Nov 082011

Any traditional martial arts school will tell you that their martial art was developed durring some time of unrest for use in real war or combat and isn’t intended or useful as a “sport”. The term martial means military or war like. As Americans practicing martial arts, it is ineresting to see what our Army thinks might be useful for a soldier in war. They learn what is called Modern Army Combatives. Adapted in 2001 as the brain child of Matt Larsen. Watch below.

 Now I am sure that striking schools will be angry interested to know that they don’t expect to see student’s fighting ability to increase even after several months of training, heh. But I like the idea of focusing on teaching soldiers to fight instead of trying to have them memorize certain situational techniques. I also like how they build off a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu base and start adding kickboxing, Judo and weapons, but all in a fashion that allows for constant full contact training. If this sounds too MMA/Combat Sportish for you, it really echos Jigoro Kano reasons for creating Judo and much of Bruce Lee’s thoughts on training. I just wish there was a better/cheaper way for civilians to train in this blend of martial arts.


Nov 072011


 Brent Alvarez runs Twisted Web MMA in Eugene, Ore., and Billy Denney is his student. They were in LA for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament and as they were walking through the hotel lobby the clerk yell for help. Alvarez and Denney jumped on the robber, and while Denney controlled his wrists, Alvarez sunk in a rear naked choke and a body triangle. Got to love how they seem a little sheepish that they didn’t knock him out. But hey, the way I score things, they get 2 for the take down, 3 for rear mount, and the opponent had a gun, so I’d still call it a win.

Oct 312011

I know, a double post on a Monday? Calm yourselves, the world isn’t ending. Sometimes change can be a good thing.
I guess I should preface this. The best unarmed zombie fighting martial arts. I know you are thinking, “Who in their right minds fights zombies unarmed.” I counter with, “Zombies aren’t real! So logic plays a very loose role here. Idiot!” …Sorry about that last remark, I get emotional when I talk about zombies.

Here are the basic ground rules.

1. If you get bitten, you die and become a zombie

2. To kill a zombie you have to some how destroy its brain, although severing its spine will stop its body.

3. These are running zombies, not the really slow shuffling zombies.

More after the break Continue reading »

Oct 042011

The more you sweat in the gym, the less you bleed in the ring. Sounds like common sense. When you see fighters like George St Pierre or Randy Couture, it seems like they are proving the point. Many fighters look like the action figures I owned growing up. Roy “Big Country” Nelson looks more like a dude I would be running from at a rest stop then someone we’d be watching in the UFC (no offense Mr Nelson). Continue reading »

Oct 012011

A sure sign of insanity

Most of the time, you could walk right by one and never know it. They live in your town, attend your schools, and eat at your mall’s food court. I am talking about grapplers! This strange breed of martial artist can normally only be spotted by their one defining feature, their ears! I am of course speaking of Cauliflower ear. When you walk by one, you see it, sticking off the side of the grappler’s head like a truck’s rear view mirror. Most of the time it looks more like a potato was glued to their head. It prompts questions like, “Is that contagious?” And from mothers the world over, “So why do you grapple if it does that to you.” Well there was alot of study on the subject  the 1800’s in which they all decided that Cauliflower ear was a sign of insanity. Yep, your brain would freak out and your ears would swell. Now you might argue that it really comes from having your ears hit, rubbed, and ground beneigth an opponent until the skin and the cartilage separate and the resulting cavity fills with blood…but I think my mother would call anyone who would be involved in that on purpose IS insane. Continue reading »

Sep 222011

No matter what style you train, most of the students at your school, at the vast majority of the experienced students are male. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or any full contact martial art, the percentages are less. Much of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was developed by Helio Gracie because he was smaller and weaker, and couldn’t make alot of Judo moves work for him against larger fighters. That sounds like a perfect martial art for women. So where are they? I think men keep women out of grappling!

Now, I love articles like this one, where I, a man, am going to tell you what women think. I am sure I will get a few women to reading this just so they can laugh at my attemps to figure them out. Basicly I think my question will deal with why in heck would women want to be able train grappling? More after the Jump

  Continue reading »

Sep 192011

A really weird argument. One school of BJJ claims grappling in our Jiu jitsu gis is the best way to learn to grapple well. The other school of though says that training in the gi only makes you better at fighting in a gi, if you are going to be grappling without it, or fighting in real life/mma, you need to train without it.

So who is on who’s side. Plenty. Most of the Gracies feel the gi is uber important. Eddie Bravo, and who knows how many MMA Jiu Jitsu guys would argue the other way around. It really doesn’t prove anything to go down a list of fighters and tell you what they feel on the subject, there are nearly endless names on both sides. Let me instead lay out why the average grappler feels on way or another.

The Gi guy likes the gi, because it gives him a real advantage on wrestlers who wonder into class. Sure, double leg me, but with these handles we forced you to wear I can coke you out or at least control you. The No gi guy likes the fact that once he gets all sweaty and slick, holding on to him is really hard. There’s no controlling me. I’ll flail until one of us lands in a submission. People who are less flexible prefer gis, people who are less technical prefer no gi. Yeah, ticked both sides off with that one. I don’t mean everyone! 

Once you reach a higher skill level it starts to come down to this, people who have rank in BJJ like wearing a gi, because it goes with their belt so well, heh, makes them look like the boss. People who have bounced around from school to school might be highly skilled, but would never stay in one place long enough for an instructor to tie a belt around their waist, these people hate the gi because it reminds them that they don’t have the rank to wrap around it. Most of the time when you see a school that says “submission grappling” but doesn’t state a style, that’s him.

Personally? I like some of both. I like to roll in a gi against no gi opponents. I always tell them, “Please, use it against me as much as you can, its good for me.” You have to be willing to work outside your comfort zones, and if you have ever rolled for a few hours in an un air conditioned gym wearing a gi, you will be out of your comfort zone. So I guess I’ll go with the very safe answer of “Just train more.”

Sep 022011

I am sure at this point they get tired of being compared to the Gracies, kind of like being so-and-so’s little brother, so if you didn’t know the other notable family of Jiu Jitsu, they are the Machado’s.

In the Machado family there are five brothers, Carlos Machado, Roger Machado, Rigan Machado, Jean Jacques Machado, and  John Machado. They rank (BJJ black belt wise) 8th, 7th, 7th, 6th and 5th respectively. To put this in perspective, Royce Gracie is only 6th degree! This high powered BJJ family learned their skills from the founders themselves (Carlos and Helio) due to the fact that their mother’s sister (their aunt) married Carlos Gracie! Talk about a break. I’ve been trying to get someone in my family to marry into the Gracie family, but so far no takers.

Anyway the whole Machado fighting family moved up to the USA and kind of spread out. It is a natural law that awesomeness attracts, and in 1990, Carlos moved to LA and met Chuck Norris. After the city was rebuilt from the resulting shockwave of awesome, Norris invited Carlos to start teaching out the same building he was filming Walker Texas Ranger in Dallas Texas. Chuck Norris became a loud advocate of BJJ and the Machado family and started training with them. Eventually Carlos gave Chuck Norris the only thing he didn’t have, a BJJ Black bel, which disproved the long held scientific theory that once Chuck Norris achieved everything in life that the world would end.

Also notable among the Machado family students, they have also trained to a black belt level, defacto head of Jeet Kune do Dan Inosanto, and Tenth Planet Jiu Jitsu founder Eddie Bravo. My brother is the owner of one of their hats which he got for free at a grappling tournament in Georgia back in 1996! Which is about as close to training with them as we are likely to get.

So it is true, if you meet a guy who says he’s 3rd degree or higher BJJ black belt or higher, and he isn’t related to the Gracies, chances are, he’s lying.

Aug 012011

Wow, I know this has been circulating for a long time, but come on, this is so impressive it needs to be reposted. Basically just a guy who wears a red spandex suit to grappling events. Now there are going to be plenty of people who feel this is disrespectful to the opponents. Can’t really argue since I don’t know this guy. I think we should excuse the offense since this guy is risking a lot by pulling a prank like this. Everyone who fights this dude is going to try to put him down HARD. No one wants to be the guy who looses to a wierdo in red spandex. So my feelings are that if you have trained yourself to the point that you are willing to take on all comers with an open invitation to break you, I have to salute you. Thanks to Brandon for the link.

Jul 182011

Helio Gracie with a blue beltMy brother and I had our picture taken with several other bjj guys, and when we were looking at the picture my brother said, “Why are we the only ones in the picture with our bars on the left side?” This of course sparked an extremely dull debate with other online BJJ folks as to the correct side to wear your rank bar.

I’ll digress for just a second for those uninitiated among us. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the ranking structure is a little different from the normal Japanese rank structure that most martial arts loosely follow. Depending on your martial art, you might have ten or more ranks (kyu ranks, which mean steps, or student rankings) before reaching your black belt ranks, (dan ranks which are advanced or instructor ranks). In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there are only three ranks before black belt rank, blue, purple, and brown. BJJ also takes much longer to progress than most (and I am stressing MOST) other martial arts. This is off set by sub-belt promotions indicated by white stripes on a black (or in the case of black belt holders, red) sleeve attached to one of the ends of the practitioner’s belt. As far as I know, they are the only martial that does rank like this.

Wow, that was longer than needed. Anyway we know what the rank bar is, now where do you wear it. A quick google search reminds me why I hate reading online forums. You know the drill,
Person one: Which side should I wear my strips in BJJ class.
Person two: Only an idiot would ask a question like that!
Person three: You are both idiots. You care too much about rank! You need to find a real teacher!
Person four: BJJ is stupid, you train in gi’s, that’s sooo not realistic…
And at some point someone calls someone else a nazi. But from what I can glean, different BJJ schools do it differently. BJ Penn wears his strips on the right side, Royce Gracie wears his on the left. The picture above is of Helio Gracie with some blue belt and they both have their’s on the left, but Carlson Gracie says the right. So ask your instructor and ignore online advice, including this one.