Thursday, July 31, 2014

Metamoris 4 Picks & Shots in the Dark Gambling Enabler

My Picks:
Galvao vs Sonnen - Having seen how quickly Filho submitted Sonnen, I'm actually gonna go with Galvao to win by submission on this one. Chael has a habit of choking in the high profile go-rounds.

Lister vs Barnett - Barnett is big and wily enough to avoid the leg lock game. I see Barnette grinding out most of the match on top, semi-stalling with his head low, looking to pass but not really.

Ribeiro vs Medeiros - Comprido is a big dude, and Saulo just, in  my mind is so much smaller than him. Saulo seems to have that magic Jiu-Jitsu though, that invisible put my hand in your collar and you're out without realizing it type of Jiu-Jitsu, so I'm gonna go with Saulo to pull the rabbit out the hat and win by submission in the battle of the old men on the card.

Cornelius vs Magalhaes - Cornelius is a beast, as evidenced by his NoGi performance at the ADCC, but Magalhaes has won the ADCC and has faced the likes of Fabricio Werdum and nother insane notable. I don't see Magalhaes finishing the squirrely Keenan, but I see Magalhaes coming as close to dominating Keenan as we've seen someone do in NoGi.

Tonon vs Dale - Tonon is a beast and and is hyper aggressive and his match with Kron Gracie at the ADCC is a testament to that. I see Tonon putting Dale in some dangerous spots with Dale making it an exciting match by escaping and relying on his athleticism to stay in it, but I see Tonon clearly dominating positionally but not getting the finish as Dale has always looked tough to finish (Copa Podio et al) and I've actually not seen him subbed in competition.

Secret Match ??

Rickson Gracie Teaches Budo Jake Self-Defense: This Week in BJJ 61

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Copa Podio, Banning Lapel Guard, and Judo's Slippery Slope

ADCC gives negative points for butt scooting.

The IBJJF eventually instituted a 20 second timer on the double guard pull.

The Abu Dhabi World Pro DQ'd both Miyao and Keenan for refusing to come on top and try to pass guard.

Copa Podio now penalizes the lapel guard.

Now.....the great debate?

What comes next?

Should the IBJJF ban guard pulling outright?
Do I want to watch two elite black belts battle for a takedown for 7-8 minutes?

What happens when they realize why some grips are banned in Judo? Will they ban those grips on the feet but not on the ground? Will players start playing on the feet to avoid penalties and simply counter-takedown ala the ADCC where I watch Cobrinha and Rafa slippery wrestle for 15 minutes instead of what I came to see which was submission grappling?

Should the IBJJF pan other largely defensive grips which make passing inordinately difficult?
If you ban feeding the lapel around your own leg, should you also ban passing it behind your opponents neck because I can use it to break down my opponent's posture and prevent him breaking open my guard and thus passing?

Why not ban the Berimbolo because of what it did to standing guard passing in Jiu-Jitsu?

I may overreact or scream bloody murder because I started off grappling in Judo.

I was out of competition due to an ACL reconstruction right around the time they first made the leg grab an automatic disqualification (intentional or not).

By the time I speak of this, now there is more mat work in Judo but you cannot lock your hands around the waist, grip fighting is largely limited and penalized and the times required to win by pin are even shorter, producing a hyper aggressive, casual TV Olympic-viewer friendly version of what used to be Judo.

There always looms the desire for our sport and legitimacy, money, visibility, notoriety, and validation that the Olympics brings, but the IOC (International Olympic Committee) that very nearly succeeded in removing one of the original Olympic sports, wrestling, controls the rule set and the direction all other sport then takes underneath that heading. My point is simply that even Rickson now seeks with his new federation to produce a new type of competition for Jiu-Jitsu that makes it less about sport and more about the original essence of Jiu-Jitsu, but that essence is always in the eye of the beholder.

There will always be a need to stop and consider the effect(s) the rule(s) have on the sport and the style of play/competition. Wrestling comes to mind. Have anyone explain to you all the rules for leg ride points, pins, technical-whatever-the-*&^% and it's a turn off to becoming engaged with the sport.

Ultimately, I shudder to think what happens when we start banning techniques we don't like, but this will ALWAYS be subjective to the powers that be, and there will always be the slipper slope of getting ride of things that certain people or groups do not like. The purpose of the rules is not to enforce a particular style of play based on allegiance to mentality, a personality cult, or a dreaming of the way it was in yesteryear when the sport was also not nearly as professional an endeavor.

The purpose of rules is not to simply ban what we don't like or disagree with due to our own bias, be it personal or inculcated.

You want a submission oriented Jiu-Jitsu? Do Submission Only Events like US Grappling puts on.
You want grappling tournaments with rounds and restarts? Do the Hayastan grappling Challenge.
You want the IBJJF rule set, they do their calendar all year round.
You like the old rules of Judo, support a Freestyle Judo Rules tournament or better yet run one in house.
What you want is out there and you as the competitor and also the consumer get to decide to whom you give your support and patronage. There's room for everything and this is why I like Rickson's statement that he's not trying to compete with anyone. There is a bit of that sense that he still thinks his rule set and particular emphasis is superior, but he's Rickson, so WTF do I know?
There will always exist a natural urge to think that what you're doing is the one true way and anything else is suspect or even perhaps deleterious to the art to which you personally ascribe, but in that myopia you can stifle your own appreciation for related skills or even a deeper understanding of a particular facet of your own style of grappling.

Gianni Grippo Debates Kit Dale & Drilling: Why Should You Care?

From over at Graciemag HERE:

Kit Dale and Gianni Grippo have gone back and forth publicly over the merits or lack thereof regarding drilling for Jiu-Jitsu, with each making some valid points.

Coming back from from ACL surgery, drilling was a big part of my mat time for several months and the positions and techniques I drilled became mainstays of my game in rolling and even competition when I returned to the blue belt ranks. Gianni cites injured time as when he began/emphasizing drilling. Kit Dale points out that drilling doesn't help you against the elite level guys.

What say you?

"Kit responded to Gianni’s post on facebook:
“I love Gianni Grippo.. Nice article.. But to add an opposing point of view.. I will note a few things.. “Drilling until it becomes automatic and you don’t need to think” – This sounds like a good idea against people you can beat easily.. But applying a technique without thinking sounds like a recipe for disaster at the top level.. What if it’s a trap and you just fell into it due to being entrapped by your own muscle memory.. What if this opponent reacts differently or is shaped differently from your training partner.. Unless you have been changing your drilling partners every session which will dilute your tech..
Also you stated you drilled 3 times a day.. How often do you do live training.. Personally I don’t know many people that can train that much. And it seems if you want to take the drilling path you need something not a lot of people have.. Time! You have been training from a very young age if I’m not correct? I started at 22 while working full time and competing in another sport.. I only had time for two "

Gianni’s response:
“Kit, while I understand your reasoning’s, as I always try to look at both sides of the coin I just want to counter a few key points that you brought up. While you say that “drilling until it’s automatic” is a recipe for disaster, I think on the contrary. For example, of course I’m going to drill the basic leg drags until it becomes muscle memory, but once I have that down I also make sure to drill the proper reaction to my opponents defenses/counters. I know there can always be elements of surprise or ways guys can counter so I always make sure to drill based off of my opponents reaction. In this case I would drill the leg drag, my opponent counters and I react to the counter- turning the drill into a series.
Although I still train twice a day around my drilling sessions and my drilling compliments rather than supplements my training, I appreciate my drilling sessions because it gives me the opportunity to make my technique better while preventing the risk of injury. So I’m putting in more mat time with less strenuous activity which leads to less chance of injury. Of course I never suggest not training and only drilling, but I feel it’s important to find a good balance."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Steve Jobs on Success

He uses different words, but he essentially acknowledges the need for loving what you do/passion, and the madness of excellence. The rage almost psychotic level of obsession that must be present to persevere in the face of obstacles and failure.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Judo in MMA Alert: Karo Parisiyan Fights Phil Baroni in Bellator Tonight

Super secret fun fact: I actually made this highlight. Seriously. It was blocked by youtube for copyright infringement then reposted by whoever put it here on youtube.

Karo's been vocal and open about some of his personal struggles and foibles that have impacted his fighting career. He was last seen in action losing via KO to Rick Hawn and Phil Baroni is 2-7 in his last 9 outings. Neither guy is what they were before but they're both veterans and I'll watch them fight/make money tonight while I work my side job downtown.

Saturday's UFC on FOX 12: Lawler vs Brown - My Picks and Shots in the Dark Gambling Enabler

In semi-under-the-rader-news, Gilbert "Durinho" Burns makes his UFC debut, which is awesome.
I'll be refereeing and hopefully competing at purple belt featherweight Saturday, then watching the fights while I work my side job downtown.

I've got Robbie Lawler by TKO in a tough 4th round stoppage. I see him just finding a way to win over 5 rounds against a come to him style fighter like Matt Brown. Brown is hittable and Lawler puts people away if he can find them, and Matt Brown has the style that will not make him hard to find.

Weight issues notwithstanding (I've made quite a few jokes in the past), Anthony Johnson is getting hittable opponent who seems well-rounded but will likely play into Rumble's strengths in his UFC return/re-debut. Johnson will violently punish Lil Nog like he stole from him.

I hope Bermudez puts a stop to the Clay Guida hug-fest-train-hold-on-style and sends him out of the UFC.
Josh Thomson will get stoppage win in the 2nd round.
Masvidal will finish Cruickshank.
Kingsbury will look dominant over Patrick Cummins who looked god awful against Dan Cormier.
Tim Means will obliterate the guy he's fighting in a violent stoppage win in the first or second round.
Gilbert Burns will take down and finish his opponent in the second round.

"FOX, 8 p.m. ET
preliminary CARD
UFC Fight Pass, 4:15 p.m. ET

Michael Jordan

This Week in BJJ Episode 58: Mendes Bros, Rick Slomba, Mason Monsevais

Interesting to hear and see some interaction between the two brothers in charge of Art of Jiu-Jitsu, what it took for Rick Slomba to become purple belt featherweight world champion, and a brief bit/product plug from blue belt world silver medalist from them. For a smaller and newer school/team, Atos is not jerking around. They also go over their versions of the double under pass which their style of open guard and Berimbolo/DLR has probably brought back to the forefront of competition Jiu-Jitsu.

They go on to discuss the finals matches at black belt and offer some insight. Very interesting to hear and consider.



BJJ Kumite - Where Are They Now? Victor Silverio

It's been some time since the BJJ Kumite introduced many of us to the likes of AJ Agazarm, Gary Tonon, Victor Silverio, Keenan Cornelius, and Sean Roberts. They're black bels now. Keenan's fighting with the big guys, AJ Agazarm and the like are all more high profile than previously.

Silverio managed to notch a win over the always tough as nails Gilbert Durinho Burns by the narrowest of margins but whatever. As a newly minted black belts, it's impressive no matter how close it was. He would lose 8x0 against Leandro Lo in that same Copa Podio event, but here he is fighting a very tough, very close battle with Leandro Lo.


Do Me a Favor.....Or Not

If you're going to buy some martial arts gear, click one of the banners I have to the right or at the bottom of the page and do so through Budo Videos. I get a kickback on it as an affiliate. It will go to either gas money, or entry fees for an upcoming Jiu-Jitsu tournament.

Good looking out.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Get Excited and Cross Your Fingers: UFC 178 Fight Card for September 27th

It's already been struck by the gypsy curse twice: Gustaffson is out and Nurmagomedov has a knee injury also.
It also features Dominick Cruz who watched his two fights with Renan Barao fall apart due to a second ACL reconstruction and a groin injury.
I don't want to even think it now, but let's hold our breath, cross our fingers and throw salt over a shoulder.

"UFC 178 Main Event:
205 lbs.: UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson Daniel Cormier (read full details)
Other scheduled fights (PPV, FOX Sports 1, Fight Pass):

Because You Didn't Ask: Masakazu Imanari Discusses Ronda Rousey

Rickson Gracie on Joe Rogan Podcast

Semantics notwithstanding, for many of us, because of Choke and/or Vale Tudo Japan, Rickson is the Godfather of MMA.
Him or Royce are the guys virtually all of the Jiu-Jitsu guys I know reference as to why we got in the sport.
I tricked my mom into renting the UFC with its YRV (youth restricted viewing sticker) rating from Blockbuster on VHS. The violence caught my young brain to be sure, the spectacle of it as well....but it was seeing Royce and his unassuming demeanor tap out these guys with joint locks and chokes.

Anyhow, I have digressed. Enjoy some stories and background from the main man himself, Rickson Gracie.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ten Commandments of Jiu-Jitsu brought to you by Dirty White Belt and Toro BJJ

Some Rickson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Federation Tournament Rules

You have wondered, and click HERE for them in .pdf:

The time limits and points seem to be pretty standard fare for the IBJJF rules as far as submission legality and match length determined by belt level. If the goal is to get to the root of Jiu-Jitsu and submission, will the referees be instructed to be more heavy handed with the penalties for stalling?

Rickson's Federation has challenge matches governed by the following rules:

Every challenge match follows the standard format except as noted below...the two competitors may be of the same weight division, or they may be of different weight classes,as determined by the host....Challenge matches may have either twenty minute rounds or no time limit, as determined by the host...There are no points in challenge matches. Competitors may attempt to win by submission only...At the end of this [second] round if there is no submission victory, the referee will decide the winner based on
combativeness and number of penalty points"

 On guard pulling: "A minor penalty is declared when a competitor pulls guard from the standing position more than one timein a match without attempting a sweep, or submission within a 3 count. The match continues without interruption, and the top competitor must still engage the bottom competitor"


"Lack of combativeness (stalling) is a minor penalty. Stalling will be declared any time the competitor doesnot attempt to submit the opponent or progress in the match aft
er a 20 second count...Examples of not progressing in the match after the 20 count inc
lude, but are not limited to:1. Not engaging an opponent who is on the ground.
2. Sitting or kneeling without any grip on the opponent (e.g. butt scooting)."

US Grappling Grapplemania This Weekend - Raleigh, NC - July 26, 2014

It's almost time, folks. Click HERE for more information/to register.
I'm working/refereeing and hopefully competing at purple belt featherweight this weekend at US Grappling's Grapplemania.

Black belts compete for free and no spectator fees. Come out and compete and/or watch.

Daily Motivation: Be the Hero of Your Own Movie, The Most Challenging Resistance of All Resistance Comes From Within

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

World Jiu-Jitsu Expo Confirms Superfight Gianni Grippo vs Tanquinho

Another big superfight with some big name guys in it. Gianni, one of the newest American black belts and Tanquinho who last year beat Cobrinha and Rafa Mendes to become black belt world champion before heading off to focus more on MMA.

Click HERE for the story over at Graciemag.

Monday, July 21, 2014

5 Commandments of Jiu-Jitsu via Dirty White Belt & Toro BJJ

IF you've got ideas for others, head on over to Dirty White Belt's blog HERE and let him know.

Incidentally, the author of Dirty White Belt also took this photo. Talented guy, right? 

That being said, also check out Toro BJJ at Cageside's site and pick up a Gi.

I wear mine for competition and it does look pretty damn sharp. 

You can read my review of the Gi HERE also.

So Rickson Gracie Started a Tournament Federation Something or Other

Click HERE for more at

I'm interested to hear the rules and such. As it is, awards for submission attempts is still dubious to me, as with NAGA, and the legitimacy of points for a submission that may or may not even be at all close, well, it just feels like something as about easily game-able if not moreso than awarding an advantage for a seemingly close submission or sweep. But, what do I know?

I'm more interested to see if they move the way of Judo and have self-defense demonstrations/performances that are scored like Judo or ice skating with its dubious judging.

 All you need to know about Rickson:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Jiu-Jitsu Expo 2nd Superfight confirmed: Robson Moura rematches Parrumpinha

4 Years of Battle - Lucas Lepri vs JT Torres from 2010 Brasileiros to 2014 Mundials

I wasn't aware these two had fought this many times until I started watching more of Lucas Lepri and his passing game in the past few weeks. What followed was an interesting sojourn through time looking at how JT's guard game against Lepri has changed and how Lepri's passing game adjusted to JT's game as well. In short, Lepri's passing has improved, and honestly, JT's guard game has seemingly become less effective at least when facing Lucas Lepri.

Lucas Lepri vs JT Torres - 2010 Brasileiros: JT wins by lapel choke from the back

Much of what you'll come to see in JT's early passing game in this post appears here: Cross grip from bottom, De La Riva hook, foot on hip. He does a lot with these tools to break down Lepri's posture and frustrate his passing game and even hit a sweep at about the 4:15 mark. Lepri's subsequent sweep to get back on top occurs off screen at the 6:30 mark (the world will never know what happened?!) and JT sweeps back on top off screen yet again at the 7:30 mark and eventually finished Lepri from the back.

Lucas Lepri vs JT Torres - 2011 - Abu Dhabi Pro Trials - Lepri by points

You'll notice JT gets to x-guard and nearly sweeps.
But more importantly, JT frustrates Lepri with the collar grip that I've heard guys like Augusto "Tanquinho" Mendes talk about as being a complete game changer for them. This collar grip must be dealt with immediately. I remember reading an interview after Tanquinho beat Cobrinha at the Worlds and the thing he mentioned repeatedly was addressing that cross collar grip because of how powerful it is for the bottom guy. The cross collar grip and the deep De La Riva hook repeatedly compromise Lepri's ability to impose his passing game and suck him down into some dangerous positions or if nothing else, stifle the room he needs to work and impose pressure to pass or make space to Torreando/hop around the legs as Lepri often does (down the road when he uses a bit more leg dragging/Torreando style passing in more recent matches as we'll see later in this post).
By the 5 minute mark, Lepri has begun to address/kill the De La Riva hook but is still contending with the leg lasso/ish spider guard hook on his left arm.

JT makes the critical mistake in a semi-stacked position and leaves his right leg upright/dead for a split second too long and Lepri leg drags it across to the back take.

JT Torres vs Lucas Lepri - 2011 Europeans - Lepri by points
Early on JTJT utilizes foot on the hip, a deep De La Riva hook, leg lasso, and at times that strong, powerful cross grip to break down and keep Lepri in a crouching position, but not so much an offensive passing position. It's not until 5:50 that Lepri gets a good passing opportunity when he underhooks a lazy DLR hook and looks to semi-stack pass. JT sweeps after he inverts at about the 9:50 mark and comes up on top.

Now, through the magic of the internets, we hop into our time machine and fast forward 3 years. Much has changed in the sense that JT is now with Atos (after the scandal at that team whose name we will not say on this blog), and Lepri's passing has definitely improved.

Lucas Lepri vs JT Torres 2014 - Mundials/Worlds - Lepri by points
Lepri hits a nice kouchigari to ankle pick near the 6 minute mark and the passing/guard battle begins.
Early on, JT is using a knee shield/foot on hip style guard to keep Lepri at bay. Lepri keeps the pressure relentless alternating between hand or forearm on JT's hi, controlling it as his knee fights through the middle. At about 9:30, JT briefly gets to deep half and for a moment Lepri looks to be in trouble, but he bails and makes his way back to knee through position and JT in a very low, on his side half-guard. The fatal mistake comes shortly thereafter when Lepri gets the crossface and the knee through inevitably follows. JT at brief moments used a spider hook or a leg lasso, but never seemed to have a more offensive open guard the way he did in the match from 3 years prior. Was Lepri's game just that much better? Has JT's time at Atos got him working on a different bottom half-guard style game? Lepri's passing game here seems pretty straight forward throughout. Knee through the middle, continually hunting for the knee through with that hand/forearm to control the hip. In matches against Oli Geddes, he will feed the collar to attack with the choke/assist with the knee through pass/crossface, but JT does a good job of maintaining that distance for nearly the entire match, but once he gives up the crossface, the pass seemingly becomes inevitable. However, JT's different guard game also afforded him far less opportunities to sweep, sit up to guard, set hooks or virtually anything else to stymie Lepri's game.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

More Names Confirmed for IBJJ Pro League December Event/Jiu-Jitsu Expo Superfight Confirmed

From over at Graciemag:
Upcoming for pro level grappling events in the Gi, the IBJJ Pro League has confirmed:
"Besides Jackson [Souza], the Pro League will feature Otavio Sousa, Paulo Miyao, Claudio Calasans Jr, Yuri Simões, Felipe Pena, Bernardo Faria, Gustavo Pires and Ricardo Evangelista."

From over at Graciemag:
At the upcoming World Jiu-Jitsu Expo, Nino Schembri (who put on an awesome superfight with Bill Cooper at a previous installment of the Expo) will face Shaolin Ribeiro.

Not bad at all folks.

UFC Fight Night 45 Full Highlights: Cerrone vs Miller et al

Cerrone looked impressive early landing hard knees and heavy kicks.
It's time for the guy to get a title shot with as many wins as he's picked up. He's found a way to lose right when a title shot was within his grasp but Jim Miller is one tough fighter and Cerrone finished him. In other not included highlight news, Tibau grinded out a smaller and more weary looking Pat Healy who never seemed to get into his rhythm and Rick Story arm triangle a Brazil TUF Vet in the 2nd round if I'm not mistaken. Altogether, solid night of fights with some submissions, TKO's, stand n' bang action from the smaller guys and a headline worthy fight featuring Cerrone vs Miller.

Another awesome fight full of thudding muay thai would be Cerrone vs Barboza

See the other highlights after the Jump

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What I'm Watching/Reading/Learning

Ryan Hall is big on concepts and ideas as opposed to just a list of moves or even a series of movies presented as an approach to say guard passing or closed guard or whatever.

He's big on trying to articulate the "why" not just the "how" and after hearing a purple belt and brown belt at my gym saying things they attributed to Ryan Hall, I've begun listening to the man talk.

Lucas Lepri guard passing: Lepri recently won the Mundials in 2014 at black belt/faixa preta and defeated the licks of Roberto Souza and JT Torres and in those matches his guard passing in particular was on point. The man has been nigh close to beating Leandro Lo in the past but Leandro has moved up a division and in Lo's absence, Lepri took the gold and the world championship. He runs roughshod over Souza's guard here. Lepri ties together his torreando, to his underhook/knee through, to his hip/forearm control/knee through pass for a swarm that just simply crowds and overwhelms Souza's guard ad nauseum.

Hannibal Barca: if you're going to fail, "do so while daring greatly."


Something I've been reading and re-reading lately is the work of K. Anders Ericsson. Rather than rely on our own taught and acquired through the social construct of life preconceived notions of how we get good at things (often we fall back on the "they must be a natural" myth), I've been seeking out research and data on what it takes and how someone becomes good at something. A lot of the research shows and utterly disproves the socially accepted concept being "a natural". That historically, we lack perspective in judging the genius of most innovations, and historically, in those times, the so-called experts also lacked the ability to discern what was novel from what was just plain poorly conceived. The data and research also goes on to clarify the real qualities you will find in almost anyone who attains a high level of skill and elite level performance has an innate drive to mastery/rage to master as it is called, access to qualified instructors/feedback of a specialized nature, and the will to engage in deliberate/isolated practice that far exceeds their peers.

It also goes on to relate that it's roughly 10 years to mastery, and that virtually no amount of time less will suffice. It's good in the sense that it truly does level the playing field mentally, or perceptually for those of us who have bought into this socially constructed-accepted belief of "naturals" and that natural ability account for a very tiny deviation in actual skill acquisition. It's bad in the sense that what it truly shows is that the only route, the only true path is long, intense, directed and deliberate practice and thousands of hours on the grind of learning, but tied to a will and desire to learn/master.

Onto the raw information/published materials -

Science of skill acquisition, click HERE.

More science of skill acquisition and expertise, click HERE.

And then.....more science of skill acquisition and development of expertise/mastery, click HERE.


Behind the Scenes: Miyao Warms Up Before Mundials Match

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chael Sonnen vs Andre Galvao Metamoris 4 Countdown Video


Can't wait.

Credit where credit is due.

Metamoris has really turned the corner and dare I say it, is the future of high level professional grappling meets entertainment.


Great Berimbolo Dissection

This video does a great job of analyzing some of the finer points to preventing the Berimbolo.
Similar to my attitude about armbars (avoid being caught to begin with), posture, stripping grips, proactive passing, and good knee pressure forward are all the basics of countering the Berimbolo proactively and even pre-emptively.

Then again, I've only competed at purple belt on the east coast, so WTF? do I know?

Expert Corner: An Actual Expert Discussing Grappling Injuries & My Two Cents

My injury list from Judo includes some elbow dislocations, rotator cuff damage and a number of broken toes and tendonitis in my elbows, knees, toes, torn ACL/meniscus/broken leg, likely a partially torn ACL int he other knee and meniscus damage, as well as 2 facial lacerations.

My injury list from MMA training camp includes several broken noses, a torn oblique/bruised kidney, and partially dislocated elbow.

My Jiu-Jitsu injury list includes some hyperextended elbows, and meniscus damage.

I hesitate to assert which sport is more injury prone based on my personal experience because I focused more in Jiu-Jitsu after a number of years in combat sports and thus was much safer in my training and time on the mats. I will say that I have personally seen more severe injuries in Judo and at Judo competition just as the fact of my personal experience. I've seen more neck injuries in Judo but actually about comparable ACL tears in Judo/BJJ though the mechanism of injury was different (takedown or the like in Judo and a locked/entangled white belt mess in Jiu-Jitsu).
In the video below....

Some interesting data mentioned: knee and elbow are the primary grappling injuries in the Gi. In NoGi, it's lacerations due to accidental headbutts et cetera.

Also, that the bulk of injuries in tournaments occur at white and blue belt.
He briefly mentions training with partners of comparable size and skill (an impossibility all the time in training).


Sunday, July 13, 2014

UFC Fight Night 46 Countdown Videos: Connor McGregor vs Diego Brandao/Gunnar Nelson vs Zak Cummings


If You Don't Double Under, Then You Don't Know - Gui & Rafa Mendes' Double Under Pass

I mentioned awhile ago that with the rise of the DLR and Berimbolo and the like, double under old school guard passing would return, and Murilo Santana is proof of that. You need to look no further than Gui fighting Miyao's guard or Vieira's guard on the knees for the bulk of those matches to see that the days of low guard passing have likely returned. That being said, you can live by the sword but don't complain if you die by the gun.
Time to dust off your double under guard pass game people.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ryan Hall Gets the Stuart Cooper Treatment

As usual, I'm late to the party, but I've been listening to more and more Ryan Hall after he was featured on Lex Fridman's Take It Uneasy podcast. 

Ryan is big about explaining the "why" behind the "how" something works.
Learning for me (and actually with the human mind) is very much associative. A rule in your mind without meaning is easily forgotten. But a rule in my mind which is supported by a "why?" becomes much easier for me to remember, understand, and recall.

Hey, I Know This Guy - Andrew Smith on Inside BJJ Podcast

Andrew Smith on the Inside BJJ Podcast - click HERE
Also click HERE for a brief bio of the man himself

I first got to know Andrew through his tournament/company US Grappling.
US Grappling runs professional, fun, on time (!) grappling tournaments here on the East Coast.
He's an all around great guy with great students and one of the nicest guys I've met in BJJ since I began grappling.
He has a cerebral approach to life, to learning and to just about anything you would ask him about. Listen and learn folks.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Metamoris 4 Countdown Video: Dean Lister vs Josh Barnett

Well, we never got the Toquinho/Lister Leg Lock Bonanza we were promised, but this is a good runner-up despite any size difference notwithstanding.

The Leg Lock Apocaplypse that never came to fruition.....ACL's everywhere rejoice!
I  was an avid, vitriolic, and vociferous hater par excellence of the first two editions of the Metamoris.
But, I am not above admitting my change of heart because the last event was a great one (minus some weird named hip-hop dude announcing fights), and I am genuinely excited for this next card except that it has only one Gi match from what I've read thus far (plus a secret match! Ooooh!)

Gimmicks notwithstanding, bring on the hype train!

Abraham Marte & BJJ Hacks TV: Size Does Matter in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

I've actually had the pleasure of seeing this guy compete at some high level events. He is an imposing statue that's for sure but as you'll see in the interview portion, a really nice guy.
Yay! once again for BJJ Hacks TV for highlighting a personality in our diverse sport.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wristlock(s) Of Doom with Fredson Paixao & BJJ Hacks TV

We call them a "dandy" at my gym.
The phrase can be used as a noun or as a verb.
Example: "He just got dandied!" in the event someone just tapped due to wristlock.
Example: " Man, that dandy really hurt my wrist" in the event your tough guy Jiu-Jitsu wrist joint is left smarting from the "mao de vaca" translating roughly as the "hand of the cow."

For those of you new to Jiu-Jitsu or behind on your history, Fredson Paixao is an expert at wristlocks (along with being a BJJ World Champion among other notable credits on his resume).

- 3x World Jiu Jitsu Champion (2001, 2002, 2005);
- 8x Brazilian Jiu Jitsu National Champion (1997, 1998 and 1999 as purple belt, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 as black belt);
- Fredson is also in that rare category of belt jumpers because "Master Osvaldo had other plans as he decided to promote the prodigy to black belt straight from purple belt by the end of 1999."
Aside from a mixed martial arts career, Fredson will forever be tied to his extensive knowledge of wristlocks. Enjoy.

So add the Oscar Wilde of the submission game to your arsenal and join the underground group called the flopping dandies.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Best of BJJ in 2014 Thus Far - & my own year in review thus far

BJJ Rants did it HERE. Go support them.

It's been an interesting and fun 2014 with having the Worlds, Pro Trials, and Pan Ams all in before the summer even hits.
We're lucky to have some other mid-level-ish events popping up with the likes of Dream, KO Finisher, and others and it's hard to complain with the internet and streaming and events viewable for something like $10 or 15, or at the outside Metamoris for 30-something if I recall correctly.

It's a great time to be a grappling fan, though, seriously, the competition season could be better spread out rather than having the Pans, Pro Trials, and Worlds all slated in the spring.
We're in a gap year for the ADCC, so that's looming out there, but Metamoris should give us some thrills coming up around the first week in August no matter how long the stretch from IBJJF events in the fall may barely get us by until the spring of 2015 (the Pro League is in October, don't forget!)

I opened the year taking 2nd in the -66kg black belt division at Mayfield's Open in North Carolina.
After having been promoted in December to purple belt/faixa roxa, I competed for the first time at purple belt in a submission only tournament in Greensboro, taking 2nd place to my teammate. Competed in my first points tournament at purple belt in Virginia Beach, and took 3rd after 2 weeks not training due to illness. Recently competed at US Grappling in Richmond and took 2nd at featherweight purple belt, closing it out with my teammate.

2014 very, very likely marks the last time I will compete in Judo under the new rules.

I've been enjoying fighting for the takedown in Jiu-Jitsu, because it's freestyle, no gripping restrictions, no banning of leg grabs or banning of locking the hands around the waist, and it's just a far less restrictive style of play on the feet. My ACL reconstruction took me out of competition as the new rules about DQ'ing for even an obviously inadvertent leg touch results in automatic DQ and the return to competition was a stark contrast to the style of Judo I left before blowing out my knee/tearing my ACL. It's sad/hard to reconcile in my mind that in order to find what feels like Judo on the feet, I have to compete in sport Jiu-Jitsu, but this is the life under the regime of the IJF, IOC, and the all mighty demands of TV viewership friendly styles of play for the Olympics.
The day will come soon when Judo players can't defend a single or double leg to save their lives, and the sport has very little to do on the feet with something resembling a method of self-defense. On the flipside, due to the advent of MMA, the IOC and IJF now finally encourage more mat work and submissions and the like. Irony, oh irony.

There are some big changes coming to my work, living location, and personal life coming in the next few weeks and as they become finalized I will announce them here. I started this blog back in mid 2008, and here we are, 6 years later. I had my last MMA fight in 2011, tore my ACL shortly thereafter, had my knee reconstructed, returned to Judo and Jiu-Jitsu slowly but surely, was promoted to black belt in Judo and purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu:  all during those 6 years.
Thanks for all the support, readership and your time.
I'm wary but excited to see what this upcoming year brings as I face new challenges both on the mats and off. Regardless of what that brings, I'll continue blogging.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Inside the Mind of Bernardo Faria

I've made mention of him on here before as a big influence on my deep half guard game, Bernardo Faria. He's a 3x world champion and has given very tough matches to the two other best big guys in the game for the last few years: Rodolfo Vieira and Buchecha.
So, despite being a heavyweight, I pay attention to his game.
It's basic but basic to me is not a bad thing. It's solid, able to be recreated and the ability of his to impose this game repeatedly, in my mind, shows the strength of those positions and sweeps, rather than emphasizes his power as a heavyweight.

That being said, the full interview is HERE at Graciemag:

I'm always interested when I hear high level competitors discuss when or for how long they've been working with a position as a cornerstone of their game.
Faria talks about his blue belt half-guard game and his back attacks polished by Marcelo Garcia up in NYC.

Since I moved to NY (Marcelo’s school), my half guard hasn’t changed so much. I probably just adjusted it even more, because Marcelo’s way to pass the guard is very good against half guard, so training with him and all his students definitely helps to improve my half guard. But one thing that I improved a lot since I moved to NY, was my back attack. Marcelo taught me how to submit from the back, and I’ve already seen big results in tournaments.
During just the Worlds alone I got four submissions and two were from the back."

"But in my case, 90% of my sweeps are from half guard; I’m not a wrestler nor judo player. Rodolfo will never pull guard against me, so I have to do half guard, and one thing that I learned in BJJ that I even use in my general life, is that we have to trust in ourselves It doesn’t matter who we are, what we do, if you have something that you do well, you have to believe and trust that it is going to work against everyone."
"For example now I started doing wrestling to see if I can finish my single leg from half guard better."