Archive for May, 2012

30 May 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • How To Beat A Stronger Opponent

    This Article comes from Nuclearchainsaw » Jiu Jitsu and Judo
    To see the full original article click here

    Everyone has heard that Jiu Jitsu is the art the levels the playing field between big and small people.  If you’re into BJJ, you’ve also heard an argument that’s something like, “Well, if you both know jiu jitsu, the advantage goes back to the big guy, right?”…not necessarily.

    I walk around at just about 200 lbs and am 6’2″.  There’s another guy at Hidden Valley that is roughly 5’11″ and the same weight.  We are in no way near each other in strength.  This guy is a bull, I’m more of speed-yak.  In fact…neither one of us is good enough for me to make my point, so let me do it with someone you may know…

    “My name in Marcelo Garcia, prepare to die”

    This little homerun hitter is Marcelo Garcia.  His open guard and control are absolutely insane.  He is roughly 5’8″ and competes around 170 lbs.

    According to wikipedia, Marcelo’s championship record is 74 wins 11 losses.  In case that isn’t impressive enough, his losses are to people like Robert Drysdale, Roger Gracie (who is both taller and heavier than me), “Xande” Ribeiro and…well…one of the hugest dudes that I’ve ever seen compete at 170 lbs, but we’ll get to that guy in a second.

    Along with notables like Masters Rickson Gracie, Sylvio Behring, and Pedro Sauer, Marcelo is one of these newfangled “technique” guys.  You know the kind – you always blame their legs for keeping you in their guard, or trying to pin them is like nailing a bowl of jello to sheet rock – he’s one of those.

    Now about that other guy…he is a man who looks like someone spray-painted the Incredible Hulk and told him that in order to survive you have to do 10,000 pushups and sit-ups a day and there will be a test.  His name is Pablo Popovitch, and this is him:

    “You won’t like Pablo when he’s angry”

    Believe it or not, that dude fights in the same weight class as Marcelo…now you see what I meant when I said that you can be in the same weight class and not the same strength?  I mean, this dude was created to destroy godzilla then wash his burial suit on his abs.  Now watch this:

    That’s Marcelo Garcia beating Popovitch with a North-South choke.  Unreal huh?  My point of this whole thing is that it doesn’t matter if you’re both black, blue, purple, white, green or clear belts (that last one isn’t real by the way), it’s who has the better technique, the quicker mind, the…”quan” to quote Jerry McGuire.

    Don’t get me wrong, Popovitch is world-class and has beaten Garcia, but he didn’t this time.  Garcia had control almost the entire match.  He set traps and took his time. Of course people get lucky in Brazilian jiu jitsu, but this is far from lucky.  This is control.  This is what my teacher’s teacher, Master Sylvio Behring preaches.  You can take your time if you do it right.

    Don’t be afraid when someone who looks like Popovitch is standing 3 feet in front of you waiting for the “go” call.  You have to think that you can destroy them…you have to believe that you will destroy them.  Confidence in your technique will almost alway prevail.  This is why you must roll and roll and roll.

    When it comes time to competition, you don’t want to have to think that pinching your legs around an opponent’s thighs during a guard pass will keep them still, you have to know it and you have to trust it.  This is muscle memory.  Reaction, position and planning is tenfold better than getting a position and trying to perfect it during competition.  When you react quickly with muscle memory, you will be in the perfect position if you practiced it correctly.  This is why you roll, not to win, but to get perfect so when the time comes, you are perfect.

    Not many things are better in life than being the underdog and winning.  When you do that, people in the crowd want to be like you, they tell their friends they have the “itch” and they pick up jiu jitsu, and that is what makes your art spread.  Should you practice technique to be popular and be the hero?  No, you practice technique to become an ambassador of what you put time, sweat, blood and sacrifice into.  You practice technique to show people your passion for what you truly love.

    Filed under: Jiu Jitsu and Judo, Writings

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    24 May 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Attacking with submissions from the mount – Quick Video Tip

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

    When you are doing no-gi grappling instead of MMA, it can sometimes be tricky to finish your opponent – you may be used to just punching them in the face to win.  Below, some good knowledge about attacking and controlling from the mount.


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    17 May 2012

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • Utah MMA Journal: Strength begins with weakness

    When I work on my training, it’s pretty common for me to say, “Can we work from position (whatever), because that’s my biggest weakness right now.”  Currently it’s my ability to attack from my guard.

    I don’t care if I “win”.  Heck, I don’t really even plan to.  What I do plan to do is improve.

    If you’re always working into your dominant position in practice, you’ll be in real trouble when you aren’t in that position all of the time in a real competition.  This can be tough though… You hace to be willing to check your ego, as there are always going to be some people you work with who are looking to prove something, looking to show they can “beat” you.

    But this isn’t what training is all about.  I’m not there to beat you.  It’s all about:

    Mutual benefit and welfare.

    We are weak together.  We help each other.  We both become stronger.

    The only way this can happen is to trust each other enough to check our ego’s at the door, and confide our weaknesses to each other.  We must also be willing to give each other advice, and not feeling that we’re growing our competition, but that we’re helping our extended family.

    Be willing to be weak.  So that together we may be strong.

    15 May 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Clements Tests Positive

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

    The local MMA scene isn’t immune to controversy. Jordan Clements fight with David Castillo was ruled a no contest due to a failed drug test my Clements. We do know that both fighters were tested and Castillo was clean. If anyone from Clements’ camp or Clements himself would like to contact us to give us his side we’d love to hear it as well.

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

    15 May 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • 5 Badass Martial Arts Movie Stars From The 70′s And 80′s

    This Article comes from Nuclearchainsaw » Jiu Jitsu and Judo
    To see the full original article click here

    For those in their 30′s, you’ll understand.  For those who are older, you’ll probably pay no mind, and for those younger than 30, well…prepare to be schooled on the most badass kung-fu / ninja / karate / Choo-choo and woo-woo movie stars of all-time.  Behold:

    #5 JIM KELLY

    He can say “Ninja” because he’s black

    If you know Jim Kelly from anything, it’s his role as the token black guy in Enter the Dragon (shown left).  He eventually got all killed in the movie, but was awesome the whole way through…nearly upstaging Bruce Lee himself as the most wanted to see character on-screen. His success in Enter the Dragon convinced some fat American directors that he was the Black equivalent of Bruce as far as the martial arts movie movement was concerned, so they decided to make him his own star in such movies as: 

    • Blackbelt Jones 1 & 2
    • Black Samurai
    • Blaxploitation
    • Three the Hard Way

    …I’m not 100% sure that last one isn’t a porno…anyway, you get the theme of his movies…kick ass and be black.

    He had decent punches and kicks that came accompanied with that eighties “WHAH-THACK!” with every blow.  Coincidentally, every “WHAH-THACK!” was followed by a wiseassy - and of course, black themed – crack.  If you’re good at talking trash in any aspect of your life, you probably got it from Blackbelt Jones.


    Pinky:  “Who the fuck hit me?”

    Black Belt Jones:  “Batman, muthafucka!”

    INTERESTING FACT:  Like many you’ll see on this list, the martial arts movies mostly died out, so careers sunk.  Jim is no exception.  Realizing this, he applied himself and is currently trying his hand at becoming a professional tennis player.  That’s 100% serious.  “WHAH-THACK!”


    Bricks no hit back

    Bolo Yeung is what Godzilla made to get back at Japan.  You remember this gigantic Asian from such films as Enter the Dragon (again), and Bloodsport.

    Bolo has been a staple in martial arts films for decades, and he alway plays the bad guy with a bad attitude with badder-ass moves. I mean look at him…he can’t play a good guy….not exactly the face the damsel in distress wants to see when she’s freed…she wants rescued not raped. 

    He always seemed to move methodically like he knew what you were going to do before you did, or until he got you into some sort of squeezy position where he would just use that enormous Asian strength to crush you. 

    His ass kicking is so good that he hardly has any lines in his movies.  Take for example Enter the Dragon, he says “HRWRAH!” whenever he is spoken to, then just kills people.

    BEST LINE FROM ENTER THE DRAGON: “HRWRAH!” ….like 3 or 4 times.

    INTERESTING FACT: Bolo got his breakout role in Bloodsport because of his actions in Enter the Dragon. He got his spot on Enter the Dragon because his new friend Bruce Lee invited him to co-star in it.  He met his friend Bruce Lee while shooting a commercial for Winston Cigarettes.


    The greatest ginger ever

    Ok, ok…yes, you know Chuck Norris.  No, I’m not going to go over his “facts”…you can read them here if you’d like.  I choose instead to blow your mind with real facts about ol’ Chuck:

    First of all, as of this writing, he’s 72 years old and still doing infomercials for some weird bench-press-pullup thing while still looking 50 as ever.

    Secondly, he invented his own martial art named Chun kuk do.  Normally I’d go off on what a bunch of horseshit that is, but allow me to explain that Chuck has trained under Ed Parker, Gene LeBell, Bruce Lee (which he starred with in Way of the Dragon) and the Machado family. 

    For those “in the know”, that’s a pretty sweet pedigree.  For those that have no idea who those guys are, having that kind of training by that group of people is the equivalent to eating the best steak ever and getting simultaneously handjobbed by Marilyn Monroe and Jennifer Aniston while getting photographic proof of aliens all at the same time. 

    Chuck has more black belts that you can count, and they’re mostly from the people who invented whatever the belt is in, and he has been in movies ranging from kung-fu to walking around Texas kickin’ ass with wranglers and roundhouse kicks.  He’s the Delta Force, man….the Delta Force, and he tells it like it is…

    BEST QUOTE ABOUT REAL LIFE: “Some of the most miserable people I know are some of the richest people in America.  They are the most miserable people I’ve ever seen” ~ Chuck Norris

    INTERESTING FACT: Coincidentally, Chuck Norris does live in a round house.  (Come on, I had to put one in there).


    “I’m here for the position of ‘Boot-to-ass coordinator’”

    My favorite 3 films about ninjas in the 80′s are Enter the Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja, and Ninja III: The Domination.  Sho Kosugi was a ninja in every single one.  He was the ninja of the 80′s. 

     Sho wasn’t just limited to ninja movies, however, he also played bit parts in The Bad News Bears Go To Japan and uncredited role in The Godfather: Part II. In fact, he was such a badass that he played himself in Ninja Assassin and Flash Challenger.  How awesome do you have to be to get to the point where someone hires you to play yourself and yourself’s part is a ninja? 

    Sho also had this deal that I always loved called Ninja Theater.  He would show little kids how to use throwing stars and extremely sharp swords against enemies.  After the day’s lesson, he would bow respectfully to the viewer as if to say, “You’re welcome, child, now run forth and kill”…here’s a little taste:


    …and in case you didn’t have all the sweet weapons that Kosugi had…you know, in case of an attack from ninjas that look like their moms dressed them, you could order them through Kung-Fu magazine…most weapons sponsored by – you guessed it – Sho Kosugi.  In short, Sho made movies that turned little kids into ninja fanatics, then sponsored the weapons for kids to order, then came up with an instructional theater so they could kill correctly and efficiently.  BOW TO YOUR MASTER! 

    BEST MOVIE QUOTE FROM NINJA III: THE DOMINATION -“Only a ninja…can destroy a ninja” 

    INTERESTING FACT: Sho came back for a brief stint in the 90′s with a Ninja-fitness program.  It had a couple of episodes before being cancelled after people realized that it didn’t show you how to disappear in puffs of smoke or jump over walls. 

     #1 BRUCE LEE

    “Stupid air, I got you now”

    If you don’t know who Bruce Lee is, you probably have trouble figuring out how to squeeze a boob as well. 

    Bruce Lee brought martial arts to mainstream America.  His style (Jeet Kune Do) became hugely popular to movie stars and the masses alike. He’s the one that taught us to “be like wataaaa!!”.

    Bruce caught a lot of shit from Hong Kong because he came over here to spread the secrets of the martial arts to…well…white people, basically.  Over time and over fame, Hong Kong accepted him once again as their main claim to fame.  He’s so renowned that he falls into an almost mythical figure…I mean, EVERYONE knows who he is.

    His most famous movie, Enter the Dragon has spawned many famous rip-offs and is well-known for the director telling Bruce to slow down as the cameras couldn’t catch his speed…really.  Bruce, having never been told to slow down, was unable to.  So they sped the cameras up during his fight scenes and still had a hard time.

    His other most noteworthy claim to fame was his one-inch punch.  he would literally hold his fist one inch away from someone’s chest and be able to blow them off their feet and onto their backs without pulling back.  You can see that here.

    The thing that separates Bruce from the rest is that he wasn’t just a movie star that had some training.  He was an innovator and his movies – as awesome as they are – couldn’t hold a candle to watching Bruce give demonstrations of push-ups on one thumb, powerful side kicks, his one-inch punch, and people trying to spar with him…check it out:

    Notice what he’s doing there?  Stopping the knee with low kicks?  Isn’t that what has become popular in MMA in the last 10 years?  Bruce was doing it 40 years ago.

    BEST QUOTE FROM ENTER THE DRAGON: “Not thinking, not yet dreaming.  Ready for whatever may come.  When my opponent expands, I contract; when he contracts, I expand.  When there is an opportunity, ‘I’ do not hit, ‘it’ hits all by itself”

    INTERESTING FACT: Bruce never liked to kick high.  He felt it left you vulnerable and the risk wasn’t worth the reward.  So until moving to the U.S., he rarely kicked high (notice he doesn’t in the sparring video).  Chuck Norris taught him high kicks and he used them in his movies for the “flashiness”.  Ironically enough, he is well-known for his high kicks

    …and making “Whachaaawwww!!” sounds.

    Filed under: Jiu Jitsu and Judo

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

    10 May 2012

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • Blocking punches in MMA – Tito Ortiz and Bas Rutten styles

    One of the things that is sadly consistent when you watch most regional fights, as opposed to UFC-level fights is that the punch blocking sucks.  Far too often it consists of two people standing and hitting each other, with the best striker winning.  Just because someone can hit harder than you doesn’t mean they should win.  It makes me feel like saying:

    “Umm… you know you can block those, right?”

    I believe that a lot of this stems from how people train.  If you watch most MMA striking classes, or even Muay Thai classes, you will see a lot of practice on striking.  you will hear a lot of “one, two… one, two, three.”  But you don’t often see nearly the energy spent on learning to block.

    So, the tip for the day: Balance your training.  Just as you work on grappling as well as striking, be sure to give an appropriate level of  effort toward NOT getting hit.  Here we have some great pointers from Bas:


    Of course, there are different camps and styles when it comes to the right way to defend in MMA.  As we see here, Gene Collins shows a different style of MMA blocking.  This style is much more like the style used (very effectively) by Tito Ortiz:

    Bear in mind however, that the technique is entirely different if your opponent should be equipped with a light saber:

    8 May 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Jiu Jitsu Isn’t Chess, It’s Growing Up

    This Article comes from Nuclearchainsaw » Jiu Jitsu and Judo
    To see the full original article click here

    K3 to R2; KP1 to Q3; Q2 to R1 SUBMIT-mate (that was stupid)

    So you hear all the time that Jiu Jitsu is like chess….I agree to an extent, as long as you’re referring to strategy. But if you think about it, the rules are fairly different. 

    For instance, I was in the chess club in 4th grade (shut up) and I was always warned about bringing my queen – the most powerful piece – out too early.  This isn’t like Jitz.  If my best move is there, I’m taking it, I’m not waiting to bring it out later when I have backup…why would I do that?  I should attempt it, and if it doesn’t work, I will combo into something different, or as Rickson put it, “flow with the go.”  If I wait to come up with a backup in case it doesn’t work, my ass is kicked…and if there’s two things I don’t like, it’s realizing I’m out of milk after I pour a bowl of cereal and getting my ass kicked.

    I liken Jitz to growing up, and I think it’s a much better comparison, and everyone can relate.  Look at it this way; you start off in life getting babied through your learning process while having a tight eye on you to make sure you’re doing things right.  As you progress in life, you learn to ride a bike, throw a frisbee, throw a baseball and gut a fish (techniques).  As you continue growing, you learn not only how to ride your bike, but how to “pop a wheelie”.  You just don’t throw a baseball, but now you have a repertoire of pitches – curves, sinkers, fastballs…etc.  This is refining your techniques.

    That’s how we roll

    Of course, you’ll never forget these things as you get older, but in order to keep them clean you have to come back to practice.  This is progression, and this is Jiu Jitsu.

    Here’s where levels/belts come into play…You know that guy that can do everything decent but isn’t great at any of them?  He’s good for a pickup game of basketball, can tell you a little about WWII and has a favorite sports team in any sport.  He’s the guy that comes into the gym to get his blue belt then quits right after.  He wants to throw frisbees and baseballs and go fishing just to know how to do them.

    Then there’s that guy they call the “Jack of all trades”.  He’s the dude that women love because he can fix a car, landscape the yard, knows the answer to everything and could probably fly if given proper time to practice.  He can name the players on all his favorite teams, can play any game of pickup ball and dominate, and can not only tell you a little about WWII, but he’ll tell you why turning points in the war occurred and how they could have been successful.  He’s the man.  He’s also the black belt.  He doesn’t just try things out in life, he makes life his life.

    But what about the strategy?  I agreed earlier that chess is similar, but look at the big picture – How are you going to be successful in your life without skills, knowledge and technique?  Bosses don’t want to know if you can do something, they want to know if you can do tasks better.  They don’t want to hear that you found a problem, they want to hear that you found a problem and know how to fix it.  They want your refined technique.

    Jiu Jitsu isn’t life, it’s livin’.

    Filed under: Jiu Jitsu and Judo

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    8 May 2012

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • Utah MMA Journal: Half rubber from bottom side control??

    Okay, so I have to apologize in advance for not having a video or picture of this one… I really looked hard.  So you’ll have to try to visualize with me.

    As I was rolling with Scott Vincent, one of my instructors this last week, he started using a technique I had not seen before.  Here’s the situation:

    - Scott is in bottom side control.

    - Scott takes his leg furthers from the me, and reaches it over, almost like he’s trying to step his legs around my back.

    - To help with this, Scott reaches down with his hand (opposite the side the leg is) and grabs his own ankle.

    At this point, we’re in a weird, sort of rubber-half-guard bottom side control thingy.

    From there, he uses the pressure of his leg to hold me down, pulls it more with his hand until he can get a “hook” with it around my leg, and starts trying to climb around me.

    It was pretty darned cool.  Anyone else ever seen or used this before?

    7 May 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • “Cutting off the cage”, AKA Octagon Control

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


    To me, controlling the octagon serves the purpose of helping hit your opponent in the face without repercussion.  As a added bonus, it can add points to your judges scorecard.  Today, I give a few of my thoughts about cutting off the cage, or fencing in your opponent.

    In essence, it is just removing your opponent’s ability to escape your danger zone. Let me explain by way of pictures.


    Between your feet, looking down at the mat, you have a light-bulb shaped area where your strikes have power. If your opponent is on the outside of it, you’ll find its difficult to hit him/her with power, if at all.

    Above, a common scenario – you and your opponent both have strikes that are in range (standing inside/on the edge of the pocket).  Both of you are at more or less equal turf to strike one another. For sake of argument, lets say that your opponent doesn’t want to continue trading strikes with you and feels it too dangerous to press forward;  there are only a few options to get out of your danger zone.

    If they retreat straight back, they get closer to the cage wall and more fenced in. The lateral escapes are more interesting, and cutting off the cage involves making these two options either impassible or very dangerous.


    Pretending you and your opponent are orthodox stance fighters, if  they move to your left you can beat them with your footwork – getting your left foot on the outside of their right foot-and can shut down that particular escape path. This will more or less guarantee they’ll try to escape towards your right … directly into your power punches AKA the hammer.  A lot of fighters will try to avoid getting hammered by circling to your left, so cutting them off as shown above is a good thing to get good at.


    Remark: I’m aware that to side-stepping to your left potentially exposes you to your opponent’s power hand. However, we’re looking to cut off the cage and that comes with risks and rewards.


    More often than not, your left hand will be the fence, your right hand will be the hammer. Your jab, left hook, and stepping to the outside (cutting them off) fences them in. Your right cross, overhand right, and right kick or knee are collectively, “the hammer”.  Occasionally, a right uppercut or hook can also work. While you can pick any target on your opponent, I know many boxers like to keep an enemy on the ropes via body shots. The premise is that if your headshot is dodged, your opponent escapes to freedom (and is no longer fenced in). Body blows, on the other hand, keep escape routes shut down even if they are blocked. See this video on cutting off the ring for a little more about that.

    There are a few variations of note. You can fence opponents in either with actual strikes or fakes; if you’ve pounded a guy with a solid back-leg knee, they’ll fear the fake and react to it (see Lyoto Machida vs Randy Couture).

    You can cut off the cage to your right side too – it just means your hammer will have to be the front leg karate style kick (no wind up, as a thai kick would be too slow to keep them fenced in) and the leaping left hook.

    I’ll leave you with this video that shows Frankie Edgar keeping an opponent on the cage wall.


    Let me know your thoughts, tips and tricks in the comment section below.


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

    5 May 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Mental Self Defense Radio: Worthy to Win – Joey Johnson & Brandon Ruiz

    This Article comes from Ruiz Combat Grappling – Blog
    To see the full original article click here

    This weekI had a great time chatting with Jake Shannon of Scientific Wrestling and Mental Self Defense Radio. My coach Joey Johnson of Worthy to Win and I were able to have the chance to talk about Grappling and the Worthy to Win program.

    Worthy to Win has been instrumental in my success as an athlete. I highly recommend listening!

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