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! ;)