Archive for November, 2010

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Whew, just got back from the Cobrinha seminar a few hours ago. After some great techniques, time spent rolling and a black eye I’m very tired. The black eye was brought upon by a headbutt that I received from a white belt that I was rolling with. That wasn’t fun.

Cobrinha started the seminar by showing a bunch of effective sweeps from the seated guard. The seated guard is when your opponent is standing and you sit up with one of their legs in between both of your own legs. We spent a lot of time working on the sweeps and Cobrinha shared with me a couple of cool variations that could be added to them. I’m looking forward to putting them to use when I get back to gi training after the Fisher camp has been completed.

For the last thirty minutes of the two hour seminar, Cobrinha focused on the Omaplata. Having been caught in his omaplata several times, it was great to learn some of the ways he likes to do the technique as he is an absolute monster with the move.

As always, Cobrinha loves to roll after his seminars so we rolled with many different partners for the next hour or so.

I spent the night with my kids and wife and as I sit here right now, my head is hurting a bit and I’m feeling pretty tired. Tomorrow is the no-gi seminar with Cobrinha so I’m looking to forward to learning some more techniques and the rolling that will follow afterwards.

UFC 119 is on tonight but it’s getting too damn expensive to order the events all the time. My coach Vito is going to be texting me updates throughout the night which should work out alright.

I’ll post more tomorrow after the no-gi seminar…

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What a great weekend this past one was! On Saturday everyone at Joslin’s MMA had a busy day. First off, a large group of students came out early in the day to compete in the “Prostate Cancer Fundraiser” In-house tournament which was being held in Hamilton, Ontario at Joslin’s Mixed Martial Arts.

All of the students did awesome! As referee I witnessed some great battles as everyone fought their butts off in support of a great cause. Four hours later it was all done and there were a lot of smiles on the faces of everyone who competed, especially those who picked up a medal in the process.

For many of the white belt competitors the event was the first competition they had ever entered and I thought they all did very well. Throughout the day their were some slick submissions, a few crazy scrambles and a few big take downs as well. I’ve put together a video with some of the highlights that were caught on our camera…

Thanks to Debbie for all your help setting things up and to Luke for bringing us the great idea of hosting such an event. Also thanks to all who came out to compete and watch the event. Great job!

After the tournament there was a grading where I presented two of my students with their Black Belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (the first 2 I’ve ever given out). I’ll post about that –and share video– very soon.

Categories : Events
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I guess I lied about the next journal entry being from Canada as I’m still here in Spencer’s basement about to leave for the airport to head home for the weekend. I’m leaving most of my stuff here and taking home my black belt, some books and my computer. Thinking about taking home the gi that I brought here as well so I can wear it to the Cobrinha seminar tomorrow but it’s kind of bulky and I do have other gis back home. I’ve got a few decisions to make before leaving.

I’m off to take a shower, get some food, brush my teeth and head to the airport…

I’m back  home now, lying in my bed, typing on the laptop. I’m going to type fast so that I can run downstairs and spend some time with the wife before going to sleep. My wife, son, daughter and dog –a two hundred pound mastiff– gave me the warmest welcome home; lots of hugs and kisses from them all and all my daughter wanted to do was cuddle on the couch with me for the longest time. I’m really glad I was able to come home for a few days halfway through the fight camp. I missed everyone so much. It even felt a little weird –in a good way– to open my fridge because it’s been so long since the last time I did.

I just got word from Spencer in the form of a text message telling me that all of his fighters had won their fights so far with one guy still left to scrap. That was great news and I was very excited to hear it as they had all worked very hard to prepare for battle.

Well it’s time to head downstairs and chill with the wife then get some rest before the Gi seminar with Cobrinha that’s taking place at my martial arts gym tomorrow afternoon.

Good night!

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A Beautiful Boxing Combo KO at UFC 123

It was a while ago when I last broke down a technique that someone applied in action. It was a series of videos that I made showing, describing and teaching the many styles of guard passes that BJ Penn had used in some of his fights. (Click here to see them)

I was hoping to break down other technique videos but wasn’t really inspired by too many techniques until this weekend’s fight card. Strange thing is that it was again a BJ Penn technique that did the trick. The technique, one of only the few executed during the fight since it was so short, was the movement BJ Penn used to set up and score the beautiful KO punch. I always love watching BJ fight because he really does use a lot of great technique in his fights.

The movement he used was an outside slip –usually to make a jab miss– followed up with a cross, hook, cross. BJ landed the cross solidly, missed the hook because Hughes was already falling and didn’t even have to throw the last punch of the combination.

This is one of my favourite combos: Nearly identical –I used an uppercut variation of it– to the one I used on Jon Fitch that opened up his lip and caused a lot of damage.

Anyways, let’s get to the videos…

(The last video was part of my 31 Video head movement workshop which is available online in the PREMIUM SHOP)

Here’s BJ doing it:

Here’s me using a variation of the same combo on Jon Fitch:

and here’s my breakdown of the technique:

[jwplayer config=”Custom Player” mediaid=”3878″]

A quick yell from Spencer from the top of the staircase again did the trick in waking me up again this morning. I downed a protein shake and ate a banana smeared with a little bit of peanut butter and headed out the door for the gym.

Spencer, Josh Neer, a bunch of other fighters and myself drilled guillotine escapes today. It’s great working with other fighters, sharing techniques, strategies and different approaches to MMA. In addition to me showing two of my most effective guillotine escapes, I learned two new ones as well. Every new movement I learn I jot down in my notes so that I can practice them more when I get home. The learning never ends in mixed martial arts and that is one of the main reasons I love the sport so much. The moment you think you know it all is the moment you start to go downhill as a fighter or coach.

After drilling technique for over thirty minutes I once again donned the hand mitts. I could tell Spencer had a lot of energy to burn so I really pushed him hard. Jabs, cross, combos, kicks, jump knees, spinning back fist, we did it all! For the last two minutes of the twenty minutes he worked steadily on the pads, I had him punch nonstop, mixing up straight punches, cross-hook combos, uppercuts and body shots. Doing the hardest punching drill there is, Spencer pushed hard through it all until the timer sounded to end the round; Right after i had him fire off a hugely powerful spinning back fist that rattled my arms.

Come fight time, he’ll be finishing his pad work with three minutes of non-stop punching. No doubt he’ll be ready for war!

In a few minutes we’re hitting the road for a run. I’ll be back soon…

Whew, that was a good run. Spencer’s working hard on getting his weight to where it needs to be for the day before the fight and I’m sure he’ll get it there. What’s cool about the runs is that we usually pass some of the time chatting about shit. It’s amazing how many similarities our lives as fighters have and Spencer’s got some pretty damn entertaining stories about his experiences over the years. It’s always good to hear someone else’s perspective on things.

I just downed some protein powder in water along with some pineapple. I’ve got about an hour or so to kill before we do some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the gym. I’ll be back…

We just got in from training and a few other places. It’s been crazy night.

First off training was great, we worked some slick ways of grinding your opponent into the cage in ways that prevents them from cage walking back to their feet. Partner after partner, the drill was to keep the other guy down while he tried to stand. It’s obviously much more fun to be the top guy but so important to practice being the bottom person as well. Ideally, during a fight you don’t want to find yourself on your back, pressed up into the cage but shit happens.

Anyways, just as training was finished, Spencer’s youngest daughter –who is 4 years old– bumped her head on a set of weights and cut her forehead a bit. Man, I hate seeing kids hurt themselves. Spencer and his wife spent the next little while calming her down and making sure she was alright. The cut ended up not needing any stitches which was a good thing.

Next we were off to the weigh-ins for an MMA fight card taking place tomorrow night. A few of Spencer’s students are fighting on the card so we were hoping to see them jump on the scales. Didn’t happen. Well, they did get on the scales and weigh in successfully but we never saw it because we became super lost trying to find the place. Once we got there, the weigh-in was already over. Starving by that point we decided to search out some food. Twenty minutes later we are now back at home, each with a turkey salad and a diet coke. All is good.

I’m heading home this weekend –it’s too bad I’m going to miss all of the guys fights– to host a seminar, that I had booked before I was offered the coaching job at Spencer’s camp, with Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles at my martial arts school. My plane leaves tomorrow morning and I’m only home for a few days –coming back to Iowa on Monday– but it’s going to be great to see my wife and kids. I also can’t wait to sleep in my own bed.

I’ll keep this fight camp journal going even when I’m back home to keep you up to date on everything. Next entry will be from Canada…

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I wanted to congratulate all of my students that competed in the Grappler’s Quest Canadian National Championships a few weeks back.

The team results were just posted on the Grappler’s Quest website and it looks like we placed 4th overall as a team.
Great job guys!

Overall “Best Grappling Team in Canada” for 2010
1st place- Toronto BJJ (153 pts)
2nd place- Xtreme Couture (125 pts)
3rd place- Team Griffind (106 pts)
4th place- Joslins (94 pts)
5th place- Gracie Barra (71 pts)
6th place- Northern Black Dragon (62 pts)
7th place- Caique (58 pts)
8th place- Kno MMA (43 pts)
9th place- RGDA, Lin Martial Arts (42 pts)
10th place- Franco Behring (38 pts)

Click here to view the full results

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Antoine Dodson at UFC 123 (Detroit)

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Antoine Dodson hits Detroit for UFC 123

I actually just watched the “Bedroom Intruder” song a few days ago after my brother told me about it. That thing is catchy! Now I see Antoine got free front row tickets to the UFC. Pretty cool!

Check out the song & some video of him at the UFC in Detroit.

Categories : Cool Video Links
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We decided to work some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique from the guard, starting with defending the strikes commonly thrown by the top opponent. I showed a way that I liked to use to stop straight strikes then Spencer showed how he takes the back position while defending against elbow strikes. It was a really slick move that I’m definitely adding to my repertoire. We shared ideas as the group drilled the movement over and over again. After a hour or so we threw on our running shoes and headed for the Stadium to run up and down some stairs and circle the track. Around twenty five minutes later I was pretty tired but I was happy to be able to push myself a lot harder than the first time I did that same workout.

Back at home now, I just made a few phone calls talking with my Dad and my striking Coach Vito Brancaccio. Vito runs a martial arts school in Mississauga, Ontario and if you’re ever in that area you’ve got to check his place out. He is a phenomenal coach!

I’m going to go grab some food and then I may test out another workout from my training program even though my legs feel like mush. I gotta get this program ready for its launch date…

I’m In bed now, too tired to do much else. Tonight’s training sessions was a tough one and focused only on Sparring. Spencer worked his butt off for 30 minutes straight. He’d spar with a fresh guy for five minutes, then I’d step in and work him on the pads for another five minutes, After that there was a thirty second break before another full round of hard –and I mean hard– sparring which was followed by…you guessed it, another five minutes with me holding the hand pads for him. One more round of MMA Sparring –with big gloves on– left Spencer pretty damn tired although during the rounds he didn’t slow down much.

I was very impressed with Spencer’s performance during training tonight. Every day he is getting in better shape and it’s allowing his fighter instinct, ferocity and intensity to show up more often throughout his training. Never whining about being tired, Spencer just gets back in there and works his ass off. He knows exactly how hard he needs to push to be absolutely ready for fight day which is something that less experienced fighters often lack. I find myself sweating a ton simply from the speed and intensity in which I’m moving the pads into striking positions for him.

I just got off the phone with my wife, because I’m feeling almost too tired to talk…Good night!

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Lots of MMA Sparring…

It took a Spencer a lot of time and effort to wake me up today as he yelled from the top of the staircase around 9am in the morning. Not exactly sure why I was so tired, all I know is that it took a good fifteen minutes to clear my eyes.

A large group of fighters and I entered the gym for the first training session of the day. Spencer warmed up with a little shadowboxing inside the cage. He then sparred for 5 five minutes rounds switching to work with a fresh partner for each. He was looking good throughout the rounds as he mixed striking with some nice against-the-cage takedowns that led into some really tight ground work. I really think he can win this upcoming fight in many different ways. Spencer and I have been working on his mount position for the last week or so; if he can get there his opponent will have a really tough time getting out that’s for sure.  I know, from watching fight tape, that his opponent has pretty decent striking ability and limited skill on the ground but comes into each fight in good shape which can sometimes make up for technical weaknesses. As always, we must prepare for everything!

I tested out another workout from my online training program when we got home and I had a lot of fun doing it. I think people are going to find the 12-week program super helpful in providing them with the fundamental skills that are so vital for MMA.

I’m going to make a few phone calls to people back home over the next hour and then it’s back to training tonight…

Whew, just got in the door and I am tired! We had a great session tonight. Spencer taught a large group of fighters some great techniques from the clinch and then I worked him on the Thai Pads for a bunch of rounds. Afterwards I spent a good twenty minutes rolling with “Jiu Jitsu” Joe again which was fun. My arms are burning from all of the intense training I’ve been doing lately and I honestly feel like I dropped 10 lbs just today. I’m going to go eat some food now and then I think we’re all going to watch the movie we rented, “Robin Hood”. I’ll be back…

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This morning I awoke and realized that Spencer’s dog Boadie had gotten into my room and completely finished off the huge bag of sour cream chips that I had in my room. There wasn’t a single chip left! I guess it’s a good thing since I’m continuing to get myself back into top shape and those things won’t help much with that task.

An early training session had me holding hand mitts for Spencer, in between the many rounds of sparring he was doing with his crew of fighters. Whoa! Spencer was on fire today. Showing slick head movement he dropped a few guys with some stiff body shots. On the pads he was also looking super crisp and in the very last round threw out some of his best combinations since training camp began. If he lands any of those combos on his opponent during his upcoming fight, it’s game over for the other guy that’s for sure.

After training we grabbed some food and headed back to the house. Ryan, one of Spencer’s guys that is fighting locally this coming weekend asked me to work him on the hand pads, so we jumped across the street to do that at the park beside Spencer’s house. He was looking very good as well. My wife just called me so I’m going to get off the computer to call her back.

Tonight we’re focusing on groundwork and takedowns, should be a good one…

We just stepped in the door after returning home from the last training session of the day. We hit the cage for some takedown practice focusing mainly on Spencer’s single leg and double leg takedown against the cage. We also spend a bit of time working the under hook position.

I’m going to head upstairs now and grab some food; some tuna and rice to be precise. I’ll let you know if anything else that’s exciting happens later tonight. Probably it’ll be just me doing some sleeping.

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