Oct 252011

I’m really behind in MMA News. My excuse is that I’ve been getting myself and my team ready for the NC Grappling Open, so I’ve been out of touch. I have to give a quick plug to the people who put that tournament on, The Good Fight. They run the tightest tournament I’ve fought at. When it comes to grappling, I don’t care if its Judo Jiu Jitsu or what, I almost always have a six to eight hour weight to fight. This event had us trucking along and finished in the time it normally takes to fight my second match (they also have awesome medals). So Good fight, I salute you.

Things you most likely already knew, but I just found out.

GSP is hurt and won’t be fighting at the next UFC. His opponent Carlos Condit, will also be sitting out until GSP’s knee is recovered.

Kenny Florian is going to be returning to the light weight division of the UFC (back from bantamweight)

BJ Penn and Nick Diaz will be the new headliner at UFC 137, and dispite alot of talk, it will still be three rounds not five.

Roy “big country” Nelson is looking smaller! Or Forrest Griffin is getting bigger. I don’t know. I am really hoping its the latter. Thanks to Will for the find.

Oct 082011


 Wow. Should have let mom take Johny to the tournament, Dad’s having trouble with his roid rage again. I understand tempers run high in things, but you don’t chuck other people’s kids around. How did this father see this ending, “Well sir, after you threw a 10 year old across the mat, we reconsidered and decided to let your son win.” Parents, don’t fight with children, please, you always come out looking bad.

Oct 052011

MMA will never be legal until we figure out what it is!

I’ve never personally understood why the Boxing Commissions get to regulate and over see MMA. In both sports you punch people…and thats about it. The rules and the rings are different, the injuries have a much greater scope. Great idea: Why don’t we have a MMA Commission! Well anyway, the NY Boxing commission is all upset investigating a show in upstate New York and claim they have a video of MMA fighting going on. The supposed MMA event happened August 20th at the Lake George Forum, but I guess no one realized until now.  If you didn’t know, New York is one of the remaining states that does not allow MMA events. What happened at the event (based on the blogs that covered the event before the NY Boxing commission even said anything) said there were 15 matches, Boxing, Kick boxing, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu respectively, all of which are legal in NY right now. The blogs even go as far as to break down each portion and talk about the results. Apparently the Boxing Commission thinks that its MMA any time you have people from different martial arts fighting, regardless of the rules of the match, I think they believe MMA is a question of proximity. I can’t find a link for the video(if someone finds it, shoot me a link) , but it appears to be another case of people not being sure exactly what an MMA match is, but they are completely against it (whatever IT might be). The best part about this is that the boxing commissions across the country claim authority over MMA events, but they don’t know what they look like…Really guys? Really?

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 232011

Kata Ashi Hishigi from the The Textbook of Ju-Jutsu by Professor S.K. Uyenishi

The funny thing about any traditional martial art is that justification for anything that is not immediately clear is normally cleared up using the word “traditionally”.
Student, “Why do we wear flower pots on our heads?”
Sensei, “Well traditionally all students of the style wear flower pots on their heads.”
And far be it from any of us to question tradition. I’m still wondering why we wear singlets in wrestling. I totally get why we wore them back in the day, but we have grown as a culture since then…
But I digress.
To be totally honest, I love tradition in martial arts, the question is, at what point does something become traditional? Lets be honest, the Gi, the traditional martial arts uniform for most martial arts isn’t all that old. In fact most martial arts are even younger than the gi is. All this long preamble is to address a bone of contention a lot of us cross training martial artists have with the competition rules of Judo.

Regardless of what anyone says, Judo always has been, and hopefully always will specialize in nage-waza, or throwing. However, when Judo first started competing, it was against other styles of ju jitsu who didn’t really like the new kid on the block. Kano (founder of Judo) said this about the constant challenges to the style, “It seemed that the Kodokan had to take on the whole of Japan, and had to have a spirit of being ready for anything.” In 1886 the first high profile tournament, (in which they were challenged by Totsuka-ha Yoshin-ryu jujutsu) several of their matches lasted more than an hour! At the time, any throw and any lock was legal. Things went until they were finished.

Naturally these kind of matches were not what Kano was working towards, nor the rules used within the Judo schools themselves. However it wasn’t until 1887 that Kano banned finger and toe locks in competition, which normally means they had been doing that before the ban. It wasn’t until 1899 that wrists and ankle locks were banned. Things progressed until 1916 when they banned twisting knee locks and submissions by squeezing the ribs (apparently they were having problems with that). They waited almost another ten years and in 1925 gave up and banned any lower body locks or submissions.

Things cooled down for a while, and up until the 1970s matches were still allowed to be 20 minutes long! As glad as most of us were to get smaller rounds, they made up for it by introducing a penalty for “passive judo” which in practice was a penalty for not attacking every 15 seconds, or as I like to call it, “Ready or not here I come!” They also banned the kani basami (flying scissor sweep), and although I love that throw, I really do see the danger in letting people use it. They also added and removed various small points and penalties.

Finally almost to the present, 2010 they removed using anything that involves grabbing, scooping or touching below the belt. (think Greco Roman wrestling) unless its part of combination, which in real life is really difficult to pull off.

So if we are going to say “We are doing this because of tradition.” it makes you wonder which tradition we are following.

Aug 012011

This short clip of Ellis Coleman is from the recent Jounior World Greco Roman Wresting Championship. I really don’t know much more than that, but my goodness that’s impressive. I really like the lack of showboating afterward too. If you keep watching it, they will show the take down from different angles. Coleman won bronze.