jeudi 30 décembre 2010

Goals for 2011

New years resolutions are sometimes difficult to maintain. The truth is, we make these resolutions with the greatest of intents, but rarely do we follow through and make them a part of our everyday lives. How many times have you made the same resolutions year after year?

Back in the summer of 2009, I started a facebook page called "watch me lose it". The plan was to shed the weight I`d put on over the last 10 years. I got off to a decent start and dropped about 12 or 13 lbs after starting to train jiu jitsu and paying a bit more attention to my diet. My weight dropped and maintained itself to around 213 lbs for most of the year.

As detailed in previous blogs, on September 30th, 2010, I had a colonoscopy and started a new treatment cycle for Ulcerative Proctitis and subsequently put the weight back on. So here I am.

I`ve started making changes to my diet and seeing a Naturopath to clean out my system. (started supplements on December 22nd)

I`m realistic in knowing I`ll probably never be successful with quitting anything cold turkey. I`ve got to curb my caffeine intake and eventually ween myself off of it completely. (can I do it? it`ll be tough)

DRINK MORE WATER!! (goes without saying)

Make healthier choices whenever possible...just gotta do it.


I`ve got to get myself back into a routine of training a minimum of twice a week. 3 times a week whenever possible. Leave it all on the mat...sweat it out and improve.

My goal in BJJ is to lose the weight and train to compete at the Ontario Open in April and then the Renzo Gracie Invitational in May. From there, earn the 4th stripe to my white belt and work my ass off to earn my blue belt before the end of 2011. (that`s a lofty goal, but if not in 2011, I want to earn it by spring 2012).

Ok, enough about me, it`s time to focus on BJJ and MMA.

Who`s looking forward to UFC 125? I`m excited to see Frankie Edgar hand Maynard his first loss and retain the lightweight belt. Another fight I`m looking forward to is Nate Diaz vs Don Hyun Kim. The card isn`t my favorite on paper, but those are usually the ones that deliver. Should be a good night of fights.

jeudi 23 décembre 2010

2010 was a good year

Where did 2010 go? It seems like the older I get, the quicker time seems to pass. Sounds pretty cliché, but that`s just the way it goes I guess.

It`s been a great year, my boys have enjoyed the little ninja`s program and have earned 3 stripes on their yellow/white belts. The main thing is they`ve fallen into the routine and learned from the mat chats which they`ve learned to apply to their everyday lives. With the busy month of December, they`ve missed a few classes, but with the year round schedule and their young age, I think it`s important to take small breaks in order to keep them interested when they`re there. They`re looking forward to 2011.

Looking back at the last year, I`ve learned alot on the mats. I`ve had the luxury of travelling with some good friends to learn from black belts in Ottawa, Los Angeles and Montreal. I`ve also attended 3 seminars locally under Pat Cooligan, our head instructor and black belt from OAMA.

I attended 3 MMA events, one in Ottawa which saw Jenn`s MMA debut at Wreck and both UFC events in Montreal, UFC 113 and 124.

With that said, my health was a struggle for the first 3 quarters of the year, but I`ve been able to endure, work around it and continue to train. Thankfully, with the help of my doctors, I`ve gotten things under control (I have a form of Ulcerative Colitis). I`ve recently also started seeing a Naturopath Doctor who`s going to help me with my nutrition and started me on supplements to heal the condition which may have contributed to my UC.

Ok, without getting too sidetracked by my gut problems, the point I`m trying to get to is that 2011 will see a renewed focus on my overall health. Combining diet and lifestyle changes with a continued focus on my training at Sudbury BJJ.

I`ve got some goals I`ve set out for myself for 2011. I want to finally shed some of this weight I`ve been carrying around, plan to possibly compete in the spring and travel to NYC to train at Renzo Gracie`s main academy in Manhattan. I`ll write more about these goals in the coming weeks.

With that, I`d like to wish you a Merry Christmas! I`m looking forward to spending time with my family and catching up with some old friends. If you want to find me next week, I`ll be taking advantage of a few days off work to train during the day. Shoot me a note on facebook or text message my phone if you`d like to come out!

Stay tuned...more to come in 2011!

dimanche 19 décembre 2010

Christmas at Sudbury BJJ & Muay Thai Academy

Well, I haven`t been able to get back onto the mat since returning from Montreal. I took the day off on Monday to recouperate and spend some time with my family and then got beat up by a nasty cold. I`ve been pretty lucky so far this year, so I guess it was just my turn.

At any rate, Friday night, the club celebrated the holidays with a dinner over at Frank`s Deli on Durham followed by a shaker over at the club. There was food, spirits (for those who are of legal age), foozeball & kareoke. Guy Poulin lead the charge behind the microphone with some now classic top 40 material by Lady Gaga and Jay Z. Yes, as is customary, Guy eventually began shedding layers of clothing. Hilarity ensued.

Steve & Jenn were great hosts and thanked the staff and club members for another successful year at our new home on Montrose. (Can you believe one year ago we were moving into the new club?)

There were also two awards given out. The first was the BEAR Award, named after Brian "Bear" Kutschke. This award was created last year after Brian dedicated many hours to building the new club. It`s an award that goes to the member who shows dedication to the club and helps promote a good atmosphere. (well, I struggling to say exactly what it`s for because this year`s winner was none other than yours truly)

I`m humbled by that and appreciate the recognition of being a good club member. My family and I enjoy the time we spend there and it`s really become a second home for us.

The second award, newly created for 2010 was the Renzo Gracie Competition Award. This goes out to the member who showed excellence in competition. The first to be awarded this honour goes to none other than Jessie "The Kid" Cronier. As many of you know, Jessie has brought home some hardware in BJJ tournements and has really stepped it up in Muay Thai having won the World Championships for his division in Iowa and becomming the Ontario Provincial Champion for his weight class this fall. He`s also competed twice in New York City in two prestigious events, Fright Night Fights and the NY MMA Expo. Jessie is fighting again on January 14th, 2011 at another Friday Night Fights card in Manhattan, NY. Let`s all continue to encourage the kid to train hard and keep his focus on a fight career that shows alot of potential. Good luck dude!

Yesterday, the club had an inhouse BJJ tournament for both the kids and adult programs. The entry fee was a new toy drive for underpriveledged kids. The turnout was great and everyone had a great time. Results at an inhouse competition don`t really matter, the big difference between this and randori (sparring) that we do on a daily basis is that now we`re actually counting points and competing under the same rules as the IBJJF. It`s a great tune up for anyone who likes to compete in actual tournaments and get used to the rules.

If you want to see pictures from the Xmas party or in-house event, click on Kevin Crittenden`s profile on facebook. He took some really good photos. (you can also see photos from the Rolles Gracie seminar in Montreal from last weeked)

Have a great week! I`ll see you at the club!

lundi 13 décembre 2010


I really can't think of a better title for this blog than "Super Saturday". It was an awesome day full of world class jiu jitsu instruction followed by UFC 124, St-Pierre vs Koscheck 2.

Friday morning, Jenn, Steve, Kevin & I hit the road and made our way to Montreal. Weather wasn't the greatest, but all in all, nothing to complain about. Our first stop was in Deep River at the Laurentian restaurant. (a great 50's style diner and ice cream joint). Our waitress was a bit of a character and when they cleaned our booth, she simply wiped the crumbs off the table and spread them on Kevin's lap. He enjoyed this. After filling up on blt's and some laughs, we jumped back in the van and pointed ourselves towards Ottawa. We made a quick stop at OAMA to say hello to the guys and again, were back on the road and headed to our final destination...the beautiful city of Montreal!

We got in after 8pm, I was pretty tired and opted to order some room service and get settled in while Steve, Jenn and Kevin went for a walk to grab a bite. We ended an early night and hit the sack shortly after midnight to prepare for what was going to be a busy day. Well...a great night's sleep wasn't in the cards as 4am rolled around, I was woken up by a brawl in the hallway just outside our room on the 8th floor at the Holiday Inn. I was half asleep and my curiosity wanted to pull me out of bed to watch the action, but my physical being was telling me I was too comfortable and should just listen in the hopes of hearing Rogan's play by play. (I was half asleep, so this seemed logical at the time). It didn't last very long, just a few minutes, but eventually, after what sounded like crashing into my room services dishes and doorframe, a door opened and slammed a few times and the volume levels dropped back to zero. (Apparently Jenn and Steve were also woken up in the next room and called the front desk. Steve watched through the peep hole of his room. He's such a badass!) haha! Kevin seemed to sleep through the commotion, but now I was faced with the task of falling back asleep while he snored like a bear at the beginning of winter.

Saturday morning rolls around, we gear up and head to Gracie Barra Montreal. The club is owned by Professor Bruno Fernandes. He's a black belt from Rio who moved to Canada years ago and is a research professor at McGill University. (a brilliant mind)
We found our way to the club on Peel St in an industrial area and walked in. We were greated by a loud cheer and the clapping hands of approximately 75 or so people. Brown belt instructor Marc Colangelo was quick to laugh and point out that the cheers weren't for us, but for special guest Frankie "The Answer" Edgar who was doing a sparring session demo. (ufc lightweight champion frankie edgar!)

We then got geared up for the Rolles Gracie nogi seminar that was starting at 12 noon. This was the best seminar I've ever attended. The warmup was lead by Marty Rooney, the strength and conditionning coach for Team Renzo Gracie NYC. (You can check him out online at Rooney is a super motivating presence. I'm sure Steve will use what he did for warmups at the school, so I'll leave that for him. Let's just say it opened my eyes and the simplicity of the warmup was only surpassed by how much it kicked my ass. We got instruction from Rolles and Igor Gracie, Bruno Toastes (Matt Hammil's BJJ coach from New York), Bruno Fernandes. I won't go into the techniques themselves as this blog is already getting pretty detailed because again, Steve & Jenn will be brining these back to class at Sudbury me, you'll love this stuff!! (alot of arm drag to controlling the back, variations to chokes, one move built off of the other and so on. Oh, and a pretty killer takedown from the back.) I can't wait to rep these out some more!!

Near the end of class, another guest showed up at the club to a round of applause. None other than Master Renzo Gracie who was in town to corner Ricardo Almeida & Rafael Natal.

The seminar ended at 2pm and we spent the next hour hanging out with the guys. We were the only ones from Team Renzo Gracie Ottawa in attendance so Rolles & Igor hung close by as they both know Steve & Jenn very well. I also had the luxury of talking to Renzo about the fights that night, travelling in from New Jersey...and so on. What can be said about Renzo that hasn't already been said a million times? This was the second time I met him and although I'm sure he didn't recognize me, he made me feel as though he did. This is the same for Rolles & Igor...just amazing people.

Everyone emptied out for 3pm and we then had a private class with Professor Bruno Fernandes. I can't even begin to tell you how valuable this lesson was. We basically sat on the mat and went into problem solving Q&A with one of the most detailed oriented jiu jitsu minds in Canada. This was great because Steve had given us the task of thinking of questions to ask Bruno that we wanted him to touch on. Mine seemed pretty simplistic (being ideas to improve escaping cross side position which is always my nemisis on the mat). Well, I can say I wasn't disappointed by the answers and tips. His answer was "It's very simple to explain, but difficult to master...let me show you a few details I teach my students." He then showed us a few tweaks that really opened my eyes. I looked over at Steve and could see him grinning from ear to ear. (it was basically a "holy shit" moment, why didn't we ever see that?) Well, the answer there lies in the fact that Bruno is a world class black belt and BJJ is all in the details.

So we all had our turn to ask some questions and Bruno delivered on all counts. If you're ever in Montreal, you owe it to yourself to visit his school and book a private with the man. He's a great guy and welcomed us with open arms to Gracie Barra Montreal. To paraphrase him he said: "You're with Renzo Gracie Ottawa and that means you're at home here at Gracie Barra. You are welcome to train at my school anytime!" What an amazing opportunity!

As we left the school somewhere around 430pm to head back to the hotel, Jenn asked me if when I was looking at joining Jiu Jitsu, did I ever think these would be part of the perks. (I've now trained in Los Angeles, Montreal, Ottawa, etc with some of the legends of Jiu Jitsu). The answer is no, I never thought I'd get this close to the top people in the sport and martial art that I've come to love. Did I mention this was the second time I'd met Renzo Gracie? Imagine being a kid studying Kung Fu and being able to say you've learned and had social interaction with Bruce's crazy...that's all I can say. Crazy! Vida Loca!!

Pretty awesome Saturday so far eh?? wasn't done just yet. ;)

We head back to the hotel and prepare to eat and head down to the Bell Centre for UFC 124, St-Pierre vs Koscheck 2. I'm sure everyone reading this blog knows how the night went down, so I don't need to go over a play by play. This was Jenn and Kevin's first live event so watching their excitement was also a big part of the fun.
What can I say about the main event? The building nearly exploded everytime GSP or Kos would end up on the big screen prior to the main event. When they made their way to the octagon, the electricity in the air was so strong, I nearly pee'd my pants. (ok, not to that extent, but it was a rush for sure) GSP dominated all 5 rounds and as expected, he beat up the bully and made Koscheck humble. "AND STILL, UFC WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD! GEORGES, RUSH ST-PIERRE!!"

So that ended Super Saturday...yesterday, after checkout, we dropped in at my sister's house on our way out of town. After a quick lunch, we got on the road at around 1pm and drove through one of the worst storms of the year. We took our time, had some good conversation about BJJ, good friends, family and life in general. We got home after midnight and now here I sit in decompress mode.

Ok...that took me nearly 20 minutes to write and I've actually got some work to do, so I best sign off. Kevin took some really great pictures from the seminar on Saturday and once he's got a chance to upload them, I'll post some to the blog so everyone can check them out.

Have a great week my friends...I'll see you on the mat!

lundi 6 décembre 2010


This past weekend, Team Renzo Gracie ventured to Aurora, Ontario to compete in the Ontario BJJ Championships. To say we did well would be an understatement. We showed up, we competed and SMASHED the competition!!

Team Renzo Gracie dominated the GI division with 126 points. The second place team, came in at 63 points. In the NoGi competition, we scored 87 points, where the second place team came in with 41. Overall, we scored 213 points with the runner up coming in with 91.

We also won the title of most supportive club.

For those who aren't familiar with Team Renzo Gracie, here's a bit of bio as to who we are. (you might as well know, because we're growing and we'll be here for the long haul!)

Lead by Renzo Gracie Black Belt Pat Cooligan and his mighty OAMA (Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts) and affiliate schools Sudbury BJJ, (lead by purple belt Steve Joncas), Sudbury MMA (lead by purple belt John Cole) and two new affiliate schools, World Championship Martial Arts (from Peterborough, lead by blue belt Jordan Preston) and Lanna Muay Thai & MMA (from Toronto, lead by purple belt Titus Sears & Kru Mel Bellissimo). The consistent results speak for themselves. Our instructors are creating champions.

Check out the following link for a list of the medalists from the weekend's tournament. Sudbury BJJ alone took home 3 gold medals, 3 silver and 1 bronze. (and we didn't send a big group due to the last minute preparation for the event)

Lastly, I just wanted to give a quick kudos to John Cole, he was recently promoted to purple belt in October and dominated his division and also took home gold in the purple belt absolute! There are no fake promotions on our team!! If you earn your blue belt or purple belt under Pat Cooligan, you're as good as any blue belt or purple belt on the planet. (I also guarantee we're the best in Northern Ontario without a doubt!!)


jeudi 2 décembre 2010

mercredi 1 décembre 2010

Closing in on UFC 124 - Montreal!

In a little over a week, Kevin, Steve, Jenn and I will be heading to Montreal for UFC 124. I'll write more about the weekend as it comes up and will blog about it when we're back. As it stands, we've got a private class booked at Gracie Barra Montreal with Professor Bruno Fernandes. Bruno is the man who awarded Georges St-Pierre his black belt in BJJ. What's also really cool is that Rolles Gracie will also be in the house on the 11th for a NoGi seminar. How awesome is this weekend going to be?

Another of GSP's BJJ coaches is none other than Renzo Gracie black belt John Danaher. If you're reading this blog and train with us at the club, or have been watching the most recent season of the Ultimate Fighter, you'll recognize him from there. With that said, Danaher is a bit of an enigma. There isn't much video of him online, but he's known around the BJJ world as one of the very best instructors on the planet. Here's a clip of Danaher with Showdown Joe Ferraro on MMA Connected showing a half guard pass to mount. (I'm looking forward to trying this one out!)

vendredi 26 novembre 2010

Jeff Jarrett - My New Hero?

I grew up watching wrestling on TV. Back in the old days of regional promotions like "International Wrestling" from Montreal, the AWA, then later on the WWF in the early to mid-80`s. I then fell away from it and got wrapped up in Monday Night Raw`s Attitude Era in the 90`s. (it was so ridiculous that it was funny. I loved watching guys like the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin).

At any rate, professional wrestling has really tanked in popularity since the early part of the decade as the "real" sport of Mixed Martial Arts made its way into the mainstream.

The clip below is probably the first "pro-wrestling" clip that actually made me laugh in a really long time. Jeff Jarrett, owner of TNA Wrestling actually uses his newfound love of MMA to entertain. Check it out...

dimanche 14 novembre 2010

UFC 122 and a look at UFC 123

Last night`s UFC (122) from Germany was ok. The main event between Yushin Okami and Nate Marquart wasn`t a fight for the ages, but it was good to see Okami earn a shot at the title after years of falling short. He does have a win over Anderson Silva (prior to the UFC days), but that was due to a disqualification from an upkick to a downed opponent. At any rate, the middleweight division has always been the one division that I`ve never really gotten excited over. With that said, I am pumped for the meeting between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort which has real potential.

For those who didn`t watch the card and want to see some crisp Muay Thai, google the fight between Sobota and Amir Sodallah. Amir`s technique continues to was nice to watch.

No rest for the UFC. In less than a week, they`ll do it all over again at the Palace of Auburn Hills just outside Detroit, Michigan. The main event between Rampage and Machida should be a good fight. I predict Machida will make a comback from his loss to Shogun and likely pull out a decision over Jackson. The co-main event sees Matt Hughes vs BJ Penn for the 3rd and final time. As everyone knows, they`ve each got one win over each other and this is the rubber match. Hughes has looked better in his last few fights and BJ desperately needs a win after two straight losses to Frankie Edgar at 155. Will size make a difference as it had in the past? Will BJ be in shape at 170? It`ll be interesting to find out.

The fight I`m most excited about isn`t the previously mentionned feature fights, but a bout between Joe Lauzon and George Sotiropoulos. Both of these guys bring it with every fight and the potential for fireworks is there. What I`m most looking forward to is the ground war between these two. They both have incredible grappling skills and both aren`t afraid to have a chess match on the floor. I`m not talking about "lay and pray" wrestling, but an awesome technical match up. I can`t wait for this one!

See you at the club!

vendredi 12 novembre 2010

Fighter Biographies

I've read most Fighter autobiographies as they come out. I'm always interested in learning the back story to where these athletes come from. For the most part, I read these stories and get a deeper appreciation for who these guys are.

The first time I read a book and actually disliked the guy more (from his own story) was Matt Hughes "Made in America". I don't know if it's just that I don't connect with the redneck/farmer mentality from the mid-west USA, but that's where I began to find him unlikeable.

This also occurred recently as I just finished BJ Penn's book "Why I Fight". Let me preface by stating that I'm a fan of his fighting style and there is no doubting that he's one of the best ever. His Jiu Jitsu accomplishments are unmatched to this day and his nickname "the Prodigy" was certainly deserved. The more I read into the latter stages of the book, the more the bad rap BJ has gotten since his last GSP have proven well founded. Again, like the Matt Hughes book, this one soured me a bit on BJ. With that said, he's still a great fighter and I'm looking forward to his fight at UFC 123 vs Hughes. It'll be nice to see them beat each other up! haha!

Next book on my reading list...Jens Pulver "Little Evil". I'm told this is a great read and I'm really looking forward to it. Jens has been on a bad streak of late and retirement seemed imminent. He has however just signed to fight in Minneapolis in the new year (for a small organization). I'm hoping he pulls off a win and is able to pack it in on a good note.

UFC 122 this weekend. Not really amped up for any of the matchups in particular, but this doesn't mean it won't be a decent card. The UFC rarely puts on a bad night of fights.

Stay healthy my friends!

mardi 9 novembre 2010

BJJ Superhero?


disadvantage: difficult to see & breathe
advantage: easier to slip out of a choke

winner: red man for having fun with bjj.

samedi 6 novembre 2010

Bully Beatdown (season 3)

I`m not a huge fan of Jason Mayhem Miller, but the guy could be entertaining at times. In the season 3 opener, Mayhem steps into the cage himself to take on a bully. It`s a pretty good episode...figured I`d post it here.

I really hope Strikeforce sets up the fight between him and Nick Diaz. I don`t know if they`ll get it done due to the weight class as Diaz is the 170lb champion and I don`t think Miller can make the cut past 85, but it would be a great fight. (which I think Diaz would take) Hopefully we get to see it.

jeudi 4 novembre 2010


Last I updated was after day one of the Cooligan seminar here in Sudbury. Day two was even better seeing as the class was much smaller. More room on the mats and a bit more personal attention when working on techniques was a great way to cap off the weekend.

If you`re reading this and you`re a club member, you need to make the effort to come out everytime Pat is in town. A three hour class with Pat will give you some new insight, two 3 hour classes will go even further. He`s only in town a few times a year, so when he is, we all need to make sure we take advantage of the opportunity.

With that, the seminar ended and Steve was packed up and headed back to Ottawa with Pat, his family and Hammer. They flew out to Rio De Janeiro, Brasil early on Monday morning for a week of training at the mecca of BJJ, the world headquarters of Gracie Barra! I haven`t heard much from Steve since he`s been out there, but he did manage to post a message on facebook that he would be training with Kayron Gracie (son of Carlos Gracie Jr) on Tuesday...among many others. I can`t wait to see some pictures, hear stories and learn a few moves he`ll be picking up.

On a different note, here`s a pretty cool video from It`s a great site that I check out just about every day. Enjoy!

samedi 30 octobre 2010

Pat Cooligan Seminar (Day 1)

Today was day 1 of the Fall Pat Cooligan BJJ seminar. After the 3 hour class, my gi probably weighed a good 10 or 12lbs from the amount of sweat that poured through my skin.

We worked on the weakest part of my game...the almighty guard pass. There are 3 ways to pass your opponents guard. Over, under or around. At any rate, without going over the techniques verbatim, I now feel as though I`ve got some new options that I hadn`t really explored to date. The recurring theme was "slow down, proper technique, heavy pressure, when the guard opens prepared to act!"

I was also lucky enough to have Hammer take me aside (Hammer being Matt "Hammer" Hache, an international champion brown belt) to help me work on my pass based on a question I`d had for Pat during the Q&A. It was pretty simple, but he was able to point out two mistakes I`ve been making which should help me improve my technique. I`m going to work on this for the next few months and we`ll see how far it takes me.

Day 1 ended with some promotions. I got the 3rd stripe on my white small baby step closer to blue. Congrats to Tom Lum, Mike Houle & Adam Gignac for acheiving their blue belts! I`d also like to congratulate John Cole, head instructor and owner of our sister club Sudbury MMA for earning his purple belt and being a good host for the weekend! Thanks John!

Looking forward to what tomorrow has to bring. I`m pretty burnt out, so I`m hoping to get a good night`s sleep to be ready for another 3 hour class of Jiu Jitsu goodness.

Stay healthy my friends!

vendredi 29 octobre 2010

Sudbury BJJ (highlight video)

Nice work by Jessie putting this one together. Shows the dominance of Sudbury BJJ (Team Renzo Gracie Ottawa/Sudbury) in competition. (Renzo Gracie Invitational NYC, Ontario Open, Toronto Open, Naga, The Arnolds, Ohio, etc...)

Don't blink at around the 1:30 mark, you'll see yours truly giving the old wink and nod while working a guard pass on the mat. :)

Why?! Because we're awesome!

jeudi 28 octobre 2010

Sudbury Muay Thai Academy (promo)

I train fulltime in the BJJ program at Sudbury BJJ and Muay Thai Academy. There is another side of the club that many might be interested in as well. Our Muay Thai program is a favorite of my wife Roxanne. (she does the cardio and conditionning classes). We`ve also got a handful of fighters who compete regularly on the national and international stage. Here`s a video that shows what classes are like. You want a real workout?! Forget Goodlife...give us a call.

Nick Diaz - yes, I'm a fan.

mardi 26 octobre 2010

Pat Cooligan Seminar this weekend!

It's that time of year again! Pat will be in town with Hammer for a two day seminar being held over at Sudbury MMA. This will be my 4th seminar with the big man from OAMA and I'm really looking forward to it. I've got no idea what we'll be looking at in terms of technique, but whatever it is, it will no doubt be packed with detail and my game will improve from it. If you're new to the club, you really need to make the effort to come out.

In other news, the club continues to grow. Evening classes have been packed with alot of new members signing up after taking advantage of the free trial. Last night during randori, I overheard Steve talking to a prospective member who had gassed out about a minute into his first round of light sparring. He was pointing me out as someone who used to be affected by the same affliction when I first got started in August 2009. (I can now make it past 4 minutes before gassing out...just kidding).

Actually, last night was pretty rough on me cardio wise. Ok, not cardio so much, but from a digestive point of view. I thought eating a "light" dinner of scrambled eggs and ham would do me well, but apparently wasn't the best choice an hour before a good roll. I really stunk up the joint! haha! Sorry fellas!

dimanche 24 octobre 2010

Velasquez vs Lesnar - UFC 121

For those who haven`t seen the was a pretty epic beatdown. Enjoy!

jeudi 21 octobre 2010


In my last blog, I posted about the anti-bullying aspect of brazilian jiu jitsu for the kids program. I can now say that it's come in handy already for Noel, my 6 year old.

I didn't get much in terms of details, but when Roxanne came home after picking up the boys at school, she told me of an "incident" that happened at school. (which was also reported in his parent/teacher daily agenda).

For those of you who know my kids, Noel is a very soft-hearted and shy boy. He's so non-aggressive that during soccer season, we'd call him "ice man". Whenever he got close to the ball vs a player from the other team, he'd freeze up in fear of hurting someone or getting hurt himself. (hence the name...of course, this was my idea and all in good fun)

Getting back to the incident.

From what we were told, a 3rd grader (8 year old) was picking on Noel's friend Philippe, who happens to be the littlest boy in his class. (he's about a full head shorter than Noel) At any rate, as this was happening, Noel stepped in and shoved the older boy to the point where a teacher caught his reaction and he was sent to the principal's office.

Understanding that he was now in trouble, his heart broke and he apologized to the older boy and then made his way to Mme Tracey's office.

I didn't get anymore details from Noel but I did have a talk with him about what happened and how he reacted to it.

The truth is, I'm really proud of him. Not because he shoved the older bully, but because he wasn't afraid to stick up for his friend. I don't want anyone to miscontrue what I'm saying here, I don't want Noel to fight...ever. But I also feel good knowing that he's developed enough confidence where his natural instinct is not to just sit back and watch.

With every word I'm writing, I'm trying to think of how to explain this without painting the wrong image. I am teaching my boys to never give a bully an inch, but in the same breath, I want them to make smart decisions first and only react physically if they have no other option.

Could he have handled today's situation better? doubt about it. The best reaction would have been to find a teacher and tell them what was happening. At the end of the day, I'm proud of Noel and he's not in any trouble with me.

I firmly believe the anti-bullying aspect of BJJ is what gave him the confidence to stand up to the older kid. He's learned how to be solid on his feet and to protect himself, we just have to be attentive parents and make sure that he continues to understand that martial arts are for self defense and he should fight fire with water. I do believe that was his intention, we just need to keep refining the approach.

All in all, I think he's going to be ok. :)

vendredi 15 octobre 2010

UFC 120 this weekend

So Steve is in England for UFC 120 helping out in the corner of OAMA's Mark "Boots" Holst for his fight vs undefeated Brit Paul Sass. I got a cryptic message from Steve about a picture he got that should make me jealous. I can only imagine it being with Arianny Celeste...whom I'm in love with. (Sorry Roxanne)

It was great to hear Steve on CBC radio this afternoon calling in from the UK. It was a great interview and promoted Sudbury BJJ and Muay Thai Academy as a club with it's pulse on the sport at the highest level. Very exciting times!!

Tomorrow is Saturday and what does that mean? Jiu Jitsu of course! I'm looking forward to going in for the kids class with my boys followed by my session with the big boys. If you're reading this, feel free to come on out one of these days! I'd love to show you around.

Speaking of the kids program, there's been alot of talk in the media recently about the bullying epidemic in schools. Just today, I was picking up my boys from school and saw two 4 or 5 year olds bullying another young boy in the schoolyard. The victim looked scared and was asking them to stop pulling him to the ground. (it was a boy and girl doing this) At that point, I leaned over the small fence to get their attention and told them to leave the little guy alone. They complied right away and the boy looked at me, got up and walked away.

I'd be crushed if this was happening to one of my boys. With that said, the kids BJJ program would have prepared this little guy to break free from his bully's grip and get away on his own accord. (in a non-violent reaction)

I recently heard a quote about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with respect to schoolyard bullying and I thought it was an awesome perspective. With bullies, we know that the best way to put an end to it is to stand up to them. They prey on the weak and once a child shows that he (or she) won't be taken advantage of, they back off. In the same breath, we don't necessarily want our kids to react with violence. The idea of fighting fire with fire will work, but is it the most affective in the long run? Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gives your kids the ability to fight fire with water! (how great does that sound?) Diffuse a situation with technique which snuffs the fire before it has a chance to burn out of control. Nobody needs to get burnt!

If you've got kids, I can't think of any better martial art to get involved with than BJJ. Our kids program at the club is very strong and my boys have been involved for nearly a year and love every minute of it. If you're interested in knowing more or want to try out a free class, check out or contact me on facebook. I'll hook it up!



jeudi 7 octobre 2010

Mike Tyson is a hero of mine. (out take from TUF 12)

If you're watching the newest season of the Ultimate Fighter (Koscheck vs GSP), you'll know that GSP asked Dana to invite Tyson in to talk to his guys and watch a fight. Alot of people think of Mike Tyson as a thug heavyweight boxer who was sent to prison for 3 years and bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear in a fight.

For those who've followed Tyson's career and seen his recent documentary "Tyson", you'll know there is much more to the man than what the mainstream media have flooded to the masses with their headlines. In this following clip, he talks to GSP's team after a win on the show and explains what it means to fight, to be a martial artist and seeking self improvement.

Mike Tyson is the man!

See More:  TUF 12Mike TysonMichael Johnsonexclusives

mardi 5 octobre 2010

Steve is heading to England for UFC 120 & training with Roger Gracie.

Our head instructor and my homeboy Steve is heading out next week to spend some time in joly ol'England. He's been invited by Pat to help corner Mark "Boots" Holst at UFC 120 vs Brit newcomer Paul Sass at the O2 Arena in London.

I'm looking forward to some updates from across the pond and we'll be sure to keep you posted.

Here's a video of BJJ from England.

Manto Presents: The Grappling Dummy - Nic Gregoriades from martial farts on Vimeo.

lundi 4 octobre 2010

Kyra Gracie is my friend...and not Steve's.

Where did the summer go? We're into the month of October and I just looked at the history of this blog and noticed that I've got nearly 4000 views in 8 months. I guess some people are paying attention. :)

BJJ has really become an addiction for me. It's gotten to the point where I've really neglected a really nice Harley Davidson motorcycle that's sitting in my garage just begging to be taken out for a ride. Up until last August when I joined the club, when I had some free time (after my priorities at home were taken care of and my boys were tucked into bed), I'd jump out on my bike and go for an evening cruise. That's been replaced by grabbing my gear bag and heading to the club to roll around on the mats with some sweaty dudes. Had you told me this would be the case a few years ago, I would have looked at you like you had 8 heads. (ok, I've made a decision that tomorrow night, I will fire up the bike and treat her well)

Tonight was good fun. We worked on some sweeps from open guard then went into randori which is always fun. I've been watching BJJ matches on youtube and getting some ideas on how I might improve my game based on my body type and natural strengths and flexibility. I worked on that tonight and felt the light bulb flickering which is always a good sign that the pieces are starting to fit. It's nothing crazy, just guard retention stuff, all in the effort of improving a small bit one day at a time.

I'd also like to make an announcement as the title of the blog suggests. Kyra Gracie is now my friend of Facebook. I've decided it's time to learn portuguese. haha! I only bring this up because I told this to Steve and he said..."I know Kyra Gracie!" and tried to add her but got a nice rejection message stating that "this member has no room for more friends"...or something to that effect. All that really matters is that Kyra is my friend, we're hanging out online chit chattin' about the world of BJJ and Steve is just going to have to accept that he's sitting on the sidelines. Sorry dude! ;)

dimanche 26 septembre 2010

one of the many differences between BJJ and other martial arts

It's pretty well known that I'm a bit of a web junkie. (that's putting it lightly, I know) I often spend sleepless nights watching clips on youtube. Everything from live music to practical jokes, but mainly I'm watching clips from jiu jitsu matches and other martial arts.

One thing I find quite interesting is watching "promotion exams" from different arts. This got me to thinking about how brazilian jiu jitsu is very different from most "traditional" martial arts. Let me start out by saying that I've got respect for all of these other disciplines but the web got me to thinking.

So I'm watching a Korean art do a red belt test & promotion. I had looked this up and apparently red belt would mean halfway to black for this art. Similar to purple belt in BJJ to make the compairison. What I watched on the video was a 10 minute clip of an overweight middle-aged man doing very simplistic looking throws or counter-attacks to his training partner in what appeared to be slow motion. It was almost as though in order to earn his red belt, he was required to memorize the movements or techniques and apply them in detail at a slow pace to show that he knew them. I just sat there almost amazed at what I was watching.

In brazilian jiu jitsu, we learn and drill techniques on a daily basis. We don't feel as though we "know" the technique until you're actually able to apply it with a live action training partner going 100% in real-time. For example, I've been training in BJJ for a little over a year now. Last fall, I learned how to do a cradle choke. Well, this past Thursday night was the first time I was ever able to submit my training partner with a clean cradle choke while sparring at 100%. It doesnt matter how many times I've repeated the move, or that I can explain the technique word for word and demostrate it with anyone at any time. If I can't pull it off cleanly with a resisting opponent, it doesnt exist in my arsenal.

It makes me wonder if the overweight middle-aged man doing the techniques to aquire his red belt could actually pull any of those moves in a real-time setting with a resisting opponent or attacker.

Most of these questions were answered in 1993 for North American audiences when the first Ultimate Fighting Championship tournement happened in Denver, Colorado.

I look at traditional martial arts as art forms much like a painter's canvas or a sculpture's piece. For example, a Kata in Karate is a simulated fight sequence showing strong striking techniques and how that fighter would defend themselves. It really is nice to watch and I'm sure takes a ton of skill to complete with precision and detail. For me, this is a definition of the art for show.

I also find it crazy that a teenager can acheive a black belt in certain arts or that it can be earned in a short time frame. I've heard of Tae Kwon Do schools giving black belts within 3 years of starting to learn the art. In BJJ, 2 to 3 years is the normal amount of time it takes to get past your white belt. Many schools all across the country (and the world for that matter) hand out black belts to multiple members. It's not uncommon to see every school with at least a few black belts. I was recently watching a youtube clip of a BJJ school in NYC where the instructor has been teaching for well over 15 years and he was handing out his second black belt...ever.

With that said, if you're looking for self gratification and belt promotions as a motivator to train on a daily basis, BJJ is not for you. I'm currently a 2 stripe white belt (4 are typically required to advance to blue belt) but the truth is, this early in the game, the thought of wearing a different colour belt rarely crosses my mind. I just want to get better. I want to be able to pull off the submissions or escapes that we drill during class while rolling with a training partner who is at my skill level or better as well as my size or stronger. It's in those small moments when it does happen that I feel like my game is slowly improving.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a lifestyle. Heaven forbid something happens to me where I'm no longer able to train. I don't know what I would do with myself. I often wake up thinking BJJ, look at my schedule on my blackberry to figure out when I'll be able to head back to the club to train.

Are you interested yet? Are you one of my friends who clicked on the blog via my link of facebook? Be in touch...I'd love to show you what this is all about and give you a tour of my home away from home.

Stay healthy my friends and stay tuned!

mercredi 22 septembre 2010

UFC 119 - Matt Serra vs Chris Lytle

Renzo Gracie black belt Matt "the terror" Serra fights Chris Lytle in a rematch of the finale from the Ultimate Fighter 4 (the comeback), his video blogs are always entertaining. (language not safe for work)

On a seperate note, lots happening at the club. Fall classes are in full swing and packed from wall to wall. Pat Cooligan will be up at the end of October (30 & 31st) for a two day seminar which I recommend for everyone who's training at the club. Add yourself to the Facebook event to let us know you're planning to come out.

See you at the club!

lundi 13 septembre 2010

Steve training in NYC at Renzo's Academy

Every once in a while, your friends get to do something awesome.

Steve was invited by Pat(Cooligan)to join him and Mark Holst as they took Mark's training camp to NYC to train for his upcoming fight at UFC 122 in London, England vs Paul Sass.

This afternoon, Steve sent me a quick text message stating that he was training in the company of MMA royalty. "So, I'm in nyc at renzo's and mark is here training with igor, gregor and GSP!!"

I figured this was something worth writing about. Talk about living the dream!! It's been said before, but I'll say it again. Steve is a pioneer when it comes to bringing Gracie Jiu Jitsu to Northern Ontario. He started the club back in 2006 and it's grown to over 200 members in the best facility north of Toronto.

It's awesome to see Pat bring Steve along to train with the worlds best. Private sessions with the Gracies & John Danaher (GSP's BJJ coach for MMA) will no doubt help elevate Steve's game which in turn benefits us all.

I figure most of anyone reading this blog is either a member at the club or a friend of ours. With that said, stuff like this needs to be appreciated. The lineage of Sudbury BJJ is within a stone's throw of the holy grail. That's not something you can find on youtube or an instructional dvd.

Steve! Can't wait to hear the stories and learn what you're taking in! I'm happy for you brother!!

samedi 4 septembre 2010

random musings

August wasn`t a great month for me in terms of my evolution in bjj. Upon returning from Los Angeles, I took a few weeks off from training to get caught up on work. When I got back at it, I felt as though I`d been a couch potato for 6 months. It`s amazing how quickly a person can lose their cardio when you don`t keep up with it even for just a few weeks. Maybe that`s just something that comes with age...(I`ll use that as my excuse for now).

After just one hard training session, I decided to enter myself into one of our in-house tournements last weekend. An in-house is the best way to test yourself when points count and tapping out means the match is over. Unlike randori (sparring) where tapping out just means, "you got me, let`s start over again".

At any rate, I won my first match vs a larger opponent, but he was quite new to bjj. What that match told me was that although I consider myself to be a beginner, I`ve gotten to a point where I can dominate a beginner (and even moreso someone on the street who doesnt understand the science of groundfighting). Naturally, this isn`t something to write home about, but it lets me know that I`ve got the positional basics in the can. My next two matchups were against guys closer to my weight, but with the same or slightly more experience than I`ve got. I got the reality check that I needed. Needless to say, I ended the day with 1 win and 2 losses.

The beauty of losing a match is learning where you`re the weakest and focusing your training on that. Here`s what I learned...

1. I need to fight in a lighter weight class than Heavy or Super Heavy, under 200lbs with the Gi would be nice. Fighting a guy my weight who is all muscle and nearly no body fat, the difference in strength is noticeable. Duh!

2. My shots for takedowns aren`t good enough vs someone with decent takedown defence. I put myself in a bad position at the beginning of match 2 and I wasn`t able to recover.

3. I prefer to fight from top position. (as do most), but I know what I need to do off my back, it`s simply the idea of getting my body to respond when my brain is giving it a command. This is partly an issue with conditionning and working on muscle memory.

4. I need to get used to rolling with a mouth guard. This is new for me, but a habit I want and need to get accustomed to. It makes it more difficult to breathe which I`m hoping will help my cardio in the long run.

Anyhow, this weekend is Ribfest downtown and the club has a area to spread the word on the club. Last summer was great in terms of feeding the kids program which is doing very well. So if you read this in time, feel free to come out and say hi!

On a seperate`s a good video to check out.

A reminder to not be over-confident. It makes for interesting exchanges, but you can get caught anytime.

vendredi 20 août 2010

Wreck MMA - OAMA fighters go 4 for 4!

First, let me apologize for the lack of updates. Since returning for Los Angeles, I had some dental work done and have had temporary veneers in my mouth which has kept me off the mat. It`s not that I couldnt train, but even a small impact could have popped them out. Thankfully, I`m getting my new "grill" on Monday morning. HUGE thanks to my good friend Dr Jeff Budd for being the best dentist in Sudbury. He trains Muay Thai at our club, so if you need a new dentist, introduce yourself to him and ask someone at the front desk for his contact information to setup an appointment. You`ll be glad you did.

Speaking of which, tonight, I dropped in at the Fight Company (on Notre Dame in Sudbury) and picked up an Opro mouthguard and new Hayabusu gym bag. The owner of the Fight Company is a friend of mine, Chris Casola. He supports local clubs and has a ton of gear and mma apparel. You can also check them out online at

On to tonight`s Wreck MMA. I had planned on attending when Jenn was lined up to fight Shannon Ludlow from Adrenaline MMA in London, Ontario. In recent weeks, the fight was pulled from the card for unknown reasons. We`re assuming her opponent was injured, but Jenn`s training camp was solid none the less. Getting ready for the next one!

Seeing as Jenn`s fight got dropped and with the amount of travel and crazyness we`ve had this summer, I decided to stay home this time around. I have been reading updates from Jessie`s facebook page which kept us in the loop on the fighters from our parent club, Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts. All four fighters (Hammer, Kru Jeff, Morvan & Bernadel) finnished their fights in highlight reel fashion. Congratulations guys!!

Also on the card was Anna Barone, Jenn`s opponent from her first fight. As we all know, Jenn lost the fight via 2nd round KO, but not without having put on the fight of the night and showing the heart of a champion. I was personally a bit irritated by an interview where Barone mentionned having had 3 fighter changes prior to that bout, but being "resilent", she overcame the odds. She didn`t mention that Jenn had taken the fight on 48 hours notice and did not have a training camp to prepare herself. Well, apparently Barone lost her fight tonight via decision which in turn should setup the rematch for Jenn to avenge that loss. After having seen Jenn prepare herself for the Ludlow fight and seeing her camp involve private training with the likes of Gregor Gracie in NYC and Shawn Williams in Los Angeles, I can guarantee that the next fight will not have the same result. Jenn and Steve are both traditional martial artists and I can`t see them ever getting into any trash talking so by all means, please recognize that the above statements are mine and mine alone. I can`t wait for the rematch!

Aside from that, I`m looking forward to getting back on the mat. It`s been two weeks and feels like forever. As much as I love the summer, it`ll be real nice to get back into a routine this fall. This will be a big year for me at Sudbury BJJ. I`ve got year one in the books and I look at the last 12 months as "opening the book". I`ve now read the forward and plan to start reading and more importantly absorbing the first chapter.

Stay healthy!

jeudi 12 août 2010

A Fighting Chance

This film is available to watch online for the next two week or so. Take the time to check it out. Kyle Maynard was born with no arms or legs and is an MMA fighter. He trains under Paul Creighton, a Renzo Gracie blackbelt in Georgia. Renzo is also in the movie. Enjoy!

Watch more free documentaries

mardi 10 août 2010

Los Angeles, California!

Sorry for the delay! I'm back from a week of holidays and ready to give you a recap of our trip to Los Angeles, California.

A while back, I'd found out that my old friend's band was getting back together for a reunion show at a club in Hollywood, CA. It had been ten years since they'd gone their seperate ways, so it was a show I really wanted to attend. It appeared I might be out of luck seeing as I had nobody to travel with. Flying across the continent alone for a rock show seemed a bit weird to me so I decided to turn it into an adventure with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I approached Jenn and Steve with the idea of flying out to Los Angeles for the rock show as well as an opportunity to train at Five Star Martial Arts, a team Renzo Gracie affiliate owned by Black Belt Shawn Williams. WWW.RENZOGRACIELOSANGELES.COM

Having just returned from the Renzo Gracie Invitational in Manhattan, NY followed by a Martial Arts expo in Las Vegas, it took some mild coaxing from Jenn and I, but once Steve was in...he was all in.

If you want to know about the show or the sightseeing we did, hit me up on facebook or ask when you see me, it was a great time and I could easily get comfortable in a place like Hollywood. (I was pleasantly surprised at how polite and courteous the drivers were as well as the random people I ran into on the street. Jenn had a marriage proposal from an elderly southern gentleman who appeared to have had a little bit too much to drink, which Steve and I enjoyed watching...but that's for another day).

As we were on route to Toronto, Steve got an email reply from Shawn Williams inviting us to train each day we'd be in LA at 3pm for private classes and also left the open invitation to join any class on the schedule. Day 1, Shawn taught takedowns for MMA with different variations depending on how your opponent reacts. He also taught takedowns off the ropes or fencing from the cage vs the center of the mat. We ended the first class just chatting on the mat. Shawn recently participated in the Ultimate Fighter as a BJJ coach for Georges St-Pierre's team. I tried to pick his brain on the taping, but all he could tell me was that it would be interesting. Apparently, Zuffa makes the coaches and participants sign a confidentiality agreement which if broken would result in a 10 million dollar lawsuit. So nothing about the show was mentionned, but I enjoyed trying! haha!

Day 2 was much of the same with some review on what he taught the previous day. We also focused on his techniques on taking the back when your opponent falls into a turtle position. Again, Shawn's college wrestling background mixed with his vast knowledge of BJJ made his concepts and techniques slightly different from what we're accustomed to training. (which was awesome!) I can't wait for Steve to show these in class so I can rep them out and add them to my own limited white belt arsenal.

The last class we attended was a BJJ class with the gi. I was one of only 3 white belts on the mat, the rest being purple and higher rank blue. Naturally, I got schooled, but each time I found myself in a bad position, I saw it coming, which was the only good thing I could take from it for myself. The guys I rolled with Armand, Josh, Taka among others were all very cool and made me feel welcome.

Before I forget, for anyone of my teamates at Sudbury BJJ who thinks they're getting awesome because they're doing well against other white belts, remember that we are still a very young school (which continues to get better everyday!), but the true test is rolling with guys from other schools to keep you humble. At Sudbury BJJ, under the guidance of Pat Cooligan at OAMA, we strive to be as good as anyone in the world at the same rank. It's not that I didn't know before, but rolling in LA certainly reminded me that I'm nowhere near an international blue belt rank yet.

With that said, today marks my 1st birthday in BJJ. I started 1 year ago today on this new journey and have fallen more in love with the sport as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months. At this point, my rank means nothing to me I'm a young boy just learning how to walk. What I am certain of is that one day, I will start to run and hopefully, before I meet my maker, I will learn how to fly!

mardi 27 juillet 2010


Lots going on at the club these days. The recent promotion incentive saw 25 new signups on the 19th of July. I want to personally wish them all a big welcome to the team! We`ll all get to know your names soon enough, so until then, by all means, introduce yourselves when its time to partner up to work some techniques. To the regulars, please make an effort to introduce yourselves to the new faces as many times as it takes for the names to stick. At Sudbury BJJ, we`re not only a team, we`re a family.

mardi 20 juillet 2010

What`s in your gear bag?

Maybe I`m a weirdo (ok, this has already been established), but I`m pretty anal about keeping my gear clean and fresh. (feel free to scroll down and review my blog on my lovely bout with Ringworm)

Anyways, I`ve gotten my prep down to a science so that I`m always ready to head to the club when I`ve got time to train. Having more than one GI is essential if you`re going to be rolling more than once or twice a week.

Myself, I`ve got 4 gi`s and 4 rashguards in the rotation to be sure I`m always good to go. The minute I get home, my gear is immediately thrown into the washing machine (no exceptions) and then left to dry on this trusty old rack system that Roxanne baught when we had our first apartment in London 10 years ago.

While today`s gear is drying, I prep my bag for the next time. So what`s in my bag? Well, I`m glad you asked. (just play along)

1. a clean towel (for the shower at the club)
2. clean Mizuno knee pads (because I`m getting old and my knees appreciate them
3. a Shock Doctor jockstrap (size XL because...well, nevermind)
4. a big ziplock bag with shower supplies (body wash, qtips, anti-perspirant...everything a man needs)
5. Athletic Body Care antimicrobal foam (to kill anything you might pick up from a training partner who might not wash his GI as religiously as I do)
6. large bandaids
7. a clean GI
8. a clean rashguard
9. a clean pair of boxers
10. gatorage g2 & a protein bar

Ok, I admit this is a rather pointless blog entry. I just see some guys come in prepared while other just seem to pile their gear into a bag and head for the door. At the end of the day, getting into a routine outside of the club is an important part of keeping your gear clean and organized. This will help you be ready for the next day and trust me, your training partners will appreciate the other part.

mercredi 14 juillet 2010

Joe Rogan speaks...

I love this guy. The best MMA commentator in the business. Check it out!

dimanche 11 juillet 2010

Jessie Cronier - Sudbury BJJ and Muay Thai Academy`s first WORLD CHAMPION!

Huge congrats to Jessie "The Kid" Cronier who won his division at the Thai Boxing Association`s World Championships in Des Moines Iowa, USA! The uncomfortable 16 hour drive from Sudbury to the mid-western state was well worth it.

Be sure to give the kid a high five when you see him at the club. This comes after years of commitment and hard training. But this is only the beginning for recent high school graduate. The sky`s the limit!

Here are a few pictures from the event.

Also on the card where Corey Black and Mike Houle. I`m told Corey faught an incredible fight and completely dominated his opponent for three solid rounds. Sometimes I wonder if the judges at some of these events won a radio contest for their appointment. Although these judges awarded the fight to the wrong fighter, this experience (and knowing he actually won the fight) should prove good experience for Corey. You`ll get them next time dude! (Corey in white)

Mike lost his fight in the second round after a corner stoppage. In a spin of bad luck, Mike ended up fighting in a division with much larger opponents which proved the old addage when all things are equal, size will make the difference. Check out the size difference on day of the weigh-ins.

Congrats to all 3 fighters! Look forward to seeing your new belt Jessie!

samedi 10 juillet 2010

Ring Worm and BJJ

If you look under my ear in this picture, you`ll see what is known as "Ring Worm". I first noticed it earlier this week but felt as though I`d been bitten by a deer fly or some other insect (larger than a mosquito) After a few days, it became itchier and I woke up yesterday (Friday) with the circular worm like rash.

Below is a copy and paste from an article I found online at

If you suspect you might have a rash which develops into Ring Worm or worse...Staph infection, please...please...please stay off the mats. Also, this is another reason it`s VERY important to wash your gi after EVERY WORKOUT! I`ve always taken every precaution, but apparently my efforts can only go so far.

Please read the article below...

What is Ringworm?

Ringworm is actually a fungus, not a worm. The first symptom of ringworm is severe localized itchiness. Basically it starts out as a little, red, itchy pimple. Soon this grows to solid pink circles on the skin, usually between the size of a pimple and a quarter. The border of these circles will eventually develop scaly red skin and the center become paler. Related forms of ringworm can also occur on the scalp (causing hair loss), the crotch ('jock itch') and the foot ('athlete's foot').

If you want to see what serious cases of ringworm look like go to and shudder! Just remember that all ringworm starts small – be suspicious of an itchy or scratchy area, especially when it associated with a small red area.

Take ringworm seriously. It's ugly, itchy and very contagious. Once someone in a team gets infected with ringworm it spreads like wildfire and stays around for a very long time unless strict measures are taken quickly. A ringworm infection at a club can cause people to quit: do you really want less people to train with?

With ringworm there is usually a 1 to 2 week incubation period between exposure and visible infection. The fungal spores that spread ringworm can survive on a variety of surfaces for a long time, so eradicating this sucker is really difficult. To make matters worse, some people are asymptomatic carriers meaning that they carry the infection and can infect others but don't have the characteristic skin markings.

If being infected with ringworm doesn’t bother you too much then think about your training partners, ESPECIALLY those training partners who have children. Children are very susceptible to ringworm and if it gets in their scalps it can cause permanent scarring and baldness. The standard treatment for ringworm of the scalp in children is 6 weeks of prescription oral medication that has potentially serious side effects, so PLEASE be considerate.

If you have ringworm:
Stay off the mat. This is the most difficult part of the treatment for many grapplers, who just want to keep on training. Stay off the mats until your ringworm is under control or you’ll turn your infection into a club-wide epidemic. After the red circles have cleared up the grappler is no longer infectious and can return to training. It usually takes about a week to treat if you catch it early; delay treatment and it could take a lot longer.

Simply covering up the infected sites is NOT sufficient! Many times people will just put some tape over the itchiest ringworm sores and go train anyhow - this is not cool. For one thing the offenders in question might not have noticed every single sore, and also they ave certainly been scratching those sores all day, spreading fungal spores to their hands and any other bodypart they touch with their hands. Stay off the mats.

Treat the infection with an antifungal cream. There are many antifungal creams and gels available. ‘Lamisil’ is one of the best creams, but usually requires a doctor’s prescription.

There are also over-the-counter medications like tolnaftate ('FungiCure', and others). I haven’t found the clotrimazole products as effective - sometimes all they do is suppress the fungus. Most products are applied twice daily. Some creams also contain hydrocortizone or cortate, but this just reduces the inflammation and doesn't actually kill the fungus. As a rule of thumb, if your ringworm isn’t a lot better after one or two weeks of using over the counter anti-fungal creams go to a doctor or walk-in clinic and ask for a Lamisil prescription.

You can also take prescription oral medications (like an oral form of lamisil or ketoconazole) for severe and/or stubborn cases. These may be hard on your liver and you should take them with care.

Keep on applying the topical medication for one week after your infection clears up! Often it appears that the infection is gone, but the ringworm is actually only dormant and will soon come back. Apply the cream or gel for at least one additional week. If you are taking orals take the full course of prescribed anti-fungal medications.

Change your bedding every couple of days and don’t share towels - your training partners may be pissed if you infect them, but that is nothing compared to how upset your spouse or 'special friend' is going to be if he/she catches it. Besides, if you are treating your ringworm but sleeping in the same old bedding or using the same towel every day you are basically re-infecting yourself. Use your bath towels and wash cloths only once, and then wash them.

If there is ringworm going around your club:
Wash the mats before or after every practice. Any cleaning supplies store will stock something to disinfect floors and mats, just make sure it is anti-fungal as well as anti-bacterial and anti-viral. You can also use a dilute bleach solution, but the commercial cleaning solutions are not very expensive.

Inspect your partners carefully and refuse to wrestle someone with 'the worm'. Instructors and senior students have an extra responsibility to educate club members and, if necessary, to bar infected people from training. Unfortunately some people can carry and spread ringworm without exhibiting

Don’t let people walk on the mats in their street shoes. Ringworm lives in the soil outside and can be transmitted to the mat by shoes. The fungus enters into the skin through scratches and abrasions (common in grappling) and then the trouble begins. Once the epidemic has begun, the main mode of transmission is probably person-to-person.

Shower thoroughly as soon as possible after every practice. There may be some advantage to using an anti-dandruff shampoo as a body wash to ensure that the ringworm is gone. ‘Selsum Blue’ is a good choice.

Once a week use ‘Nizoral’ shampoo - Nizoral a very strong anti-fungal/anti-dandruff shampoo containing ketoconazole. A dermatologist suggested this to me to make sure that I was killing off any potential new infections picked up from the mats. Lather up your hair and your entire body, leave the lather on your body for a full 5 minutes, and then rinse very thoroughly. Dry your body and apply a cream moisturizer – this shampoo can really dry out your skin. For this reason I do NOT recommend using Nizoral more than once a week.

Wash your gi, rashguards, kneepads, towels, etc. after every practice. The fungal spores can live in these items.

mardi 6 juillet 2010

James "Lights Out" Toney

Allow me to skip past UFC 117 for a moment. James "Lights Out" Toney will be fighting Randy Couture in Boston at UFC 118. Toney is a boxer who is making his MMA debut at 41 years of age vs the Natural.

Dana White has admitted that this bout is a freakshow, but is not using it as a main-event. Here is an interesting interview which occured over the weekend with Ariel Helwani from AOL Fanhouse. Toney is a nut.

samedi 3 juillet 2010

UFC 116...great night of fights!

I ended up watching tonights`card on my own tonight. I`d planned to heading over to Kevin Kroft`s housewarming, but with Roxanne not feeling great, I figured it best to stay home.

The UFC rarely fails to deliver and UFC 11 was no exception. The Leben vs Akiyama fight was awesome. I like both these guys. Leben taking the fight on less than 2 weeks notice after having faught at the Ultimate Fighter Finaled on the 19th of June, he was impressive. If you missed it, search it`s a great fight.

The main event (for those of you who`ve been living under a rock) was between Shane Carwin (unbeaten in his 12 fight career) vs Brock Lesnar for the undisputed heavyweight title. Carwin looked great through round 1. I was surprised that the referee, Jake Rosenthal, didn`t stop the fight with all the unanswered shots. Kudos to him for noticing that Brock was still of sound mind and putting up some defense to weather the storm. Round two was much different. Brock landed the takedown, got the mount and secured a head and arm choke for the win.

Say what you want about Lesnar, but this guy is the read deal. He`s the only one who was able to absorb Carwin`s bombs and make it out of round 1. He owned round 2 and made Carwin quit. I`m already looking forward to Lesnars` next fight vs Cain Velasquez. The UFC`s heavyweight division is finally exciting again. Lesnar is a beast.

In other news, the competition team did very well at last weekends` Renzo Gracie invitational tournement in the big apple. (NYC) Congrats to those who made it onto the podium at this high level tournement.

Kyle Fletcher & Nicole
Jenn Ricker...silver
Thomas Lum, Ryan Sarazin & Curtis Prosser...bronze

Congrats to everyone who competed, you did the club proud and you will only get better. I really wish I could have been there. Not only for the tournement, but for the Gregor Gracie class on Sunday afternoon at Renzo`s academy in Manhattan.

On a related note, today`s class at Sudbury BJJ was great. With Steve away for a martial arts convention in Vegas, Guy Poulin ran the class and we worked on armbars and omoplatas. It felt great to be back on the mat after having been away for over a week. I can`t wait to do it all over again this week.

Stay healthy my friends! See you on the mat!

samedi 26 juin 2010

Renzo Gracie Invitational 2010

Sudbury BJJ`s competition team is in New York City this weekend for the Renzo Gracie Invitational. Above is some of the group in Times Square last night. Hope the competion is going well! I`m looking forward to hearing about the result.

With that, I`ll leave you with a video from 1997. It`s Renzo rolling with Mauricio Gomes (Roger Gracie`s father) in Japan.

lundi 21 juin 2010

Anderson Silva & Steven Seagal?

The interwebs can be a weird place sometimes. For instance, today, I found this clip of Anderson Silva training with Steven Seagal for his upcoming fight with Chael Sonnen. I`m pretty sure this is just one of those opportunities to train with someone different, as a novelty more than anything else. I can`t imagine Silva using any of these techniques in the octagon. Then again, we are talking about Anderson Silva. After his bizarre match in Abu Dhabi at UFC 112, I wouldn`t count anything out.

dimanche 20 juin 2010

Mark Holst UFC debut!

Last night was the finale for the Ultimate Fighter 11 at the Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas. The night marked the UFC debut for Kru Mark Holst from the Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts...a club we`re proudly affiliated with at Sudbury BJJ and Muay Thai Academy.

Mark faught an experienced John Gunderson, a wrestler training under Canadian Shawn Thompkins at the Tapout gym in Vegas. I haven`t had a chance to watch the fight seeing as the prelims were not aired on Spike TV due to time restrictions. I did however read the full play by play at which explains that Mark lost the decision due to Gunderson`s wrestling pedegree which he was able to use to control where the fight took place.

Either way, we`re all very proud of Mark. He represented himself and Team Renzo Gracie Ottawa very well. The next fight will have a different outcome no doubt!

Here are some pictures courtesy of

vendredi 18 juin 2010

Brock Lesnar

I seem to be the only person I know who`s a big fan of this guy. He`s a beast and in my eyes, the ultimate heavyweight. On July 3rd at UFC 116, he`ll be fighting Shane Carwin, the man who is the closest to him in terms of size, strength and wrestling background. It will be a clash of the titans. I can`t wait!

Here`s a video of Brock training with Captain America at his Death Clutch gym in Minnesota.

jeudi 17 juin 2010

Random musings

The Renzo Gracie Invitational in NYC is a little over a week away. I had hoped to make it to the event, but the life of a married 33 year old father of two with a career doesn't always make it easy to pack up and leave for a long weekend. With that, I'll be watching the fall calendar for another event. (hopefully another Renzo Gracie invitational)...I'm feeling ready to make my competition debut. Now I just need to stars to align so I can do it.

In other news, I've been looking forward to the Matt Hamill biopic that's due to come out soon. For those who don't recognize the name, Matt is a UFC fighter who happens to be deaf. From what I've learned over the years, his story is pretty inspirational. Hamill is a class act, I can't wait for this to make it to theatres. Here's a quick preview clip...enjoy!

HAMILL - Official Teaser from Hamill the Movie on Vimeo.

dimanche 13 juin 2010

UFC 115 review

Dear Chuck,

You`ve done everything you need to do. You looked great coming into the fight, but haven`t changed your game in years. You`ve been dropping your hands to throw bombs for too long, the best fighters in the world have learned to counter your strikes. You`re a legend and helped build the UFC and MMA to what it is today. It`s time to hang it up. Here`s a picture of Chuck doing his impression of the Rashad Evans "Stanky Leg".

All in all, I wasn`t super hyped for last night`s card, but as the night wore on, I kept repeating "this has been a great night of fights!" Rory McDonald looked awesome vs Carlos Condit, but round 3 showed us why Condit was the WEC`s last welterweight champion. Everyone talks about how GSP has cleaned out his division. While this is true enough, I`d love to see Carlos get a title shot. That would be a good fight. (GSP still takes it, but would be entertaining)

Another great fight was the co-main event between Mirko CroCop & Pat Barry. Just watch the pre-fight presser which will explain the respect these guys have for one another. (it`ll explain the smiles and hugs during the fight) Mirko looked awesome despite getting rocked twice in the first round. I sure hope Pat Barry rebounds from this loss. He`s a class act and an incredible striker. I`d love to see him fight Gilbert Yvel...both guys coming off losses last night.

Had some friends from the club over to watch the event last night. Noel (my 6 year old) wanted to stay up because Steve was coming over. It was like his BJJ instructor is some type of superhero to him now. haha! (a superhero like Paul Reubens character from Mystery Men) I kid...I kid. :)

Can`t wait to get back on the mat this week. Jiu Jitsu for life!

jeudi 10 juin 2010

time for a new look

So I`ve been keeping up with this blog since the winter. I figured it was time to change the look up a bit. Hope you like it!

I just got back from the club. Big Tom Cooney ran a good class where we worked on escaping the backpack. (after giving up your back to your opponent) It`s not the easiest position to get out of, but knowing what you need to do will help and the more we train, the easier it will eventually become. It`s all about muscle memory...drill drill drill!

In other news, as previously reported, Mark "Boots" Holst from our parent club, the Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts is fighting John Gunderson at the Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale at the Palms in Las Vegas next weekend. (the 19th) He`ll be making his debut in the big show and we couldn`t be more excited for him. MMAGearPimp.Com, owned by my friend Chris Casola (owner of the Fight Company here in Sudbury) is sponsoring Mark for the fight. Tonight, our very own Jenn Ricker slaved over the sewing machine adding mmagearpimp and Team Renzo Gracie Ottawa patches to the shorts Mark will be wearing in the world famous Octagon. She made up two sets, one white with red trim and the second is burgundy with black trim. They both look good. We`ll see which pair Mark decides to wear on the big night! It`ll be a great night!

This Saturday is UFC 115. The main event match up between Chuck Liddell and Rich Franklin would have been epic had it happened a few years back when both were at the top of the heap in their respective divisions. With that, I still think this has the potential to be a great fight. Chuck looks like he`s in great shape. Has he evolved in training since his last fight at UFC 97? I`m sitting here watching the countdown show on Spike TV. I`m watching clips saying Chuck is looking to make a run at the title with his return, but I can`t help but think father time has caught up with him. The co-main event looks awesome! Pat Barry vs Mirko CroCop has the potential to be a standup war. Pat Barry looked awesome against Antoni Hardonk in his last fight, but Mirko is a big step up in competition. I like both guys...this is the fight to watch!

See you on the mat!