Will of iron heart of velvet mmas

imageEffective June 1st the following schedule will be instituted: Tues & Thurs evenings at 6pm, and Saturday morning at 10am.  Unless otherwise instructed please bring your sparring gear, focus mitts, sticks, helmet, etc. as well as a note book and a training agenda.

I am also not going to be accepting new students straight up.  Any prospective student(s) will be interviewed to ensure Three Harmonies Martial Arts is the right fit for them and their goals.

If you have any questions about the schedule change or any other concerns please feel free to call, email, or pull me aside before/after class and I will be happy to address any and all concerns.

Thank you,

imageI love it when some of my favorite hip-hop MC’s or producers chime in on the martial arts.  Wu Tang Clan is most likely the obvious one, but stars such as Dead Prez, Roots, and Immortal Technique have all trained at one time or another and often share clues in complex lyrical patterns.

Speaking of Immortal Technique (one of the most consciously aware and relevant musicians in hip hop, and really all of music) here is what he had to share on his FB page yesterday:

My old master once told me. “Felipe, while you’re drinking and getting high with your friends, someone is running miles. While you’re playing video games, someone is doing Kata in the dark. While you are running around the streets someone is in the dojo doing push ups. And when you and this person meet, their gonna fuckin’ destroy you.” Haha

This exemplary child is obviously a unique example, but I have always advocated children learning Martial arts. It’s not supposed just teaching “fighting”, but rather, survival skills, philosophy of how to fight and how to know when to fight. How to know how to make a quick escape, or to properly use your voice. To not, as my old master once said, end up ‘fighting to the death against one who is not your enemy.’ It’s supposed to be about self-defense in all measures, responsibility, discipline, analysis, focus, health & exercise.

A warrior isn’t gender biased either. Shout to the woman warriors of the world for holding us down. Plus. This girl Mahiro, would fuck up a lot of you fat, high, slow moving talking about “I’ll hit her with a 40oz” ass niggaz! Haha… Listen brothers and sisters, all jokes aside. In a world full of danger, predators, not only Martial Arts but you have to teach your child to be aware. To be cautious and think and size up not just people, but also situations. I wish I had completed my training from when I was young. However, if not Martial Arts, then at least emergency response, or a class to save them from drowning or a fire or an earthquake. God bless your children and this child. Teach them and protect them well.

Peace & Respect,
Immortal Technique

And for those of you whom are not sure who this Immortal Technique cat is, here is one of my favorite spoken word songs:

and quite possibly the best homage to the Goonies ever laid on wax:

imageimageNow that summer is in full swing you are going to want to ensure you grab some new rashies to keep you cool and cootie free.  The limited release collaboration between 93 Brand and Meerkatsu has resulted in the “Choking Hazard” short sleeve rash guard from Roll More dot com.  Dare I say this might be the perfect summer rash guard.

imageThe 85% polyester / 15% spandex weave has just the right amount of compression maintaining comfortability while providing the cooling and wicking one expects from a grappling rash guard.  I have worn the Choking Hazard for the past couple of months and the reinforced stitching shows zero wear and tear in terms of pilling, pulling at the seems, nor loose threads.

imageThis is a 100% sublimated rash guard, with even the tag sublimated into the collar (small things like the absence of an annoying tag rubbing on your neck are what make the Choking Hazard a winner), maintains the faux prescription bottle theme perfectly.  A cute breakdown of uses, active ingredients, colourings, directions, and warnings adorn the back complimented by a giant “Choking Hazard” sign on the ventral surface.  The short sleeve version is offered in the sharp orange and black color scheme that is good looking without being obnoxious featuring a design from artist Meerkatsu.

Honestly this blend and quality of design are one of the most comfortable rash guards I have come across in a while, and the only negative aspect I can find is it is manufactured in Pakistan.  Comfort coupled with a great design and affordable price ($59.99 msrp), should put the Choking Hazard rash guard on top of your wish list for summer grappling clothing.

imageYou can order your size rashie from the Roll More martial arts website by clicking here. 

imageScout has been down and out with an injury, but he is back with a vengeance including his latest venture… a series of breakdowns on Positional Studies, the most recent being ‘Bicep Ride.’  As always BJJ Scout breaks down grappling into bite sized morsels that are easy for us to chew regardless of rank and experience.  The more experience one has the more they can digest.

You will also notice a nice little shout out at the beginning (10 second mark) of the video for Brian Johnson’s “B-12 BJJ Curriculum” so please do us a favor and help spread the word via Scout’s video. Not so coincidentally many of the principles Scout is breaking down are taught in Brian’s fundamental curriculum!

imageTime to set down the booze, and take a break from the carb loading to remember just what your three day weekend is really all about.  Certainly we should take a moment to pay homage to the men and women we have lost throughout history in our various battles, as well as those who served in our military.  But also let us reflect and learn from these past altercations and not be so hasty to send our kids back into senseless conflicts whose sole purpose is to make the rich richer.  We all owe our service men and women the best possible services and care when they return.  We can all do more.imageHappy Memorial Day.  Thank a veteran.  Remember the fallen and those whom have still not come home. John B. Will will be making his annual pilgrimage to the Emerald City on Sunday June 22nd to offer glimpses of his genius in both gi and no gi grappling.  As most of my readers know John Will has been Brian’s coach for well over a dozen trips around the sun, and he takes a weekend of his year to visit with us each rotation.  One of the Dirty Dozen (first twelve non-Brazilian black belts), Australia’s first BJJ black belt, and one of the most sought after coaches, join John Will at the NW Jiu Jitsu Academy for a day of training. Payment reserves your spot and space is limited. imageBrazilian Jiu Jitsu TrainingSunday June 22nd, 2014
NW Jiu Jitsu Academy942 N. 95th St. 
12-2pm Gi2:30-4:30 No Gi
$50 one session / $85 for both
imageThe NY Times featured this nice photo essay on the first ever World Muay Boran gathering held last March in Ayutthaya Thailand.  A welcomed distraction from the political unrest the country is experiencing.  Though short the essay is quite nice.  Click here to read the entire article.

“This tournament is important because people only see bad information in the news about Thailand,” said Chinawut Sirisompan, a grandmaster.

imageRoy Dean is renown for bringing top quality instructionals to the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu table and his latest project has me quite stoked and excited.  “Pure Rolling” is a collaboration with Stuart Cooper Films where Dean has taken live sparring footage, slowed it down to 50 frames per second with breakdown and analysis.  This is a great idea and I am glad that Cooper brings a new technical level coupled with Dean’s wickedly detailed grappling eye to the market.  I will work on obtaining a promotional copy to review on The Ground Never Misses.

imageThe origins of Filipino Eskrima/Arnis/Kali are the stuff of legends.  A history rife with war and constant defense against foreign conquerors, the native peoples of course had their indigenous fighting arts but quickly found their Spanish enemies were quite well versed in bladed combat as well as possessing superior steel.

This is a well done video digest based upon the book “Cebuano Eskrima: Beyond the Myth” by Dr. Ned R.A. Nepangue and Celestino C. Macachor.  I have not read the book but this video has piqued my interest.  I do not have enough knowledge nor training to argue with any of the facts laid out in this digest but either way there is some great history of both the martial arts as well as the Filipino Bladed Combat Arts.

From the authors:
We would like to pay tribute to these CEBUANO ICONS OF ESKRIMA:

• Solferino “Kapitan Perong Pak-an” Borinaga
• Pantaleon “Leon Kilat” Villegas
• Laurente “Laguno” Sabanal
• Pablo “Amboy Kidlat” Sabanal
• Lorenzo Saavedra
• Teodoro “Doring” Saavedra
• Fr. Jose Ortega
• Floro Villabrille
• Felicisimo Dizon
• Artemio Paez
• Meliton Indangan
• Regino Ilustrisimo
• Antonio Ilustrisimo
• Jose D. Caballero
• Juanito Lacoste
• Venancio “Anciong” Bacon
• Julian Goc-ong
• Jack Santos
• Telesporo Subingsubing
• Lucky Lucaylucay
• Ted Lucaylucay
• Timoteo “Timor” Maranga
• Eulogio “Yoling” Canete
• Filemon “Momoy” Canete
• Ciriaco “Cacoy” Canete
• Dionisio Canete
• Vicente “Inting” Carin
• Atty. Jose Villasin
• Teofilo Velez
• Alberto Dacayana, Sr.
• Filemon Caburnay
• Johnny Chiuten
• Sonny Umpad
• Eduardo “Dadoy” Sombilon
• Jose “Joego” Milan
• Antonio “Tony” Diego
• Epifanio “Yuly” Romo
• Esing Atillo
• Uldarico “Poldeng” Llano
• Nonito “Dodong” Limchua
• Ondo Caburnay
• Jesus Abella
• Pablicito “Pabling” Cabahug
imageLate Sunday night / Monday morning BJJ legend Renzo Gracie, his cousin Igor Gracie, and five other men were arrested and charged with assault and gang assault in the attack of a nightclub bouncer.  Reports are stating that Renzo and his crew got in an argument at 1:30am which quickly escalated with the conclusion being a bouncer with some stitches and a broken arm.  You can read the entire story by clicking here.

I realize that like a coin there are three sides to every story, so I will reserve a lashing, but I cannot express how disappointed I am to hear this news.  The Gracie family is rife with mindless machismo, but I always thought Renzo was the warrior with reason seemingly in better control than any of his extended family.  Being an adult I do not need to hear all sides of this story to know a few basic life “rules” if you will.  Surely it is a free country, but what is a man doing out at a club on Sunday night at 1:30 in the AM when you are pushing 50?  Nothing positive happens when alcohol (god knows what else) mixes with testosterone and seemingly the majority of martial lessons I have learned about only fighting when you have no other choice, were absent with Renzo and his “boys.”
I think it is time the Gracie clan stops focusing on the street thuggery they like to spin as pride.  It is a false sense of achievement gentlemen and rather telling of the insecurities you are trying to hide.  I cannot help but believe there was a better way to deal with whatever issue came to light.

imageHere is another great highlight clip from the Sea of Fusion seminars in Ireland a couple of weeks ago featuring Guro’s Doug Marcaida and Jeff Davidson.  Great stuff from solid instructors, I look forward to seeing more:

Some kind words from Guro Jeff on Guro Liam McDonald:

I am so joyed and happy for my friends Pam & Denise as they invited me to be part of their intimate family on May 17th 2014 where they tied the knot after 17+ years of love and kinship!  I met Denise nearly 8 years ago on the mat at NW Jiu Jitsu where she promptly choked my big goofy ass out.  We soon became friends and without a doubt she is one of the best training partners I have ever had.  Brian’s only black belt and most loyal and dedicated student, Denise is the epitome of the principles on which BJJ is built, and standing right next to her the entire way has been her faithful companion in life Pam.  A more lovely couple you will not meet.

Yes, thats correct… she got married in her black belt, cuz that’s how we roll! 

You will notice I have not used their last name and that is quite intentional as Pam & Denise truly are one love!  I have never met a more wonderful couple and I cannot be happier that the people of the state of Washington finally got their collective heads out of the clouds and legalized the marriage of anyone to anyone.  The fact that we have to legislate these human right’s is beyond me but also a topic for another time.  Congrats girlz, and thank you for allowing me to be part of your day!

Love always,

PS Not that they are hip hop fans, but this track from the Polish Ambassador featuring Mr. Lif and Ayla Nereo is amazingly beautiful and the brilliant lyrics about feeling lost and being found seem apropos:

imageRickson Gracie blackbelt Luiz Claudio offers some solid fundamental movements and principles on passing your opponents open guard:

imageThere will be no class Saturday May 17th 2014.  Apologies for any inconvenience.  Train hard, enjoy your weekend and I will see you Tuesday. imageOur friends Doug Marcaida and Jeff Davidson just visited gorgeous Ireland to offer training in the stick, blade, empty hand, and of course Shillelagh for the Sea of Fusion Festival!  Grab your morning java and crank up the pipes while checking out the mechanics and techniques of Sea of Fusion 2014:

imageWrestling great Cary Kolat has an amazing Youtube channel where he shares some of wrestling’s signature moves including the front headlock to Cement Job which is perfect for BJJ!  Check out these gems:

imageI am bummed I cannot make this weekends ground breaking, (or shall I say shaking), seminar in LA with Byamba, but Kintamayama and his Youtube channel has provided me my Sumo fix for the month of May.  Check out the first two days of action and then subscribe to Kintamayama’s channel:

imageOne of the greatest things Leo Gaje gave the west when he started teaching Pekiti Tirsia Kali was structure and order.  Many Filipino martial arts instructors are notorious for being completely unorganized with any kind of cohesive learning model, comparatively Gaje was ahead of his time.  Gaje’s top student Tim Waid has followed in his teachers footsteps with his latest offering in his DVD series on Pekiti Tirsia Kali (PTK) combatives; “Advanced Footwork and Lost Secrets of the Filipino Martial Arts.”

This will be the third DVD in the series I have reviewed of Tim’s, and as with all of his work technically these instructional’s are top notch.  The production value is second to none with superb editing offering clean chapter breaks and no glitches across the 75 minute DVD.  As with previous productions the addition of the boom camera is one of the greatest aspects of Tim’s DVDs.  Giving the student literally a birds eye view of the instruction enables one to get as close to 3D as possible via a 2D media outlet.  In an art as complex and involved as kali these innovations may seem trite to most, but to those of us who have been around the FMA for the past 20 years you know how important multiple angles and different views are when trying to learn such an advanced art.  Waid also incorporates the use of chalk lines on the floor of his training space.  These footwork diagrams certainly help the student.

Tim Waid’s entire life has been consumed by two things… training Pekiti Tirsia Kali and his service in the Marine Corp.  A full time instructor who just launched his new site PTK – SMF Waid’s resume reads like a technical manual on combatives and strategy.  One must keep this in mind when viewing his DVD’s as he is intense and rather militaristic in his delivery which coupled with diligent drilling ensures technical proficiency.  His analyzation of the footwork is amazing concise and keep in mind this is someone who has dedicated his ENTIRE martial arts life to a single sole system.  This is his pure expression of PTK as he knows it.

That said it is important for any potential buyers of this DVD to take the title seriously, this REALLY is advanced material!  The student must have a foundation in the footwork and basics of PTK specifically to get anything out of this instructional.  For instance the footwork you learn in Doce Pares will not suffice as a foundation for the work in this DVD.  It is not that the basics of any art are inefficient, just that you need to thoroughly understand the fundamentals of Pekiti Tirsia specifically to reap any of the benefits of Advanced Footwork.  Waid does show several repeats of the technique he just taught, but overall is moving rather quickly through various drills, illustrating the importance of understanding range and proper angling.  If you do not have the basics I would highly suggest purchasing the Basic Footwork DVD first and working these fundamentals thoroughly with a partner, otherwise you are wasting your pennies.

Broken into a half dozen chapter, Advanced Footwork offers the following scene selections:


  • Footwork Strategy
  • Counter-Offense System
  • Offense / Attack System
  • Lost Secrets 1-3
  • Lost Secrets 4-6
  • Lost Secrets 7-9

Each chapter has sub-chapters wherein lie the marrow of the lessons.  For instance Tim Waid teaches the universal evasion angle in the initial “Lost Secret” chapter.  Not only does he teach it, he EXPLAINS the reasoning WHY you step that direction instead of just any other angle.  Again this is a welcomed departure from 90% of the FMA instructionals out there where for the most part individuals show off and demonstrate but rarely actually teach and explain.

The secrets are the training methods.  Not really a secret, nor lost, huh?  Anyone who has been in the martial arts for more then a few years should know that the sole secret in any art is training.  Waid offers insights into the intent of engaging with weapons at range which I also feel is a unique attribute of this DVD.  Retailing for $79.95 makes this one of the more expensive DVD instructionals on the market, and currently is not available for electronic download so you will need a DVD player. Though the price may be prohibitive this DVD (and honestly so far what I have seen of the entire series) is second to none.  There is absolutely no similar information available on the Pekiti Tirsia Kali system out there, and honestly I have not seen any FMA instructional come close to the quality and depth of Tim Waid’s Authentic Pekiti Tirsia Kali Training Series.

So tell the wifey you need a small allowance, a free weekend, and get online grabbing yourself a great new blade such as the TROIKA as well as Tim’s series of DVDs, and train your ass off!  A wonderful resource for those not close to an instructor or even veterans of PTK who wish to witness Waid’s expression of the art.

For more titles, or to order “Advanced Footwork” click here to be redirected to Tim Waid’s brand new website!

imageThanks to DSTRYRsg for this awesome little clip.  These Ecuadorian cats train in both Cacoy Eskrima and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and seem to have an amazingly open attitude in their expression and exploration of combat.  Admittingly my Spanglish is piss poor so I am not sure what they are saying all the time but the technique and strategy speak for themselves.

I certainly have questions and head scratching moments in this short clip, but more importantly I think they address a subject often completely ignored in FMA… realistic situations/scenarios where a foundation in grappling is key.  Is it ideal to fight on your butt or knees?  No.  But one never knows where/what position we may have to engage someone in, so it is paramount that we learn solid fundamentals both standing as well as on the ground.

It is a biased opinion, but a right one none the less… the overwhelming majority of “tuhons” and “masters” in the FMA world would benefit greatly from some private lessons in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from a qualified instructor.  I have seen a lot of folks out there replicating (poorly) moves they saw on Youtube or the UFC within the context of FMA, and quite frankly it is pitiful and painful to witness.  So before you get too critical of these guys ask yourself what you are doing to push the limitation of your understanding and skills?

imageimageRCJ Machado proudly presents the 2014 Naturally Fit Grappling Games July 26th in Austin, TX.  Both gi and no gi divisions will be available for athletes of all levels from beginner to advanced.  White to black belt.  To register or for more info click here.   imageHere are the top 5 Ippons from the 2014 European Championships in Montpelier.

RCJ Machado and Team Pitch Black member Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson has been busy rising through the ranks in the UFC, but has always made time to help those in need.  Veterans are no exception as Stephen recently shared a trip to South Africa with A HERO, an organization dedicated to helping veterans of foreign wars deal with the emotional, mental, and physical disabilities. imageUsing a hunting trip to South Africa as a means to commune with both nature and other veterans, this is what Stephen had to say:

“Hanging out with these guys, they are true heroes,” Thompson said. “You see the UFC fighters and they are fighting on TV and these kids or teenagers thinking that we are the heroes, but we are not.  These guys are the heroes. They’re out there doing things and putting their lives on the line for us.  Being out there and listening to their stories, sometimes it breaks your heart, but it makes you realize the risks these guys take and they are out there doing it.”

AHERO South Africa Hunt Promo from The Resistance TV on Vimeo

“I’m looking forward to doing it again next year. We want to help these guys get back on their feet,” Thompson said.  “We want to let them know that their world does not come to an end, life goes on, and they need our help. That’s the message I want to get to everybody.”

Click here to read the entire article.

imageHappy Sumo Friday kids.  Just a friendly reminder that the Natsu Basho starts in 9 days.  This will be the first time in 13 years that three Yokozuna grace the highest of ranks.  Can’t wait!  So here is a rare Sumo toss that is just perfect; Izori:

imageDo you suffer from PTSD due to an assault or traumatic event? Are you tired of being hushed and medicated?  Then join  NWJJA’s very own black belt Denise Holcomb this weekend, along with a cadre of women instructors from the Pacific NW as they raise awareness and money for Women’s Day Out 2014, Saturday May 3rd.
Unfortunately cases of sexual assault are rising in our society, both inside and out of the military, and this event is an attempt to raise awareness to PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and MSA (military sexual assault).  Both fitness and martial art / self defense seminars will be taught along with a forum and opportunity to get support and find help if you have suffered from psychological/emotional/physical pain via assault or other traumatic event.

Click here to be re-directed to the Womens Day Out site.  Or you can contact Maria Dill 253-632-5085  Suggested donations are only $10 with the proceeds benefiting the American Lake Women’s PTSD Program, and women veterans are welcome to attend free of charge.

Denise Holcomb at the 2013 Masters Worlds

Denise Holcomb, one of the instructors of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sessions, is a black belt under Brian J. Johnson whom she has been loyally training with since her martial journey began over 12 years ago.  She is a seasoned teacher as well as being the silver medalist in the 2013 Masters / Seniors Black Belt lightweight division where she held her own with girls 15 years her younger!