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Continued From Part 2…

Fractured Orbital Bone

This was the scariest injury I’ve ever sustained in my life!  After getting cracked in the eye with a roundhouse kick during a NBL –National Blackbelt League—world championship title fight— my vision was messed up to the point that I could no longer see my opponent. Instantly I saw two of him!  One eye could see everything fine but my damaged eye was seeing everything at a 45 degree angle. It was really frightening!

My vision didn’t improve at all during the next two weeks but a doctor at Georgetown university hospital made me feel a little better when he said it would all heal up in time without the need for any surgery. A few weeks later I felt a small popping sensation in my face as the nerves from my eye escaped from being caught in the orbital bone fracture. Things slowly got better from that point on and I soon had my normal vision back.

Back Muscle Tear

When your back is messed up it affects everything that you do. My back injury happened early in my career; two months before one of my professional fights. With the fight already booked I decided to push forward, taking anti-inflammatory medication so that I could still train hard. It seemed to work fairly well as my back would no longer spasm like it was before I began taking the pills.

The problem was that I could only box and jog during my preparation for the fight. Grappling, kicking and wrestling would still make my back spasm. Close to fight time, I was easily blasting through 10 rounds of hard boxing sparring and running like a friggin gazelle on the roads by my house but the entire fight ended up being fought on the ground. That created a problem for me because my ground techniques were extremely rusty –since I hadn’t rolled on the ground in 2 months– and all of my conditioning work was of the stand-up fighting type.

I was so damn tired during that fight that at one point during the scrap I was thinking about being at home watching television instead of hitting my opponent. Luckily my technique was strong enough to keep me in good positions throughout most of the fight. If it wasn’t I would have be huge trouble! I still remember my coach signalling me to raise my hands up in the air –in victory– after the bell signalled to end the final round but I couldn’t move my arms no matter how hard I tried. In fact, I almost fell over when they were pulling my gloves off of me in my corner.

The good thing is that I learned a very valuable lesson that night. I would never take a fight unless I was able to do the necessary fight preparation work in all areas: groundwork, takedowns, striking and strength/conditioning. Also, to not mask any future symptoms with anti-inflammatory medication so that I could still train like a madman.

After that fight I took some time off to allow myself to fully heal up naturally. When I returned back to the cage I had some of the best fights of my career.

Strained/Torn Ligaments in the Knee

I’ve been very lucky that after 25+ years of training I’ve had had very little trouble with my knees. So many people that are heavily active in sports are not as lucky and have to deal with knee surgeries and other treatments throughout their athletic careers.

I did however on three occasions hear a disgustingly loud popping sound originate from my knee. The sounds were always followed by a lot of pain that lasted for many weeks. These injuries all happened during my late teens when I had just begun training in the grappling art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I think it was a case of me turning the wrong way to escape a leg lock or times when I forced an attack in the wrong direction that caused my knee injuries. Fortunately, every single time I hurt myself, my knee seemed to heal up fine without the need for surgery or major rehabilitation. I was very lucky!

Meniscus Tear

This painful injury still bugs me 8 years after it first occurred. If I push my finger forcefully into a spot just outside of my right kneecap I can still feel some pain.

I tore my meniscus one day in training by kicking a heavy bag without going through a proper warm-up routine. The very next day I knew I was messed up because I couldn’t bend my heel to my backside and was in a ton of pain. It took three or four weeks of rest before I could train again but even then I would sometimes feel a massive amount of pain while pushing off of the ground with my foot while grappling.

After a visit to the highly reputable sports doctor that I mentioned above, I finally found out what it was: A tear in my meniscus.

Since the tear was slightly off to the side of my leg, my knee wasn’t locking up during training, which meant I didn’t need immediate surgery. Instead, I worked on strengthening my leg muscles by doing squats and other leg exercises which helped minimize the stress placed upon my meniscus during training. The strategy worked very well and the injury never became bad enough that I had to have it surgically fixed. Nowadays, I sometime feel the pain return when I train really hard, throw a ton of kicks or neglect my leg strengthening exercises.


This last injury was the one that ended my career way too early. I’ve had a long story of concussions starting with my very first one that occurred during a hockey game was I was barely a teen. I covered it all extensively in another blog post. –> Click here to read it.

Well, those are all of the injuries I can recall facing throughout my entire sports and martial arts career. I’d love to hear about some of your sports injuries or your experience with the same ones I mentioned above so please comment on this post and share all the juicy details.


–> Click Here to Read PART 1

–> Click Here to Read  PART 2

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Continued from Part 1

The Shouldice Hospital


Now I’m not sure if hernias are hereditary or not but I did end up getting one when in my early twenties. Maybe I had a weakness and would have got one regardless but I really think my hernia was caused because I used improper technique while bench pressing.

Initially I felt no pain from the injury and with the consent of a specialist–he said “keep training until it gets worse”– I continued training very hard. A year later, I began to feel a throbbing pain in my groin area after hard training so I opted to get the surgery to fix it. I went to the Shouldice Clinic in Thornhill, Ontario which is world renowned for their experience and methods (permanently cures hernia at a 99.5% rate I believe). Nearly fifteen years later I haven’t had a problem with the work that they did and I now lift weights properly of course J.

Damaged Rotator Cuff

Atlanta, Georgia was where this next injury happened. I was training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Romero “Jacare“ Cavalcanti`s  –my instructor– Alliance Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu School. One day during my two week stay there, a few of the students were to test for their next belts. I think I was a white belt at the time I was asked by one of the guys testing to be his partner for the throwing portion of his belt exam.

I agreed, jumped to my feet and we gripped up with each other in the classical throwing position. Next thing I knew I was flying through the air at full force, my body moving at a very weird angle; a split second later as I smashed into the mats my shoulder burned immediately. I guess the guy who had thrown me, so pumped up because he was testing for his blue belt, overdid his movement and ended up losing his balance causing me to fall directly on my own arm. The fact that I didn’t expect him to throw me so intensely probably makes the injury occurrence somewhat my fault too. I should have been ready!

I got up and finished off the rest of my throwing dummy responsibilities but I had a lot of trouble using my left arm over the next month or so.

Broken Nose

First off, I must say that I still miss my old nose. It was so much straighter than the one I have now.

When you have a facial feature for over twenty years and see it every day when you look in the mirror you get kind of use to it. Then one day when you look in the mirror and you’re face is just not the same, it`s a little traumatic. I’ll admit that after breaking my nose, I did feel like everyone around me was staring at it. At the mall, on the bus and anywhere else that I went, I`d have that same feeling.

It happened during an exhibition kickboxing match between me and a friend of mine. Sometime during the first round I took a full power cross to the face. Normally that wouldn’t have been much of a problem but the strike honestly his nothing but nose. Shortly after the impact, the round ended and I went back to my corner. I knew something was up when both my corner man were tilting their heads side to side while staring intently at my face.

“Was your nose always crooked?” one of them asked me in a serious tone.

“No” I replied as I felt a slight panic set in. I ran to the nearest mirror and saw the monstrosity that my nose had become. My nose was half way across my face! It didn’t hurt at all and didn’t bleed much at all which I thought was kind of strange.

A few days later, I was passed out on a table at the hospital while a plastic surgeon worked his magic and straightened my nose out. It looked pretty good again but I wasn’t supposed to do any jiu-jitsu or wrestling –and obviously kickboxing sparring– for the next six weeks. I just couldn`t wait it out. Two weeks later, I started grappling with a cage karate style helmet on that protected my face –but made me look like Hannibal Lector– because I just couldn’t sit on the sidelines anymore.

Four week post-injury, thinking my nose was ready to take a bump or two, I took off the Darth Vaderish looking helmet to test it out. That was a big mistake! In the very next grappling round I took an accidental elbow directly to my nose and heard a crunching sound. Another sprint to the mirror revealed a slightly crooked nose. It was not nearly as terribly distorted as my original injured nose was. Not wanted to undergo cosmetic surgery again, I decided to leave it as it was and to this day my nose is a slightly different version of the one I used to have. I’ve gotten used to this one but still miss my old one!


Here's what I looked Like After Eating the Head Butt

Two Teeth Knocked Out

There’s a time when every fighter knows they`ve become a real warrior. Or maybe it’s a time when they realize that modelling is no longer an option for them.

My special moment was when I felt my two front teeth collapse inside my mouth guard during the first round of a fight against Jon Fitch. I was smashed by an illegal head butt –an accidental one in my opinion—that really shook me up and left me incisorly challenged for life. Good thing is that I managed to fight on despite getting dropped to the mat for a brief moment by that hit. To get your teeth knocked out and your ass TKO’ed? That’s embarrassing.

After that, we battled hard for the full three rounds and when they were announcing the decision my wife, who was ten rows back, somehow knew that I had lost my teeth. She was stressed!

It really didn’t hurt very much when it happened and after the fight I somehow managed to jam both of them back into my gums before the camera crew came to my dressing to interview me about a controversial moment in the fight. Throughout the interview I had to keep pushing one of my teeth upwards because I could feel it dropping down every time I spoke.

For a month or two, those two front teeth stayed in my mouth without much trouble –although they had become a bit crooked. Eventually I found out that root canals would be necessary to keep the teeth alive so I opted to have both the teeth removed and some fake ones put in their place. It made no sense to spend all that money to fix them when another solid shot could have knocked them out again even easier than the first time it happened.

Today, I’m still wearing the fake ones but eventually plan to get permanent implants put in. Well maybe not for a while because it’s been a bit of a blessing in disguise. My toothless grin recently helped me to better play a crazed forest dwelling psycho in the film “The Secret Cross” (You can see me with no teeth in the film trailer by CLICKING HERE). Maybe I can use my toothless grin to my advantage in other films as well. I just have to be careful to not become typecast as psychos, homeless guys and pro-hockey players.

–> Click Here to Read PART 1 of the Blog Post Series


–> Click Here to Read PART 3 


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Minutes after I ate the headbutt that bloodied my nose and knocked out my front teeth

In every sport there are certain injuries that participants face. Fortunately it doesn’t happen that often but if you put enough time into your sport you’re bound to be sidelined from practice/competition at one time or another due to injury.  Some injuries occur due to overtraining, others because of the high intensity of tough competition, and every once and an injury can be blamed simply on bad luck. I hate those ones!

It’s an accepted part of the playing the games we enjoy and putting our athletic limits to the test.

Martial arts is a very safe, extremely fun activity that allows its participants to benefit and grow in so many ways. I’ve spent my entire life training and truly still love it with a passion.

As a teenager I trained very hard and competed often; sometimes doing two different tournaments in one weekend. Once I became an adult my training intensified and at the peak of my career while fighting as a professional mixed martial artist in the UFC and many other shows, I was training 2-3 times per day, six days per week.

With that amount of training and an active competition schedule, I’ve experience a handful of different injuries during the last three decades of training.

Here’s my personal list, where I name and describe all of the ones that I am able to remember:

Nearly Complete Ankle Tear

This nasty injury put me out of commission for over a month. It happened during a University Wrestling Practice when I was going for a throw on a training partner that I had caught in a very tight body lock position. In the middle of my throwing motion my foot became stuck in the mat as the rest of my body kept on going forward. The popping sound that I heard originate from someplace down below was so loud that a bunch of people around me heard it too even though the training room was anything but quiet.

Strangely, I felt no pain!

I had a fight coming up, and was really feeling great on the mats that day, so I decided to keep on wrestling. Two minutes later, I began to feel a little bit of pain just above my foot but it was bearable. So once again, I kept on wrestling. Four minutes after that, between wrestling rounds I started to limp a bit; it was becoming more and more difficult put all of my weight on my left foot without feeling a very sharp pain shoot up my leg­.  Twenty minutes later, there I was, hopping on one foot across the vast university parking lot toward my van.

A month and a half later I was finally able to train again. However I did tap out extra quickly to foot locks for some time after getting back at it.

Cauliflower Ear

I really couldn’t tell you exactly when I got my first bit of cauliflower ear but I do remember being pretty damn proud of it.

I was teenager at the time and had heard a little bit about the injury beforehand from wrestlers that I knew and trained with. They told me that in some countries, where wrestling was the national sport, the lucky guys that had noticeable cauliflower ear got restaurant meals for free!

I was quick to find out that people here in Canada did not do the same thing and that a very high percentage of our doctors had never drained –which is a common treatment for the injury—a cauliflower ear that was filled up with fluid.

Luckily I have very small ears and the first few bouts of cauliflower ear were the only times that I had to deal with the painful injury.

Torn Ligament in Finger

After landing a full power cross, during boxing training, on the forehead of one of my sparring partners I had no idea that I had hurt my hand pretty badly. The damage was done to my right hand’s ring finger but it really didn’t hurt very much at first. It wasn’t until a few days later that my top knuckle on that finger became very swollen and bright red; I couldn’t punch a heavy bag, hand mitt or person without feeling sharp pain shoot through my hand.

The dark red colour of the knuckle area really had me worried that my finger had become infected. I probably should have got it checked out by a doctor but decided not to.  Instead I kept on training, adjusting things as best I could to avoid any pain but I had little success in doing so.

It took a long time before the pain totally subsided: At least two months. I’m sure it would have healed faster had I taken some time off training but that would have been way too depressing.

Eventually when all of the redness and swelling had disappeared I figured out what had happened. It turned out that I had snapped a ligament in my ring finger and to this day still cannot straighten that finger completely. It’s definitely one of my coolest injuries to show people.

Torn Sheath over Knee Cap

This was the most annoying injuries I ever sustained! It caused one of my kneecaps to have a spot on it that was brutally sensitive for over a year. Every time the spot touched the mats –which was everyday in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class—the pain was excruciating!

How’d it happen? Unfortunately, the story really is not that cool in comparison to how much the injury irritated me.

Erik Paulson, who I had trained with many times in the past, was in Mississauga at the time teaching a seminar at my striking coach Vito’s school ( I jumped into the training session and soon after beginning to trade leg kick with my drilling partner our knees collided. Normally that wouldn’t have been a problem at all but I guess it was my unlucky day. The pain was instant and severe.

After a month of adjusting my ground fighting style so that my left knee would rarely touch the mats, I decided to visit one of the best sports doctors in North America. His diagnosis of a torn sheath on my kneecap didn’t make me feel any better but I immediately began getting some treatment for it.

Six months later I had a lot less pain in my knee but I really hoped that I would never again experience a “Torn Sheath” in my knee! Reaching down with a hand as I write this –six years after the injury occurred– I can still press a spot on my knee and feel a lesser version of the same pain I felt way back then. I really hope you never tear your knee cap sheath. It sucks!

Torn Rib Cartilage

I think this is an injury that pretty much every serious grappler sustains at one time in their life. It really sucks!

Once the pain of torn rib cartilage sets it, it’s pretty much impossible to bend over, difficult and uncomfortable to stand up from a seated position, and painful to sneeze, laugh or breathe deeply. Obviously it’s also impossible to do any sort of athletic training other than the simple act of walking.

The strange thing is that it doesn’t take very much force to damage ribcage cartilage. Usually it happens during an awkward twist towards a resisting training partner that causes it.

I hurt mine doing a basic escape movement while preparing for a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament. My rib area was sore during the entire week leading up to the competition but I decided to compete regardless. That was a big mistake!

After winning my first match, I attempted to throw my second opponent –who was built like a tank—with a twisting type throw and instead ended up feeling my ribs ripping apart from one another. It friggin’ hurt! I pushed through it, fighting on and winning the match by points. After the match, the pain increased and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to fight the final match.  I did fight, using an adjusted game plan that avoided any movement that would cause me to scream out in agony.  I ended up winning that gold medal match by points.

Fighting on with torn cartilage definitely made my injury worse, but I had just come off winning gold at the BJJ Pan/American Games and didn’t want someone else to come out the victor so soon afterwards. The injury knocked me out of training for nearly two months and for the six months that followed my return I could still feel some pain in my side every time I’d hit a heavy bag with a hard left hook.

Oh yeah, it`s easy to tell which grapplers have had the same injury in the past because it leaves a very noticeable bump along the ribcage. I’m rubbing mine right now as I write this.



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It took me a little while to put this list together. I thought hard about both the present and the past tonight when I visited my mother in-laws place for dinner.

In the end I came up with a bunch of facts, some pretty embarrassing, that you probably don’t know about me.

In return for my honesty :),  do me one favour in return after reading the rest of this post. Comment and share at least one thing –hopefully more– that most people wouldn’t know about you. C’mon don’t be shy!

Anyways, here we go…

1)  I was on my grade school`s chess team for one year back in the day.

2)  My parents almost named me Lee instead of Jeff. My middle name is now Lee.

3)  My brother used to call me Bruce Pee because I would sometimes wet the bed when I was very young. I friggin hated that!

4)  I used to compete a lot with my “Bo Staff” when I was a teenager. (click to watch)

5)  I started training in martial arts when I was five under my father, Rick –who was a three time Canadian champion—but it wasn’t until I got into a fight in high school that I became motivated to devote my life to martial arts training.

6)  My two front teeth are fake due to a head butt that I received during one of my pro MMA fights. (click to watch)

7)  I place 2nd in the city (for our school board) for public speaking when I was 11 years old. I won $10 cash!

8 )  I tried out for “The Ultimate Fighter” show twice –making the final 10 in Boston– but was turned down because I was “Too quiet”.

9)  I am a computer RPG video game fanatic. I`ve had had characters on Everquest, Star Wars Galaxies, Neverwinter Nights and many other games. I currently have forced myself not to play them at all because I get way too addicted.

10)  I’ve sustained 22 injuries over a lifetime of martial arts training. The worst one being a cracked orbital bone. I couldn`t see straight for nearly 2 weeks!

11)  I had to defend myself in the street on the night of my brother’s wedding, while wearing a rented tuxedo! It kind of felt like I was James Bond as I was doing it. Luckily I got the grass stains out of the pants before I had to return them to the store.

12)  My first MMA Fight was inside a small night club in Montreal. They coolest part was that they had cages with Go Go Dancers inside them. In between every fight the girls would do their thing.

13)  I used to play AA hockey when I was young. A bad coach kinda ruined the sport for me.

14)  I failed English twice because I had zero interest in reading books at the time. I started this blog to make my former English teacher proud. Well not really, but I remain hopeful that she would be.

15)  I was in a hip hop group when I was 16. We did one live show. It went really well but beforehand I was more scared than I have ever been in my entire life.

16)  I`ve had a black eye in the pictures that were taken at almost every important event in my life including my wedding, my sister in-law`s wedding and many other important family events.

17) A week after my UFC fight we went out to a local bar. The owner –a great guy—gave me a VIP booth and a big bottle of Grey Goose vodka. I hadn`t drank any alcohol during the six months leading up to my fight and the stuff we drank that night hit me way too hard. So hard that when I got home I rushed to take a piss in what I thought was the bathroom. Turns out it wasn’t. My wife was not impressed…

18) Thanks to my 7 year old daughter’s influence I’m now a Justin Beiber fan. Did I just say that?

19) My favourite musical artist of all time is “Redman”.

20) My favourite movie is “Braveheart”.

21) The heaviest I’ve been in my life is 213 lbs. and the time when I was in the best shape was right before my fight with Josh Koscheck when I was weighing in at 186lbs with 6% body fat.

22) My favourite NHL hockey team has always been the Detroit Red Wings. My favourite player: Steve Yzerman of course.

23)  A while back, I got the opportunity to do the pre-game coin toss for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats season opener. I also got to lead the crowd of 30,000 fans through the  Tiger Cat’s Oskee-Wee-Wee cheer. That was really cool and the Hamilton fans are ­awesome!

24)  I have a 200 lbs. English Mastiff named “Zeena”.

25)  Today, I love the sport of martial arts more than ever. I also look forward to helping many others achieve their goals so that they can experience the great things that the sport has given me.

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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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Recently Hamilton Spectator reporter Jeremy Grimaldi stopped by to experience mixed martial arts training first hand. We entered the kickboxing ring at Joslin’s martial arts and I immediately put him to work ; One on one training, for nearly an hour straight starting with some basic punching and kicking techniques then progressing on to all of the other aspects of MMA including take downs, chokes and arm locks. When it was all over I must say that Iwas very impressed with Jeremy’s  work ethic and enthusiasm.

A few days later Jeremy wrote a cool article covering that first training experience and the sport in general. All the recent exposure that MMA has received in Ontario after becaming legal has caused many people to voice their opinions on the subject. Not surprisingly, there is still plenty of resistance towards the sport of mixed martial arts and it’s recent legalization in the province in Ontario. I really think the cause lies in a lack of education and a limited understanding as to what makes up the full contact sport and why athletes would choose to participate in it.

Yes, it’s a contact sport and there are definitely dangers associated with all contact sports including hockey, football, rugby, boxing and MMA, but the track record of MMA up to this point and time has proven that it is no more dangerous than any of the other sports I just mentioned. However things can change and if somehow in the future,  fighter’s begin to sustain serious and life altering injuries than I definitely support taking another look at it all.  I really don’t see that happening but for now, MMA deserves the chance it’s been given here in Ontario. Without a doubt the sport of mixed martial arts has earned it.

What people need to realize is that what they see on television, during a professional mixed martial arts bout, is drastically different from they way people train in the sport: Big Gloves (16 ounce) gloves are worn instead of the smaller 4 ounce versions; head gear is worn, sparring is optional; tapping out keeps submission holds from ever hurting your training partners; kids never spar with contact; lessons are well structured, great for physical conditioning and a ton of fun and black eyes and other injuries are extremely rare. If training was a rough as my pro fights I would have quit training a long, long time ago.

Those reasons are why I have hundreds of male and female students of all ages (3-60+) training boxing, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, submission wrestling and mixed martial arts multiple times per week. It’s user friendly, highly addictive and more fun than you would imagine.

Here’s a link to Jeremy’s article ==> CLICK

and here’s some of the video footage from our MMA training session.

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Boxing has held the title as the world’s most popular combat sport for many decades. We’ve watched many great battles over the years on HBO, Pay Per View and regular television channels. We’ve also witnessed countless inspiring displays of endurance ,toughness and heart as new champions have risen to the top and old ones have have fallen.

Boxing is a true art form and a great sport; Beautiful to watch, the”Sweet Science” is a game of angles, technique and finesse that enables it’s athletes to punch with more skill, leverage and power than anyone else on the planet.

Not too long ago, most of us believed that the best boxers were the best fighters in the world. That was until a thin looking man from Brazil stepped into the octagon for the first time way back in the early 90’s. Royce Gracie did things inside the cage on that historic night in Denver, Colorado that shocked the world of combat sports.

“How could this guy win a fight without barely throwing a punch?” I remember asking my father who is a 3 time Canadian karate/kickboxing champion. He seemed as baffled as I was at Royce Gracie’s strategy and unorthadox fighting style.

It was crazy! The take downs Royce Gracie attacked with; the insane amount of relaxed control he seemed to have over every one of his opponents once the fight hit the ground; the chokes and arm locks he unleashed over and over again to submit his foes absolutely smashed the thought that boxing skill alone was enough to succeed in a realistic fighting situation.

Nearly twenty years after that first UFC event, MMA has done what few believed it could: It has risen to the point where it has become as popular, arguably even more popular than the great sport of boxing.

This rivalry –which is great for both sports in my opinion–, between these two combat sports has created some animosity between the athletes, supporters and fans that follow or participate in each of them. Many verbal attacks have been made in the media by both the boxing and MMA communities in an effort to discredit one another in the eyes of the public; A high percentage of those attacks have no merit, make little sense and obviously come from blatantly ignorant minds.

Some boxing advocates state that there is no skill in mixed martial arts. Whoa! Obviously they haven’t spent more than five minutes in a wrestling practice or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training session. Five minutes!…Five minutes is all it would take to change their minds forever, I can personally guarantee that.

The truth is that there is more technique in mixed martial arts than a person could learn in ten lifetimes spent training; countless wrestling techniques, thousands of BJJ techniques; and a ton of boxing/kickboxing attacks and defenses are out there to learn. Add to that the fact that combat disciplines are are always evolving and it’s obvious that the learning process is never ending.

On the other hand, MMA’ers are totally wrong when they say pro-boxing skill is useless in mixed martial arts competition. There are many benefits to being a great boxer, all of which a skilled fighter can carry over into their battles inside the cage especially when they have some understanding of take downs and ground fighting. There’s no benefit of punching harder? No benefit in being able to defend punches more effectively or keeping more relaxed and balanced while punching with a fantastic amount of leverage? C’mon of course there is!

I’ve read quotes from fighters saying that the boxer’s jab is useless in MMA. I completely disagree with that statement! My jab has been one of my most effective weapons in every single one of my MMA fights including my fight with Josh Koscheck in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). A good jab controls range, disguises follow up attacks, protects the fighter that’s throwing it and can really hurt its recipient when thrown with the correct leverage and body positioning.

However some things being said have some truth to it: Many mixed martial artists still don’t punch very well. However, they often compensate for that weakness with an intelligent game plan that plays to their strengths. There is also truth to the statement that pure boxers would have almost no chance of lasting more than one round in mixed martial arts competition. The days are gone when any a fighter can be effective with skill in only one range of combat.

We need to look past any rivalry and see how much the sports compliment each other. If mixed martial artists would spend more time training in the art of boxing, they’ll realize how technical it actually is, invest more time training in it and we will without a doubt see some cleaner looking and more effective punching in future MMA fights. Vice versa, if skilled boxers step into martial arts gyms to try out some BJJ or wrestling, they’ll see how much fun it can be to learn the vast amount of techniques that are out there, and see that it is much more than just rolling around with sweaty dudes. It’s when the latter situation happens that we’ll start to see some pretty slick punchers stepping into the Octagon to do battle.

In terms of fan support, people will continue to watch the fights that excite and intrigue them. It’s up to the MMA and Boxing promoters to put together the fights that the fans want to see. There are some very exciting potential match-ups in the sport of boxing as well as mixed martial arts but as we all know sometimes it’s the fights that slip underneath the radar that surprise and have us jumping up out of our seats with excitement. I love those ones!

As a spectator I find MMA more entertaining than boxing. I love the fact that it’s not uncommon for underdogs to win fights. With striking, take downs and ground work to worry about at all times, mistakes are made often and in MMA one mistake could mean defeat. Another cool thing is that you don’t have to knock your opponent out to win. A slick submission is a thing of beauty when applied successfully.

Are you an MMA fan? A boxing fan? or do you enjoy them both?

Here’s a few videos focusing on the MMA vs. Boxing debate:


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I Fixed my Laptop!

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I finally got my laptop up and running again! Sadly I felt lost without the thing.

Someone stepped on it a few weeks ago and cracked the the screen. I was able to use it for a little while by pulling all the windows and programs over to the top left corner of the screen which was somehow still working a bit.

Anyways, after waiting a few weeks for my new screen to arrive (got it on Ebay),  I couldn’t wait to get it working so I decided to give the repair job a try. What was I thinking?!

Following some instructions I found online, I took the thing apart into what was way more pieces than I had imagined. There must have been fifty screws laying on my living room floor at one point. After two hours of work I had the new screen placed where it needed to be only to find out it was the wrong #$%*(*& type! One plug wouldn’t fit!

A day later I was back on Ebay ordering another one, this time from Europe. Luckily it arrived in just a few days because my entire schedule was in that laptop and I was starting to have a hard time remembering what I had coming up on a daily basis. Inserting the new screen into the already dismantled laptop took only a few minutes but putting it back together was ridiculously difficult. After another two hours I had done it.

As I pushed the button to turn the laptop on, I was so excited! That emotion changed to disappointment and intense frustration when the screen showed only white.

Google help me!

Another search on the internet lead me to believe that the video cable attaching the screen to the motherboard was loose.  A hard push was probably all that it needed. Problem was that I had just reassembled the entire laptop!

I took the laptop apart again, tightened the video cable and reassembled the machine again in about an hour’s–my time improved because I was getting pretty damn good at it by that point– time.

It was once again time to hit…the button.

I did and it started. Even better it actually worked! If if didn’t I honestly would have begun stomping the thing into the ground.

Moral of the story? Bring your laptop to the professionals to get fixed and don’t be a cheap ass like me!

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My son’s eyes lit up when we arrived at the carnival. I don’t know if it was the massive amounts of cotton candy that was seemingly available everywhere we turned that did it to him; or maybe it was the bumper cars, ferris wheel or one of the other rides that whooshed, twisted and spun around us as we walked. Either way we were both ready for to have some major fun that night.

After dropping nearly thirty bucks on tickets for the rides I spotted a familiar face in the crowd. It was the mother of one of my students that I had taught some time ago. After a smile and quick hello we talked for a few minutes before she called her son, who was a few feet away with a few of his friends of his, over to say hi.

“Jake, do you remember Jeff, he used to teach you martial arts when you were smaller?” the lady asked, excitedly awaiting her son’s response.

The kid seemed puzzled at first, his recollection skills apparently not having much success at recognizing my face.  That changed a second later . Nodding his head I could tell he was about to speak. “Your wrestling sucks!” he screamed at me. My posture straightened immediately. His mother, obviously embarrassed at her sons totally unexpected comment, called his name out using a harsh tone to let him know his actions were inappropriate.

I got a little pissed and naturally prepared to fire back verbally with a few key points to explain that I was actually a pretty good wrestler; that Koscheck was a national champion and one of the best wrestlers in the game; that it’s his strong point and that he takes down pretty much everyone he fights. A split second before I let those words loose from my mouth I stopped. The fact that the kid was picking his nose, quickly reminded me that he was probably only seven  or eight years old. After a second of processing the situation, I decided to let it slide :).

It’s obvious he didn’t come up with that idea himself, as there is no way his wrestling assessment skills are fully developed.  I’m sure he had probably heard some adult say that about me at some point in time, most likely when the fight was being aired on Spike Tv. Many people are so quick to jump at the chance to criticize another person, and so hesitant to offer any sort of praise. As a fighter we must have a “thick skin” to handle that sort of thing. All fighter lose, so we all must face criticism at one time or another during our careers.  It’s simply part of the job.

That being said, I absolutely love the fact that as professional fighters every ounce of  pressure is on us. It’s the driving force that makes me train my butt of in the gym! When we win it’s because we fought well or executed a flawless game plan during the bout. On the other hand, when we come up short and don’t end up victorious,  we are the only one responsible for that less than desired outcome and therefore must expect to face some criticism from fans of any age.

Why did we lose? A small tactical error may have caused the loss or a lack of proper training may have resulted in us being less than our best on fight day. Occasionally it’s a mental thing that helped place the the “L” on our record, because we were thinking negative thoughts during the fight instead of positive ones and all of a sudden those bad thoughts turned real in a heartbeat.

We can’t blame referees for missing illegal strikes or for allowing our opponent to call a time out in the midst of battle because that stuff just doesn’t happen in MMA. Well maybe it could, but ultimately we are responsible for the end result ninety-nine percent of the time.

Train hard, fight smart and get ready for a little criticism after your losses and sometimes even after your wins!

Here are some of my other “Outside The Cage” articles you might like…

“The Two Big Guys = Big Trouble”

“Pushups Instead of Time outs!”

“Growing Up with a Fighting Dad”

“Free Food!”

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I left the house minutes after my wife had hung up the phone. She had just finished ordering close to a hundred dollars worth of food from one of our favourite restaurants, East Side Mario’s. I figured that by the time I drove to the restaurant, which was a fair distance away, the food would be mostly likely be ready to pick up.

Arriving, twenty minutes later, I entered and bypassed the restaurant area instead slipping into the bar area. After a quick word with the waitress that was behind the bar, I grabbed a seat as she headed to the kitchen to check on my order.

It was great to be home, back in Hamilton with my family and friends. A few days earlier I had been in the middle of a U.S marine base Miramar, battling it out inside the Octagon in my first UFC fight. It seems that every time I fight hard for three rounds against an opponent I usually have a few bumps and bruises to show for it.  This time was no different. The hat I was wearing covered the stitched up area of skin located just above my right eyebrow line but didn’t do much to mask my nose was still a little swollen from my fifteen minute scrap that I shared with Josh Koscheck.

I continued to wait for roughly ten minutes for the waitress to return. When she did, she was carrying three huge bags packed with the good stuff: Penne and sausage for me, chicken nuggets for my daughter and some other stuff for my wife, son and mother in-law. As I reached into my back pocket for my wallet I faintly heard the words “No charge!” Looking up, I heard those same words again, this time much louder, and realized that it was the waitress saying them.

“The manager says great fight!” pausing for a moment she continued “The place was packed that night, thanks a lot!”

“No prob.” I responded as I grabbed the take out bags, a little surprised by her gesture. I felt a small smile cross my face.

Arriving home, I told my wife the story of what had happened and we all sat down to consume the free food together. I think I ate more carbs in that meal than I had in the entire month leading up to the fight. It was good!

That night I realized something cool. It wasn’t just me fighting within the cage; my friends, family and fellow Hamiltonians were also deeply engaged in the action, many of them maybe even feeling as excited as I was that night.

There are many benefits to fighting the UFC especially when your fight is televised. The first obviously being free food! I’ll spend the rest of this article sharing a few more of them with you.

#2 – You can finally say “Yes” to the question!

When you’re fighting in the lower-tier MMA shows and tell people that you’re a fighter they always ask the same thing. So you fight in the UFC? You then try hard to explain the hierarchy of the different fight promotions, the fact that mixed martial arts is simply the name of the sport, that not every fighter is a UFC fighter and that you have to work your way up to reach the top.

When I returned home from my bout at UFC Fight Night, I found it so strange to be able to answer yes to that question the next time it was asked. It was so cool!

Fighting inside the octagon felt like any other fight had in the past, but when I watched the televised version with the music, the commentators, interviews, tale of the tape and other stuff mixed in, I was like “Damn, I fought in the UFC!” It was a cool moment that I still remember very well.

#3 – You get the best seat in the house

I had never been to a UFC event before the one that I fought in. I had watched a bunch of live MMA shows in the past but never the BIG SHOW.

I don’t think there’s a better seat in the house than the spot I had inside the octagon that night. It’s was well lit, there was no cage obstructing my view of the action and I could easily to see the jumbo fight screen that was positioned high above me inside the aircraft hanger.  The only catch is that the spot requires you to fight a well trained fighter who’s hoping to punch your face off, choke you into unconsciousness and stretch your limbs in many painful directions. Oh yah, I didn’t have to pay for it either…well maybe with a few drops of blood I guess.

#4 – I got the official UFC gloves at home!

Deep in my basement, packed inside a storage box, lays the pair of official UFC gloves that I wore during my UFC debut. Picture the container from the movies Raiders of the Lost Ark and realize that it’s not at all like that one. More like a long Tupperware container with a transparent lid. There’s a small tear in the material, by the knuckle area, in the corner of one of them, a result of a successful punching combo against my opponent’s head.

Getting the gloves wasn’t an easy task as the California state athletic commission wanted them back immediately after the fight. Luckily my coach scooped them up before we left as they are definitely a great keepsake. I’ll probably pull them out and put them on when my six year old daughter begins dating. It’ll be fun to scare the guys a little bit.

#5 – Hearing the Stories

This is probably the best part of all, one that I never had thought about before the fight.  Soon after my UFC bout on Spike TV I began to hear many stories from my friends, family and even some people that I didn’t even know. The stories were about their experience of my fight in terms of where they were, what they were feeling at the time and what the overall energy and excitement of the other people around them had been like. It made me very happy when I realized that my experienced was shared by so many others.

Here are a few funny things I heard, although there were many, many more;

“Mike jumped on the ground by the television set during your fight, excitedly doing techniques on the floor trying to help you out.”

“It looked as though Tom was going to put his first right through the television screen as he watched the fight!”

“When you had the triangle choke locked up before the bell rang, the bar was going nuts! Too bad there wasn’t ten more seconds”

“John was screaming at the screen throughout most of the fight. He was pumped!”

When I think about it, live television is an amazing thing! People are watching us fight at the exact moment it’s happening. The fact that anything can happen at any moment adds nervousness and excitement for everyone watching.

Well that’s all of them. In my opinion, the five best things about fighting in the UFC. There are others and I’m certain the list changes from fighter to fighter but those are mine.

Remember these all happened after only one fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Unfortunately, post concussion syndrome brought on by a lifetime of training, prevented me from finishing my three fight contract and ended my hopes climbing towards a title shot in the world’s best MMA organization. No worries though because now I finally get to spend more time with my wife and kids. It’s been a blessing in disguise.

What would happen after winning the title? Tough to imagine, it must be crazy.

Train hard and maybe you can find out for yourself in the future!

Now…check out an article I wrote a while back on “THE FIVE DOWNFALLS OF BEING A UFC FIGHTER” to see if pro-fighting is really the job for you.

Wanna punch harder than ever before? download my  “Developing the KO Punch” FREE Report ==> CLICK HERE

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