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.

Mar 052012

Man, oh man!  Did you guys see that fight on Saturday night?  Holy cow.  Now, I want to say that I want to like Rousey in the worst way.  But her palpable arrogance is making it very difficult.

The point of this post, however, is to talk about the armbar.  I just want to mention a couple of things.  Please bear in mind that I’m not an elite grappler or a professional MMA fighter.  I’m a purple belt who likes the sport and has been arm barred more times than I can remember.  If you haven’t already, check out Ryron and Rener Gracie’s breakdown of the move.  Not only are they entertaining, but they’re very detailed.

A lot of people have talked about how she is doing the armbar incorrectly, but there’s a guy in my school who has always done his armbars this way.   To a casual observer, she has her feet crossed, making it more difficult to pinch her knees together and isolate the arm.

But I’ve rolled with guys before who have caught me in an armbar like this, and it’s not loose.  While I don’t know whether crossing the feet is critical, Rousey’s not being sloppy.  Rather, she’s widening her right knee out to put a lot of pressure on Tate’s head.  Tate can’t roll her hips over to get her knees up and stack Rousey and attempt what is a very typical defense (shown below).  This is a very common defense.

At the same time, she’s got her feet crossed right underneath Tate’s farside shoulder, effecitively keeping Tate from attempting what is a common, last ditch defense shown below.  We’ve always called this one the running man, because it looks like you’re running in a circle.  It’s called the coffee grinder below.

It looks like the one real opportunity for Tate to escape is in the window before her arm is extended, taking advantage of the widened legs to really drive her elbow to the mat.  My personal experience is that this is easier said than done.  With Rousey effectively controlling Tate’s head, she will have less torque in her hips to get the momentum necessary to clear her elbow and begin to come up.  She was successful the first time, but barely.

Ultimately, I’m curious what you guys think.  Has anyone played around with an armbar done in this way?  Or, perhaps more relevant, has anyone been armbarred this way?  What do you think?

My opinion is that it’s not wrong.  It’s different, with its own pros and cons.  And as with any different technique, there are appropriate ways to defend against it.  I’ll also say that I can’t wait for the rematch.  While Rousey certainly won convincingly, Tate hung in tough, and showed some flashes of brilliance.  Tate had heavy hips, scrambled very well and at one time had Rousey’s back.  There’s a brilliant rematch in the future, I think.

In the meantime, I think Rousey’s going to crush Kaufman….

Check out the full fight (while it’s still posted. I expect the following link to disappear at some point):

Jan 262012

I’m really excited to be training regularly again.  I had been diligently making two classes per week and was looking to bump that up to a routing of three classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Then the Snow Storm came, followed by the freezing rain and down went our power.

And now, after all of that, I have this really nasty cold.  I started feeling bad on Sunday and by Monday morning, I gave up at work and went home to bed.  Now, a few days later, I feel worse, if that’s possible.  My head is pounding and I can’t stop coughing.  I’m chugging Theraflu like it’s fruit punch, and I just can’t wait to feel better.

I’m going to give this through tomorrow, and if I don’t feel better by then, I’m going to go see what the doctor has to say.

In the meantime, I’m really enjoying all of the videos that everyone’s posting.  Jason Scully has been killing YouTube with his terrific “8 minutes or less” videos.  Here’s the latest:

There’s also this one I picked up on Facebook.  It’s a compilation of some pretty damned spectacular takedowns from the Russian Nationals.

Enjoy and I’ll hopefully be feeling better and back on the mats soon.

Jan 102012

I’ve been hearing a lot about SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and its sister act, PIPA, the Protect IP Act. I haven’t really taken the time to understand what these things are, though. Below is a very interesting video. If you weren’t alarmed about these two pieces of legislation making their way through Congress, take a look. If you like YouTube, you will definitely want to know more.

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

More information can be found here: Fight for the Future

Jan 102012

Haywire_Poster_largeI can’t effing wait. I don’t know what kind of issues this movie has had. I guess it’s been stuck in movie limbo for a while. But whatever they did, it looks awesome.

A few trailers have been released and there’s a lot more information available on IMDB.


Mallory Kane is a highly trained operative who works for a government security contractor in the dirtiest, most dangerous corners of the world. After successfully freeing a Chinese journalist held hostage, she is double crossed and left for dead by someone close to her in her own agency. Suddenly the target of skilled assassins who know her every move, Mallory must find the truth in order to stay alive.

Using her black-ops military training, she devises an ingenious and dangerous trap. But when things go haywire, Mallory realizes shell be killed in the blink of an eye unless she finds a way to turn the tables on her ruthless adversary.

Here’s a 5 minute clip from early in the movie:

Jan 042012

In case you haven’t stumbled across these lately, Jason Scully has been on a tear, posting some interesting videos for BJJ. Not instructionals, per se. They’re more like… reminders. Refresher training to bring all of those techniques we’ve learned over the years back to the top of your mind. I think they’re very helpful. Posted below is his most recent, 57 Guard Passing Techniques in Just 8 Minutes. He’s also posted closed guard attacks, half guard, and a few others. Worth a look.

Dec 132011

Class was fun last night at Phantom BJJ. Had a small group of about 8 people, the guys who seem to be forming the core of our group. Good group of guys, overall. We have Bing and Scott, who are both brown belts. I’m there regularly as a purple belt, and then Brandon just received his blue belt last week from James in Kent.

Other than that, there are several guys who are just starting out in BJJ. Kenji is a kid I really like. He’s small, but wiry and he’s very game. He’s learning really fast and I think he’s going to be one to look out for if he stays at it. Colton is another young guy who’s been very consistent and seems to be picking things up quickly. And then there’s Aaron, a big, Viking looking guy who’s really strong and has a solid grasp of the basics. Aaron is one of those guys who has about 7 years of training under his very tattered white belt. He’s got some holes in his game, but overall, he’s pretty solid.

Everyone’s really friendly and so far we’ve had no problems with ego or anything like that.

We worked some escapes from back control. I was able to roll with 3 of the new white belts, as well as both Bing and Scott. Bing shut me down. I got out of a couple of tight spots, but he was always a few steps ahead of me.

That said, I feel like I’m getting my groove back a little, feeling more comfortable on the mats. I definitely have to think about how I’m going to improve my conditioning. I’m out of shape, and I don’t think two days of training per week is going to do more than keep me static. Things are busy right now at work, but I’m considering taking some time at lunch for a quick workout. It’s not much, but if I do it consistently, it would help.

I noticed that Coach Foster posted a new video today, a quick technique instructional on the bow and arrow choke. The first video is his newest one. The second video is a modified bow and arrow choke he posted last year.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Jeff Bourgeois Pre-fight interview – Rumble on the Ridge XXI

 MMA, Video  Comments Off on Jeff Bourgeois Pre-fight interview – Rumble on the Ridge XXI
Dec 092011

Jeff Bourgeois is a friend of mine and I’m really excited that tomorrow evening he’s going to get a chance to fight professionally at Rumble on the Ridge XX! at the Snoqualmie Casino. Above is his pre-fight interview. Jeff has focused on coaching young MMA fighters, helping his friend Jeff Hougland at Hougland’s school, Combat Sport and Fitness in Enumclaw, WA, and putting on the largest BJJ and Submission Grappling tournament three or four times each year in the PNW. But now it’s his turn to step onto the field of battle. Can’t wait to watch it.

More information about the fights, and how to get tickets (if you want to see it live) can be found at the Northwest Fight Scene website. You can also watch the fights live online, streamed here: It’s a UStream site. I think that the main card starts at 8 pm.

Jeff Bourgeois was one of the first people I met when I started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He made an immediate and lasting impression. Jeff stands about… oh, I don’t know. He’s maybe 5’7″, and I’d be surprised if he walks around at anything more than 135 lbs, but he has a limitless supply of energy, and he does everything with intensity. He listens to you with intensity. He types on his laptop with intensity. Just sitting there, he does it and it’s intense. And when he runs a warm-up before class… it’s… well, let me just say that you’re warm by the end of it.

I started training during Matt Hickney’s filming of his documentary, Walking to the Cage, in which he features three fighter: my friends Josh Calvo, Coby Parmenter, and Jeff Bourgeois. This is a terrific documentary about the sport of MMA completed I believe about 3 years ago. Josh is now well into a successful MMA career and the sky’s the limit for him. Coby has a professional victory under his belt and has been focusing on his BJJ (currently a brown belt).

Below is a preview of the Documentary, with a link to the complete film. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s definitely worth a watch.

Direct Link to the complete film here:

 Posted by at 5:00 am