Showing posts with label Meynard Ancheta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Meynard Ancheta. Show all posts

December 11, 2013

Weapons Poll Results and Weapons Training

The results of my latest poll are back ("Do you carry a weapon for self defense?") and it is one of the largest responses I have ever had!  Over 26 of you chimed in and gave me some great feedback on your view of personal protection, which for the most part the majority of you prefer to carry some sort of weapon for self defense. 

No, I'm a pacifist
  3 (11%)
No, My Hands Are Lethal
  5 (19%)
CCW / Gun
  9 (34%)
  0 (0%)
Sap / Knuckleduster
  3 (11%)
Blade - Fixed
  9 (34%)
Blade - Folder
  14 (53%)
  2 (7%)
Baton / Stick
  5 (19%)
Cane / Staff
  2 (7%)

Votes so far: 26
It is interesting to note that Pekiti Tirsia Kali is a modern evolving martial art that includes handgun, shotgun, and rifle training along with bladed combat and empty hands.  Below is a great clip my coach Meynard Ancheta shared Ron Avery's clip on the draw stroke, which is arguably the most important (and common) movement you can do in self defense, empty handed or otherwise.  Study on this and stop by Three Harmonies Martial Arts to train Pekiti Tirsia Kali on Wednesday nights at 6 and Saturday morning at 9:

December 2, 2013

The Foundational Strategy of Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Weapon Based Combat in Seattle, WA.

As you all hunker down on Cyber Monday reaping deals at the stroke of a key, take a moment and fill out my new poll to your right regarding weapon carry and use please.  As always I am scouring the net looking for quality martial arts material to share and I must admit a severe lacking of it from the FMA community as a whole.  Below is a rough draft of my teachers (Meynard Ancheta of PTK SoCal) Foundational Strategy of Pekiti Tirsia Kali.

Here at Three Harmonies we train PTK twice a week; Wednesday nights at 6pm and Saturday mornings at 9am.  All are welcome to join us regardless of experience!  Kali is a great way to get in shape AND learn how to defend you and your family!  For more info email Jake: [email protected]


It is simply this: The foundation of strategy in Pekiti Trisia Kali is to CLOSE IN ON THE THIRDS. Whereby, the practitioner may accomplish the following:
1. Attack from a superior position.
2. Increase options while reducing the opponent's options.
3. Isolate and dominate the opponent’s capacity for action. 

By virtue of your superior position you limit the opponent's and increase your own options thereby you can effectively isolate him (or his limbs) and dominate the combative event. The foundation of strategy of Pekiti Tirsia Kali is EXPLICITLY stated in the name of the art: PEKITI (to close or to close in), TIRSIA (thirds).
Combat Bladefighting tactics are executed according to this strategy.
Tactics and training must provide skills for protection, evasion against opponent’s strikes, and the ability never to be hit because our strategy leads us to seek for the Superior Position. The superior position makes everything else possible. The live blade provides instant realization of this principle. Protection from strikes and attacks are accomplished by footwork mobility and maneuver, that is obtaining the superior position.
The ability to strike the opponent first, deliver a variety offense and counter offensive attacks is another effect of Superior Position. The second element of the foundation strategy means that we have more options to strike the opponent first and counter any strike he may deliver. Opponent weapons are destroyed by direct strikes to the weapon hand or incapacitation by striking vital areas off-time of opponent’s strikes. This is the virtue of having more options than your opponent.
Superior position and the variety of our attack options allow us to Isolate and dominate the opponent or combative event. The ability to quarter, control, and neutralize the threat regardless of terrain, environment, or multiple adversaries is a direct result of the first two elements of the strategic foundation. The three elements of the strategic foundation work in unison and Pekiti Tirsia Kali has the methodology to teach this strategic approach to combat.

August 26, 2013

"Avoid the Blade, Take Your Opponent" A Great Weekend Training Pekiti Tirsia Kali in Seattle

I wanted to thank everyone who attended Meynard's Pekiti Tirsia Kali seminar over the weekend, especially my students.  Everyone worked hard and came away with a much deeper understanding of PTK.  Meynard was quite happy with everyone's progression since his last visit, and he left us with plenty to work on until we see him next.

What makes Meynard such an exceptional teacher is not the amount of "tricks" he has up his sleeve (though those are impressive as well), but the method in which he teaches and disseminates the lessons.  A system rife with confusion and rabbit trails in every direction, PTK can often be hard for a student to organize and systematize in their head.  Meynard lays out a solid pedagogy that is centered around progressive stages of uncooperative drilling and sparring.  This is key to ingraining the techniques into our muscle memory.

Using the Doce Methodos (Twelve Methods) as a foundational base Meynard ran us through a number of drills and patterns designed to help us progress on our path to bladed combat.  Progressively we built on each successive movement using double and single stick for the most part.

For those interested in training in a traditional Filipino martial art, there is not a single one more advanced then Pekiti Tirsia Kali!  We train at the Three Harmonies Club on Wednesday nights at 6pm (get there a little early if you can) and Saturdays at 9am.  I am also available for private lessons if need be.  For students of mine keep on the lookout for Aaron Cole to come over and train with us everyone now and then, and I also hope to have Meynard back this winter for another seminar.

August 24, 2013

Pekiti Tirsia Kali Seminar with Guro Meynard Ancheta Today

Grab a stick and a knife to come out and play with us as we get on the mat in just a few hours to train with one of Pekiti's best kept secrets, Meynard Ancheta!  Picked him up from the airport last night and he showed me some of what we will be covering.... GOING TO BE SICK!!! 

Don't miss out... still a few spots left.  Call Jake for more info: 206-941-3232

August 22, 2013

Six Hours with Rommel Tortal / Pekiti Tirsia Kali Seattle Seminar

I had the distinct pleasure of spending this past Sunday with Tuhom Rommel Tortal of Pekiti Tirsia Kali Manila.  A genuinely nice gentleman, Mr. Tortal is considered by many to be the heir apparent to the PTK crown under Leo Gaje who is Tortal's uncle.  Though my budget lately has been nada, I am glad I scraped the bottom of the cookie jar to go to the six hour seminar in Federal Way.

Tortal had us moving the whole seminar banging out footwork drills, contrada drills, and fundamental manipulation of single stick, double stick, single blade, as well as empty hand.  I believe he was a bit disappointed on the level of shape some folks were in so kept the pace clipping.  Whenever Professor Tortal would have drill, he would also show us the application and where these movements would come into play.  This is an important aspect considering many FMA teachers are drill happy to the point where they do not even know why they do certain drills!

This would be the first time I have ever trained in the Lukgood (the Malaysian's call it a Kerambit) and to be honest the training gave me a new found respect for the weapon.  Though I think in an actual encounter I would much prefer a regular knife, the Lukgood(?) is certainly a formidable weapon in close.  

We worked a number of basic single and double stick drills along with some applications, but the lesson always came back to two fundamental aspects: footwork and angles.  If either of these two principles was askew, the technique would fail!  That is what I like about Tortal... the emphasis on basic footwork and making sure we hit at the correct angle. 

Towards the end of the day we worked a bit of empty hand.  Again Tortal moves like a snake; fluid, fast, deadly.  Limb destructions and dumog were the topic of this section, and while many of the movements would require a completely willing opponent, the principles were none the less solid.  Get offline of the attack and counter! 

I want to thank Prof Tortal, Art Samson, and especially my good friend and training partner Russ Segawa.  Sorry I did not take more pics, we were busy training!  If you ever get the chance to train with Rommel Tortal make sure you do it!  He is one of the best Filipino martial artists I have ever had the luxury of training with!  I look forward to his visit to the Pacific NW next.  And if you are interested in training some Kali, then make sure to check us out this weekend where I have my teacher Meynard Ancheta coming in for our very own Pekiti Tirsia Kali seminar!  Contact Jake ASAP for more info: 206-941-3232


August 18, 2013

Pekiti Tirsia Kali Seminar This Weekend with Meynard Ancheta

Last call on our seminar this weekend with my friend and teacher Meynard Ancheta.  I just spoke with him and he is excited to once again visit Seattle, WA. and share his understanding of Pekiti Tirsia Kali. The seminar is open to any and all levels of experience, no prior Kali education is required. 

For more information click here! 

And I leave you with a clip of Leo Gaje who is Meynards teacher and heir apparent to the system of Pekiti Tirsia Kali.  Come join us August 24-25th 2013 to experience Meynards unique approach to the combative aspects of PTK.

August 12, 2013

Pekiti Tirsia Kali Seminar w/ Guro Meynard Ancheta Coming Up

Friendly reminder that we are under two weeks away for an awesome opportunity to sharpen your bladed weapon skills with my teacher Meynard Ancheta!  
Three Harmonies Martial Arts Presents
Pekiti Tirsia Kali:
Edge & Impact Weapon Fighting Concepts
w/ Guro Meynard Ancheta
August 24: 12-4pm
August 25: 10am-2pm
942 N. 95th St.
Seattle, WA.
$75 One Day
  $105 Entire Weekend
Open to any and all levels of experience!  
“Doce Methodos Progressions for Technical and Full Contact Sparring.”
In this seminar, students will learn blade combat flow and how to apply the "Methodos" in a dynamic and progressive way. The skills taught in this seminar will lay the foundation that will allow students to explore the principles of the Doce Methodos (Twelve Methods) while training with resistance and thereby develop true fighting ability with edge weapons.  Students will learn effective and proven techniques applied in real time against uncooperative and skilled opponents.  
Meynard Ancheta has been training in the martial arts for over 25 years.  A brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as well as a dedicated student of Tim Cartmell’s for over 10 years in various disciplines, Meynard has comitted his life to training Pekiti Tirsia Kali under Leo Gaje.  He is head instructor of  PTK Southern California, and the PTK instructor for Three Harmonies Martial Arts in Seattle, WA.

For more info or to register contact Jake Burroughs:  [email protected] / 206-941-3232

July 23, 2013

Pekiti Tirsia Kali: Edge & Impact Weapon Fighting Concepts Seminar August 24-25th 2013

I am very pleased to announce my Kali teacher returning to Seattle, to offer a two day workshop on Pekiti Tirsia Kali, one of the most beautiful and effective of the bladed arts.  All levels of experience are welcome, as Meynard will lead us through a progression of concepts that will be applied with moderate resistance. 

Also while you are stopping by make sure to vote on the poll to your right -> and let me know what martial art you would like to see covered here more?

Three Harmonies Martial Arts Presents
Pekiti Tirsia Kali:
Edge & Impact Weapon Fighting Concepts
w/ Guro Meynard Ancheta

August 24: 12-4pm
August 25: 10am-2pm
942 N. 95th St.
Seattle, WA.
$75 One Day
  $105 Entire Weekend
Open to any and all levels of experience!  

“Doce Methodos Progressions for Technical and Full Contact Sparring.”
In this seminar, students will learn blade combat flow and how to apply the "Methodos" in a dynamic and progressive way. The skills taught in this seminar will lay the foundation that will allow students to explore the principles of the Doce Methodos (Twelve Methods) while training with resistance and thereby develop true fighting ability with edge weapons.  Students will learn effective and proven techniques applied in real time against uncooperative and skilled opponents.  
Meynard Ancheta has been training in the martial arts for over 25 years.  A brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as well as a dedicated student of Tim Cartmell’s for over 10 years in various disciplines, Meynard has comitted his life to training Pekiti Tirsia Kali under Leo Gaje.  He is head instructor of  PTK Southern California, and the PTK instructor for Three Harmonies Martial Arts in Seattle, WA.

For more info or to register contact Jake Burroughs:  [email protected] / 206-941-3232

August 30, 2010

Meynard Ancheta's First Pekiti Tirsia Seminar a Huge Success!!

First Pekiti Tirsia Kali Training Seminar Seattle, WA. August 28-29th 2010.  W/ Meynard Ancheta
Wow!  To be quite honest my head is still swimming from this weekend, so I am not sure how articulate I will be this morning.  This past weekend was a first in many respects; it was Guro Meynard Ancheta's first time teaching a Pekiti Tirsia Kali seminar (which he really outdid himself on); it was the first time I have ever organized and hosted a Filipino Kali seminar (and I had a much greater response than I imagined I would); this was the first time I received so much positive feedback from the participants; and (to the best of my knowledge) this was the first time a Pekiti Tirsia Kali seminar was openly taught in Seattle, WA!

"In the field of strategic knife
defense, the Pekiti-Tirsia System
of Kali is THE most progressive,
practical and sophisticated system
of tactical knife self-defense and
edged weapon awareness that I
have ever encountered"
Guro Dan Inosanto

For those of you who may not be familiar, Danny Inosanto is considered one of the living legends of Filipino Martial Arts!  For him to offer such an opinion is no joke as he is a man with integrity and a depth of knowledge few will ever reach.  

Meynard is not a fan of gimmick's and flash.  His foundation both with Leo Gaje, as well as with Tim Cartmell is based in solid fundamentals.  "If you do not have a solid foundation, no tricks or flashy techniques will be effective.  It is the boring stuff drilled repeatedly that makes the difference in technical ability." -  Ancheta

So the foundation of Pekiti Tirsia Kali was set forth.  Meynards emphasis on footwork, correct angles, and range were the sub theme's of the weekend where we trained the Doce Methodos, or Twelve Methods of traditional Kali.  

We worked all three ranges focusing on stick work on Saturday, and progressing to knife work on Sunday.  Basic flow drills, footwork patterns, all the while sprinkled with techniques made the weekend fly by!   A couple attendee's mentioned how they had never seen some Dumog (Filipino wrestling) demonstrated like Meynard showed!  

"A basic foundation in wrestling and ground technique is essential for training Pekiti Tirsia Kali!  If you have been avoiding this type of training, you will pay the price if you ever end up in a fight!"  Meynard was adamant about the need for a solid foundation in grappling both standing and on the ground.  He shared a couple stories of Dog Brothers fights where the difference between losing and winning was determined by the better grappler, not the better stick fighter!

 Privately I got some great insight into the approach Meynard and his teacher Leo Gaje take on Kali.  I cannot express how happy I am to be back training in the Filipino martial arts, especially since I have been taken under wing by Meynard.  I could not ask for a more knowledgeable, and caring instructor!  I am certainly blessed in my life with good, quality people whom surround me in my life from my family, to my wife,  to my instructors.  

For those of you interested in solid, fundamental training in Kali you should really consider hosting Meynard Ancheta.  His skill in the arts is only overshadowed by his passion for sharing those arts!  If you are interested in contacting Meynard please send me a email and I will be more then happy to assist.  

In the end Meynard was very impressed by how everyone picked up what he taught so quickly!  We discussed me heading a little learning group here, and I am looking to see when and where I could squeeze that in.  Again contact me if you are seriously interested in doing something like a small learning group here in Seattle.  

Big thanks to all whom attended, I could not bring these quality instructors to you without your support and hard work.  Special thanks to Bonzai for her expert videographer skills and help throughout the weekend!

Stay tuned to the Ground Never Misses for more information on Pekiti Tirsia Kali here in the PAC NW! We plan on bringing Meynard back after the first of the year sometime.  

Train Hard.  Train Smart.

August 25, 2010

Last Call on Pekiti Tirsia Seminar!!

Guerilla's learning blade skills during WWII
Last call kids!  I have only a few spots left for Sundays session, and am almost totally sold out for Saturday.  If you are interested, or are planning on attending contact me ASAP!

Here is a great clip of Tim Waid demonstrating some knife work:

[email protected]

August 16, 2010

Pekiti Tirsia Kali

I trained in Modern Arnis for approximately 5 years with the late Professor Remy Presas in the mid 90's.  Simple curiosity led me to the first seminar and I was immediately hooked.  The Filipino martial arts are not only extremely practical for self defense, but they are also tons of fun!  I mean where else do you get to swing sticks at each others head and stab folks with fake knives!?!?  

Though I continued to train on my own I did not train under anyone after I moved to New Mexico.  Focusing on the Chinese arts I put my stick and knife work on the back burner until moving up here to Seattle four years ago.  My desire to get better at a weak area of my practice (knife work) had me looking for Kali / Escrima / Arnis teachers in the area.  For me finding an instructor is much more than just giving money to some guy to show me random techniques.  I have always, and will always, choose those I train with very carefully with great diligence to a number of factors to ensure the relationship and the training would mesh.  Quite simply our individual personalities do not always play well with others, and when it comes to something as serious as weapons training I want someone with similar views, opinions, and outlooks on reality and training as I do!  

So when some ask me "Why Pekiti Tirsia Kali, Jake?" I must give the honest answer... the style does not matter to me nearly as much as the teacher.  Hence my careful choosing of Meynard Ancheta to continue my training in the FMA.  Meynard and I share teachers with Tim Cartmell, as well as sharing idea's and attitudes to our approach when it comes to no non-sense blade training.  Really all it took was the first factor of being one of Tim's top student, but it just so happens that Meynard trains Pekiti Tirsia Kali because he feels it is one of the most natural, simplest, most effective blade arts in the world. 

Here is a clip of Leo Gaje offering a comprehensive introduction to PTK.  "This is a combat system, not sport!"

 Here is Meynards teacher Leo Gaje (who BTW will be in Vancouver, BC Sept. 24-25) offering some insight into the system of PTK:

Another one of Meynard's teachers, Tim Waid, is considered by many to be the most knowledgeable student of Leo's in regards to the traditional familial style of PTK (which Meynard will be teaching us).  Here Tim Waid offers some various drills and free sparring from PTK:

So for anyone interested in increasing their knowledge of personal protection, The Filipino Martial Arts, or those wanting to improve such attributes as timing / footwork / range / hand - eye coordination etc. please   join us August 28-29th here in Seattle, WA. for Guro Ancheta's first weekend seminar in the PAC NW!   

I am capping the seminar to ensure safe space and personal attention from Meynard.  Registration is already over 1/2 full!  Email or Call me today to register!

I urge any potential attendees to spend some time on the Pekiti Tirsia Kali  website ( as their is a ton of information on the site.  Look into the training manuals and articles (especially on the Doce Methodos, or 12 Methods) that are all over the site.  

Hope you can join us for a great weekend of Kali training!  

Train Hard.  Train Smart.

July 19, 2010

Pekiti Tirsia Kali Seminar - Aug. 28-29, 2010

For those interested in the Filipino Martial Arts, or simply for anyone that would like to improve their stick and knife skills, I proudly present (for what I believe is the first time in Seattle) a seminar on Pekiti Tirsia Kali as taught by Guro Meynard Ancheta. Meynard is a friend of mine and long time fellow student under Tim Cartmell so I am very happy to host him in Seattle for a great weekend of training. Hope you can join us!
Train Hard. Train Smart.
Jake B.

Three Harmonies Martial Arts Presents

A Weekend Workshop:

Pekiti Tirsia Kali

Traditional Filipino Martial Arts

W/ Meynard Ancheta

August 28 & 29th 2010

Sat. 1-5pm

Sun. 11am – 3pm

Seattle, WA.

(Location provided with registration)

1 day - $55

Weekend - $75

*Please bring your own sticks and a training knife. ABSOLUTELY NO LIVE BLADES! *

To register contact Jake Burroughs:

206-941-3232 / [email protected]

Your are invited to join us for a weekend of training in the beautifully effective art of Pekiti Tirsia Kali, one of the native weapon and empty hand arts of the Philippines. This is Guro Ancheta’s first visit to Seattle, WA. and he will guide students through the “Doce Methodos” or Twelve Methods. These are the foundational

methods and techniques for every aspect of Pekiti Tirsia Kali (empty hand / single weapon / double weapons). All levels of experience are welcome, all we ask is you leave your ego at the door!

Students can expect to learn:

· Single and double stick methods

· Effective & Realistic knife fighting skills

· Brutal techniques meant for real combat, not sport

· Improve your timing, footwork, and understanding of range & distance

· Have fun learning a cultural treasure of the Philippines

“I want to share the traditional family system of Pekiti Tirsia Kali (PTK), and demystify some of the false idea’s about this effective martial art.” – Guro Ancheta

The Instructor:

Meynard Ancheta began his martial journey with Don Angier in Aiki Ryu Jujitsu & Kenjutsu. Shortly thereafter Meynard met Tim Cartmell and has been training with him in the arts of Bagua, Xing Yi, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the past 10 years earning a brown belt in the art of BJJ. In 2004 he then began his foray into the art of Pekiti Tirsia Kali training privately under Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje. Furthering his training in the traditional family system of PTK under Mataas na Guro Tim Waid, Meynard continues to visit the Philippines and train. Meynard is a Dog Brother (c-Strawdog), and was recently promoted to Guro (instructor) by Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje. For more information on PTK visit

For more information or questions please contact Jake Burroughs at: 206-941-3232 or [email protected]

April 12, 2010

Sun, Fun, Kali, Pan Am's.... So Cal

The Samurai lived every moment as if it were their last, in this manner they were always prepared for death. It was important to die with dignity, honor, and leaving nothing behind. No regrets. I saw this age old attitude in play on the back of a modified chair / ski in Warren Millers latest "Dynasty" over the winter, where an athlete had painted on the back of the chair "Die living." This has become my official, unofficial moto in life. And this is exactly what happened to me over the weekend. I was killed. Well... in a sense...

Though I do not hide my intent to compete, I do not go around advertising it either. Most who know me are surprised to hear I am actually rather private and quiet when it comes to most things. I had made a choice around December - January to compete in the Pan Am's, arguably BJJ's most prestigious tournament, this April. In actuality I went down to LA to train with Tim at the new Ace Jiu Jitsu Academy, and it just so happened their was a tourney as well!

I trained hard on Monday and Tuesday with Tim and the crew at Ace. Monday morning was basically a private lesson along with Ellie (Doc Chang's little brother), and late to the party James. Tim helped clean up some of the many holes in my 1/2 guard game, working a series of sweeps from the position which was worth the trip in itself! Thanks Tim, you make it look stupid simple. After the lessons I basically rolled with Ellie, James, and then another one of Tim students for about 2 hours! Taking breaks, chatting, covering technique all the while. We wrapped up and got some lunch to relax most of the rest of the day.

Tuesday I went to Ace's no gi class. A couple of us were prepping for the Pan Am's so the first 1/2 hour was all cardio of various sorts. Asa Fuller led us through intense reps of sprints, sprawls, plyo work etc. utilizing just cones and hurdles. From their we worked on a couple of finishes from scarf hold that were killer! I am not sure if Tim planned it or not, but these fit right into my side control game perfectly, and again the couple of details Tim addressed were well worth the trip itself. After class we rolled for 30-40 minutes before the kickboxing class rolled in.

In free roll I had the opportunity to spar with Asa for the first time. At first he can be a bit off putting, but I think that is solely due to his focus and nothing personal. Now obviously I was not going to do much to the 220# black belt champ, but he played with me for a bit before sweeping me, crushing me, and submitting me rather smoothly. Though only a bit bigger than me Asa is stupid strong! His technique is clean, crisp and top notch. Plus he is a black belt owner of the school who is there rolling and teaching along side partners Tim Cartmell and Chris Thue, all black belts under Cleber Luciano! If you are in the LA area you owe it to yourself to join this growing academy. At least 2 black belts teaching every class!!

My Intro To Kali
Wednesday night I got together with my friend, and older martial brother under Tim, Meynard Ancheta. Meynard is one of Leo Gaje's west coast representatives in Pekiti Tirsia Kali a Filipino system of weapon and empty hand combat, as well as being an official "Dog Brother" (Straw Dog). Some say PTK is one of the most effective arts in terms of learning realistic bladed weapon combat. I studied with Remy Presas in Modern Arnis for 5+ years, and I have been itching to get back into some down and dirty realistic knife work for quite some time now. Overall I have not found what I am looking for locally (many of the teachers in town are WAY down south and hard to get to), so I asked Meynard if he would be interested in teaching me, and he graciously accepted.

The parallels between Kali and the arts I have trained such as Xing Yi, Bagua and just about anything with Tim were uncanny. A lot of it had to with the training style in which Meynard teaches. Again modeling it after Tim, as do I, so I suppose we were both on the same page. Either way I got tons of great material that I will work on prior to bringing Meynard into Sea Town for a seminar later this summer.

Oh, the People You Meet
I took Thursday off to rest and chill before I fought on Friday afternoon. I decided to get a massage (no, not that kind you sick [email protected]#*er's!!) at a joint close to the hotel in El Segundo. My neck and back were jacked and really needed to be pounded out with a hammer. I just so happened to get a Brazilian girl (easy fellas) and she asked me why I was in LA. I answered to train BJJ, to which she replied; "Oh, you hear for the Pan Am's?" Taken aback that she even knew what they were I asked if she trains, and come to find out she is room mates with none other than Rickson Gracie's ex wife, mother of Kron! Small world eh? I took this as a positive omen entering a tournament the next day.

Pan Am's 2010
Arguably the largest BJJ tournament ever (if not the largest, the 2nd largest) with over 2800 competitors signed up. Held over four days I was scheduled to fight in the blue belt super heavy category at 2:50 on Friday afternoon. I had 20 guys in my division, my opponent was Jerome from Ralph Gracie.

In general I felt very prepared for this tournament. I got great advice from my coaches, as I asked Tim if he saw anything last minute I need to address; "Nope. Your cardio is there, your rolling has improved. The fight is already won."
Just before my fight Brian called me (I flew solo on this trip without anyone else from NWJJA) and gave me a great pep talk and reassured me of my level and rite to be at the Pan Am's. It was great having the confidence of my two coaches echoing in my head as I stepped onto the mat to fight.

I need to address a certain something here for those who train in combat sports. You will notice no where in the paragraphs above did my coaches, nor my partners in LA ask if I was "ready." Though loved ones, and especially fellow training partners only mean well in asking, it does nothing but stress out the competitor to be constantly bombarded by "Are you ready? How is your weight? How are you feeling?" etc. etc. etc. If we are ready your questioning it makes things worse. If we are not, we do not need to be reminded. So much of this game is mental, and to be questioned constantly is sabotage from those who mean the most to us! Food for thought if you are around competitors or if a loved one competes.

The whole day is still a blur, and a bit surreal. The event was crazy! Fighters everywhere. 10 mats going simultaneously. A mix of anticipation and testosterone filled every breath. Once I got to the event my nerves were cool, and I started to warm up. I visited with some familiar faces from Seattle as Jeff Bougious was not only competing but also honing his skills as a ref for the IBJJF as well! James Foster was present with a team of guys, so we shot the shit for a bit before my fight. James is a super nice guy, and wished me all the luck in the world.

It was such chaos that when they called me and my opponent Jerome (sorry bro, do not remember your last name) to the bullpen they inspected our gi's and were supposed to weigh us, but completely forgot to and took us right to the mat. Within a few minutes I was ordered onto the mat. Everything happens so fast! Looking back at the video (I hope to post soon) I can dissect the match.

My opponent was about my height and looked a little slimmer. I thought nothing of it as he pulled guard on me and we settled in. Immediately he started sitting up to try and sweep me over in a white belt killer, and as I tried to push him back down I was completely taken aback by how uber-strong this guy was! I mean retard strong!!! In hindsight I can honestly say I have never competed against someone so strong, and keep in mind I got schooled by a strong beast in March at the Revolution tourney! Jerome was VERY strong!

I noticed that he was holding his breath (may have attributed to his bursts of superman strength), and I couldn't get his legs open, so I stood and basically rape choked him in an effort to get him to open up. After a couple of attempts he did open his guard where I immediately built my shield. I was solid and started to work a pass when he flailed his legs and booted me twice in the face, the first time in my chin lightly, the second time I got nailed right in between the eyes hard enough to get knocked back on my butt. This is where the proverbial shit starts to hit the fan!

I immediately attempted a leg attack, but my position was not right, so I pulled 1/2 guard and tried to access the situation. He quickly stripped my legs apart and passed with a pass Brian just showed me the previous week. Jerome is in side control.

My recollection of time is skewed and screwed in hind sight, but as I watch the tape I notice that he is VERY aware of the time, constantly looking at the clock. At this stage there was still approx. 2 minutes left. He was not crushing me, but I was pinned pretty solid as I attempted escape after escape with no success. He actually got called at least once for stalling which I kinda of agree with, but kinda don't. He was riding the clock out pinning me until the last 30 seconds, as he was up 5-0 points wise. He patiently played a competition strategy waiting until it was damn near impossible for me to beat him on points, and then attempted a gi choke which he got and was solid with. I tapped with seconds to go.

I wanted to try my patented Ballard Bridge Sweep, but I was afraid if my arm got stuck outside his body I would not get it back. If i would have known how the fight was going to end I would have tried it.

Both Tim and Dana asked if I was okay when they saw me, as I had a welt right where my third eye would be and was bleeding from the kick. I guess with the adrenaline I did not feel any of it. Bruised ego was all the damage I took. Overall a great experience though. I need to work on my upper body strength as even the "old men" are strong!

The best aspects from the Pan Am's was once again the great camaraderie and sportsmanship throughout. I saw only one case contrary where some douche bag purple belt through a fit by kicking a garbage can all over coming off the mat after losing. I saw later he still medaled. If I were his instructor I would have made him clean it up on his hands and knees. Perhaps next time leave some of that energy on the mat and the outcome will be better!

I had two guys (Dev and Mike, I think!?!?) come up and ask about this very blog! Wow! What a pleasant surprise! Always nice to see my blog is reaching out to those in the community, and is received well. Really nice guys!

Also a big congrats to Brian from Oregon. We met at Tim's seminar I believe in Portland, and he took silver in the biggest division there: blue belt middle adult (100 competitors!!!!)! 7 matches, 5 sub's, one point win, and his final loss was by 2 points! Great job brother!

I learned a lot. Had fun, and got some needed sun. I look forward to participating in more IBJJF events, and pushing myself to new levels. Hopefully next time I can finish my blog entry with a pic of me getting a medal. On to the NOVA Cup next month. Wish Shadow and me luck! No rest for the wicked!