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!