Saturday, August 30, 2008

Class Log: Aug. 30 -- Drills, Free Training


Excellent job this afternoon on the mats! We spent the entire class performing drills designed to increase your technical ability, coordination and balance, stamina, as well as polish your skills and muscle memory.

Remember, open mat is at noon tomorrow, and think about carrying over into your free training the drills we covered today, such as:
  • Kimura drill from guard;
  • Triangle to arm bar drill from guard;
  • Knee on the back (your opponent turtles, you switch side-to-side, staying parallel with your opponent's belt)
  • Knee on the belly to arm bar (work this 1-2-3, where 1 and 2 are switches from side-to-side, and on 3, your opponent pushes your knee. Scoop his bicep and switch to arm bar);
  • Open guard replacement (opponent stands above your head, raise and cross your feet at your opponent's hips. Turn your body and end up square with your opponent);
  • Arm bar to arm bar from guard (if your opponent escapes the first arm you attack and postures, hook his head with your foot and arm bar the other side); and
  • Arm bar to omoplata from guard (if your opponent escapes the first arm you attack but stays low, transition into the omoplata).

Remember, all of these drills work the fundamentals, which are essential to building a solid foundation. We ended class with several rounds of free training. Everyone is looking awesome!

See you on the mat -- tomorrow at noon!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Open Mat Sunday, Closed Labor Day


Make plans to train before you cookout this weekend. In addition to Saturday's class, we've scheduled an open mat for noon on Sunday. Come in and polish your game! We'll also be closed on Labor Day, but will pick back up with class on Thursday at 7:45 p.m.

See you all on the mat -- tomorrow!

Our Academy: One Year Later...


August 2008 marked the official one-year anniversary of Spencer County Martial Arts. As we look back over the past year and reflect, we can say that the school has come a long way. Starting with just a handful of students taught at a local church, SCMA has flourished into a school with literally dozens of faces, some old and some new.

As our space became limited at the church, we began a great partnership with Journey Fitness, which has helped us bring this art to even more citizens of Spencer County and the surrounding areas.

Whether you've been training with us for one year, or one week, we sincerely thank each of you for your dedication to yourself and to our Academy. You're part of an extended family who cares deeply about the success of its brothers and sisters -- young and old -- both on and off the mat.

Each of you is helping to shape the future of SCMA, one class at a time. There are ways to do things in this world. You can do just enough to get the job done, or you can go above and beyond. And in those endeavors you care deeply about, you should try to give it your all, for life is too short not to.

Such has been our philosophy with building and growing our school. We're committed to your personal growth and development in this amazing art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. We love to teach, and seeing each of you proper and improve your game over the past year has been incredibly rewarding.

Exciting times are ahead for our Academy. More training opportunities will soon be available for children and adults. Our family is growing, and we ask that you continue to spread the word. Tell a friend. Bring him or her with you to a class.

Take time to reflect on life and on your training. If you get frustrated with your progress, realize it's a natural emotion and work through it. Look at how far you've come since you first stepped on the mat!

Going forward into year two of SCMA, let's all strive to make the Academy even more successful, together, as a united team.

See you on the mat.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kimbo vs. Shamrock on Oct. 4


Kimbo vs. Ken Shamrock...this is going to be an interesting fight to watch. Here's the details, courtesy of Gracie Magazine. My money is on Ken due to his overall experience, and especially if the match ends up on the ground, which it most likely will. That said, Kimbo always has a puncher's chance. What do you think?

Fighters to face off on US network television

Media monster CBS, the network television channel in the United States, seems not to be playing around when it comes to promoting MMA to television viewers. It is so serious about it that for the October-4 event it has called upon two of the biggest characters in the American MMA scene: Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock. Considered to be a modern phenomenon, coming to fame through videos aired on the internet, Kimbo will have the chance to face someone many consider to be one of the most important figures in American MMA history.

The venue for the event will be the Bank Atlantic Center, in Florida, and already has the directors of EliteXC CBS excited. “Millions upon millions have been entertained by Shamrock over the years in Japan, the UFC, the WWF and now the WWE. He is the greatest example of a pay-per-view commodity in the sport. Putting the two together (Shamrock and Kimbo Slice) will maximize the attention to MMA on October 4th,” said Jared Shaw, EliteXC vice president.

At 44, Ken Shamrock is coming off a five-fight losing streak, and hasn’t known victory since June of 2004, when he knocked out Kimo Leopoldo. Now, Kimbo Slice debuted in professional MMA just last November. Since then he has had three fights, winning all by knockout or submission.

See you all on the mat -- tonight!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Training Clip of 8/25 Class


Here's a brief video of the 8/25 training this week. See you all on the mat -- this Thursday!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Make Plans to Attend Master Pedro Sauer's Fall Training Camp


Master Pedro Sauer will return to Louisville on Nov. 7-9 for a Fall training camp at Louisville Martial Arts Academy.

There will be four total sessions over the course of the weekend:

Friday: (one session) 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: (two sessions) 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 3 to 6 p.m.
Sunday: (one session) 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The cost is $195 for all four sessions (12 hours of training). A single session (3 hours) is $70.

Master Sauer plans to also bring in some top-notch special instructors who have yet-to-be determined, but will be world-class.

Make plans to attend at least one session! This is Master Sauer's first training camp in Louisville and it will be a jiu-jitsu lover's paradise for sure. You will be exposed to so many great techniques, meet some quality people, and polish your game.

You can reserve your spot by clicking here.

Day Two, Master Pedro Sauer Seminar


Day two of Master Sauer's seminar was incredible. Scott plans to cover a lot of the material in upcoming classes, so make a special effort to attend every class this week! More photos and video to come...

See you all on the mat -- tomorrow night!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Open Mat Sunday, Recap of Master Sauer Seminar, Day One


Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far! We'd first like to thank Mr. Kevin Wheatley for covering classes today while a few of us attended Master Pedro Sauer's seminar at Louisville Martial Arts.

Secondly, open mat is set for tomorrow at 3 p.m. This is open to any registered student of Spencer County Martial Arts. Use this time to polish your techniques and work on the blue belt requirements...again, it's about building that solid foundation.

Thirdly, day one of Master Pedro Sauer's seminar at Louisville Martial Arts was phenomenal. He's literally an encyclopedia of Jiu-Jitsu, or, if the internet is more your style, he's like Google.

We plan to cover a lot of this material in the next several classes for those of you who were unable to attend, so you can look forward to learning some nice techniques to incorporate into your game.

Here are a few photos from Day One:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Class Log: August 21 -- Attack Combinations from Guard


Great work tonight! We covered several submissions from the guard and learned new ways to apply them in combination. You did excellent on the trigger drills. Remember, expand your vision through repetition. Think of the natural pairing of your basic techniques to understand the bigger picture, such as the arm bar to triangle, triangle to arm bar, sit-up sweep to kimura, guillotine to sit-up sweep...the list goes on and on forever -- that's part of the beauty of jiu-jitsu!

Here's a slideshow of photos from tonight's class:

Remember, although many of us will be at the seminar this Saturday, classes will still be held at their normal time. We'll also post the time for open mat on Sunday once details are confirmed.

Keep up the great work, every one -- see you on the mat!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Never Underestimate Your Opponent...

Roger Gracie Fights Sept. 28


Not sure if you've seen this promoted online or not, but Roger Gracie is set to fight a yet-to-be-determined opponent at Sengoku 5 on Sept. 28. The buzz online is that it could be UFC veteran Don Frye. In addition, Xande Ribeiro is set to make his MMA debut on the card. Both are multiple-time world champs at both Gi and No-Gi. Here's the rundown, courtesy of Gracie Magazine.

This is definitely one to watch!

Roger at Sengoku 5

Besides the announcements of Xande Ribeiro and Evangelista Cyborg being present at Sengoku 5, the Japanese organization confirmed Roger Gracie on the card for the September 28 event, in Saitama. This will be the black belt’s third appearance in MMA. So far he has had two wins in two fights, the last being at his Sengoku debut, when he submitted experienced Yuki Kondo.

We'll continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Here are Roger Gracie's first two MMA fights:

Roger Gracie has excellent fundamentals, and those translate well into any arena, whether it's sport or mixed martial arts.

See you all on the mat -- this Thursday!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ribeiro Brothers Highlight


Here's a highlight clip of the Ribeiro brothers, Saulo and Xande, in action. Enjoy!

Class Log: August 18 -- Cross-side Attacks, Recent Training Clips


Excellent work on the mats tonight! We covered some nice techniques from the cross-side at this evening's class. Below is a training video we assembled from some recent training clips.

Don't forget about this weekend's seminar. If you're unable to attend, we'll still have regularly scheduled classes at Spencer County on Saturday. Keep up the focus on solid techniques and on building your strong foundation.

See you all on the mat -- this Thursday!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Reminder -- Professor Sauer Seminar Aug. 23-24


Just wanted to remind everyone again that Professor Sauer will be at Louisville Martial Arts Academy next Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 23-24) from noon to 3 p.m. each day.

If you haven't trained with Professor Sauer before, you're in for a real treat. He's one of the original architects of the style, growing up with and learning directly from the Gracie family.

One day is $100 and it's $150 for both days.

Parents, if you'd like for your child to attend it's $25 for him/her to attend a one-hour seminar from 11 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Aug. 23.

Click here for directions to Louisville Martial Arts Academy.

We'd like for as many of you to attend this special occasion as possible. The jiu-jitsu community in Louisville is a strong one, and participating in events such as Professor's seminar is a great opportunity to receive excellent training as well as make new friends and enhance relationships with our brothers and sisters at Louisville Martial Arts Academy and the other schools in attendence.

Remember, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

For those of you unable to attend the seminar, however, we will still be holding regular scheduled classes at Spencer County on Saturday.

See you on the mat -- tomorrow night!

Roger Gracie in a Battle...

From the 2007 ADCC Tournament...

Class Log: August 16 -- Throws, Sweeps from Guard


Great work on the mats yesterday! We want to also thank Scott Jones for coming in an training with us. An excellent technician, Scott is someone who can help make each of you improve tremendously.

We covered two throws required for blue belt, the morote seionage and osoto-gari. In addition, we learned some new sweep combinations from the guard and ended with several rounds of free training.

Below is a new video of Mike Swain, former judo Olympian and current U.S. Team Coach. Combinations are key to landing a successful throw, just as submissions come easiest when you combine attacks to confuse your opponent.

Redirection, disrupting your opponent's balance, and timing are keys to success. We'll post a training video of our practice in the next couple of days.

We'll see you all on the mat tomorrow night!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Reminder: Turn in T-shirt, Hoodie Order Forms Tomorrow


Just a quick reminder to say that tomorrow is the last day to turn in your order forms for a t-shirt ($15 each) or hoodie ($35 each). There are several logos, styles and colors to choose from, including kids sizes, so don't miss out!

See you all on the mat -- tomorrow!

Excellent BJJ Documentary


Part 1 of 3. To view the whole episode go to www.vcutvhd.com. (Also available for HD and iPod downloads) A close look into the art form of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the Greater Richmond area. VCU engineering student Mo Ashraf “rolls” at the Richmond Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Self-Defense Academy. Follow Mo as he prepares to compete in the U.S. Grappling tournament.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Class Log: August 11 -- Ippon Seio-Nage, Attacks from Headlock Mount


Great work on the mats last night! Instructor Scott covered a throw and some nice attacks from the headlock mount (also called "half-mount" or "technical mount").

Below is a video of Ippon Seio-Nage (one-arm shoulder throw), courtesy of Mike Swain. It provides excellent detail:

In addition, three attacks from the headlock mount were covered...the gi choke, straight arm bar, and the transition to your opponent's back -- all of which are required for your blue belt. Work them into your game and practice these moves in succession. Repeat and fine-tune the details.

Again, excellent work last night! See you all on the mat -- this Thursday!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Order Your School T-Shirt and Hoodie By Saturday...


Don't miss out on your chance to order a school t-shirt or hoodie! Make sure to turn in your order form and money by this Saturday, Aug. 16.

There are several styles and colors to choose from, so see instructor Scott for an order form if you don't already have one. T-shirts are $15 and hoodies are $35. Kids sizes are also available.

Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks to Craig for helping coordinate this!

See you on the mat -- tonight!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Interesting Post on the Basics


As Scott shared in class today, everything in Jiu-Jitsu stems from the basics. As he said, just as you wouldn't wear a tie and cuff-links with a t-shirt, you wouldn't (and shouldn't) be taught how to perform a flying armbar without first learning how to escape mount...it just doesn't add up.

I can speak from my own direct experience with this. At Professor's last seminar, he covered the elbow escape. Now, I've had the move for years, but Professor Sauer spoke of some new details (well, at least new for me) that have made the move so much easier and effective. I may have been taught those details originally, but in the beginning they didn't stick.

Related to this discussion about the basics we had in class today, I found the attached post on the BJJ Forum at www.MMA.tv. It really sums up our conversation:

I feel lucky that I started at a school where the coaches emphasized the fundamental positions, concepts, and most basic techniques in their teaching, and emphasized drilling those things over and over and over. There were no different or “more advanced” techniques taught to the guys who had been training longer—those guys just worked the fundamentals like everyone else. And they had better fundamentals than everyone else because of that.

Since I moved to a different city, I’ve trained at several different schools, and they all have the same teaching methodology: show 3 techniques and then spar. And it seems like the teacher never shows a fundamental technique. It’s always something like x-guard to kneebar to toehold, or a helicopter armbar, or something even more complicated. I find myself constantly telling the guy I am paired up with, “I know it’s your first day and I wanted to let you know that the reverse spinunder delariva sweep is a very complicated technique so don’t feel bad if you don’t get it right away.”

Here are some examples of the things that are almost NEVER taught: base and posture in the closed guard. opening the closed guard from the knees. margarida pass. single or double underpass. how to maintain side control. upa escape from mount. elbow knee escape from mount.

In my first school we constantly reviewed these techniques (and other fundamental techniques) and added details and drilled them to death. In my new schools, I’ve seen maybe one of these things taught in a period of over a YEAR.

I’m not trying to rip on any particular school or instructor. I’m just saying that as a not particularly talented bjj player, there’s no way I could have learned the game enough to want to stick with it had I started at a school where they expected me to do, say, an armbar to omoplata to triangle sequence on my first day of training (without explaining the basic mechanics of any of those individual techniques). Heck, the triangle itself was the first technique I learned and that was hard enough all by itself! And I’m sure that I’m still missing lots of details on the triangle!

It’s all about the basics. Everything else will stem from there…

Class Log: August 9 -- Osoto-Gari, Guard Sweeps


Excellent work on the mats this afternoon! Scott taught the Osoto-Gari throw from standing plus a variation for when the person stiff arms you. He also covered the scissor's sweep from the guard with a cross-collar choke finish from the mount. In addition, the double-ankle grab sweep was shown with the arm-bar variation for when your opponent stiff-arms you as you got to mount.

We ended class with some guard drills, pass and defend. Everyone's game is really stepping up! Keep the focus on solid technique and continue to grow your foundation. Here's a nice video on Osoto-Gari, courtesy of the Camarillo Brothers. It also shows the variation we covered in class and a no-gi application as well.

Here's a video of the scissor's sweep, courtesy of Rodrigo Gracie:

Keep up the great work -- we'll see you all on the mat this Monday!

Continue the Flow: Andre Galvao

Friday, August 8, 2008

Jiu-Jitsu: Flow


The following is a very good message, courtesy of instructor Roy Dean. Internalize it and turn into action on the mat; apply it to your own game!

Jiu means flexible, yielding. Jitsu is technique. Soft techniques, yielding techniques. Gentle arts and ways. So it says. So they say.

But the reality of effectiveness is much different than the theory. It is not gentle during application. Beginning students use all their strength just to survive. Every minute of every match is a full force effort. The concepts of relaxation and flow are merely words at this stage. It requires many hours of practice to feel what’s going on in the give and take of randori.

Flowing is allowing a situation to unfold, and gently guiding it along the way. Direct opposition of force can work temporarily, but this requires large amounts of energy. The flame of a beginner burns brightly, quickly, and without a clear purpose. There is a pacing that needs to be learned, a cycle, a rhythm, an ebb and flow. Jiu-jitsu teaches you this. It is a method of conserving energy, then magnifying the effect of your efforts through distraction, angles, timing, and leverage.

“Flow with the go,” as Rickson said. “Push when pulled, pull when pushed,” advised Kano. Add your force to their force. But the timing of this is tricky. People don’t push or pull for very long. It’s a small window of opportunity to slip into. It takes a while to feel the window open and learn to pass through it. At higher levels, you have to learn to put the pressure on, and know where to push them so their response is a push back. The push you’ve been waiting for.

Don’t try to move your partner. Move yourself in relation to your partner. Take what your partner gives you. Flow. Sometimes you can encourage your partner to want to give the submission to you. Threaten the choke and allow him to expose his arm. If he gives you his arm, take his arm. Don’t force yourself into another position just because you wanted the choke. Once you see the armlock, capitalize on the situation.

Even if you didn’t want it, make it the best armlock you’ve ever done. Crisp timing. A sharp lockdown with the legs. Wrap his wrist with the bend of your arm and shoot your hips high. Feel him tap and release the hold. Respond quickly to what your partner signals. It’s good practice for the real world.

Bring that flow into your life. And the responsiveness. Blend with forces greater than yourself. Accept your situations. Work with them. Position them.

This life is something we can steer, but not stop. So relax.

Save your strength.

Flow with the go.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Students Next Week, The Power to Change


Wanted to let you know that several new people will be joining us on the mats at Spencer County beginning next week. Bluegrass Martial Arts will be ending its formal jiu-jitsu program this Saturday, and it's jiu-jitsu students will start class with us on Monday.

Many of you have trained with several of their students in the past, but let us be the first to say we welcome you all to our family and can't wait to train with everyone!

Instructors Chip and Brian will also be joining us on the mats. I don't have to tell you what an asset they're going to be to our school and the high level of technical ability they possess and are able to pass on to each of you.

In addition, I wanted to share the attached video with you all. It's inspirational, and shows the power to make a positive change and improve your life if you dedicate yourself and stick to a goal.

See you all on the mat -- tomorrow night!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Important Tips for Beginners


During my journey into Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, I have come across several principles and pieces of advice which have greatly accelerated my progress. I often find myself wondering just how much further ahead I would be today if I had known of them at the start of my training. It is for this reason that I try to ensure that the beginners I teach are aware of them at the start of their jiu-jitsu journey.

The tips below are the ones I feel are most significant for the beginner.

Leave your ego at the door

Your ego can be a great (if not the greatest) hindrance to your progress as a grappler. As a beginner you will tap often. Nobody likes to submit in front of the other students and spectators at their academy. Acknowledge that it is your ego that causes this discomfort and then do everything you can to overcome it.

Accept the fact that you will be dominated and beaten regularly during the initial stages of your training and embrace it as part of the process. The time will come when you are the one causing the others to submit, but before then you will need to pay your dues. But remember that you should not be doing jiu-jitsu to learn to dominate people and prove that you are the toughest guy around. You should be doing it to learn about yourself.

Try this as an exercise in gaining control of your ego: Make it your mission to be tapped fifteen times at your next class. Bizarrely, this will actually make you a better fighter. Firstly, because you will come to not fear tapping anymore, you will begin to relax a lot more during your sparring.

As we know, there is direct correlation between how relaxed you are and how quickly you will learn. Secondly, by letting opponents put you in compromising situations and submissions you will quickly become familiar with them. This familiarity will ensure that you are more composed and hence more likely to escape if and when you are faced with these situations during competition.

Focus on the basics

When you begin training it may be overwhelming trying to memorize and incorporate all the techniques you are presented with into your game. There is something you must understand and that is that you do not need a thousand different moves to be good at jiu-jitsu. There are so many grapplers out there who can demonstrate hundreds and hundreds of techniques as well as the counters to them and even the re-counters to those.

Most of these guys cannot put even a fraction of this technical knowledge into practice against a resisting and determined opponent. A technique only becomes a skill once you can use it successfully in a fight. As Bruce Lee said, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." Replace 'kicks' with 'armlocks' or 'chokes' and the same holds true for grappling.

After 10 years of training I still find myself coming back to the most basic movements and techniques and trying to refine and tweak them to reflexive proficiency. As a beginner you should take a handful of simple things and work on them until they are part of you.

Focus on the high percentage, fundamental moves such as the elbow escape motion and the bridge. This will ensure that you lay a solid foundation for your entire game.

Work on the things you find difficult

I'll say it again...work on the things you find difficult! After many years of training it will be more difficult to break bad habits and correct weakness you have developed. If you are intelligent, you will not allow the these negative tendencies to take hold when you start training. Over-specialization breeds weakness. If you are a someone who loves to fight from the top and has no bottom game, sooner or later in class or competition you will meet someone who you cannot dominate from the top and your lack of ability on the bottom will cost you.If something is difficult for you, make it your focus.

For example, if you hate playing from the guard, make it your number one priority during training. Try to get your opponent into your guard whenever possible and work from there. If you are diligent and can accept that you will have your guard passed many times in the beginning (leave your ego at the door), soon your guard will become strong. This applies to all positions and techniques.

I hope you learned something. As always, we would very much like to hear from your own experiences.

See you on the mat!

2008 No-Gi Worlds: Brimming With Aces


Here's some good information about the upcoming 2008 No-Gi World Championships, courtesy of Gracie Magazine:

No Gi Worlds: brimming with aces

The caliber of competitor signed up calls attention for the for the black belt No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Worlds, which is about to see its second event next weekend, in California, and had sign-ups concluded this Saturday.

The event, which grew by 20% in relation to the number to sign up last year, saw an even greater rise in the level of competitor, even though that cannot be quantified. There are aces at all weights and from a wide range of different academies. From young revelations to veterans. We bring you some of the names as an appetizer for what is to come, with complete coverage on GRACIEMAG.com.

Current world champion team in the gi, Alliance comes in with Rubens Cobrinha, Lucas Lepri, Jeff Glover, Bill Cooper and Tarsis Humphreys, among others.

Gracie Barra responds with a team composed of Gregor Gracie, Roberto Tussa, Fábio Leopoldo, Carlos Holanda, Bruno Mamute, Igor Gracie, Vinicius Draculino and co.

Saulo Ribeiro brings in his own team, along with Paulo Guillobel.

Current absolute champion Jeff Monson is coming back to defend his title.
Recently formed from a branch of Brasa, Check Mat is bringing in such names as Lucas Leite, Bruno Frazatto and Rodrigo Cavaca and Ranieri.

For MMA fans, Hermes Franca will be showing his face, as well as his colleague from the UFC, Joe Stevenson, who will dispute among the brown belts, and he is coming off a submission win over Gleison Tibau at the beginning of July.

Defending last year’s title as well is Pablo Popovitch, who is signed up in the hard to digest medium heavyweight category (last year he took the lightweight).

Antonio Braga Neto, Theodoro Canal, Bruno Bastos, Caio Terra and Roberto Cyborg also figure on the list, which also includes the surprise name of Baret Yoshida, veteran finalist from the ADCC.

Other veterans (going even farther back than Baret) in the competition: Roberto Godói, Lloyd Irvin, Jorge Pereira, and his student Wander Braga.

Did we forget anyone? We may very well have, but the aforementioned list is bound to bring excitement at any event. Stay tuned.