Here We Go…. 2013 Mundials

In less then 3 hours Scott Stillwell will be tearing up the purple belt lightweights, and in just over 5 hours I will be hunting gold in the heavyweight purple division.  The fight has already been won or lost.  It is a matter of showing up and imposing my will!

My home today!

Had some great training with NWJJA before I left on Wednesday, and then Ace JJ yesterday morning had another tough but awesome session.  Well rested and going to get some grub here shortly, I wish to thank all that have helped  me on this path; my coach Brian; my training partners; RCJ Machado and the family; my students; 1914 Gi’s!  Thank you all for the support and encouragement!

I hope to report good news by days end, but regardless of outcome this is an awesome day to fight!  So stoked!


imageThere will be no class from Wednesday May 29th – Saturday June 1st.

Classes resume on Tuesday the 4th.  Enjoy your weekend, train hard!

imageI sit here typing three days (Friday at 4:45 to be exact) out from what promises to be the biggest, toughest, most challenging tournament I have ever entered; the Mundials, AKA the Worlds!  Considered by most in BJJ circles to be the pinnacle of tournaments, the Mundials pit the best of the best against each other with no age restrictions.  I have wanted to compete at this level for years and figured I am not getting any younger, and most likely by next year I will be a fresh brown belt, so this was my opportunity to test myself and fight on the biggest stage out there for BJJ.

I have been through a LOT in the last year or two, and I look at the preparation for this tournament as my therapy, my church, my zen meditation if you will.  I do not feel right if I miss rolling for a day or two.  Setting a goal such as the worlds puts ones game into perspective and offers an opportunity not only to test oneself, but to really hone ones specific skills.  Regardless the outcome Friday evening my training has been a huge success!  I truly feel like I have a game plan and I have the confidence to impose it!  I am excited to test it out on my opponents as I never have felt so well prepared.

And I owe a lot of that confidence to my training partners.  Much thanks goes out in helping with preparation for this, but especially Shadow, Denise, Scrappy, Motorcycle Matt, Kamau, Big John, and the others who put in extra time and training.  Also a big thanks to my coach who is much more then just my coach.  Brian, I hope to represent the academy, and the Machado family strongly at the Worlds.  May my luck with tournaments that contain the word “world” in them continue.

I am honored to be the first “official” representative fighting under the academy name “North West Jiu Jitsu Academy,” as we just became an IBJJF recognized academy last month.  This is a great first step towards creating a world class team right here in the Pac NW!

imageI also want to thank my sponsor 1914 Kimonos  as I will be sporting there gi’s this weekend.  Also a shout out to Arm Bar Soap Co.  and my bud Chad (hit me up at the worlds bro!), and also to Cooper Foto who will be doing dedicated coverage of my fights where I will offer up a review of his excellent services.  For those of us whom fight, there is no better coverage you can ask for then John Cooper and his staff.  Just wait to see the great shots!

For those die hard fans you can tune in online for full coverage of the entire tournament at IBJJFTV.COM!

Hey if you see me at the Mundials stop and say “Hi!”  I am the big bald dude, purple belt, with a silly grin the whole time I am sure!

Cheers, and best of luck to everyone fighting this week!

imageAs you nurse your hangover from an extra night of freedom and debauchery, take a moment this Memorial Day before slurping down dogs and beer and remember those who gave everything in return for there service.  Some have never made it back home either.  In our ADD muddled life we quickly forget the cluster(s) we have allowed our government to get our boys and girls into.

If you know a veteran, hell if you simply just see one, stop and thank them with a hug and handshake.  My grandfather served and I wish I could spend just 10  more minutes with him.  One more game of chess would be priceless.

Another little note, please support the Wounded Warrior Project.  WAY too many of our soldiers are coming back missing limbs, no to little psychological counseling, and not getting the help they need.  Wounded Warrior Project is dedicated to helping out in any way they can.

Thank you to all who have served past, present, and future.

Hey guys, Scotty over at On The Mat has either gone completely crazy or is feeling generous this weekend, but now through Monday all online merch is subject to 25% off!!  EVERYTHING is game! imageOTM makes some of the best gear on the planet with their OTM Kimono line, as well as being the genius’ behind Lucky Gi’s!
Here is my OTM RSC 420 review. 
As well as the Rude Boy bamboo gi review.
Simply enter: MEM25OFF in the coupon box as you check out and you will get 25% off your order!
Happy Memorial Day Weekend.   
imageNWJJA will have NO CLASSES Sat – Mon. in observance of Memorial Day, BUT I will be opening the dojo for rolling at 10am both Saturday and Monday mornings.  Come get your roll on and help me prepare for a fight next week.

Three Harmonies Students: Combined class tomorrow (Sat) at 9am.  NO 10am class!


imageRolls Gracie died way before his time in a tragic hang gliding accident in his early 30’s.  His mat prowess and skills are the marrow that legends are born from.  Needless to say there is little training footage of him out there, but recently this short clip surfaced of Rolls training with Rickson (again, little footage of this legend as well).  And though only a couple of minutes long one can glimpse into the history of the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Vale Tudo (MMA for you new kids).

I have had the pleasure on many occasion to sit down with Rigan Machado, Carlos, and Roger Machado and talk to them about the history of our art, and one common theme is prevalent with them… the respect and admiration they have for Rolls!  Rolls was a sponge according to Rigan.  An absolute beast who would look past all bias’ to learn how to grapple better.  Studying with Samboists, Judoka, and western wrestlers Rolls never passed on an opportunity to better his understanding of the art.  And clearly he was a red-black belt in the art of the “stache!”

Know your history and respect your roots folks:

L-R standing – Nick / Brett / Kamau / Jordan / Rachel.  Kneeling- Brian / Webb / Scrappy Phil

NWJJA took five fighters to NAGA “Seattle” and by days end we walked away with five medals!  A huge congrats to all whom stepped up and had the courage to fight on the mat.  Your coach, your fellow training partners, and myself could not be more proud.  Way to represent!

  • Brett Smith – Silver no gi advanced
  • Big Kamau – Gold blue belt heavyweight
  • Jordan Z – Gold advanced no gi
  • Rachel (not sure of your last name) – bronze in no gi beginner (I believe Rachel’s first tournament)
  • Nick Skinner – Bronze no gi beginner (Nicks first tournament)

Wanted to offer the best of luck to Jordan, Dutchess, Kamau, and Nick whom are all fighting at NAGA’s “Seattle” (which is really in Bremerton) Tournament.  Play your game, fight your ass off, and have some fun!  Also a quick reminder that there are no classes this weekend for both NWJJA and Three Harmonies.
This is NAGA’s first tournament in the Pac NW and I am curious as to how the turnout will be since for some inexplicable reason the powers that be decided to hold this tournament on the other side of the sound in Bremerton!  Unfortunately I will be out of town but someone please update me on how we do! imageThere will be no class on Saturday May 18th.  I apologize for any inconvenience.


imageJordan was busy having a baby last belt promotion so Brian did not get a chance to formally promote him in front of everyone.  But last night at SIMA Brian presented Jordan with his Feixa Azul!  Congrats on both the kiddo and the promotion, well deserved, you’ve been rolling really well! imageI see that Xande has been working the Kimura grip game I developed for him;)  Thanks to my broski Matt for sending this my way, we see Xande working various transitions into submissions utilizing the Kimura grip.  To your left you can see the man whom this is named after himself using the Kimura grip in a standing position.  Gives a nice clear shot of how you are gripping and grabbing.  The plan is to use this game to bring home some medal in a couple weeks!

Study this, lots of little gems and details in this clip:

I finally got the chance to sit down and spend some time going through Daniel Faggella’s latest project called “Leg Lock Mastery”and I am seriously quite impressed with this young mans teaching ability and mat prowess!  You  have most likely seen Dann compete as he is becoming well known for his dynamic entries and fast leg attacks:
imageNow you can actually tap into the source himself with a program solely dedicated to leg attacks from all angles: ankle locks / calf slicers / heel hooks / toe holds / knee bars etc.  The program involves getting a new PDF and program weekly where the teaching clips are about the length of a class, 30 minutes or so.  Professionally edited and taught, the video and audio production are clear and high quality without distracting noises and people in the background (common issue with programs like these).

Daniel takes the student through a progressive learning model building upon the previous technique taught, and taking divergent side paths where appropriate to discuss certain strategies or variations for those of different body types / abilities.  And that speaks to the experience of this young man in conveying information.  Often times a teacher is guilty of seeing the world only through there own eyes, but an experienced coach will offer variations for those not flexible enough / not agile enough etc.  Daniel also offers options depending on rule sets you are fighting in.  For example heel hooks are game in NAGA events, but in IBJJF they are illegal across the board!  Daniel offers different types of attacks from the same controls that are not interdependent on the rule sets.

imageDaniel also offers a “Leg Lock Drilling Guide” which gives the student a template to work on the setups (arguably the most important aspect of leg attacks)!  All this for $7.95 a month is a steal in my opinion!  Daniel is putting in tons of work and honestly the material is solid.  He is real honest giving props to where he picked stuff up at which I find refreshing, and he teaches with a sense of humor which I always appreciate.

The clips he sent me to review all covered Tanquinho’s insatiable appetite for heel hooks!  Dann got the chance to do some training with the man himself and brought the techniques back to his students and subsequently that is part of the clips he shares on “Leg Lock Mastery.”   The camera and audio were great, with the cameraman floating and repositioning when needed.  I am not sure if it is Dann’s awesome editing, or his super conscientious students but never did anyone walk in between the camera and the teacher!  This is rude enough live in class, but when someone is filming it is enough to make you want to go ape shit nuts on someone as inevitably they cut across when the teacher is showing the most important detail!  Not here!

The only criticism I have, and mind you I have not seen the ENTIRE program, is that I would like to see Daniel incorporate more drills and coaching models into these instructionals.  Great for students, but the next step in breaking down HOW to drill these techniques would be invaluable to coaches across the board.  I think this platform is a great launching point and knowing Daniel he will take this constructive criticism and offer something next week!  That is one of the things I like about Dann… he is constantly improving and bettering himself.  Admirable in a teacher!

Daniel and I have spoken quite a bit about the importance of leg attacks and escapes from leg attacks.  Too many BJJ schools ignore these aspects of grappling to their demise as they advance in rank and get exposed to leg attacks.  If you need inspiration then look no further then World Champ Buchecha and his incessant leg attack mindset!  Whether you are a seasoned veteran or brand new to the leg lock game I think Daniel has something to offer your game.  With a nickname like “Micro” you have to believe you will be getting all those minute details!

Click here to be redirected to Dann’s page and order up your program today!

Tape Early, Tap Often,

Reviewers caveat: I was payed by Dann to advertise for his program on my blog, but the review is solely independent of said promotion and as unbiased as humanly possible.  Simple fact is if I don’t like it, I will not accept money for it regardless! 

imageWanted to give thanks to my mom (and really all mothers that fit this MO), for the constant encouragement in the martial arts.  The trips to Karate practice.  The 3+ hour drive to Lansing only to leave my 14 year old ass in the hands of complete strangers who were smacking each other with sticks!  The boredom of “Hurry up and wait” only to see me fight for 3 minutes in tournaments.  Thank you for seeing my passion and respecting it unquestionably.  You have always been, and always will be my number one fan!  Love you!imageNO CLASS Wednesday May 15th!

We will have a make up Kali class on Monday May 13th at 6pm!

Apologies for any inconvenience.

imageAttention all NWJJA students; our academy is now officially registered with the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation!  We are only the fourth academy in the state, and second academy in the city of Seattle to be officially recognized by the IBJJF. Click here to see the official list.
What does this mean to the average student??  Overall nothing will change at the dojo, but for those of you whom compete in IBJJF sanctioned events (and rumor has it they are looking to do one in Vancouver, BC this year) this means you can register under the banner of NW Jiu Jitsu!  It is important to use “NW Jiu Jitsu Academy” exactly, as typing “northwest” will bring up a totally different academy.


For those looking to train at a great Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school, look no further then NWJJA, as the owner/head coach is a multi time World No Gi medalist, 4x Grapplers Quest Champion (pro division), 2010 US Open Absolute BB champ, BB bronze medalist at weight, and ADCC regional champion.  Not only is the coach a successful competitor but so are his students with blue belt no gi champions, NAGA World champs, multi-Revolution medalists, and all around great cats to roll with.

Stop in and say “Hi” and check out why NWJJA is THE academy for you and your family!

Train Hard.  Train Smart.

imageAn open invite to any and all grapplaholics in Canada and the Midwest… our friend Ron Dupuis of Windsor BJJ will be hosting the third annual Jean Jacques Machado Open June 29-30, 2013 in Windsor, ON. (just across the bridge from Detroit!

The cool thing about this event is not only are you in a double elimination tournament, but the day before you get the opportunity to train with the red-black belt legend himself, Jean Jacques Machado!

Hope to see you there!

imageimageOnce again my coach and friend for well over a decade Tim Cartmell, will be returning to his affiliate Michael Selin at Ecole de Budo in Portland, OR. May 17-19th 2013.  For those of you unaware Tim is not only a 30 year veteran of the Chinese martial arts, but also is Cleber Luciano’s first black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu where Tim currently holds the rank of 2nd degree black belt.  A multi time Pan Am medalist, 7x Copa Champ, Tim’s tournament prowess is overshadowed only by his teaching ability.

A noted author, head coach at Ace JJ in Fountain Valley, CA., and the inspiration for Ace Ventura…Come train with one of the best kept secrets in the martial world.  If you are sincerely disappointed I will reimburse you personally!

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu SeminarMay 17th, 6-8pmMay 18th, 10am-12pm / 1-4pmMay 19th, 10am-1pm
Members of Ecole de Budo – $100All others – $150
Michael SelinSchool of Budo – USA7506 N Chicago AvenuePortland, Oregon, 97203Tel – 503-705-5275[email protected]
imageOur friend Reilly Bodycomb, (author, teacher, competitor of Sambo) just earned Silver at the 2013 US Sambo Open over the weekend and he has compiled his submission victories in this clip below.

I love Sambo and Reilly always keeps it exciting with dynamic leg attack entries, as well as a phenomenal firemans carry!

Congrats Reilly from The Ground Never Misses!  Huge accomplishment!

imageBig congrats to one of our best training partners at NWJJA, Brett “Dutchess” Smith who took second at this weekends Subleague Qualifier.  Brett nailed a straight ankle lock, head and arm choke, and a rear naked on his way to fighting a draw with his final opponent.  Brett earned silver and an automatic berth in the Subleague championships later this year.

Congrats brother!

imageUnofficially – official, May is wrestling month.  After the appalling announcement in February that the IOC was going to cut wrestling from the 2020 Olympic games, wrestlers worldwide have declared May wrestling month!  More specifically…. save Olympic Wrestling Month!

The IOC will be meeting in St. Petersburg Russia at the conclusion of this month where wrestling will have one last chance to stay in the Olympics!

Great clip and I couldn’t agree more:

This hit’s home more then I care to admit.  Time for us to change some of our perspectives don’t you think?

imageIt is exactly 6 months from November 1st, happy May Day!  Time for something new and I have the perfect new gi for the grappler in your life.  I have ranted and raved about 1914 BJJ kimono’s before (click here to read the pearl weave review) to the point they actually were kind enough to give me my first BJJ sponsorship, and now I want to offer my review of the Gold Weave 1914 gi! Though quite a bit has happened in the past year since the pearl weave review for me personally, I must say that 1914 has maintained there top notch customer service and craftsmanship. And checking in on that pearl weave over a year after first getting it finds that it is my go-to gi with a comfortable fit that takes abuse week in – week out.
Headed by Blake Kerr, 1914 BJJ is a Oklahoma based company that has some of the most comfortable gi’s on the market.  Named after the arrival date of Mitsuyo Maeda  in Brazil, ultimately leading to what would be considered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 1914 BJJ ushers in a solidly built kimono.

imageTriple stitched and reinforced seems abound, the gold weave has the same quality build as the pearl, but in what some may consider softer material.  On the website 1914 lists the gold weave being a full pound heavier and to be honest I find it a .5# heavier at best.  If weight is a concern I really think there is little discernible difference between the two.  I will say that gold weave seems to retain moisture and sweat more then the pearl, not sure if that is due to the weave, but the cotton is top grade that is breathable and shrinks minimally.

imageI have been wearing the gold for months now and have had no structural collapse at all (IE. no rips, tears, or wears), and we have been training a lot of spider guard.  The kimono itself allows for maximum movement without burdening pivots and transitions.  The cuffs are not reinforced with ribbon stitching which can be itchy and annoying.  A single piece of cotton with minimal “bling” the 1914 kimono stands out in an industry rife with excessive, aggressive images, 1914 reminds us of our roots not only with the brand but also with the simple smooth embroidered logos on the arms and thigh in a contrasting color with the gi.  No snarling demons, nor pitbulls full of rage.  The fit is where its at though, and one must pay close attention to the size chart, but in the end this is one of the smoothest fitting gi’s.
For instance in the past year or so I have lost a bit of weight and am now at about 195#’s.  I got the A4 which is my normal size, but being a bit lanky I feel I could probably fit into an A3.  The kimono I have dried down a bit so it has shrunk minimally in the wash.  The pants though… these little buggers are still a bit baggy for me, and to be honest Blake explained that this was one of the issues 1914 BJJ was correcting on the next batch of kimonos.  Design wise the crotch was a bit too roomy.

The pants are reinforced at the knee, with a draw cord which I love, and offer four loops on the front.  The collar on the jacket is perfect being not too thick, not too thin.  I find the skirt stays in the belt fine until about two tugs on it.

imageWhen sizing consider minimal shrinkage, and take into consideration  my comments above when looking at these pics.  My height to weight ratio puts me right in the middle but I still fit comfortably into the A4.  The pants must be cut better through the crotch though, and Blake reassured me via email just last week that the pants were the first consideration when the design team sits down to meet next.

Honestly I asked 1914 for sponsorship after wearing the pearl weave and falling in love with it!  The quality is top notch, coupled with excellent customer service at a moderate price range, making 1914 BJJ kimono’s a best buy.  You will feel the same way when you slip into a 1914!  Click here to be redirected to 1914’s website and let them know you heard about them via Jake at The Ground Never Misses!

imageimageAll photo’s courtesy of Terry Neil