Sunday, March 29, 2009

SCMA Tournament Results


We took a great team of competitors to the Bluegrass Open this weekend. Every one of our students had some excellent matches and fought with solid technique and lots of heart. We took one gold, two silvers, and one bronze -- all in all, a very good day for everyone involved.

For those of you who stepped out on the mats, we commend you. It's always difficult to lay yourself on the line in a new environment with an unknown opponent. We'd also like to thank everyone who came out and supported the team....students, parents, and family, in particular.

In addition, this type of experience wouldn't be possible without the effort of Louisville Martial Arts Academy, which started the tradition back in 1998. It's grown to be a world-class event with tough competition.

We'll have a complete highlight video posted soon.

See you all on the mat!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Open Mat Tomorrow at 11:30 a.m.


We'll be hosting an open mat for registered members of Spencer County Martial Arts tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. until about 1:30 p.m. Please come ready to drill and work technique. I'll be there to help answer any questions as well.

In addition, we'd like to congratulate all of our students who competed in the tournament today. I know Matt took first in his division and Corey placed third in his. We'll have a full summary of results for SCMA in the near future. Win or lose, I saw some great technique on the mats today.

Excellent work, team!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Royler Gracie DVD: Jiu-Jitsu Competition Tested Techniques Volume One: Throws and sweeps


This DVD, produced by Royler Gracie, looks to be a must-have for any serious Gracie Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. I just ordered my copy online from Haitasha Sports for $34 + shipping. Here's the website, and the description follows below:

Royler Gracie, one of the most renowned instructors and accomplished fighters in BJJ, now for the first time, releases an instructional DVD. The four times World BJJ Champion, three times World ADCC Champion demonstrates his favorite competition tested techniques in his first ever instructional DVD - Volume One: Throws And Sweeps.

For his first ever foray in the instructional DVD arena, the charismatic Royler teamed up with one of the top DVD filmmaker/editor, the producer of the Arte Suave Series, to create an epic and dynamic instructional. The DVD was filmed in studio in HD and reveals historic footage, some from 20 years ago, of Royler competing.

In this unique DVD, Royler Gracie reveals the techniques that he performed in international tournaments throughout his illustrious career. Each position is demonstrated by Royler and illustrated with competition footage. These competition-tested techniques have proven their effectiveness and will help practitioners of all skill levels improve their game.

In a special introduction to the DVD, Royler`s biography highlights his champion career and achievements. A historic "Extra Feature" shows Grand Master Helio Gracie teaching at the Gracie Humaita Academy, Royler demonstrating techniques, and black belts students training.

Techniques include:

  1. Ippon Seoi Nage To Single Leg Far Leg Trip
  2. Ko Ouchi Gari Variation
  3. Ouchi Gari Variation
  4. Kosoto Gari Variation
  5. Opponent Grabs The Leg: Sumi Gaeshi
  6. Opponent Sits Up And Controls The Leg: Base And Posture
  7. Opponent Controls The Leg: Reversal
  8. Arm Drag To Taking The Back
  9. Sitting Guard Arm Trap Sweep
  10. Sitting Guard To Heel Trip Reversal
  11. Sitting Guard Hook On The Hip Sweep
See you all on the mat -- tonight!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Renzo Gracie vs. Roger Gracie's Father (Mauricio Gomes)


If you haven't seen Legacy, the documentary about Renzo Gracie, spoil yourself a little and pick up a copy on www.amazon.com or www.renzogracielegacy.com . There's so much cool footage and interviews, like this training session between Renzo and Roger Gracie's father, Mauricio Gomes.

Class Log: March 23 -- Guard Pass Recoveries, Sit-Up Sweep Combinations


Excellent work tonight on the mats! We'd like to once again welcome purple belt Brandon to the team for a short period while he's in town for work, and also thank Adam for trying out the Academy tonight.

Instructor Scott covered some nice set-ups from the basic sit-up sweep. We started off with the simple drill of working the sweep and your partner then escapes out the back door using the elbow escape.

We then transitioned into thinking about the top person's perspective. When the sweep is being performed on you, attack the leg that's basing for the sweep and spin out to your opponent's back. The key element here is timing...anticipate the move and capitalize on it early.

After several rounds of practice, Scott then showed a few guard recoveries off the double-under guard pass. The first option dealt with an opponent who grabs your belt and attempts to either stack you to pass or pull you into them.

As soon as you feel their hands on your belt, make your legs heavy and place your palms on their knuckles. Walk your shoulders away as you extend your arms to break the grip. Once broken, maintain contact with their hands and work to replace guard.

If you're late and your opponent begins to lift your hips, level yourself by coming up onto your hands and lifting your hips. Again, your legs are heavy. Rehook your feet, trapping your opponent's arms. From here you have numerous options, including the basic cross-collar choke, the arm triangle, loop choke, etc.

Of course, preventative medicine always works best. When your opponent breaks your guard and begins to brings his arms under your legs, grab his wrists (or his sleeves) and hook your feet on the insides of his thighs. This will prevent the "lifting" of your legs and set-up some nice submissions such as the shoulder lock example Scott demonstrated.

We ended class with several rounds of free training. Keep up the excellent work! Again, welcome to Brandon and Adam.

See you all on the mat -- this Thursday!

P.S. -- here's the sit-up sweep in detail as shown by Master Pedro Sauer:

Rickson Gracie Seminar Group Photo

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rickson Gracie Interview with The Tennessean


Below is an interview with Master Rickson Gracie, conducted by Nashville's daily newspaper, The Tennessean. This occured while he was in town for the March seminar. Enjoy!

Video interview with Rickson: click here

Jiu-Jitsu champ helped martial arts popularity


The stranglehold mixed martial arts has taken on American spectators is bittersweet for one whose family is credited for bringing the sport to this country.

Rickson (pronounced Hickson) Gracie, whose part of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu family in Brazil, worries the sound techniques he emphasizes in his teachings have given way to mayhem that is often seen in today's fights.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master visited McGavock High School this week to conduct a two-day seminar on the art form. "I love to see the action, I love to see the exposure of the sport and the growth," Gracie said. "But I miss … the essence of martial arts, which MMAs has gone away from and become more like an extreme sport than an actual martial arts confrontation."

On April 1, Nashville will serve as host to the Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night at Sommet Center. It will mark the UFC's first appearance in the state. Tennessee legalized MMA events last year. Gracie's father, Helio, was a practitioner of Jiu-Jitsu in the 1930s and his family eventually made it a goal to help introduce the martial art to America. Gracie said his family wanted to compare the different styles of martial arts in head-to-head fights to see which were the most effective.

The idea blossomed into what has become as Mixed Martial Arts. "The first intention to bring about the idea of MMA by our family was the confrontation of styles," Gracie said. "We believed Jiu-Jitsu was superior. In the beginning, when my brother (Royce) was just devastating all the other styles, it was a shock for the whole world.

Then the different styles started to crosstrain to become good MMA fighters." Gracie has advice for anyone who has never seen the sport but plans to attend the UFC event at the Sommet Center. "It's violent, it's pure action," he said. "You have to understand people in that confrontation are prepared for that. That's what they live for. You cannot relate yourself as a participant." But the sweeping popularity the sport has gained since the 1990s has even caught Rickson Gracie by surprise.

"It goes beyond my imagination," Gracie said. "I felt like MMA had the potential to make a huge impact to the society, but now it is even getting bigger."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rickson Gracie Nashville Seminar Photos


Here are a few shots of our instructors and students with the Legend:

The Rickson Gracie Experience


Below is the start of testimonials from our instructors and students who participated in the March 14-15 seminar with Rickson Gracie. Update: if you participated in the seminar and would like to submit a testimonial, email spencercountymartialarts@gmail.com.

Instructor Scott Smith, Master Pedro Sauer Black Belt


We as a group had one of the best times with friends from all over. The seminar was 200 + strong, and Rickson Gracie was everything I've heard he was! A man of PASSION for the art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and anything else he does...

Rickson took the time to touch almost every person in the seminar; answering their questions and having them FEEL the move. I have been going to seminars for 13 to 14 years and this was by far the best seminar I personally have attended. The way he delivered the concepts was priceless. For me it was amazing to watch Master Pedro Sauer look in his eyes was like a kid, as Rickson showed and explained each move. I knew then, I was in for something special.

I've stated to you all, that I will teach you a move one way today and different tomorrow, that time has come! Rickson displayed moves and concepts of Jiu-Jitsu that opened my eyes in everyway. I feel so blessed to have felt right from the source what he was teaching.

I, like so many, had the chance to be one on one with Rickson, to have him show and feel his moves. The look in his eyes was so intense, you could see his soul, and how he feels about Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. It is his life’s work to perfect what his father has created. Rickson stated, he was a developer of Jiu-Jitsu, making it better, and his father Helio was the creator. Rickson stated: “my father invented the airplane; I'm just making it better for today’s times.”

I can say, I feel my Jiu-Jitsu has grown over the last few days, and I will be driving myself to be a better teacher, father, husband and student. Jiu-Jitsu as stated by Rickson: “will give you so much in your life...confidence and the ability to feel you can do anything.”

Thank you Rickson Gracie for a weekend I will never forget!

Instructor Brian Phillips, Master Pedro Sauer Purple Belt

I never thought that in my lifetime I’d be blessed with the opportunity to train with Rickson Gracie, the legend who is widely recognized as being the best representative of jiu-jitsu in the world, with the finest technique and phenomenal ability to transfer his knowledge to students of all ages, sizes and backgrounds.

I was one of the lucky 200 participants who trained with the Master in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 14-15. This was his first seminar in the United States in more than a decade.

Each day consisted of six hours of instruction, with a break in between each three-hour session.

When Rickson walked into the room, which was a mat-covered high school gymnasium, the pool of participants erupted into applause. With a humble bow to all of us, Rickson started by honoring his father, the late Grandmaster Helio Gracie, and explaining the philosophy that would guide the entire seminar which could be summed up in two words: “Invisible Jiu-Jitsu”, or the fact that jiu-jitsu is felt and not seen.

I’ve attended a lot of excellent seminars in my jiu-jitsu career and have learned a multitude of techniques. Rickson didn’t show a single technique during two full days of instruction. What he taught were basic concepts that were driven by an unseen connectedness between you and your opponent. His teachings were the difference between feeling like you weigh 300 pounds when you only tip the scales at 155; they were the distinction between a technique working and it failing every time.

I would say that there were about 15-17 “concepts” taught during the seminar, which is said to be the first of 10 he plans to conduct in the U.S. One of the very first shown was the Upa, which most people learn the first day they walk into a jiu-jitsu school.

Out of the 200 participants, not a single person could escape Rickson’s mount using the Upa, because a fundamental flaw existed in everyone’s technique – including the many world-class black belts in attendance who tried their hand at it.

After several attempts at this, Rickson would show the correct way to perform the technique, and invite everyone back up to try it again. This was the same process used for every concept shown. In fact, if you didn’t have one-on-one time with Rickson then it was your own fault.

At 50, Rickson is in prime physical shape. The second day of the seminar he demonstrated the “internal massage” and breathing techniques that are an essential part of his daily life. People may have seen this on video, but to witness it in person is surreal. The same can be said for just being in his presence.

The passion Rickson has for teaching, for training, and for passing on his family’s teachings cannot be overstated. You can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. He didn’t hold anything back from us, and when you worked with him it was as if you were the only person in the room. His focus, determination, and heart are simply incredible. He is a true warrior and Master of the masters.

The intention of this post wasn’t to “describe” or attempt to “re-teach” the material covered, for that would contradict and defeat the entire philosophy of the seminar. My experience is just one of many. I can say that it was the best jiu-jitsu experience I’ve had. No matter who you are or what your motivation for training may be, everyone who participated in that seminar walked out as a more efficient jiu-jitsu practitioner and better person.

Now it’s time to share the knowledge gained with our own students and friends. The one thing for certain is that we are all white belts again.

Thank you, Rickson, for such an incredible experience.

Craig Conard, Master Pedro Sauer Blue Belt

First of all, I want to thank those at Spencer County Martial Arts who helped me find Jiu-Jitsu and experience one of the most unique men I have ever met. That man is Rickson Gracie. From the moment he walked in the gymnasium you felt a deafening silence. Such an honor to witness that type of respect from a diverse group of individuals who traveled from all over the world to be there on that rainy weekend in Nashville. I decided to go to this seminar to improve my Jiu-Jitsu knowledge and get the opportunity to meet a legend in his profession. Who I met that day was a very humble man. Someone who was not above working with every student at the seminar. It was pretty amazing, "I got to perfect my elbow escape on Rickson Gracie". WOW!!!!!

As most people in the Jiu-Jitsu community know, Rickson lost his father recently as I did. Rickson showed that emotion as he explained to us what Jiu Jitsu meant to him. I too felt his emotion and the gifts, hobbies and passion for doing something worth while which our fathers shared with us as children. Rickson explained that his father, Helio Gracie, gave him and everyone in that gymnasium the gift of Jiu Jitsu, the foundation and permission to develop each technique. Since day one, our instructor Scott Smith has told us this, "Today my friend I teach you this way, tomorrow I teach you different" of course in his Southern Brazilian accent. The point is, Rickson showed everyone there that certain aspects we have taught and learned are have been updated, changed, modified to better serve.

As I was discussing the seminar with a friend I remember the old analogy about football being a game of inches. Rickson demonstrated that Jiu-Jitsu is the same. Time after time Rickson would ask Black Belts, Brown Belts, anyone to escape his simple mount. Each failed miserably. Rickson then showed adjusting the hips one more inch to the left. Adjusting the head one inch to the right. Connecting to your opponent. Time after time the Black Belt, Brown Belt, everyone was able to escape Rickson's mount. Rickson would seldom answer anyone's question directly. He would always let you feel what he was saying. He did this the entire seminar.

I was asked by another student last night who did not attend the seminar if it was worth it? I said this, "Even if Rickson would not have showed us anything, it would have been worth it just to speak and listen to his passion for Jiu-Jitsu. How he spent so much time showing the basic building blocks for each movement. Constantly reinforcing the concept of technique and not strength. His expression of Jiu-Jitsu and his message that it is seen, not felt. His message of feeling the invisible. To answer that question, Absolutely!

Thank you, Rickson!

Allen Shumate, Master Pedro Sauer Blue Belt

I had the extreme honor and privilege of training with Rickson Gracie on March 14-15 in Nashville TN. During my years of training, I had heard several accounts of how incomparable Rickson Gracie's passion, technique, and teachings of Jiu-Jitsu are. I believed the 'hype' whole-heartedly, but was pleased to experience it first hand. Did my own experience live up to the hype? No, it surpassed it by miles.

Rickson shared 'invisible' concepts that elevated every technique to its fullest potential. He illustrated maybe 15 of these 'invisible concepts' and then allowed EVERYONE to feel these concepts, not just show them. I had the pleasure of working a sweep and maintaining cross mount on the legend himself. As I worked with him he would provide constant feedback such as "no no, more energy on the leg" or "place more weight on the sternum, now move an inch and feel the difference". This type of feedback was reinforced several times through the two-day seminar by the simple statement, "Jiu-Jitsu is felt, not seen". My own instructor Scott Smith, a Gracie Jiu Jitsu black belt under Master Pedro Sauer, has echoed this statement from the beginning of my training and it so nice to hear those same words from the legend himself. It gave me great pleasure to know that my own academy shares the very same spirit of Rickson's teachings.

The experience I had watching, sharing, and learning from Helio Gracie's son will remain with me forever and I pray everyone who trains in jiu jitsu has the same opportunity. If you have the opportunity to attend a seminar with Rickson Gracie, you should seriously consider attending and make every sacrifice necessary. I assure you that you will feel blessed as I do.

Thanks for everything, Rickson.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Association Mats Now Available


Master Pedro Sauer has Association mats now available for purchase through Zebra mat's website. They're priced at $229 for a 5' x 10' and $458 for 10' x 10'. Each size is 1.375 inches thick and the price includes shipping.

I've never rolled on these before, but given the fact that it's hard to find used mats anywhere, these might be the right choice if you're looking to mat an area of your house (like I am).

Click here to go directly to the website for additional information. Post in our forum if you have any experience -- good or bad -- with these particularly style of mats.

See you all on the mat -- tonight!

Master Pedro Sauer's Brazil Summer Training Camp


Check out this incredible opportunity -- I just checked on airfare, and right now it's about $900 roundtrip, which would be in addition to the training camp expense. I would do the 10-day trip. If anyone is even remotely interested please let me know. Visit www.pedrosauer.com for more information.

Experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity this year: 
train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the place where it was born!

The Pedro Sauer Association is excited to offer a world class training camp in beautiful Petropolis, Brazil, complete with some of the best jiu-jitsu instructors in the world!  You'll enjoy the comfortable and inviting accommodations of the Pousada Mata Atlantica (bed and breakfast) located on Professor Pedro Sauer's family property. Guests will stay 2-3 to a room with families having their own room. While there, you will be treated to custom-catered meals prepared fresh just for you. And while you're at the Pousada, three meals a day are included. Plus, your group sightseeing itineraries have been designed so that you see and do all that you can in the time you have. The itinerary hits the Brazilian “must do” spots, and all associated group-travel costs are included in your camp fee. 

10 day trip ($1500)
click to reserve your spot
       DEPART: leave US on July 15, arrive Rio on July 16.
       RETURN: Leave Rio on July 25, arrive US on July 26.

 14 day trip ($2100)
click to reserve your spot
      DEPART: leave US on July 15, arrive Rio on July 16.
      RETURN: Leave Rio on July 29, arrive US on July 30.

There is no more authentic place to experience the art of jiu-jitsu than in Petropolis. The lush forests and rich natural beauty of the area offer an unmatched opportunity to hike, go sightseeing, and enjoy a vast array of water sports and ecological tours. And whether you choose the 10-day or 14-day camp, there will be plenty of time to take advantage of the dining, leisure, and nightlife aspects of Brazil.

But let's not forget why you're here: the chance to train with world class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pros. Our 2009 Brazil camp is designed to make you a better, more knowledgeable, and more accomplished grappler no matter your age, gender, or current level of experience. At the Pousada, you'll not only get unlimited open mat time in the training facility, but you'll also get two hours of additional instructional training per day (except on Sunday) from instructors like Professor Sauer himself.

Under the tutelage of some of the world's greatest jiu jitsu players, you will understand just how Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has come to dominate the world martial arts scene so quickly.

Plus, you'll have the opportunity to train in the very places made famous by true masters like Helio Gracie! You'll love the authentic experience of rolling at the now-famous locations where it all started, such as Gracie Humaitá, Corpo/Quatro (Body of Four), Gracie Petropolis and others! (Locations and instructors may be subject to change.)

So hurry if you'd like to take advantage of this rare opportunity because availability is limited. Come experience unique cultural attractions, rich natural beauty, and train with world class jiu-jitsu pros in the country that started it all: Brazil! If you have any questions, email PSBJJA Association Director Mike Horihan at mhorihan@pedrosauer.com or call him at 865-696-8000.

  • A (non refundable) deposit of 20% trip cost will be required to reserve your spot.
  • Full trip expense must be paid in full by July 1, 2009.
  • Trip cost is all inclusive of meals (at host location), transportation (once in Brazil), lodging, site seeing and training**
  • Airfare is not included
  • NOT included in this package. Extras, alcoholic beverages, individual sightseeing trips, tourist attractions tickets, adventure activities, optional
**Training note: there is a possibility of training with Rickson Gracie. Should this be available, there will be an additional cost paid at the training location by anyone wishing to participate. Please be aware, this is not a confirmed item at this time. 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Thank You, Women's Self-Defense Class Participants


We'd like to thank each participant at yesterday's women's self-defense class for taking the time on a Sunday to come and learn some effective Gracie Jiu-Jitsu techniques. We had a very good turnout and some excellent questions were posed about different street scenarios.

Thanks also to all of you for helping us promote the class and "spread the word" about our Academy. We plan to host another class like this in the near future, so stay tuned and we'll let you know.

Remember, class goes on as planned this Saturday, and we appreciate the help from our assistant instructors as many of us will travel to the Rickson Gracie Seminar in Nashville this weekend.

See you all on the mat -- tonight!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Reminder: Women's Self-Defense Class, Daylight Savings Time Tomorrow


Just wanted to remind everyone that we will not be having open mat tomorrow due to the Women's Self-Defense Class that starts at 4 p.m. Please everyone bring your grandma, mom, girlfriend, friend... any woman who wants to learn two hours of solid self-defense techniques.

In addition, please set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed tonight -- so that you make it class tomorrow on time!

See you all on the mat!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Old School Royler Gracie


This man helped pave the path of today's World Jiu-Jitsu Champions. Royler Gracie, whose technique is one of the finest expressions of the art, is a fierce competitor against opponents of all sizes. Like his father and brothers, he's a pioneer and one of the reasons we're able to train in the art today.

Here are a couple of videos I found on YouTube from back in 2003 -- part one then part two follows:

(check out the takedown at 1:58)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Professor Luis "Limao" Heredia Seminar, March 22-24


Check out the flyer below, courtesy of Instructor Allan Manganello at Louisville Martial Arts Academy. Please spread the word about this seminar. If you haven't trained with Professor Heredia, don't miss this chance. If you have, then you know what you're getting...an incredible experience.

If you're competing at the March 28 tournament, then this is excellent preparation. Please call LMAA with any questions, or of course you can see one of your instructors at Spencer County Martial Arts and we'll make sure you have everything you need in order to attend this.

Professor Heredia taught at Master Sauer's 2008 Fall Training Camp. The attached video, in case you missed it, features a couple of great clips of him instructing. Check it out.

See you all on the mat!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We Highly Recommend: Padilla and Sons Kimonos


Several of you have asked us recently for uniform recommendations. Many are buying a second gi to work into their rotation, but understandably don't want to take out an additional line of credit to purchase one.

After doing some research for a new gi online, I came across a small, family-owned shop out of California, called Padilla & Sons Kimonos (pronounced pah-dee-yah). Their uniforms are reasonably-priced (below Atama, Krugan, Vulcan, Koral, et al), and the customer service was excellent (they sent me detailed washing instructions and thanked me personally for purchasing their brand).

I received my uniform in the mail today and it definitely exceeded my expectations. It fit really well (cut like a jiu-jitsu uniform) and didn't shrink much after the first wash.

Check them out online at www.matrat.us. Click here for a review. Definitely consider them when you go to buy your next gi.  

See you all on the mat -- tomorrow night!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Reminder: Women's Self-Defense Class Next Sunday, March 8 at 4 p.m.


Please spread the word to any women you know who might be interested in attending a two-hour self-defense class. Details are below:

Women's Self-Defense Class

Sunday, March 8

4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: $25

Spencer County Martial Arts will conduct a two-hour women's self-defense class that will focus on teaching escapes to common street self-defense situations and effective ways to end an altercation against a larger, much stronger opponent.

Using Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as its core, the self-defense class will also cover rape defense and ground scenarios that are too often left out of women's self-defense classes.

Please call (502) 422-1957 or email us at info@spencercountymartialarts.com for additional questions or to register.