Archive for January, 2010

26 Jan 2010

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • Lion’s Den: Reno Martial Arts

    My work has had me traveling an awful lot lately.  One of the places I find myself finding a lot of time is over in Reno, Nevada.  When I’m out of town for a week, I start itching to get some mat time.  You know the feeling.

    Well, this last trip I decided to do something about it.  In Reno you’ll find well set up, clean gym with a true legend running it and passing along his knowledge: The Reno Lions Den, run by no other than Ken Shamrock himself.

    I showed up a little early for class, to kinda get a feel for the place.  Very clean, several large wrestling mats, a ring, bags, you name it.  Everything you need.

    But what really struck me was watching the kids work.  In particular, there was a girl, maybe 12 years old, that clearly knew what she was doing.  I saw her working in patiently with some of the other kids, but her moves were really slick.  Very skilled.

    That’s when you really know.  When you see some of the kids moving with such confidence and ability, you really know that this isn’t just a business or a Karate themed day-care.  This is some one’s passion.  This is the home of a master, who is passing his skills on to the next generation.  This is the kind of place to learn to really be your best.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t get to actually work with Ken on this visit due to the death of his father.  My heart goes out to the gym, and to the family.

    I do plan on training there again, the next time I’m in Reno though.  I will update you on how it goes.

    21 Jan 2010

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Advice for Beginning Students

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


    I have been thinking about what would help novice student become well-rooted in martial arts.  My students up at the U of U have taught me a great deal, and I have a few things that could be of use to them and all beginning students.


    Relax, relax, relax.  There is a tendency to substitute strength for technique – especially since at the beginning of your training career you have very little of it. When sparring, the lack of experience and control tenses up your body and often makes guys go ape crazy.  Breathe, have positive self talk, use mantra’s ,do visualizations before class. Whatever it takes.

    A tight fist can hold nothing; a relaxed hand can accept.


    Safety is a no brainer – if you plan to train in martial arts for any significant length of time, you are at continual risk of injury and disease. The healthier and safer you remain, the more fruitful and long lived your training.

    Take your personal safety, and that of your training partners dead serious. When you get injured, you stop training. You get sick? Training stops. You hurt your team members? People will shy away from practicing with you.

    So how do you stay safe? For starters, see above. Relax. Second, take care of yourself. Get to bed on time, eat your veggies, don’t push yourself beyond your limits. Third? Pay attention to the safety pointers your Sensei brings up.

    Ask Questions

    Instructors love it when you ask questions, even more so when they are thoughtful questions.  Don’t just ask to see a technique again – go deeper. Ask about the fundamental principles at work. Ask why the move works.

    Also, the instructor cannot read your mind – if you have difficulty with something, bring it up.  At the same time, be respectfully curious – think about your questions before hand.  When you are practicing at home, ponder what would be a good question.  People say that there are no dumb questions, but this is because “they” are idiots. Of course there are dumb questions – questions that are usually blurted out with no thought.  Don’t let this discourage you though – “they” and “we” were all idiots at one time. Nice people will forgive you and help you in spite of it. Still, use your brain; craft good questions and imagine someone else asking you the same thing. What would you say to them?


    Invest in a notebook dedicated to your martial art study. Write down what you learn, draw stick figures and diagrams. Write down questions about techniques and make a list of the top three things you are developing.

    You can re-live the class with good notes.  Your memory will become sharper. You will be cultivating martial intelligence. In an interview, my jujitsu instructor, Sensei Edmunds, has talked about a notebook as one of the most important training tools in your arsenal. It’s one of the best kept secrets in martial arts today, hidden in the place people will look last – right out in the open. I’m sure you’ve heard it before and disregarded it … but I can tell you from personal experience that it is worth.


    At the beginning, you are a kid at a candy store. So many awesome, sweet things to learn and do.  Knife-fighting defense, rubber guard, advanced sweeps, five point palm exploding heart technique. So much!

    The aphorism, “Keep it simple stupid” is a great frame of mind. A master of the basic, fundamental moves and ideas of his or her martial art is a true master. When ever you can, focus on the core concepts and basics.

    The most common question I have heard while training is, “Well, what if the guy does this?”  “Or this?”  Such queries are well-intentioned, but often take an instructor so off topic that it becomes difficult to remember the move you were once learning and the new move that answers the question.  There are thousands of things an opponent might do, and there are thousands of techniques to deal with each of them.

    I know its tough, but be satisfied in learning one move and learning it well.  Save variations on a theme for later. As I have been told numerous times, better to have five techniques you can really fight with than to have five hundred techniques that fight you. Don’t be a collector of techniques. Become a student of the essence of a move.

    Practice the basics, over and over again. Advanced stuff is typically just an expression of a well-honed fundamental.

    Keep it simple, and keep going.


    I love martial arts. I love love it. Chances are, you’re getting pretty fond of it too. Talk about it with your friends, practice with them. Invite your friends to class (if its okay with your instructor). A large part of the pleasure of training will come from the relationships you develop in the gym and the relationships you bring into the gym. If you train with a buddy, you can motivate each other and build each other up.  When you are tired or lazy, your true friends will coax you into training anyway.

    No need to force it on anyone, of course, but if you like it why wouldn’t you want to experience it with the people you love?

    “Hey, I just learned an awesome move. Can I practice it with you for two minutes? I’m just a novice at it, so I need to go really slow.”

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

    20 Jan 2010

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Knowing what actually Works

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

    UtahJudoJuJitsuClassI have to tell you, the last few classes over at Hidden Vally Judo / Jiu Jitsu have been some of the best I’ve had.

    I took some time over the weekend to really reflect on why that is.  The answer that came to me is this: To really know, and be good at a martial arts is actually different than being a true, experienced and seasoned competitor who knows what actually works.

    A person can know all of the correct ways to do throws, and be absolutely text-book in their execution.  But that will only take you so far.  It’s the experience of how to set up a throw, and some subtle nuances and variations of the throws that the instructor has had good success with that become the real gold.

    Just this last week Dr. Chen showed us how to turn a cross-collar Osoto Gari into a Swain-like arm attack that puts amazing pressing on the arm, and really breaks the Kazishi of the defender much easier.  Mike showed me a beautiful setup for what is essentially a wrestling-like “duck under” into a Tani Otoshi, as well as how to leverage a leg grab to setup up an Osoto Gari or Makikomi.  All of these came from “What has worked really well for me,” rather then “The way this move should be done is.”

    Whatever your martial art, don’t just find someone who is a certified instructor, or who just happens to be a black belt.  Ask some questions about their experience.  What have they really done with the art they are teaching?

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

    14 Jan 2010

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • The death of an Icon: Bob Shamrock passes away at 68

    I spent this week in Reno on business.  Since I was going to be here anyway, I wanted to take the opportunity to visit the Lion’s Den, the training center that UFC and MMA legend Ken Shamrock has established here.  Earlier this evening I headed over to the 5:30 grappling class, to be taught by Ken.

    When I arrived I learned some truly sad news: Bob Shamrock, adopted father of both Ken and Frank Shamrock, passed away earlier this afternoon here in Reno.

    I had heard a lot about Bob, and the significant factor that he had been in the boys lives, and in the early shaping of the UFC  and MMA.  But not until this evening, when I sat down to do some reading on Bob Shamrock, did I really understand the caliber of man that the world has lost today.

    In a heart touching article published by the Knuckle Pit, we begin to see the picture of Bob Shamrock, who helped people from very early on in his life.  After school each day Bob would go down and volunteer his time at a mission in Los Angeles, where he would serve meals to the homeless, and entertain them by playing the piano.

    By the time Ken, a foster Child of 15 years old, showed up at bob and Dee Dee’s doorstep in 1979, the Shamrocks had already been taking in foster children for 9 years.  First one, then four, and then as many as 18 at a time would be welcomed into the Shamrock home.  Here they had access to a full gym, basketball courts, a swimming pool, and tennis courts.

    The Shamrocks learned early on, that sports was a great way to really get kids interested in something.  But if sports didn’t fit, they would send them to art classes at the community college, buy them guitar lessons, piano, or whatever it took.  They were always giving.  Always working to find outlets for these children.

    Our hearts go out to the Shamrocks, and to the many people who must be grieving today… The many children, now adults, whose lives Bob touched.  I know he is receiving one of the fatherly hugs tonight, than I’m sure he gave so many times.

    13 Jan 2010

  • Posted by Paul Evans
  • John Whitman Krav Maga Gun Seminar

    Krav Maga SLC will be hosting a Gun Seminar Taught by Krav Maga Expert and 4th degree black belt, John Whitman on Saturday Feburary 6th 2010.johnkrav

    Because of the amount of people attending, the seminar has been moved to a larger location. the address is 3855 South 500 West Suite E – slc, utah

    For more information please contact Paul Evans at

    8 Jan 2010

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Rigidity is Not Strength

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

    MattressLast night in class we had a few students who are either brand new, or haven’t been with us long.  I love working wit new students… It’s amazing how much more it sometimes makes you think when you teach something, rather than just do something.

    I have found a fairly consistent patten wit new students, and concepts they struggle with.  These are: energy conservation (or “bursting”), and rigidity vs. fluid.

    I recently posted another article on Energy conservation and cardio in grappling (Judo, Jujitsu, etc) and MMA, so I won’t be covering that topic again here.  What I do want to discuss however, is the concept of fluidity vs. rigidity.

    You can tell a new Judo student right away.  When the lock up on the feet they are so stiff and tense.  They all seem to have an inherent logic in their brain that tells them that if they are more tense, they are more prepared, and as a result better defended and more ready to attack.  They often carry this same tension when they are on the ground as well, but I think the aspects relating to the ground game are better covered int he “bursting” article, so I’ll just focus on the feet here.

    One of the analogies that I often use to help students understand the difference of rigid and stiff compared to fluid is the one of the mattress.  Most of us have, at one time or another, had to move a mattress set up stairs.  When doing so, It is far easier to move a box-spring than it is a big, floppy mattress.  Why is this?

    Well primarily it is because the box spring is rigid.  When you push it, you are pretty sure exactly where it is going to go, and how far.  You know exactly how much force it will take to tip it one way or the other.  This is because the box spring is consistent.  It does not flex or remain fluid in order to absorb and of your force or pressure.

    A big mattress on the other hand is a pain in the butt.  It never seems to do what you think it will.  You push, expecting a specific result, and it bends and sways under the pressure, absorbing some of it, and not being tipped and moved as easily as you would hope.

    By having a good solid grip, but remaining loose and fluid, able to react to an opponents pressures, and “give” when needed as well as being able to surprise an opponent with a sudden burst of offense, rather than telegraphing our every intention through or rigidness we can be better Judokas.

    Next time you randori, or work you Uchikmois, relax your body.  Be ready, be strong, have a good grip, but don’t be rigid.  Be fluid.  Be a mattress.

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

    7 Jan 2010

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • January 9th Fight Card and After Party

    This Article comes from XtremeCombatUtah’s MySpace Blog
    To see the full original article click here

    Kyle Thompson
    Colby Cordova

    Raymond Davis
    Jeremy Hooley

    Jason Thompson
    Mike Reynolds

    Kevin hamby
    Josh Buck

    Jared Hatch
    Brandon Ploehn

    Jason Allgire
    Tallon Torres

    Jarome Hatch
    Nick Rossborough

    Xtreme Combat this Saturday night Rockwell Charter High School in Eagle Mountain!

    After Party Saturday night after the fights…

    Flirts 250 W. State
    Street in Lehi. Pool Tables, Full Kitchen, Live DJ, Dance Floor and No
    Cover! Plan to come hang out with Xtreme Combat, Fighters and Bleedout
    Fight Apparel.

    6 Jan 2010

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • The Propper Care (and Feeding) of your Gi

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

    dirty gi pants

    (picture courtesy of Hourman)

    My wife just bought me a new pair of jujitsu gi pants. Why? Two reasons.

    1. She’s awesome.
    2. My old pair made me look homeless.

    This has made my do a little research into how to make my gi last longer, and stay nicer.  What I’ve found out surprised me.

    I don’t want to drag this out, so its bullet point time.

    • If you want your gi to smell fresh, you must wash it after every use.  Even if the gi is dry – sweat has evaporated and oils from your body have made their way in.
    • Even you wear a t-shirt underneath, you still are sweating onto it.
    • Even in the winter, even if you don’t think you’re sweating.
    • Rule of thumb: If it touches your skin, wash it after one use.
    • If you want to keep it smelling nice, wash it right after you use it. Bacteria breed in your sweat and oils – and its the bacteria that create the smells. The longer the smell factories stay in, the longer and harder it is to take them out.
    • Smells can be infused into your gi – and sometimes washing will not eliminate them.
    • Dry your gi directly after washing. Mildew will accumulate with time.
    • Line dry your gi if possible, and not in direct sunlight. (UV’s and such actually
    • Machine dryers shorten the life of your gi.
    • Washing the gi in cold water.
    • Bleach shortens the life of your gi. I know you want to do it, but don’t.
    • Color safe bleach will still weaken the fabric.
    • Harsh chemicals especially weaken the threads in the seams -making groin tears and knee patch openings more likely.
    • If you want a nice, sharp colored gi – do not buy a white one. You will be tempted to use bleach otherwise.
    • Fresh blood stains? Soak in cold water, then massage in liquid detergent, then wash.
    • Dried blood stains? Did you not obey the above advice?  Pre-treat the stain, soak in WARM water. Products with enzymes are idea.
    • If you use bleach, use it only a couple of washings a year. Seriously.
    • You want to extend the life of your gi? Own two.  Two gi’s bought at the same time will outlast buying one at a time if you care for them correctly.
    • Avoid fabric softener. I shortens the life of your gi.
    • New gi’s are rough -  sweat/salts/oil will soften them a bit after the first few wearings.  After the first 3 wearings, that’s probably the softest its going to get.
    • You want a softer gi still? Buy a nicer one. There is no way around this, safe diminishing the life of your gi via chemicals.
    • Setting the color – for colored gi’s and patches, soak 30 mins in a mix of a half cup white vinegar per gallon of water (cold). You can do this in your bathtub. Follow by a regular wash.
    • Color safe detergents help keep the color.
    • Neither setting the color of color safe chemicals will extend the life of the gi – it will only keep the color longer.
    • So you’re going to use the machine dryer anyway, huh? Heat = reduced gi life.
    • Don’t iron your gi. Are you a pansy? Spend that time training.
    • After drying, leave it be for a minute. A gi needs to be completely dry before you fold it – if not, in the folds you will retain water and create mildew.
    • Patch early. If you see thread coming out of the seems or elsewhere, it’s not going to stop magically.
    • Machine washing will stress minor tears and seem weakness – I’ve created several big tears in my training clothing by washing it in the machine.
    • You can try hand washing a gi in a tub instead of the machine.

    Some of the stuff above came from a “more than you ever wanted to know about caring for your uniform” pamphlet that came with my Piranha gi. Others, I learned from caring from my rock-climbing ropes, my mom, and (bad) experience.

    If you were wondering, these are the pants my wife bought me. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

    Also, don’t let a cat get in them.

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