Thursday, April 28, 2016

North Carolina Weekend JiuJitsu Events: Darce Seminar & Cageside Carnival

Saturday-Sunday JiuJitsu double header: NoGi Darce seminar by a guy for whom I have a lot of respect on and off the mats, followed by a big day Sunday to see some great JiuJitsu matches and support the local NC JiuJitsu community. Be there. I'm not cleared to train yet nor drill but I'll be watching the seminar Saturday and though it hurts my heart my injury forced me off the card of invitational matches Sunday, I'll be in attendance as well. 

Jiu-Jitsu in MMA: Rafael Lovato Jr. Wins Legacy FC Title

Roger Gracie Returns to MMA

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Apologies/Injury Update

Haven't posted the latest podcast. 
I'm having to see a chiropractor for a possible herniated disc and haven't done much other than struggle through work and rest as much as possible.
The pain is significant pretty much all waking hours and sleep is infrequent. The chiropractor has done wonders considering it was borderline unbearable at first.
I'm hopeful I'm one of the roughly 90% that respond to non-surgical treatment. Went from rolling hard, preparing for US Grappling Greensboro and the Cageside Carnival to I can barely use my left arm. 
I mostly try to do my job downtown with one arm and listen to The Last Podcast on the Left while I rest on the couch. I'll be back but the pain level is pretty intense. When I have more answers I'll post much like I did on my year long road back from ACL reconstruction. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

EBI 6 Update: Gordon Ryan Replaces Eddie Cummings

Quick thoughts on UFC on Fox 19

Teixeira is a bad man. A tough customer for anyone even Jon Jones.
Had a feeling Evans would get tagged and he did and it only took one good follow up punch. 
Namajunas and Torres got after it.
Well done, ladies. 
Khabib vs Ferguson I still want to see or give him his title shot. He deserved it before the injury, deserves it still now. This re-earning title shots after a layoff/what have you done lately MMA attitude is dumb AF. 

Cub Swanson still entertaining AF. 
Dude went all fours to stand up with Chiesa on his back. The face/jaw squeeze RNC is real. I am a HUGE Dariush fan but was a total underestimation/hubris on Dariush's part to do lackadaisically think he could get up that way with caution to the wind.

A previous favorite of mine Alessio Sakara picked up a win over in Bellator. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

3 Recent Matches/Submissions

Upcoming competitions:
1) US Grappling Greensboro 23rd of this month
2) Cageside Carnival Invitational/Deathmatch/Whatever May 1st.

1st Adult Advanced NoGi Absolute
2nd Adult Purple Belt combined - 162

Advanced NoGi

 Advanced NoGi

Purple Belt Gi

Friday, April 15, 2016

Alliance, Atos, & Exodus: Leaving the Team and the Historical Commonplace (Heresy!)

Read Alliance's history and keep this in mind any time someone gives you shit for leaving a team.
Granted, gym hopping every 6 months will earn you no long term friends in jiujitsu.
I left a gym after nearly 9 years of being a member. I represented them in 5 MMA bouts, Judo tournaments, and countless Jiu-Jitsu tournaments.
When the time came to leave, it was time to leave. Period. Anyone who wants to call you a traitor after 9 years of being somewhere is making some laughable assumptions at best or being disingenuous at worst. I must have missed the class on "how to be a traitor" when I was bleeding in a cage representing the gym 5 times,  or helping guys get ready for fights and paying dues to one gym for between 1/4 -1/3 of the years I've been on this earth.

That personal anecdote aside, let's look at the historical basis for all these Jiu-Jitsu stalwarts and loyalty do or die and see if it stands up to the truth test?

The term "creonte" refers to guys the gym was paying for them to train, compete, literally giving them a place to sleep et cetera, guys on "scholarship as it were."

This is America. As a paying customer, the market determines many things. 
As much as I ascribe to some of the old school mentality I was first taught in Judo with the bowing and the rest, a foolish adherence to misapplied ideals is every bit as destructive as maliciously applied selfishness. Study the history rather than blindly buy into blanket generalizations regarding someone who doesn't tow the line or rarionalize the status quo :

Time Machine Friday: Mayweather Wants to Promote MMA

Dunning-Kruger Effect: they run a lot in boxing to train so it's tougher than MMA. There's no minority fighters in MMA, white guys couldn't hack boxing so we made up MMA.

Let the dude put on some events and pump some $ into the sport. I'm glad some fighters and corollary staff will pick up some of his $$ and pay their bills with it.
That being said, don't forget he's another "human cockfighting" believer about our sport.

I could name just in UFC that guys like Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Cain Velasquez, Demetrious Johnson, Benson Henderson were all champs.
Calling MMA fans beer drinkers is like pointing out the Corono sponsoring ESPN Deportes Boxing events.
At any rate, the irony is so thick here, it's hard to breathe. I have to go teach takedowns and gripfighting tonight.

Blast From the Past: Garry Tonon vs AJ Agazarm Black Belt NoGi Pan Finals

I have something I hate to admit. Now that I'm rolling more NoGi, I'm having a hard time sitting through black belt Gi matches from the 2016 Pans (because I signed up for flograppling after rationalizing it as I've watched probably hundreds of hours if not more of jiu-jitsu/judo for free since I began grappling).
Watching even Leandro vs Romulo at the Pan Finals....I had to skip ahead at some points.
Man. Never thought those words would come out of my mouth.
That being said, here's Garry Tonon of a slick low single leg counter/escape/step out immediately to a truck position or something close to it for the back take and finishing the match quickly thereafter.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

So I tried Bulletproof Coffee

Maybe it's because I take in about 32
Oz of coffee per day. Usually a grande in the morning and one in the afternoon. Maybe it's because I sometimes buy pourover coffee that my bar of being impressed by coffee is set higher. 
If I'm working all night downtown or up early on an hour or two of sleep to drive 3-5 hours to a tournament and ref/compete et cetera, I'll drink more than that and buy whatever coffee I can find on the road or brew my own strong brew. 

My honest opinion of the vaunted bulletproof coffee is that it's coffee you'll prefer if you don't like the taste of coffee and don't like to sip your coffee over a long period of time as the taste is smoother and the caffeine more packed into a smaller amount of liquid. 

The slight butter/coconut oil taste is pleasant and I am a huge fan of grass fed butter. But is it super amazing? I'm unconvinced. I have always semi dislikes the coconut oil after taste in anything but I'll take the bitter almost burned taste of coffee and smell over bulletproof coffee any day of the week. Likely, the acidity of bulletproof for your body's PH is much lower, but I take in enough juice, fruit, vegetables et cetera (and no longer consume any alcohol) that it doesn't matter. 
I mean, cold pressed juice is delicious, and yes I prefer it, but I'm unsold on the marketing for that and for this type of coffee. Beyond that, try it for yourself. I still like/prefer to brew my own coffee and add some kosher salt to it, a trick my department advisor from the district taught me back when I taught high school. 

Confirmed Black Belts for World Pro Next Weekend

I have flograppling so I'll get to watch. Been so busy with work and jiujitsu I've only watched a bit of the last Copa Podio since signing up for flograppling. Haven't had a day to binge watch any Gi events and my sparse spare time has been limited watching NoGi and researching the next big area of focus for my submission game (it's a secret). Hopefully I'll have some footage of it after the next US Grappling on the 23rd of this month in Greensboro. Until then, it's hush hush. 

Guam Doing Big Things

I've slowly noticed the trickle of Guamanian fighters in mostly Asian region promotions and now a few in the UFC and Bellator. I'll say this. Those dudes comes to fight. That being said, the jiujitsu scene must be growing at the effort and behest of some motivated people with another event like one I recall awhile back: 

Podcast Episode 11 Preview

We'll delve into the upcoming EBI 6 brackets, Maxhida's free pass from the MMA "media" on his banned substance issue, and expert failure as 1) the ever potential by product of success and 2) a reality in any domain where we unduly trust those in authority. 

Machida Breezes Through Court of Public Opinion

MMA Media giving Machida the kid gloves treatment on this one.

Basically, it's the Braulio excuse.
The "I didn't know" line. "Didn't know what was in my water bottle. Didn't know it was banned." Whatever. At
This point, after the Anderson Silva and some other heroes of mine testing positive, it is truly "whatever."

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sapateiro Invitational - Full Event (and some expedited leg lock history)

For the uninitiated in/on Jiu-Jitsu history, "sapateiro" is a reference to those with an affinity for foot/leg locks. Supposedly, those guys from the suburbs were able to win some high profile matches over the city boys in an early jiu-jitsu rivalry by using the disdainful foot locks and the term "sapateiro" is the word for "cobbler" in Portuguese, ie: a low class/laboring profession. Leg locks have also thus/likewise been a more commonly used part of luta livre, the Brazilian version of submission grappling with a broader support base in the less wealthy of Brazil. Class difference remains a deeply inundated part of Brazilian culture (like much of the world if you open your eyes) and the divide I saw between the haves and have nots during the time I visited was very apparent whether in the city or by the ocean. I remember the bizarre realization after being repeatedly told that it's simply not safe to be out at night even in a small group in some of the even larger cities. Those that can afford it, in Recife for example, live in tall buildings/apartment complexes surrounded by barb wire and/or electrified wire. Each and every time you come and go in your car, there's a guy who sits downstairs and lets you in and out. 24 hours a day.

That being said, taps are taps, and in fighting, grappling, whatever, pressure, choke, submission hold, whatever-the-*&^%-it-is counts at the end of the day, however cheap you'd like to label it.

That being said, enjoy: all of the rounds are linked here for your viewing pleasure: Click HERE.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Podcast Episode 9: The Myth of Sub Only, Law of Unintended Consequences, & ADCC Blase

Click HERE. 
This week I delve into the data behind the submission only movement vs points tournaments and propose the idea that sub only actually produces more boring matches (think ADCC wrestling to not wrestle/lose matches).

I also delve into the law of unintended consequences, the effects of Judo rule changes on the sport as a whole, its library of techniques, and float the idea that just maybe, just maybe there's room for a bunch of different rule sets. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Podcast Episode 8: Overtraining Plateaus, & Real-Life Takedowns

Click HERE:
Back to scholarly research this week as we delve into the actual research concerning the most un-talked about component for underperformance in most of high level athletic preparation: overtraining.

It's the black sheep of topics, about on par with tapping to early in MMA or "quitting."

That being said, as per request via email and some facebook messages, I'll share another story of some Judo in real-life from a time I had to self-defense it up with some young men who took offense to my interaction with a member of their coterie.

I also touch on Mir's KO loss to Mark Hunt and what it means (hint: not much more than Nate Diaz submitting someone). 

Onnit Invitational 2 - This Friday

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

BJJ Heroes - IBJJF Pans 2016 Results (and brief match description)

Click HERE:
Among other notables: someone got beat 58x0.
Bruno Frazatto returned to Gi competition. Joao Miyao beat Gabriel Moraes (a former prodigy himself as he went from blue to black belt and won the worlds back to back at both belts). Paulo beat Quexinho. Leandro beat Romulo to add another notable scalp to his collection, but still couldn't stop Bernardo Faria who won the absolute but curiously didn't compete at weight. He managed to pick up two more kneebar/dogbar wins along the way. Edwin Najmi won his first Pans at
Black belt.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Elevate MMA - Robert Drysdale Seminar this Saturday

Podcast Episode 8 Preview: Overtraining the Plateau

Podcast for this week forthcoming. As promised I will delve into scholarly research on overtraining and underperformance. The JiuJitsu bug hits a lot of us, then the dark side of the obsessive grind looms down the road behind a bush while we jog toward the goal of improving our JiuJitsu. 

I'll touch on the expected Frank Mir retirement talk,
Mark Hunt losing 5 straight fights and the UFC trying to buy out his contract when they folded Pride. 
The million dollar question of when/what/how much is too much training actually detrimental and what is not enough continues to be difficult to discern. 

That being said, despite what archaic training methodology you may persist in ascribing to, the actual research into the field shows there emphatically exists a point of diminishing returns whereby long term you are negatively impacting your progress and performance by persisting in training beyond capacity.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Metamoris Announces Next Event

Let the jokes/memes fly....

Weekend Wrap-Up

Waited to see if I'd be up to working til 4am last night and tonight then making the 4.5 hour up to do the Copa Nova but managed to miss the pre-registration deadline and won't make weigh-ins due to my work schedule.
Cue the part where I ask other people to fund my jiujitsu pursuits...."I kid,
I kid."
Been feeling run down last week and this since the Extreme Submissiom Challenge match I won. Felt flat at the Submission Only put on by U.S. Grappling and haven't taken more than a day off since then. 
I find it hard know when to taper off my training versus just keep going. I haven't yet accepted I'm 33 years old or what if anything that means. I've been diligent about doing my Olympic lifts and two sprint workouts per week and perhaps this is an adjustment period. I've also been diligently drilling my kneebar and a couple set-ups for maintaining the position as well as variations to the finish. 
I'm at work til 4am, but the wrestling championships are on, so I can't complain. It's good to see grappling sports on a big stage as far as publicity goes. Gi JiuJitsu, with the way black belts matches go these days, I doubt will ever be very appealing to anything other than grapplers currently enmeshed in the sport, but we shall see. 
Been teaching a grip fighting and takedowns class on Fridays. We're focusing on the rule set for JiuJitsu and responses to bent over posture, defensive gripping and stiff arms among other common reactions by inexperienced competitors.

Miesha Joins Money Fight Insani-Mania

Le sigh. Once someone runs a 4 minute mile, everyone's on the bandwagon. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Podcast Episode 7 Preview (It Cometh Tomorrow)

We'll discuss this past weekend's US Grappling Submission Only in Va. Beach, Thomas Edison, and foot sweeps. 
I'll delve into some thoughts on abstract vs experiential knowledge, teaching theory, and even some market inefficiency in terms of trusting your process in training at lower belts while considering the skills you want to have when you reach the higher belts. 

Remember! You have as many hours in a day as BeyoncĂ©. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Podcast Episode 6: Disagree with Ryan Hall, Lamenting the Fallen Icarus/McGregor, & Crosstraining as Problem Solving

Despite myriad of technological difficulties and hang-ups, the new episode is up.

I also upped my soundcloud membership, so all of the episodes will play now, rather than just the most recent 4 or 5.
Click HERE. 

Intellectual Stimulation/Leg Locks Are Your Friend (?)

Reffing and competing this weekend at US Grappling's Submission Only event in Virginia Beach. THe following weekend I should be at Copa Nova's event up near DC. Excited to win and/or learn and stay on the grind. I think Jiu-Jitsu should work with or without time limits because in real-life, in the streets I hear so much about in fighting Jiu-Jitsu, actual altercations barely last a few minutes. If you're inventing reasons to avoid a certain rule format, or skill set, that should raise a red flag in your mind.

As I'm moving slowly but inevitably toward brown belt, I am forced to now pay more attention to my knees and feet, even as a predominantly Gi competitor. Some detractors shame Jiu-Jitsu for it's staggered approach go leg locks, if you're in it for the long haul, I'm actually a fan of it. Coming from Judo, there's basically black belt division and not black belt. It's pretty cut throat and IMHO leads to more injury than anything else.
I think Jiu-Jitsu goes overboard with the something like however many crazy age divisions, but, the graduated system of submission legality I think honestly forced most guys to work more fundamental skills early on whereas otherwise they wouldn't. Ask Imanari why he learned leg locks and he says "I had trouble passing the guard."

I've also taken a NoGi match with details to come later that will additionally force me to work my NoGi game more diligently over the ensuing months.

If you're like me, you have to semi-force yourself into uncomfortable areas to promote growth. There's a brown belt in our gym whom I always seek out to roll specifically because he forces me to roll much harder and faster than I am comfortable doing, to the point a 7 minute roll with him, for me, feels like a tournament/bracket match. This is awesome. It's incredibly, or it can be hard some days to get that feel, that anxiety, that grind, that relentless transitioning and pressure in the gym and anytime you can replicate outside of a tournament, go for it. Preparation should at times be incredibly uncomfortable. Having fought MMA, I could see the guys fighting or at lower level shows who obviously had never been really hurt in training, had never been wobbled, had never been in panic mode even in the gym and when it happened underneath the hot lights, the panic is an avalanche on top of you.

This is hard to replicate in training at times, especially, depending on who shows up to train on any given night. At any rate, I've begun watching more NoGi footage and picking out a thing or two to work into a more cohesive NoGi Game. I digest new things and material INCREDIBLY slowly and from a whole seminar, or the rare instructional I watch, I literally take maybe 1-2, at best 3 things that I can effectively later drill or mull over at length.

I feel like that fish in Finding Nemo when it comes to new stuff. I forget so quickly it's the rare piece of very simple things I retain. I'm a huge fan of Kurt Osiander's "Move of the Week" series on youtube. His stuff is always incredibly simple and straight forward and almost always something I can literally take that day onto the mat and work into rolling with some success/understanding and application. At any rate, I find that training sessions where I don't think about tapping so and so or getting tapped, but rather accept that the goal of training is to get to or even just recognize a position amidst rolling is a lot more fun, and feels much more progress-oriented than typical tournament-time training which is grind, pressure, pass, smash, force, Go GO GO. Training like that proves physically and intellectually taxing at times, especially with the external reward/goal of "winning" and therefore the outcome dependance on the result that is far away perhaps from the actual training day. For a big chunk of my first year at purple belt I competed non-stop and just honed what I knew how to do and grinded and grinded and grinded. And while I think times, periods, durations of time like that are essential to keep going and going going in the same domain or content area toward mastery, it can lead to burnout, stagnation, and even intellectual boredom or fatigue on either end of the spectrum.

That being said, approaching the NoGi game as a totally different animal and approach has felt and continues to feel intellectually stimulating. Diving over the guard for a guillotine or utilizing more butterfly hook or looking for leg lock entries has made training more fun for me than it's been in quite awhile to be honest. It feels fresh again. I'm nowhere near advanced division ready in NoGi IMHO, but look forward to what I know will be a lot of learning in the coming year in that overall department of my game.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Luke Thomas Interviews Eddie Cummings

You have a responsibility to feed your mind and foster your own growth.

Friday, March 4, 2016

McGregor VS Diaz Fight Card Gambling Picks

Tonight: Bellator features Darrion Caldwell vs Joe warren in what Joe Warren basically did which was jump quickly into the deeper end of the MMA pool after a stellar wrestling career. Interesting to see if Old Man Warren can do what he's done to others.

The real show topic of importance: 
Nate Diaz is 3-3, in his last 6 fights. He has losses to RDA, a stoppage loss to Josh Thompson and Decision loss to Benson Henderson. Those aren't super telling in that Henderson was champion, RDA now has the strap, and the Thompson fight was a firefight.

Diaz has wins over Gray Maynard by Stoppage, Gillotine over Jim Miller,  and a pretty lopsided Decision over Donald Cerrone: both those fights nearly 3 years ago. For me, to handicap this fight, the most telling was his recent Win over Michael Johnson. Johnson had the right gameplan to start the fight in the first round but fatigued inexplicably and Diaz eventually walked him down and edged out the 2nd round and clearly won the 3rd round.

The speed of Johnson gave Diaz problems, Diaz has always had problems with consistent leg kicks, lacks the counter or even offensive wrestling to stymie guys coming forward and wins fights one of two ways: walking the guy down who wilts under his pressure, in a scramble from a clinch/tie-up gets it to the mat where he efficiently does work and can finish guys quickly off his back or otherwise. Against McGregor, none of those gameplans will work. McGregor will go to the body early and often with some push kicks that fast, sneaky spinning back heel kick he lans as guys circle out against him/a southpaw.
I bet and will move in and out and do to Diaz what he likes to do to others which is stalk and control the range.

Holm vs Tate - Holm by patient, dissection of the rushing forward Miesha who lacks the footwork and head movement to not get picked apart. This one by slow death, ends in the 3rd round.

Tom Lawlor - won last two by KO and submission, lost a split Decision to Carmont, beat Jason Macdonald, loss by sub to former champ Weismann on his title run up 
- D win over Maldonado whatver that means, win over some guy who's name I can't pronounce, Los to villante, 
Erick Silva vs some dude - 2-2, loss to Neil magny, submitted Koscheck and mike Rhodes, loss via stoppage to Matt brown - never won more than 2 in a row in the UFC. Dude's best showing was a win on a TUF finale. I'll just leave that there. 
Nunes vs I don't watch women fight so I'll keep this moving right along.

Thatch is back after losing to Bahadurzada. I think Thatch wins this one but wouldn't bet cash on it straight up. 
Jim Miller on FightPass vs Diego Sanchez 
Jim Miller is in the "should have campaigned for a title shot back when he had an obscene amount of wins in a row. Now he's fighting on FightPass on the biggest card of the year thus far.

Now he's coming off a submission loss to Chiesa, and a split Decision win over Castillo, and a loss to Dariush by D and a KO loss to Cerrone: all since middle of 2014.
I think Miller wins this one by decision as Sanchez is notoriously hard to finish despite the mileage on his tires. 
Sanchez - coming off a D loss to Ricardo Lamas,  a split D win over Ross Pearson, loss to Myles Jury, a loss to Melendez, and a split D win over Gomi going back to 2013