Sunday, September 30, 2012

Most Awkward MMA Audtion Tape Ever

And out of a sense of propriety, necessity, and nostalgia...the Godfather of the MMA Promo....Harold Howard:

Survivor Meets TUF: Yes. The Doomsday Preppers Were Right

Well, the world is ending.
How do I know this? I think I saw Dan Severn in a commercial/pitch for a show that looks like Survivor meets TUF.......

This will be

Saturday, September 29, 2012

There is Life after ACL Surgery: 3 Months Post-Op

Moved around on the mat for the first time since my surgery today.
Moved around with a very cool and very technical Black Belt from Evolution MMA in Wilmington, NC.
And then I rolled with a training partner of mine. Not really rolling so much as drilling and transitioning a bit.

I know I have a long way to go, but I felt a million times better emotionally than I have since my surgery.

And, the thoughts in my head, the transitions, the awareness of where I wanted to go next in the transitions was there as well.

My biggest fear was not so much that others would get better than me, but that I'd lose progress I'd made by spending countless hours on the mat.

If you're out there with an ACL injury and afraid of surgery as I admittedly was, have the surgery.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Xande vs Dean lister (OMG!) & Baking with Cobrinha

Xande will now be facing Dean Lister at the Metamorsis.
I honestly don't even know what this means other than they will face one another.

The Jiu-Jitsu Gods have truly smiled upon their loyal subjects with this event.

Baking with Cobrinha from pwestman on Vimeo.

Marcelo Garcia Rolling with Cobrinha: Wow

Keeping with video posts and with Marcelo Garcia....

All I'm going to say is wow.

Interview Thursday: The One, the Only, Marcelo Garcia

The biggest single thing I've tried to take away from studying Marcelo Garcia is "joy".
Yes, "joy". That happy, fruity, high in the clouds, super smiley feeling.
B/c from the moment he begins speaking about Jiu-Jitsu/grappling/competing, the guy is smiling.
This is probably one of my favorite interviews of his as it touches on some of the ways in which he views training, competing, et cetera.

He absolutely loves what he does.
And that, in a completely cool, macho, manly way, is awesome even if we as grapplers, fighters, competitors, sometimes forget that taking Joy in Jiu-Jitsu is the single most important quality to retain.

If this video isn't enough to sate your visual appetite, head on over to as they have a plethora of high quality training, interviews, and short docu-pieces that are all kinds of awesome.

Ben Henderson Preparing for Nate Diaz

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

UFC on Fuel TV 5 - Extended Video Preview

Watch it!

Thesis Wednesday: I Don't Have Time

Most of us, do not have time to lift weights, do strength and conditioning, and train Jiu-Jitsu or whatever various grappling style upon which we focus our time.

At least, that's what we tell ourselves and others.

Time, or lack thereof, is the biggest excuse that exists.
"I don't have time." 

If they were handing out a thousand dollars cash, cold hard *&^%ing cash every time you showed up to work out, it would be amazing how many people would miss sleep, do whatever it took, to show up for a 6am workout.

People that don't /won't can't get up early a single other day of the year will camp out and will get up at 3am to go buy things for the Day After Thanksgiving Sales.

That being said, in order to maximize supplemental weight lifting and time for sprints, crossfit, whatever other exercise you do, it needs to be sometime other than before or after Jiu-Jitsu.

When we say we don't have time, most of the time, we are being disingenuous.
We have time, but we clearly choose to spend it on other activities.

Perhaps its XBox. Perhaps it's sleep. Perhaps we don't get up early to train b/c we'd rather play XBox til 2am, then 6am feels too early to work out.
Perhaps its laziness or lack of drive. It can be many things, but it is not a lack of time.

I'll go back to the pregnant woman example I've cited earlier. Or the young child excuse.
I've seen women, either currently pregnant, with a kid in the stroller, or with a toddler old enough to walk around, working out, crossfitting, even though, I'm sure, they could easily fall back on the tired or not enough time excuse that is all the rage in the modern world.

At the end of the day, you are the one ultimately responsible for your own success.
You can look back and see progress and work and effort or you can look back and see mediocrity in the form of excuses.

The one area of my life that almost no one seems to claim for themselves (be it work, family, loved ones, who or whatever) is the early morning time.
Most of the world would rather sleep if they are not at their job deep in the bee hive/collective.
This is the single best time to do any other thing you wish you had time to do during the rest of your time.

Fantasy Picks Retrospective for UFC 152

A bunch of semi upsets surprises in my opinion.

I thought Spitsbing Bisping would backpedal counter punch his way to another decision. Surprisingly, he showed more of a takedown game, with some nice work against the cage and mildly improved takedowns. Is it enough to beat Silva? Hardly, but hey, at least Bisping looks different across consecutive fights.

Dunham has gone from at one point being a fight away from the title (then he got caught by Guillard early) to looking relatively flat this time around. I think getting quickly caught like that affected him mentally as he has looked somewhat tentative in the early goings against TJ Grant. Grant, very smartly adopted the Guillard "jump on him early" approach which clearly rattled Dunham in the early going.

Oliveira looked a bit more flat than usual (thanks according to Stitch to twisting his knee while warming up....sigh. Even when it doesn't cancel fights or cards, the injury bug/curse/hex/whatever shows up).

Brenneman looked worse than ever during his recent skid since halting the Rick Story hype train who was about to get a title shot if he won that fight.

Hamill won but its not even a moral victory. He struggled to not even put away a guy who looked as outclassed as that poor guy they dug up to face Okami on another absolute mismatch broadcast travesty on a main card.

Hettes showed his battering of Nam Phan was likely due to stylistic match-up, the aging of Phan, and Phan's inability to beat guys who are of the next generation. Brimage came out with the right gameplan, and Hettes lackadaisical start led to his being down on the cards with not enough time  and not enough urgency to walk down Mr. Brimage.

With the cancelled card weeks before this one, this card was and I am not usually that guy but atrocious.

The Hamill fight was barely worth a prelim based on the level of opposition to Hamill.
Belfort showed by he's always dangerous but he hasn't been a legit 205 lb's in YEARS.
Benavidez/Johnson answered a question no one but hardcore of hardcore fans cares about which is "who is the best 135 lb'er in the world (and I fight at bantamweight in MMA).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Supplement Marketing

Tournament Proof Tuesday: Cross Grip Seionage for BJJ

As promised, I've put together an introduction to a shoulder throw variation better suited for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition. You may or may not recognize a man from over at BJJRefspot as my uke/partner in the video as well.
If you google the shoulder throw from Judo and its application in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the inexperienced or misinformed forums are full of people claiming it leads to having your back taken or getting RNC'd. If your grip is good, the throw is not from a static position, and you get the guy moving, I've never had that happen personally. The key though is repetition and drilling, then drilling with movement. I'll be putting up some stepping drills and drills for practicing the throw while moving later this week as an add-on to this brief introduction. 

1) advantageous grip
2) throw with movement
3) make space for your entry

The cross grip affords quite a bit of control and pull with which to get your opponent moving. It also affords a fair amount of control as you transition to the mat. Controlling one whole part of his body never hurts in a transition to mat work. The beauty of dropping to one knee is that in the event that I miss, I can get back to my feet and enter into the throw again in rapid succession.

I posted about the use of this variation HERE by Rodolfo Vieira among others. If it works at the highest levels of Jiu-Jitsu competition there's no reason why it won't work at the lower belts other than lack of proper preparation, drilling, and training.

And to make this post a bit retro, go after the jump for video of my first 2 Judo matches, back when I was a lowly white belt.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Brazilian food is awesome

IBJJF TV for Your Jon Jones Hangover

Cross Grip Seionage short instructional coming soon (as as youtube processes it)

Props to Vitor for taking the fight no one wanted other than Chael.
And Props again to Vitor for being way more competitive than anyone gave him credit.
Dis-props to whoever in his coaching staff had him train pulling *&^%ing guard on Jon Jones.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

IBJJF Pro League Free Braodcast & Current Rankings

December 8th, it'll be broadcast for free.

The recent focus on the Metamorsis Pro with its Roger vs Buchecha, Kron vs Otavio, and Ryron vs Galvao is currently the big Professional event on everyone's mind.
It is good to see that in the wake of Rodolfo doing the World Pro rather than the Pans and the like, the IBJJF has woken up to smell the reality of professional events for Pro BJJ athletes/grapplers.

Besides, "Free" is always a good price to get us hooked on the event. Besides, the massive viewership will mean the sponsorship money from Koral, and Zebra mats or whoever else ponies up, will offset some, if not most, of that production cost.

The Rankings are comprised by the following points system:

The rankings as of now are as follows:

"Under 64 kg (141lb)
1 – Bruno Mafacine
2 – Caio Terra
3 – Guilherme Mendes
4 – Ary Farias
5 – Laércio Fernandes"

See the rest of the weight classes after the Jump, and some of the rankings may surprise you:

Friday, September 21, 2012

UFC 152 Picks for Fellow Fantasy Gamblers

Ah....the card that was and was not to be. Now it's Belfort versus Jon Jones.
It's the reason I love and hate the fight game.

My quick picks for tomorrow's UFC 152
After the Jump:

Yep. Keenan Cornelius putting Brown belts on notice

I blogged about it here before
, but, Keenan put brown belts on notice at the IBJJF Atlanta.

TMA Friday: Jiu-Jitsu, Fraud, and Innuendo

From the files of possibly fictional BJJ "Black Belts": Paredes Jiu-Jitsu in Cary, NC.                      
From the school's website:
"Paredes Jiu-Jitsu classes are taught by Sensei James Paredes, a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner of 15 years. Paredes Jiu-Jitsu is a hybrid of Kosen Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu." 

And of course, below, we have a vague telling of a tale no less unbelievable than when Van Damme breaks into the ninja's house at the beginning of Bloodsport...then a secret ceremony where Paredes is handed a black belt by a number of nameless mentors. It must have taken place in a dark, stone room, lined with old men with beards, no doubt.

- "Driven by passion for the correct way of practice in the martial arts, James Paredes, son of Benito Lim Paredes and grandchild of Alfredo Paredes, diligently studied jujitsu. Year by Year, Season by Season, James Sensei as he is now called took countless private lessons from various mentors to take up specific aspects of the art. after handed a black belt by his mentors, he began to create and form his own style and brand."
There's an entire thread over at devoted to his alleged background
A video of the the Paredes' techniques shown by students of the man, the myth, the legend, after the Jump.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Interview Thursday: What it Takes to Be a Champion wi/ Yuri Simoes

From over at the original, visonary, aesthetically pleasing, and always informative, we have a piece with Yuri Simoes regarding the drive, commitment, and desire necessary to become a Champion.

Without further ado:

BJJ Heroes: Brief Bio of Yuri Simoes

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thesis Wednesday: Rationalizing Your Fear = Excuses

Coming Soon!

1) Coming in the next few days, I put together a short instructional video outlining the cross-grip seionage I spotlighted HERE.

    - With help of some training partners, I documented the 3 essential elements to making the throw 1) successful and 2) successful specifically in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition. I also quickly elaborate on why the cross grip variation is the safest of the plethora of versions which abound for the shoulder throw and how to take advantage of the lack of gripping rules in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Onto Wednesday's Thesis:

There are many reasons people look back on their life and see missed opportunities. They see leaps of faith they did not take.They see books they did not read. Trips they did not undertake. Gambles upon which they opted not to roll the dice.
This is not a post about taking careless gambles and ill-advised risks.
But it is a post about asking yourself "WHY?": 
"WHY" represent the SINGLE most important question which can lead to understanding how we bull&$&$ ourselves rationalize our fear to then form excuses and explanations for why we don't want to do something.

Accepting that you will never be a world champion in Jiu-Jitsu due to advanced age.
This can be a rational acceptance of the multitude of factors that will prevent you from armbarring Cobrinha the way Rafa Mendes did most recently. (Though, I would counter, the first several instances the two met, Cobrinha gained the upper hand more often than not. Later, as Cobrinha aged, and perhaps as Alliance's leader pointed out Cobrinha did not prepare in Atlanta/he was split between training others and preparing himself), Rafa became the first person on record to submit/armbar Cobrinha at weight as a black belt).

Moving on before my tangent takes control, often we rationalize our fear.
I want to be in shape before I start training.
I have ***** blank injury.
If you have a spinal cord injury, this is a legitimate injury.
If you have sharp, shooting pain in your body, this may be a legitimate injury.
Having a sprained wrist is not a reason to avoid rolling. Tuck the hand in your belt and roll.
There is a fine line between legitimate reasons to avoid training, competition, and pursuing a goal and the excuses we tell ourselves to avoid difficult training partners or why we skip class on a given night or why we're too lazy to lift weights or wake up early to lift weights before work.

If Jiu-Jitsu is important to us, or Judo, or grappling, we can often restructure our life in a way that will afford us more time to train. The considerations of family and spouses make this difficult. But for every 20 guys that blame not training on their family, there are those guys who sit the kid in the stroller, put up with the kid asking questions while they are rolling, and get to work getting better, distractions be damned.

For every woman who gains 50 lb's while pregnant, there is a woman (at my gym) who is still doing modified crossfit workouts while pregnant (and she's stronger than and better conditioned than me both while not pregnant and pregnant).

Where some see risk, others see opportunity.

Where some see a walk through the desert and hardship, others see a land of opportunity.
Where some see the risk of injury, others recognize the value of 2 points/takedowns as the opportunity to gain the upper hand at the start of a grappling match.
Where some see a lack of finesse and skill, others recognize that strength and conditioning are an essential component of competition.
Where some blame wrestlers for stalling, others recognize a deficiency in their overall grappling regarding takedowns and transitions to the mat.
Where some people claim they are tired, really, they simply fear being tapped out and so they pack up and head home for the day.

Are you rationalizing your fear?
Are you rationalizing your deficiencies?

These represent hard questions to ask ourselves.
Why do I think the things I do?
Are my reasons valid?
Am I simply avoiding discomfort due to fear or laziness or ignorance?

At the end of the day, you are ultimately responsible for your own progress.
At the end of the day, you are ultimately responsible for allowing your fear or laziness to be an impediment to your success and evolution on the mats.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Metamorsis Pro BJJ Countdown: Kron Gracie Vs Otavio Sousa

October 14th, it's going down:

Kron Gracie vs Otavio Sousa.

It's a rematch of a heated finale from the brown belt worlds just before each of them graduated up to faixa preta.
Kron took it by mounted collar choke from Otavio after an early sweep by Otavio and a failed transition to kneebar. Kron always goes for the finish and Otavio has looked absolutely on fire since turning up at various IBJJF tournaments as a black belt. I'm actually more excited for this than Roger and Buchecha sacrilege, I know.
Here's the link to Roger vs Buchecha's countdown
Here's the link to Galvao vs Ryron

Pro BJJ competition and superfightsmatches like this are a welcome growing trend in the sport.
Incidentally, Otavio (along with the Estima brothers) got his start at Gracie Barra Pernambuco where I trained while in Brazil.

Tournament Proof Tuesday: Clinch, Takedown, Finish (and an Ezekiel!)

"You lack discipline!"

Found this bouncing around facebook. It details among others Rickson, a teenager, and Relson Gracie defeating a Karate school in a challenge match.

If nothing else, hopefully it's a reminder that for non-takedown-centric players, you should be drilling bridging the gap and gaining top position. Especially when punches are involved.

For some extra interest, here's the Ezekiel from inside the guard. I've blogged about it here before: 
"Is Ezekiel the name of:
a) a 6th century BC priest/prophet whose 7 visions comprise a biblical book of the same name
b) Ezekiel Paraguassu, member of the Brazilian National Judo Team who choked a number of Gracie Barra black belts from inside the guard with the sleeve choke now given his namesake
c) both a. and b.
d) none of the above
The correct answer is "C".

Disrespect the choke at your own peril.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Year Without a Santa Claus (Or Month without a UFC)

Monday's MMA Multimedia Mailbag again remains lackluster.

We've gone from complaining how many lackluster UFC PPV's and TUF Finale and FX and FuelTV shows were plaguing our drinking coffee and pretend to do work time on mornings in the office to now having gone several weeks/almost a month without a UFC PPV.

I'd bet, simply based on that, the PPV sales for this weekend's card will uptick just a bit.
For some, on the hope that Jon Jones gets his due for opting not to fight Chael Sonnen.
For others, just b/c we damn well miss the UFC.

I think, perhaps, it was a stark reminder that if our worst problem is thin cards, then the sport has come a long way from it's tasteless label as human cockfighting.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Deathless Deathmatch Friday: Healthy Gym Rivalry

"Two man enter. One man leave."

About 2 months before my ACL surgery, while having a few beers my buddy (the white belt below) insisted he would tap me out for the first time in the near future.
I insisted that he must be speaking in jest, because he had not yet come which he countered that if we rolled long enough without stopping, he would tap this humble narrator. I insisted that he would not tap me in a submission only match, but that he might beat me in a points match due to my torn ACL and his wrestling base.

What came about in a few days time was a bunch of people showed up to open mat to watch us hash it out with a 10 minute time limit; whereby I could tap him as many times and we would restart, but he simply had to get me once in the 10 minutes to win.

...this is that anti-climactic story.

Club rivalry has its place in training.
It motivates both players to bring their A game (or as close as they can in the gym).
It triggers similar stress to competitive environment(s).
There are few feelings like people sitting there intently watching and cheering while you roll.
It's one thing to lose to someone you may never see again. It's another to lose to someone you will continue to see day after day.
That being said, it's also a helluva lot of fun.

Interview Thursday: Stephen Maxwell (Your Diet Sucks & Fitness Fallacies)

For those who don't know, Stephen Maxwell (father to Zak Maxwell who I've spotlighted on here quite a bit) "was the first man to teach kettlebell classes in the United States. He holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science". He is also one of the early black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the United States.
I'm not much for fitness gurus of sorts, but the guys is articulate and espouses a number of training and fitness-related beliefs with rationale for why he believes them; rather than spouting maxims of belief unsupported by reasoning or because "[his] coach told [him] so."
Whether you agree or not, it's good to hear from someone who appears to be in good health, has trained and tried many different methods, and is still involved in sport, fitness, training, and diet methodology.

I don't believe all of the things he espouses, in particular for those wishing to maximize their competitive training, but for overall health and longevity, he appears to have some sounds ideas for overall health in the long term. Most people over-eat, and most of us over-eat food products that cause terrible effects on our bodies.

I also discount those that solely rely on holistic medicine without consulting modern medicine. Folk remedies, holistic healing, and other methods arose due to the lack of human understanding regarding a number of complex biological processes and physical structures within the human body.
My ACL would not have been healed by drinking fluids, fasting, and twisting my leg around.
But, as they say, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

He looks better at 60 than most people I see walking around at 25.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thesis Wednesday: So You Want to Be a Successful Grappler?

If you haven't seen the above video, watch it.

Do you want to be successful?
Do you like to sleep?
Do you like to eat sh*&^% food?
Do you want to be successful?
Do you like to take nights off from training?
Do you skip training when your wrist is hurt, or your knee is busted, or you already trained during the morning class?
Do you skip out on drilling and repetitions?
Do you want to be successful?
Are you the first off the mat when free rolling is slowing down?
Do you skip Friday Open Mat b/c you're tired from working all week?
Do you skip training b/c it's a hassle to bring the kid and keep an eye on him and roll?
Do you want to be successful?

The above questions cannot all have the same answer.

Winning is about one simple thing: Choice.

Eventually, you'll have to decide if eating sh&% food is more important than winning.
If getting wasted with your friends is more important than winning.
If video games or chasing girls is more important than winning.
Yes, moderation has its place.
Not if you want to be a world champion.

You have to be insane dedicated to be willing to do the work to be the best.
There has to be something wrong different with you to put in the sheer hours required to be good at this.

There has to be something different about you to show up to a lifetime sport where you accept that in reality, there is always someone better.
I used to think Golf was a stupid game. I couldn't understand why guys would play a game that there was no attainable perfection.

Then I started training Judo.
And one day, I realized...that I would never be good enough. That there is no perfect randori or roll. That as soon as you dominate the white belts, it loses it's enjoyment.
As soon as you dominate the blue belts or the whatever belts, and the challenge fades....the joy diminishes.
The lifelong pursuit of progression, of learning more each and every day, of remembering things you've forgotten.....that's what the sport is actually about.

Singular focus. Vision.
Compartmentalizing failure or reshaping, re-framing it into the process of elimination where if you are not directly improving, you are eliminating all the wrong or less effective or less efficient ways to do a technique or combination.
Willingness to accept the plateaus and continue training despite the doldrums and self-doubt.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Good News Tuesday: Terrere Back on Tatame

As someone who can personally attest to the physical and emotional healing power of being on the mats, it's good to hear the inimitable Terrere competed at the Mexico Open recently.
The news regading the man, the myth, and the legend has been checkered at best for the past few years as he battles a host of personal issues.
We can only cross our fingers and hope this marks a positive turn for legend of the sport.

Being on the mats and training has been the single most important decision I've made in my life.
It has bettered me as a person, reinforced my belief in dedication, training, and the pursuit of excellence.
I'm the first to tell people that Judo/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu saved my life. Saved me from myself. Saved me from mediocrity and self-doubt.

Training has provided the desire to avoid the less productive aspects of life and the cheap thrills of lesser endeavors.
I'm grateful for each day that I can drill, train, and even now, in my limited capacity due to ACL recovery, drill my uchikomis if nothing else.

Tournament Proof Tuesday: Craig Fallon Turnover

Given the nature of rules governing Judo versus other grappling styles, a subset of different skill sets and/or tendencies will develop over time. To avoid being pinned (osaekomi) in Judo, players will often "turtle" or turn face down (a position thought all but unthinkable in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Submission Grappling).
By turning facedown, they avoid the pin, and the referee will soon after likely restart the players to a standing position. Being pinned or "osaekomi" is one of the hardest things to escape as most people can attest once they've been fully pinned by an experienced Judoka. As a result, the mat work in Judo competition is decidedly different.

You'll hear lots of non-Judo players say what they would do and how simple it might be to do this or that, but unless they've competed under Judo rules, it's all just conjecture.
It's the same as when you hear  Judo-centric player watch the BJJ Mundials or the BJJ Pans and say "oh, well, I'd do this takedown and pin him for 5 minutes." The rules don't allow you to do that any more than they rules of Judo allow you to disengage on the feet. This isn't to say that stalling does not occur in both sports, but it's more cleverly hidden by high level players based on the rules.

At the end of the day, what you would do "in the gym" is often times much more difficult in front of a crowd, under unfamiliar rules, and with varying quality of referees.

That being said, for those that have struggled with the turtle or a player stalling face down, Craig Fallon is arguably one of the best at the turnover in all of modern Judo.
I've watched him win most of the matches in a division with the same turnover to pin combination.

Here's the move in isolation:

Here it is at 1:46 and 2:57 of the highlight:

Monday, September 10, 2012

BJJ Gossip Rumor Mill: The Truth(?) About Jordon Schultz?

Since I've posted bits of him before, here's a new development:
A rehashing of some old BJJ beef between Jordon Schultz and Jacare of Alliance Atlanta (and implicates Lucas Lepri as well)..

It's unpleasant in the way these things always sound when recounted.
Even if the truth lies somewhere in the middle, it remains unpleasant.

Metarmosis Pro Video Countdown II: Galvao Vs Ryron

Monday's MMA Multimedia Mailbag/Newshour

Remember the good ole media blackout days when Sherdog
was the sole semi-organized source of MMA news on the internet?

Due to the continuing absence of non-regional and/or UFC MMA events, we are short on MMA multimedia for your Monday Morning viewing pleasure.I know it's hard to file TPS reports without some MMA news to peruse on the side, but bear with me as we've found a Decaf substitute.

I've included the best of what passes for MMA news/journalism pieces from the vast internetz.
It's amazing how spoiled we've gotten. When I was a kid I had to slyly trick my mom into renting the first UFC's for me from Blockbuster, even though the man had marked then YRV/Youth Restricted Viewing. I did the same to get her to let me rent Ninja Scroll, the classic samurai manga (and it had nudity!)
At any rate, there is now a dearth of MMA news available with every quasi-journalist out there putting together a show with networks and companies trying to cash in/throw money at MMA to make money. 

Complain if you will about the dearth of events and shows, but it trumps the days of staying up all night to download a Pride event over 56k or combing the internetz for news about whether Sakuraba beat another Gracie or if Nog survived a hellacious beating to armbar a complete and utter mismatch of size.

First up, is the debut episode of a show featuring Ariel Helwani yes, that guy that Nick Diaz threatened to slap Mike Chiappetta, Ariel Helwani and Luke Thomas (who?)

AND, a show I've only recently come across, Fight News Now with split coverage on Boxing and MMA with a Bellator 61 preview included for your passing of time at work in the cubicle, lots of emails to answer this morning, yes we know viewing pleasure.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Metamorsis Pro Video Countdown!, Daily News, & TMA Friday

My goal to do 20,000 uchikomis is underway. Yesterday morning was my first 6am workout since the last time I had training camp for an MMA fight. I always feel great after morning workouts...about as alert as I ever feel at any point during the day to be honest. The catch is getting through the mid-afternoon/early evening grind where your body demands coffee/soda/sugar/something to press forward.

1) Awesome video preview to Roger Gracie vs Buchecha (his nickname means "cheeks" in Portuguese) from Metamorsis Pro

I'm calling my winners as Roger (despite some early scares), Caio ( I think Glover's ego will be his downfall), Otavio (Kron will miss with a sub attempt, Otavio will turn the tide and get the sub), Lovato (more consistently competing and longer frame), Lister (he's nicknamed the Boogeyman for a reason), and Machado (b/c I've never heard of the other guy)

2) Copa Podio announces a new format pairing couples against one another

3) Rolling Stone names Rousey best female fighter ever (sorry to all the women in history in boxing that came before)

4) Aaaaaand....some Ninjas for your day b/c it's Friday and Fridays are better when filled with Ninjas!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rolled Up/Interview Thursday: Samir Chantre

As I recently read about Samir Chantre's rise to prominence, becoming 2010 NoGi World Champion and beating Zak Maxwell via DQ at the recent Las Vegas Open at the IBJJF podium and as he was featured on IBJJF TV's most recent episode, today's interview comes in the form of a Rolled Up Episode from Budovideos and has some sweet stuff from half-guard.

Click HERE for the video and support Budovideos. Their coverage of the IBJJF and broadcasts (technology glitches aside) of the Pans and Mundials has only brought more Jiu-Jitsu to the masses and to us hardcore fans as well.

Samir discusses how he got into the sport (his brother, shocker, right?), his progression to black belt/faixa preta, and his move from Brazil to the USA.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Most EPIC Submission Only Tournament EVER

The Jiu-Jitsu Gods have smiled upon us

Been working two jobs the past few weeks, so I've been a bit out of the BJJ news circuit...but I copped this over at Lex Fridman's blog

Roger Gracie vs. Buchecha
Andre Galvao vs. Ryron Gracie
Kayron Gracie vs. Rafael Lovato Jr.
Kron Gracie vs. Otavio Sousa
Jeff Glover vs. Caio Terra
Dean Lister vs. Kevin Casey
Jean Jacques Machado vs. Nelson Monteiro

October 14th. Be there.

And tomorrow morning bright and early at 6am, I start back lifting weights in the mornings along with 300-500 uchikomis b/c this whole "working a second job" thing is severely cutting into my workout regimen.
The 20,000 uchikomi challenge has begun in earnest.

Thesis Wednesday: Intrinsic Vs Extrinsic Reward

BJJ Mind's post got me thinking about intrinsic vs extrinsic reward.

Recently, my wife put up most of my medals and trophies from Judo, BJJ, and MMA.
I hadn't given much thought to the box they were in for quite awhile. I had talked before of putting them up, but with my surgery and being off the mats for several months, I had debated putting my Gi's, belt(s), and training gear out of sight to keep it from torturing me on a daily basis.

2 months post op, I feel good and I'm back drilling some uchikomis and a few other things on the mat. I'm grateful even to be able to do a few things.

As much as I like my medals only a few of them truly stick out.
The 2 divisions I won a week after an MMA fight.
The medals from days I won all of my Judo matches by Ippon.

My 2 favorite things from my box of competition as I call it, are my white belt from BJJ and my Brown belt from Judo. Well, that and my black belt in Judo from my coach whom I respect immensely as a Judoka, a person, and as a coach.

The medals are only important insofar as what they represent.
If  winning is what motivates you, or being better than others, this will be a long road to tow.

Over the long haul, this is a marathon sport. When the reality sets in as to how long it takes to get proficient at grappling, and that once you factor in size and athleticism, a bad day can and WILL still happen years into this sport, many people lose the desire and quit.

IF it was easy, everyone would be good at it.
IF you don't love the grind, the day in and day out work to get better slowly but surely even though some days you think you're getting worse, you will probably quit.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tournament Proof Tuesday: Cross Grip Seionage

I've had a number of friends and specifically BJJ competitors ask me about the variation of seionage where you grip with both hands on the same side of your opponent's body. I don't typically use this in Judo competition, but it is more effective and safer for BJJ competition in my experience. I started hearing more questions once it was utilized by Rodolfo and Galvao among others.
I consistently hear claims about having your back taken by doing this throw. I haven't had that experience, provided you foot sweep to set up the shoulder throw, and the throw is done with movement. As BJJ players are typically more flat-footed and the movement  is slower on the feet, you'll find guys like Rodolfo and Galvao compensating by taking a stronger grip with the cross grip/both hands on one side of the opponent's body. This grip which is penalized in Judo as defensive if not used within 3-5 seconds. The defensive potential for the grip combined with the lack of gripping rules in BJJ (which will be coming soon as takedown points become more important and players seek an edge in competition) make the cross grip seionage the best variation for BJJ competition.

I'll be posting a video with some of my thoughts and finer points here shortly once I get my hands on a camcorder.

Cross Grip Seionage: when you enter into the shoulder throw, you are gripping with both of your hands on the same side of your opponent's body. Example: my left hand grips the opponent's right sleeve, and my right hand grips his right lapel.

Rodolfo hitting it at 2:10 (Takedown points become more important in the shorter 6 minute rounds of the World Pro). Galvao himself hits this throw pretty consistently himself.

And for my Judo-centric fans - most of the Seionage variations I've seen/been taught over the years:

As always, here's a short clip focusing on the straight spine, good posture, entry for Seionage which is fundamentally important:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend MMA Multimedia Mailbag

Yeah, guys. That's how we felt when the fight was announced, during the fight...and afterward.

I feel like the kids in the Chrismas movie, "Year without a Santa Claus".

Thanks to Jon Jones the injury-gypsy-once every 11 year-curse, there will be no UFC Gif's in this post.

Here's Phil Baroni's One FC 5 minimalist interpretation of what Jon Jones did to everyone by not fighting Chael:

Baroni was also gracious enough to give us an modern dance interpretation of Jon Jones later saying he was going to pay everyone's salary for the event (he has Anderson Silva TYPE MONEY) but changed his mind b/c of "twitter jealousy and hate":

Onto what we do have, a 4th meeting of Andrei Arlovski "Ï sound like the Count on Sesame Street" and Tim "I dated Arlovski's ex-girlfriend/I like sloppy seconds" Sylvia and Phil "the best evaaa" Baroni versus a guy named Ribeiro.

Baroni decided to mix it up and win a fight (as he does occasionally and here is he getting the TKO off some sprawl and brawl against a guy you've probably never heard of:

Here's Arlovski punishing Sylvia for dating his ex:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Why You Should Train in Brazil: Picture Edition

I'll let the pictures do the convincing....

Awesome Brazilian Food    -->
 <-- more AWESOME FOOD
 <-- Ze Radiola at Gracie Barra Pernambuco. I suggest bringing primarily single weave Gi's

Kezen BJJ --> great guys and great training

 <-- awesome store I found at the main mall in Recife

 <-- Olinda again

     <---  Make an effort to attend a soccer game while you visit. I was rocking my Esporte do Recife jersey.

Chael Sonnen lied to me. They have internet and computers in Brazil. I used them both to fight for some refunds/flight coupons after the terrible service on our flights to Recife. 

<-- attending a wedding (Open Bar)


Porto De Galinhas, about an hour from Recife

                  This pretty much sums it up.