Archive for January, 2011

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Man, last night was a fun but my head’s hurting quite a bit today because of it. Eric and I arrived at the pub down the street –a place Eric had gone to a few days before we had met up with him here in London– and right away the owner jumped up and said hi. Rory was his name and he turned out to be a great guy.

When he first said hello he told me that the guy I was fighting had just left and was standing outside. I quickly realized that he thought I was the one fighting on the fight card, so I told him I was the coach and that our fighter Spencer was back at the hotel sleeping. Looking outside I saw the guy he though I was about to face inside the octagon on Saturday night. It was Randy Couture! I joked about needing a lot more money for that fight :).

Randy’s a machine and one of my favourite fighters to watch. I still remember excitedly jumping around my living room when he was beating up Tito back in the day.

Randy and his girlfriend came back inside some time later all of us ended up having some good conversation and a lot of fun. When the pub closed –at midnight which was strangely early I thought– Rory, Eric, myself, Randy, his girlfriend and one or two others walked down the road to a different place that was open a little bit longer.

We had a few more rounds of beer and all of us –not Randy because the two of them had left a little bit earlier– hit the dance floor for the last song or two. A dance off ensued and If I remember correctly I did some embarrassing old school dance moves when it was my turn. Eric was up next and he was doing some crazy moves of his own. Good times!

After that bar closed at 1am, Rory invited us back to his pub for another drink so we followed him there. I didn’t have any more drinks as I was started to get pretty tired. Soon afterwards we were back at the hotel. I called my wife on my cell phone and chatted with her on facebook chat to save some money; I think my phone calls and text messages are costing me a fortune.

Sitting here now, around 4pm, not too much is going on. We worked out earlier in the day and will probably do another session in a few hours. The good news is that Spencer’s weight is hovering around the 161 lbs. mark which is very good considering he still has a day and a half to get down to 156 lbs. That one pound weight allowance –since it’s not a title fight– really helps the fighters out when they are making the drop from a much higher weight. I had forgotten about that.

I`m going to go eat some food and lay down for a little while but I’ll write more soon…

It’s almost 10 pm and it’s been a pretty busy night. Spencer’s original boxing coach –who will be one of the other guys in his corner–, arrived with his wife. He seems like a really great guy and we all had a long talk. From there it was off to the training room again for another sweat session.

The room was pretty full when we got there; Cao Uno, Akiyama, fellow Canadian fighter Claude Patrick and a bunch of other guys were training. Slipping into his fight gear, Spencer warmed up off to the side of the room by pummelling with Eric then pounded the pads with me again. I didn’t tape the session since it was his second of the day. I thought he’d go slow and take it easy and it wouldn’t be worth filming. I was definitely wrong as he tore up the pads once again.

After training, I did a quick interview over the phone with Scott Radley from the Hamilton Spectator about my experience in Iowa and the training camp in general. I’m also excited that I finally got the internet in our hotel room, for the rest of tonight and throughout the day tomorrow. I have to send out a few emails and I’d like to talk with my wife Corene on Skype before it’s fight time.

I guess it’s time for me to get some rest. Weigh-ins are taking place tomorrow. Should be very exciting!

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Spencer woke up this morning earlier than both Eric and I. It wasn’t until 11am that I jumped from my bed, quickly grabbed a banana and threw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. The three of us then headed down to the workout room, only to find out that it’s wasn’t available.

The media was using the room to take pictures and video of the main event and co main event fighters Dan Hardy and Akiyama. Sorry, I have no idea of his first name but his nickname is Sexyama, I think mostly due to his many modeling gigs in the past. After a few minutes of waiting around and watching the action, Burt said we could use the other warm up room instead –the opponent’s one–, so we headed down the hallway towards it.

It’s so funny; the door to both workout rooms totally look like you need to pull the handle to open them up but you actually need to push on the door to get in. Many times while we’ve been practicing in the room, we’ve heard the click of someone trying to open the door a few times, only to give up a few seconds later –thinking it’s locked– and leave to go someplace else. All they had to do was push it.

Our training session ended up being a great one. Spencer worked his grappling first and then we followed that with some mitt work. He mentioned that his back was feeling a little stiff so we were very careful not to aggravate it; I think it’s probably sore because of how hard he was slamming his punches into the pads last night.

Eric shot some pretty sick video of it all including our final round of pads which is when Spencer did his best work of the day. He was punching so quickly that I found myself breathing heavy from catching the quick combinations he was throwing. I’m excited to put together a compilation video of all the training footage when I get home. It’s going to look effin awesome!

After training the three of us travelled back to the hair salon that we visited yesterday to see how much it would cost for them to shave Spencer’s head. After finding out that it would be the price of a regular hair cut we moved on, with Spencer’s hair left uncut.

After returning and resting at our hotel for several hours, Spencer wanted to cut a little weight so we hit up the fitness gym next door. Spencer got to it right away. First, a fifteen minute run on the treadmill, then fifteen minutes in the sauna and after that was the funny part. As Spencer exited the sauna, we wrapped his entire body in towels –like a mummy- to keep him in overheat mode for another five or ten minutes. He hasn’t weighed himself again yet so I’m not sure how much weight he’s lost but I imagine it’s at least another three or four pounds…

Eric and I are back in the hotel room now, waiting for Spencer to finish getting a massage. Not sure what’s next but I’ll write more before sleeping tonight. Oh yeah, I finally got to chat with the wife today –at that gym, via skype– which was cool. She said they are counting down the “sleeps” until I get home. My daughter counts every time she “sleeps” instead of counting the days until important events happen so they are using that method. I think I’ll do the same with the title of this post and to count the time until I see my family again.

It’ pretty late now and I just finished training again with Spencer in the workout room. We worked out very lightly, mostly so that he’d break a sweat and drop a little more water weight. It worked out perfectly because the slow pace of our workout gave us a chance to work on a few new striking combinations.

I’m just about to head out to a local pub with Eric. I’ll let you know how it goes…

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Arriving at the London Airport at around midnight (our Iowa time), the time change made it around six o’clock in the morning instead. After going through customs, we met our UFC representative –the guy holding wearing the UFC hat, UFC t-shirts and carrying the sign marked Zuffa (UFC)– and walked about 10 minutes to get to a place close to where his van was located.

Once we got there we had to wait about an hour longer due to the fact that he had another fighter that he had to wait for. When that guy finally arrived, he became lost for about twenty more minutes. Finally, after all the waiting we embarked on a thirty minute drive to the hotel we were staying at.

Even though I hadn’t slept at all, I really didn’t feel tired so I decided to stay awake. We all decided to stay up.

First thing on the agenda was to head down to the UFC’s temporary office which was located in one of the many conference rooms here within the very nice hotel that all the fighters, coaches and corner men were staying at. Once there, they took photos of both Spencer and I, for our licenses. Spencer also did a video interview for UFC.com and signed a bunch of the event posters. It turns out that all of the fighters get a poster signed by every fighter on the fight card. I joked with the UFC guys about not getting one, back when I fought at UFC Fight Night 7. Well it wasn’t really a joke because I never did get one but I guess it turned out that they weren’t doing the same thing back then.

When we were all done there, we received a tour of the entire UFC floor from Burt who is one of the head guys here in terms of event co-ordination. He showed us the workout rooms, a bunch of other stuff and shared some cool stories from back in the days when he was heavily involved in the game of pro boxing. It was easy to tell that he really liked Spencer and that the two of them have seen each other man times over the years. Having fought in the UFC more than most fighters –close to fourteen times– Spencer’s been with the organization a very long time and that’s not including the many times he’s worked in the corner of team Militich fighters throughout the years.

Back in our hotel room –which was nothing too extravagant– I snatched up the hand mitts and changed my clothes in to something better suited for training. Ten minutes later we were in the workout room putting some work in. A few rounds of shadow fighting, then some time spent working on the hand mitts and lastly some grappling practice. The whole time Spencer was wearing a bunch of clothes and a plastic top to see how much water weight he could sweat out. Ten pounds is the amount of weight he has to cut before Friday’s weigh-in.

By the time the workout finished I was beginning to feel the effects of not sleeping; my head ached and a spell of slight dizziness came over me all of the sudden. I pretty much ignored it knowing that I would catch up on my sleep later that day.

Hitting the streets of London, Eric, Spencer and I went for a very long walk. We stopped at a bunch of stores along the way to check out what they had. Eventually we stopped inside a hair salon where I got a quick cut from a nice guy named Georgian. It’s tough to tell what kind of money I’m paying for things when I’m paying using pounds instead of dollars but I think it was the good deal especially since he did a pretty good job. He’s no Anthony –my regular guy– but he didn’t massacre my hair which was good. I still remember getting my hair cut before my UFC fight on Spike TV at some local place in San Diego and the girl cut it way to short making my head look massive on the television screen. Alright, that’s way too much writing about hair; let’s get back to the important stuff.

Our second workout of the day, again taking place in our designated workout room –which was a hotel room containing a water jug, some mats and not much else–, was late in the day.

What did we do?

Once again, pad work and grappling. There were a few other fighters in the room which made things a little bit crowded but Spencer didn’t seem very mind as he turned up the pace, hitting the pads with more power and speed than ever before. It was obvious, by his demeanour, energy and intensity that he is feeling great and is very excited to fight. It was excellent to see!

Spencer went to bed a short while later. Eric and I went across the street to grab some food at a local pub. I ate a monstrous hamburger in the middle of a place that had a great atmosphere. Not really a tourist place, the bar was filled with locals and had an amazing feel to it. We stayed for roughly an hour before travelling back to our hotel.

Soon everyone was asleep, Spencer –since he’s the fighter– got the big bed to himself and Eric and I split the sofa bed with absolutely no cuddling…

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MMA Fight Night!

It was a long drive –over 4 hours– from Hamilton, Ontario to the MMA event venue in Flint, Michigan but we managed to arrive long before the fights were to begin.

A buddy of mine, Kris, who also trains with us –a BJJ purple belt–, ended up driving while Ryan and me rode along as passengers.  Our other fighter Steve Bingham traveled with some members of his family.

Hoping to head home right after the fights, it would have been great if our fights were early on in the line-up but that was far from the case. Out of a total 29 amateur MMA fights, we were fights numbers 23 and 28.  We didn’t get out of there until well past midnight.

The fights went really well. Both Steve and Ryan each earned another “win” on their record with perfectly executed arm locks. Ryan landed his submission early in the very first round –45 seconds in I believe– and Steve slapped his on with 1 minute remaining in a three round war. His opponent was tough! After surviving repeated triangle attacks and landing some strikes in the process, he was forced to tap out when Steve locked on an ultra tight and powerful arm lock.

Here’s a video with some highlights from the night…

Categories : Joslin Fight Team
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I came across this video today and I must say it’s really disturbing.

I honestly don’t feel like embedding the video, and give these guys any more views –which is obviously what they’re looking for by posting it on youtube– of their stupidity filled upload, but in doing so hopefully I can help spread the message that doing this kind of thing is a terribly bad idea.

That being said, I don’t believe that the guys making the videos are bad people. The sport of MMA is exciting; It’s great to watch and super fun to practice so it’s no surprise to me that some young guys are emulating what they’ve seen on TV. The problem is that they’re oblivious to the dangers they face every time they gear up for a scrap.

If these “Backyard MMA” contests don’t stop someone will be killed. Of course no one will have meant for it to happen but it’ll be a tragedy that will change the lives of every participant  –the fighters, spectators and makeshift referee– forever. I can’t imagine the guilt I would feel if I were part of something that ended somebody else’s life. Especially that of a teenager who has so many great years ahead of them.

If you’re reading this, and are currently participating in or thinking of fighting in this type of thing, I do think it’s a dumb idea and I strongly suggest that you don’t do it. But I know that hearing those words is not enough,  so I’ll share with you the reasons why I feel it’s such a dangerous thing to do.

Obviously, the choice is yours to make, but I really hope that I can provide you with some knowledge of the risks involved so that you can make an educated one.

The Dangers:

1) Getting hit by punches, kicks, knees, and elbows is very dangerous when proper training gear isn’t being worn. It may not feel that way while your getting hit because of the adrenalin rushing through your body, but it is.

Even though I’ve fought in the UFC and other big shows, I’ve never hit someone with 4 ounce gloves (MMA style) outside of a sanctioned professional fight. When we train, my sparring partners and I always wear big gloves, head gear and other protective equipment to keep ourselves safe.

2) Head injuries and concussions are some of the worst thing that can happen to you in your life. You may end up depressed, permanently spaced out or confused and in some cases never be able to exercise again.

What kind of life would that be?

There’s absolutely no way that you can trust that an untrained person will stop your fight at the right time. Take too much punishment and you can screw up the rest of your life or worse. For what? It’s not like you’re protecting yourself or earning a living by doing it.

Watch the video below, and you’ll notice that the one guys gets choked unconscious at 0:59 and the other guy doesn’t let go of the choke until…sixteen seconds later!  Then they fight two more rounds after that. That’s totally messed up and that guy could have really been hurt.

3) You’re WAY more likely to get seriously hurt when you don’t learn MMA properly. With no real idea of how to stop punches, kicks or submission holds you’re always a split second away from a serious problem even when you’re winning.

4) You won’t be able to take back an action that severely injures or kills someone else (maybe even a friend). With no doctor nearby –they have them at every professional and amateur MMA fight– chances are that an injured person’s situation will get worse quickly.

Again, this all happened for what good reason? None that come to my mind that’s for sure.

If you want to do MMA, do some searching and join a local  gym. You’ll have a ton of fun, get in great shape, meet some really cool people and learn the techniques that really work all while you’re training in the safest way possible. In a short amount of time you could find yourself in the cage doing what you love to do and maybe one day, after putting in a lot of hard work, you may find yourself battling inside the UFC Octagon.

Believe me it’s an amazing experience…

Here’s the video of the fights…

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I finally had some time this weekend to tally up the totals from the UFC 125 Pick’em contest.

and the winner is…

Sean D, who picked 7 out of 10 (I disregarded the title fight draw for all entries) correctly.

Congrats Sean (i’ll be sending you an email soon) and thanks to everyone who entered.

Get your picks ready for the next card.

Categories : Contests, UFC
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I’m sitting on the airplane that is taking us to London, England. I’m thinking we have around three and a half more hours to go with us getting there around midnight our –Iowa– time, which is roughly six in the morning over there I believe. I’m guessing that it should take a couple of days to adjust to the time difference.

One of Spencer’s students, Eric, a super nice guy who will be working in Spencer’s corner with me is already in Europe. He left a few days before us so that he could visit Dublin and a few other spots before heading to London. Sounded like a pretty cool idea to me. He text message me to tell me he’d meet us at our hotel when we arrived.

I’m been spending most of the flight working on the manual for the MMA QuickStart program and I really got a lot accomplished. It’s pretty exciting to have something that started out as just an idea begin to take shape into a fully functional product that will help others learn mixed martial arts. I’m really looking forward to seeing how people like it once they start to use the program. I’ve been having a lot of fun myself and have sharpened my own striking game by doing the workouts over the last five weeks.

Spencer’s doing a great job of getting his weight down and he should be right on point come Friday at the weigh-ins. Our in-flight meal had a brownie as a desert which is the last thing you want to see when you’re cutting weight. Spencer sniffed his and then passed it over to me and yes I ate mine and that one as well. Just being a good friend :). I’m getting to damn skinny from all this training any ways, I don’t think it will hurt me much.

Anyways, my laptop battery is about to run out of its charge. Once I get to the hotel, I’ll charge it up and write some more. It should be a pretty amazing week in London, England!

We arrived a little while ago but it’s now Tuesday so I’ll continue on the next journal entry..

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Jan
07

Jay Leno Show: Obama Strikes Back!

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Funny video from the Jay Leno show, poking fun at the Volkmann incident.

Categories : Cool Video Links
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I got up around ten o’clock this morning and I must say that I’m getting very excited about visiting England, cornering Spencer at his fight and of course seeing my wife and kids when I get home on the following day. They are celebrating the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday today so I’m missing out on all the turkey and other great food that’s being eaten back home today.

With us flying towards the UK for most of the day tomorrow, we made sure to hit the road for one more run this morning. Fifty minutes…yes fifty minutes later we were back at the car after running, winding and weaving our way through the large bike path that runs around an area close to Spencer’s place. I felt pretty good throughout it all and must have dropped at least five pounds of sweat due to the hot, sunny weather we’re having here today in Iowa.

Upon finishing the run, everyone –Spencer, Nache and another one of Spencer’s students name Christian– lied on the grass while I put them through a mental drill that I do often when preparing myself for a fight. Blending some hypnosis type stuff, positive thinking and visualization techniques, this exercise is definitely a huge part of my success in MMA and one of the main reasons I never felt nervous when fight time arrived. It helped me fight harder and go for the finish each and every time I stepped inside the ring or cage.

Back home now, I’ve been playing around on my laptop for a bit. I’ve got some cleaning and packing to do before we leave tomorrow but I just seem to keep putting it off. I guess I better get it done while I have time…

It’s really late now and I’m lying in bed. Spencer wanted to work out a little while ago so I suggested we hit the gym for some shadow boxing and pad work. We ended up doing five 5-minute rounds of training. Spencer was looking really good; smacking the pads around nicely, staying very relaxed and turning his hips into every one of his strikes.

Anyways, I’m off to get some sleep. Tomorrow we leave for England at around one o’clock in the afternoon. Fight time is approaching quickly!

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Not me, but that's the same thing I had on 🙂

At training this morning it was just Spencer, Anthony –who is one of Spencer’s MMA fighters– and me. The workout consisted of Spencer spending half of each of his rounds –2.5 minutes– MMA sparring and the other half of the rounds working on the hand pads with me. For five 5-minute rounds he kept it up and afterwards he worked through one round of groundwork with him starting on his back with Anthony in his guard. His goal was to work sweeps and submissions or work his way back up to his feet. He did a really good job through it all.

Heading back to the house afterwards, we relaxed for a little while before heading out once again. This time our plan was to go do some deer hunting. I must admit I was pretty excited but didn’t know really what to expect. It took close to an hour for us to drive to  the spot; some private property that was owned by of friend of Spencer’s. It was the same place where we had set up the motion sensing cameras that had taken pictures of some pretty big deer the week before.

Jumping out of the vehicle, Spencer and I walked for a few minutes into the woods. He gave me a few instructions and then pointed at a nearby tree.

“Sit up against that tree with your back to it and keep your eyes open for deer.” he said with much excitement in his voice. He then described the different between the sounds that deer, squirrels and other forest animals make. I did my best to remember his pointers.

“I’ll text you when I’m coming to get you.” With those words he disappeared into the foliage and I was on my own. Clad in an entire suit of camouflage material, everything was covered on me except for both of my hands. Soon after dropping down to sit beside the large tree that Spencer had pointed out to me moments before, a buzzing sound rang in my left ear and I quickly realized that it was a mosquito; one of way too many that were already flying around me. There must have been fifty of them on my camo suit, crawling in search of the blood filled, heat generating, energy source that my body was. It was disgusting! They were all over the place working diligently to fly into the open eye slit on my ninja-like hunting hood. Then they started to attack my bare hands and when I looked down at my legs I quickly realized that my protective pants had a huge rip in the thigh area.

So there I was, standing next to a tree with my hands stuffed deep in my pockets, my body carefully angled so that the hole in my pants was slightly smaller that it had been before all while a repeated buzzing sound was ringing through each of my ears. One time, I made the mistake of looking down at my suit and noticed about fifty different mosquitoes crawling all over me. I tried not to look down again. I friggin hate mosquitoes!

Soon after I started to hear some strange sounds: Quick Footsteps which turned out to be a squirrel, a frightening sound that sounded like the damn “Predator”, something that sounded like a cow mooing and a bunch of slow crunching sounds which I could have sworn were made by a deer that was approaching but I never saw a thing.

Several hours later it started getting dark. Spencer text messaged me that he would be coming to get me in about twenty minutes. Twenty minutes passed and he hadn’t shown up or messaged me. The darkness was making it really hard to see and honestly I started to get a little worried. I began envisioning bad things –Blair Witch type stuff– as I stood there in the middle of the darkening forest. Luckily, Spencer eventually found me and we headed back to his truck. I was really relieved but found myself starving and sore from standing and swatting mosquitoes away from me for three straight hours.

It turned out that I should have been sitting the entire time to rest and to limit the deer’s ability to spot me in the bush. No wonder my legs were on fire and I never saw a single thing out there; I was doing it all wrong!

The drive home was long and again we became a little bit lost so it took even longer. Overall, it was an okay experience that probably would have turned out super exciting had I not scared away all of my prey with my mosquito swatting action.

Back home, a group of us just watched the Strikeforce MMA card. After it was done I headed down here to my room to eat some instant teriyaki rice that I cooked in the microwave and I must say it was pretty good. I think I’m going to finish up this game of scrabble with my wife –which I’m loosing badly by the way– and then get some sleep…

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