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
Dec 182009


I raced home from work to pick up the baby and called my other kids on my way back so that they would be waiting for me when I got home.  They took the baby inside and I was outta there, fifteen minutes to get to my chiropractic appointment.

Sidebar here: it’s GREAT having older kids with the baby.  I strongly recommend that anyone having a baby adopt a couple of 10 to 12 year olds first.  Seriously.  I couldn’t be prouder of my two older kids.  They help so much around the house and with the baby, I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I do if they weren’t there to pick up my slack.

Okay, back to the action, I’m racing down the street to the chiropractor.  I’m cutting off old ladies and tailgating student drivers.  I have places to go!  Maybe not quite like that, but I was feeling a sense of urgency.  My new chiropractor adjusted me once again.  Looks like I’m going to see him twice a week for a couple of weeks, and then back off to about every 3 or so weeks.  On a positive note, my flexible spending account should help me pay for these visits.  On the negative side, my insurance copay is higher than the cash amount.  Let me say that again.  My chiropractor saves enough by avoiding the billing/insurance process that he can offer a modest discount for cash, and a few dollars more off if you prepay.  So, if I pay cash, the price is less than my ridiculous copay.  Anyone who is against a public option or some kind of meaningful health care reform is nuts. 

But it’s all good.  I felt great after the adjustment and raced to class where I met Dev for the first time.  For anyone not familiar, Dev has been training and blogging for just over a year now.  He’s a very nice guy and it felt like we’d known each other for a long time.   We even got a roll in, probably at about 50% or so.  It was pretty cool.  Coach Foster rolled out the red carpet, rolling with him for about 30 minutes before turning him loose on several of our upper belts.  It was awesome to see.  Coach really wanted him to get some quality time while he was there.  He was pretty wiped out by the time we got to open mat.  Still, as my son would say, I got pwned.  But I was having enough fun that I didn’t mind.  In the relatively short time Dev’s been training, it’s clear that he’s picked up a solid foundation and I’m looking forward to seeing him again, hopefully down in Irvine in April.

I had a good roll with Thad, always a pleasure.  He’s always good for a little detail or tip that will make a difference for next time.  Josh was his usual, relaxed self.  Not that I could do anything against him.  I also got a roll in with Trevin, who’s about as close to Josh Barnett as I’ll ever get.  I made the mistake of pulling mount… yeah, I said it… and what you think might happen did.  Next time around, I was a little more alert and managed to get around his guard into side control.  His arm was very high, so I switched to the head/arm setup I like, but he blocked it right away, so I moved around for the armbar instead.  He blocked, and I tried the switch to the other side I learned from Thad a few months back, and I could tell it surprised him.  I almost had that armbar, but wasn’t tight enough and left him some space to counter and escape.  Oh well.

Overall, I’m a lot more hopeful about things than I was a few weeks ago.  While my L5 disc will never fully heal, I am optimistic that I’m doing the right thing.  I was 181 lbs this morning and managing to maintain even though I missed over three weeks of class.   The only real lasting problem with my back will be strength through my hips to bridge.  It took months last time to really get back to where I could generate power through my hips and upa, and I’m looking at that long road one more time. 

Oh, one last thing.  I picked up some Foster/Lotus Club back patches and they look really cool.  Can’t wait to get them on a gi.

Sep 292009

This is a combination post. Last week, I highlighted five blogs that I really enjoy. This week, I thought I’d put the spotlight on a few more blogs I like that you might not know about.

I also want to point out that I’ve reorganized my blogroll a little. My blogroll is linked directly to my Google Reader subscription lists. So, if you see a blog in my blogroll, it means that I’ve subscribed to that feed. Also, it saves me some time updating the blogroll by automating the process. If anyone wants to know how I did that, I’d be happy to post up some instructions.

But back to the point, I unsubscribed to a lot of blogs. Basically, if the blog hasn’t been updated in over a year, or never really got off the ground (meaning less than about 10 or so total posts) I unsubscribed. I also added a section for Women in BJJ, as well as broke out the blogs that are mainly school announcements and such. I hope it helps some people connect to the growing online community of Jits addicts.

We get women training at our school periodically. Elena, my bud, trains regularly and has 2 stripes on her white belt now. We have another female that started not too long ago who seems to have a pretty good attitude. I hope she sticks around. What prompted the revamping of the blogroll is I mentioned to her that there seemed to be a pretty tight online support network for women who train in BJJ. Way back in February, 2008, Valerie Worthington (currently a brown belt) talked with Caleb on Episode 103 of the Fightworks Podcast. In the interview, Valerie talked about some of the challenges that women face in BJJ that had never occurred to me. So, I emailed my new training partner some links to the great blogs kept by women who train.

And with that in mind, I thought I’d highlight a few of those blogs.

Last week, I mentioned Georgette’s blog, but she has to get some mention here, too. It just makes sense. The only thing I don’t like about her blog is that it’s obvious she’s way smarter than me, and that intimidates me a little. But whatever. Don’t psychoanalyze me! Instead, check out her articles on Whitebelt Don’ts and Any Belt Don’ts.

Gringa BJJ is another blog I’ve been reading for a while now. Elyse, the blog owner, is a purple belt in BJJ and trains somewhere over in Virginia. Elyse offers an interesting view of BJJ from the perspective of a younger person (younger than me, at least). Elyse is 23/24 and takes her training pretty seriously. Fun to read.

Another one I’ve been reading for a while now is Fifty/50 BJJ Cailín, a blog kept by Jen who trains with her boyfriend at his BJJ school in Northern Virginia. Jen has written several articles that I’ve liked including one recently on Safe Training Rules for Women.

I’ve only recently stumbled on MegLog, Meg’s BJJ log and equipment review blog. Meg’s over in the UK and has been blogging for a while now. BJJ Excellence through Fearlessness is a good example of the great stuff she’s writing over there. I think, as a newish blue belt, the fear of being tapped by a white belt is at once absurd and unavoidable. We all go through it, and at some point, we all realize it’s just not that big a deal. Meg articulates this well.

Finally, I want to mention Val’s blog again. Prancing and Sucking is a funny name for a BJJ blog, but if I remember correctly, it refers to her original intent with the blog, which was to document her travels for a time prancing around the USA back in 2006 training at various BJJ clubs, and sucking at BJJ while she did it. While, as a brown belt who lives down in California now I don’t think she does a lot of prancing anymore, and as a brown belt who has many medals and accolades under her belt she clearly doesn’t suck at BJJ, her blog is a good read. Check out one of her recent posts, Curve Ball, for a link to a YouTube vid of Valerie putting Ryan Hall to sleep with an arm-in guillotine counter.

And for other great blogs, check out my blogroll. Let me know if you think I’m missing anyone.

 Posted by at 10:30 am
Sep 222009

I wasn’t able to go to class on Sunday. Our daughter got a flu shot and… like clockwork, 7 days later she showed symptoms of the flu. Her fever was a consistent 102F and she was lethargic and generally unhappy. Her fever broke on Sunday afternoon, but I wasn’t comfortable leaving her at home with the kids, so I stayed back.

I’m hoping to get to class tomorrow. If not, definitely Friday.

Since I don’t have much to report on the training front, I thought I’d throw some love to a few blogs I’ve been enjoying recently. I read a ton of blogs regularly, but it occurred to me that I might be keeping a few of them to myself, and my blogroll is getting pretty large. So, while I can’t promise a weekly thing, I am going to try and make this a regular offering.

This week, I’d like to highlight some blogs that are new to me and others are ones I’ve read for a while, but all offer something a little different.

BJJ Kids is a new blog that I think has a lot of potential. It’s a blog written not by a BJJ practitioner; rather, it’s written by their mom. BJJKids is a blog written by a mom who has two kids training BJJ. I think it’s interesting because it deals a little with being a parent, as well as commenting on all of the great benefits that BJJ offers kids. I’m not sure where this one will end up going. I’ve seen so many start strong and fizzle… but so far, I think it’s interesting.

Goergette’s World has grown to become one of my favorite blogs to read. Georgette is a blue belt and trains down in Texas. She’s articulate and witty, and trains like a maniac. She’s also a redhead, and we gingerkids have to stick together.

The Ground Never Misses is one I’ve recently found. I like reading local blogs, and this is one I hadn’t known about until recently. I stumbled on this blog while looking for results from the recent ADCC Regionals and linked it right away after reading the frank and honest (and kind of funny) account of the event.

John Will’s Personal Blog. If you haven’t heard of John Will, he’s one of the Dirty Dozen… the first 12 non Brazilian black belts. John Will teaches down under, and offers a regularly updated, insightful blog on BJJ, teaching, training and the business of martial arts. If you don’t regularly read this blog, I highly recommend it.

And finally, Conceptual BJJ, a project by Adam Ashmead over in the UK. I like this blog because, as with most of the others, it offers a unique look at the art of BJJ. Not a lot of content on specific moves. Instead, Adam tends to post more about issues and concepts related to a more overarching approach to BJJ… but without getting too out there.

 Posted by at 3:50 pm
Mar 192009

I don’t know whether anyone’s noticed, but off to the side of my blog is an area called, “Articles that caught my eye.” I’m not the most interesting blog around… by a long shot. I read tons of blogs and try to flag some of the ones that I would like to share by highlighting them in the sidebar here.

One blog that I consistently try to share over there are the posts by Jay on his blog, Grappling with Life. Jay describes himself as “I’m 30 some’odd years old. I train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai and MMA at KnuckleUp West Coast in Lancaster California. I am married to an incredible and supportive wife who not only understands, but supports my love affair with BJJ.”

There are several reasons why I think everyone should check Jay’s blog out. First, if you read my blog, chances are you’re interested in grappling, BJJ, martial arts or something along those lines. Jay writes about all of those things. He’s a guy that clearly loves to roll and is one of us.

Lately, he’s been writing about medical issues that he’s been struggling with. While I’ve read a lot of blogs about injuries and recovery. It seems as though ACL surgery is an epidemic among martial artists. Jay’s medical obstacles are much less common. He tells a compelling story and has a great way of writing about it that manages to make the very technical, complicated medical issues easy to understand without insulting your intelligence. I also appreciate the optimism that is clear in every post. I don’t get the sense that he’s looking for sympathy or pity. Rather, it’s like talking to a friend who says, “Jesus Christ. You won’t believe what happened to me today. I had a friggin’ stroke! Can’t a guy get a break?”

I hope Jay doesn’t stop writing anytime soon, and while I’m confident that he’ll figure out these medical problems, I will definitely read his blog as long as he continues to write it.

 Posted by at 6:25 pm
Jan 182009

I’m always adding and deleting blogs from the blogroll, but I want to bring your attention to a new one I’ve just added as a non martial arts blog. I read a ton of blogs, but this one is definitely on my list of ones to check regularly: Humor and Satire at You Will Be Tasered. The blog is filled with posts that reflect a dark sense of humor written by a cop with a lot of opinions. Enjoy.

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for BJJ gear, check out Razorback Jiu Jitsu. Douglas sells the full range of Atama gear, including the Mundial #7, and if you use the coupon code “STEVE” you’ll save 15% off of your offer.
 Posted by at 10:27 am
Nov 252008

A few months back, Caleb at the FightWorks Podcast posted about how to share his RSS feeds using Google Reader. If you haven’t done this yet, take a minute and do it now, then come back. Really. Not using an RSS reader is like not using soap after class.

I’ve been playing around with the Blogroll here at Stevebjj, as well as a list to the left of articles that I’ve enjoyed in particular (also available here), or that I want to be able to go back and read more thoroughly at a later date.

While I think I’ve got it all sorted out, in the process I unsubscribed to every bleedin’ blog I like to read. Seriously. I crapped my pants… and it may have had something to do with deleting my blog feeds. Maybe not.

Anyway, what I’ve got on that blogroll is a collection of high quality blogs I could painstakingly recreate from memory and from Caleb’s largely still up to date RSS List.

If anyone sees any blogs I missed, please let me know. I’ve got it set up now so that when I subscribe to a blog in Google Reader, they’ll automagically be added to that list. That blogroll accurately reflects the blogs I actually like to keep up with.

Conversely, if you don’t see your blog or one that you know I’d like, it’s not because I don’t like you. Let me know and I’ll add it, because if it’s not on that blogroll, it’s not on my RSS list and I’m not getting updates.

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for BJJ gear, check out Razorback Jiu Jitsu. Douglas sells the full range of Atama gear, including the Mundial #7, and if you use the coupon code “STEVE” you’ll save 15% off of your offer.
 Posted by at 6:40 pm

Neat RSS Feed Features

 blogging, Blogroll, rss  Comments Off on Neat RSS Feed Features
Aug 142008

On a non-BJJ training note, along the left bar of my blog is a header: “What I’m Reading Now.” I have been using Google Reader for a while to organize my RSS feeds. Since Caleb, at the Fightworks Podcast, shared his list of BJJ blogs, I’ve been in hog heaven reading everyone’s training stories. One of the features available on Google Reader is the ability to “share” certain posts. So, as I read something that resonates with me in a particular way (like The Approach to Competition posted by ThailandBJJComp), or that I agree with but don’t necessarily want to post about in a “me too” kind of way (like Brock Lesnar Steamrolled Heath Herring posted over on Bloody Elbow), I can share it and it will show up in that list.

If you’re ever interested in what posts on other blogs are catching my attention, check that list out.

 Posted by at 4:47 pm
Jun 252008

I know. It’s the season of “staycations” and gas prices going all wonky, but we’re going to DisneyWorld, dammit! With the baby coming in a few months, and my daughter being so damned cute, this is likely our last chance to “get away” for several years.

So, I won’t be around for a week or so. But while I’m gone, if you need a grappling fix of some kind, I’d like to refer you to the Mokuren Dojo blog. Patrick Parker is a fascinating guy. He teaches Judo and Aikido and from reading his blog and my own limited interactions with him directly, he is a passionate martial artist, a very knowledgeable grappler and a genuinely interesting character.

Take some time to check out his interview with Dave Camarillo or Gene LeBell. Or if you’re not interested in his personal interviews, check out this video he’s found of a pre-WWII Judo kata.

Unlike many traditional grappling instructors, I respect Patrick Parker for his obvious appreciation of grappling arts of all kinds. He doesn’t see BJJ as a threat to Judo or anything else. It’s one of many different styles derived of a ruleset and a particular emphasis. He writes about wrestling with the same passion that he writes about Aikido.

Enjoy, and I’ll be back after I’ve spent some quality time with Mary Poppins… hubba, hubba.

 Posted by at 10:50 pm
May 232008

Who isn’t talking about this PPV event coming up on Saturday? Well, other than my mom and dad, who isn’t talking about this?

I’m a big fan of The Fightworks Podcast, and listen regularly, as well as subscribe to the RSS feed over there (NOTE: If that last part doesn’t make sense, check out this post by Karl at Secondhand Tryptophan who posted all about RSS feeds and feedreaders and personally offered to walk you through it if you just don’t get it. Caleb has a great explanation of Google Gadgets at the Fightworks Podcast).

Anyway… where was I? Oh yeah. So, Caleb ALSO runs a website called MMAPredictions.com. On MMAPredictions.com you can sign up and… well, make predictions on just about all of the upcoming events. It’s not a fantasy league, per se. It’s just fun. What’s even scarier is that he REALLY IS using those same commercials for another year. I thought it was an empty threat. If you listen to his podcasts, you’ll know to what I am referring. Caleb. Dude. Throw us a friggin’ bone. :)

As you can see, I’m not all that great. I still enjoy it. I like looking at the upcoming cards and learning a little more about the fighters. Of course, I also like being right and, conversely, not being wrong. Heck, I even ended up being one of the MOST RIGHT predictors for an event not too long ago. So, if you haven’t already, go check out the website. It’s fun.

Now, as for who I have predicted to win, here’s where I went:

Penn over Sherk. Frankly, I’ll be surprised if this one is even close. If BJ Penn is in shape (and I’ve read nothing to the contrary), Sherk just doesn’t have the tools to win. All I’ve ever seen out of him is strong wrestling and formidable “lay and pray.”

Silva over Jardine. I honestly view this one as a toss up. The Axe Murderer has been on a decline, but is still a force to be reckoned with. Jardine hits hard, has a good chin and strong leg kicks. I’m picking Silva because I just can’t NOT pick him.

Machida over Ortiz. I actually like Tito Ortiz. I like him largely because I thought he was a good coach on TUF. I think that this one will be a decision, and it’s going to go to Machida. Ortiz will start strong, but if he can’t finish The Dragon in the first round, he’s done.

Salaverry over Palhares. I have to pick Ivan.
Sokoudjou over Nakamura
Gouviea over Reljic
Thiago Silva over Mendes
War Machine Koppenhaver over Yoshida
Dong Hyun Kim over Jason Tan
Rich Clementi over Terry Etim (too bad this is on the undercard, cause it would be a fun fight to watch)
Carwin over Wellisch

Have fun this weekend and take some time to think about our Vets this Memorial Day, those who gave their lives for us and those who are still risking their lives every day!

 Posted by at 11:47 am