08
Jun
09

Cole Miller sporting his Tactical Nutrition Shirt with the MMA Girls!

How much better could this get?  Tactical Nutrition and the MMA Girls!

A few videos in case you haven’t seen them:

If you like the shirt, we have a few more available (click here).

Fight Harder! Fight Longer!

Tactical Nutrition

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04
Jun
09

an update to something i am strugging with

What I’ve realized since I posted this is that it’s more than simply aggression, because I love it when I get to train against bigger strong guys and I LOVE wars with more experienced / skilled opponents, I really relish those moments. That being said, even though I’m going hard, I prefer to play a controlled game and I’ll just have to make certain that “my toolbox” is large and sharpened enough to handle the people who throw me off when they come aroud. Maybe it’s my ego, maybe it’s a bit of fear or suprise at having to work harder/ finish my technique, but either way it’s still on me.

The other thing I have realized is that being my size, I’m going to be larger than most of my opponents in class, and the effort that I’m makng to not use my size/strength will only make my game better. It’s a great opportunity, as long as I remember to keep my game tight when I’m rolling light.

29
May
09

Something I’m Struggling With

We’ve got an in house tournament coming up at ATT, and I’ve been helping some of the “bigs” at my gym get ready (I won’t be competing as I had a series of MRI’s yesterday to see if I need surgery on my shoulder) and something really struck me in today’s session.

I’m a large guy, 6’5 and 265-270, down from 290 or so in my powerlifting days.  When I started there were very few large guys, and I really tried to focus on playing “small”, not using my strength and relying upon technique.  I’m very pleased with my progress, I’m very comfortable in my guard (open or closed), 1/2 guard and I really enjoy active rolling as opposed to trying to lay on people.

That being said, I’ve spent so much time working on this, that I feel very uncomfortable now training aggressively.  It really came to bear for me this morning training with one of our young bucks, he comes 110% and he escapes like he is fighting for his life.  I still handle him just fine, but it really hit me today that his aggression intimidates me and I don’t think I can match it.  Now the reality is, given my size I’m limited in how often I can roll really hard and I love training against guys larger than me for exactly that reason…but give me a wrestler, or someone really aggressive and it really throws me off my game.

I’m really not sure how to handle this, or even if I should right now but I know this…..when my shoulder is fixed I’ll want to compete, and if that’s the case I need to bring the intensity to my training that I once had.  The higher belts I train with have this, I’m just not sure I do right now.

19
May
09

5x Champion

Congratulations to Team Tactical member Gabe Barahona, who in between competing in the Abu Dhabi Pro Qualifier, Pan Ams and Mundials took the time to win his 5th Louisiana State title by repeating as Purple Belt Absolute Champ!

Gabe Barahona - State Champ!

Did I mention that Gabe is also attempting to qualify for ADCC?

Gabe was one of the first Tactical Nutrition converts, and has been using it to fuel his workouts for nearly two years now. Thank you Gabe!

Fight Harder! Fight Longer!
Tactical Nutriton ( Buy Here)

13
May
09

Two More Classes

I got to teach two more classes since my last post, but things get back to normal tomorrow. To say it was a blast wouldn’t do it justice, not just did I have a great time, but I picked up so much myself from everyone’s questions and from having to teach it rather than merely “do it”.

I followed the same general format as the first class, lots of drilling and focused rolling, and emphasized working basic attacks together.  The second class was the “triple attack” and the third was the basic guard pass I’ve used 75% of the time since I started rolling…and maintaining a solid “combat” base once the guard was opened.

It’s been a week now since my last class and every day I’ve received a comment from someone about what they learned those days….and it’s has been awesome to see a few of the guys actively incorporating the ideas we spoke about.

My instructors often tell me that they’ll be ecstatic if I ever catch them with a submission, today I almost got caught by one of the transitions I taught and I was excited beyond words.  I still escaped and countered, but hey, that’s what my instructors do to me, too.

On another note, I’m expecting a steady stream of video to be posted here over the next few weeks, as we try some new stuff, so keep on checking back!

07
May
09

Rolling with higher belts…

I have been extremely lucky in that for most of my grappling training I have been able to train with a Black Belt, and good friend, and the impact that is has had on my game is incalcuable.

That being said, I think special thought must be given when training with higher belts, or it is easy to fall into some habits that can adversely affect your game.  For example, when we first began, I was obviously on the defensive from the moment we slapped hands….wait, that’s not accurate, I was in survival mode from the moment we slapped hands.  As we trained more and more, my game became more and more defensive, regardless of the opponent, and I’m sure I wasn’t much fun for my friend, either.

Lesson #1 – Training with higher belts are a great addition to class and training, but should not replace class and training.

The next lesson I learned is really an extension of the first, and that was to keep moving.  I am a large, former powerlifter, so as I learned to defend myself it was possible to turtle or hold closed guard for example and stall our training (note – this was not waiting for an opportune moment, this was holding on for dear life before I tapped).  Again, I gained little, and could not have been much fun.  We started getting around this by using very short matches, back to back, so if I lost guard I didn’t suffer for 5-10 minutes.  The end result of this was not only that my game got more active, but also that I found myself in better positions from time to time, rather than merely extending my time to submission.

Lesson #2 – The purpose of rolling is to test your skills and improve, and sometimes that will mean tapping more often.

As I’ve continued to improve, and become more active with my friend, I find myself having my next epiphany in that I am now able to get in to positions to attack (pass guard, gain dominant position, submit) but that when I get to these positions I tend to stop.  The ironic thing about this is that I always complain that my buddy can anticipate my moves and is a step ahead, and now when I get a slight lead, I stop and wait for him to catch up!  Essentially, I’m assuming the move won’t work, and while I am trying to adjust and improve, so is he…and he’s better at adjusting than I am.  The end result is my thinking “I was right there” rather than “I tried and missed  / was defended”…in my mind that is  HUGE difference.

Lesson #3 – Believe in your attacks.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not tapping my buddy anytime soon, but we’ve been close a few times and when we have it’s because I sprung an attack without hesitation.  Did I pay a price after?  Absolutely, but I was going to pay that price regardless!

To make myself clear, I am not advocating taking chances, no flying armbars from me.  I’m talking about playing your tight “A” game, and when the opportunity arises, trusting it.  You’ll both benefit.

Below is a video that I thin illustrates to some degree my third point.  It is between Guilherme Mendes and Andre Galvao, I believe when Mendes was Purple (he is now an up and coming Black Belt competitor).  What I notice in this video is that Mendes gets to some solid positions and waits (especially early in the video) and Galvao has the chance to recover.  I could be wrong, but at least it helped clarify things for me when I saw the video.

28
Apr
09

My First Class!

Okay, okay, it really wasn’t that big of a deal, but I got to teach my first class today.  My instructor had to leave town and asked me to step in and help out with our smallish morning class.

First of all, thank you to all the guys who came in today:  Bob, Robert, Charlie, David, Marcelo, Berto, Roberto and the others, I know it had to be a letdown that it was me there, and I really appreciate everyone coming in.

I’m a bit of a geek so I actually stayed up last night reviewing videos and typing out an agenda…which I promptly forgot and left at home.  That being said, I outlined the class as follows:

Warmup:

I got everyone in a circle and we went around calling out different exercises for ten reps, for a total of ten minutes.  I have to say I was impressed that the guys pushed themselves harder than I think we would have been pushed in a regular class…after ten minutes of “getting a sweat” everyone was breathing hard!

Drilling:

I wanted to use drilling for the majority of our warmup as I think everyone can benefit from more reps, and I wanted to get everyone focused on drilling “perfectly” rather then merely knocking out reps.  It ended up being a combination of teaching and drilling since most of us could use to brush up.  Anyway, we ended up spending 10 minutes apiece working on Kimura / Hip Bump Sweeps and Scissor Sweeps.

Technique:

I went with the Cross Choke, for a simple reason….it shows up consistently at the highest levels, but I see very few white /blue belts using it with success.  So, we focused on the details, from the guard and really hammered them home:

Breaking  Posture – Using legs and grips to bring opponent close and set the collar grip correctly.

Grip – Getting the hand deep inside the collar with the blade against the throat (including tips for getting a good grip).

Second Grip – I showed both the traditional “double cross” and reaching over the back of the opponent’s shoulder and how to transition between them.

“Closing” the Choke – We spent a lot of time here, working on rotating the hands, bringing the elbows in and bringing your head close to your opponent’s.  I actually had really good success with having everyone stand and practice rotating their hands / bringing their elbows in so they got used to the movement.

Bringing it Together:

Once we got the choke down (everyone demonstrated one version or the other), we focused on transitioning between the four techniques of the day (Cross Choke, Cross Choke #2, Kimura Sweep, Scissor Sweep).  The trigger I recommended were as follows (assuming the collar grip was correct):

Opponent Blocks Second Cross Grip = Reach over the back to Choke

Opponent Arches to Escape = Kimura Sweep

Opponent Defends Choke and doesn’t Posture = Scissor Sweep

We spent about 20 minutes working the choke and various transitions and then went “live”.

Training:

I wanted everyone to get more reps in so we did one minute rounds focusing on the various moves and transitions.  The guys got in about 5 or 6 rounds where they could open up and not worry about messing up and being stuck for 3 or 4 minutes.  I had the more advanced guys “coaching” their opponents on transitions, and walked the mats calling out the transitions as well.  When the rounds were done, I once again asked everyone to demonstrate their favorite move for the class and since nobody had any questions I opened up the mats for free rolling for 30 minutes.  A few guys came over to work on the transitions directly with me and I was excited to see most everyone continue working on the day’s techniques (oh yeah, I also gave away some t-shirts and samples to thank everyone for their efforts)>

I don’t know if it was a class as much as a focused open mat, but I think everybody added something to their game and I loved the experience.  I can’t wait to do it again on Thursday (time to start typing my notes, lol).

Fight Harder! Fight Longer!

Tactical Nutrition