Black belt Jean Jacques Machado will be visiting the NW Jiu Jitsu Academy in Seattle, WA. for the first time ever to offer a weekend of grappling training November 16-17, 2013!  No details are available as of yet other than we will be doing one day of training no-gi and one day gi.

This is not an opportunity you want to pass up and we will have VERY limited space, so when registration opens up ensure you reserve your space ASAP!  Jean Jacques is considered by many to be THE most technical Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player ever to grace the mats.  I personally have trained with him several times and can say I am blown away after each and every training session.  His understanding of angles and leverage is second to none!

imageStay tuned to The Ground Never Misses for more info and other exciting news coming soon!

And just  in case you have no clue who JJ Machado is, check out the videos below.

Train Hard.  Train Smart.

imageAs you all know I am a fan of the history of BJJ and one group that has always fascinated me is the first twelve non-Brazilians that attained the rank of black belt; otherwise affectionately known as the “Dirty Dozen.”  Our friends at BJJEE have compiled a short bio of each of the 12, along with some additional notes (click on the link to read the entire article):
“The BJJ Dirty Dozen are the first 12 non-Brazilian students to receive Black Belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While in Brazil Jiu-Jitsu has been around for almost 90 years, the rest of the world only started hearing about our great art in the mid 80′s when the first Gracies went to the US to spread the word. There are some disagreements about who were the exact first black belts and in what year they were promoted for example Ken Gabrielson or Craig Kukuk? “

Sticking with the 12 theme, BJJEE also put together a European version of the Dirty Dozen which is a great chunk of history unto itself considering little is known about the origin and development of BJJ in Europe (from a North American perspective anyways):

image“The “European Dirty Dozen” are the first 12 Europeans to receive Black Belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I had to do some hardcore investigative research to find this one out. BJJ in Europe as we know it, all started in 1995 with a seminar from Rickson Gracie in Paris. Over 400 guys came to work out with Rickson. Find out more about this here . There are actually 14 here as some were promoted in the same year, so we couldn’t count them out. It should be mentioned that Holland’s Remco Pardoel was also one of the pioneers of BJJ as he fought Royce in the UFC and embraced BJJ afterwards, but he received his black belt after the first 14. Also the Vacirca brothers were present in Switzerland since the mid 90′s.”

And since we are on the subject make sure to check out John Will here in Seattle, WA. mid-July!  Stay tuned to The Ground Never Misses for more info.



Check it out kids, the new and improved NWJJA front hall has brand spanking new mats!  Same gut wrenching go-go-platas!  Same ol’ wicked wristlocks!  And of course the same amazing teaching from Brian J. Johnson, but a shiny, new, uber soft surface to tap your phalanges on!


The NWJJA is a 4000 square foot grappling facility that houses a strength and conditioning floor, two separate training mats, dressing room, and a schedule that fits every ones hectic life.  We are friends and students of some of the most experienced practitioners teaching the art including Rigan Machado / Jean Jaques Machado / Roger Machado / David Meyer / John Will / Tim Cartmell, all of whom we bring to Seattle for seminars.


Big thanks to Spider, Scrappy, Metro-Ross, Kyle the Klass Kryer, and John for helping coach out!  Stop by and see why NW Jiu Jitsu Academy is THE best school for you to train at in the Pac NW!
NWJJA942 N 95th St. Seattle, WA.

*And for anyone counting (or paying attention) this is my 1100th post on The Ground Never Misses!  Some of you have been here since the beginning.  A lot has changed.  A lot has not.  None the less I appreciate the support and encouragement!  Here’s to the next 1100!*

imageDear Double Wide – Douche Waffle Dana White,

Rumor has it you are shopping Robert Drysdale to get him into the UFC sometime in the near future.  As I understand you think that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is “boring” to the average Joe who knows nothing about the sport.  I implore you to watch this video and then tell us fans of MMA that BJJ is “boring”!

Thank you

All sarcasm aside a huge congrats to Robert Drysdale on his 6th straight MMA victory, which will be his sixth submission (first rear naked choke he has nailed), oh… and all under 3 minutes by the way!

Best of luck on your journey Prof Drysdale.  Rest assured your fans think you are one of the most exciting Pro MMA fighters out there to watch!  I look forward to your future challengers!


imageFor all you BJJ bums wishing you were on the mats instead of tangled up in cubicles… here is Prof Rigan Machado showing a wicked bow and arrow choke attacking the open guard.  As a side note he also taught us the same choke attacking someone turtled up.  Thanks to John Machado for sharing this clip from the 5 Brothers Camp back a few years ago.  Keep posted for updates on this years Machado Camp!


imageOur friend and Pan Am champ Dan Faggella over at BJJ Leg Locks recently wrote a nice article for Grapplers Planet on maintaining leg control when attacking with leg locks.  I am going to be reviewing Dan’s DVD on Heel Hooks you see advertised on the left, and this is a great introduction to his analytical approach to attacking the legs.  For Three Harmonies Students who have the night off this is good study material.

Click here to read the entire article where Dan uses a nice instructional clip from Reilly Bodycomb, a Sambo leg lock expert, to illustrate the importance of controlling your opponents free leg.  This is an often overlooked detail when learning leg attacks, yet it is arguably one of the most important.

Study this article and check out some of Dan’s videos, and look for a review in the coming weeks of his Heel Hooks DVD!

imageOur friend Nadine Encarnation popped in for a surprise visit on her break from studying in Japan and joined us on the mats.  Nadine has been a part of the academy for a couple of years now when her father brought her in to study under Brian to improve her already awesome ground game.  In her absence she has finally gotten tall enough to earn blue belt rank which Brian bestowed upon her last night!

In all seriousness Nadine is already an accomplished Judoka black belt who is training in Japan with the best of the best in preparation for the Rio games.  Her ground work is excellent and the promotion is well deserved!

Cheers & Congrats,

JUST announced on Facebook, here is the lineup for Metamoris Pro II coming June 9th from Southern Cal:image

  • Shinya Aoki vs. Kron Gracie (WOW!!  This has potential for LOTS of action and fun!  Aoki is one of my favorites!)
  • Braulio Estima vs. Rodolfo Viera (Double WOW!!)
  • Cyborg Abreu vs. Brendan Schaub (No gi??)
  • Mackenzie Dern vs. Michelle Nicolini (No matter who she fights, I will watch Mackenzie all day!)
  • Andre Galvao vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. (look for the grip fight to win this match)
  • Bill “The Grill” Cooper vs. Ryan Hall (Another potential barn burner as both are known for aggressive attacks and tricky submissions!)

Great match makers doing their best to keep the follow up to Metamoris a huge success.  This will be available to stream online live, in which case you do not want to miss it.  More info as they release it!  Happy Tuesday kids!


imageNo class this Thursday April 18th 2013.  Apologies for any inconveniences.


imageCheckmat is renown for their leg attacks, which I touched upon with this post on Buchecha last month.  
So I thought this clip from Budo Jake and the crew at Budovideos with Yuri Simoes attacking from Spider Guard would be a perfect fit to start the week off.

For members of NWJJA Brian will be working Spider Guard this week during classes, so make sure to get on the mat and work your open guard game.  Thanks to my bro Jeremy for finding this clip on!

“If you don’t have a solid open guard game, you are not doing jiu jitsu.  Period.” – Brian J. Johnson

And here is Cavaca doing what he is known to do best… Achilles lock:

Train Hard.  Train Smart.

imageFor the fifth straight year the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, played host to the World Pro Jiu Jitsu Tournament where the best of the best come to compete, and be crowned champion (with the added incentive of cash prizes!) in the realm of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Shorter (6 minutes) matches ensure constant action where stalling and playing boring jiu jitsu gets you penalized.  Though anyone can enter, winners of the various trial’s throughout the world in the past year were given a paid trip to Dubai (type in airfare to Dubai from your hometown… you will see why this is a big deal;) where cash money and bragging rights pave the road of ambition.

Quick Results:


  • Tiago Marques over Samuel Herzog via triangle
  • Tanquinho wins on points over Cobrinha
  • Leo Lo over Lucas Lepri via points
  • Marcus Souza over Vitor Estima on points
  • Andre Galvao gets the win over Barral via injury (Barral’s leg got injured during a sweep attempt by Galvao)
  • Rodolfo Viera bow & arrow chokes Pedro Peres
  • Brago Neto over Jose Junior on points
  • Rodrigo Cavaca defeats his student, Buchecha, 7-2
  • Michelle Nicolini over Mackenzie Dern via points
  • Bia Mesquita wins via points over Luanna Alzuguir
  • Caroline de Lazzer over Fernando Mazzelli via advantages
  • Gabby Garcia chokes Tammy Grieco

A few notes on the matches… Viera is a beast in beast mode ready to rip off limbs.  Constantly attacking and moving, he impressed me most in the matches I saw.  For instance here is the win versus Pedro Peres:

The heavyweight finals found Ace Jiu Jitsu coach Buchecha fighting his teacher Cavaca, which is just awesome!  Here is what Buchecha had to say about fighting his coach:
“For us it was like a dream come true to get to the finals together because we have dreamt about it since 2010 when I got my black belt. We never close out any tournaments so we’re happy that we have reached that goal. And we are happy to do a fight because we don’t like close outs– that’s why we decided to fight.”

I really admire this attitude!  Nice to see the fighters recognizing that folks pay good money to see good jiu jitsu, regardless of affiliation.  Someone do us a solid and translate this into Portuguese and send to the Miyao brothers please.

On another note… when do you think Gabby Garcia will want to challenge herself?  I am not sure I have a solid answer for the girl, but watching her demolish her competition is not nearly as exciting as watching Godzilla tear through downtown Tokyo!  Not to any one’s surprise Garcia won the absolute as well.  She does not seem challenged, and the overwhelming size difference makes me wonder just how technical she is.  Fighting in the mens division is a lose – lose for all involved but what other solutions are there?

As for the male absolute we were treated to a rematch of last years bout between Buchecha and Rodolfo Viera.  I will say these three short things: AMAZING transition and sweep work on both parts / I would HATE to ref this match & the mutual respect and sportsmanship at the end should be required viewing by every student in every academy!

All in all a great tournament, and quality jits!  Glad to see the players getting some of the money they deserve as professional athletes.

Lori O’Connell and Tuttle Publishing have just released one of the first books written on traditional Jiu Jitsu for modern ground combat; “When the Fight Goes to the Ground: Jiu-Jitsu Strategies and Tactics for Self Defense.” This book/DVD combo brings forth Lori’s knowledge and skill set from Can Ryu Jiu Jitsu which is based off of traditional Japanese Ju Jitsu as she presents a modern approach focusing on ground combat.

imageAs with most of Tuttle’s titles this one is moderately priced (especially considering you are getting a DVD with it) at $18.95 MSRP, and is of the highest production value with color photo’s, dull gloss pages, with bold clear type.  The demonstrators are always wearing opposing colors so that placement of hands and details of strikes are clear and unobstructed.  The bulk of the book is dependent on pictures to demonstrate what the author is describing and the authors descriptions make it painfully easy to walk through the techniques with minimal confusion.  Precise verbage in the second person makes this an easy read.

Clocking in at just over and hour long, the DVD is of top production as well.  Easy to navigate chapters that flow along with the book make it very simple for practitioners to follow along and train at home while watching what O’Connell is coaching.  I think the DVD is an excellent addition, as in certain cases many transitional movements are lost in text only learning models.  Here the student can see the technique live and also pause the DVD to review the notes and text in the book.  Kudo’s to Sensei O’Connell for including the DVD, which you can preview a  making of clip below:

Now lets make a clear distinction here to ensure no confusion ensues… though BJJ brown belt Jennifer Weintz offers a forward to the book, this is NOT a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu manual!  Though the similarities are striking, Can Ryu JJ focuses strictly on self defense and not sport.  Also the technique pool O’Connell draws from has a larger repertoire of strikes and small joint manipulations then BJJ does.  So anyone looking for BJJ strategy based text should avoid this book, unless you are desiring to add to your self defense cache of options.

Divided into 18 chapter spanning 192 pages, O’Connell approaches the subject of self defense positionally for the most part.  Escaping from side control, mount, back control etc. are covered along with dealing with a standing attacker when you are on the ground. the latter chapters address multiple attackers, armed attackers, applying joint locks, and defending joint locks.

imageThe first quarter of the book is dedicated to safety on the ground, body shifting and control, and the gem of the book… how to breakfall on concrete!  Now you may ask yourself, “Why include such an inane subject in a book on strategy and technique?” Well folks because if you do not fall properly on a hard surface and become disabled (concussion / broken neck / broken leg etc.) then the rest of the book is of no use to you!

The keen eye notices that the bulk of “When the Fight Goes to the Ground” is dealing with escaping and defending with only one relatively short chapter on attacks!  I believe O’Connell’s intention is to ingrain that escaping to a better position is the most important aspect of any street encounter.  If for no other reason that it affords you options, and options = survival in a self defense scenario.

Yet the critic in me questions why in some of her techniques she chooses to attack her opponent in lieu of attaining a dominant position?  Striking pressure points, gouging eyes, squeezing testicles…all these are certainly painful techniques, but wouldn’t they be more incapacitating if applied from a dominant position?  Again in those early chapters she covers why it is not a great idea to jump guard on the street and what not, but within the text priority is often given to the attack over attainment of dominant position.

I would also have liked to have read how Sensei O’Connell proposes one train these techniques safely, yet realistically?  In chapter two “How to Stay Safe on the Ground” she offers realistic reactions to strikes, but this is still rehearsed and somewhat predictable.  No one questions if nut shots hurt and eye gouges would work, but if you are not training these techniques in a “live” sparring scenario then it is going to be extremely difficult to execute in a real live scenario, at least in my experience.  This is one of the major obstacles traditional arts must hurdle in regards to live, uncooperative drilling… how to replicate debilitating techniques to vulnerable targets while maintaining training partners safety?

Overall the material she lays out is sound and solid self defense, and would be a welcome addition to anyone who is new to self defense.  Format and layout are top notch, and O’Connell’s writing is indicative of her 17 plus years of teaching when it comes to conveyance of material.  The addition of a DVD makes this one hell of a steal under $20!  Help support our local martial artists, Lori lives and teaches just north of us in British Columbia.

For more information, or to schedule a seminar with Lori O’Connell click here!

imageApril 11th 2013 marked the largest belt promotion Brian J. Johnson and the NWJJA has ever seen!  Over 50 students hit the mat to congratulate fellow members of our academy and celebrate one of only four promotions you will ever get in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  This summer will mark my 8th year training under Brian, easily 4-6 classes a week… and I can honestly say the level of BJJ at this academy has gone through the roof!  Any given night I get tapped by blue and white belts.  Everyone is working hard on what Brian shows us, and to that end our coach has really become quite comprehensive in his lesson plans.  Where as 6 years ago we would work one thing one week, and something totally different the next.  Now, Brian is dovetailing one week’s / month’s lesson into the following lesson, and then revisiting certain key concepts in future classes as well.  This woven method of teaching has proven successful in student retention and execution. A testament to Brian’s dedication and service to us!

imageEssentially that is a long winded way of saying… ya’ll are rollin’ frickin’ AWESOME!!  In our academy rank is earned, not given, and you can be damn sure when you are handed that belt you have been that rank for sometime!  Last night saw the promotion of both Chris McMullin, and “Scrappy” Phil to brown belt!  Two of our more technical fighters, they both have been coaching and teaching and are a great asset to this school.  Make sure to take advantage of the knowledge those two have.

Faixa Rosa was presented to my good friend and long time training partner “Shadow!”  The best partner one could ask for, proud of you bro.  Also receiving purple belts are Mike “Tony Robbins” Adams, and “Motorbike” Matt Walsh.

Long overdue blue belts graced the heavyweight division last night with my brother from another mother Kamau earning his faixia azul, along with Kyle Adams (great to have you back on the mat bro!), OMAR (who has been officially relieved of timer duty.  Will bet you a nickel that Nick screws it up!) Alaska Cody,  and Brian…. damn dude… can’t recall your last name!?  Sorry.  Repping the lightweight division Craig got his long awaited blue belt as well!

imageAnd contrary to street rumors, Kelland Lindsay did not get demoted to five stripe white belt… this time!

Congratulations to all and a big thank you to our coach Brian J. Johnson and all of our training partners!  Remember we all improve because of each other and the helping nature of this academy.  Let’s not only maintain, but exceed with the foundation that has been laid!

A black belt is a white belt who simply never quit!

Jake B.

imageA quick reminder to NWJJA students to be on the mat with your gi on by 7pm tonight for the belt promotion.  We will then roll a bit and grab some grub after class.

Also you will notice my friend Dan Faggella has a brand new DVD on Heel Hooks (which I will be reviewing soon).  Be redirected to his site by clicking the Leg Locks banner on the top left hand side of my blog!

Here are some grappling goodies for a dreary Seattle morning:

A great short documentary from Stuart Cooper on Jake Shields and his approach to training and fighting:

A black belt is simply a white belt who never quit

Attention all NWJJA members… this Thursday (April 11th), at 7pm we will be holding a belt promotion and your attendance is requested.  When I say “requested” that is Brian being nice and asking you to please attend with gi on by 7pm.
Now Jake is going to tell you it better be a damn good reason not to show up and congratulate those who have given their blood, sweat, and tendons to the art we all love!  Someday that will be you getting promoted, and remember we only get this honor four times in our life!  Unlike a lot of other martial arts where you can literally “buy” your time to get the belt, in BJJ you EARN your rank. So make sure you show the f#$% up, Brian will be making some major promotions, we will roll, then grub up afterwards.imageimageIf you are remotely online and involved in BJJ then I am sure you have heard of the appalling attack on a female student of Lloyd Irvin’s on New Years night this past January.  I am not going to go into details about any of it because it absolutely makes me sick on so many levels, but on the flip side it is important that I, a lowly blogger, use such a tool for good.  And in this instance I can use my blog to disseminate truth.

Our friend the Red Menace over at Georgette’s Jiu Jitsu World, an Austin based lawyer, has spearheaded the campaign against Lloyd Irvin and the rape culture he seems to have incubated at his academies.  Along with the help of others Georgette has put up this simple, yet to the point, site outlining the details of all aspects of the rape and subsequent trial where Nick Schultz and Matthew Maldonado are looking at life in prison if convicted on all counts: Lloyd Irvin Rape Truth

imageAll details of the attack, Lloyd Irvin’s own legacy of rape (oh, sorry… he did not rape the girl, he just held her and watched as the other 6 men did.  Not so much because Lloyd did not want to rape her, he “couldn’t get aroused.”  That is a literal quote!), and Georgette will be updating the site weekly as details on the case come to light.

In the meantime lets spread the word and raise awareness about sexual assaults on all levels and put this fire out.  I must say it was refreshing not to see a bunch of “LI” hand gestures at the San Fran Open.  That said, the two back patches of Irvin’s I did see… were on women:(

Sorry to be a bummer on a rainy Sunday morning, but we cannot accept these things in our culture, society, nor neighborhoods.

Train Hard.  Train Smart.

In steps to further clarify and regulate promotion in sport Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the IBJJF has just released a gradation guideline offering minimum ages for belts, years of consistent training in between each promotion, etc.

As it has been explained to me in regards to ‘dan’ or degree ranking for black belts the following applies (I believe this to be correct):


  • 1-3rd Stripe – 3 years  (active involvement) in between each promotion
  • 4-6th Stripe – 5 years in between each promotion
  • 7-8th Stripe – 7 years
  • 9th Degree   – 10 years

For more info on the IBJJF rules, regulations, and events Click This Link!imageTalk about taking ones sweet ass time… I have finally, successfully, downloaded the video of my match at the 2013 San Fran Open back on February 23rd.  Seemingly ceaseless problems with YouTube has delayed the upload. Glitches aside it was a great event and a solid fight for me overall, and I welcome your constructive criticism.

This was the second IBBJF event to be centered in San Fran in as many years, and with over 600 competitors one would have to count it a success.  Held at the Kezar Auditorium which had a cool old vibe, yet was clean and accessible right in the heart of the city of San Fransisco, the IBJJF ensured a great tournament.  And for me personally it would mark my first competition since summer of last year.

I love San Fran. I have my cousin who lives there with her awesome husband, cat, and two dogs.  The people are always cool.  Great food.  Great training.  What more can one ask for?  Sprinkle in a top tier tournament and you got yourself a killer weekend!

imageThe IBJJF is running timely and tightly anymore, and the six rings at the San Fran Open were no exception.  My division ran right on time and overall I saw pretty solid refereeing throughout the tournament.  I got to the Kezar a couple hours earlier then my division was due to go, in part to warm up, but mostly to watch one of my hero’s Nino Schembri fight.

He won, and as I warmed up I met Caio Terra in the bullpen and got to watch the Miao brothers boringly close out their division.he fighters are usually not in the mood to hob-nob in the bullpen, so I did not get extended opportunities to talk to anyone.  Most fights I saw were won via points, with lots of guard pulling peppered with a few decent take downs.  Great competition at the purple and brown belt levels throughout the spectrum of weight classes, as the level of grappling seems to be improving at an breakneck pace. All the guys in my division were solid purple belts and came ready to scrap!

imageOverall I must be honest… I had very few expectations of this tournament for myself.  My life has been turned upside down in the past year which has been a blessing in disguise training wise, where I have had more time and less distractions in regards to getting on the mat.  Which is a good thing. I have a solid feeling of “my game” at this level, and looked forward to fighting a new opponent to pressure test “my game” and uncover any flaws. So I decided to fight down a division and enter the masters heavyweight.

Still working my stand up, my opponent Byron (sorry… didn’t get his last name) got grips on my 1914 Kimono, turned an angle, and shot in on me getting the take down. Well… I’ll let you view the vid and offer my notations thereafter.

Though I lost I felt I played my game for the most part.  I need to be less accepting and fight the smaller fights harder.  For whatever reason when I locked on the Omoplata I got fixated on it!  Typically in the dojo I have half a dozen things I flow into when they protect that arm, but on this day and time I got it locked into my thick skull that I need to finish the shoulder lock.  Thankfully I swept him, but he grabbed ahold of my leg and quickly re-swept me.

imageOverall I feel I need to be more assertive and less accepting.  For whatever reason I got locked onto finishing that Omoplata and temporarily abandoned my game, which ultimately led to my demise.  In the end I felt solid with my game considering the lemons life has dealt me as of late.  By no means 100% but I hope my next tournament (whichever that may be) I put on a more solid showing of what I am capable of, as my BJJ has really made some strides as of late.

I cannot thank my training partners for the hard rolls and preparation.  Much love to my cousin and her man for the couch, the video, and the awesome support (hell’s yeah that is her yelling “Burroughs” in the video!).  1914 Kimono’s has been there for me over the past couple years with support of all kinds, can’t thank you enough.  RCJ Machado and the Machado family for their teaching and support. Lastly I want to send my heartfelt gratitude to my coach, mentor, and friend Brian J. Johnson.  You have taught me what I know, and made me who I am on the mat….I hope to carry it on with honor for decades to come!

Train Hard.  Train Smart.