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Today was another fun day here in St.John’s, Newfoundland.

Earlier in the day I taught a three hour Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu seminar followed by three private lessons. The six hours went by fast and everyone did a great job drilling the techniques we worked on.

The gameplan for today focused on the 1-legged x-guard, smash passes and some sneaky submissions that many people don’t see coming. I grouped each technique series into a group of three as I find that really helps everyone’s ability to retain the info. There’s no use going to a seminar if you forget everything afterwards because too many techniques were taught. I also gave the group several opportunities to review each series and then some time at the end to review everything that we did during the seminar. It was awesome to see them pull off everything with very little help.

I’ll be heading to the airport early in the morning to head home in time to teach my Monday night classes at Joslin’s. I’m looking forward to working with the kids and training hard with all of my friends and students in the adults classes.

Big thanks to Mike Samson for his awesome hospitality and good food! It’s all greatly appreciated bro…and thanks to everyone who came out to the seminar. It was great to see some familiar faces and meeting many new people as well. I look forward to seeing and training with everyone again in the future.






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My fingers are almost too sore to type :).

I just finished the 3rd class of the day. The first started at 7am, the second began at noon and the final session of the day started at 7:30 pm with each lasting around two hours.

In the first class of the day World Champ Jonathon Thomas taught a large group of students some slick counters to the De La Riva Guard/Berimbolo Sweep. The guys and I drilled the techniques in class and for an hour or so afterwards as well.

In the noon class I got some great ten minute rolls in with Lucas Lepri and Jonathon after we spent some time working on some very cool flower sweep variations. After class we met Jonathon and one of the purple belts Patrick for lunch at a place called Farm Burger. The food was good!

and during the night class Master Jacare lead us through some fun warmup drills, followed by Lucas breaking down  an omaplata sweep that needs only a tight lapel grip to work. The last 50 minutes of that class consisted of hard drilling and regular rolling. I was drenched in sweat! The guys in my group were really cool and it’s been great meeting so many great people on the mats down here.

Time for me to get some sleep, the 7am class will come quickly.














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It”s been a very busy weekend!

After driving more than fourteen hours on the weekend to and from Montreal for the Challenge MMA event, I headed to the airport in Buffalo, New York with three members of our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team –Mark Uveges, Joey Martin & Mike Paiva– to catch a flight to Atlanta, Georgia. Even though I had slept very little over the last day or two, the drive seemed to go smoothly which was nice.

The reason for traveling to Atlanta? To train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with the many great martial artists at the famous Alliance BJJ Headquarters. The same place that I had first visited way back in the mid 1990″s, as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu white belt, after hearing great things about the instruction there as well as the owner and head instructor Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti. I feel very fortunate to have received my blue,purple,brown and black belt from Master Jacare; He”s not only a legendary coach in the sport, he”s also an awesome person.

The four of us decided to miss the daytime class earlier today in order to catch up on some much needed sleep. After that we hit up the grocery store, picking up some food then relaxing for a bit afterwards before heading to the gym to attend the night class.

It was my first time at Alliance BJJ”s newest location and I was impressed! Tons of mat space, multiple training rooms and the same warm feel that made me feel right at home during my many visits there, starting back nearly two decades ago.

The class tonight was taught by multiple time World Champ Lucas Lepri who showed some very smooth guard passing movements to a very large group of colour belts that filled up the mats. After that everyone was placed into small groups of three or four and the hard rolling began.

Due to an neck injury, brought on by the very hard training I was doing in preparation for this camp, I had taken the last two weeks completely off of rolling to give myself the best chance of being recovered enough to roll at the training camp. The good news is that I was able to roll without feeling totally messed up! My left arm still seems a bit week due to a pinched nerve but as I sit here in my hotel room writing this post, it doesn”t seem to have gotten any worse after rolling fairly hard with Lucas and two skilled brown belts.

I think I should be good to train pretty hard this week which is very exciting!

Mike, Mark and Joey all had some good rolls as well and are looking forward to the 7am class that we”ll be attending tomorrow morning.

That”s it for tonight. I”ll be sure to post more about the camp very soon.

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We’re here in Quebec for the Challenge MMA event. Our fighter Ryan Dickson is about to cut the last few pounds  before the weigh-in which takes place later today. The fight takes place tomorrow night and it should be an exciting event.

Ryan is feeling great and is very excited to get in there and do his thing!

Last night I filmed him breaking down a technique in the middle of our hotel room. It’s the first of 3 techniques that I’ll be posting this weekend. Later today I’ll be showing a pretty fancy and painful counter to the low kick and then on Saturday, the other member of our 3 man hotel room/corner man crew Dave Hale will show something cool as well.

Here’s Ryan showing a footlock variation from the the 50/50 guard.


























Developing the skills of kick-ass control from the mount position takes time and a lot of practice but it’s well worth it the effort.

A great mount position will enable you to wear out, frustrate and finish your opponents with strikes and submission holds.

In order to develop a great mount, you’ll need to develop skill with the many different techniques designed to shut down all of your opponent escape attempts.

It’s best to practice those fundamental techniques first against a non-resisting opponent and then once you feel ready, against someone who is REALLY trying to escape.

Here’s a breakdown of one drill that I have my students do often to improve their ability to attack from and escape the mount position:

1) First, start off in the mount position atop of your training partner.

2) Set a timer (something with an alarm to sound the end of the round will work best)  for 1 minute and start the round.

3) For the entire duration of the round, try to maintain the mount position while your opponent gives their best effort to escape. An escape is completed anytime your partner establishes their closed guard on you or rolls you over and gets on top.

4) When time expires, switch positions with your partner and reset the timer. It then becomes your turn to escape as many times as you can during the timed round.

When the second round is over, take a short break (1 minute should suffice) and then repeat the drill several times, switching partners every round  if you have the option to.

Once you’ve got a handle on the above sequence you can make things more challenging by making any of the following adjustments to the drill:

Adjustment 1: Top person can apply submission holds.

Adjustment 2: Bottom person only needs to get back to 1/2 guard to score an escape. It becomes so that any guard position (full, spider, butterfly etc.) equals an escape.

Adjustment 3: Increase the length of time that each of you spends on the bottom position.

Adjustment 4: Keep Track of Points (1 point per per escape/submission) and have the athlete with the lower point total at the end of the round do a set amount of pushups (or some other exercise) depending on the score differential (ie. with a score of 5 to 2, the losing athlete would do 5 push-ups per point differential = 3 x 5 pushups = 15 pushups)

With an equally skilled training partner, this drill becomes very challenging and fun!

You’ll find that if you lack solid mount control skills you’ll find that it’s actually easier to escape then it is to hold down or submit your training partner from the top.

Make your mount a NIGHTMARE for the bottom person when doing this drill by learning the 24 techniques in my new –> “Dominate from the Mount : Killer Control” video set

I came across this video today and I must say it’s really disturbing.

I honestly don’t feel like embedding the video, and give these guys any more views –which is obviously what they’re looking for by posting it on youtube– of their stupidity filled upload, but in doing so hopefully I can help spread the message that doing this kind of thing is a terribly bad idea.

That being said, I don’t believe that the guys making the videos are bad people. The sport of MMA is exciting; It’s great to watch and super fun to practice so it’s no surprise to me that some young guys are emulating what they’ve seen on TV. The problem is that they’re oblivious to the dangers they face every time they gear up for a scrap.

If these “Backyard MMA” contests don’t stop someone will be killed. Of course no one will have meant for it to happen but it’ll be a tragedy that will change the lives of every participant  –the fighters, spectators and makeshift referee– forever. I can’t imagine the guilt I would feel if I were part of something that ended somebody else’s life. Especially that of a teenager who has so many great years ahead of them.

If you’re reading this, and are currently participating in or thinking of fighting in this type of thing, I do think it’s a dumb idea and I strongly suggest that you don’t do it. But I know that hearing those words is not enough,  so I’ll share with you the reasons why I feel it’s such a dangerous thing to do.

Obviously, the choice is yours to make, but I really hope that I can provide you with some knowledge of the risks involved so that you can make an educated one.

The Dangers:

1) Getting hit by punches, kicks, knees, and elbows is very dangerous when proper training gear isn’t being worn. It may not feel that way while your getting hit because of the adrenalin rushing through your body, but it is.

Even though I’ve fought in the UFC and other big shows, I’ve never hit someone with 4 ounce gloves (MMA style) outside of a sanctioned professional fight. When we train, my sparring partners and I always wear big gloves, head gear and other protective equipment to keep ourselves safe.

2) Head injuries and concussions are some of the worst thing that can happen to you in your life. You may end up depressed, permanently spaced out or confused and in some cases never be able to exercise again.

What kind of life would that be?

There’s absolutely no way that you can trust that an untrained person will stop your fight at the right time. Take too much punishment and you can screw up the rest of your life or worse. For what? It’s not like you’re protecting yourself or earning a living by doing it.

Watch the video below, and you’ll notice that the one guys gets choked unconscious at 0:59 and the other guy doesn’t let go of the choke until…sixteen seconds later!  Then they fight two more rounds after that. That’s totally messed up and that guy could have really been hurt.

3) You’re WAY more likely to get seriously hurt when you don’t learn MMA properly. With no real idea of how to stop punches, kicks or submission holds you’re always a split second away from a serious problem even when you’re winning.

4) You won’t be able to take back an action that severely injures or kills someone else (maybe even a friend). With no doctor nearby –they have them at every professional and amateur MMA fight– chances are that an injured person’s situation will get worse quickly.

Again, this all happened for what good reason? None that come to my mind that’s for sure.

If you want to do MMA, do some searching and join a local  gym. You’ll have a ton of fun, get in great shape, meet some really cool people and learn the techniques that really work all while you’re training in the safest way possible. In a short amount of time you could find yourself in the cage doing what you love to do and maybe one day, after putting in a lot of hard work, you may find yourself battling inside the UFC Octagon.

Believe me it’s an amazing experience…

Here’s the video of the fights…

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I have had the damn thing in the closet for 3 years and have never got to wear it. A black genuine Ninja suit –from a martial arts supplier not a costume store– with everything I need to look the part aside from any dangerous weapons of course. For some reason or another I never got the chance to bust it out for the last two Halloweens but this year things were different.

Last night, since it was October 31st, I threw on my Ninja gear so that the kids and I could take pictures together with our costumes on. My daughter Kaiya was dressed up as a beautiful queen, my son Tayzen a masked gangster. We got some pretty good pics, one of which my wife already threw up as her profile pic on face book which is a little embarrassing but whatever.

Anyways, as I was about to change back into my regular clothes when my daughter, who I was about to take out so that she could trick or treat around the neighborhood for a few hours, told me that I looked awesome and asked if I would wear the outfit outside as we stormed house to house in search of candy. I said that I would but felt a wave of nervousness pass through my body as the words left my mouth. I guess walking the streets in Ninja Mode was a little out of my comfort zone. The fact that it was still light out didn’t help much either. Regardless, I took it as a person challenge and as a competitor I took the first few steps out the front door with Kaiya’s pillowcase in hand.

Once on the street, we hit the first house. When the young girl came out to give my daughter a handful of candy, I let out a huge laugh. I think she thought I was laughing at her costume but that wasn’t the case at all. I laughed because I felt like an idiot being dressed up like I was when no one else was really out with their costumes on yet. After that awkward moment we moved on with our journey.

As it got a little darker, I began to relax a bit. That`s when my daughter and I began to really have some fun.

“This is my favourite holiday Daddy!” she told me at one point during the night, face smiling as she looked down into her hands that were filled with a small mountain of candy that some lady had just given her.

Throughout the night I received a few compliments on my costume from some 7th or 8th graders which made me feel pretty cool, and a few people screamed “Ninja!” as they drove by. At one point, I think some chubby father actually tried to pick a fight with me as well.

Stopping beside me with a large masked friend of his beside him, as his daughter and my daughter trick or treated the same house, he spoke.

“Remember when I punched you out?” he said to me.

“No, I think that was my cousin.” I quickly replied in a joking manner, my face still fully cloaked inside my ninja hood.

“No,no,no. It was you. I recognize those eyes.” he said before pausing for a moment. “Yes, I think I punched out your parents too.”  he continued, his friend commenting to him something about him being mean.

A quick vision of his daughter witnessing her father being smacked around by what appeared to be a real ninja made me realize that subduing the man wouldn’t be the best move.  How could a child ever forget that? I didn’t say another word. I simply smiled underneath my mask and headed on my way once my daughter was beside me again.

Arriving home a few hours later, we entered our house after passing by the awesome pumpkins that my wife had meticulously carved the day before. Our hands were absolutely freezing but my daughter was so happy. She had filled up two bags with candy on the trip and in a few seconds all of it was in the middle of our living room floor. I even got to eat of few of the things she didn`t like. Not a bad deal at all.

A hour of so later my son got in from the Halloween adventure that he had with a few of his friends from the neighborhood. He did pretty good as well.

Next year, I`ll be working on getting the wife to dress up with us on Halloween. That`s going to be tough. I look forward to the challenge!

Here’s a few pics of the pumpkins my wife carved into jack-o-lanterns.

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Came across this vid. I think I’m going to have to start watching the show again (haven’t watched it since season 2), well at least a few episodes to see how it goes. I really don’t like watching crazy acting characters that throw wild punches and gas out in the 2nd round. Hopefully this season has a couple of really skilled fighters to watch.

You guys looking forward to this season.

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I’m very excited to announce that Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti and Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles will both be returning to teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) seminars to members of our team.

Jacare will be teaching on August 14th, 2010 and “Cobrinha” will hit the mats to teach a two day seminar in late September.

I’ll post more info very soon…

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Comments Broken?

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If you could please attempt to comment on this post that would be great. I recently made some adjustments to the site and think maybe it messed up the commententing feature. Just typing “test” or whatever else you want to say will be fine. Thanks!

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