Archive for July, 2012

24 Jul 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • 3 Barriers to training succes

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


    I’ve been training in Judo and Jiu Jitsu for just about five years now, and have struggled through many hurdles during that time, as well as helped many other students through those same challenges.  Based on what I’ve seen, I thought it might be worth while to put together a list of the top 3 barriers to success that I have seen over and over in training.

    1: Competing in Training

    If you’re going hard all of the time people will not want to work with you.  Training is a place where it’s okay to try things.  Where it’s okay to tap.  And where you need to be willing to let your training partner try new things as well.  Everyone hates that new guy that goes “ape shit” ever time he works with anyone.

    2: Comparing yourself to others

    There will always be someone better than you (at least in some aspects of your training).  There will always be that “new” student that is frighteningly good.  Don’t just look at where you are now, and don’t get hung up on where you are in relation to others.  Be willing to objectively acknowledge how far you’ve come.  This is the true measure of your success and advancement.  I cannot tell you how many solid students and friends have dropped out over the years due to this basic issue.

     

    3: Out to win, not to Learn

    In class there will be times when you roll with people.  This is more aggressive than simply training, but not as serious as a competition.  This is when you want to test things out a bit closer to real speed.  This is also where you should be trying to improve your skills in areas where you need to.  If you just go for your “best” moves, the ones that always work, you will never improve your other areas.  Your goal in class is to improve, not to win.  Tell yourself when you walk on the mat that you are checking your ego… That you don’t care if you win at anything on that mat, so long as you walk off of it improved.


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    19 Jul 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • The Making of a Fighter: The story of Aubree “The Silent Assassin” Thompson by Kru John Valentine

    This Article comes from Hidden Valley Muay Thai – Team Blog
    To see the full original article click here


    Picture

    Aubree “The Silent Assassin” Thompson is an amazing story of courage and overcoming odds.  Being raised along side three brothers by a single mother really toughens you up.  Now add in the mix having to also struggle as a single parent and growing up deaf.  These challenges make for a recipe that would hold the average person back from accomplishing great things; but not Aubree Thompson.  When Aubree was eight months old she became very ill with a disease called Spinal Meningitis.  This illness was not only a family hardship but eventually robbed Aubree of her hearing, adding to a host of new challenges and struggles to her life.  Because no one around her spoke sign language, at an early age Aubree had to learn to speak by feeling the sound of words through touch.  At that time her public school system was not the best and Aubree was constantly picked on and bullied for her disability.  This endured for many years until the 7th grade when she moved to Idaho and was enrolled into a school for the deaf and blind.  There Aubree began to make friends and found a passion for sports.  Through athletics she would learn to overcome odds and push herself to new heights as person and as a warrior.  Aubree early on became a star athlete competing in many different sports including varsity volleyball, track and field, soccer, and was even the most valuable player 3 years in a row for basketball.  

    At 17 Aubree was once again faced with a major life change when she found out she was pregnant and was forced to raise her child as a single parent.  Aubree mentions that she always thanked her mother for her courage, strength and for being there as the only family support she had. Even with being scared and pregnet she still attended school everyday and worked harder then ever to graduate and did in 2003 with honors with a 3.8 GPA.  She was accepted to college and is expected to graduate in August 2012. 

    Journey to MMA
    With everything she had accomplished in her life, she wanted to recommit to challenge of competition while also looking for an outlet to get in shape.  She joined her first MMA Gym in 2010 and after only about 6 months of training, competed in her first ever Muay Thai fight.  After 3 hard fought rounds she lost a razor thin decision to a much larger and experienced fighter.  This fight proved to Aubree and the naysayers that regardless her situation and challenges could not keep her from exceeding in any arena or sport.  Shortly after this fight Professor Michael Hermosillo and I met Aubree at Hidden Valley MMA where we began working with her on her MMA journey.  She trains daily with some of best male and female fighters in the state including Rachel “The Riot” Kemker and Julie “She Hulk” Winter (set to fight on the same card on August 11th).  At the gym Aubree is cut “no slack” and is pushed daily.  Having been on the other side of her brutal on-slot of attacks I can tell you she is difficult for anyone to deal with for 3 minutes.   Through MMA Aubree has found home and an outlet for the things she has battled with all her life and she says her biggest inspiration has been Matt “The Hammer” Hamill.  Matt is a talented UFC fighter that is also part of the deaf community. 

    In the end we all face life struggles.  In many ways the roads we travel and the experiences we share shape us for good or bad.  For some these challenges build roadblocks and stop people from ever accomplishing all that they can.  While being deaf has offered Aubree some unique challenges in life and yes in the sport of MMA, in no way however is she handicap.  Aubree’s life thus far has been one filled with countless examples of proving people wrong, time and time again.  In working with Aubree the entire Hidden Valley family has learned adaptability, flexibility and have also been reminded of the gifts we sometimes take for granted.  As one of her coaches I can tell you that whether she wins or loses her first upcoming MMA fight that as a team we will all stand proud.  Proud of the journey she has traveled and what she has overcome to get here.  To the entire Hidden Valley team she has given back more than we have ever been able to impart.  On August 11, 2012, Salt Lake City will get to see and experience first hand Aubree “The Silent Assassin” Thompson for themselves at the SteelFist fight night.  Trust me when I tell you, you will forever be changed.  See you there!



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    19 Jul 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Muay Thai Weight Training-Aaron Winter

    This Article comes from Hidden Valley Muay Thai – Team Blog
    To see the full original article click here


    Picture

    Many people have concerns when it comes to weight training as it pertains to martial arts training. One of the main concerns is building big, bulking, inefficient muscle mass that would take away from the speed and endurance that is so vital to the success of a martial artist. Although there is some truth behind this thought process, there are also some misconceptions. If done correctly, weight training can be an added weapon in a fighter’s arsenal. 

      Professional football players are a perfect example. Most people would agree that in this group you could find some of the most finely tuned athletes in the world. They possess an astonishing amount speed, power and quickness. For the most part their physiques are generally very muscular. The answer lies in the training techniques. The nervous system will react accordingly to the type of stimulus that it is being subjected to. Although slow contractive movements might be the best way to gain muscle mass, this is not the most effective way to train for a Muay Thai, or MMA fight. What works the best is a combination of techniques. Punching, kicking and takedown power comes from the gluteus, quads, back and hamstrings. Nothing beats compound movements done with proper form and technique. Deadlifting, Squats, Bench presses and Shoulders presses should be the staple of a fighter’s regiment.  

    Deadlifts: If an athlete was limited to doing only one lift, the choice should always be the deadlift. This compound movement utilizes almost every major muscle group in your body. This is the most functional lift known for the human body and will relate to more functionality in a combat situation. The Deadlift has “real world” applications. Picking up weights off the ground(or in our case, people) is something that we have been doing for millennia. Another benefit from deadlifting is increased stability control and grip strength. Deadlifting is one of only two exercises that will give you cardio benefits. Proper form and warm ups are essential in sets of  3-4 and reps in the 8-12 range. 

    Squats: There’s no better exercise at maintaining and increasing leg strength than the squat.  This is another lift that we have been doing since the dawn of time. This lift much like deadlifts, is an entire body workout. Squatting gives you more of the explosive fast twitch response that we are looking for in an MMA environment. Not only does squatting increase muscle mass, vertical jumps, and overall speed times but it has several other benefits as well. Many professional athletes use the squat as an injury prevention exercise. Again this is an exercise that proper form and warm up is a must in sets of 3-4 and reps in the 8-12 range. At the finish of the eccentric(negative) movement, the top of your quad should be parallel with the ground. There are other exercises to do if your not going “parallel”. 

    Bench & Shoulder Presses: Bench pressing can increase bone density at the wrist. The wrist has a high probability to be fractured in combat. Bench presses and shoulder presses will lessen the likely hood of this happening. Being a compound movement, nothing will gain both strength and mass and develop an all around upper body strength like these presses. The strength, power, and speed gained from these presses are a secondary addition to the lifts mentioned above. Reps in the same ranges as mentioned above.

    These movements done with the proper slow negative(eccentric) contraction, combined with a fast, explosive(concentric) movement will develop the fast twitch power that is such a vital weapon in the ring. This type of lifting teaches the nervous system explosive speed changes. This is a brief description of the type of weight training that we recommend our athletes use supplemented with Ply metrics, proper diet, cardio and the regular speed building exercises that is provided at Hidden Valley MMA.

    Our belief is if two combatants are equally matched in skill set, abilities, and endurance. Strength training can be the deciding factor in a fight if the athlete has been trained correctly. This training is not only to put on muscle for show but muscle that has a definitive advantage in a fight scenario. This type of muscle can be a very useful weapon if developed properly. Diet, diversity and proper supplementation can produce the results that we are looking for. 

    About Aaron Winter (Front row, right, green shirt)
    Aaron Winter (husband of Julie “She Hulk” Winter) is a contributing writer for Hiddenvalleymuaythai.com and has a lifetime of fitness and martial arts training.  He currently assists as a strength and conditioning consultant for the Hidden Valley Fight team.




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    19 Jul 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • How a Double Feature Changed My Life                           —Dean Lazarkis

    This Article comes from Hidden Valley Muay Thai – Team Blog
    To see the full original article click here


    Picture

    Generally, I don’t do personal stories but after my recent trip to Thailand Kru John Valentine whom I have been close friends with for over 25 years, asked me to share my experiences and my personal martial arts journey.  Mine started not with a vision but from a great movie when I was 8 years old.  My cousin who was 17 at the time, took me to see my first martial arts movie and while I wont completely date myself, this was in the late 70‘s.  The movie was actually, a double feature, Force Five and Firsts of Fury.  The movie theater was in old downtown theater in Las Vegas and from that moment on I was hooked.  The speed!  The precision!  The (perceived) ability to dominate ones foe’s was exciting and at that moment I began my journey.  After sometime, I was finally able convinced my parents to let me join a local dojo down the street but only after i was handed a healthy dose of chores were assigned.  Ah…..but this was small price to pay to be able do the things I had seen on the big screen.  Going to my first class I must admit I was at first a bit intimidating, but after a short time I felt more confident and very much at home there.  The school taught several different disciplines, all under one roof.  Now that I think about it, this was probably one of the first “mixed martial arts” schools of its day.  My instructor held a black belt in several different disciplines.  The styles he taught was a Kempo, Karate, basic Ju Jitsu, Thai Kwon Do, Hapkido and Judo all mixed in.  I learned many great techniques in the years that I trained there, but by far the most important things I learned was discipline, self-respect and self-confidence.  I worried less about emulating the the things I had screen on the big screen and more about getting better and learning more about the martial arts.  Unfortunately, I also learned that all good things must come to an end, as one day after many years of training, my instructor decided to close down the school and move out of state. 

    Introduction to Muay Thai 
    It wasn’t until 2000 when I was introduced to Muay Thai.  Both Kru John Valentine and myself started at the same time and I can still remember surge of excitement we both felt about the training.  The school was based in a small building (600 square feet) located in a strip mall and had no ring, no fancy heavy bags, no pictures on the wall, just some inexpensive martial arts mats and the smell of hard work and sacrifice.  The sounds of traditional Thai music could be heard when you pulled up in the parking lot and lured you in like a lighthouse.  That school was owned by now Grandmaster Toddy who is revered as one of the best trainers in the world.  While not accomplished back then our school housed many greats.  Such as, the likes of future television stars and MMA/Muay Thai World Champions Kit Cope and Gina Carano, both of which which, went on to become huge stars in their own rite.  Training daily along side with fighters of this caliber made you push yourself to be better and also led to many painful lessons of fighting.  Both Kru John and I have many permeant reminders and lumps on our shins and bodies which have served as mementos of our time spent there.  That time was magical.  Everything was new and every day was an adventure.  During my time there I also built an appreciation for the true beauty in Muay Thai and it’s simplicity.  It is often called “the art of eight limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight “points of contact.”  Make no mistake, even though most Muay Thai techniques may seem simple and direct, as compared to other forms of martial arts, they are very effective and will still take years to master.  

    My Thailand Experience
    Last year for my 40th birthday, I treated myself to a trip to Thailand where I had the opportunity to watch several live Muay Thai matches at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok.  If you have the opportunity I highly recommend it.  I became centered in all that I had learned and it was for me a religious type experience as I watched tradition, sport and brutality come together as one.  The music called to me like an old friend and I was taken back to my early days of training and fighting.  It was amazing to watch these guys go at it, and I was surprised at how young they were as it was not uncommon for fighters to start training at camps from age 6 or 7, so by the time they are in their teens, they are seasoned professionals with many fights under their belt!  It was an experience I will never forget and will forever cement the feelings I have about the importance of the sport, my training and martial arts.    

    So whatever discipline you choose to train in, no matter if you are 5 or 50, remember, learning is a life-long process.  I encourage you to continue your journey, you are never too old to learn.  Learning keeps our minds alert and able.  Acquiring new knowledge makes us feel useful and good about ourselves, and who knows maybe, we could even make some new friends along the way.
     
    Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience. (Denis Waitley) 

    I thought inclosing, I would list a funny top ten list (David Letterman style) of the 
    Top 10 Signs You May Be Doing Too Much Muay Thai.  Maybe you can help me complete this with examples of your own:

    Enjoy your Journey

    Top 10 Signs You May Be Doing Too Much Muay Thai
    10.  You find yourself saying “Sawadee” more than you say hello.
    9.   You accidentally slam your shins into the coffee table but feel no pain.
    8.   You put your girlfriend in a thai clinch when she tries giving you a hug.  
    7.   You find yourself shadow boxing on the dance floor when you go to the club. 
    6.   Your new favorite clothing designer is “Fairtex”.
    5.   You eat Thai food almost every day hoping it somehow improves your technique.  
    4.
    3.
    2.
    1.
     
    Dean “Dino” Lazarkis is contributing writer and a lifetime resident of Las Vegas  His martial arts training extends decades and includes focus in Muay Thai, Brazilian Ju Jitsu and MMA.  Professionally he is the owner of Delta Realty and Development and is extremely knowledgeable of the local fight scene.  He also currently manages several up and coming professional fighters.  



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    18 Jul 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • The Making of a Fighter: The story of Aubree “The Silent Assassin” Thompson by Kru John Valentine

    This Article comes from Hidden Valley Muay Thai – Team Blog
    To see the full original article click here


    Picture

    Aubree “The Silent Assassin” Thompson is an amazing story of courage and overcoming odds.  Being raised along side three brothers by a single mother really toughens you up.  Now add in the mix having to also struggle as a single parent and growing up deaf.  These challenges make for a recipe that would hold the average person back from accomplishing great things; but not Aubree Thompson.  When Aubree was eight months old she became very ill with a disease called Spinal Meningitis.  This illness was not only a family hardship but eventually robbed Aubree of her hearing, adding to a host of new challenges and struggles to her life.  Because no one around her spoke sign language, at an early age Aubree had to learn to speak by feeling the sound of words through touch.  At that time her public school system was not the best and Aubree was constantly picked on and bullied for her disability.  This endured for many years until the 7th grade when she moved to Idaho and was enrolled into a school for the deaf and blind.  There Aubree began to make friends and found a passion for sports.  Through athletics she would learn to overcome odds and push herself to new heights as person and as a warrior.  Aubree early on became a star athlete competing in many different sports including varsity volleyball, track and field, soccer, and was even the most valuable player 3 years in a row for basketball.  

    At 17 Aubree was once again faced with a major life change when she found out she was pregnant and was forced to raise her child as a single parent.  Aubree mentions that she always thanked her mother for her courage, strength and for being there as the only family support she had. Even with being scared and pregnet she still attended school everyday and worked harder then ever to graduate and did in 2003 with honors with a 3.8 GPA.  She was accepted to college and is expected to graduate in August 2012. 

    Journey to MMA
    With everything she had accomplished in her life, she wanted to recommit to challenge of competition while also looking for an outlet to get in shape.  She joined her first MMA Gym in 2010 and after only about 6 months of training, competed in her first ever Muay Thai fight.  After 3 hard fought rounds she lost a razor thin decision to a much larger and experienced fighter.  This fight proved to Aubree and the naysayers that regardless her situation and challenges could not keep her from exceeding in any arena or sport.  Shortly after this fight Professor Michael Hermosillo and I met Aubree at Hidden Valley MMA where we began working with her on her MMA journey.  She trains daily with some of best male and female fighters in the state including Rachel “The Riot” Kemker and Julie “She Hulk” Winter (set to fight on the same card on August 11th).  At the gym Aubree is cut “no slack” and is pushed daily.  Having been on the other side of her brutal on-slot of attacks I can tell you she is difficult for anyone to deal with for 3 minutes.   Through MMA Aubree has found home and an outlet for the things she has battled with all her life and she says her biggest inspiration has been Matt “The Hammer” Hamill.  Matt is a talented UFC fighter that is also part of the deaf community. 

    In the end we all face life struggles.  In many ways the roads we travel and the experiences we share shape us for good or bad.  For some these challenges build roadblocks and stop people from ever accomplishing all that they can.  While being deaf has offered Aubree some unique challenges in life and yes in the sport of MMA, in no way however is she handicap.  Aubree’s life thus far has been one filled with countless examples of proving people wrong, time and time again.  In working with Aubree the entire Hidden Valley family has learned adaptability, flexibility and have also been reminded of the gifts we sometimes take for granted.  As one of her coaches I can tell you that whether she wins or loses her first upcoming MMA fight that as a team we will all stand proud.  Proud of the journey she has traveled and what she has overcome to get here.  To the entire Hidden Valley team she has given back more than we have ever been able to impart.  On August 11, 2012, Salt Lake City will get to see and experience first hand Aubree “The Silent Assassin” Thompson for themselves at the SteelFist fight night.  Trust me when I tell you, you will forever be changed.  See you there!



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

    15 Jul 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Weak Point Training In Jiu Jitsu – It Isn’t That Bad

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


    Last Friday was the 13th.  It was also one of the best days of rolling I’ve had in a while…go figure.

    With school and work (and injuries) lately, my jitz time has really taken a back seat to that bastard that gets in the way of hobbies…”life” I believe it’s called.  Due to this loss of training time, I decided that I’m going to try nothing on the mat that is familiar to me.  I’m going out of my comfort zone, side-lining the ego and maximizing the time that I do have.  I was going to try new positions, variations of old positions, and try for submissions that usually fall under my “low success rate” category.  If I was rolled, I wouldn’t resist it – solely to work on my escapes…escape techniques that I hardly ever use.

    Surprisingly, it was one of the top 5 training days that I’ve ever had.  It was like starting again from day 1 (minus the instant tap-out from a higher belt).  There were 5 of us – odd man out would jump into the rotation between rounds and we just went at it, and it was elation.  It was a feeling better than that moment where you wake up thinking you’re late for work and then realize that it’s Saturday morning and you can lay back down.  It’s was better than saltine crackers after swimming.  Better than…than…putting three periods between words…and getting away with it.

    Every once in a while you have to break away from your game and visit the weak points.  Nobody likes to do it because you lose…big deal.  The freshness of the game opens new windows and here’s why: 

    There are certain things that come with advancing belts.  Once of those things is to improve upon your personal jiu jitsu game and tighten up and polish techniques that you are good at and that you have a high success rate with when attempting submissions.  Within that however, you may neglect techniques that you haven’t used in a while which makes them stale and probably a little lonely and jealous since they are devout of your attention.

    By having these days where you ignore what you’ve refined, you’ll come across gems.  For instance, my side control has always just been ok.  I have been working on my passes, open guard, mount techniques and side control escapes for years and not much else.  I gave up on my actual side control when it’s level had reached “good enough”. 

    On Friday, I made it my point to revisit ol’ side control and improve on it.  I hadn’t worked with it in-depth since pressure on the opponent became a main focus of mine.  Now that I visited the side control basics again with pressure in mind, I could actually feel my game get stronger.  I could also feel the air coming out of my opponent in that “urrghh!” sound we all love.

    A good example is rolling with Steve Spencer.  He’s a guy that I always have trouble with.  He’s a big strong dude with the flexibility of a liquorice-based twisty straw – a deadly combination.  His favorite move is bridging me off of mount, getting in north-south and choking the piss out of me.  There was nobody better to practice side control on than Steve…short of an epileptic rhino with anger problems that is.

    Now I’ve had pneumonia and held down breakfast longer than I held down Steve (that’s not too long just so we’re clear).  But the difference was that now I was pinning him and seeing what things he would try in order to get out of my control.  I had no desire to try for a submission.  I was trying to find my safe spots and refine my technique…which I did after him escaping multiple times.  I did notice something different from the norm…the more we got into this situation and the more he escaped, the harder he was breathing…I was getting better.

    The sad thing about that (at least from my point of view), is that Steve’s escapes were getting better at the same rate…c’est la jiu-jitsu!

    Filed under: Jiu Jitsu and Judo


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    14 Jul 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Steel Fist Results.

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


    We’re very sorry we weren’t able to make it out to this event. The Patton Brothers and the WHOLE staff for Steel Fist always treat us like rockstars. We do have the results from last nights awesome event.

    Cole Rose def Tim Lund: Round 2, Tap to strikes.

    Anthony Huffman def Miquel Martinez: Round 1 by Armbar.

    Landon Selin def Josh Vineyard: Round 1 via TKO to strikes.

    Ethan Miller def Marshal Mackay: Round 3 via guillotine choke. (Ethan had one hell of a comeback)

    Bryce Hayes def Jeff Carson: Round 1 Rear Naked Choke

    Brad Darrington def Alex Brown: Round 1 Rear Naked Choke

    Joe Rodriguez def Andrew Bouquet: Round 2 TKO/Strikes

    William DaBell def Adam Vrondos: Round 1 Rear Naked Choke

    Randy Yellowhair def Chris Merritt: Unanimous Dec.

    Carl Diekman def Chris York: Round 1 Rear Naked Choke

    Jared Hatch def Carlos Escalante: Round 1 via TKO to strikes.

    Scottie Casey retains his title defeating Travis Worsencroft in the 2nd round via guillotine.

    Thanks to “Tabasco” Dan Furse for the results!


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    9 Jul 2012

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Chael Sonnen’s Gift to MMA

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


     

    Say what you will about will about Chael, he’s a mildly entertaining dude who has shown that Anderson Silva isn’t immortal, just bad-ass. Sonnen has more or less given the blueprint to world on how potentially to beat Silva:

    Have a good power double.

    Nobody is immune to a good double leg takedown.

    Keep smart pressure on Silva and don’t allow him his choice of range and foot placement.

    In the first fight, we noticed Silva and Sonnen exchanging blows – something very rare for the elusive Spider.  Anderson’s timing and footwork are generally immaculate. When allowed to setup his feet and get his range down, he becomes a master at picking shots and avoiding any return fire.

    Keep Silva down (but actually hurt him when he is there).

    With solid wrestling, I believe the advantage is sided with the man on top.  Chael’s problem is he just doesn’t do any damage when he’s pounding.  I’m not sure I fully understand it yet, maybe its posture, maybe its the endurance vs explosiveness in his muscles, maybe its the caution to hold a guy down and not open up a can upon your opponents face – Chael doesn’t seem to give the umph in the ground and pound department that someone like Mark Munoz does.

    Do not do silly things, do not take a break.

    A spinning backfist is something you have to kinda catch guys unaware with.  Unlike various kicking + punching combos, where you can almost force an opponent to each or exchange punches, the spinning backfist isn’t a high percentage technique. Pair that knowledge with the fact that Anderson Silva is clearly one of the most superior strikers in MMA and you get silliness.  There is no time to give Silva room to set up shop (read: the spider-web) and pick you apart.  There are times when various fighters have had moments of success against Silva.  They all involve pressuring him into their game and not standing in the middle of the octagon. Relentless attack seems like the way to go if one hopes to beat the champion.

    Anything missing?

    Anyway, what are your thoughts? What fighter or gameplan would you construct to put an end to Silva’s reign?

     


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    6 Jul 2012

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • Bread and Butter grappling

    You may have heard the term before: your “bread and butter“.  It’s the stuff that works for you.  Your standards.

    Bread and Butter will likely be a different set of moves for each person.  I remember back in wrestling in high school (a looong time ago :) I always had a couple of moves I was lethal with from any given position.  It didn’t mean that I didn’t know other moves.  It didn’t mean I was not interested in learning other moves.  These were just the ones I was best at.

    As I have spent the last several years learning Judo and Jiu Jistu, I have really focused on trying to not just leverage what I am good at, but to always try to improve on areas that I am not strong in, and improve them.  Some notable articles on this are:

    Strength begins with Weakness

    That weak things may be made strong

     That which is weak shall become strong

    (hmm… something of a trend here? :)

    I believe in this.  I practice this… But…

    I have to admit that I get disheartened when we work on moves that are not my bread and butter, even if I have previously learned them, and I suck at them as bad as I do.  I feel uncoordinated.  I will end up working with a brand new student on a move, and he or she is actually helping me as much as I am helping them.  I know… I should expect this, and actually be thankful for it.  Sometimes ego is a tough thing to fit on the shelf.

    There’s a newer element to this as well.  In years past, new people joining the gym tended to be truly that: New.  Not any more.  As Hidden Valley as grown in experience and reputation, and as MMA has grown in popularity, we have had “new” students show up who are actually fairly experienced, and tough as nails.

    Each of these new additions to our team seems to come with their own “bread and butter”, and often some pretty flashy moves.  It can be hard some times not to see those moves, and think to yourself, “Shit… I should be more versatile.  I should be more comfortable with a bunch of flashy moves by now.”

    Sometimes I feel like I’m playing Street Fighter, and I’m really good at kicking and punching, and I can beat most people with those basic moves.  But still, when the guy comes along that knows how to throw fire-balls, and do a helicopter kick, I’m always jealous.  Even though I still beat him most of the time with my basics.

    So, I continue to always try to learn new things.  I work to always try to use them as a roll with people, and not just rely on my bread and butter.  But some nights I still come home with my ego having even more bruises than my arms :)

    Anyone else struggle with this?  Would love to hear insights and experiences.

    5 Jul 2012

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • S7 Submission Grappling kicks off in Utah – Jul 28th 2012

    Okay, so let me just say that this on a scale from lame to cool, this is Damn Cool!

    Here’s the skinny:

    Some big names in Action Sports and and the UFC, including Herb Dean and Josh Rosenthal have been watching how submission grappling tournaments have been run for years.  They knew they could do better.

    Now picture a real professional organization.  That really focusses on SUBMISSION grappling (you get points for attempting submissions, not takedowns, position, etc.)  Live web updates during events.  Soon to have text messages to competitors telling them where to go and when.  Better mats.  Better Awards.  Huge score LEDs above each match in all directions so everyone knows the score.

    Ya, THAT COOL!

    Now, imagine that this new organization is having their first ever event right here in Utah!

    If you grapple, you don’t want to miss this.  Check out the details, and hurry and get registered (It’s on July 28th… you’re almost out fo time!)

    Head over to S7G.com to learn more!!