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.