Will of Iron / Heart of Velvet – MMA’s Cathal Pendred Saves Baby Dolphin

Cathal is saving the dolphin, not choking it out… I think.

When not crushing skulls on TUF 19, Cathal Pendred apparently spends his free time freeing trapped baby dolphins on the Irish coast!

“We saw a big crowd of people down by the water and we walked down to see what was happening. We were told by the other people looking on that there was a baby dolphin that was quite injured and kept getting pushed back to shore by the waves. There was a man in the water trying to help the dolphin and I went in to help. The man told me he had been there for a while trying to push him back out but the dolphin kept getting washed back in. The man said he was now exhausted so I told him I would take over trying to help.”

Kudo’s bro… nice to see a positive story (especially on Fox!!) from the martial arts world as of late.

To read the entire article click here.

All photo’s courtesy of Elton Pinto

One of the best things about RCJ Machado and the entire Machado family is that they are a restless bunch.  Never growing moss and always with 3-4 irons in the fire, the latest offering is the “United We Conquer” limited edition pearl weave gi.  I must be honest here I was not sure what to expect, but was plenty surprised to find a well thought out design and excellently executed fit that is affordable to the average Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner.

imageThis 100% cotton kimono is pre-shrunk with rip stop pants and a pearl weave top.  Quite honestly it is one of the most comfortable washed cotton weaves I have ever come across.  The ripstop pants, lapel, and actual kimono cloth breathe really comfortably and disperse heat well adding to the comfort factor.  Though it is advertised as weighing 6 pounds, my A-4 weighed in at just barely 5.1, but overall the gi wears and feels like a middleweight kimono, certainly more sturdy and durable then a light weight, but much more comfortable and fluid then a heavyweight.

imageThe embroidered logo’s and pre-sewn patches are great and not too overboard, though I do believe the RCJ logo on the right calf may be illegal in the eyes of the IBJJF (if such rules and regulations apply to your competition repertoire).    The contrasting yellow and green on black is eye catching and sharp, a homage to the national colors of Brazil without being overly nationalistic.  The RCJ logo has been and will always be a basic rendering of a triangle choke on a standing opponent.  A simple symbol that represents the depth of BJJ to the learned, mirroring the approach the Machado brothers take to their training and teaching.

imageI love the drawstring cord and the cut of the gi is damn near as precise as I could ask without being custom tailored.  Now keep in mind I am a tall, lanky heavyweight coming in at 215#’s and standing 6’4″.  So for my more stout heavyweights you may find the UWC kimono a bit loose.  I suppose you could dry the hell out of it in an attempt to shrink her up a bit but as mentioned earlier it is a pre-shrunk gi and has held it’s size pretty darn well.  imageimageThe one criticism I have is the above average number of loose threads and sloppy clean up on the stitches.  All seams are solid and completely sewn, but loose threads adorn many of the end threads.  I have worn this gi for over a month now and haimageve seen no abnormal, nor expedited, wear and tear on the kimono.  Time will tell but as of today no threads are unraveling.  I have had the heavyweights at the dojo pulling and grabbing the hell out of the gi and it has held up stellar.

Available in both white and black gi’s with slightly different designs, the $139.99 price tag makes this a steal of a deal.  This is a perfect “everyday at the gym” gi, in that it will hold up to the abuse of training day in and day out all the while being affordable enough to prevent you from having to hold up a bank to afford one.

Click here to be re-directed to the RCJ Online Shop where you can purchase a UWC gi or any number of other items. 

Brilliant!  Absolutely brilliant!

1930 Tianjin China WrestlersL-R: Zhang Lianchen, Zhang Hongyu, Wang Wenhai, Pu Enfu, Ma Wenping, Wang Haizheng

Here is an excellent mini documentary on New York’s Shuai Jiao Club and senior members Franc Gomez and Mat Gelfand, students of Jeng Hsing Ping.  Shuai Chiao/Jiao is the native grappling style of China and a wonderful martial art that has never reached it’s potential here in North America.  The competitions Mat speaks of in Europe are significant because France has a HUGE Shuai community that is VERY good.  As impressive as his China victories.

I loved the stuff Hu Laoshi taught me over the years.  I wish I would have had the opportunity to meet his teacher Pu En Fu (Pu Liu).  Wonderful history there.

Here is video from nearly 50 years ago of Jeng Hsing Ping demonstrating various throws from Shuai Jiao:

A few years later, on a concrete floor this time (been on the receiving end of those ones… ouch!):

imageOne of the fundamental concepts of Kali is fluid transition and constant movement with any weapon at hand.  Fundamental techniques and foundational footwork training allow anything in your hands to become a weapon, even such things as scarfs or sarongs.  Classified as flexible weapons, this video showcases Guro’s Doug Marcaida and Jeff Davidson last year offering another awesome learning opportunity from the Brotherhood of the Blade.

Smooth, fluid, devastating… would you guys be interested in a Brotherhood of the Blade gathering out here on the west coast?  We train Kali every Wednesday night at 6pm, and Saturday mornings at 9am.  Come out and play!  In the meantime study these clips.

imageThe Yakima Herald broke the story on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor Cristiano Oliviera who has been accused of a number of charges including rape, molestation, and sexual misconduct all involving a child.  Oliviera is the head instructor and owner of Gracie Barra Yakima branch, and the suspect alleges these assaults occurred more then 100 times over the period of two years, when she was between the ages of 14-16.

I am not sure what to say.  This is one of the many issues I have with ginormous franchises such as Gracie Barra taking over our sport/art, in that they get SO BIG that they cannot control the character and dignity of the individuals they award rank and school franchises to.  This is the second such accusation against a GB instructor just this month.  Members of GB are having a hard time controlling the continuous issues that plague the organization headed by Carlos Gracie Jr., and though they closed all GB schools Thursday (presumably to figure out the correct course of action for the franchise), I hope they do not turn a blind eye to such issues like the Catholic church has.

Greed is ugly.  When we grow too big for our britches we cannot control anything nor anyone that is representing our name, brand, art, business, tribe, group, etc. Perhaps it is time such organizations as Gracie Barra take a long hard look at their business model(s) and re-evaluate priorities in an effort to be more responsible and accountable.  Much like the problems we are facing with big corporations in the world, I believe the answer is in working on quality, not quantity.

Oliviera with children of all ages at his Yakima academy.  Sickening.

On the flip side of that coin we as students and the general public cannot continue to ignore and pretend these issues are not happening in front of us.  I refuse to believe that no one, NOT ONE person, did not see, hear, or otherwise get the feeling that something was wrong during the 2 years this thirty year old was interacting with the alleged victim whom was 14 at the beginning of these accusations!  Where were the parents?  Where were the other adults at the gym?  Where were Oliviera’s “homies” to tell him this behavior is wrong and unacceptable?  No man, woman, nor child would condone these actions, and yet more and more of these sick fucks are appearing in our society.  We have a responsibility and though I do not have an exclusive answer as to the exact course of action, we must be critical of our own diligence and be more responsible to children who cannot protect themselves.

Click here to read the entire story.

imageFor those of you whom may have missed the live interview Sunday night, or if anyone wants to listen to it again, our very own NWJJA’s Brian J. Johnson is the featured guest on episode 33 of Just the Gi Top.  I love these guys because they ask intelligent, thoughtful questions and allow the interviewee’s the opportunity to explain their answers.
Don’t miss this interview where Brian gives props to the Machado family, talks about starting a BJJ business from grass roots, offers some info on the charity needs of www.osostrong.org and discusses the complexities of competition…

imageFor the second time this year (recall the review I did on the Portland Art Museum’s exhibit “Samurai”) we have had the luck to get wind of rare collections in cities we were visiting.  Just last week the Detroit Institute of Arts museum was the latest stop where the “Samurai: Beyond the Sword” blew away all expectations.
Meant to illustrate the everyday life of a Samurai, the exhibit was encompassing without being redundant and boring.  Compared to the armor centered focus in Portland, BTS offered a few pieces of everything from armor, to weapons, to tea cups, and wood blocks.  Security was obnoxiously overbearing so I was only able to sneak a few shots of the lethally stunning blades from three to five hundred years ago, but as you can see they were amazing.  Razor sharp even after being dormant for generations, yet the craftsmanship is better than most you will find even today.

A number of pieces could be talked about but the one item my mind keeps floating back to is an amazingly well kept quiver with half a dozen arrows.  The shafts were straighter than any lathe could mill.  The arrow heads of various size carried an aire of death about them even through glass as if I could feel how heavy they were both in weight and intent.  Feathers lined the shaft just forward of the notch.  Seemingly perfect in their upright attention.

imageI personally love these types of exhibits.  A connection to a past that we are quickly losing.  A legacy where one may not agree with the tendencies of war, but no one can question the virtues of the men and women of the Samurai.  I walk away with a greater appreciation of all craftsmen and artisans.  Armor is functional.  Swords, axes, knives are functional tools.  People like Jeff Crowner are modern day bladesmiths who make functional art and should be celebrated as such.  I am reminded of all the “small” people who make every day livable in our country, and I am reminded that it is ok to pay a few more bucks for something made but someone local.  Why?  Because they matter more than a factory does in China.

If you get the chance to visit before June 1st you certainly will not be disappointed, and the quality of the naginata and katana blades is worth the $16 entry fee.

Click here for more info on Samurai: Beyond the Sword. 


imageSpain’s Juan Espino, The White Lion, is one of the best Sengalese wrestlers and loves the passionate atmosphere in Dakar when he fights there.  Someday I will make it over to train and watch.

Thanks to Wrestling Roots for the heads up!

imageHey guys, tune in tonight at 9pm est / 6pm pst for Just the Gi Top podcast interview with our very own Brian “Mr. BJJ” Johnson!  They will be chatting about competition, training strategies, his lineage with the Machado family,
and the future of BJJ, so make sure not to miss it.

Click here to be redirected to Just the Gi Top’s site. imageYesterday NWJJA’s very own Chris “Spider” Webb rode into Phoenix Arizona swung his sword of justice and collected some new heads for the mantle at home taking bronze at the NABJJF Grand Canyon State Open.  Fighting three fights and winning two in the purple belt medium heavy, Chris said he was “very pleased with his performance” so therefore decided to pass on the absolute division (which he qualified for) to spend more time with his folks.

No tougher an opponent, no bigger a heart.  Congrats brother, proud of you!

imageThe 2014 World Pro Jiu Jitsu Championships were held this past weekend in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and we become witness once again the beauty of highly competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu where submissions are sought and executed at the highest level.  Ace Jiu Jitsu’s very own Buchecha shows why there is no question nor doubt to the proclamation that he is the best in the world!

-64kg                                                                            -94kg
1. Joao Miyao                                                              1. Braulio Estima
2. Tiago Bravo                                                             2. Tarcisio Jardim

-70kg                                                                           -100kg
1. Leo Saggioro                                                           1. Rodolfo Vieira
2. Jedrzej Loska                                                          2. Luiz Panza

-76kg                                                                           100kg+
1. Roberto Satoshi                                                       1. Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida
2. Sergio Benini                                                           2. Alex Trans

-82kg                                                                         Absolute
1. Leo Lo                                                                    1. Marcus Buchecha
2. Victor Estima                                                           2. Rodolfo Vieira
3. Andre Galvao
-88kg                                                                         4. Keenan Cornelius

1. Andre Galvao
2. Romulo Barral

-60kg                                                                          -72kg
1. Ariande Oliveira                                                       1. Janni Larsson
2. Nadia Canal                                                             2. Pollyanna Lago

-66kg                                                                           72kg +
1. Luiza Monteiro                                                         1. Gabi Garcia
2. Beatriz Mesquita                                                      2. Dominika Obelenyte

1. Gabi Garcia
2. Janni Larsson
3. Bia Mesquita

imageimageThe Maasai of East Africa have two main weapons, the spear and the rungu (Swahili) a wooden club used to bludgeon and throw.  Typically 18-24 inches long these solid clubs weigh no more then 20 ounces.  Exceptionally balanced with a solid ball on one end, the rungu is a weapon that begs to be swung and in the hands of trained Kali practitioner is a pure slobber knocker!

I want to thank my girl for such a thoughtful and original gift from her travels abroad where she found a hand carved one.  It will be cherished for years to come.

imageThis past week I had the privledge and honor to train with Guro Jeff Davidson in Detroit, MI.  Jeff has been studying martial arts since he was a teenager, specifically over 26 years training in the ways of the blade via Kali.  One of Leo Gaje’s earliest students here in the US, a disciple of Tito Jun, as well as being one of the only westerners I have ever heard of who has trained in West African Wrestling, Jeff’s approach to the arts is unique and beautiful.  I wanted to publicly thank him for his time and teachings.  My Kali and grappling are better already!

He heavily reminds me of my CMA teacher Mike Martello who passed a few years back, to the point he nearly had me in tears a couple times with how similar the aire about them is.  I have followed Jeff’s blog The Balisong Journal for years, why this trip home I decided to reach out… I am not sure.  But I am sure of one thing and that is I don’t believe in coincidences.  “No one finds me on accident” – Jeff Davidson

Though our time was brief I took away a ton from Jeff’s teachings.  I can promise you will see more of him and his approach in the future.  In the meantime check out these videos which do not convey just how smooth and gentle Guro Jeff Davidson really is.  You will also see Guro Doug Marcaida with highlights from past Brotherhood of the Blade gatherings:

imageApologies for an inconvenience but I have to cancel class tonight (Thursday April 17th).  Regular schedule on Saturday.

Have a good day.

imageTo All NWJJA Students:
Please do your best to attend Wednesday (April 16th) nights advanced class, as immediately following it we have a couple of special announcements that all will want to be a part of.  Come train and drill!Bum’s me out to no end that I cannot make this landmark seminar with world champ Byamba.  If you can make Southern California next month do not miss this amazing opportunity to train Sumo with an amazing champion!
Couprie Martial Arts
14559 Erwin St
Van Nuys, California 91411


Park in the back (north) parking lot, and enter from that north side.

When:    The training and lectures will be for three days . . .

Friday, May 16, 7 pm – 9 pm
Saturday, May 17, 1 pm – 4 pm
Sunday, May 18, 1 pm – 4 pm

We may even go a little longer, depending on the group that shows up.

What:  This seminar will not just be “regular” practices, but will include in-depth teaching of the principles of sumo, fundamental exercises, proper technique, and more.  Even people who have competed for years will learn aspects that they were not aware of, and will improve and refine their technique.

Who:  The training will be led by 4-time World Sumo Champion Byamba (http://www.sumobyamba.com).  Byamba spent 5 years in Japanese professional sumo, where he trained for hours every day.  I will provide support Byamba with the seminar.

***** NOTE:  We can not give a 100% guarantee that Byamba will be there at all times during the training.  It is his sincere intention to be there throughout the seminar.  He currently has no personal or business obligations for that time period.  However, if he is booked on a large-scale appearance, he might have to take it.  This is actually extremely unlikely, on a weekend, only about a month in advance, so we are virtually certain that Byamba will lead all aspects of the seminar.  Nevertheless, there is a very small chance that he might miss part or all of the session.  We doubt that this will happen, but we have to inform everyone of the slight risk, just to be safe.  *****

Cost:  This three-day seminar is only $40!  Normal martial arts seminars from world champions often cost $500+, but we are donating our time to help sumo enthusiasts develop in this country.  The $40 per participant will cover the cost of the dojo rental space, if we can get at least 5 or 6 participants.

So, in fact, if there are fewer than 6 people, we will lose money putting on the seminar.

(Of course, if everyone paid a lot more, then we could GUARANTEE Byamba’s presence 100%, but I think 99% he will be there the entire time, anyway!!)

Please RSVP, so we know how many people to expect.  In the future, this kind of training with Byamba may cost more, so take advantage of this opportunity now, if you are able to.

What to bring:  If you are completely new to sumo, just wear athletic shorts (and tops for women).  You can either purchase a mawashi, and/or we should have some (sub-standard) mawashis, that can be borrowed if you choose not to buy one.

For experienced sumo wrestlers, please just bring your own mawashi.

Lodging:  Please search online for nearby lodging options.  For those who want to share lodging costs, I will be happy to put you in touch with each other — just let me know if you want to share rooms with others.

Other Notes

** We may also hang out for a while before or after the training.  Byamba might enjoy having a meal with everyone at some point, too.

** Feel free to bring specific questions and areas of your sumo that you want to focus on.  We might not get to everything, but we’ll do our best to help each individual with specifics that he or she needs to work on most.

** Once again, PLEASE RSVP if you plan to participate.

Thank you.

-- Andrew310-617-9641www.usasumo.com

imagePlease excuse the early post for Monday Mat Manners.  Though only 9 days late to this video, already 6.5 million folks have been educated!  Regardless of how intoxicated you, or your opponent, may be always show respect when engaging in combat, and it never hurts to taste your belt for good measure:

imageHere is a beautiful example of Kawazu gake (Leg Entangled Throw) which is classified as a side sacrifice throw and categorized as one of the four Kinshi waza (illegal techniques).  Keen eyed observers will notice the similarities of Kawazu gake with Shuai Chiao’s (Chinese wrestling) “Leg Twist” technique.  Many teachers hold this as a “secret” technique in Chinese martial arts for no good reason.

Techniques such as this fascinate me as they span the martial spectrum with no regard to “styles” nor “systems.”  Riding high purely on principle.  Shame on Judo for making it illegal!

I guess this is an illegal throw because to make it effective one must drive the opponents head into the ground.  As with many “illegal” techniques I find it silly.  We cannot continue to make techniques illegal simply because our opponent refuses to accept a fall!  Imagine if we made Uchi-mata illegal because of the propensity of destroyed knees.  Is the throw intrinsically dangerous?  No.  Not at all.  But when your opponent/partner resists… well… the knee loses.  Cause for a ban?  No.  Not at all.

Also found in Sumo under the same moniker:

Leg Twist from Shuai Chiao as demonstrated by John Wang’s students:

imageHands down the best training crew one could ask for.  From L-R: Shadow / Eric “The Dark Mountain” Montenegro / Brian “Mr. BJJ” Johnson (our fearless leader) / The Best Looking Wrist Locking Expert This Side of the Mississippi / Denise Holcomb (Brian’s first black belt) / Justin Guyer.
If you are in the Pacific NW and are NOT training at NW Jiu Jitsu Academy, then stop by and experience the difference.  Quite simply accept no substitutes! Stumbled upon this New York cat who seems REALLY good at BJJ and thought I would share.  Lots to study here.  Enjoy…

imageCongrats to teacher, coach, writer, surfer, overall cool cat Kid Peligro (aka Gerry Costa) on being awarded his 4th degree under his teacher Royler Gracie!  Kid is an instrumental aspect of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the dissemination of BJJ knowledge being one of the most prolific authors and teachers of the art. imageMMA legend, and renown leg attack artist, Ikuhisa Minowaman fought Goran Jettingstad in Tokyo Japan at the inaugural IGF MMA event.  Anyone familiar with Minowa knows he LOVES leg attacks and is quite brutal with there application.  Apparently Goran and his fight camp did not receive said memo and seemingly invited Minowa to grab Goran’s left leg, and allowed Minowa to slide his left leg through and break Goran’s femur.  Effective not only in MMA but a fight-ender on the street!  Leg locks and their defense are neglected across the martial spectrum for no good reason.

So sit back and turn down the volume, turn up this leaked Pharoahe Monch and Black Thought collab (from Monch’s forthcoming PTSD album) and learn to defend some leg locks tonight! Click here to listen.

imageThanks to Ross Training for the reminder to keep it simple.  No one in the fitness industry is reinventing anything that has not been done decades ago.  Train hard!

imageApologies for any inconvenience but there will be no class April 4-12th.


imageWith the Div I Wrestling championships being won by Penn St. (4 years in a row!!) here is an amazing highlight video of the entire tournament.  I can’t wait for the 2015 season!

Watch more videos on Flowrestling

imageHappy April Fools Day! imageBJJ Scout has been quiet for the past month, but he has released a great new breakdown this time focusing on the integration of BJJ and western wrestling.  Ben Askren and his funk roll is the subject this time, click and see if the Funk Roll is something you can incorporate into your game.