Archive for November, 2010

28 Nov 2010

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Six Reasons to Dump Your Diet Over The Holidays

    This Article comes from Arcanum Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Blog

    I am not a fan of diets. Eat smart, don’t overindulge in anything, and know your own body. That’s my philosophy. If I’m going to compete I’ll take my diet more seriously, sure. Otherwise it’s moderation.

    Thing is, diets are popular. It seems like every news site has advice about how to stick to your diet over the Thanksgiving holiday. Every article is the same…no-brainer tips that anyone who has legitimately tried a diet already knows.

    When did celebrating by eating good food become such a bad thing? Being health conscious is all well and good, but when it starts ruining the holidays, it’s time to put your foot down.

    In fact, I have six pretty convincing reasons why you should just shrug off the diet and go for broke these holidays.

    1. You can get an educated opinion to justify nearly any diet you want. Surely you’ve noticed that the health community changes its mind on a daily basis about what food is good for you and what will vaporize your liver. The low-carb people are at war with the whole-grain people, the no-sugar people are at war with the fruit-only people. Margarine vs. butter, NutraSweet vs. aspartame…it goes on and on. Every single food on the planet except spinach and celery is off-limits for some type of diet. So why not just relax on the holidays and enjoy food because it’s GOOD for once, instead of worrying so much about whether or not it’s good for you?
    2. The old axiom “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die” is true. We’re all gonna die! But don’t die without a fight. If you’re gonna kick the bucket, take a few of those evil pumpkin pies out in the process.
    3. The fear-mongering right-wing crazies say that inflation is coming. Next year all you will be able to afford for Thanksgiving dinner is a can of Vienna sausages and a few soda crackers.
    4. Guilt sucks. You THINK you will feel guilty by giving up your diet for a day, but actually the opposite is true. You will feel guilty because inevitably, you will FAIL to follow your diet 100 percent. If the candied yams don’t get you, apple pie will. The only way to avoid the guilt is to give yourself permission to eat what you want.
    5. (…)
      Finish reading Six Reasons to Dump Your Diet Over The Holidays.

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    25 Nov 2010

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • What the Hell is Krav Maga?

    I think a lot of us in the martial arts community may be in roughly the same boat when it comes to Krav Maga…

    I have watched it on Human Weapon, and on fight Science.  I was intrigued.  It appears to be very serious… very aggressive.  Tailored to be effective against weapons, and to really disable an opponent.  Definitely not sport.

    But that’s what I have gleaned from TV.  It left me unsure what the art was really about.  It left me Krav curious, and wondering, “What the hell is Krav Maga really?”

    Well, Paul Evans of Paul Evans Martial arts invited my son and I out to a six hour seminar with one of the top Krav Maga teachers in the country.  I don’t intend to imply to be an expert.  But this writeup is my opinion on Krav Maga after that experience.

    Not just unarmed:

    One of the first eye opening items during our training was that Krav Maga is not just about defense from weapons.  Krav Maga incorporates the usage of weapons as well.  In particular is the hand-gun.  As we trained there were many times when most arts might refer to the “left hand” or the “right hand” or even “strong hand” or “dominant hand.”  But in our training for Krav Maga the hands and feet were referred to as “gun hand side” and “non gun hand.”  similarly we would address the “gun side leg” or “non gun side leg.”

    Krav Maga has strong punches, elbows, knees, and kicks.  Obviously taking many of its elements from a Muay Thai base.  But we also spent time drilling on being able to draw and fire quickly and effectively, as well as using our kicks and strikes to gain enough distance to fend off a knife and go for our firearm.

    The concept of Self Defense:

    One of the other things that really struck me during our training is that it made me drastically rethink the concept of “Self Defense.”  This term is so broad, and means so many different things to just as many people.  But if you look at most Martial Arts, and what is meant by “self defense” I think you have to look at what is the realistic expectation of most of its practicers as to how and when they will actually be likely to use it.

    Be it Karate, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, or even MMA, most of these arts train people with an expectation that they will either use this in a sport setting, or that they will use it if they are bullied, picked on, or need to get into a bit of a scrap in a bar or parking lot.  Yes, there are elements of knife or gun defense in most of these arts, but these are secondary.  In Krav Maga they are at the forefront.

    Based on what we saw, and did with our new friends that day, I would not refer to Krav Maga as “self defense.”  I think that we already have to many ideas as to what that means.  What we saw struck me much more as “Life Retention”.  If you asked most of the people we were training with when they felt they would be likely to use their skills, I would guess that the huge majority would respond with something along the lines of, “When someone is trying to take my life.”

    This was pervasive in the training.  At one point I have to admit I was talking rather that listening.  In most arts I would have been chastised with a “Be respectful and listen,” or something similar.  The whispered message here was, “Be quiet.  We’re trying to save your life here.”

    Training is intense.  We used Shock Knifes that would arc and pop like a taser to let you know they meant business, and would give you a good electrical bite if you let your attacker get too close.  This is meant to train you to live when someone intends otherwise.

    Where it fits:

    I think that each martial art has its place.  I have written recently on why I chose the art of Judo.  There are other reasons to choose other arts.  If you want to fight in a cage, Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu may be the best mix there is (although I would add in something with take-down skills.)  So where does Krav Maga fit?

    In my opinion, Krav Maga is an excellent design of “You are trying to take my life.  I intend to very aggressively counter attack you such that I can eliminate your threat and escape or so that I can kill you instead.”

    Thank you to Paul, and to our new friends for the great experience.

    25 Nov 2010

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • Black Friday Martial Arts Deals

    All right folks, let’s share our info here!

    I know of a website: Title MMA who is offering 20% off your entire order for black Friday.

    There is a deal over at MMA Mania on Tokyo Five gear for 25% off.

    Also, there’s a hell of a thread going on over at Sherdog with a bunch of black Friday deals (some as low as 50% off!)

    Know of any others??  Please comment here if you do.

    23 Nov 2010

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • UDOT Blizzard Warning: No Class Tonight 11/23

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

    The University of Utah is closed for classes tonight.  That’s right,  snow has temporarily beaten MMA.

    Check for more updates.

    Below, a photo of me literally fighting mother nature’s minions to stop the snow storm.

    The snow storm’s attack was super effective.

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

    23 Nov 2010

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • Why Judo?

    There are a lot of martial arts out there…
    Why did I choose Judo? Why should you consider it?

    For me, it come down to three main points:
    • Fitness
    • Capabilities
    • Environment


    I have done several Martial Arts off and on for years. Although I enjoy kicking and punching, nothing has just flat kicked my butt physically like grappling. Wrestling class in high school use to just wipe out the football players. Judo, JuJitsu, and other grappling arts are an amazing workout. Nothing gives me that whole-body wipe-put feeling through all of my muscles like a good grapple.

    Also, when I feel fit, I feel good about myself.


    Okay, so assuming you are learning a martial art (or considering it) because you might actually need to use it one day, or at least want the self confidence and assurance of knowing you could if you wanted to… The applicability of Judo is great.
    There’s a big problem with punching (unless you are Mike Tyson): Most fights where a punch gets thrown end up with a lot more than just one. When you punch someone, they tend to punch back, and this can go on for a bit until someone goes down (or someone pulls you apart.) As an adult, that’s not what I need. I don’t need to trade a dozen punches in a mall or parking lot.

    But I also don’t really want to end up rolling around on the ground in a grapple if I don’t have to. This can be a mess, and hard to escape. It can be especially bad if there is more than one person facing me.

    Judo gives me the ability to take someone who is laying their hands on me, or punching me, or someone I want to lay hands on, and place that person with amazing impact on their head on the ground. Hopefully that is the end of it. Hopefully they walk away, or I take the chance to run.
    But If I have to take it to the ground, Judo gives me the skills to end it there. Break an arm, choke them unconscious, etc.


    As I said, I have done various martial arts off and on for years. I have also worked with people in our Judo class who came from other martial arts classes.
    Many martial arts classes can be offer off-putting environments. Some of the most common are:

    - Instructors with huge ego’s
    - Cold, militant classes with structured drills, but very little meaningful interaction
    - Competitive environments where everyone is out to do better than everyone else… where it’s all about “me, me, me.”

    I have taken Judo at two different Dojos in Utah: Lehi Judo, and Hidden Valley Martial Arts (where I currently train.) I may be lucky in my experience, but both of those environments were great. I really felt among friends. We train hard, but there are no egos, and we can always enjoy a good laugh.

    One of the core concepts behind Judo is “mutual benefit and welfare.” This means that I get better by helping you get better. You are always working with someone else in Judo, and always working with each other to help the other learn and advance.

    The class I am in now has really become like family to me. Mike, our Sensei is approachable, and light hearted. But he is also a black belt in Judo and Jiu Jitsu, and can flat kick my butt.

    Judo… I just love it.

    22 Nov 2010

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Rollin’ at Lehi Judo

    This Article comes from Arcanum Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Blog

    For the first time ever last night I went to our sister school in Lehi and rolled with the guys (and girl) there. It was fantastic! I feel like a real schmuck for never going there before. It’s not that far away…I should have taken the time to go train with them long ago. I have missed out on some good friendships and quality instruction. Very cool people – nice, helpful and an immediate sense of camaraderie. Not only did they welcome Ben and me (another friend from Dave’s school), they told us again and again how great it was to have us there and invited us to come back.

    I definitely will.

    Jeff Kunze, a second-degree black belt directly under Rigan Machado, taught the class, and he gave me some tips that finally helped me figure out the omoplata from open guard triangle/armbar sequence. For some reason I’ve never been able to pivot around to get the omo. Jeff showed me that it’s a rocking chair motion – roll onto your side while using your legs for momentum, then plant both legs on the floor to pull the shoulder down onto the mat before finishing. It was literally a breakthrough for me.

    We rolled for a good 2 to 2.5 hours. I finally had to stop after my right calf started cramping up. I held my own against the Lehi gang, but at the same time they were really good and I tapped more than once. Still not aggressively going for submissions, but I had my hands full just trying to pass their guards and obtain a dominant position. They play guard way more than we do at Dave’s school. Even though I’m a lanky traingle machine, because of training with Dave I find myself going for half guard and side/top mount more than trying to fight from the guard. I can pass the guard of most guys at Dave’s school after a bit of effort, but with these Lehi guys it was a nightmare. I was especially impressed with the technicality of my fellow white belts.

    And then there was Jeff. It’s been a long time since I rolled with a black belt. He was very collected, but pretty much tapped me every 15 to 30 seconds. Rather than apply submissions, he’d catch me and let me go. Ever been fishing on a lake where the fish have been planted? Sometimes you catch the same young fish over and over again. You set them free, but they fall for every trick in the book and next thing you know, you’ve hooked the same stupid little fish again. That’s how I felt rolling with Jeff. Catch and release. But it was a great experience that I hope to be able to repeat.

    Still a ton going on and I haven’t been able to put the time into my blog that I want. But I just wanted to give a shout out to my Lehi teammates and thank them for a great time.


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    20 Nov 2010

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • 2nd Board Breaking Tournament

    This Article comes from Wasatch Martial Arts Blog
    To see the full original article click here


    Wednesday the 17th, we had our 2nd semi-annual board breaking tournament. We had 24 competitors and 3 judges along with everyone’s families in attendance. I thank you for your support and know everyone had a great time. Everyone should be proud of their accomplishments. Below are the results of the tournament as well as some videos of the winning breaks.

    Tiger Tots

    1st: Katie
    2nd: Devlan
    3rd: Thomas

    Beginner Kids

    1st: Brooke
    2nd: Xavier
    3rd: Aiden

    Advanced Kids

    1st: Lucas
    2nd: Al
    3rd: Mia


    1st: Stephen Skidmore
    2nd: Jim Jefferies
    3rd: Joshua Jefferies

    For more videos, please visit our YouTube page.

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

    18 Nov 2010

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • Muay Thai Push Kick

    For the last several weeks I have been taking Muay Thai classes under Kru John Valentine and Mike Hermosillo, with visits from John’s master, Sakasem “The Punisher” Kantha-wong .  I wanted to share a great video from my instructors on the usage of the Muay Thai Push Kick.

    16 Nov 2010

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • Choke from side control

    Just saw a very interesting video over on The Journey of the Fenix that I just had to share.

    Thanks again the the Fenix for sharing this one.

    15 Nov 2010

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • Keep your head up! (or feel a Guillotine choke.)

    In various positions in Judo and Jiu Jitsu we are told, “Keep you head up!”

    When you’re in someone’s guard, look up or your gonna get choked.  When you’re on your feet, if you drop your head get ready for the Guillotine, or one of my favorites: the Gator Roll into an Anaconda Choke (or as I like to call it, my “jungle combo.”)

    It’s such a simple concept, but it’s amazing how often we can forget in the heat of the moment.

    So, for a reminder today I wanted to post a video of Ty’s last match to win the Submission Grappling tournament a few days ago.  Duck for a second, and someone may tarantula spider leap onto you for the choke.

    Heads up… Breathing is good. :)