Archive for Joslin’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Team

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Last night was a great night of action here in Red Deer, Alberta at the Havoc MMA event.

My fighter Ryan Dickson won his fight in the 2nd round by submission and really fought well by showing solid striking, wrestling and ground skills. His new record is 12-1 overall (6-1 pro) with all finishes. His opponent last night, Advin Omic, was very skilled and tough and the two of them matched up made for an awesome fight.

Very proud of Ryan and have no doubt that his hard work, dedication and skill will take him to the top. Next up is “The Ultimate Fighter: Canada vs. Australia” tryouts in 2 weeks.

Thanks to all the students at Joslin’s MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and his other great training partners that helped him prepare. Huge thanks to our awesome sponsors,Thunder Tribe Vitamin B Blast Energy Shot , SST Hamilton, Tapout Training Center – Burlington, Dr. Callum Cowan Performance Medicine, Mucho Burrito, JKR Financial and M&A Sports Media.

“The Ultimate Fighter” here we come!!!



Havoc FC – Fight Day!

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We just got back to our hotel after having some breakfast as Cora’s. My Eggs Benedict was good!

Ryan is feeling good and very excited to fight tonight. I’ll probably head down to the hotel gym again and ride the bike for an hour or so. It’ll give him a chance to rest up a bit before tonight.

Here’s the weigh-in video from last night and Ryan’s Highlight Video as well:


Here’s an article from today’s Hamilton Spectator. It covers my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition at the Chicago IBJJF and my return to competition.

Funny part was they asked me if my kids joked with me about being heavy when I was injured and not training hard. I said yes but left out the fact that they’d jokingly calling me “moobs” (for man-boobs) while we were at disney land. I was 217 at the time and thought that was pretty funny :). I should have shared that bit of info

Click on the image below to read the article:


I just got back from Chicago where I, and three of my students, competed in the IBJJF Chicago Summer Open. I ended up winning the gold medal in my division and my students –Joey Martin, Dylan Balla and Mike Paiva– won 2 golds and a bronze. It was a fun trip to the “Windy City”.


It was my first time competing since fighting Josh Koscheck at UFC Fight Night 7 on Miramar Marine Base back in late 2006. After shaking the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome (brought on from a lifetime of contact sports), which took a few years, I just couldn’t seem to get motivated to compete again. That was until early this year when I decided to finally get back at it. I’m really glad that I did because I feel like my old self again!

Over the last few months of hard training I ended up:

  • Dropping 20-30 pounds by getting back on my competition nutrition plan (you can find it here –>
  • Returning to my 2 (or 3) a day training schedule focused solely on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skill development.
  • Once again, dedicating 2 or 3 workouts per week to weight training/conditioning following my conditioning coach’s training system.
  • Resuming my mindset training process, 3-5 minutes/3 times per day to eliminates any nervousness/doubt/fear that tries to pop up during training or the competition itself (download my FREE “Intro to Mind Training” Audio File at –>

I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I knew that if and when I returned to competition I would want to be at my absolute best. If I do all of my homework in the gym and somebody beats me then I don’t feel too bad because I did everything that I could to prepare. They were just really tough!

On the other hand, if I step onto the competition mats at anything less than 100% prepared and lose things feel completely different. There’s always the question of “Would I still have lost if I had trained harder?”. That would suck!

Going into this tournament, I did do everything possible to prepare and felt completely ready for battle!

2013-08-17 11.28.48

Dylan Balla with his Gold Medal

My students and I rented a car and made the 8 hour trek to Chicago for the event. Dylan was first to compete in a 25 man blue belt division. After some tough battles and 5 wins he won the Gold Medal and showed some great technique during his matches.

I was up next, at around 2:45pm and felt really excited to compete! I felt some exicted/nervous energy at times leading up to my match time but calmed myself by mentally reciting some of the lines from my fighter creed (from my mind training system –

“I’ve trained hard”
“I’ve trained very well”
“I’ve trained more than ever before”
“I’ve done all of my homework in the gym”

All the statements were very true and combining them with images of the extremely hard training I had done while preparing for the competition reinforced my confidence. Instantly I felt fresh, energized and very excited to battle against anyone who stepped on the mats to face me.

2013-08-17 14.52.13I did my final mental preparation exercise –which lasted around 10 minutes– about twenty minutes before my first match was set to begin. After that I headed down to the bullpen to warm-up. Using the same warm-up routine that I’ve used many times in the past during my professional fighting career, I was quickly warmed up and ready to go.

I won both of my matches by submission and didn’t have any points scored against me. The first submission was an armlock from the mount position and the other was a brabo/cross choke from side control.

During the first match I ate a headbutt and my tooth went through my lip. After some of my blood spilled on the mats the match was stopped and a medic cleaned up my cut. Fortunately I was able to complete my matches with very little bleeding after that. It would have sucked to have been DQ’ed because of a cut that wouldn’t stop bleeding.

The tournament played out how I had hoped it would and I’m really looking forward to the next time I step on the mats to compete. It’ll be at the IBJJF Master’s/Senior World Championship in October which should be a huge tourney!

Later in the day, one of our top competitors, Joey Martin was on that mats for the Juvenile Blue Belt division. In a strange call by the referee his opponent was awarded two points (via stalling penalty) during the last 30 seconds of a match that Joey was winning. His opponent ended up with by an advantage. The next day Joey ended up winning the Bronze in his no-gi division after some great grappling!

Mike Paiva was our final teammate to compete on the last day of the tournament. He won both of his matches to take home the Gold medal while showing some great skill and mental toughness along the way. His competitors were very talented and I was very impressed by Mike’s composure and technique on the mats.

Once the competition was over it was all Chicago Style Pizza, chocolate bars and pop! Oh yeah, a stop to a Popeye’s chicken place as well where I think we almost got robbed — the workers were behind bullet proof glass!. I was happy to make it out of there alive that’s for sure.

I still feel like crap for eating all that stuff. It’s definitely time to get back on track!

Thanks to all of my Joslin’s and Alliance BJJ teammates for motivating me every time I step on the mats and big thanks to ThunderTribe for your continued support!





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Continued from part 1…

Johnny Sanguinetti was up next. His opponent was a boxer that was very powerfully built for the 185 lbs. division. With John being quite a bit taller than his opponent our strategy was to fight from the outside and use his reach to hit without taking any hits. The only problem was that the cage was very,very small which would without a doubt make that type of strategy more difficult to employ.

In preparation for the fight we had been working a lot of double and single leg entries in addition to the striking in order to give Johnny the opportunity to get to the top position if he wanted to.

When the fight began, Johnny’s powerful opponent attacked! I mean attacked with wild abandon trying to take his head off with punches. John ducked, moved, turned and rolled to avoid most of the shots but a few did get through. The good thing is that nothing that landed seemed to really hurt him. He was doing a great job of ‘weathering the storm” that his opponent was aggressively unleashing.

From the sidelines I had a feeling it would be only a matter of time before the opponent would tire.

A quick takedown put Johnny into the top position but only for a few seconds as his opponent used a quick burst of energy –using lots of strength while doing it– to get back to his feet and continue his attack.  The two exchanged strikes until a second take down was successfully applied by John. This time his opponent fell into an awkward position that allowed Johnny to mount him right away. Once mounted John used solid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique to control his struggling opponent and with less than a minute and a half left in the first round he unleashed a vicious ground and pound attack that forced the bottom fighter to submit.

I was so happy for him! He had trained really hard, was in great shape and had done a great job against a fighter that was very tough and that had an intimidating look to him.

In the co-main event, our fighter David Looker faced off against what turned out to be mainly a jiu-jitsu fighter. David used solid movement around the cage to fend off his opponent’s attempts to take him down as he worked his strikes.

Our strategy going into the fight was to let his hands go and try for the knockout. Again, the small cage really made it hard for fighters that night to avoid grappling long enough to score a ko. That was okay because David was well prepared for a grappling/wrestling type fight as well. In fact, I think he trained harder for this, the 3rd fight in his career, than he had for any of his bouts in the past. He was ready for anything!

The fight didn’t end up lasting long as David fired off a bunch of knee strikes into his opponent’s body before snapping him down to the mat from the front headlock position. A quick follow up with strikes to the downed opponent forced him to submit at about the one minute mark of the 1st round.

It was a solid win for David.

After all was said and done I realized that I didn’t have to go into the cage once during the fights since they all ended in the first round. The boys made it an easy night for me.  I was very proud of the guys, first for stepping in the cage to compete and second for being successful after all the hard work they put in at the gym.

I’m already looking forward to the next one!

I’m still feeling the rush after an exciting night of MMA fights in Port Huron, Michigan.

Three of our fighters were on the card: Johnny Sanguinetti, Chris Watson, and David Looker. Out of the 20 fights on the card, Chris fought first, followed by John who battled sometime in the middle of the card and lastly David who was one half of the co-main event tilt.

I’d like to share a little bit of our approach going into preparing for each fight and then a quick description of how things actually played out.

First let’s talk about Chris Watson’s fight.

Chris’ opponent was a tall, long reached fighter that we didn’t know very much about. Was he a grappler? A striker? Right or left handed? We had no answers to any of those questions.

We spent weeks working on Chris’ ability to close the distance using straight punches and a strong forward stepping motion. Chris hits very hard and is overall a very scrappy, durable type fighter so I knew if he landed a punch solidly he had the chance to score a KO/TKO. With his opponent being so tall we had to get him inside and close enough to land that type of shot.

As a backup plan and since Chris also has a strong ground game we had Chris drilling a bunch take down entries. His double and single legs were very sharp come fight time and with the cage being pretty small I knew there would be a good chance of those moves coming off in the fight.

How the fight played out:
With Chris going into this fight in great shape and our solid game plan well rehearsed I felt really excited for him as we walked toward the cage. His music, which he chose on the spot, “Testify” by Rage against the Machine rang throughout the building as I followed behind him moments before the fight.

Chris came out with his hands high and pressed forward hard with some powerful strikes. A hard punch to the jaw staggered his opponent 10 seconds into the fight causing Chris to blitz with punch after punch in an attempt to score the victory. After going limp his opponent seemed to wake up a bit. He quickly shot in to take Chris down or maybe just to hold on to him in an attempt to stop his attack. Chris back peddled and let his hand fly in a downwards motion and managed to rock his opponent again causing him to fall downwards stomach facing the canvas. The referee stepped in at that point and called the fight over, declaring Chris the winner.

The crowd was a little unclear as to whether the fight was stopped or not but after a moment of confusion Chris had his hand raised high in the cage.

Being his first real MMA fight –he’s now 1-0), I was very excited for it to go so smoothly for him.

Funny thing is that Chris almost didn’t make it to the fights. As Ryan Dickson and I were driving to the event we saw a car on the side of the highway. At the exact moment we were passing by we noticed a Joslin’s T-Shirt and realized it was Chris! It turned out that his car had broken down and was leaking oil. An hour later we were back on the road, with 3 new passengers including Chris, as the tow truck operator was hooking up the broken down vehicle to tow it back to Hamilton. What luck!?!

In the next post I’ll talk about Johnny Sanguinetti’s fight against a very powerfully built boxer and explain our strategy going into a match against a physically overpowering and aggressive type fighter.

Continued in Part 2 (click here to read on)…


Joslin’s MMA Update…

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Things have been really busy here in Hamilton at Joslin’s MMA.

We recently brought Randy Couture to town to do a meet & greet/book signing event.

It was a great night at the Endzone Bar & Grill where over 100 people came out to meet Randy.

We finished the night up with a Q & A session where I had the fun opportunity to ask Randy some questions about his training /fights, his acting and the other things he’s been up to since retiring from the fight game.

Here’s some footage from that Q & A session.

Thanks to all who came out that night. We look forward to bringing in more guests in the future.

After a long time waiting they’ve finally posted up the MMA Fight Video of Ryan Dickson’s last bout vs. Josh Taveirne

These two guys had fought before as amateurs with Ryan winning a 3 round war by rear naked choke so I knew that Josh would be a tough opponent and come to fight hard.

Ryan did some great things in this fight both on the ground and standing up. Here’s the fight vid:


Ryan’s next MMA fight is in March and in February we’ve got 7 of our other MMA fighters doing battle in February. With those two and many other BJJ and MMA event throughout the year, 2012 is going to be very exciting!