Pekiti Tirsia Kali Takedowns and Disarms

imageBill McGrath showcases some disarms and fast takedowns from the Pekiti Tirsia Kali system of combat.  Pekiti is one of the most scientific in terms of the approach to real world combatives.  More and more I am hearing about weapon based attacks both locally here in the Pacific NW as well as globally around the world.  If you are interested in learning how to defend yourself in such situations come join us to train Wednesday nights at 6pm and Saturday at 9am.

Krav Maga grenade FAIL! 

I want to thank my brother from another mother Bald Monk for sharing this on Facefuck today, as I really do not know what to say here.  Sadly this is indicative of many “reality” based martial arts, not just Krav Maga.  Fundamentally there is so much that is hysterically inaccurate with this clip that I do not know where to start, so kick your feet up and crack open a cold one for a gutbuster and some fundamental defense against explosive devices… that are never thrown… or used to pummel in lieu of actually being thrown:

Fellow bloggers over at MMA Nuts shared this interesting read that heed’s some sobering advice from former UFC fighter Nate Quarry.  Apparently Nate himself posted this on an online forum:

When I signed with the UFC this is what I was told”

We can’t pay you much but you can have any sponsors you want.

Then: We need to approve your sponsors.

Then: You can’t have any conflicting sponsors.

Then: You can’t thank your sponsors after fights.

Then: We are not approving any sponsors that we don’t like their product.

Then: Your sponsors have to pay us a fee of $50,000 for the pleasure to sponsor you.

Then: Your sponsors have to pay us a fee of $100,000 for the pleasure to sponsor you.

If a sponsor has a budget of 10k to sponsor a fighter, they are then out. If there are 5 shorts companies in the UFC you can only go to them for a sponsorship. If they have spent their budget or don’t want to support an up and coming fighter they give you shorts instead of money. If you’re fighting for $6,000 to show and fighting 3 times a year, even $500 makes a big difference. When there is no competition they don’t have to pay you. I lost And1 as a sponsor when the UFC enacted the tax.

At the UFC summit a fighter asked if he could wear his own shirt. Dana laughed and said, “Uh… we can talk about it.” I turned around and asked the UFC lawyer if I could wear my OWN shirt and he said, “Sure, give me $50,000 and we can talk about it.”

People have no clue from the outside what it’s like to fight for the UFC. After spending 10-15 years chasing your dream only to see that the company it’s been your dream to fight for cares nothing about the fighters and only cares about the bottom line.

When I was fighting for the UFC we got X-Mas presents like an iPod. A very bottom of the line iPod but it was still cool. Now the guys get a gift certificate to the UFC store and can use it ONE day. Any money they don’t spend on that day is forfeited.

A fighter gets to use the gym at the hotel he’s fighting at for free. The cornermen and everyone with him have to pay. So I’m helping Leben make weight the day of weigh ins and have to pay to go sit in the sauna with him. The UFC couldn’t say, “The fighter gets 3 people to go into the gym with him the week of the fight.”

That’s just nickel and dime stuff.

With every little bit they try to squeeze out of the fighters, the more the other organizations will look more attractive.

I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to fight for the UFC and everything I have besides my daughter has come from fighting. But let’s not fool ourselves. It’s not a charity. It’s a business. And they are doing everything they can to make money. The fighters are just a product to use and discard. Every up and coming fighter is the best ever. Every ex-fighter who then expresses an opinion is a coward, loser, etc, etc.

I fought for the world title for $10,000. Not a penny more. No bonus. No cut of the PPV. The gate alone was 3.5 million dollars. The third highest gate in UFC history at the time. And they must have loved the fight cuz they show the final punch at the start of EVERY UFC PPV. 🙂

And that’s fine. Because it’s a business. But sooner or later the allure of fighting in the UFC will not be as attractive as fighting for an organization that takes care of you, appreciates you, will let you have sponsors to help make up the income gap, doesn’t trash you when you think for yourself, and on and on. Just like every business you work for. It’s funny to me to hear people cheer for Dana when he says things that if he was your boss and he said them about you, you would be looking for another job. But when you’re signed to a contract, you can’t go anywhere. No matter how much you want to.

When I retired I received a form letter, EMAILED to me that said, “Should you choose to fight again you are still under contract with the UFC.” I didn’t even get a hard copy with a real signature that I could frame.

As I said, I love what the UFC has done for me and my family. And specifically what Dana has done for me.
But I also know it’s a business. And that’s the best piece of advice I can give to wanna be fighters. Fight for the love of the game. But you better treat it like a business. Because the promoter handing you a contract sure will.

imageRCJ Machado family member (literal and figurative) Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson will be stepping into the octagon tonight in UFC 170 to face his toughest opponent yet in 12-3 Robert Whitaker.  Stephen is an amazing martial artist and more importantly a stand up man (something of a rare quality unfortunately anymore), so make sure you cheer for him on the undercard of Rousey vs McMann.

imageThere is so much cliche shit I could write right now, but in the end I have nothing but admiration and respect for Rodolfo Viera and Michael Langhi.
From Brent Smith on 10th Planet Forums:

World champions Rodolfo Vieira (GFTeam) and Michael Langhi (Alliance) were in Gramado last weekend to follow the Brazilian WPJJC Trials.
Rodolfo was watching his sister, Ana Carolina, who won at purple belt. Langhi was competing to secure his ticket to Abu Dhabi.

But, when organizer Fernando Paradeda invited both to take part in a very special moment. Langhi and Rodolfo put their gis and were ready to compete against two champions in life.

Michael Baltierra Photography

Wanted to remind my loyal readership, and let anyone new to the Seattle, WA. metro area know that I am happy to offer private and semi-private instruction in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  With over 20 years of martial arts experience (the past 8 being solely dedicated to BJJ) I focus each lesson on attaining the students individual goals within the greater context of improving their grappling skill set.  A brown belt under Brian J. Johnson at the NW Jiu Jitsu Academy, I also draw upon the teachings of Tim Cartmell both of which have had the greatest influence on me and I attribute 98% of what I know to these men.

John Cooper photography

I have also had the fortune to train with some amazing grapplers including all five of the Machado brothers; Rener Gracie; Alberto Crane; Anderson Silva; Fabio Santos; Anotonio Noguiera; David Meyer; John Will; Marcelo Garcia; Roy Harris; Saulo Ribiero; Jeff Glover; Rafael Lovato Jr etc.  Needless to say I have many great influences and try to bring all my experiences including an extensive competition record to every roll I engage in on the mat.

To schedule a lesson please call 206-941-3232 or email me [email protected] and we can book a session today!

On my way winning the Revolution:

A match from 2009 No Gi Worlds where I ended up Gold superheavy blue belt, and bronze open class:

Because this is awesome!! 

It is evident that the general public desires the skill set to defend against an armed assailant as the results of the poll where I asked “What would you like to see covered in a self defense book?”  And why wouldn’t you desire this knowledge?  Our masters had to deal with weapons of all sorts, and in modern society weapon based attacks are all too common (though violent crime with guns has dramatically dropped in the last couple of years).

So if you would please vote on the latest poll to your right -> and then check out our friend Darrin Cook over at Big Stick Combat, as he has written a couple of posts regarding concealed carry weapons and the responsibilities involved with carrying.

Multiple Attackers

  5 (35%)

De- Escalation Tech.

  4 (28%)

Weapons Retention

  4 (28%)

Weapons Defense

  12 (85%)

Psychology / Intent

  11 (78%)

Ground Defense

  8 (57%)

Clinch Work

  8 (57%)

Situational Awareness

  9 (64%)

Training Approach

  10 (71%)

Finishing Techniques

  3 (21%)

Other (please comment)
  0 (0%)

imageI have a surprising number of Australian readers that I wanted to make sure were made aware of an AMAZING opportunity knocking on their front doors… Our friend and coach John Will is proposing hosting the Machado brothers for two separate camps in Australia later this year and needs your help.  Below is the flier and a message from Will.  PLEASE do not dismiss this post just because we are over a year out for this planned seminar.  First of all you do not want to miss this amazing opportunity to train with five of the best BJJ practitioners ever!  Secondly please realize it is incredibly difficult to get visa’s in Australia so planning must be made well in advance.  For more info click here.

a quick update re: the proposed 5 Brothers Camp.
The plan – albeit it in the early stages – is to bring all five Machado Brothers out for a full weekend of training in May 2015.
Ideally – depending on interest and numbers – I am proposing two camps – one in Sydney and one in Melbourne.
This is to ensure that we cater for everyone …
The Sydney-based Camp (a Friday-Sat-Sunday event) would cater for the ACT, NSW and Qld – whereas the Melbourne-based Camp would cater for Vic, SA, WA and NZ.  This would also minimise traveling for those living in either NSW and Vic – where we imagine we would pull the larger portion of attendees from. Apologies to all those living in other states and in New Zealand – but it’s the only solution I can come up with at this point.

   The first step is to have Carlos Machado’s wife Lindsay – investigate to process of obtaining Temporary work visas for the event – once that is done – we shall book venues and lock in dates – and of course – take names to secure spots.
   So that’s it … an awesome plan – and although we are still a long way off – it might be worth buying yourself a 5 brothers piggy bank and attacking in a dollar a day between now and May 2015. Easy.

Best wishes all
with respect
John Will

imageCuddle up with your loved one, throw them in guard and work this fantastic combo from the one and only Nino “Elvis” Schembri.  Known for his omoplata attacks, and the “creator” of the gogoplata, this is an excellent tutorial to train before you go out and blow tons of money on a made up holiday.

imageMy warmest wishes to Professor Jean Jacques Machado on his birthday today Feb. 12, 2014.  I have learned so much from the most technical of technical grapplers and I look forward to sharing the mat for many moons to come.


imageJean Jacques Machado and Jay Zeballos have released the DVD set “Grapplers Handbook: Gi and No Gi Techniques” which very well could be considered the pinnacle of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu DVD sets.  A companion to the two books under the same title, “Grapplers Handbook (GH)” offers a unique approach that we have not seen a lot of in the DVD instructional realm and that is a glimpse into the game plan of a high level master.  With this 3 disk DVD set you will be introduced to Jean Jacques complete grappling blueprint for both gi and no gi.

imageJean Jacques Machado is considered by many to be one of the most technical grapplers alive today where his ability to execute is only overshadowed by a keen teaching prowess that few possess.  When his other four brothers need the details to a certain position or move they come to Jean Jacques as he truly embodies his own quote “the more you know, the less you do.”  The devil truly is in the details and lets be frank… BJJ instructionals are a dime a dozen now days, so why should you buy this DVD set over any other out there?  The answer my friends is two fold; exquisite details in both the strategy of the pedagogy of the presented material as well as the beautiful editing and camera work provided by Black Belt Magazine-Video.

I will be blatantly honest here and say outright that this material and the format it is presented is geared towards the intermediate to advanced grappler.  Not to say beginners could not glean a lot from the lessons contained in the three hours here, but Jean Jacques assumes a base knowledge for the viewer.  Again he lays out a strategy and game plan, so this is not the conventional “let me show you every arm bar from the guard” type of training.  In lieu of being exhaustive JJM has pinpointed some choice techniques and grouped them into the following categories over three disks:

  • image
  • Passing the Guard
  • Attacking from the Guard
  • Top Attacks
  • Takedowns
  • Art of Pulling Guard
  • Mixed Martial Arts

Details of the techniques are taught along with slow motion and full speed versions for each segment demonstrated.  This is imperative when training with JJM, as his attention to detail often requires several reviews just to get into the context of the technique.  I must admit that one of my favorite aspects of this set is the overhead camera angle which offers SO much detail while JJM is instructing that I cannot believe others are not following suit.  Especially when we are talking about ground grappling, a third angle is desperately needed to see the complexities of the technique.

For instance when approaching the single leg Machado takes on  the subject from all angles; literally.  Walking the student through each scenario when grips are attained: push / pull / neutral, Jean Jacques lays the groundwork for understanding the principle, not just memorizing wrote technique.  Your entry to the single is predicated on their response to the manipulation stimuli.  Ultimately they have limited options as to which way they can go, and all options leave a leg exposed.  A glimpse inside the mind of a master is rare, and that they can convey such information is even more rare.  Practitioners of all levels will reference this DVD set over and over throughout your martial journey.

I have yet to read the two volume text of the same name; “Grapplers Handbook”  so I cannot speak as to how much they are similar or different, though I have it by good measure that Jay and Jean Jacques cover much more detail in this DVD set.   But you can purchase the 3 disk DVD set via Amazon by clicking here which will open a new tab on your browser. Every serious grappling student should own this set, and anyone considering producing a DVD should take note of the production quality, camera work, and editing done by Black Belt Magazine – Video. This is the standard all should be striving for.

imageScout has released his second breakdown of the upcoming Rousey / McMann fight.  Excellent video analysis and technical breakdown of the clinch game and takedowns.  A lot to be learned here.  Also today is the last day to chime in on the poll to your right and let me know your thoughts on self defense topics.

To read the entire article click here.

Here is a beautifully random blog I stumbled across on the interweb presenting some gorgeous photos and short explanations on traditional Japanese culture and martial arts by Nano Calvo.  This is merely one photo in the essay, to view the entire post click here. image
imageAnother beautiful photo essay by Nano Calvo who shared a recent trip to Japan via the cultural cornerstones the Land of the Rising Sun has been founded on.  This time the focus is on Muneyasu, a master swordsmith who specializes in the Japanese sword the katana.

 Again to view the entire article please click here.

imageThanks to Wrestling Roots for this stellar find they shared on FB.  An absolute clinic on Shuai Chiao (Chinese Wrestling) is put on at the 2013 Yixing Shuai Chiao Tournament. Shuai Chiao is one of the oldest existent martial arts practiced worldwide today.  A wonderful art and sport of which I have had the pleasure of training with some of the greats including my teacher Hu Xi Lin (student of the great Pu En Fu AKA Pu Liu), Dave Pickens, John Wang, and David Lin.  A great art if you can find a good reputable teacher.

It is rare to see Shuai executed so crisply and cleanly by BOTH opponents, and there is a lot to learn from this video so grab a note book and start studying:

imageOne of the finest producers ever to throw on some ear muffs.  Miss your work bro, wish I could have met you.

imageHey guys, if you get a moment I think it is important to help our brother Araibira in Hawaii out with getting Sumo bouts archived on Youtube for those of us that cannot view them from NHK.  Here is his message and a link to the petition:

Aloha, my name is Araibira. Recently, Ustream Asia deleted my YouTube channel on the grounds of copyright infringement. I lost over 24,000 sumo videos. The Nihon Sumo Kyokai needs to reestablish my channel, so that they may archive the footage of my work. The lost of these videos is a lost to the entire sumo community around the world. With your help, we must ask NSK to reestablish my channel and have them create a YouTube page to further extend the archive of sumo footage for future generations of sumo fans. Mahalo and thank you! Keep sumo alive.

Click here to sign the petition and get Sumo archived on Youtube.

imageThis coming Feb. 22, 2014 Foster BJJ will be hosting a charity event to raise money for Karl Walters Jr. who is fighting a very rare form of cancer.  For over 3 hours participants will be treated to a who’s who of the Pacific NW grappling scene including Cindy Hales, Nate Adamson, Arthur Ruff, Rick Geist, “300” Foster himself, our coach Brian J. Johnson, along with many more!  Raffles, seminars, silent auction and a BBQ are all featured, so pack up the fam and head on down to Kent for an afternoon of fun and training for a good cause.

For more information visit

imageWe wanted to send out a huge congrats to BJJ Dirty Dozen Member Chris Haueter on receiving his 5th degree in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Prof. Rigan Machado over the past weekend.  Chris is one of the first 12 non-Brazilian black belts (Dirty Dozen) and has been a dedicated and loyal Machado student for decades, originally earning his black belt in 1996!

I admire equally his unquestionable skill as well as his unwavering loyalty.  Congrats Prof Haueter!

imageSo I was looking through my martial arts books over the weekend and I started to think about the great ones in my collection (Tim Cartmell’s “Effortless Combat Throws” certainly tops the list), and the plethora of terrible ones I cling onto for some unbeknownst reason.  So it got me thinking what I would want to see in a book about self defense?  What book would I suggest my sister read, or my aunt buy?

What qualities would be valuable for the layperson?  I have said it before and will say it again, if anyone expects to retain any self defense skills then those attributes MUST be trained on a regular basis.  That said… what subjects / topics / situations / techniques would you like to see in a book geared for self defense?  Take a moment and fill out the poll (multiple answers are okay) on your right and/or leave a comment below.

imageEight years ago we lost one of the most prominent grapplers and vale tudo experts of our time, Carlson Gracie Sr.  One of the toughest, most willing fighters ever to come from the Gracie clan.

Rest in peace Professor.

imageRigan Machado once told me that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is 90% playing guard and conversely trying to pass guard.  “If you do not have a solid guard game, and if you do not know how to pass, how do you ever expect to progress in BJJ?”

Those words from that man struck a chord early on in my BJJ journey.  I made it a goal as a white belt NOT to be one of those heavyweights that can’t play guard to save his ass!  And so for the past 7 years I have dedicated my game to be heavily supported by a solid open and closed guard.

These videos illustrate perfectly what Rigan was referring to so many years ago, and it is demonstrated by two of the best in the world…. Leo Lo fighting Rodolfo Vieira at yesterdays Copa Podio in Brazil:

imageHappy Chinese New Year!  What better way to celebrate the year of the Horse then with this AWESOME clip of footwork and movement (qualities of the horse) my friend Dave Teetz shared from Greg Nelson.  All of my students MUST watch this video and study his movement as this is precisely how you should shadow box!

Eat lots of dumplings and may the year of the Horse be fruitful and healthy for you!

Post by Greg NelsonimageFor those interested I teach Chinese Martial Arts (Taiji / Bagua / Xing Yi / Mantis) privately and would be happy to talk to you about taking 2014 by the reigns by learning some martial arts and getting in shape!  Hit me up at 206-941-3232 or [email protected]