Saturday, December 12, 2009

Open Mat -- Sunday, Dec. 13 at Noon

We'll be holding an open mat tomorrow for registered members of SCMA beginning at noon for those who are interested. Come ready to train hard, particularly those who plan to compete on Feb. 12. We plan to train for about two hours.

See you all on the mat!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Gracie Diet

While there may not be too many takers on this right before the holidays, here's a good resource on The Gracie Diet. Is anyone at the Academy currently following this?

If so, how is it going? If you tried and fell off, what were the reasons? Maybe this is a good challenge for the school. Anyone out there want to try it out with me for one month? Who knows, maybe it'll become a lifestyle...(we could only hope).


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Rank Descriptions

Instructor Scott Smith passed this along and wanted to share it with the team. This comes from Professor Roy Harris, a third-degree black belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. It's a little long, but well worth the read as it describes what a student should focus on at each rank. Enjoy.

White Belt

This is the belt of paying your dues. This is the belt where you will spend most of your time on his back. You usually end up doing most of the tapping as well.

Your ability to grapple successfully will depend largely on three things:
  1. Your previous martial arts experience, (a grappling background helps a lot)
  2. Your current fitness level, (a higher level of fitness help tremendously)
  3. Your ability to learn visually (visual learners adapt and absorb information more quickly)

Students who come from a wrestling background seem to adapt very well to the slight change in grappling methods. Students who come from an athletic background also seem to adapt quite well.

Those who come from a striking background sometimes have a difficult time adapting. Many have become so accustomed to visually grabbing onto the vertical and horizontal lines of the walls, doorways and ropes to stabilize their equilibrium that they feel very uncomfortable with the diagonal world of grappling. They quickly learn that the ground has not been their friend, and, that they must take some time to acquaint themselves with this new perspective.

The most frustrating part about being a white belt (especially if you have no experience on the ground) is the fact that most of the advanced students will make you tap, or at least positionally dominate you. (I remember feeling frustrated as a white belt.) This frustration usually leads to white belts asking questions like, "How do I get on top of these guys? How do I escape the side or full mount? How do I tap out the blue and purple belts?" Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do right now to immediately change the tables in your favor. Get used to the blue and purple belts tapping you out. Get used to having them positionally dominating you. Consider tapping as a "form of learning", a way of "paying your dues." I remember when I was a white belt. I remember feeling like a rag doll in the hands of the blue and purple belts. I wish there would have been something I could have done to prevent from feeling like that, but there wasn't. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is just one of those "time in service" things. You simply have to put your time in. There are no short cuts!

The only encouragement that I can give to you is this, "Keep training! Your day is coming. The day will come when you will no longer be a white belt. The day is coming when you will be able to escape from any position with finesse and ease. Then, it will be your turn to watch the frustration of the new white belts that enter your school. Then, it will be your turn to encourage them as I have encouraged you!"

White belts are expected to rely on speed, power, strength and explosiveness. For that is all they know. However, once a person dons the "blue belt", the world of Jiu Jitsu suddenly changes.

Blue Belt

This is the belt of survival. It is the belt where the focus of your training must be on escaping from most of the inferior positions (the mount, the guard, the side mount, the wrestler's cradle and headlocks). Having the ability to escape from most inferior positions is paramount to having the ability to get on top of a person, positionally dominate them and making them tap. I know that there are a number of submissions from inferior positions (not necessarily the guard), but these submissions require a high level of speed, power and explosiveness. The reason why these submissions require speed, power and explosiveness is because your body, when placed in an inferior position, can not effectively apply leverage. To compensate for the inability to apply leverage, you substitute it with speed, power and explosiveness to effect the lock. (Anyone who tells you any different is either purposely misleading you or very unknowledgeable with grappling! I know that some may argue this point, but I stand by this point.) Not only do you have an inability to apply leverage from an inferior position, you also do not have control of your opponent's body! So now do you see why escapes are so important to building a firm foundation in grappling?

When you can easily escape the tightest pin (from just about anyone), you will find yourself on top more often. When you find yourself on top, you have more chances for submission. However, you should not jump right into submission just yet because you have not developed the skill to hold someone down with finesses and ease. I have seen too many blue belts begin their journey into submission too soon and often become frustrated because they just can't finish their opponent. They get so close, but they often fail at finishing their opponent. This usually leads the blue belt to seeking out more and more submission techniques. He thinks that the "new" and "sneaky" techniques will make him more skilled at submissions. However, what he doesn't realize is that his inability to finish his opponent is directly related to his inability to positionally dominate him. The blue belt feels good when he has escaped a hold down and has landed on top. However, he also feels like he has ONE SHOT at sinking in the submission. He knows if he fails, he will end up on his back and have to fight for the top position again. So, he usually stalls, waiting for his opponent to make a mistake so he can hopefully capitalize on it.

Once the blue belt has a firm grip on positional escapes, he should then move on to positional dominance: which is "the ability to control an opponent." When the blue belt can readily escape from most of the bottom positions, he should focus his training on learning how to control his opponent with greater ease and finesse. Although anyone can control their opponent if they can use all of their strength for short periods of time. It will take some time before a person can effortlessly hold down their opponent.

Once the blue belt has a good grip on these two aspects, he should then begin to develop a few good submissions. Still, he should not be consumed with them because there are still a few more areas to train before a lengthy period of time should be spent on submissions. (Yes, yes, yes, I know that submissions are the more enjoyable
Purple Belt

This is the belt of momentum and combinations. This is the belt level where the amount of energy you expend to accomplish a specific task should be considerably lower than it was when you were a white belt. Your game should have a certain amount of grace and finesse to it. Your game should not have rely on speed, power and explosiveness to get you into positions or out of positions. Your repertoire of techniques should be very high. However, you should begin to focus your training on your depth of knowledge. The white and blue belts are the belts where you accumulate techniques. The purple belt is the first belt where you must begin to refine your techniques. It is also the belt where you learn to put the basic techniques together into various two technique and three technique combinations, with the use of momentum.

Because you become more reliant upon combinations and momentum, the amount of speed and power required to effect your technique decreases. This is not something a white or blue belt can do just yet because of their limited amount of knowledge and experience.

As a purple belt, you must begin to focus your training on the use momentum. You must train your entire body to FEEL momentum. Up until this point in time, most everything was visual. You must develop a high level of sensitivity so that you can flow with your opponent instead of forcing techniques with speed and power, especially when you grappled people who are much bigger and stronger than you are. Pushing an opponent's dead weight around is exhausting if you do not have a firm foundation in escapes and positioning. You will need to learn to use the momentum that your opponent gives to you, as well as create momentum when his body is not in motion. Momentum will help you to lower the amount of strength you use to perform your techniques.

Your training should also begin to use the basic techniques together into two, three and sometimes five technique combinations. Notice I said "basic" techniques. The purple belt mentality is very different from the white and blue belt mentality. White and blue belts think the answer to their problems is learning more techniques. The purple belt thinks to himself: "I need to refine the techniques I already know and then learn how to reflexively put the appropriate techniques together into flowing combinations." For example, when I first learned the triangle, I thought it was just a matter of throwing my legs over their head and shoulder and squeezing my legs together. Then as I matured in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I noticed that there were a specific set of components that made up the technique (20 to be exact!). Then, I noticed that these components could be broken down even further into sub-categories. Now (as a black belt), the triangle is no longer a simple technique with three or four movements. It is now a myriad of over twenty (20) different (and subtle) moving parts that must be put together in a specific order so they can all work together towards one common goal: apply pressure to the neck. Once I had mastered the triangle, I needed to put it together with other basic techniques like the arm lock, the hip bump, the sweep, the kimura, a knee lock, etc. Knowing how to combine the triangle with other basic techniques was very important to my development in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! Once I could combine techniques together and use them in conjunction with momentum, I now felt ready to take on the world. I've noticed the same in many students, both in seminars, at my school and other schools.

The purple belt's mind set should be on the refinement of his current knowledge and the use of momentum and combinations. The purple belt is able to do this because he already has a wide base of knowledge in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I know that white and blue belts want to learn how to do this, but they simply aren't ready for it just yet.

This mindset, along with some rapidly developing skills by the purple belts usually sets the stage for some highly charged matches, especially amongst new purple belts. Why? Because the some of the "veteran" blue belts want to make a purple belt tap. Plus, a number of students who get their purple belts go through a period which I call "testing their wares." They want to see just how they compare to the older, more experienced purple belts, especially those who are about to be promoted to brown belt.

Brown Belt

This is the belt of mastery of ALL the basics and something I call "at-will grappling." This is also the belt where submissions play a big part in the training. When I decide that someone is about ready for their brown belt, I tell them in advance that they are about 9 months to a year away from their brown belt. I give them a schedule of tasks that I want them to work on.

First, they must master each and every escape. I want them to be able to escape every position with the use of their hands AND without the use of their hands (they must know how to push and pull, lift and lower with every portion of their anatomy.). I want them to be able to hold other students down with their hands and without their hands. I want to see them use all of the basic techniques in three and five technique combinations. I also want them to begin to refine their submissions. This is where I begin to use the "at-will grappling" training method. I will tell the student, "for the next thirty days, all I want you to do is apply straight arm locks when you grapple with the other students. No chokes or leg locks. Just arm locks." Then, a month later, I will tell them, "for the next month, all I want you to do are leg locks. Then a month later, I will tell them to choke the other students. So, for each month, they have been given a specific task to master. Because they tell the other students, "All I am going to do is arm lock you today," the student knows what the purple belt is going for. This forces the student to be creative in setting up the arm lock because his opponent knows that he will not try a different submission. Setting up an opponent is a difficult task, however, it is one that needs to be learned at this belt level. (I know the lower belt levels want to learn this stuff, but again, they are simply not ready for it.)

Once the student has gotten pretty good at arm locks, leg locks or choke, I will have him narrow the scope of his training. Now, he must focus on one specific limb. I will tell him, "for the next month, all I want you to do is arm lock your opponent's left arm." This really forces the student to develop a multiplicity of ways to enter into the straight arm lock on his opponent's left arm. The student has the confidence to go for all of these submissions because he has a foundation in positional escapes and positional dominance. If he did not have this foundation, he would be timid to go for the submission because he would not want to end up on the bottom again. However, because he can easily escape from any position, and because he can readily hold down and control his opponent, he can repeatedly try for these submissions time and time again! This is why I do not place a lot of emphasis on submissions until the purple or brown belt levels. Position and control are the most important tools to develop at first.

Once a student has a firm grip on the mastery of his basics, I will promote him to brown belt. Once he has been promoted to brown belt, he must continue to refine his game. He must seek out his weak areas and focus on them. He must also find his strengths and focus on them for an extended period of time because these will define his character as a black belt. Most black belts have a specialty. Some are good at throws. Others are good at collar chokes. I happen to be good at leg locks. I want my brown belts to find their sweet spot and train it like crazy!

Black Belt

This is the belt where a person focuses his training on counters and placing his or her signature on the art. First, let's talk about the signature. Some black belts develop an affinity for leg locks (like myself). Others tend to focus on throws or take downs. Some are exceptional at arm locks. While others are magicians at collar chokes. This is also the belt where you really begin to refine and redefine the art. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu takes on a more personal look to it. The new black belt begins to realize that there's more than one way to skin a cat. He also begin to notice how certain things work for some people while others don't. (Now, let me qualify that last statement: all of these things apply to the black belt who is still refining, growing, learning and adapting. They do not apply to the black belt who is stuck in his old ways, paralyzed by his resistance to change!)

At the black belt level, the learning process starts over again. If a new black belt is honest with him or herself, they realize they know very little about their chosen art. They will also know that there is a difference between a new black belt and a black belt who has consistently been training "as a black belt" for the past ten years. For example, I am a relatively new black belt, someone you might call "a white belt amongst other black belts." I've had my black belt for two years now. Then there's Royler Gracie. He's had his black belt for several years. As a matter of fact, he had his black belt before I even thought about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Plus, he has so many more hundreds of hours competing, teaching and training that there's no way to compare my black belt with his black belt. So, as a new black belt, I am introduced to a new journey, one that is as long and hard as the one I just traveled. However, because I have already traveled a similar road, I am ready to take on this new one!

At the black belt level, a person's technical expertise is very high. However, his ability to skillfully perform all of his technical knowledge will not be as good as some might think. The black belt will obviously have some favorite moves that he does most of the time. However, over time (if he continues to train with the same intensity as he did in the earlier belts), his skill level will continue to increase. The only thing that will be different is that his game will become much smaller. He will not concern himself with "NEW" techniques, but the refining and redefining of the old ones. He will work on the small subtle movements that will make the art much easier and more enjoyable to practice. He will begin to make smaller movements to accomplish the same objectives as the other belt. For example, to a black belt, the difference between escaping and being held down is often the difference between a hip movement of less than one inch. YES, I SAID "ONE INCH!" The black belt's feel and sensitivity of the game is so much higher than the white, blue or even purple belt's game. The black belt begins to move like a shadow. He flows effortlessly around his opponent's movement and follows the path they set. He finds his opponent's weakness and then exploits it. The game is very small and tactile!

Finally, the black belt's knowledge and ability to execute counters will be much higher. For example, when a student performs a basic technique, the black belt is already three or four moves ahead of him. The black belt knows that for every move, there are several counters. For every counter, there are several more counters. Let me show this to you another way:

We will call the bridge and roll escape from the mount (Upa), technique "A". Technique "A" has ten (10) counters to it:

A.1 straight arm lock
A.2 catch your balance with your head
A.3 catch your balance with your right foot
A.4 catch your balance with you left foot
A.5 catch your balance with your far arm
A.6 spin to knee on stomach
A.7 spin to side mount
A.8 turn onto your side
A.9 roll and sweep to mount
A.10 triangle

"A.1" is the first counter to technique "A", the bridge and roll escape from the mount position. "A.1" also has ten (10) counters to it:

A.1.1 heel
A.1.2 sit up and crush escape
A.1.3 sit up and crush escape to knee lock
A.1.4 sit up and remove leg off face
A.1.5 sit up and spin to opposite side
A.1.6 roll over shoulder escape
A.1.7 basic elbow/knee escape
A.1.8 basic elbow/knee escape, go to the back
A.1.9 basic elbow/knee escape
A.1.10 shin

Now, do you see how I could keep going on and on with counters? I could list the ten counters for A.2 and A.3 and so on, and then I could begin to list the counters for A.1.1 and A.1.2 and so on and so on.

Do you now see and understand the progression from white to black belt? The process of becoming skilled at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is frustrating, very time consuming and nerve racking, however, it is always rewarding!

I wish you continued success in your journey. Keep training hard and smart!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kron Gracie Seminar at Fall Training Camp in Louisville, Ky. (Nov. 20-22)


Sign-up today for Master Pedro Sauer's Fall Training Camp, to be held in Louisville on Nov. 20-22. Last year, Master Relson Gracie taught an incredible session. This year, Rickson Gracie's son, Kron, will be conducting a special session for participants. You will not want to miss this. Never heard of Kron? Check out some of the videos below:





Friday: (Pedro Sauer) 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: (Strack, Kelly, Manganello) 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and  (Kron Gracie) 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: (Pedro) Sauer) 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cost (members)*

$225 for all sessions (four total)

Individual Days:
  • Friday (3 hours): $85
  • Saturday (6 hours): $160
  • Sunday (3 hours): $85
Cost (non-members)

$250 for all sessions (four total)

Individual Days:
  • Friday (3 hours): $95
  • Saturday (6 hours): $180
  • Sunday (3 hours): $95
Payments can be made through the online store. For more information call Mike Horihan at 865-696-8000.

*members must have ACTIVE individual membership in the Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association. Membership number must be shown to receive the discounted rate. In addition, you're also registered to win an Association Gi through pre-registration. Winner will be announced at the camp.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Congrats To Our New Blue Belts


We'd like to say congratulations to Matt, Rob and Derick for an outstanding performance on their blue belt test today. They each displayed tremendous technique and understanding of the fundamentals of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu during their 2.5-hour effort. They represent our Academy and the art well. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kron Gracie At Fall Training Camp 2009


Just received word today that Red/Black Belt Fabio Santos will unfortunately be unable to attend the Fall camp due to a scheduling conflict.

In his place, however, will be Kron Gracie, who will serve as one of the guest instructors at Master Pedro Sauer's Fall Training Camp at Louisville Martial Arts Academy on Nov. 20-22. You will not want to miss this year's camp. Details are as follows:

Friday: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cost (members)*
$185 for all sessions (four total)
$90 single sessions (each session is three hours)
$140 all-day Saturday (six hours total)

Cost (non-members)
$195 for all sessions
$95 single sessions
$150 all-day Saturday

Payments can be made through the online store. For more information call Mike Horihan at 865-696-8000.

*members must have ACTIVE individual membership in the Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association. Membership number must be shown to receive the discounted rate. In addition, you're also registered to win an Association Gi through pre-registration. Winner will be announced at the camp.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Feeling Jiu-Jitsu


Here's an excerpt from an article featuring Saulo Ribeiro, six-time world jiu-jitsu champion. Take a minute to think about how this relates to your own training. It's sound advice...
"If you think, you are late. If you are late, you use strength. If you use strength, you tire. And if you tire, you die." 
This is one of my favorite quotes, and it means that all jiu-jitsu must be based on how you feel your opponent. The timing to make a decision is not based on what you think you should be doing. It is about your body recognizing the move and automatically doing it. It's about muscle memory. For example, when someone is passing your guard, you feel he is passing so you cannot wait to decide what to do. There is no time for thought -- only reaction. 
This is one thing I developed a long time ago from my teachers -- my jiu-jitsu would be based on reaction. When you react, you don't give your mind the time to get filled with emotions. You are devoid of anger, fear, and frustration; you are simply moving. If your opponent is pushing your elbow and you're tired and almost hurt, it doesn't matter because you are reacting already; you haven't given yourself time to get upset. That's why I follow this motto: no mind. If you do not think, you must feel your opponent and react accordingly. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Master Pedro Sauer Awards Yellow Belt to Bradley Wilson


It's an honor and a pleasure to be able to deliver this news: Master Sauer along with instructor Scott Smith today awarded Bradley Wilson his yellow belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. As you all know, Bradley has been in the fight of his life for more than 30 days. The young man has battled leukemia and is making great strides towards a full recovery.

Thank you all for continuing to pray and keeping Bradley and the Wilson family in your thoughts. In addition, the funds donated by all of you went to purchasing Bradley an Association gi and plenty of jiu-jitsu gear. We cannot wait for him to get back on the mats.

Last but not least, thanks to Master Sauer for taking time out of his schedule to pay this young man a visit. As you can see by the photos below, he was surprised and beyond happy.

See you all on the mat!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandmaster Helio Gracie


Take a moment today to reflect on the life and legacy of the father of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Grandmaster Helio Gracie. With a focus on pure self-defense, he once said that jiu-jitsu is the triumph of human intelligence over brute strength.

Without him, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Thank you, Grandmaster.

Why fear death? I don’t need anything, I don’t have anything, I don’t want anything. I think it’s silly for somebody to be scared of dying. One should be afraid of being born. I have already told my children when I die I want a party, with no alcohol, no hell raising [general laughter]. But I want a party with music, food… I don’t know if you guys believe in reincarnation, but we all go and come back until the day we no longer have to return. My brother [Carlos Gracie, already deceased] used to say the fellow only stops returning to Earth when he mingles with the Whole. Even when you’re thinking just a little bit wrongly, you come back to continue evolving. Hell, my friends, is right here on Earth.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oct. 3 Tournament Details


Click here for more information on the Pedro Sauer Bluegrass Open Jiu-Jitsu tournament. In addition, I'll print off several of the registration forms and bring them to tomorrow night's class.

See you on the mat! 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

NAGA Tournament Update


Wanted to update everyone to let you guys know that SCMA's Scott Sale won the blue belt no-gi division (three straight wins) and took third in the gi division (two wins, one loss). All-in-all, it was a great day for Mr. Sale.

Here's a photo of Scott with his NAGA sword, which in celebration was used to cut up 20 watermelons into tiny pieces.

Congrats once again, Scott!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

NAGA Tournament Update


Just heard that our very own Scott Sale took first place in the No-Gi division at NAGA today. He won three straight matches and is now preparing to fight in the open and gi divisions.

Keep up the good work, Scott. 

I'll provide more updates as the day advances. 


Friday, September 11, 2009

Judo Throw Combinations


Per our class tonight on throw combinations, below is a good video of olympian gold medalist and U.S. team coach Mike Swain explaining several techniques, three of which we covered today.


Chess and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu


We're always talking about how jiu-jitsu is like chess, so here's an article that articulates the connection on many levels. Enjoy.


See you all on the mat -- this Saturday!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

ADCC 2009 Blog


Gracie Magazine has started a new blog dedicated to providing regular updates on the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (commonly referred to as ADCC) submission grappling championship. The next ADCC tournament will be held in Barcelona in about two weeks. There are some major players competing, including Kron Gracie, Marcelo Garcia and Master Pedro Sauer Black Belt Jeff Curran, to name a few.

Bookmark http://graciemagbarcelona2009.wordpress.com/  and begin following the news as the event draws closer. We'll continue to keep you guys informed of the latest as well.

See you all on the mats!

Monday, August 31, 2009

New Wednesday Class Begins This Week


Don't forget that this Wednesday, Sept. 2 at 7:45 p.m. begins our first weekly class dedicated exclusively to the blue belt curriculum. Although designed for beginners, all are welcome to attend and contribute to the overall success of helping our newer students build a solid foundation in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

The addition of the Wednesday class expands our schedule of instructional offerings. We also offer weeknight classes on Monday and Thursday at 7:45 p.m., and two classes on Saturday; a children's class at 11:15 a.m. and an adult's class at 12:15 p.m. Of course, open mat is on Sunday depending on keyholder availability.

There's much more to come, too. Our Academy is rapidly growing and we appreciate your continued support.

See you all on the mat!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Master Rickson Gracie Spars With Professor Pedro Sauer


Thanks to our good friend and fellow Professor Pedro Sauer affiliate Eric Meyers for bringing this footage to our attention. I think it pretty much speaks for itself.




Monday, August 24, 2009

Our 300th Post


As our Academy has grown, so has this blog. We've averaged about 20 posts a month going back more than one year ago. We try to keep things informative, educational, fun, and respectful...a direct reflection of our community at Spencer County Martial Arts.

Below is a slideshow of tonight's class -- our largest on record. Thank you for making us who we are.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

California Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Training


Our very own Craig Conard trained recently at The Gracie Academy in Torrance, California with Rorion Gracie's sons. Pictured below is Craig with Rener Gracie, after a combatives class Monday night.

In addition, Brian Phillips is in San Francisco this week for a work conference and trained at a Carley Gracie Academy downtown.

More pics of both sessions are to come.

When you travel abroad, always bring your jiu-jitsu gear! You never know when a good opportunity to learn and expand your knowledge might present itself. Always be open to new experiences and different flavors, especially if they're in line with the Gracie lineage.

See you all on the mat -- tomorrow night!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Wednesday Night Class Begins In September


As our Academy continues to expand, it's important for us to offer our students as many training opportunities as possible. Over the last couple of months our student body has increased tremendously, and it's for this reason that beginning Wednesday, Sept. 2, we'll offer an additional class at 7:45 p.m.

This new class will focus entirely on the blue belt Gracie Jiu-Jitsu curriculum. It's the fundamentals...the foundation from which you'll continue to grow as a martial artist. It doesn't matter if you're a beginner, someone who is close to testing for blue belt, or a seasoned blue or purple belt -- all are welcome to attend.

We plan to have an enhanced emphasis on the details surrounding every technique on the blue belt list. Think of this class as a clinic. Learning to sustain and improve good positions might be a focus one class.

Becoming an escape artist from bad positions might be another. Then there's always the submission aspect to cover, but only after you've established a solid position. The basics of takedowns and self-defense are also essential.

We look forward to seeing you all on the mat for this new class. The Academy is headed in the right direction and it's all because of the commitment you have to yourself and to each other.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Self-Defense


Excellent work on the mats tonight! We spent the bulk of the class covering Gracie Jiu-Jitsu self-defense techniques. Again, the self-defense techniques are what separate traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu from the more sportive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

In the following video, Relson Gracie black belts Phil and Ricardo Migliarese demonstrate the Helio Gracie self-defense system. It's one of the most complete series of techniques I've been able to find and the moves are crisp. Remember, these techniques are required for promotion in the art: they're just as important as knowing how to escape cross-side or mount, or passing the guard.

Enjoy, and once again thank you for your dedication to the school and to yourselves.

See you all on the mat -- this Saturday!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Explosive Judo Throws

Pretty incredible stuff. You can see how many of the throws set-up nice submissions as well. Excellent technique throughout.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Boxing Seminar Photos


We'd like to once again thank boxing instructor Ray Doemer for conducting an excellent seminar last Sunday. His professionalism and enthusiasm for the sport were evident, and the quality of his instruction was superb. There was no doubt why Mike Tyson, while in his prime, selected Mr. Doemer as one of his trainers.

It's our goal to continue to bring in a wide variety of world-class instruction to our Academy. While our focus is traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as taught and developed by Grandmaster Helio Gracie, it's always important to expand your horizons to include an eclectic mix of tools in your self-defense arsenal. Thanks again, Mr. Doemer. We look forward to working with you in the future.

See you all on the mat!

SCMA's Chris Meeks to Fight Aug. 15


Our very own MMA fighter Chris Meeks steps back into the cage on Aug. 15. We'd like as many of the SCMA family to attend as possible, so below is more information about the fights. Let's all come out and support one of our own as he submits another opponent!

Paroquet Springs Conference Centre
395 Paraquet Springs Dr.
Sheperdsville, Ky. 40165

View Larger Map

General admission is $25
VIP seating is $40

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Fights start at 8 p.m.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Purple Belt Requirements: Roy Dean DVD


Instructor Roy Dean never disappoints in his delivery of crisp technique and solid instruction. Below is a video clip of his latest DVD, "Purple Belt Requirements". It provides a glimpse into the "attack by combination" mindset and, judging from the trailer, Mr. Dean is on-point and has produced another great product.

Remember, though, that it's not a memorization of technique that makes a jiu-jitsu fighter...that's only one part of the equation. It's also a matter of timing and being able to catch and set-up an opponent in the transition...that only comes with time on the mat.

Still, it never hurts to look ahead.

See you all on the mats --tonight!

Tournament Footage


Here is some footage of some of our students competing over the weekend. Thanks to Mark Wilson for putting this together and capturing all the action. Like we've said about competition before, sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail. We're proud of each of you for stepping out on the mat.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Aug. 2 Boxing Seminar


We are proud to host instructor Ray Doomer on Aug. 2 at Spencer County Martial Arts for a two-hour beginner boxing seminar. Mr. Doomer trained Mike Tyson when the champ was in his prime. He brings to us a set of skills that will make our stand-up game very strong.

The cost is $25 and the seminar will run from 3 to 5 p.m. Pay at the door and no special equipment is necessary.

Mark your calendars and come out an support the Academy.

See you on the mat!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jim Kelly vs. James Clingerman

From the most recent Ohio Grappling Challenge, Master Pedro Sauer first-degree black belt Jim Kelly fights James Clingerman. Never underestimate the effectiveness of a cross-collar choke. 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Open Mat Sunday, July 19, 2009 at 11:30 a.m.


We'll be hosting an open mat for registered members of SCMA tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. We'll be going until about 1:30 or 2 p.m. I plan to train gi, but it's your call on if you'd rather work on no-gi technique. Let's train hard and start the week off on a good note.

See you then,


Friday, July 17, 2009

Tapping Out Mt. Hood


In case you weren't aware, SCMA's very own Scott Sale recently climbed Mt. Hood in Oregon. The video below documents the effort, and it's quite impressive. The peak rises more than 11,000 feet and the mountain is considered the Oregon volcano most likely to errupt.

Congrats on the accomplishment, Mr. Sale! That jiu-jitsu is paying off my friend!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Renzo Gracie Footage: Some Old, Some New


Thought you might be interested in watching a view interview/action clips of Renzo Gracie. Most of the following can be seen in the documentary "Legend," but there are some interviews in this video that didn't make it into the documentary. Either way, from a historical perspective you get to see and learn a lot about the early days of the art's evolution in Brazil, as well as Renzo's personal development of the style. 

Enjoy, and see you all on the mat on Monday! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Recent Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Training Clips at Spencer County Martial Arts

Here's a video of recent training clips at the Academy. Everyone's game is improving big time -- enjoy your journey.
See you all on the mat -- tomorrow night!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Open Mat Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 11:30 a.m.


Just a reminder that we'll be hosting a gi open mat today from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Come ready to train hard!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Open Mat Tomorrow, July 4


We will be holding a gi open mat session tomorrow, July 4, from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Come ready to train hard!

Although regular classes have been canceled due to the holiday, a keyholder has graciously agreed to let our jiu-jitsu junkies get their fix.

See you all on the mat - tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

No Classes on Saturday, July 4


Due to Independence Day, SCMA will have no formal classes on Saturday, July 4. We'll pick back up on Monday, July 6. If any keyholders would like to come in for an open mat over the weekend, please post on the forum the day/time in which you'll be available.

We hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday.


The SCMA Instructor Team

Monday, June 29, 2009

Professor Bruce Shepherd Seminar Recap


Several of us from SCMA yesterday attended Professor Bruce Shepherd's seminar at Full Moon Martial Arts Academy in Jeffersonville, IN. As always, the quality of instruction was incredible and he covered some solid techniques.

We began with a throw combination involving osoto-gari, ouchi-gari, and tai-otoshi. These throws work well off of each other and can be applied in gi and no-gi situations. The rest of the seminar involved a submission series from the Kese-Gatame position and a Q&A. Again, all good stuff.

If you haven't had an opportunity to train with Professor Shepherd, definitely attend the next seminar he conducts. Come armed with your questions, too, as he's like an encyclopedia for all things jiu-jitsu.

We'll see you all on the mat -- tonight!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Open Guard Movement Drill


Here's a nice open guard drill that combines movements from two sweeps. Very nice transition from one move to the next. This comes courtest of Kurt Osiander, a black belt under Ralph Gracie. Enjoy, and we'll see you all on the mats -- tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Professor Shepherd Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Seminar This Sunday


Full Moon Martial Arts will host a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu seminar conducted by Professor Bruce Shepherd, a 3rd-degree black belt under Marcello Ferriera. The seminar will be held this Sunday, June 28th from noon to 2:30 p.m. Cost for the seminar is $25.00 if prepaid, and $35.00 at the door the day of the seminar.

Below is a map from which you can get directions. Let us know if any of you would like to carpool.

Let’s all come out and support Professor Shepherd for what plans to be another excellent seminar!

See you all on the mat – this Thursday!

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Professor Pedro Sauer -- Rolling in Iceland


Gracie Iceland Pedro Sauer representative, Johann Eyvindson, posted this video of himself and Professor having a friendly training session at the last seminar. Very good flow and demonstration of technique! Eyvindson was promoted to purple belt by Professor that weekend. In addition, Johan will be bringing eight of his students to the Fall Training Camp in Louisville, Ky., in November. More details on the training camp will follow, but start saving now so you don't miss out!

Congrats again Johann!


Sweet Tournament Technique

Courtesy of Victor Estima...guard sweep attempt to armbar. Smooth.

Gracie Academy Technique of The Month


Here's a nice cross-side to mount triangle-armbar combination attack, from the Gracie Academy's Technique of the Month series.

See you all on the mat -- Thursday!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Eduardo Telles At Pedro Sauer Training Camp -- Video


Excellent work on the mats tonight! I'm working on another video of some recent classes and hope to have it up in the coming days. In the meantime, here's a brief training session featuring Eduardo Telles at Jeff Gordon's Academy for Professor Sauer's Summer Training Camp. 

See a familiar face in the video? Allan Manganello, from Louisville Martial Arts Academy, has a match with Eduardo at around the 4-minute mark. Good stuff.

See you all on the mat -- this Thursday!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

2009 World Jiu-Jitsu Championships


Here's a nice video narrative that summarizes the black belt matches from the 2009 Mundials. 

Enjoy, and see you all on the mat later this morning!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Marcelo Garcia Interview


Great interview with three-time world champion Marcelo Garcia. Check it out and we'll see you all on the mats tomorrow for 2.5-hours' worth of solid training!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Felipe Costa and Robert Lovi Seminar


Attached is a cool video of World Champion Felipe Costa doing some light sparring with Pedro Sauer Black Belt Robert Lovi at a recent seminar. It's nice to see the action at a reduced pace. You get a chance to really examine the transitions between techniques and explore strategy at a deeper level.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sometimes You're The Hammer, Sometimes You're The Nail


This video is of instructor Roy Dean competing in the 2009 Mundials. Remember, it takes a lot of courage to step out onto the mat, and, win or lose, you walk away with valuable lessons learned. The two matches below show this contrast in action, and we appreciate Mr. Dean for being so humble about his performance...win or lose.

Actually posting a video of oneself losing is a rarity on YouTube. But there's no shame in losing to Victor Estima, that's for sure. Enjoy.

Friday, June 12, 2009

2009 World Jiu-Jitsu Championships


Here's an excellent recap of instructor Roy Dean's experience competing in the 2009 World Jiu-Jitsu Championships. Contains some great photos and an thorough summary of his time on the mat.

Enjoy, and I'll see you all on the mat when I return from Colorado!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More 2009 Mundials Action...

Marcelo Garcia 

Brown Belt Super Heavyweight Final 

More to come...

2009 World Jiu-Jitsu Championships -- Roger Gracie Matches


Here are a few of Roger Gracie's matches from the most recent World Championships. Not sure how long they'll be live on YouTube, but you'll notice that Roger Gracie is a machine. He won all of his matches (I believe there were nine total matches between his weight category and the open-class) with chokes from the mount.

There are some nice takedowns, sweeps and transitions in all three matches that I've linked together below. The next video will automatically play after the previous one ends. Again, I'm not sure how long these will be "live" so catch them while you can.

Train hard while I'm in Colorado -- see you all on the mat when I return!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Open Mat Sunday, June 7 at 11:30 a.m.


We will be hosting an open mat tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. Come ready to train gi or no-gi tomorrow. If you're working on the blue belt curriculum, bring a gi. The session will last until 1:30 p.m.

See you on the mat!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

No-Gi Starts Thursday, June 4


Remember that tomorrow's class starts our Thursday/Saturday no-gi curriculum through August. Mondays are still going to be a designated gi class. Come ready to train hard and look at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu through a new lens. 

See you all on the mat!  

Monday, June 1, 2009

Brown Belt Demonstration -- Roy Dean Academy


Here's an excellent demonstration of technique and knowledge of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Courtesy of instructor Roy Dean. You can check out his academy at www.roydeanacademy.com.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wristlock From Guard

Although illegal in tournaments, here's a slick wristlock you can work from the guard, as shown by Megaton Dias (one of Royler Gracie's blackbelts). Dias also conducted the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu seminar I attended back in 1996.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Open Mat Tomorrow at 11:30


We'll be hosting an open mat tomorrow, May 25 at 11:30 for all registered students of SCMA. Come ready to work hard before you enjoy your Memorial Day.

See you all on the mat!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Jiu-Jitsu Has No Limit

Another example of why Jiu-Jitsu is "felt" and not "seen".

See you all on the mat -- tomorrow! 

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt Examination

Very good technique and flow displayed in this Gracie Barra Brown Belt examination.

Open Mat: Sunday, May 24 at 11:30 a.m.


Open Mat is a go for this Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Open to all registered members of SCMA, come ready to train and with a game plan. For those who have or are working towards their fourth stripe, bring the blue belt curriculum and carve out some time to work it, then work it again.

Remember, Monday's Memorial Day class will be canceled, so get your jiu-jitsu fix in at open mat.

See you then.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Always Attacking...

Kron Gracie's mentality, what Professor Sauer spoke about at his last seminar. When fighting, go for the submission. Don't get caught up in a point battle. Position, then submission. Attack by combination, similar to the guard submission series we worked in class Monday night.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Eduardo Telles Open Guard Pass


Here's a nice technique from Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt and world champion Eduardo Telles, who will a guest instructor at Master Pedro Sauer's Spring Training Camp in Maryland. Master Sauer spoke highly of his skill today, and below is an open guard pass that reflects well on Telles' technical ability.

See you all on the mat! 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day One With Master Pedro Sauer


Master Pedro Sauer never disappoints in his seminars. Just finished Day 1 of 2 at Louisville Martial Arts Academy, where the majority of time was spent on classic Gracie Jiu-Jitsu self-defense. Master Sauer covered punch block to throw combinations, rear bear hug and gun defenses, and headlock escapes against a much larger and stronger opponent.

Open guard passes and half-guard strategy were also discussed. As always, we ended with some free training. Before the seminar, Master Sauer taught a kids seminar where several of our Spider Monkeys experienced their first seminar and had an opportunity to train with a variety of students from other schools.

We want to thank Louisville Martial Arts Academy for hosting another world-class event. The whole experience was nothing short of incredible today. Here are some photos of Master Sauer and the Spider Monkeys who attended.

More will be on the way tomorrow.

See you all on the mat!