Jiu Jitsu World League

imageProfessor Rigan Machado has a brand new Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament format called the Jiu Jitsu World League that will be premiering January 17th 2015 in Irvine CA.  Lets spread word and get out and support any and all formats that encourage the growth and movement of BJJ in lieu of stagnant advantage counting.
What a way to start 2015!!

imageHere is an oldie but goodie for us stickheads… Way of the Warrior was a mini series BBC put out over 32 years ago highlighting a number of martial arts from various cultures.  In this segment we are introduced to Doce Pares Escrima via GM Canete.

No better time to train some better carving techniques then the weekend after Dead Turkey Day:

imageOne may ask why we are discussing a gun based training course on a martial arts blog?  Well I am of the humble opinion that a a true martial artist is well rounded and has at the very least a base working knowledge of all forms of combat be it via a wristlock, or how to handle a pistol.  I will not jump on my political soapbox here, but I have a firm belief that if every child was raised with the knowledge, respect, and honor of a responsible gun owner (as are most gun owners) then we would witness far fewer gun deaths on both sides of the badge.

Last month my student and I decided to take the Multi State Concealed Carry Course, at Insights Training Canter in Everett, WA. as an opportunity to gain knowledge about the law and legalities of concealed carry throughout the United States.  A 4.5 hour course designed to give the participant and better understanding of the responsibilities and legalities of carrying a concealed weapon.  One of the best things about this course was the constant reminder of the toll, both financial and emotional/psychological, that choosing to engage someone with your weapon will take.

The instructor Alan Hines was nothing short of excellent.  A solid combination of experience, honestly, and humor to make the 4.5 hour class fly by.  Alan answered questions quickly and honestly, and presented us with challenging situations in various scenarios.  Even with 15 minutes to think and discuss, we couldn’t come up with a definitive answer as to what to do.  Alan chimed in with a stark reminder, “You would have to react in about 2 seconds to be effective.” imageOverall the learning atmosphere and overall experience with Insights is certainly something I would suggest for anyone interested in furthering there martial knowledge base.  They offer a bevy of courses including self defense, first aid, as well as a full array of LEO based classes.  And if you sign up today only for any scheduled class you will receive 20% off!  Call Jenna 1-888-958-0884 right now!

My one and only criticism of Insights is that many of the courses are quite cost prohibitive to your average Joe and Jane.  Standard course fee’s are $400-500 which is not bade, but when coupled with the need for 1000 rounds of ammo, that can quickly become a $1200 weekend!  I hope perhaps in the future they will take into consideration how costly such training is and make it more accessible to middle to low income families that could still benefit from such professional training.

imageThe Big Ten network just announced its most extensive wrestling coverage ever with some sure fire barn burners that will be televised!  Big Ten network is available as an add on in the Seattle market (if you patronize the evil conglomerate Comcast).  This is super exciting for wrestling fans the nation over but also for anyone interested in seeing one of the oldest, toughest, purest sports on earth that is shared in damned near every culture the world over.  This is your opportunity to watch THE Ohio State Buckeyes capture a national title!!

2014-15 Big Ten Wrestling on BTN and BTN Plus (all times ET)

Sunday, November 30 Lehigh at Northwestern 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, December 6 Cal Poly at Northwestern 12:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, December 6 Drexel at Northwestern 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, December 6 Davidson at Northwestern 4:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, December 6 Princeton at Northwestern 6:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Thursday, December 11 Penn State at Maryland 6:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Thursday, December 11 Indiana at Wisconsin 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, December 13 SIUE at Indiana 10:00 AM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, December 13 Manchester at Indiana 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Thursday, December 18 Northwestern at Minnesota 8:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Friday, December 19 Virginia Tech at Penn State 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Monday, December 29 Midlands Championship at Northwestern All Day (Live on BTN Plus)
Tuesday, December 30 Midlands Championship 8:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Friday, January 2 Iowa at Rutgers 8:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Sunday, January 4 Iowa at Ohio State 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 9 Wisconsin at Northwestern 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 9 Michigan at Minnesota 9:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Sunday, January 11 Penn State at Ohio State 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, January 11 Minnesota at Rutgers TBA (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 16 Ohio State at Michigan State 7:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Friday, January 16 Northwestern at Purdue 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 16 Penn State at Rutgers 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 16 Illinois at Iowa TBA (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, January 18 Ohio State at Michigan 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, January 18 Northwestern at Indiana 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, January 18 Illinois at Minnesota 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 23 Wisconsin at Michigan 7:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Friday, January 23 Nebraska at Illinois 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 23 Northwestern at Iowa 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, January 25 Rutgers at Nebraska 1:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Sunday, January 25 Michigan at Indiana 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, January 25 Illinois at Northwestern 3:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 30 Penn State at Michigan 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 30 Iowa at Minnesota 7:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Friday, January 30 Purdue at Ohio State 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 30 Nebraska at Northwestern 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, January 30 Maryland at Illinois TBA (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 1 Illinois at Purdue 2:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Friday, February 6 Minnesota at Ohio State 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 6 Iowa at Maryland 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 6 Nebraska at Michigan 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 6 Rutgers at Wisconsin 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 8 Iowa at Penn State 1:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Sunday, February 8 Minnesota at Maryland 1:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 8 Wisconsin at Illinois 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 8 Nebraska at Michigan State 3:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 8 Rutgers at Northwestern 6:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 13 Michigan State at Indiana 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 13 Michigan at Iowa 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 13 Stanford at Nebraska 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 13 Maryland at Northwestern 8:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 15 Michigan State at Purdue 1:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Friday, February 20 Duke at Michigan State 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, February 21 Cliff Keen National Duals – Semifinals at Iowa 4:00 PM (Live on BTN)
Saturday, February 21 Duke at Michigan 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, February 21 Central Michigan at Michigan State 7:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, February 22 Cliff Keen National Duals – Finals at Iowa 12:30 PM (Live on BTN)
Sunday, February 22 Rider at Penn State 2:00 PM (Live on BTN Plus)
Saturday, March 7 B1G Championships TBA (Live on BTN Plus)
Sunday, March 8 B1G Championships 3:00 PM (Live on BTN)

All dates/times of scheduled events are subject to change. Please check www.BTN.com for most updated listings.

imageThere will be no class on Thursday November 27th in observance of Dead Turkey Day.  Enjoy the time with loved ones, be safe, and reflect on what to truly be grateful for. imageHere are a couple of excellent articles by Manila Times Fight Times Editor Perry Gil S. Mallari that offer some serious food for thought before settling in to carve up that turkey.  I would like to see a more detailed writing on this research as it has some solid points, but does not expand much at all.

“While there is scant mention of the specific names of the martial arts that pre-colonial Filipinos practiced, I believe that various prototypes of Filipino martial arts (FMA) were already in existence long before the arrival of Spain. To me, three things serve as indicators of the existence of indigenous FMA: organized method of warfare, metallurgical technology and sophisticated blade culture. All three aforementioned were chronicled by the Spaniards when they arrived in the Philippines.”  Click here to read the entire article.

Again Mallari teases the reader with a taste of his theory of blade design and how it is used but does not offer much depth.  I hope he comes out with some follow up articles offering more research and opinion.

“Some escrimadors have the habit of bouncing their sticks on the opposite arm (or other bodily parts) either to reposition for another strike or to arrest the momentum of the weapon after a forceful swing. This practice may still work safely with a single-edged sword but if the practitioner carried this habit while using a double-bladed sword, he will definitely cut himself. The safer way of regaining control at the end of a fast cutting motion is to use the palm of the non-weapon hand to catch the wrist of the hand holding the sword. The catching hand not only prevents the other edge from cutting the wielder but it can also aid the weapon-hand in generating more force in cutting or hacking.”  To read the entire article click here.

With all the bullshit in traditional Judo and their strides to keep it “pure,” coupled with the seeming lack of integrity with “role models” such as Braulio Estima who can’t even own a fuck up when they get caught red handed… I have decided to start training strictly in Tajik Jacket Wrestling!!
Thanks to BJJEE for this rare glimpse into the traditional folk grappling of central Asia.  This is a Gushtingiri tournament somewhere in the balmy coasts of Tajikistan.  In tough times I welcome the reminder of the wonder that are the martial arts.  Every culture in the furthest corners of the world have developed some sort of native martial art, most being grappling based.  Fascinating stuff…

imageTambuli Media’s latest offering by James Cama offers a glimpse into the little seen world of the Leung Family Buddha Hand System of martial arts with “Fut Sao Wing Chun.”  A 115 page overview of a little known branch of the Southern Chinese Martial art known as Wing Chun, a system renown for its pragmatic approach to self defense and health.

The author, James Cama, offers a brief historic overview of the art before leading the reader through the various aspects of Wing Chun. Subjects such as weapons, empty hand forms, internal healing (nei gung), and two person form are touched upon.  Cama also shows a taste of the self defense aspects that Wing Chun has to offer.   Unfortunately these are mere appetizers to the uninitiated!  Though written decently it almost seems rushed as I was left wanting more details on every aspect; lineage, pedagogy, mindset of a Wing Chun fighter; how to deal with specialists in other methods of combat etc.etc.  A smattering of self defense scenarios are presented but little explanation is offered.  For instance on page 106 the author talks about the importance of controlling the opponents energy in a self defense situation.  But ultimately this is merely a maxim as their is no further details offered nor explanation.

Edited well the photo’s are well lit and clear, offering a single angle on the subject in most instances.  The  form stills are solid and clear though again only offering one angle, not multiples. The reader is left yearning for more info and depth unless of course you already practice the Buddha Hand system of the Leung Family.  To those practitioners this book is of the most value since Cama offers the basic forms broken down into over 200 photos as well as the two person set.  A wonderful source of the movements to any student of the art.

The Hei Gong (nei gung) form is also presented (and to the best of my knowledge this is the first time it appears openly in print).  A strong, powerful healing set that combines breath work with dynamic movements and mental acuity training.

One is left feeling as if there must be a follow up volume diving into more details of such a rare art, but that desire is overshadowed by the sad fact that James Cama unexpectedly passed on the day this title was in fact published. A legacy cut short for sure but none the less one cemented in the foundation of time with this text as a treatise to his past for the students of the future.

Fut Sao can be purchased by clicking here.

imageOnce again I have had the distinct pleasure to train with Guru Jeff Davidson of the Detroit Maphilindo Pitbulls.  I believe all things happen for a reason and though I had followed his blog and online offerings for years, it wasn’t until earlier this year I decided to reach out and ask to train with Jeff.  He accepted and as they say the rest is history.

I must admit that his tutelage comes at a very pivotal time for me as quality people in general but specifically quality martial artists have become a rare commodity in my life.  Guru Jeff sees something in me that others choose to look past, most likely because they are too preoccupied with trying to get something from me.  Regardless I cannot express in words how grateful I am to have such a talented and giving teacher both in the martial realm and spiritual.

imageAs if the gift of having a solid teacher was not enough imagine my surprise when Guru Jeff offered to accept both my student Lara and myself as closed door disciples!  We could not be more honored and grateful for such a wonderful opportunity and thankfully we were both accepted.  Many more great things coming in the future!


imageThe seasons first snowflakes whisked through the crisp air as we shuffled into the historic St. John’s Arena on the campus of THE Ohio State University.  The Buckeyes were to face Kent St. at the home opener for the 2014-15 wrestling season, one filled with murmurings of the possibility of Ohio States first national championship. This would be my first live Ohio State wrestling match.
St. John’s Arena is a beautiful building that my father and grandfather used to take me to as a kid to watch OSU basketball, and is actually perfect for wrestling.  Not a bad seat in the house and the home team had a solid showing though Kent St. is not necessarily a powerhouse.  The evening started  with the presentation of Logan Stieber’s national championship banner (3 years running, looking for his fourth this season).  The championship banners lined the north and south upper bowl and included some familiar names to fans of MMA; Mark Coleman & Kevin Randleman, as well as champions going back to 1940.  Just a wonderful atmosphere to watch NCAA Collegiate wrestling. Watching Logan Stieber dominate his opponent was certainly a highlight, but the premier of true freshman Kyle Snyder was what most of us were eager to see.  I mean check out these stats, they literally seem unreal:

  • 179-0 in three years of HS wrestling
  • Was taken down once in that span.  (No, that is not a typo!!  Has only been taken down one time in 179 matches!!!)
  • Youngest Junior World Champion in 2013
  • Returned in 2014 to bronze
  • Undefeated in what is considered the top three toughest HS wrestling tournaments in the US.
Wrestling champs before they “bulked  up”

imageBetween the Stieber brothers, Kyle Snyder, and stand outs such as Josh Demas their are high hopes for a solid shot at the NCAA championships for OSU.  If you are in the area you really should pick up the fam and take them.  It is affordable, fun, and you are supporting one of the most important sports in the world.  imageThere will be no class Thursday November 13th – 20th.  Apologies for any inconvenience, but train hard and practice while I am gone.

Best in the biz… Burroughs with his double

Pedro Olavarria over at Fightland just published an excellent article on one possible reason that so many high level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players have had such a difficult time transferring those skills into their MMA careers.  Is collegiate wrestling to blame for such inadequacies?  Or does the modern day rule set as dictated by IBJJF poorly prepare competitors for MMA/self defense?  Food for thought here…

Self Defense Applicability??

“The other reason for sport jiu jitsu’s relative non-transferability to MMA is the same reason for wrestling’s success. In MMA, slightly more than half of all takedowns are done with the double leg or single leg takedown; compare that to the NCAA Division 1 Wrestling Finals, where from 2012-2014, 50% of successful takedowns were single leg and double leg takedowns. The most successful takedowns in wrestling are the most successful takedowns in MMA. In sport jiu jitsu, if we look at the 2012 Pan Ams, more than 75% of the matches got to the ground because one or both players pulled guard. In the 2012 Worlds, roughly 75% of all matches got to the ground because one or both players pulled guard, with more than 50% of the matches going to the ground, in less than 10 seconds. Despite the fact that jiu jitsu requires a fight to be on the ground, sport jiu jitsu competitors are spending comparatively little time training in or fighting for takedowns. Sport jiu jitsu champions who cross over into MMA are hampered by the submissions they have overemphasized and the wrestling takedowns they have neglected in winning tournaments. What is the solution to this overdependence on joint locks and the neglect of effective takedowns?
image    The solution to these problems is something for jiu jitsu masters and tournament promoters to figure out. Should they award more points for takedowns? Should they ban guard pulling while both players are on their feet? Should punches be allowed on the ground for higher belts? I don’t know. Certainly, the leaders of the jiu jitsu community need to answer for themselves whether MMA is even relevant to jiu jitsu anymore. The whole point of vale tudo and the original UFC was to prove that jiu jitsu works and that ground fighting is essential for anyone seriously interested in self-defense. Because of the Gracies, future generations of young men and women who want to learn actual fighting will be spared from the boredom and inefficacy of kata, one step-sparring and board breaking.”

To read the entire article click here.

Robson Moura once again spits some wisdom regarding the open guard:

imageI have been a fan of Enson Inoue’s since early in my martial career.  I remember seeing some old Shooto fights a karate buddy had VHS (that is an archaic recording medium that can now be viewed in the Smithsonian) of and Enson was one of the fighters.  His bravery inspired me, his attitude entertained me, and his fights NEVER disappointed.  From fighting MMA, to rescuing dogs and feeding the needy after the terrible nuclear disaster just a few years back, I have always been drawn to the grappling and MMA legend. So when his self published autobiography “Live As A Man, Die As A Man, Become A Man” hit the market I was stoked, as Enson Inoue IS living martial arts history.

To understand Enson one must have a fundamental understanding of Japanese culture and history.  Enson lives by the motto ‘Yamatodamashii’ which is loosely translated as Samurai Spirit.  Essentially it is the embodiment of the Samurai spirit they carried into every task, every day and that is whatever you do you must do with 100% heart and conviction.  You must be prepared to die spiritually, emotionally, physically to stand by your honor and integrity.  These attributes Enson finds lacking in the 21st century, again something I completely agree with and can relate to.

The reader is taken along for a ride from Enson’s early childhood where he witnessed firsthand the effects of fear and cowardice.  The feeling of despair when a friend needed him and he did nothing laid a heavy impression upon Enson and drove him to never again find himself bowing down to fear.  His candor in sharing his true feelings is admirable and rare as he tackles some of the most difficult questions all men face.

imageAny true fan of combat sports needs to put ‘Live As A Man..” on their X Mas wish list as Enson is the living embodiment of MMA, truly no bullshit a pioneer whose power and influence even I did not realize until reading this bio.  He takes a fight by fight breakdown of his entire MMA history; the wins and the losses.  I mean this is THE guy that handed Randy Couture his first pro MMA loss!  The list of men whom have stepped into the ring with Enson is literally a who’s who of MMA, ADCC, and BJJ; Igor Vivchanchan, Mark Kerr, Mario Sperry, Frank Shamrock, Big Nog, Guy Mezger…

His history and unfortunate falling out with the Gracies is detailed, as well as a short stint training with the Machado family as well.  Enson also touches on traditionally taboo topics such as the role of Yakuza (Japanese mafia) in the Japanese mixed martial arts business.  Inoue has been able to walk in both worlds because he carries himself with dignity and stands behind what he says.  Rare attributes in today’s society, thus respected by gangsters and police alike.  This position offers Enson rare insights into just how corrupt the organizations like Shooto and Pride really were / are!  Sad and disappointing to true fight fans who want to see the fighters taken care and the organizations follow a legit line to ensure the sanctity and longevity of the sport.

imageOverall the book is an easy and fun read offering a peak inside the mind of what I would consider a modern day warrior struggling with his identity and purpose.  Enson flirts with being a bit masturbatory in some of the retelling of the tales, and is in desperate need of a solid editor, but overall I think this book is one of the most honest insights into the mind and heart of one of the toughest SOB’s on earth.  My singular selfish complaint is that we get only a glimpse of the heart of Enson Inoue, which I can say without doubt, is much larger and greater then his fighting prowess!  Following Enson’s life over the years has shown me the generosity and humble serving nature of a modern Samurai where he has dedicated his life to helping out the animals and people in need throughout Japan.  He does not touch on any of his charity work designing and selling bracelets (Destiny Forever), delivering food water and hope to those affected by the terrible nuclear meltdown in Japan, as well as taking a yearly pilgrimage walking over 1300 miles in an effort to raise money for the needy in Japan.    Perhaps these are tales for a second biography  further down the road, but none the less aspects that I think are just as interesting as his fight life.

imageTo order “Live As A Man” Click here.  For more information on Enson, or to order some of his custom made bracelets (proceeds of which go to charities helping both people and animals) please visit Destiny Forever. imageSince Enson is the subject of the hour check out this Fightland article on his many tattoo’s and their significance.  Enson is a pioneer and quite possibly one of the most unique characters ever in MMA and his ink is literally a storyboard of his life.

imageEnson Inoue: “For me, a tattoo isn’t about fashion—it isn’t about [having] something that looks cool. It’s something that I want to take with me when I die.
I got my first tattoo before my Zulu fight. Funny how I always gauge things by my fights. I put a little Shooto kanji on my back to show my support for Shooto. That was my first tattoo, and at that day and time, nobody wore tattoos.   I was the Shooto heavyweight champion, so they couldn’t banish me from the ring because of a little tattoo. And it was a tattoo that said “Shooto,” so it made it even harder for them to banish me.
The next tattoo I got was a real honorable tattoo, where I put “Yamato Damashii” on my back. That was my nickname. I was a foreigner that still represented the real samurai spirit of Japan. I had two tattoos and they were still allowing me to fight, so it pretty much opened the door for other fighters to get tattoos.
The tattoos in the palms of my hands mean the most. Not only because they hurt the most…”
To Read the Entire Article Click Here

imageI have been rattling my brain trying to think of how to encapsulate the past week where I have spent over 6 hours on the mat with red-black belt Carlos Machado.  I could go over each technique and movement he did, but that would be redundant and boring.  I could talk about his unequaled rapport and presence he has on the mat, but anyone who has ever been in the same room as the man knows that.  So I thought I would share a little incident I witnessed on the final day of the Machado camp last Sunday that had nothing to do with me nor the camp, but embodied EVERYTHING positive I could ever say about my experiences with Carlos.

Carlos’ little girl KK was rolling with her bigger brother who had her in guard with lapel control.  Her brother tried sweeping her backwards with the assistance of the lapel that unfortunately went right into KK’s throat giving her quite the scare!  Immediately she took her tears to dad and the following conversation happened:

imageCarlos: “Are you ok?”
K: SOBSOB “My throat hurts and I had a hard time breathing” SOBSOB
Carlos: “But you can breathe now right?”
K: SOB “Yeah but it hurt me.” SOB
Carlos: “Wipe your tears and come over here to the side of the mat so I can teach you how to counter that move.”

I don’t even have kids and it damned near brought me to tears.  More than a grappler.  Much more than a teacher.  Carlos Machado embodies the entire Machado family and their values.  Certainly the Machado family has made me a better martial artist.  More importantly they have made me a better man!  For that I can never repay.  Thank you Carlos for all your lessons.

If you have not hosted Carlos Machado at your academy then you are severely missing out.  A red-black belt with over 40 years on the mat is accessible, affordable, and unforgettable.  Host this legend at your academy today!  Contact RCJ Machado for more info.