Apr 042012

Still training regularly and having fun.  I watched the Pan Ams this weekend and it was great.  As you can see below, I went a little nuts and watched it on the 110” screen. 


I have to hand it to Budovideos.com.  They did a great job and really held nothing back.  They had an HD feed with commentary, along with dedicated feeds to all 12 mats.

I was switching back and forth, but even the "non-HD’” feeds looked okay on the big screen.  I mean, there was a little artifacting and pixellation, but nothing major.  Kudos to them.

The only suggestions I’d make is, if possible, throw lower-third CGs on the screen to show the names of the competitors and where they’re from.  I realize that this might not be possible for every feed, but for at least the main/commentator feed it would up the game somewhat.  Also, and I don’t know if this is possible, but either position the cameras or in some other way add the scores to the feeds.  It’s great to see the action, but there were several times when the fight was close and I wasn’t sure if the ref awarded an advantage or what.  

Class is going well.  I have to say that having watched the Pan Ams, I’m truly humbled by how effing good everyone looked.  Technical at every level. 

Oh, and I’m really working to eliminate animal protein from my diet.  I have no problem eating meat on an ethical level, although I have long tried to ensure that I’m eating meat that was raised in a somewhat natural state.  I’ll try to keep you guys apprised of how I’m doing. 

And finally, I’m still dying gis.  I have a ShoYoRoll Count to dye grey.  I didn’t get to it last weekend because of the Pan Ams, but it’s definitely on my list of things to do this weekend.

Mar 192012

Congratulations to both Coach Bing and Kenji. Bing had a couple of great matches and earned a silver medal. Kenji, only a little more than three months of BJJ under his white belt, won a great first match. He lost his second one on points, but time ran out with him in solid control of his opponent’s back and working a choke.

Class tonight was fun. We worked basics, basics, basics. Opening a closed guard and the fundamental knee slide pass to either side. With so many white belts at the school, it’s been really good for me to go back and revisit the basics.

Video below is Kenji in his first match. We worked opening the closed guard and talked a little about posture at today’s class, because it looks to me like he had a little trouble with a strong opponent who was locking him down.

Bing’s first match against Brock Doyle, a tough brown belt from Gracie Barra.

And Bing’s second match against Trevor Prangley. I don’t know how big Trevor Prangley is, but he’s stout. Fun match to watch.

Oct 052010

Rodrigo Lopes hosted the first Seattle Open BJJ tournament at the brand new location of Seattle Gracie Barra.  I was able to ref some of the matches, which is a lot of fun.  I haven’t done a lot of reffing so far, but it’s something I’m interested in and enjoy.   I hope to do more of it.

I made one call that I feel a little bad about.  I was refereeing several of the white belt brackets, and in one match a guy was turned over on an armbar.  His arm was extended and he reached up and swatted his opponent’s ankle.  The combination of his arm being fully extended and the motion and I called it.  Looked to me like he tapped.  Apparently, he didn’t, and he was pretty torqued.  Later on, I asked a couple of coaches who saw the call, as well as a few other people and they all reassured me that it was an understandable call, whether he tapped or not.  Ultimately, these guys were fighting hard, and if it was a bad call, I regret that. 

Overall, I feel pretty good with how I did, and appreciate Rodrigo asking me to help.  That was the only really questionable call I made, no one was injured and everyone seemed to have fun.  It was a great opportunity to watch a lot of great jits and have some fun. 

Oh, once again, if you haven’t voted on the Crazy Ass Gi Contest yet, do it.  Do it now.

 Posted by at 3:19 pm
Jul 142010

I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon to head out to my wife’s 20th High School reunion.  Woohoo!  I love my wife, and I’m looking forward to a roadtrip with her, but at the same time, I don’t know any of her friends from high school.  We’ll see how this goes.  

Good luck to all of the Lotus Club jitsuka competing this weekend.  You’re all an inspiration and I wish I were able to be there to cheer you on!

In other news, I’m finishing up a gi review that I hope to post soon, so stay tuned for that.  I’m also anxiously awaiting a Tatami Zero G gi that I ordered from the UK.  I’m pretty excited to see this one.  If it’s as good as I’ve heard, it’s a terrific deal, even accounting for shipping from the Uk.  In the meantime, go check out Meerkatsu’s AWESOME gi reviews. He reviewed the Zero G, but I’ll post one in American…  dude’s all centimeters this and kilograms that.  Who uses those funky measurements anyway? 

What’s that?  Most of the world?  Oh…  well… 

Have a great weekend all.  I expect a full report when I come back.

 Posted by at 9:47 pm
Jun 062010

Quick post here.  If you missed the live, streaming coverage yesterday, it’s okay.  You’re still good.  The finals are today and the coverage is going to be AWESOME. 

Log into Budovideos now.  Do it now!

Also, I was watching an old episode of Modern Family on TiVo and Ed O’Neil shows the son a little brazilian jiu jitsu.  He ends up putting his son to sleep with a rear naked choke.  Pretty funny.

And last, I took advantage of the Budovideos 15% off coupon to purchase a Vulkan PRO Light gi.  I’ll write up a quick review and compare it to the Gameness Feather I just bought, dyed and reviewed.

 Posted by at 10:24 am
Apr 202010

I really want to congratulate all of my friends who competed in the Pan Ams this year. Jeff B. brought home a silver medal. Jeff is someone who I genuinely admire. He’s a warrior with a formidable work ethic. He’s also a genuine advocate of the sport, working tirelessly to promote MMA, submission wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the Pac Northwest. Congratulation Jeff!

And then there’s Rick G. Big Rick, or Brick, had a tumor removed from his brain that was the size of a small planet just over a year ago. I’ve been at Foster BJJ for over three years now, and in that time, Rick has been a huge part of the school. He’s great with the kids, works hard, and as an older guy (older than me!) he’s proof that Jiu Jitsu is a genuine life sport, suitable for all ages, sizes, builds and you name it. It took months for Rick to sneak back in, suit up and start working some technique, and even longer before he was cleared to spar.

One of Rick’s goals coming out of surgery was to win a gold medal at the Pan Ams. This year, just over a year after his surgery, Rick ended up winning two of them.

Brick with 2 Golds Rick sporting all kinds of new bling: 2 Gold Medals and a brand new Brown Belt.

Congratulations Rick, on winning Gold in both your own bracket and in the open weight bracket. I’d say that I’m proud of you, but that’s not quite right. That’s not even the half of it.  I’m proud to know you. I’m proud to be associated with you.

If there’s any truth to the idea that you can measure a person by the company they keep, I feel pretty good because I’m truly lucky to be surrounded by such a great group of individuals.

Coach Foster awarded Rick his brown belt, as well. As an accomplishment, that’s so far away from where I’m at right now, I can only imagine how that feels. Damn.

So, I jumped over with Rick first chance I got during sparring.  I did what anyone would do when a 300 lbs brown belt is caught in your guard. I got the hell out, took his back and tried not to let go! Didn’t work.  I eventually got reversed and mnaged to only barely keep him in my half guard when time was called.  Fun stuff.

On a personal note, time to post is becoming increasingly rare. Things have been so hectic over the last few months that balancing work and home life has been difficult. I’m working on another project just for fun that I hope to share in the coming months. More on that later.

Rick after winning his divisionRick sporting the Gi we all signed for him while he recovered in the hospital following brain surgery.

For now, congratulations to Jeff B. and Rick for doing well in your divisions. Congratulations also to everyone else who trained hard for the tournament.

 Posted by at 11:29 am
Nov 092009

I had a good time at the tournament Saturday down at Bonney Lake High School, although it wasn’t a perfect day.  I got choked out by RNC, so… that wasn’t good.  I got there at about 9:15, with a few minutes to spare before the 9:30 rules meeting.  Then the matches started.  I was expecting the blue belts to be finishing up around 11 or so, as they have in the past. Well, Saturday, I was still standing around at 2:30.  My bracket, turns out, was one of the last gi brackets to go.  So, it was a pretty long day of waiting around.

Jeff is really working to grow the tournaments, and this can be seen by the number of black and brown belts wh0 are competing.  In this tournament, we had 6 black belts competing round robin in three different weight classes.   My coach squared up against a guy whom I’m not familiar with.  My impression is that he’s a Judo black belt who may or may not hold rank in BJJ.  Not sure.  But it was pretty lopsided.  In the first of the two matches, James pulled him into guard, swept him with a butterfly sweep into side control, moved to mount and then caught him with a cross collar choke.  In the second match, James took him down with a fireman’s carry that he likes, into side control, moved to mount and then caught him with another lapel choke from mount (or ezekial.  I couldn’t really see the choke). 

Overall, our guys did really well and I’m really proud of the school.  I’m very proud of Elena.  It was clear that she was very nervous about the entire thing, but she went out there and did really well.  She won her first match, against a girl from our sister school, Combat Sports and Fitness run by Jeff Hougland.  Then she lost her second match, but I’m sure that she could have pulled it out.  I’m not the only one who thinks she really kicked butt.

Scott did well, as did Trey.   Scott is strong as an ox, and his takedowns did it for him on Saturday.  Trey is a guy who came to us having trained for about a year on the East Coast.  I left before his matches, but I guess he just owned his white belt division, by either tapping his guys quickly or winning on points by margins in the double digits.  He’s technical and extremely dynamic and a great addition to the school. 

Congrats also to Ethan, who pulled in third and second in his divisions.  Were it not for some weird officiating calls and his opponent in nogi getting a double-bye straight into the finals match, I think Ethan’s day would have gone much differently.  I’m not sure how Ethan won two matches to get to the finals and ended up fighting a guy who had no matches.  But, there ya go.   

My match wasn’t all that exciting… at least, not for me.  My opponent is a four stripe blue belt from down in Fife who trains at a Marcelo Alonso affiliate.  He’s also, I hear, the wrestling coach at Fife High School.  So, with that in mind, I pulled guard and was working a closed guard game for a while.  My first mistake was when he stood up.  I opened my guard (not a mistake) and allowed him to control my legs and pass (big mistake).  My second mistake was to roll to turtle, which I don’t do a lot of at class, worrying about giving up points, rather than working from side control to regain half guard, which I do ALL THE TIME at class.  So, I avoided giving him points for a pass, but then I was in turtle, where he was working to get his hooks in.  I defended for a while, but eventually, he took my back, flattened me out and ultimately got the RNC.  Hats off to him.  He was certainly better than me on Saturday.    But, that said, I didn’t feel like he was a lot stronger than me, nor did I feel completely outclassed.  I was also happy that it wasn’t nerves that got me, either.  I wasn’t nervous really all day long.  I had some butterflies, but nothing major. 

A while back, I identified half-guard as an area where I was really weak.  While I’m far from invincible in half-guard, I’m a lot more comfortable there than before, after pulling half guard in sparring for a few months.  I focused on a few techniques and work them over and over.   I’m certainly going to work on expanding my arsenal from half-guard, but I feel like I now have a fundamental competence from which to work.

In language, there’s active and passive vocabulary.  Active vocabulary words are those that we use all the time… the words that represent our written or oral voice.  Passive vocubulary are words that we know and understand, but don’t use or even think to use in speech.   Our passive vocabularies are much, much larger than our active vocabularies.  I know, on a cerebral level, a couple of things to do from turtle.  These techniques are part of my passive vocabulary.  What I need to do now is move them into my active BJJ vocabulary so that they’re there for me when I need them. 

With this in mind, my goals now are to really open up my guard game and to work from turtle.  Every sparring match, I’m going to start from turtle.   My goals will be to either reverse or regain guard, and of course, not get choked out.  Once there, to open up my guard and really work on just being more comfortable.

 Posted by at 10:07 am
Nov 052009

Had a light dinner.  Grilled chicken breast and some veggies.  I weighed myself a bit ago and was 186.5 after dinner.  So, I should be fine for the weigh in tomorrow. 

I’m really looking forward to the tournament on Saturday.  Of course, I’m going to do my best and will be disappointed if I lose.  But win or lose, I’m going to have a good time.  Tonight, though, I’m watching Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen with my kids.  So far, so good.  

Only other bit of news is that I’m trying out the Windows Live Writer software.  I picked up a 3 pack Windows 7 upgrade the other day.  I plan to upgrade my Apple iMac when they get bootcamp and Windows 7 to get along, and it was only a few dollars more for three licenses.  So, as a result, my little netbook got the upgrade, too.  This offiline blogger software is pretty slick.  It even uploads pictures to my ftp site.  Pretty cool. 

 Posted by at 10:29 pm
Nov 052009

Last hard class before the tournament. My weight’s fine, and at this point I’m trying to go into the tournament as confident as I can. I weighed 185 this morning, so I shouldn’t have any trouble making the weight. It wasn’t like I had to drop a lot… just a couple of pounds. No beer, no candy and an eye toward lean protein and I’m in good shape, weight wise.

I worked hard at class yesterday. Bing took us through a pretty good warmup, and then got us right into sparring. We started the first half hour standing and then the second half hour from the ground.

I got my ass handed to me by both Josh and Bing, but feel pretty good about my other matches. I think I’ll be okay in the tournament if I just stay calm and work my game.

Tonight’s family night. I think the Transformer’s sequel came in Netflix yesterday, so we’ll watch that. Weigh ins are up in Tukwilla tomorrow evening and then Saturday is the Revolution Tournament.

Oh, and Saturday night, win or lose, I’m drinking a beer and a medium rare ribeye.