December 31, 2015

Outstanding Students

As we mark one more lap around our brightest star, I wanted to take a moment and send a shout out to two of my most dedicated and loyal students, Bonnie 'Bonzai' Jang, and Elton 'El Roy' Pinto.  It is a common argument as to which one of these two started with me first, but either way they both were introduced to the martial arts via my kickboxing program I used to teach at All Star Fitness downtown.  From there they stuck with me and everything I taught them including Kali, BJJ, grappling and self defense.  Both followed me to my group class at NWJJA and both have been consistent practitioners of the martial arts for the past 7+ years. 

I wanted to take a moment and offer my respect.  You will most likely never read of
these two conquering a UFC belt.  I am not sure if either one has a desire to teach the next generation.  But they have something that I see sadly missing in many martial arts school now days ... dedication and loyalty!  I watch student after student bop around from dojo to dojo, freely throwing on a patch or sticker proclaiming their loyalty to THEIR precious tribe.  That is until they find their NEXT precious tribe and jump ship.  These folks neglect one of the martial arts' most important lessons of dedicating yourself to a teacher and a practice.  I suppose the quantitative definition of "dedication" can be argued, but I do not mean the modern day equivalency of "dedicating" oneself to a job for a year, perhaps two (after that you overstayed your welcome at most modern tech firms!). 

I wish you two all the best on your martial path.  I hope you never have to use what I have taught you, but I also hope you will never forget my lessons.  You have all my respect and gratitude, for you have taught me more then I could ever wish to impart upon you. 


December 28, 2015

RIP Lemmy

To say I am bummed the fuck out would be the overstatement of the week!  One of my first introductions to a genre called 'metal' was Motorhead.  Loud.  Fast.  Hard.  And most importantly ... unapologetic in everything he did, Lemmy was the front man and so much more.  To be honest we are all blown away you stood strong for seven decades long! 

Kick ass and take names wherever you are. 

Kali - Silat Combat Pistol Class

The integration of ballistic weapons (firearms) into FMA practice is something a lot of people talk about, but very few actually know.  Fortunately groups such as Detroit Kali under the guidance of teachers like Jeff Davidson, and Guru Ungyo, do understand how to apply firearms into the myriad of combat scenarios for modern day self defense. 

Join Guru Ungyo (20 year veteran Law Enforcement Officer, 10 years SWAT operator)as he will teach the following:
  • Grip and stance
  • Home Defense Tactics
  • Cover
  • Movement
  • Clearing Corners
  • Entering and Clearing Rooms
  • Close Quarter Scenarios
  • Carjacking Scenarios
 January 30th 2016 in Detroit, MI.  Click here for more information and to reserve your spot

December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays

Please be safe and well while spending the holidays celebrating however it is you do... which I assume regardless of culture involves a battle axe!? 

December 18, 2015

Arm Bar Soap Co.

Speaking of perfect stocking stuffers... hygiene; the gift that keeps on giving and ensures one does not give anything to anybody they share the mat with!  A shout out to our friend Chad Hospodar over at Arm Bar Soap Company. 

The Arm Bar Soap Co. is a Cali based grassroots company started by one man with a vision of offering quality, all natural products made here in the United States. So consider such aspects when shopping the mega stores online and buying gifts made overseas. 

Supporting a homegrown business AND purchasing a gift for a loved one is what the holidays are all about.  What started as one guy with one bar of soap has turned into a number of soap varieties, clothing, and even training towels. 

Internal Elixir Cultivation by Robert James Coons - Book Review

The holiday crunch is upon us, with the New Year lingering just around the corner.  Family, travel, finances, extra hours, cut hours... all this stress adds up quickly.  Do you have a method to deal with it?  Can you calm your mind, breath, and energy in frantic situations and remain centered?  If not do you desire to?  Daoist culture has been applying meditative techniques to everyday life for centuries, and Robert James Coons has written an easy to follow text demystifying the intricacies of the practice of internal elixir cultivation.

Though Daoist meditation and qigong is not a new subject matter to be written about, many of the texts are rather scholarly and dry.  Without a specific Daoist philosophical background the reader is often lost in a nebulous haze of terms and theories.  Even with the best texts their is little instruction on the actual meditative practice.  Enter Coons... a student of Yang Hai, and a lifelong student of Chinese culture and language.  Coons has written an easy to read and follow book weaving Daoist philosophy with meditative practices anyone can do regardless of physical condition, age, or gender.  As a matter of fact all his practices can be slightly altered for those even incapacitated in bed.

Coons lays out a fundamental lesson on aspects of Daoist practice such as the dantian, Microcosmic Orbit,  and Yin and Yang, before delving into more advanced practice methods for internal elixir cultivation. Daoist geeks such as myself will not be disappointed either as Coons weighs in with his translation of Lu Dongbin's 100 character ancestor stone.  Lu was an important (arguably the most important) scholar during the Tang dynasty and offered the first guide to Daoist meditation.  This poem is rarely translated and Coons offers a great breakdown of the treatise. 

The celebration of little Baby Jesus day is exactly one week away and their is still time to get "Internal Elixir Cultivation" by Robert James Coons from Tambuli Media as it is a perfect 5.25" x 8" for stocking stuffing galore.  So if you have a martial artist, qigong practitioner, or you yourself who is in need of meditation click here to order your copy today!  

December 13, 2015

Congrats Ryan Hall Latest TUF Champ

Why not??
Friday night the UFC crowned its newest TUF Champion with Ryan Hall taking a decisive victory over Artem Lobov.  Hall is arguably the most decorated Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor ever to grace the octagon, and I must admit that I am stoked to see what he has to offer now that he has cinched up his early striking apprehensions.  Training under Ray Thompson has improved his striking , add that to an undeniable grappling phenom and you have what amounts to a ton of fun to watch in MMA.  Unfortunately Hall could not showcase his skills 100% because his opponent Lobov forgot to show up and put up a fight. 

Congrats Ryan Hall. 

December 9, 2015

Hemant Rajcoomar is A Fake Posing As A Machado Blackbelt in Trinidad & Tobago

    I suppose it was inevitable that fakes would start to claim to be blackbelts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but it is becoming all too common place now days.
    Thanks to Brandon Quick for getting ahold of RCJ Machado and asking about this "certificate."  Apparently the asshat also known as Hemant Rajcoomar is running around the Caribbean islands of Trinidad & Tobago claiming to be a 3rd degree blackbelt under the Machado brothers.  This claim is completely fictitious and it should be obvious that the certificate above was photo-shopped.  Let it be know Hemant has NO rank within the organization. 

   If anyone on the islands runs across this douche-waffle please proceed to wrap him/her up snugly and choke the living piss out of!  Thanks. 

December 7, 2015

2015 World Sambo Championships Highlight

Our friend Reilly Bodycomb compiled a great compilation of highlights from the 2015 World Sambo Championships that was held on Morocco over the past weekend.  Excellent takedowns, sweeps, and throws demonstrated!  I am so glad that traditional avenues for folk wrestling still are alive in other parts of the world and thriving.  BJJ fever has taken over the west it seems and fewer and fewer academies are focused on the integral takedown / self defense aspects of grappling.   Thankfully even locally we have an excellent source for Sambo in Aaron Fields, he calls his dojo Seatown Grappling.

   Either way thanks to Reilly, and enjoy the throw bonanza:

November 25, 2015

Book Review: My Gratitude Journal by Kellie Bach

Author Kellie Bach's multiple sclerosis diagnosis stirred a primal ripple from deep inside of her that manifested in "My Gratitude Journal" from Tambuli Media.  A daily log that allows one to reflect and give thanks for moments, people, events, and really anything and everything that happens in life.  Writing is often quite therapeutic even for those whom you would never assume would write down their thoughts or feelings. 

A wonderful stocking stuffer, I can't think of a better gift to mention on this week of reflection and thanks. "My Gratitude Journal" is now available from Tambuli Media. 

Combat Flip Flops

Being a day late to throwing a big thank you out there for our Veterans on the 11th, I wanted to give a quick shout out to Combat Flip Flops.  Based in Bellevue, WA. Combat Flip Flops offers not only the namesake sandals, but also sarongs, and hard to find shemagh.  

Veteran owned.  This company supports those in need on a local level by building and supporting factories run by women in Afghanistan where education is the goal.  Think of these types of companies when shopping this holiday season.  Make your dollar work a bit harder and better. 

Unfortunately they do not offer manly sized footwear of 15+ or I would offer a review, but those dainty footed folk should check out their selection none the less. 

November 5, 2015

Kali Blade Transitions with Guru Jeff Davidson

To my students... this is what it is SUPPOSED to look like!  Study.  Learn.  Apply. 
Thank you Guru Jeff for sharing... look forward to training soon.  

October 23, 2015

Bodywork and Sports Massage Therapist Kurt Dery at Athenaroma

I wanted to take a moment to send a shout out to the best massage therapist in Washington state, and one of the best I have ever had work on me; Kurt Dery (LMT#MA00019958) at Athenaroma here in downtown Seattle.  Kurt's understanding of Anatomy and Physiology is second to none which only enhances what seems to be an innate ability to find the SOURCE of your pain and eliminate it. 

I know a number of local martial artists, MMA fighters, and other combat sports participants view this blog from time to time, and if you are in need of a massage or need some help rehabbing an injury to get you back in the fight quicker Kurt is your man. 

You can book online or call:  206-919-3404 / 212 Belmont Ave E. Seattle, WA. 

October 22, 2015

NWOS Fall Show & Sale Nov. 7-8th

Come visit the NW Orchid Society's annual Fall Show & Sale at Swanson's Nursery November 7-8th 2015.   Here is an excellent opportunity to get ahold of some species and rare genetics for my orchid friends in the Pac NW.  There will be at least five vendors including Seattle Orchid​, Emerald City Orchids​, Lucky Girl Orchids​, and Ahtanum Orchids.  Talks will be offered as well as AOS judging on Saturday morning.  Come join us...(Click here for more info)
Neofinetia fulcata

Swanson's Nursery
9701 15th Ave NW
Seattle WA, 98117
Saturday 9-5
Sunday 10-4

And for those of you scratching your heads wondering what orchids could possibly have to do with martial arts and this blog... well besides being a passion of mine, Neofinetia falcata are known as "Wind" or "Samurai" orchids because they were coveted by the warrior class of feudal Japan since the 1600's.  Shogun Tokugawa fell in love with the plant and is rumored to have sent samurai to all corners of Japan in search of rare specimens.  Often carried in protective cages, if commoners were to even breathe on the plant they risked beheading! 

Rest assured we will not behead anyone for breathing on any orchids, unless of course you are rocking halitosis! 

October 11, 2015

Book Review: Chanpuru - Reflections and Lessons From the Dojo

   Gary Parker's personal memoir "Chanpuru: Reflections and Lessons from the Dojo" is one of Tambuli Media's latest releases, expanding the companies repertoire above and beyond just martial art instructional books.  A wonderful recounting of a young man's journey through traditional Okinawan Karate-do. 

   I sometimes find it easier to describe something via what it is NOT rather than what it is.  Parker Sensei's book does not recount his multitude of street fights on the hard streets of Japan (there are none).  If you are looking for a minute by minute description of his preparation for an MMA fight that will make or break his career... not the book for you.  Incredibly there are a number of common themes obviously absent from Parkers memoir of his training in Okinawa and life after moving back to Georgia, and via these 'voids' if you will is where we get a glimpse of the true martial arts that 99% of us everyday practitioners experience.  

   I found Gary Parker's book a refreshing change from the majority of martial arts (read: MMA) reads out there.  I have a hard time relating to a cage fighter, some bouncer whom has worked the door of London's seedy underground, or the military mercenary who had to use his hand to hand skills in Afghanistan.  But I instantly relate to hours of arduous training, dealing with culture shock under Asian teachers, and the struggle with balancing everyday life when dedicated to training the martial arts.  Minus a handful of editorial hiccups Gary Parker summarizes just such a life perfectly. 

   Trained in Okinawa and then moving back to Georgia, Parker offers insight he has gleamed over the years as a traditional sensei writing about lessons that we quickly forget while training to be unarmed 'killers.'  But how often do we discuss how martial arts have helped our tempers, mental focus, fortitude to endure tragedy and pain?  The day to day lessons of the martial arts often get whitewashed with testosterone laden bravado. 

   "Chanpuru" is a perfect book to snuggle up next to the fire with and reflect on life with a glass of wine or coffee.  A perfect stocking stuffer for the holidays coming up, click here to order Chanpuru and to peruse Tambuli Media's vast book selection. 

October 5, 2015

Bladework with Jeff Davidson of Detroit Kali

My teacher Guru Jeff Davidson is a rather private man but every now and again he shares a gem.  Enjoy said moment...

September 29, 2015

Balintawak Arnis West Coast Training Camp w. Bobby Taboada

Any serious stickhead in the Pacific NW will surely not want to miss training with legendary maestro Bobby Taboaba as he shares his knowledge and wisdom of Balintawak Arnis Saturday October 2-4th 2015, at his West Coast Training Camp.  I have never trained with the man so I look forward to learning some new techniques and approaches to the Filipino Martial Arts. 
Oh, and just in case you have never seen the man work....

September 27, 2015

Big Mike Finds Gold in the Nevada Desert

   My good friend and fellow martial artist Mike Gates has just taken gold in the old mans division at the 2015 IBJJF World Masters Tournament in Las Vegas Nevada!  Winning the gold with style by choking out his opponent in the final seconds of the final match.
    Mike is the epitome of why you do not want to lose the top position... just think, a few years ago this guy did not even know what grappling was.  Come a long way my friend.  Proud of you.
    Big Mike is a student of Marcos Santos, representing the RCJ Machado brethren of Dallas Ft. Worth. 

September 6, 2015

2015 Carlos Machado Seattle Seminar

We are very fortunate to have Red-black belt Professor Carlos Machado visit the Pacific NW once again on November 1st, 2015 for a four hour intensive seminar from 12-4pm!  If you have never had the privilege to train with Carlos then do yourself a favor a give yourself an early X Mas gift.  His grasp of the fundamentals... what can I say... he has forgotten more Jiu Jitsu than most of us will ever know!
   Come experience what over 40 years on the mat can offer you.  Visit the NW Jiu Jitsu Academy (941 N. 95th St Seattle, WA.) for more information or to register ASAP, as space is limited and this will sell out.

Carlos Machado Speaks Out

Speaking of the Maestro Carlos Machado... make sure to check out his monthly column in Jiu Jitsu Style magazine where he offers over four decades of mat wisdom in every issue.  Issue #27 is on the stands now. 

August 24, 2015

Buakaw Practicing Muay Chaiya

Thanks to my friend and coach Tim Cartmell for sharing this clip.  I love Buakaw for a multitude of reasons, one of which is because he seems to be the consummate humble student.  Always learning, always training, always with a smile.  Much respect.

Enjoy the Thai Hair Metal and awesome ankle pick at 2:30!!!

August 12, 2015

Pai Da Sticks Available

Going through some old boxes I happened upon about 5 Pai Da sticks that I am selling for $25ea.  These are from China and were brought over by my teacher Mike Martello (RIP) when he taught some seminars utilizing Pai Da sticks for conditioning and qigong.

Via gentle stimulation along meridian lines and one pressure cavities, one can clear blockages and heal minor injuries with persistent usage. If you are interested please send me an email at: [email protected]

Here is a clip of Mike teaching the Pai Da (and so much more) almost ten years ago in New Mexico.  Skip to 5:30 mark for the actual Pai Da segment.  Miss you Mike.

August 11, 2015

"Balintawak Eskrima" by Sam Buot Sr. - Book Review

Tambuli Media has once again facilitated getting one of the foremost authorities on FMA, Sam Buot Sr., to sit down and write a comprehensive text on Balintawak Eskrima.  Without a doubt Mark Wiley (founder of Tambuli Media) is the greatest gift to Filipino Martial Arts in the 20th century as he has managed to get masters to speak whom may of otherwise died without sharing this knowledge.  "Balintawak Eskrima" by Sam Buot Sr. is arguably one of the more important treatise Tambuli has published. 

Balintawak Eskrima has a reputation for being incredibly fast, overwhelming, and its practitioners are notorious for their disarming prowess.  Buot tries to cover the foundation of the art within 240 pages and I must say I think he does a commendable job.   After a brief history Buot dedicates 30 pages to the masters of Balintawak from Anciong Bacon, to Dr. Cres Go.  This is the heart of the book.  The loyalty and respect Buot displays in his detailed biopic of each teacher is inspiring.  To get a glimpse into the lives of any one of these teachers is a treat, but Buot really does an amazing job highlighting the masters of the art, many of whom none of us in the west would ever even know about otherwise. 

Buot insists the core of Balintawak is in the defense, which in his opinion is the most difficult to master and why he dedicated three chapters to the subject unto itself.  One of the trademarks of Balintawak is their fast response while blocking or covering.  The speed in which they grab the weapon and/or their opponents hand can never be properly conveyed in print media, but Buot does an excellent job especially transliterating the Buot Ball Concept. 

Throughout the book Buot uses different senior students under him showcasing the various generations of Balintawak who all bring something unique and different to the table.  I really like this small detail because it shows the heart and dedication of loyal students as well as an unspoken level of respect and admiration from the teacher to said students.  One of the only criticisms I have of the book is once again photography wise where we have two demonstrators wearing the same style and color of clothing and the photos are sometimes cropped too tightly.  When it comes to the flow of photographs and the comprehension of the student these minute details are extremely important in this reviewers opinion. 

Part 5 which includes chapters 12-14 focus on application and techniques of Balintawak illustrating their renowned disarming arsenal.  Buots decades of experience shine through in this section with little nuggets of info sprinkled in between the lines.  He speaks of feints, fakes, and what many would call "dirty" tactics but in reality... this is self defense!  As an attorney he also offers a short, but concise chapter dedicated solely to knife fighting.  It is one page long and worth the cost of the book itself.  I am not going to summarize the chapter here to encourage you to seek it out and read it yourself, but may I say in a world of machismo and bravado it is refreshing to hear a voice of reason and common sense in the FMA!  Kudos Mr. Buot. 

With each book Mark Wiley sends me to review I can see the hard work and effort he puts into each published text.  I feel like a broken record but "Balintawak Eskrima" by Sam Buot Sr. is Tambuli's best FMA book yet!  I cannot recommend this book highly enough to practitioners of FMA, historians, or just general martial artists looking for a solid read.  And for those practitioners of Balintawak I cannot believe you can look at this book as anything less than THE treatise on an amazing legacy that is still growing. 

To purchase "Balintawak Eskrima" click here

And for those folks in the Pac NW whom are interested in learning Balintawak, we are fortunate enough to have Prof Bobby Taboada coming to town in October 2015.  Check out Seattle Balintawak for more information. 

August 8, 2015

Nine Year Itch

09 No Gi Worlds L-R: Dave Meyer / BJJ / JAB
Nine years ago on today's date I started my formal Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training under Brian Johnson at the NW Jiu Jitsu Academy.  I am grateful he accepted my big goofy ass as a student, and it would be the understatement of the decade to say I have learned countless lessons both on and off the mat from Brian.  For that I am thankful.  I look forward to nine more years sharing the mat! 

July 25, 2015

Tambuli Media

For those book worms like me there is no better source for Filipinio Martial Arts titles, nor Chinese for that matter, then Tambuli Media, and I am very happy to announce a new affiliation with Tambuli.  For any order placed via the link to your left, or by clicking here, The Ground Never Misses will get 25%! 

So if you are looking to add a new title to your collection, or you have a martial artist with a birthday coming up make sure to use the hyperlink and the rest is taken care of.  Simple.  Check out Tambuli Media today and see what you have been missing.  And check back for some future reviews of Tambuli titles here on the Ground Never Misses. 

July 14, 2015

Happy Birthday Saku

Wanted to send out a cheers to my all time favorite MMA fighter Kazushi "The Gracie Hunter" Sakuraba!  I hope someday to meet you and shake your hand, until then please accept a remote Happy Birthday, and thank you for your contributions to martial arts and MMA. 

Here is a great HL tribute to the one of the most respectful fighters ever, one whom never knew the word fear though many coughRicksonGraciecough feared him...

July 12, 2015

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson KO's Ellenberger

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson was the main event at the UFC Ultimate Fighter Finale, and he showed up to his first headlining event with style... placing a pinpoint accurate spinning heel kick Thompson KO'ed Jake Ellenberger, whom many felt would be Stephen's toughest opponent yet. 

   Congrats to RCJ's very own Wonderboy!!  It has been exciting watching you climb the rungs of mixed martial arts. 

June 15, 2015

The Evolution of Rener Gracie the Teacher

Prof Rener Gracie chose Seattle, WA. to host his first 'Super Seminar' a couple of weekends back on May 31st.  Four seminars back to back to back to back, where Rener treated well over 80 participants per session to his patented good humored teaching style.  One thing that I noticed this year is that Rener is really showing his maturity both in the depth of his grappling knowledge, but more importantly via his teaching style.

I have tried to support any and all events Craig Hanuami hosts in town, and by going to Rener with my student and friend Lara it enabled me to wear a bit of a different hat then previous years.  I went as a teacher and observed Rener with my "coaching" eyes and what I saw was a man growing into a well seasoned teacher.  After all taking on a full day of multi-topical seminars is quite the daunting task in and of itself, but more difficult is the ability to walk the line of information overload with participants.  We decided to attend the first and last seminars; Cross Choke Mastery and Self Defense respectively due to our interests and time constraints.

Cross Choke Mastery was the first seminar of the day and right off the bat I noticed a difference in Rener.  Don't get me wrong there was still his patented command of the room and warm personality, but a calmness has entered his voice that I can only equate with a wisdom and comfortableness in the environment he is teaching.  An attribute many of us would foolishly assume comes with teaching hundreds of thousands of hours on the mat, but let me tell you that this engaging energy does not just happen.  It is something cultivated and honed.  What I am saying is Rener Gracie has worked very hard on becoming an excellent instructor and now more then ever it shows!

Dealing with people is difficult.  Teaching adults can be damn near the most challenging endeavor one can embark on.  Rener not only controls a room but engages each individual and goes out of his way to make the technique(s) as fundamentally basic as he can.  I did not say simplify, but rather break each movement down to its core and make sure that even the newest white belt understood the principle conveyed.  I listened in as he helped others around us and his voice and calm demeanor do nothing but help students learn.

Rener assisting Lara in the procurement of my lunch money!
Technique wise he methodically progressed from "This is a cross choke" to strategies in getting the choke set up.  Cross chokes are incredibly difficult for me to get at all, and the details offered in Rener's 90 minutes certainly have put me in a better position these last two weeks though I must admit I have not nailed a successful cross choke as of yet, but I am maintaining mount much better!

We came back about 6 hours later for the Self Defense course and after adjusting to the wet rag of air welcoming our arrival to an oxygen deprived gym Rener kicked off the last seminar of the day.  The physical exhaustion showed both on teacher and students alike but Rener was steadfast on his course and did an excellent job keep the energy and techniques flowing.  I would venture to say this session was a bit more scattered then the earlier one but that also may have been due to more varied questions being asked on such a broad subject.  For those who were brave enough to stick out the entire day, it was showing.  Physical exhaustion was trumped solely by mental fatigue especially on the white and blue belts.

This is where you see seminars/teachers crash and fail, but as always there is Rener carrying the crowd on his shoulders and keeping energy levels high where he shared a handful of essentials when it comes to defending oneself.  A bit different then what I have been taught I thought this seminar gave a great peek into the world of Rener's grandfather Helio Gracie.  After all self defense IS why Helio created Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and for the most part many of the techniques were taught as Helio has passed them down from one generation to the next.  The sole criticism I have is the final drill on Sunday the "Zombie Attack Drill" was not well received by the majority of the female contingent I noticed.  My partner asked me to stay and not allow other random folks to be jumping in and working, and I noticed the majority of females and their partners (male or female) were opting out.  Such drill where we change partners every few seconds have been, in my experience, poorly received especially at seminars as folks are quite leery about the training partners they choose.  Food for thought for future seminars.

Once again I cannot encourage you enough to train with Rener Gracie if the opportunity even remotely arises.  I am not sure I would suggest a 6 hour marathon simply because your retention rate will tank well before even the 5th hour, but getting on the mat with this man needs to be on your grappling bucket list.  I cannot thank Craig for giving me the opportunity to train with Rener way back when I was a blue belt to now (I owe you a thousand private lessons!!).  Big thanks to my partner Lara, the seminar was a blast as was working with you.  And last but certainly not least a huge thanks to Rener who took time to visit us though he has a little bambino on the way (best of luck to you and your family).  We really appreciate your tutelage and time at such an important crossroads in your life. 

June 10, 2015

Prof Carlos Machado on The Warriors Way

Something in the air this summer... we have not one, but two of the Machado brothers featured in articles this month!  Prof Carlos Machado offers his mat wisdom in a monthly column with Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine where he shares how to practice jiu jitsu both on and off the mat.  Jiu Jitsu Style is the leading magazine for our sport so pick one up today or get a digital subscription and check out what Carlos has to say every month. 

Jean Jacques Machado in Jiu Jitsu Magazine

Our friend Professor Jean Jacques Machado has a feature in this months Jiu Jitsu Magazine specifically on how to attack the turtle position via a series of chokes.  Two things I love about this article... one is the variety of chokes JJ offers, with variations I have not seen other places.  And the other is the constant inspiration Jean Jacques Machado offers all of us where a man with virtually no fingers, nor a functioning hand, can specialize in a variety of collar chokes.  He never let his birth defect EVER slow him down not hold him back.  Respect. 

May 28, 2015

"The Secret Art of Derobio Escrima" - Book Review

One of the greatest things about being involved in the martial arts for 25+ years is that you get to see your friends and training partners grow in the art, excel in training, and with most, eventually they give back.  Professor Dan Medina of the rarely seen art Derobio Escrima is no exception as he has finally put out a treatise on his style and fighting method!

I met Dan in Albuquerque, NM. where we both had a short layover in life.  Demonstrating the art of Derobio at any opportunity he had, what struck me vividly about Dan was his unflinching willingness to share his art.  For a "secret" style his heart is too big to hold back, and perhaps to a fault the book "The Secret Art of Derobio Escrima" is no different.

One hundred and forty five pages is barely enough to scratch the surface of any system but Medina does a solid job of not getting too verbose and trying too hard to cover EVERY thing in a system... it's just not possible.  Instead Medina focuses on just a handful of techniques that represent the integral locking and counter locking movements Derobio is renown for.  Honestly a lot of the details are so minute that it would be damn near impossible to capture in a print format.  It seems Dan knew this and therefore did not try to over saturate the text but rather offer a taste of what the style is like.

The book opens with a wonderful chapter on the history of both Derobio and Dan Medina, both of which are fascinating histories.  Arguably the best chapter of the book, but I have been nostalgic for historical text lately so perhaps the opinion is a bit biased.

From there Dan dives right into the heart of the system and the fundamentals.  He includes a quick chapter on etiquette and how to properly hold your weapon etc.  A topic often overlooked but important in the context of martial arts, but more specifically weapon based arts.  The techniques shown are not what I would call super advanced though most folks do overestimate how difficult it is to properly execute a standing submission/lock, so lots of personal instruction and practice is surely needed.  I will offer this tip... pay attention closely to what Prof. Medina does with his free/checking hand in many of the photos.  The forearm check is surely not unique to Derobio but I will say that I have seen few execute it as smoothly and perfectly as Dan!

The sole criticism I harbor for "The Secret Art of Derobio Escrima" is that some of the pictures are unclear and a bit cramped.  Perhaps it is  my old eyes starting to fail me but I find it sometimes difficult to see what it is happening in the picture.  There are also a handful that are cropped too tightly and are cutting off parts of demonstrators.

Once again Tambuli Media brings you something different and fun.  If rare systems of Filipino martial arts interest you then make sure you add "The Secret Art of Derobio Escrima" to your shelf.  Click here to order today! 

May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day

Take a momentary break from your picnics and celebratory fun today and remember to thank our men and women who have sacrificed life, limb, and sanity for this country.  Equally as important that we remember our veterans when we hit the polls to vote on our so called "leaders." Lets stop the endless involvement in military campaigns that cost us our kids and gain us absolutely nothing.  Imagine a day when Memorial Day comes and this ceaseless combat is nothing more then a memory.

May 22, 2015

Rener Gracie Returns to the Emerald City

We are just over a week away from Rener Gracie returning to the Seattle area for another round of seminars.  Next Sunday will be a marathon day of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and self defense with four seminars back to back to back to back!! 

I have said it tons before but just in case you weren't listening... Rener is one of the young guard coming up under Rorion and Helio who is a bit of an anomaly.  For being so young he is without a doubt one of the best instructors I have stumbled across.  Confident, engaging, with a predetermined lesson plan that all gets packaged up with his quick witted humor a Rener seminar is not to be missed. 

Open to all experience levels and affiliations.

May 13, 2015

5 Year Old Nunchaku Master

Every now and again I run across a video such as this that makes me second guess my desire NOT to have children.  Dressed to the nines and mimicking the great Bruce Lee PERFECTLY with killer nunchaku (commonly referred to as 'Numchucks') skills! But then I am slapped back into reality when I see children and their keepers at the airport, grocery store, or unfortunately many a restaurant.  

A kind reminder to check out the Bruce Lee exhibit in the ID of Seattle at the Wing Luke museum. 

May 8, 2015

Metamoris = Mega Misogynistic

Spend any amount of time in the martial art / sport realm of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and you cannot help but notice an inordinate amount of machismo, and unfortunately machismo is accompanied by its close relative sexism.  It is something many of us ignore, or laugh off, but in reality it is becoming a serious issue in our community and it is perpetuated by folks such as Ralek Gracie and his promotion Metamoris which has a PPV event this weekend. 

As if trying to monopolize submission only events via offering exclusive contracts to stars such as Gary Tonon where one of the many ludicrous stipulations was that he can only fight in Metamoris events (keeping in mind there are only two a year), was not enough... Coupled with a purposeful ploy at bumping submission only PPV promoters such as Copa Podio where Metamoris scheduled there events on the same days as Copa twice in an apparent effort to directly compete with PPV audiences.  I suppose there is nothing technically "illegal" with these kinds of behavior but in general they are considered a giant dick move that really is not needed in such a niche community. 

But I personally draw the line when Ralek and his organization is blatantly sexist and misogynistic in there attitude and approach to once again not including any female fighters on the card! 
"We had one match and it was cool, but that was more of. 'Thats cool and that was interesting and I want to see that again if the girls are cute.'You know how it is.  The UFC wouldn't even have a women's division if it wasn't for Ronda Rousey."  - Ralek Gracie in response to no women's matches on the Metamoris 6 card. 

So prior to spending your hard earned money on the Metamoris 6 card this Mothers Day weekend, think about how you would like Ralek to address your mother, sister, aunt, or wife in one of his "Women Empowerment" seminars!?  We have enough problems in this world where we do not need to feed (literally) those who are just plain racist, sexist, or just down right assholish in our martial community.  Please do not support Metamoris for any of the crapola reasons I have listed.  Take your mom out to a nice meal on you instead.  Much better time and money spent, I promise. 

May 4, 2015

Traditional Igbo Wrestling

Not sure if this is the Igbo tribe, but was too awesome to pass up
In Nigeria the women of the Igbo tribe prove that they too can hold their mud when it comes to combat sports:

Thanks to Wrestling Roots for finding awesomely rare clips and news online!