Archive Page 2

27
Apr
09

What a great week!

Last week was just tremendous for me, and I can’t help but share some highlights:

My good friend Bill received his very well deserved Black Belt.  I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to get the news.  About a year ago Bill and I started training together outside of class and my game began improving immediately.  I’ve been working on a blog about good training partners, as Bill is the model for so much of what is good in a training partner, I’m honored for the opportunity to train with him (pictures to come).

On Thursday, my instructor told me he had to go out of town and asked me to run our small, morning class for a couple of days next week.  Am I instructor material, no?  But I’m honored that he placed his trust in me and felt that the other students would respond well to me.

Also on Thursday, I had my boys with me for Take Your Child to Work day and they went with me to the gym for my morning training.  One of their assignments was to write a review of their visit to the gym and they blew me away!  Great note taking, research online, they really got into it and I should have their review posted in the next few days!

Friday I took my boys to the first Streetwise Fighting Event at War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  I LOVE the smaller events, and to me they are what is so exciting about MMA.  Small venues, with competitors finding out what they are made of, bouyed on by packs of fans, family and training partners.  The larger events are fun, no doubt, but I don’t think they can match the passion or excitement of the smaller, local shows.  Great job Streetwise!

I also had two very cool moments at the show, seeing my teammate Sam McCoy, who just started using Explosive Endurance Formula win in the first round and seeing Tactical Nutrition T-shirts in the crowd.  They were little things, but when you are starting up a company, on your own, and on the side…the little things are often the most exciting.

I finished off the week with a quick train, and a great test of my game against one of the better guys in my gym.  We’d missed each other, and I was glad to finally get the chance to roll with him.

Fight Harder! Fight Longer!

Tactical Nutrition

21
Apr
09

Blog Worth Reading for fans of BJJ

Came across a blog this morning that I really enjoyed and wanted to share.  The blog is called Angrygrappler, and the post that first really got my attention was his “Trends of the Pan Ams” (click here).  I really enjoyed it and plan to take another look at it relative to my game (and another post I am working on).  Below are a few of his comments that first caught my attention:

Blue Belts

I saw blue belts grab a grip and get married to it. No improvements on grips to better grips.

Saw hard time controlling posture or not controlling posture at all, just going for sweeps or subs.

Purple Belts

Better posture control.

Still lots of triangles but now the sets ups are less scrambly. Lot of climbing the leg up the back and keeping their posture down and staying tight. Either to armbar or triangle.

A much higher level of conditioning.

Black Belts

Patient in all positions.

Black belt pressure as opposed to purple and brown relentlessness. More of a constant pressure.

Black belts take care, take time, and cultivate their grips like expert gardeners eliminating all gaps and air holes.

Some food for thought, as I expect that there are more people wondering what it will take to get to blue or purple (like myself).  One of Angrygrappler’s comments was that the Purple Belt Conditioning was much better, and he also commented about a more dynamic game.  This is not a fluke in my mind, as I have written before, I believe Conditioning may be the most important attribute as it improves any technique.  I think improving conditioning, whether it be due to a concerted effort or because of regular, hard work on the mats, is a major component of making the leap to Blue or Purple.

Thank you Angrygrappler for your review of PanAms.

Fight Harder! Fight Longer!

Tactical Nutrition (visit us here )

21
Apr
09

Spacing in BJJ / Grappling

To be fair, I think “spacing” has been a part of my understanding of jiu jitsu since day one.  At the most basic level of staying tight when I was in control and creating space when I was being controlled, it was or at least should have been evident that spacing is of critical importance.

This weekend I was thinking of three instances where “spacing” had a dramatic impact upon my game and / or understanding of BJJ:

Learning to attack – I remember when I finally began understanding that there was more to the guard than not getting passed, and I began trying to utilize an active guard, looking for sweeps and submissions.  I improved at a steady pace, but only with the gi, my no gi game remained incredibly defensive.  I don’t remember what prompted it, but one day all the times I’d been told about controlling posture finally clicked and my guard started becoming active and dangerous (versus my peers that is).  I used my long arms to fight for head control and the threat of a kimura sweep to prevent my opponent from bridging too aggressively.  I’ve been training for three years now, and that epiphany described my no gi guard guard for most of the past two years.

What’s next? – As well as my epiphany served me, my game was obviously very one sided.  If I controlled posture, I was comfortable with most people in my guard regardless of their size and experience, but if they could break away I was in trouble!  In the gi, I was able to adapt again more quickly by emphasizing my grips and guard retention, using the transitions to attack…but this didn’t help my no gi game much.  In response, the last month or two I’ve started almost every sparring session sitting on my butt, working my open guard.

Although I’ve improved from this, is was at best baby steps and just as with my aggressive head control my regular training partners quickly leaned to back up and attack while I waited for them to come into range.  To say that this was defensive and frustrating would be an understatement.  At the end of training on Thursday and again at open mat this Saturday, something finally clicked and I started controlling the “space”.  At first it was nothing more than threatening to sit up and attack / wrestle for top position, and over a series of matches I began scooting in / out and working to create angles rather than wait for them.  The result was that I finally “found” the butterfly game I’ve been looking for, I was able to move in and out of half guard aggressively and when I was closed, I had a comfort in opening and attacking rather than fighting to the death for posture.

I have no idea if I’m a slow learner and these epiphanies came early to everyone else, and honestly I don’t care, but I can’t wait to get on the mats again tomorrow and work on them some more!

Oh yeah, I did mention a third moment, didn’t I?  This one wasn’t so successful.  I was working technique and rolling with a friend on Friday night, and we were the only ones in the gym except for Cole Miller and a camera crew filming an interview.  I’ve got an armbar from the mount, and I’m trying to work some new ways of breaking grip instead of my old standards and next thing I know I’ve got what feels like a large spider on my back!  It’s Cole, in his track suit, coming in for the kill!  I escape, escape and escape again (notice a trend here!) and we end up with him playing upside down guard, a position I am pretty comfortable attacking and after seeing Mike Glover’s recent DVD set I was quite anxious to get after it.  As soon as I moved in however, Cole got his foot on my hip.  I got it off and he got the other side, I reached again, he got my cuff and spun into a vicious triangle….damn!  I was completely comfortable until he prevented me from closing the space, and my uncertainty he kicked my butt!  Lesson learned…I hope!

Fight Harder! Fight Longer!

Tactical Nutrition

PS – If you are on Facebook, we now have a group where I’ll be focusing on training and nutrition, give us a shout ( click here )

17
Apr
09

Blog worth looking at: BJJ Norcal

I came across an interesting post this morning, and after looking around at the site it is absolutely one I would recommend.

The post was about a Dave Camarillo seminar and I love the following quote:

In Dave’s opinion, the focus until black belt should be to control the position. Attacking the target takes experience and attributes.

We always talk about “position before submission” but then we see videos from Pan Ams or Mundials, Cobrinha pulling some sick sweep off, Galvao “body surfing” or Ryan Hall pulling off another tough submission and it is easy to lose track of what we should be working on.  There’s no doubt in my game, when I am pulling off lots of submissions its because my position is “tight”, I’m hitting those little details and the rest falls into place.

That being said, here’s the link to the blog, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:

http://www.bjjnorcal.com/blog/2009/4/15/daves-footlock-seminar.html

Fight Harder! Fight Longer!

Tactical Nutrition

16
Apr
09

Celtic Open – Purple Belt Finals

I don’t know either of these guys, but thought this was an entertaining, back and forth match worth seeing again.

Fight Harder! Fight Longer!

Tactical Nutrition

15
Apr
09

Congratulations Renato

Renato competed at this year’s PanAms and won his division and placed third in the Absolute. That’s two Black Belt Pan Am Champions on the Tactical Nutrition Team now….way to go!

Renato Tavares - Pan Am 2009

Renato Tavares - Pan Am 2009

02
Apr
09

Congratulations Cole Miller!

A dominant performance last night from one of the truly great guys in our sport.  Cole came back after knee surgery and reminded everyone that he is a force to be reckoned with at 155.

Cole was one of the first professional fighters to give Explosive Endurance Formula a try and it was a real honor when he told me it was going to play a role in his rehab.  I consider Cole a friend, a great person and came off my seat at 130 this morning (had to TiVo the fight and watch it when my flight landed) to cheer for him.

In case you didn’t know, Cole filmed some technique videos for us a while back, showing some of his Gi skills and his great understanding of and passion for BJJ.  What is really amazing about this is that before we filmed that morning, Cole had gotten up at 5am to compete in a triathlon!

I thought I’d post Cole’s videos again, they really are worth viewing!

Enjoy!

Don’t forget, Explosive Endurance Formula is available at a promotional price of $19.95, and we have now have T-shirts and Gi Patches available to let everyone know you Fight Harder and Fight Longer!

Fight Harder! Fight Longer!

Tactical Nutrition