jeudi 8 décembre 2011

learning to escape the mount

hello my friends,

it's been a while...I know. life has been very busy and i was off the mat for nearly a month with a brutal chest cold and nursing a sore shoulder. i know you missed me, but rest assured, i'm back.

so i just saw this video online and had to laugh. how badly do you think the guy on the bottom wishes he knew how to escape the mount?! "i got pills bitch!!" haha! (warning, language not suitable for the workplace...and you can't unsee some of this either)

dimanche 30 octobre 2011

Slow Rolling aka, "S Rolling"

This is a great video on the art of slow rolling. I`m still learning how to do it properly, some guys seem to think it means going balls out either way. (which can be frustrating)

For those who roll...check out this clip.

mardi 11 octobre 2011

mid-october random thoughts

So I got a nose bleed during randori tonight. I was rolling with the Bear and I`m guessing a quick crossface must have done the job. I noticed it on my lapel while rolling. I`m not a bleeder by any means, so I`m guessing it must have been a good forearm...stuff happens! Enough about that!

Both tonight and on Saturday, the warmups have been a bit tougher, which has been great. Jenn kicked our butts on Saturday and Steve kept the party going tonight.

The Ottawa Open BJJ tournament is this weekend. I`ve essentially decided against being competitive outside the walls of the club. I was hoping to make it down to Ottawa this weekend in support, but simply have too much on my plate.

I am hoping to make it to the nation`s capital for Wreck MMA at the end of the month which includes a seminar with Renzo Gracie. I`ve just got to figure out a way to make it happen.

Stay healthy!

lundi 3 octobre 2011

2011 Fall BJJ Seminar's been a few weeks since I've posted a blog. I'm trying to think of what's kept me so busy that I've not logged in. I digress...

This weekend, we had our Fall BJJ Seminar with Professor Pat Cooligan and brown belt Matt "Hammer" Hache hosted by John Cole at Sudbury MMA. It was my first time at John's new location, a really nice place in New Sudbury.

Friday night, we trained for 3 hours working on attacks from the back. Saturday, Hammer taught the regular classes at Sudbury BJJ along with some private classes. On Sunday, we were back on the mat at Sudbury MMA for 3 hours of holding mount, knee on belly and chokes from those positions. I got to work with blue belt, Adam Gignac on Sunday. For anyone who's had the pleasure of rolling with Adam, you'll know that when he puts his knee on your belly or chest, it's not fun. haha! The guys' top game is crushing as it 3 hours, it got even heavier.

Adam and I are pretty much the same size. 5'10-5'11 and roughly 215-220lbs. We match up pretty well from that perspective, but in training, his experience usually wins out. (and by usually, I mean 99% of the time) Even with that, it's never a bad experience (unless he's got his knee on your belly as previously noted). But it's in those sessions where I pick up bits and pieces for my own game...based on my body type etc. His game is not a bad one to model mine against.

Lots happening in October. In 2 weeks OAMA is hosting the Ottawa Open followed 2 weeks later by Wreck MMA at the Casino in Gatineau, QC. A few members of the OAMA pro team will be fighting along with Rolles Gracie in a co-main event vs Lee Mein. There's also a rumour that Renzo himself will be in Ottawa and hosting a seminar the following day at OAMA. Needless to say, you'll know where to find me at the end of the month!

Ok...back to the work week and training at the club. I hope to see you out on the mat and as always, don't forget to wash your gi (and yourself) after every session! (it also doesn't hurt to shower before class either...just sayin!)

mercredi 14 septembre 2011

lundi 12 septembre 2011

Who am I? O' Papagaio!!

As everyone at the club knows, I share a name with the owner of a competitive club here in Sudbury. Yves Charette from Team Shredder.

There has been a bit of an ongoing joke with my friends from OAMA that I'm known as "the real" Yves Charette. Of course, this isn't to disrespect Yves, he's much more accomplished in martial arts than I'll ever be, but moreso just for jokes.

It all started a few years ago when I called OAMA to reserve my spot for a Renzo Gracie Seminar the night before the second Wreck MMA. The guy who took my reservation was a bit thrown off by my name, but took my $100 and said he was looking forward to seeing me after all this time.

Of course, I found that odd, but didn't push the issue any further. I realized shortly after hanging up the phone that he must have thought it was Yves from Team Shredder calling to attend a Renzo seminar at OAMA the day before his fighter Mitch Gagnon was set to take on OAMA's Stephane Bernadel at Wreck.

In addition to that, I threw Pat Cooligan off with a Facebook friend request where my face didn't match my name. I've since gotten to know Pat and all is good. (thank god, because he could kick my ass) haha!

At any rate, Steve has often said we needed to get me a new name but nothing ever really stuck. I don't believe a person can give themselves their own nickname, so a while back, I took a nickname given to me by my good buddy, training partner and former co-worker Kevin Crittenden. When we worked together, he would jokingly complain that I always had a sarcastic comment or something to mock everyone (mainly him)...I was a "f@$king Parrot!" I used to walk by his office and let out a nice little "KaKaw!!" When we were the only ones left at the office, I would let out a "Kakaw!" on the loudspeaker/intercom.

Last year, I played a bit with the nickname to try and make it cooler. In BJJ, many fighters have a nickname that represents a strength in their games "Jacare" means Alligator, "Toquinho" means tree stump for the strength of a guy like Rousimar Palhares. Ricardo Almeida is the BigDog..."Cachorrao". So...for myself, I looked up the Parrot (which is a pretty weak fighting nickname when used in English) and in Portuguese (the language of BJJ), it's "Papagaio". Doesnt that sound badass?!? haha!! I'm trying to make it official. I might even put it on the lapel of my white gi's and begin signing autographs using it. (yes, a high level white belt can sign autographs if he wants to!)

This came up today through a thread on TopMMANews where I post both as Papagaio and PapaG. The secret of my identity is out! Lookout world...Papagaio is coming to choke your kids!!

With love,

Papagaio xo

samedi 3 septembre 2011

Randon Thoughts...

The competition team have arrived safely in Montreal to compete in tomorrow`s Montreal Intl IBJJF tourney. Last night, I trained exclusively with Kyle (Fletcher) as he put in last minute preparation for his first competition at blue belt.

The kid is 16 years old and has a ton of potential. I can only imagine where I might be today had I gotten a start at that age. Makes me feel old when I realize that when I was his age, UFC 1 had not happened yet and the world outside of Brazil had never really heard of Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

BEST OF LUCK TO ALL TEAM RENZO GRACIE COMPETITORS TOMORROW! You`ve put in the work, it`s time to bring home the gold.

Speaking of Brazil, now that our family trip to Disney World is in the books, I really want to put a plan together to visit Rio de Janeiro for a week or so to visit the sights and spend some time training in the motherland of jiu jitsu. Who`s in?

lundi 29 août 2011

My thoughts on Eddie Bravo.

I first learned who Eddie Bravo was maybe 5 or 6 years ago. He would do an unofficial scorecard at UFC events and Joe Rogan would use this when a fight would go the distance during a broadcast. I later got into Jiu Jitsu got my undergrad degree from youtube and google with regards to the ins and outs of the sport. (yes, I agree I knew nothing and am striving everyday to learn "something").

At any rate, I`ve always known that Bravo was a polarizing figure. People either love him or they hate him. Not a whole lot of in between. There are a few points which keep coming up for debate.

1. the debate of training in the Gi vs no Gi jiu jitsu.
Bravo`s point on this might make sense to the everyday Joe, but there`s more to it. His idea is that training with the Gi and the different grips and techniques involved don`t translate as well to MMA or the street. He claims his brand of Jiu Jitsu is an evolution of the sport for MMA. (this coming from a guy who never wanted to fight from day 1. *you`ll see this in the video below.)

- my opinion on this is that I really don`t care about his opinion on the gi. (let`s not forget this blog is titled "My thoughts on Eddie Bravo") In the video I posted below, GSP states that he believes training in the Gi improves his game for MMA. It makes it alot tighter. I`ll take GSP`s opinion on this above any others. Why? He`s one of the greatest fighters or all time...and Eddie has never eaten a punch in a professional fight.

2. Eddie`s position on marijuana.
Again, not something I find very important. I don`t smoke, nor do I believe it would do anything to improve my game. (I just need to train more to improve my game.) Do I care that he and others do it or claim it improves their game? Nope.

3. His win over Royler Gracie.
Some say that Eddie built his career and 10th planet JJ on his win in 2003 over Royler at Abu Dhabi (combat club). This might lead one to consider him as Jiu Jitsu`s version of a "one hit wonder". The long awaited rematch was set to happen at ADCC in Nottingham, England next month, but alas, the terms couldn`t be agreed on. (to Eddie`s credit, he was prepared to roll)

4. The naming of moves in his system.
Eddie talks about this in the video below, but I will disagree with him on this. There is a move he calls the "jew claw" which is an to say he hasn`t renamed any moves that already had names is silly. I do agree that naming these moves the way he has enables his students to create a cleaner roadmap for their game. (not to say this isn`t done by higher level guys in BJJ, Eddie just seems to have made it simpler).

5. The rubberguard.
Here`s where I go against the grain. I like this guard and I believe it has it`s place. I find it silly when people dismiss the rubberguard because it comes from Eddie. I`ve been training a little over 2 years and I consider myself an elementary level student when it comes to the art, but for my own use (and the freakish flexibility I have in my legs for a guy my size), it`s a great high guard and setup for attacks off the back.

At the end of the day, if you see me trying some rubberguard (while wearing the gi)when I`m rolling with my training partners, it has nothing to do with politics. I see it as a good "high guard" option. I`m just trying to get better using any advantage that I can and I have a hard time dismissing something before I try it out for myself.

The following video is interesting...though I must say that although I personally don`t agree with everything Eddie says, I don`t hate the guy either.

vendredi 19 août 2011

Shawn Tompkins

As everyone has already heard, Canadian MMA Coach, Shawn Tompkins died of a heart attack on Sunday morning. (he was only 37 years old)

I started training in BJJ a little over 2 years ago. I had stared at the club`s website for quite some time before making the move and signing up at the club. What nobody knows is that I`d been doing the same thing when I lived in London, but time and money kept me from making the move back then. The club`s website that I stared at was Team Tompkins.

A friend of mine from work had been dating one of the Muay Thai Fighers and I`d been familiar with Mark Hominick from his Muay Thai days fighting in Calgary (on TSN) in an organization run by Mike Miles. I also liked that Tompkins was teaching the Bas Rutten Fighting System. (Bas had been a UFC Champion at the time).

At any rate, I never made it out to the gym, but I had intended on it. Here`s a pretty awesome video tribute that was made for Shawn which was posted on my facebook newsfeed tonight.

mercredi 17 août 2011

new Renzo Gracie interview

I just saw this new video posted on my facebook wall by Ken Primola (IloveBJJ.Com)

mardi 9 août 2011

my bjj birthday

Today makes exactly 2 years since I started learning brazilian jiu jitsu. One might wonder why I think that`s important. For me, it`s an accomplishment in itself to have stuck with it, learning something new each time I step on the mat.

I rolled today with a couple blue belts and was reminded how even at the two year mark, I`ve got so much to learn. At times it felt like it was my very first day.

At any rate, I`m back from holidays with my family. Roxanne and I took the boys to Disney World in Florida (we had a blast), but now it`s time to buckle down and get my fitness back on track.

Lots of exciting things on the horizon!
Stay tuned!

vendredi 29 juillet 2011

vendredi 22 juillet 2011

The Freddie Roach of Muay Thai

Although I don't train in Muay Thai, I was excited to see that Steve & Jenn brought in Jean Charles Skarbowsky for the week to teach a weekend seminar and classes for a week at the club.

For those who watch the Ultimate Fighter, you'll remember him as the Muay Thai coach that GSP brought in during season 12 to help train his team. JCS is now a regular Muay Thai trainer for Georges and is through that connection (and his charismatic personality) is becoming known worldwide as the Freddie Roach of Muay Thai. (Ok, I just said that for the first time, maybe it'll catch should...because he is.)

It was said on the Ultimate Fighter that Jean Charles is a character. This is indeed the case. If anything can be said for being a product of your life experience, JCS would be that prime example.

Last night, a handful of us from the club went out to celebrate JC's last night in Sudbury. To say we had some laughs would be an understatement. I really look forward to seeing Jean Charles again. He's part of the club now. Yet another link in the chain that makes Sudbury BJJ & Muay Thai the best club in town.

Here's a video I found online where JCS teaches some techniques. Last night, I watched the last class he taught and this is exactly what he covered at one point.

I can say we made a new friend in JC and we've been SKARBORIZED!

mardi 19 juillet 2011

random thoughts

So I'm away on business again which gives me plenty of time to kill on the internet. These are the times where I dig deep to find things to entertain myself. (keep your mind out the gutter aiiight?)

I just watched a ufc presser for a late september card headlined by a title fight between Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson. Jon Jones is a very young champion and outside of Brock Lesnar, the least experienced fighter to win the top rank in mma. From his dealings with former training partner and original opponent, Rashad Evans, I've been turned off by how arrogant Jones has become in such a short period of time. That's not to be unexpected when success at the very highest level comes at such a young age. GSP learned a big lesson in his loss to Matt Serra, you'd think Jones might take that story as a lesson for himself, but it seems the more time goes by, the more he thinks he's invincible.

At any rate, as everyone knows, he's now facing Rampage Jackson, a man whose passion to fight has come into question since getting into the movies. With that said, Jackson is only 33 years old and might be the guy who hands Jones his first loss. I'm hoping that's the case anyhow.

Back to the presser. One of the things Jones has become known for is his staredown. He refuses to make eye contact and gazes into the crowd or past his opponent. Perhaps he thinks this gives him a mental edge or makes him look intimidating, I'm not sure. It's almost as though he's in a weird staring contest with an abyss. Anyhow, Jackson being a showman completely stole that moment from the young champion. At the end of the presser, Dana White lined them up for the staredown and photos, Jackson leaned in and spun in the same direction Jones was gazing to. With a big smile, he pointed at where Jones was staring and got some big laughs. Rampage wins the staredown 10-8.

The lead up to this fight should be good. Rampage was in fine form today and I feel like he'll be getting his title back in Denver on the last Saturday of September.

Stay tuned!

samedi 16 juillet 2011

Renzo Gracie Promotions (NYC)

some entertainment from the promotions at Renzo's in NYC.

jeudi 14 juillet 2011

random thoughts

hello folks!

it`s been a while since i`ve updated this blog properly. to my loyal readers, i apologize for that. i`ve just spent less time online in recent weeks. (less time than usual, which is still more than most i`m sure)

so what`s new?

last saturday, i packed a bag and fueled up the audi and hit highway 17 east on route to the capital. i met up with jenn who had left a bit earlier in the day. we hooked up with bullets(friend of steve & jenn`s from oama)for a late snack in little italy and then called it a night. we weren`t in town to party, we were there to train and learn from the best jiu jitsu practitioner/competitor in the world...roger gracie!!

the seminar was off the hook. roger`s game is legendary for being very basic but what he does, he does better than anyone on the planet. if roger gets mount...he wins. i won`t go into a detailed rant on what he taught. what i will tell you is that my game improved from that afternoon on the mats at oama. without a doubt, when you train with the best in the world, you can only get better.

not only is roger an amazing talent, but he`s truly a very cool guy. i got to talk to him a bit during the class as well as afterwards. i`m pumped for his fight in september vs king mo lawal, former strikeforce light heavyweight champion and div 1 wrestler. he`ll be back in ottawa in the fall from what i understand. if you miss him the next time around, you`ll kick yourself. the trip is worth every penny.

myself with roger

in other news, i`m nearing my second birthday. (my bjj birthday is august 9th, 2009) that doesn`t seem like a big deal, but it is to me. to celebrate, i ordered some zebra mats so i can train at home with my boys. i`ll post some pictures when they arrive. i can`t wait! :)

see you at the club!

mercredi 6 juillet 2011



UFC Rio - Versão do Diretor from Leandro Rial on Vimeo.

dimanche 3 juillet 2011


So I was folding Noël and Ben`s gis tonight and I had a revelation. There comes in a point in every boys` life where he doesnt want to be hugged and cuddled by his Dad. (at the least, not in public)

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will allow me to hug my sons while allowing them to be "cool". haha!

on a seperate note...

I`ve been on the mat a ton lately. I managed to train 4 times this past week which was a real treat for me. I`m hoping that now that July has arrived, I`ll have a bit more time to put in the work.

Next Sunday, I`ll be at the Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts for a seminar with Roger Gracie. Stay tuned for a full rundown when I get back.

Life is good...enjoy it.

vendredi 17 juin 2011

fridays are always great days

After spending the week on the road for work, Friday finally showed up on my doorstep. After clearing up some paperwork and administration, I headed over to the club for 11am class. After some light stretching, Steve asked if I could lead the small class through warmups which I was happy to do. I figured today`s class would be nice and light seeing as the people I lead through warmups were all on the newer side...fresh meat. That is until Adam Gignac showed up.

It`s very rare that I`m able to sneak out during working hours for a class. However, it seems that everytime I do, I end up paired up with my buddy Adam. Don`t get me wrong, that`s not a bad thing. It just means I`m going to get crushed at some point. Adam is my size, pretty much the same height and weight. The difference is that he`s a blue belt who really knows how to distribute his weight and make himself feel very heavy. His grips are also becoming somewhat legendary.

To make a long story short, we had a great class. We worked on s-mount, weight distribution and arm locks from mount. I could feel the sweat beading off my freshly shaven head. Working with Adam helps me see how I should be playing the game. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other. I`ll get there...eventually.

samedi 4 juin 2011

where am i with my bjj?

So I`ve been training BJJ now for just under 2 years. (started August 9th, 2009) I`ve got 3 stripes on my white belt and I`m starting to find my purpose. My combination of health and age brings me to the realization that I`ll never be a real competitor in the sport. I had planned to compete a few times, but my health always had other ideas. (I`m not complaining, I feel great and my condition is under control, just stating the facts.) With that said, I do have a goal of competing next year...maybe just once. We`ll see how it goes and play it by ear.

That`s not to say I don`t have any goals. Nothing could be further from the truth. BJJ is an incredible cardio workout and when things are going your way, it`s a ton of fun! Like many Canadian boys, I grew up loving hockey and wrestling. Back in the early 80`s my Mom`s youngest brother Norm lived in our basement while he attended college. My Saturday mornings consisted of watching International Wrestling with Norm which always led to me kicking his ass like my hero Rick Martel did to Dino Bravo. My point is, I`ve always loved to wrestle and rough house with my friends. With BJJ, I get to keep doing that as an adult. :)

I`m getting sidetracked...back to my point. I`ll be 35 on August 1st and my personal goals are clear. Earn my 4th stripe and work towards earning my blue belt in 2012.

So what will it take to get there? The quick answer is "more time on the mat". That`s a given...but I`ve also got to work on my weak areas and develop a gameplan. You might wonder why I need a gameplan when I`m not planning to become an active competitor. Well, BJJ is a game. When you`re new to it, it looks like a puzzle with many pieces scattered across the floor. As you learn to put some of those pieces together, the puzzle turns into a chess match. You can either spend your time trying to put the pieces together on the mat (which could take an eternity), or develop some type of gameplan. Being strategic in training means focusing on the basics and creating a formula based on your strengths and weaknesses. Once this is figured out, along with the ability to escape basic positions using muscle memory, I think I`ll be ready for that next step. Faixa Azul!

In related news, Noël turned 7 in April and has now moved up to the Kids BJJ class, graduating from the Little Ninja`s program. He`s big enough and certainly smart enough to make the jump, I just need to be sure he continues to enjoy the sport while learning with the bigger kids. I was proud of him today...he did really well.

Ben, being 5, will be in the little ninja`s program for a couple more years. He seems to be taking a bit more of a leadership role in class. He was proud to be the highest ranking student in his class today. That meant he stood at the front of the lineup for opening and closing remarks.

What`s most important for me is that both boys are having fun. So far so good!

dimanche 29 mai 2011

the seminar, party at poulin`s, seminar day two, weekend over.

Yesterday Pat & Hammer came up from Ottawa for our spring seminar. Pat changed up the format and we focused on gameplanning, the art of "learning" jiu jitsu and long term development. The first hour, Hammer focused on a few "go to" takedowns with options depending on how your opponent reacts. This system was followed for the remainder of the day. We basically designed a flow chart so that we could gain a better understanding of what`s happening during a match, which leads to understanding brazilian jiu jitsu.

Many people will tell you they understand jiu jitsu, but truth behind that statement lies behind hours of practice, drilling technique and building muscle memory. The end result is knowing where you are, what you`re looking for and the ability to react on the fly.

Last night, we headed over to Guy`s house to watch UFC 130. We were a good bunch, lots of shits and giggles were had by all. Naturally, I left before the real shenanigans started. I logged onto facebook earlier tonight and saw Guy in fine form in one of his trademark suits. The pictures that followed showed Guy in that suit minus his pants...followed by pictures of Guy, in his suit, with no pants, flat on his back with people tearing off his tighty whities. Good grief Charlie Brown.

Today was day 2 of the weekend seminar. Like a true gong show, I ended up being a few minutes late. (I called Steve to let him know and apologized to both Pat & Hammer). We drilled some more, learned a few more techniques and then had some fun.

Hammer is competing at the World Championships in Long Beach California next week (at his brown belt level) so Pat decided to have us shark tank him so he could get some training in a few days before the flight to the west coast. One by one, we slapped hands and got to rolling. (no time limit, roll until submission)

Did I mention I was a gong show today? I got down with Matt and within 30 seconds, I had gotten into his half guard, had my arm stuffed, was swept and he finished me off with an armbar. I didn`t get a chance to try anything, but let`s be real, I`m a white belt who`s been training since August 2009. Hammer is a world class brown belt who has wins over some of the biggest names in jiu jitsu. (Ryan Hall, Miguel Torres and has competed in championship matches against world class black belts like JT Torres etc)So yeah...I wasn`t actually planning to submit him with a flying triangle choke, I just wanted to last more than 30 seconds. Hammer, if you`re reading this, I want my about 10 years.

At the end of the day, Pat & Hammer once again delivered on a weekend seminar that will surely help improve the game of anyone who attended. If you didn`t attend (assuming you`re a training partner of mine), be sure to attend the next one. These are hours on the mat that you just shouldn`t miss.

Back to the club tomorrow to pick up where we left off. A bit better than I was on Friday.

vendredi 27 mai 2011

Pat Cooligan Seminar this weekend!

I really should be in bed sleeping, but sleep hasn't been a good friend to me lately. I just can't get my wake/sleep cycle to cooperate with me.

At any rate, in roughly 10 hours, I'll be stretching and warming up my joints for another Pat Cooligan seminar at the club. (my 5th since joining back in August 2009)

On a related note, tomorrow night is UFC 130 at Guy's place. I'll report back on both fronts in the coming days.

Stay tuned!!

jeudi 19 mai 2011

random update on me

Hello friends!

I`ve taken a bit of flack for slacking on updating the blog. The first quarter of 2011 saw me traveling more for work and recouperating from an illness left me feeling pretty beat up. With that said, I`m back and feeling better than I have in a long time. Enough about that...

Life at the club has been good. Classes are always packed and membership continues to grow. My boys are enjoying their classes and improving with every passing week. Noël is itching to move up to the kids program. I`d hoped to put that off until the fall for a miriad of reasons but it looks like he`ll make the jump sooner than later. Watching Ben run drills is a riot. His "pirate face" on the mat is becoming legendary.

Next week we have our head instructor, Pat Cooligan coming in for a two day seminar. If you`re new to the club, you need to be sure to attend. Pat brings a wealth of knowledge. I`m really looking forward to it.

Talk soon!

lundi 16 mai 2011

jeudi 5 mai 2011

Ricardo Almeida

a good video on where the big dog is now and thoughts on retiring from mma for a second time.

Ricardo Almeida: Life After MMA from Veazey Street Productions on Vimeo.

lundi 25 avril 2011

the master in action

Get a bird's eye view of Master Renzo Gracie teaching GSP and Frankie Edgar at his academy in Manhattan. (John Cholish is also seen working with Edgar). Steve, Jenn, Big Kevin & I learned this specific guillotine choke from Rolles Gracie last December at Gracie Barra Montreal. Just awesome!!

dimanche 24 avril 2011

Rolles Gracie

Rolles Gracie made his return to the cage this weekend with a submission win over Braden Bice at UCC fights 4 in New Jersey.

Tilt your screen (or your head) and enjoy the quick work he made of his opponent.

jeudi 21 avril 2011

Hayabusa MMA

Hi everyone,

If you're a faithful reader of the blog, let me apologize for my inactivity. My work life since January 1st of this year has seen me on the road quite a bit and free time has been at a premium. (family first!)

At any rate, early this morning, I was checking my facebook and I noticed a familiar name at the top right hand side of my screen. We apparently had a friend in common and facebook decided we should be reconnecting.

The real beauty of facebook is when you're able to reconnect with a genuinely old friend you haven't talked to in years. My friend, is Craig Clement. Craig and I grew up together on Dearbourne Drive in Sudbury, were in the same class from kindergarden to 8th grade and played hockey together growing up. When high school rolled around, we went off into different directions (Craig to St-Charles...myself to Notre-Dame).

Around 8th grade, prior to high school Craig and his family moved away from Dearbourne, so I really only saw him when we faced off against each other on the ice.

Fast forward 20 years...(damn, that makes me feel old) and here we are touching base on Facebook. I sent Craig a quick note and before he had a chance to reply, I looked up his info and his employer said "Hayabusa MMA". I decided to google his name and low and behold, Craig is the president & owner of one of MMA's biggest brand names.

All I can think is I'm impressed as hell and proud of how successful my old friend has become. My gear bag (Hayabusa) is filled with rash guards and shorts from his company. Today, I stopped into the Fight Company and picked up the new Gi they've come out with.

This is all very cool...but at the end of the day, touching base with my old buddy seems even cooler. Congrats on your success Craig! I look forward to hanging out someday and trading old stories from the good old days.

Check out the new video with Robert Drysdale promoting Hayabusa's new BJJ Gi.

vendredi 8 avril 2011

The greatest interview...more gold from Nick Diaz.

Nick is awesome...puts Ariel Helwani in his place and then gives some good views on the pitfalls of the unified rules of MMA vs the old Pride rules.

lundi 28 mars 2011

"Hips & Elbows"

This is yet another great video from Nicolas Gregoriades posted on his website, Professor Gregoriades was the first person to receive a black belt under Roger Gracie. I really like how he makes concepts very easy to understand and retain.

mardi 22 mars 2011

I`m still alive!

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the delay between posts. The last month has been relatively un-eventful for me. I hadn`t been able to train due to a very busy work schedule that saw me on the road quite a bit. It also didn`t help that I`ve been runned down physically so the break was necessary.

I`ve trained twice in the last couple days which means I`m back into the routine...finally.

At any rate, lots of coolness on the horizon at the club. April 23rd, we`ll be hosting a Muay Thai - Kickboxing event at the Caruso Club here in Sudbury. Steve had asked me a while back if I`d be interested in matchmaking the event and it sounded like fun, so we got to it.

We`ve currently got 10 confirmed matchups with the hopes of a few more. We`ll have fighters representing Sudbury BJJ & Muay Thai, Sudbury MMA, the Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts (Ottawa), Mattawa Kickboxing (Mattawa), Ares Kickboxing (North Bay), Matador MMA (Toronto), Samir`s Combat Reaction (Hamilton) and possibly a few more.

You can get tickets by calling (or visiting) the club or by sending me an email or note on facebook. Tickets are $35 for general admission and a good portion of the gate will go to an education fund for Austin Roy in Richy`s memory. It`ll certainly be a great night of fights so come on out and cheer on some up and coming fighters. Who knows...we might end up seeing one or two of these athletes make it all the way to the UFC one day.

I`ll be in touch soon...I promise.


jeudi 24 février 2011

Bas Rutten is the man.

Find 2 hours where you can sit by your computer and listen to Bas Rutten and Joe Rogan talk about the old days of Pride as well as Bas' incredible stories from Holland, Japan, the UFC etc. I'd love to see Bas added as a 3rd mic on UFC broadcasts. (or we could just get rid of Mike Goldberg and let Rogan & Rutten take over the world...interesting thought eh?)

vendredi 18 février 2011

two fights from last weekend

Last weekend, Igor Gracie and John Cholish both faught on the Strikeforce "Fedor vs Bigfoot" card on Showtime. Igor really needs no introduction, but John Cholish is also a fighter from Team Renzo Gracie NY. Both had awesome fights and brought home the win. Enjoy the fights!

lundi 14 février 2011

Schoolyard bullies.

If there's one thing I can't's a bully. Bullying takes different forms, physical & verbal.

I had written a blog earlier this year where Noel stuck up for his little buddy at school when he was being physically bullied in the washroom at school. He ended up being the one who got in trouble and was sent to the office. For anyone who knows Noel, you can imagine this didn't go over well. As proud as I was on the inside, Roxanne and I had to sit him down and have a talk reaffirming that we werent upset with him, but the next time, he should find a teacher (or adult if not at school) and tell them what's happening rather than first resorting to getting physical.

Fast forward to today. Apparently Noel was playing with his friends and the class bully ran over and socked him in the belly. He was upset and went and told the teacher who was supervising recess. He did exactly what we told him to do. The teacher took the bully to the office where we've been told he'll spend recess for the next few days. We're hoping his parents will also be getting a phone call, but in this day and age, it's difficult to tell whether that will make any difference or not. (not all parents think the way we do).

At any rate, here I sit thinking the situation over in my head. My brain tells me we've done the right thing and hopefully, this kid's parents will deal with their son accordingly. My heart on the other hand kind of wishes that my boy would have reacted with a double leg takedown, pass to mount and smothered him into the snow until a teacher came by. My brain wins this one but eventually we will have this talk. As a parent, I struggle with what a 6 year old would consider the appropriate amount of force which is why we continue to practice what we preach.

It's odd this happened today. At the club on Saturday, I was told the kids program will be starting the anti-bullying program. They'll also look at it with the Little Ninjas but will do an age appropriate version.

At the end of the day, I'm happy with how Noel handled the situation. He's a big strong kid who will be able to handle himself as he grows up. It's those life lessons along the way that will be interesting.

dimanche 6 février 2011

The Politics of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

I started this blog a year ago today to follow my journey as a white belt learning the art I`ve come to love. (I`ve been training 1.5 years now) In the last 365 days, the page has been viewed over 7000 times. Not exactly something that will be listed in top google trends, but hopefully those who`ve been reading have enjoyed it so far.

Today, I figured I`d get on my soapbox and give my opinion on the politics of BJJ. It should be noted that this is my own point of view and mine alone.

Sudbury is a small city and Jiu Jitsu is a sport which is growing by leaps and bounds thanks to the popularity of mixed martial arts and the UFC in particular. As more people train, more clubs are bound to open their doors for business.

I`ve heard some clubs state they don`t play into politics and their members can train wherever they want and the business model behind the club doesnt matter etc because it`s for a love of the sport. What I find funny is that it`s members of these clubs who are the first to talk trash about other clubs and the level of instruction that may or may not be given at another club.

The reality of the situation is that if a person hasn`t trained at a specific club, they don`t know what the instruction is like and really don`t have a leg to stand on when critisizing the competition. There are then the grapplers who`ve trained at different clubs and then moved on to others. My question is why did they leave in the first place? Some may have had legitimate reasons, but for the mostpart, it usually always comes down to differences in personality (which is putting it lightly) or the member wasn`t able to pay their membership fees etc.

Then there is loyalty to your team. There are people who believe that you should be able to train at any club, at any time. These are people who see BJJ as an individual sport. They don`t recognize the team atmosphere which is imbeded into the culture of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. These people seem to think that if a club takes that approach, it`s a negative thing. My suggestion to those who share this view would be to look at the people at the root of our sport/art. If you were to go to Brazil, do members of Gracie Barra train with members of Nova Uniao? Do any of them cross-train with members of Alliance? I`m by no means an expert here, but I`m thinking the answer is no.

Why should it be any different in Canada? There is a team atmosphere in BJJ and that should be respected. But sometimes I hear grumblings from people who want to train "anywhere they want" that this is "politics". My view is that these guys just don`t get it.

At any rate, I`ll just leave it at that for now. Be proud of your club, train hard but smart. Help your training partners improve their game. This in turn will certainly help yours. Lastly, don`t worry about what other clubs are doing. Let them say what they want to say. Concern yourself with being ready to smash them on the mat when it comes time to compete. The medals on our walls speak for themselves.

jeudi 3 février 2011

samedi 29 janvier 2011

Wreck MMA / Strong & Proud

Had another great roadtrip with my friends from the club. On Friday, Paul B, Lisa, Jenn, Steve and I packed into my Hyundai Entourage and headed east to Gatineau, Quebec for "Wreck MMA, Strong & Proud!". Wreck is a professional mixed martial arts promotion put on by our friends at the Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts.

This was Wreck`s 5th event and the 3rd I`ve been able to attend. The previous two were held at the Robert Guertin Arena, but this time around, it was held at the Hilton Lac-Leamy Casino. A smaller venue, but clearly a step up in prestige.

The card was pretty impressive with 3 former UFC vets and some of Canada`s best up and coming fighters. OAMA was well represented with 4 fights on the card with the co-main event featuring the retirement fight of Mark "Boots" Holst vs Markhaile "Showtime" Wedderburn. Showtime came in with a flashy entrance, but it did little to help him once the cage door was locked behind him. After a few early exchanges, Holst dominated the fight and showed the improvement in his wrestling to finish out the first round. The second round was more of the same with Mark finally taking Wedderburn`s back and inflicting some punishment until he was able to secure the rear naked choke to put an end to the fight.

Boots did leave the door open to a rematch with Nabil Khatib who he beat back at the first Wreck MMA event in December of 2009. Apparently Nabil is still saying that the first was stopped too early, so perhaps we`ll see them do it again in the not too distant future. Congrats to Mark on the win and best of luck with the new plans. I, along with many others hope to see him fight again.

I`d also like to mention the win by Kru Jeff Harrisson who was fighting a last minute opponent at Welterweight (two weight classes above where Jeff usually fights) Great job sir! Chris St-Jean lost a narrow decision which in my opinion could have gone his way. He landed the most damage and submission attempts but cage control and a few minutes of non-action were his likely downfall.

It was a really great night of fights!

We ended up crashing at 3am which lead to a late morning for this handful of 30 somethings. We grabbed lunch in the market in Ottawa and then hopped back into the van and made our way back home.

Travelling with these folks is always fun. Next time I hope we`ll have time to train at the almighty OAMA before having to head back home. I`m also hoping that Roxanne comes with us next time. Someone (other than myself), needs to convince her that live MMA is always a great time.

Here`s a picture of Steve, Myself and Paul getting to our seats at last night`s event. No complaints here!

See you at the next event, until then, you can find me on the mat!

samedi 22 janvier 2011

training with the spider monkey

Take a look the the guy in these pictures. Aside from being a bit odd, he`s 150 lbs of blue belt jiu jitsu knowledge. Guy`s been training nearly 4 years and has the best triangle choke at the club.

I outweigh Guy by nearly 75 lbs. He`s proof that consistent training and technique wins over brute strength everytime. Today, I named him Guy "the spider monkey" Poulin. Let`s see if it sticks.

Watching Guy and Steve S-roll (or flow roll) was fun. The speed kept picking up and their transistions seemed very smooth. After class, Guy and I rolled a bit more and I wanted to focus on working from my guard. Guy pointed out a few things that I was able to feel comfortable with right away. (not letting my secrets out today, I want to see how many guys my size I`ll be able to catch using these new ideas).

At any rate, once again, a great Saturday afternoon at Sudbury BJJ. Thanks to Guy for taking the time to share his own ideas and training with me dispite our size difference. For me, it`s awesome to roll with guys who understand the push and pull, technique over power, this is gold and I need to keep focusing on applying it to my own game.

This is a picture of Guy in Japan, dressed as a Samurai. What a weirdo! haha!

mercredi 19 janvier 2011

Wreck MMA & good times at Sudbury BJJ

Today was a great day! I skipped lunch today and swung by the club for noon hour Nogi training. The class was small, but Paul led us through some single leg takedown techniques and then we jumped into some randori.

I very rarely train without the gi and most times I feel lost without a collar or sleeve to latch onto for control. Today was different and that might be simply due to the quality of training partners that were out, but the flow felt pretty good.

I`ve learned that my top game is decent in terms of positional control, but I do need to keep working on my guard. I often say that some days I feel like it`s my first day on the mat and others feel like I`ve been training for 18 months. Today was one of those days where things felt pretty good. I was hanging with the blue belts. Ok...that`s enough patting myself on the back for now.

In other news, next Friday, January 28th, I`m headed to the Hilton Lac Leamy Casino in Gatineau, QC for Wreck MMA "Strong & Proud". The card is stacked with some of Canada`s best fighters along with former UFC fighters, Kalib Starnes, Joe "Diesel" Riggs and OAMA`s own hometown boy, Mark "Boots" Holst. As noted online, this will be Mark`s last fight (for now) as he`s looking at taking a few years off to compete in BJJ and work towards acheiving his black belt. He`ll also be travelling to Thailand to train and fight down there. If that wasn`t enough to keep him busy, he`ll also be opening up an OAMA school with his mentor and our head instructor, Professor Pat Cooligan.

The fight I`m most looking forward to is Mark`s fight vs Showtime Wedderburn. Both fighters have a solid Muay Thai background so it`s promising to be a standup war. The big question here is wether or not Showtimw will show up on weight. (He`s failed to make weight for his last 3 fights).

Another fight I`m excited about is between Robin Black and Mike Reilly. This could be Robin`s last fight as he`ll be focusing on his career at the Fight Network. I`m a big fan of Robin`s so I`m really hoping he goes out on top with a big win.

Aside from these fights, more of our teamates from OAMA will be on the card. Kru Jeff Harrison, Remi "Bam Bam" Morvin and Sudbury MMA`s Chris St-Jean will be starting out the night in his second pro fight.

Man...I`m excited! I can`t wait for next weekend! If you`re intersted in coming out, let me know asap. Without question, it`ll be an awesome night!

dimanche 16 janvier 2011

The Cauliflower Chronicles (Marshal D. Carper)

Last week, I finally got my copy of Marshal Carper`s "The Cauliflower Chronicles". I can`t remember which website or article I had read that tipped me off on this book, but I`d kept the title in the back of my mind as a book I wanted to read.

It`s the author`s story of leaving home in Pennsilvania and spending a semester on an exchange program with the University of Hawaii in Hilo. Carper was studying to become a writer and planned to use the time in Hilo to train at BJ Penn`s Academy with the hopes of earning his blue belt.

I found myself interested in the story based on the path my own life has taken over the last 2 years. As everyone knows, I`m a white belt in BJJ, working towards acheiving my blue belt under Pat Cooligan (Renzo Gracie Ottawa). I had also made my own pilgramage to the BJ Penn Academy back in 2009 when I visited the big island of Hawaii.

The book goes into the author`s personal life, relationships with his ex-girlfriend, old crowd of friends from home, his new school mates at the University of Hilo as well as his new friends and training partners at the academy.

Again, this is where his story felt similar to mine. Over the last few years, I`ve felt myself become more disconnected from my long time circle of friends. I had moved to London in 1999 and moved back to Sudbury in 2005. It`s nothing anyone said or did, I just felt like an outsider looking in. I guess it goes with finding a sport (or martial art) that you`re passionate about, but being with like minded people who share the same passion really makes a person feel at home.

At any rate, I won`t write much more about it but I will recommend you read this book. It`s very well written and comes across as very honest. (you`ll know what I mean when you read it)

Here is a picture of myself outside the BJ Penn Academy in Hilo, Hawaii back in February of 2009.

This is the cover of the book, you can find on by searching the title of the book.

vendredi 14 janvier 2011

What do you love and hate about Jiu-Jitsu?

Took this from GracieMag.Com

Ten things you love about Jiu-Jitsu

10) Finishing that guy ten years younger than you and that other one forty-five pounds heavier at the academy.
9) The inner peace from knowing Jiu-Jitsu is always with you, should you need it as a last resort when some unexpected problem arises in the streets.
8) The fact your body had never been in such great shape before.
7) Watching the UFC is a lot more fun now you really understand the ground game.
6) The fact your brain has never worked so well before – at training, work, study...
5) Discovering, with every training sessions, the most evident defects of your own personality. Fighting to correct what you can and better live with what you can't change.
4) The bosom friends made at the academy.
3) Taking your old friends to train with you and seeing them as stoked as you.
2) Improving your diet, to feel well nourished and train well.
1) Learning at least one valuable lesson per day on

Seven things you hate about Jiu-Jitsu

7) Getting submitted time and again by that little pipsqueak at the gym.
6) Sweating to get the stink out of your gi when washing it.
5) That little ache that never goes away.
4) UFC fans who don't understand Jiu-Jitsu and boo the good fights.
3) Missing training for a silly reason.
2) That swollen ear.
1) The need to exercise patience with your friends who don't agree that GRACIEMAG is the best magazine in the world, insisting on Esquire, Time, The New Yorker, Surfer's, etc., etc...

vendredi 7 janvier 2011

RICHY ROY (1982-2011)

Today we lost a good member of the club. Richy Roy was killed in a mining accident at Kidd Mine in Timmins.

I met Richy about a year ago when he joined Sudbury BJJ. He had a background as a high school wrestler from Chemmy and was one of Paul (Berthiaume)'s boys.

In jiu jitsu, you get to know your training partners pretty quickly. The nature of the sport sees alot of close contact so getting past the initial stages of "hello my name is" to "bro, you need to wash your junk because you stink...but I still love you" comes pretty quick.

The pictures I've posted are from Richy's first competition at the Arnold's in Ohio last winter. Funny story, I had hoped to go, but was away on business in Alberta at the time. Along with the BJJ competition, the Arnolds is a huge martial arts and sports expo. At any rate, Arianny Celeste (ring card girl for the UFC) was going to be in attendance. I'm a happily married man, but I've often joked about my love for Arianny.

So, with that, I told the guys heading to the expo that if one of them could find Arianny and have her hold up a signed piece of paper saying hello to me, there would be some type of prize in it for them when they got back. Well...apparently the lineup to see Miss Arianny was pretty long, so Richy decided to find a replacement for me. The flash from the picture blurred out the message to me, but you'll appreciate Richy's humour here. (if you've seen it on his facebook page, he tagged me on it and left a pretty funny caption for yours truly).

Richy did manage to meet a handful of UFC fighters, here's a picture he got with The Natural, Randy Couture.

We often talked at length in the locker room after a training session. Last winter, he was gearing up to head back to work with Redpath, but most of the time, we talked about our boys. Richy was very proud of his son Austin and although I never saw them together, I know he was a great father just from the pride he took when talking about him.

Richy will be missed by everyone he came in contact with and it goes without saying that he'll be missed at Sudbury BJJ.

Rest in peace Richy! You sir...are the man.