Archive for November, 2009

25 Nov 2009

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Happy Thanksgiving: Abundance of Fists

    This Article comes from SLC MMA
    To see the full original article click here

    I love MMA almost as much as I love holidays.  Depending on what your family is like, you can eat a great meal and get punched in the face at the same location.

    On the serious side, there is a satisfying juxtaposition of resting and improving, enjoying abundance and giving. I hope you choose to view your holiday celebrations in a way that uplifts you as a person, as well as improves your fighting game. On top of that,  I hope you find a way to serve those around you.

    I just wanted to throw out a couple of things I’ve been trying to do, and maybe they’ll help you start off  the holiday’s right.  After reading, give me a holiday shout out – the more guys I train with, the more I realize that everybody has something awesome to teach. I love hearing from you!

    Rest and Meditate

    If you’re like me, you have a tendency to over-train rather than under-train. This can be a great time to rest from training, heal up from injuries. Physically and mentally, you need to rest in order to rebuild and prevent burn out. I’m reminded of periodization -  an idea to construct cycles where loads and workout to get tougher and tougher, but then with a new cycle you back off from your maximums and build up again to new ones.

    On a mental note, use the holidays to pause and reflect on life balance, goals and training strategies. Take some time to be a better person. Certainly, train with the “fight to win” mentality some of the time, but now can be a time to “play to learn” (credit SBGi guys). Gain some perspective.


    Everything is better with a good attitude.  Get in the “I’m celebrating” mood. Loosen up mentally, take yourself less seriously. Chances are, you’ll find different connections between moves and ideas – maybe have a breakthrough.

    Also, celebration is about coming together as people. Thank your instructors and teammates. Bury old feuds, forgive your training partner for chipping your tooth (or whatever).

    Be Grateful

    Giving thanks for something is almost paradoxical: the more you are thankful for what you have (no matter how little it is), the more valuable it becomes.  The more you respect and treat your Sensei like gold, the more meaningful his instruction gets. Also, your gratitude will probably facilitate your instructor to be better able to serve your individual martial art needs.

    Being grateful helps you understand and take to heart things you might be missing.


    Maybe you don’t know how lucky you are by global or historic comparisons. Chances are, if you are reading this, you’re on the abundant side of life.

    Take the opportunity to give to a food drive, or serve at a homeless shelter.

    In terms of MMA, take some time to share insights and techniques with guys at your gym.  The knowledge you don’t teach will die with you. The knowledge you teach becomes immortal. When you improve your training partners, you improve your game.


    Turkey is a good source of protein.

    To comment on this post, please visit the original article click here

    20 Nov 2009

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • Anybody (besides Batman) know Keysi?

    So, I had never actually heard of the Keysi Fighting Method (KFM) until fairly recently when someone wrote in looking for more information on the art and who might teach it here in Utah.

    I did a bit of looking about the art, and here’s a brief backstory from the Wiki:

    Keysi Fighting Method (KFM) is a method of self defense that is based on natural fighting instincts and several street fighting techniques, developed by Justo Diéguez Serrano from his fighting experiences in the streets of Spain. The system was founded with the help of Andy Norman.[1] Both founders, Justo Diéguez and Andy Norman, are certified Jeet Kune DoDan Inosanto[2]. The Keysi Fighting Method became famous after it was used in the fighting choreography of the movies instructors under Batman Begins and its sequel, The Dark Knight.

    I also went to the Keysi website to see what they had to say about it.  I have to admit that I had to chuckle a bit when I read their insights:

    “KFM is NOT a martial art. It was not born or reinvented in the ‘dojo’; KFM was born on the streets of Spanish gypsy origin. It has grown, developed and matured on the streets and the KFM Instructor Development Program is now a direct consequence of real events, experiences and subsequent years of investigation. KFM is an amazing multi dimensional journey into the world of self-discovery.

    KFM was born in the 1950′s and therefore old and primitive traditions do not bind it, nor do they limit the never-ending process of evolution. If we are to truly grow and develop as human beings then we must first break free from all past conditioning. Learning is non accumulative, therefore we cannot store learning as we can knowledge, learning occurs on a daily basis and once we have ‘learnt’ something it becomes Knowledge which is now of the past.”

    Reminds me of the phrase that those who do not understand the past are doomed to… well, whatever.  Let’s move on.

    I’m not all that put off by the rhetoric on the website.  I find that zealots of many of the martial arts tend to eat just a little bit too much of their own dogfood.  But that doesn’t mean the style doesn’t have cool things to offer.

    So I’m curious… Anyone been around Keysi?  Learned any?  Care to share your insights with us?  Please feel free to comment on this thread, or to contact me directly.

    20 Nov 2009

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • Missing Throwdown AND Jeremy Horn’s Elite

    cryingWell, unfortunately my hookup for tickets to both Jeremy Horn’s Elite Fight Night, and now to the Throwdown event this evening fell through.  So, the amazing card that I was so excited to watch, take pictures of, and update you all on… I won’t be watching.

    I’d love to get some coverage of the fight though.  so if anyone who is going would like to write a guest post about either of those two events, please be sure to contact me.

    In the meantime, I think this picture fairly clearly explains my feeling on the subject :)

    19 Nov 2009

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Bursting

    This Article comes from Utah Judo
    To see the full original article click here

    HeartbeatWhen I first started into Judo and Jiu Jitsu a few years ago I was pretty aggressive.  I came from a wrestling background, and was used to shooting fast and hard, and bridging like hell to roll a person over.

    The problem that I ran into was: stamina.  Once I was on the ground, I would bridge, and bridge, and bridge.  I have a really solid bridge, and a good chunk of the time I can flip a guy.  But the problem was that if I failed to flip him, I was ready to tap within about 15 seconds because I simply couldn’t breathe.

    I had similar problems on my feet.  My arms were rigid… pulling, pushing, attacking.

    Those people who were helping to train my kept pounding into my head one simple phrase: RELAX.

    Now when I am on the ground, I conserve my energy.  I slowly, deliberately work for better hand and body position.  Then, at just the right time I BURST.  I explode with energy and power, hopefully catching my opponent before they can react.  Then I relax, work for position, control balance, breathe, an then BURST again.

    I find this allows me to ground fight much longer than many beginners that I work with.

    The same is true on the feet.  Have a solid grip, pay attention to your kazushi, but don’t be rigid.  don’t be stiff.  Be refilling your energy reserves, not draining them.  Then BURST.  Explode into your attack.

    I have found that this is a really difficult thing to teach people.  I think much of it is because we all are trained to want to win.  To fight.  To never give up.  Our brain fools us into thinking that relaxing a little means to be passive or submissive.

    Let me be clear: being relaxed does not imply being passive nor submissive.  It means running at a controlled energy level.  Your hands and body should still be working for position.  But you should ask yourself: Are my energy reserves refilling right now, or depleting?

    If you’re new to Judo or Jiujitsu, just try this.  Relax.  Breathe.  Then BURST into your attack.

    To comment on this post, please visit the original article click here

    19 Nov 2009

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Aggressive By Nature Grappling Tournament Dec 10th

    This Article comes from SLC MMA
    To see the full original article click here

    If you missed the recent throwdown/Utah Champion submission grappling tournament, don’t worry. There’s another competition right around the corner.

    MMA training camp Aggressive by Nature is holding a no-gi, no points, no-time limit tournament. The facility is up in the Heber/Park city, and I spoke with one of the head guys and it’s got a ridiculous amount of mat space.

    I know it’s short notice for some, but registration before December is $30.  The rules will be on the same lines as grapplers quest.

    The tournament starts at 6:00 pm.

    For more details, go check out their official page here.

    To comment on this post, please visit the original article click here

    17 Nov 2009

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Recap: Champion Submission Challenge XIII

    This Article comes from SLC MMA
    To see the full original article click here

    Saturday Nov 14, Orem  Utah.

    A fun time was had at the Utah Submission Challenge. Here a number of videos of the Gi and no Gi divisions. If you guys have any more that you’d like to put up – or that are already posted – let me know and I’ll update this page.

    Great job all competitors!

    Videos below the bump –

    Gi matches:

    Ben Gardner vs Fritz : gi finals

    Aaron Vs Fritz, Gi match

    TJ vs Unknown – mid weight gi

    Tony vs Unknown then Tony vs Chris gi

    Brad vs ? gi heavy weight division

    Brad vs ? # 2 gi heavy weight divison

    Jonah vs ? mens no-gi mid-weight beginner division

    Aaron Vs Demarques Johnson no gi

    Another cam angle here -

    Noah vs Demarques no gi, part 1

    My memory card in my cam, of course, fills up one minute before Darmarques finishes Noah via triangle.

    Demarques vs Unknown No-gi

    Noah vs Fritz – no gi

    Aaron vs Fritz – no gi

    Taylor H vs ? – no gi mid weight division

    Taylor H vs Coleman

    Taylor H vs ?

    Taylor H vs Will

    Goliath Noah vs David – absolute (no weight classes) no gi division

    Noah vs Hank no gi absolute division

    To comment on this post, please visit the original article click here

    12 Nov 2009

  • Posted by Paul Evans
  • Krav Maga Home Invasion & Gun Seminar

    Krav Maga SLC is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a Weapons Seminar on Saturday Feb 6th 2010.

    The seminar will be held by John Whitman. John Whitman is a 4th degree black belt in Krav Maga and a CrossFit Level 1 certified instructor. He served as president of Krav Maga Worldwide for 7 years, and has been teaching for 15 years. John teaches civilian, military, and law enforcement personnel, and has taught elite military units in the United States and abroad. John is co-author of the books Complete Krav Maga and Krav Maga For Beginners. John has “train the trainer” status and has trained most of the other Krav Maga instructors currently working in North America. He contributed significantly to the creation of the certification course used in North America to train Krav Maga instructors. He has appeared in numerous media outlets, including The Today Show, ABC News, and CNN.

    For more information please contact Paul Evans at

    11 Nov 2009

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Upcoming Saulo Ribeiro Seminar

    This Article comes from SLC MMA
    To see the full original article click here

    Just wanted to start spreading the word, so you can put it on your radar. And by “put it on your radar” I mean to start rearranging your life, if necessary. Not only is he 6x world champion, Saulo is one of the most sought after instructors in the world.

    Saulo Ribeiro is coming to SLC for a seminar possibly February 26-27, maybe the week after.

    If you want to know what to expect, here is a write up of a Saulo seminar. I’m already pumped up to learn from him.

    I’ll post more details when things get finalized.

    To comment on this post, please visit the original article click here

    4 Nov 2009

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • The MMA Prime Directive: Positional Dominance

    This Article comes from SLC MMA
    To see the full original article click here

    I have been teaching, training, and playing with the notion of pressures lately. Essentially, this had led me to conclude that achieving, maintaining and reversing positional dominance is the premier skill in MMA. That’s right. Positional dominance is the hierarchical king to all other concepts in MMA. Sure, I could be wrong. But I challenge you to outline a better one (please do! and then teach me). I dare say that positional dominance is at the root of success in MMA, indeed, it should be the prime directive of mixed martial artists.

    Think of it this way – positional dominance is the ability to exert maximum pressure with minimal effort while simultaneously optimizing your mobility and decreasing your opponents.

    side control

    Take side control for example. The top cross-body position is unquestionable dominant. Gravity allows you to crush your opponent pretty hard, especially when you learn the finer points of posturing for top pressure. You can switch position into scarf hold/kesa gatame, mount, north south, knee on belly, or even stand back up. Your elbows and knee strikes have “umph” and you can force openings to proper strike points. The guy on the bottom has weak control over your posture and mobility, and his pressure (hugging pressures, upa escapes, arm/knee frames) pales in comparison to yours. His hips are often blocked by your knee or arm, his shoulders are pinned to the mat – his mobility is severely restricted. The strikes from the guy on the bottom? Laughable.

    over under clinch control

    Now consider the clinch game, two fighters both having an overhook and an underhook. They both exert pressure that controls movement and limits mobility. However, unless a fighter is skilled at the position, neither fighter has a positional advantage. Many times, over/under control becomes a battle of strength and explosiveness.

    angle 1

    One last example – striking. Squaring off against your opponent puts you on an equal position. Cutting an angle behind him opens him up: striking his vitals becomes easier and his counter-strikes are hard to pull off. Often, he has to adjust his position before making any kind of offensive effort or block. Anderson Silva is great at controlling angles and space, and in his book Striking for MMA,  for more on that.

    Positionally Dominant Game Planning

    The overall frame work of your technical training can be broken up into two parts. Taking a dominant position and exploiting it. The delivery system differs on your body type, style presence, and martial art. The question is no longer “why is mount better than guard?” but rather, “Am I training in a realistic way that will emphasize my ability to gain positional dominance and exploit it along the way?”.

    More and more, when I’m training or teaching, I’m trying to think, “How does this move help the application of positional dominance?” In my personal game, I’m trying to avoid just collecting a bunch of moves and instead try to build cohesive skills to gain dominant position.

    Jujitsu escapes aren’t about blocking my opponents submissions – they are about advancing my position. The mantra of “Step every time you strike, strike every time you step” is becoming a way to not only increase punching power, but advance my body position by striking.

    I think the overall shift in focus from details-orientation to “big picture” thinking will help my game. Its not that details aren’t important – they are. However, I want my game driven by fundamental principles from a top down approach, not a collection of moves from a bottom up approach. (I see the bottom up approach taught quite a bit)


    Get and maintain positional dominance. When you do:

    Strikes do more damage. Counter strikes do less.
    You have increased control over your opponents movements, strategy and technical options.
    You have increased freedom of body movement, more technical options and an more strategy selection.
    Your pressure wears down an opponent physically and mentally, without overtaxing your energy.
    Submissions become more viable and easier to pull off.
    Almost every form of advantage is boosted when in a dominant position.

    To comment on this post, please visit the original article click here

    1 Nov 2009

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Everybody’s got a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth

    This Article comes from JSK Blog
    To see the full original article click here

    The ability to fight through pain is critical to winning a violent encounter
    • Richard Nance
    • 2009 Apr 13

    “Everybody’s got a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth.”
    — Mike Tyson

    Police officers  should get hit during defensive tactics training. I know administrators everywhere are cringing at the thought of actually having their officers struck “on purpose” during training. After all, we lose enough officers to injury as it is, right? While I can’t argue that contact during training carries with it some inherent risks of injury, when appropriate safety protocol is in place, the pros of training to be hit far outweigh the cons. Officers need to know what its like to get hit. They need to experience the physiological changes in their body after taking a stiff right to the “snot locker.” Overcoming the shock and pain of being hit is critical to winning a violent encounter.

    Why is getting hit so important?
    Getting hit sucks. From a physical standpoint, it hurts. But, the pain associated with being hit is often ample motivation for the trainee to block or evade the next blow or better yet, to make the “suspect” deal with their strikes. As such, being hit in training teaches officers that a proactive response (aggression) is better than a reactive response (defense). After all, no matter how skilled an officer may be, blocking is no way to gain control of the suspect or the situation. As my karate instructor would say, “If you’re only defending, you’re barely surviving.”  

    As hard as it is to believe, there are officers who have never been in a fight in their entire lives. I certainly wouldn’t want the first time someone ever hit me to be when I was on the job. Being hit in training will give “Officer Friendly” a taste of what it’s like to be in a fight. The good news is it’s in a controlled environment where he or she won’t be beaten half to death and disarmed if they screw up.

    Even for more experienced officers, being punched in the face can be a hell of a wake up call! Being hit is likely to trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response. When this occurs, you typically experience one or more of the following phenomena:

    • Increased heart rate
    • “Tunnel” vision
    • Auditory impairment
    • Difficulty reasoning
    • Loss of coordination
    • Increased strength
    • Increased pain tolerance  

    These physiological effects of fighting with a suspect can be replicated through realistic force-on-force drills. It’s important for officers to engage in training scenarios that require them to overcome pain. What the officer can do under ideal conditions is irrelevant. An officer has to know what he or she is capable of accomplishing under situations that simulate actual combat.

    How to get hit “safely”?
    Using officers as punching bags for an overzealous defensive tactics cadre is not an intelligent training technique. There’s more to training to take a hit than standing still and having your teeth knocked out. Not only is this approach likely to needlessly injure officers, it is counter-productive in that it robs officers of their confidence and could lead to them “shutting down” when they get hit for real.

    To get the most out of this type of training, both the role-player and trainee should wear appropriate protective gear for the scenario. Assuming the role-player intends to punch the trainee if the face, the role-player would need to wear gloves to protect his hands (and the trainee’s head). The trainee should wear headgear that protects the entire head and is designed for force-on-force training. All headgear is not created equal! Do the research and spend the money for quality headgear. Due to the dynamic nature of force-on-force training, full protective suits are recommended.

    The training environment should be checked for any potential safety hazards and any deficiencies corrected. There should be a safety officer who closely monitors the training and is prepared to stop the scenario if necessary. A phrase such as “stop scenario” should be used when anyone observes a potential safety issue.   Of course, if real or simulated weapons are to be used, all protocol must be followed to ensure a live weapon or live round is not accidentally introduced into the training environment.

    Keep in mind that training to get hit is not the goal. Training to overcome being hit and win the encounter is the goal. The training evolution should challenge the trainee but never end with the trainee being overwhelmed or defeated. Whether the trainee performs adequately or not, debrief their performance. If the trainee did not meet the minimum standard, have them remediate. Always end this type of training on a high note!

    Focus on your objective — not on pain
    In his excellent book,  Mindsighting, Mental Toughness Skills for Police Officers in High Stress Situations , Michael J. Asken, Ph.D. points out that self-talk can be a very effective strategy during an acute high stress response. However, he suggests that  “you always phrase your self-talk positively in terms of what you should do, not what you should  not  do. Telling yourself not to do something puts your focus on the very thing you want to  avoid  doing.”   Therefore, instead of telling yourself to not think about the pain of being struck, tell yourself that you will do whatever it takes to win the encounter! 

    Reflecting back on the years I studied karate, I vividly recall using  Shinai , a split-shaft bamboo sword, to practice blocking techniques. Although designed specifically not to injure the practitioner, when the  Shinai struck you at full force, you definitely knew you were hit! When the  Shinai was swung at you, you blocked and immediately countered with a combination of strikes and/or kicks to stop the attack. Interestingly, the more aggressively you hit the  Shinai , the less it seemed to hurt. Training with the  Shinai not only improved a student’s blocking ability; it conditioned the student to overcome pain en route to achieving victory. 

    “Pain don’t hurt.”
    – Dalton (Patrick Swayze’s character in  Road House)

    Always have a Plan B and never give up!

    To comment on this post, please visit the original article click here