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Gear Review: Fuji Sports Freestyle Rashguard

20141002_081001-1 You need a rashguard. I don’t care where you train, if you only train gi or no gi, you need a rashguard. Now, some of you out there might have a wrestling background, or perhaps something with looser standards and mores in regards to clothing. Someplace where the guys in the gym seem more than ready to take off their shirts to roll.

Actually, this review is ESPECIALLY for you.

As you can tell from the picture, the Fuji Freestyle rashguard is an IBJJF approved ranked rashguard, which is nice, since it’s one less thing to worry about and seems to be the route that many rashguards are starting to take.

Over the years, I’ve owned more than a few rashguards, so I have a checklist of my own when it comes to what I look for:


Reinforced stitching, like the stitching found in the Freestyle rashguard, is a must.

Early on in my grappling journey I went for cheap, something I could get at target or Walmart or for cheap at a sporting goods store. A lot of the time it was Under Armor or some version there in. The problem is that those rashguards aren’t made for grappling, they are made just to exist and be sold, functionality is rarely a concern.

So what you get, to paraphrase The Bard is "a guaranteed piece of sh-t". Actually, it's not guaranteed, I just really like Chris Farley and wanted to shoe horn a reference in here somewhere.

These are the rashguards you wash a few times then pull it out and there's a tear in the sleeve if it's not missing outright. Don't sacrifice quality to save a few bucks when the investment will last you for years.

Anti-microbial fabric

I sweat. A lot. Like, a lot. I sweat like I’m guilty. I don’t know why, it’s just how I roll. That being said, regardless of how much you may sweat, you are going to be rolling around with other people, other people who sweat. As such, germs get spread and they like to hang around, if for no other reason than to stink up your gear, let alone spreading other nasty stuff.

Sorry for getting all science-talk there.

Having been rolling in this rashguard for the last few weeks I can tell you, this rashguard doesn’t stink. I’ve worn other brands, brands I won’t list hear that stink the moment you put them on, but the anti-microbial fabric used in this rashguard is doing it’s job.

Especially with my glands.


This never used to matter, then I bought a couple rashguards that didn’t fit very well. I mean the neck was really tight, which is perhaps the most annoying thing to me in a rashguard. And I’m not talking about being tight to the skin, like the Freestyle is, but actually constricting, more like’s it’s a turtle neck.

The Freestyle rashguard is form fitting, but made to fit comfortable without add constriction or the unwanted desire to adjust the neck or sleeves.

Speaking of the sleeves, I prefer a short sleeved rashguard, I always have, not sure why. Regardless, the problem with a lot of short sleeved rashguards is that the sleeves are often either too short and tight, or too long and loose, fitting more like a t-shirt.

The sleeves on the Freestyle go down about to the elbow and have a snug fit so they won’t roll or bunch up into the armpit.

Combining all these facets quickly made for my favorite rashguard. The only downside is that I only have one of them. Of course, that’s something I can easily remedy at:

RFA 19 at Mystic Lake Casino Quick Results (10/11/14)

Did you f*** up and miss a bad ass night of figbts both live AND on AXS TV? Don't worry, I'll save you...but just this once... Why don't I have any description? because I type on a phone and am drunk on vodka and Kill Cliffs.

Jesse Wannamacher defeated Aruan Campa via submission due to strikes at 1:18 of the 2nd round

Chelsi Westdrop defeated Kelsey Johnson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Bryan Mortensen defeated Chad Brito via submission due to triangle choke at 0:42 of the third round

Karter Holthusen defeated Adam Holzgrove via submission due to triangle choke at 1:30 of the 1st round

Blake Bilder defeated Sam Hernandez via submission due to omoplata (!) at 1:45 of the 1st round

Ty Bowling defeated Michael Bullen via unanimous decision (missed the scores)

Kyle Todd defeated John Maher via armbar at 1:26 of the 2nd round

Cassie Ridish defeated Rocky Magdaleno via submission due to rear naked chokes at 4:50 of the 1st round

Jake Ouradnik dfeated Mike Zimmer via unanimous decision (30-27 on all) FIGHT OF THE NIGHT

Matt Brown defeated John Castaneda via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Jocelyn Lybarger defeated Rebecca Ruth via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

Dan Moret defeated Jordan Griffin via submission due to rear naked choke at 3:09 of the 1st round

Abel Cullum defeated Carl Deaton III via submission due to rear naked choke at 3:43 of the 2nd round

Jake Collier defeated Gabe Checco via submission doe to rear naked choke at 4:27 of the 1st round for the RFA championship belt

Zak Ottow defeated Nate Howe via submission due to arm triangle at :54 of the 2nd round

Now go find video of the fights you mised dummy!

Product Review: Fuji Sports Kassen MMA Shorts (Black)

20141002_081129-1The last time I was in for a physical, my doctor said that he was concerned about my weight. Now, I know that the Body Mass Index is a load of s*** since your weight relative to your height doesn’t take into account muscles mass or body fat percentage, but still, when a doctor says something like that, you tend to take issue. I’m about six feet tall and at the time just over…never mind…leave me alone, my daughter was just born and I was eating a lot of homemade cookies. Regardless, I was a little heavier than I would like to be, like say, about 20 pounds above my preferred weight class, still a long way from obese.

Anyway, my doctor said that he was concerned at the year to year fluctuations in my weight. I looked at the dates of my physicals. One, showing me twenty pounds lighter about three years earlier was literally a day before a competition, the next year, about 15 pounds heavier was about a week after a competition.

Doctors get these far away, confused look when you mention weight cutting. Not that I'm an expert by any means, but doctor's sure as hell don't know anything about weight cutting.

Unfortunately, neither do many clothing companies.

I’ve owned more than a few board shorts for grappling over the years and one thing that many have in common is a rigid waistband, by which I mean there is no give. So the shorts you train in between competitions probably don’t fit as well as when they do right before you compete. Or vice versa.

Then there is Fuji Sports Kassen board shorts. The beauty of these shorts is the elastic paneling at the back of the shorts. It isn’t much, but it can create I’d say as much as an inch or two of variation in waist size, which is huge for athletes who cut weight.

Or grapplers with poor impulse control and new children.

I want my shorts to feel comfortable every day, not just days when I could say no to pizza.

Additionally, the shorts have a side split seem to offer added range of motion, which is great for days when you are working triangles, or lets face it, anything else in jiu-jitsu. Even the inner thigh panels have some added give to assist in range of motion…or to help me defend against my banana split submission nemesis.

Then there is the combination of Velcro and drawstring closures. Some shorts only have a small patch of Velcro that can easily wear out over time, but Kassan shorts have longer vertical and horizontal Velcro strips to help reinforce the drawstring closure.

Because, let’s face it, no one wants to see that…

If you need a cherry on top (or three), the shorts are also sweat repellent, antimicrobial and have reinforced stitching. This is a game of years, not days. Personally, I don’t want to have to spend a ton of money replacing gear when I can make one purchase that I know will last me hour after hour after hour on the mats.

Available in sizes 28-44, if there is one thing about these shorts that makes me even a little bitter, it’s that I didn’t know about them sooner.

Check them out at

And, thru October 15th, get 15% off with the checkout code: ROYLER

See you on the mats.

Emily Kwok- JJAD #16- 09/14/14

jjad World Champion Emily Kwok calls The Basement and we talk about what it takes to be a World Champion, or more like what you need to give up. Then it gets real. A great interview from one of BJJ's great competitors, teachers and personalities. With a little audio hiccup about halfway through thanks to skype.

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Kill Cliff Recovery Drink- or @killcliff (Twitter) and @killcliffbjj (instagram)

Driller MMA-

Twitter: @bjjafterdark

Instagram: @jiujitsuafterdark


Jiu-Jitsu After Dark Podcast Episode 6- 07/26/14

jjadReal time Lawler vs. Brown fight analysis from UFC on FOX 12. If you can watch the replay, sync up the podcast with when I tell you the fight starts. It's something special. However, I don't have a whiny heavyweight complaining about how hard his life is and how underrated he is... [audio wav=""][/audio]


twitter: @chokingmn or @bjjafterdark

M-Theory BJJ Anniversary/Free Seminar

mt The flyer says it all. This Saturday, July 19th, M-Theory BJJ (owned by Pedro Sauer 2nd degree black belt Ishmael Bentley) will be celebrating its one year anniversary.

As such, there will be a free seminar put on by Professor Bentley and Professor Jared Feierabend of MI-Q.


The seminar will start at 10am and go until 12pm, followed by rolling and food/refreshments.

Come one, come all to a great gym and a great opportunity!

M-Theory is located at 5700 W 36th St, St. Louis Park, MN. 55416

For questions/directions call: 952-920-8984

Or email at:

BJJ/Muay Thai Comp: Style Wars 07/12/14


Something for everyone: BJJ/Grappling Comp, Muay Thai smoker and obstacle course race, with proceeds going to Dan Kiser and the Special Operations Warrior Project.


Weigh in & Registration Begins 8am Kids Gi & No-GI Divisions 10:00am-12:00am No-GI Divisions 10:00am-2:00pm Gi Divisions from 12:00pm-4:00pm

- Gi & No Gi  – IBJJF Rules for points, advantages & penalties

-All brackets 4 person round robin.

Weights using the madison system (all weight classes will be within 10% [or less] bodyweight of each other & created the day of the tournament)

Ages: Kids & Teens will all be with in +/-1 year of age.

Adult = 18- 29

Masters = 30 & up Directors = 40 & up Executive = 50 & up

And I'll be there reffing, so...f*** you, show up anyway.


Interested in competing in a Muay Thai smoker fight? Head gear, Shin Pads, & 16oz gloves for all fights (3X2 Minute Rounds for all fights [juniors will be 3 X :90 second rounds])

Smoker Fights 12p

Combat Fitness Challenge

Uncover your inner combat athlete! The ultimate martial arts obstacle race. Test your will power and endurance with this outdoor fitness challenge. A 3 mile run with MMA & Muay Thai “obstacles” to overcome!

Race starts 9a

Event Registration Donation: = $50 (for 1 or all events if possible)

Spectator Donation: $10- (Kids 5 & Under FREE)

Awards for ALL COMPETITORS! 1-4th place


A Tribute To Reid Weiland (Rest In Peace)


Reid Weiland (1993-2014)

The mark of  man’s life can forever be seen on those they leave behind. Reid Weiland, 21, a grappler with World Jiu Jitsu and later McCune's Martial Arts, left his mark in ways that no words can fully express. The feeling of loss and sorrow for such an honest, sincere and talented young man like Reid is only encompassed by the joy that he brought to those around him.

This tribute could have been ten pages long with the outpouring of support and stories about Reid from those who knew him best and loved him unconditionally.

This tribute could have been about the wry smile of a young man who was making a mark on the grappling scene, destined for greatness. It could have been about 45 minute long grappling matches in submission only tournaments. It could have been about submitting higher ranked opponents regularly. It could have been page after page of testament to his skill.

But skill comes and goes. What lasts, what really matters, is the person who wields that skill.

There are no better words of tribute than words from those who knew Reid the best. Here are just some of the quotes received from family, friends and even opponents on the mats.

  • When he first came to the gym I was on the brink of giving up on jiu jitsu even though I loved it. I was just getting battered by every new white belt with a chip on their shoulder, but he was very different. From the start he was gentle and kind with everyone and at the same time kicking the ass of guys twice his size. He really put perspective on what could be achieved with hard work.
  • It was an honor to compete with Reid.
  • Thank you for everything you taught me about Jits, friendship and life.
  • Whether it was his natural coming of age, the art and discipline of BJJ, or the people in his life he turned into a young man everyone loved and respected.  He was completely dedicated to the art and fiercely loyal.
  • Reid Weiland was everything I hope my boys will be someday.
  • You challenged me to better myself at every step.
  • You were like a younger brother Reid, you may be gone from this world, but you have impacted many people with your upbeat spirit and I have no doubt you will continue to live on in the hearts of your friends, teammates and family. R.I.P. brother. I know you'll be watching down on us teaching away.
  • He was driven. He was kind. He was selfless. He IS a motivation.
  • Outside of the gym he was a positive force on everyone around him. I've never met anyone as optimistic. There aren't enough Reids in the world.
  • He had a very real and very significant impact on my life - and I'm a better person for having had the opportunity to know him for as long as I did.
  • Reid was such a beautiful soul with so much love and potential.
  • He will never be forgotten and every jiu jitsu tournament I attend I'll be thinking of him.
  • Unbelievably talented, a future ADCC champion, and at the same time one of the most humble people you could ever meet.
  • I miss you my friend. Your spirit will always roll in all of us.
  • Reid was, for lack of a better word, a brother to me. He taught me so much about the sport, about motivation, and about the ability to change one's self for the better in a very short period of time.

The stories about Reid came in bunches, from his earning his purple belt on the spot after submitting a series of purple belts (as a blue belt) in a submission only tournament, to the simple way he carried himself and inspired those around him. These were only a scattered few quotes received about the life and impact of Reid Weiland.

He even made an impression on a BJJ ref who was asked to score the 1st place match at the Submission Hunt a few years ago (more videos have been posted by friends on YouTube)...

The video doesn’t really show the dumbfounded look on the ref’s face as he slowly realized what the young white belt had just done.

Was that a hopping/flying armbar against a 4-stripe blue belt?

That was the thing about watching Reid grapple and mature: you couldn't blink or you would miss something amazing.

This tribute is not filled with stories about Reid because they still glow brightly in the lives of everyone he touched. As such, please reach out to each other, touch base with the other people who Reid impacted in his short but amazing life and remember him for all he was. Share his stories forever, give him the real tribute that he deserves by being everything he would want you to become.

The world is a little darker now than it used to be, but there is no question that our lives are better for having known a man like Reid Weiland.

Rest In Peace.

2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Ronda Rousey Claims She Can Beat Any Woman in BJJ (seriously)

  rLas Vegas, NV- Recently, UFC Women’s champion Ronda Rousey revealed in an interview that she believes she can beat any woman of any weight class in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, gi or no gi.

After making the statement, reports are that a passerby stopped, having identified Rousey and asked a question. “Wait, didn’t you get bronze at the 2008 Olympics?”

“Yes,” the ever-confident Rousey replied.

“In judo?” the passerby asked.

“Yeah, so?”

“The thing that you specialized in your whole life? You got bronze in it. In the under 154 pounds category…and now you fight in the under 135 pound division.”

“What the f***s your point?” Rousey asked; visibly annoyed at being interrupted and completely ambivalent to the irony. At which point the bystander shrugged and continued walking.

Oddly enough, after the interview, Rousey did not give any greater details to whom she could defeat. She made no mention of Michelle Nicolini, Kyra Gracie, Luanna Alzuguir, Hannette Staack, Emily Kwok, Leticia Ribeiro, Beatriz Mesquita, Penny Thomas, Laura Cordeiro, Andresa Correa or Gabi Garcia (who counts as two opponents).

Some speculation is that the brash young champion had simply run out of sound bites having constantly been in the media eye since exploding onto the UFC stage. After all, when one isn’t just able to give someone the finger, sometimes the smart, well-thought out statements are hard to come by.

At the time of publication, none of the aforementioned grapplers were reached for comment, but, I mean, come on!


***This article was brought to you by sarcasm, either you get it or you f***ing don't***

Driller MMA: Mecca V Results (05/31/14)


I'm conflicted, and it's not just because the only picture I could find for this article was a bunch of topless dudes with no words of explanation.

I'm conflicted because, by and large, I enjoy MMA as a blood sport.

Not only am I a magnet for fighter blood splatter, but I am in the strange minority of people who write and actually understand the techniques involved in all aspects of MMA AND enjoys the carnage it creates.

Note that I didn't call myself a "journalist". Perhaps MMA typer would be more appropriate since I have almost no filter and even less talent.

But I digress: I'm conflicted.

I'm conflicted because as I write this, a local fighter, Dan "The King" Kiser is in a fight that started in a cage, but currently wages in a hospital bed.

I'll spare the details of how it happened and skip to the fact that Dan needed surgery to relieve swelling from his brain.

I don't have a horse in the race. I don't train with Dan and I've never had a beer with him.

But he helped me find my wallet once.

Help him. He is a rare good guy in this game.

Yeah, that's right, much like me, a lot of you are d***s, deal with it.

Dan is one of the good ones.


If the link doesn't work, please click HERE to support Dan and his family.

Hence the conflict. While I want to see two guys get into the cage and beat the hell out of each other in a show of heart, skill and determination to rival the instant classic of Ben Smith vs. Nate Howe, I can't help but think about the ramifications.

...but I'll get over it. I always do. Thanks alcohol!

Speaking of which, as I fill in the gaps of this article, I'm doing it all on my phone at the bar. It's f***ing crowded in here. So if you have a problem with my write-ups, I don't care. Why are you still reading these articles anyway?

We got Andrea rocking the cage tonight. For those that have not personally witnessed the joy of her ring work, I pity your lives.


And if you needed another reason, Andrea donated her money from the last fights to help support Dan and his family.

Now I bet you feel like a douche.


If you are reading this and it is missing results either they haven't happened yet or I just wandered away for no particular reason.

Check back later. Or don't. I don't care.


Sam Khom (1-6) vs. Taylor Berg (0-0)

Technique so good he didn't even need to sink hooks. *sarcasm horn* Oh, you expected more for write ups? I'm on a f***ing phone!

Results: Sam Khom via submission due to rear naked choke at 1:18 of the 1st round

Michael Bullen (1-0) vs. Michael Walsh (1-1)

Tell you what, Walsh may look like the NBC paige on 30 Rock but he's got some skills.

Results: Michael Walsh via submission due to RNC at 1:14 of the 1st round

Sam Hernandez (4-4) vs. Karter Holthusen (2-0)

What about Karter's profile suggested taking him down was a good idea.

Results: Karter Holthusen via submission due to armbar :41 of the 1st round.

Chelsi Westdrop (3-2) vs. Linsey Williams (0-0)

If those were first fight jitters...damn...

Results: Linsey Williams via submission due to RNC at :58 of the 2nd round.

Richard Rodriguez (5-0) vs. Dustin Murphy (5-1)

Rodriguez has some game to get out of what looked like a deep kimura and a couple toes holds. very nice.

Results: Richard Rodriguez via technical submission due to RNC at 2:46 of the 1st round.

5 fights, 5 submissions. Word.

Aaron Shaw (2-4) vs. Danny Olson (0-2)

Fight should have gone to the ground in the 1st. That was a rough round To watch if you know anything about striking.

Results: Danny Olson via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)

Ash Majek (6-2) vs. Bryan Mortensen (7-5)

Mankato must be a tougher town than i give it credit for.

Results: Bryan Mortensen via kneebar at 1:53 of the 2nd round

Uh oh I'm announcing...eeee! After a screwdriver...

Adam Schumacher (6-4) vs. Sean Richman (0-0)

I expected a guard pass, I got a f***ing bomb. Well, technically Schumacher got the bomb...

Results: Sean Richman via verbal submission at 4:45 of the 1st round

Bobby Ferrier (12-24) vs. Kyle Todd (0-0)


Results: Kyle Todd via submission due to RNC at 2:47 of the 1st

Co-Main Event

Tony Zelinski (5-4) vs. Carl Deaton III (6-1)

Deaton may just become well-rounded yet.

Results: Carl Deaton III via submission due to neck crank at 4:47 of the 1st round.

Main Event- Bantamweight Title

Matt Brown (6-3) vs. John Castaneda (4-0)

Looked like it could have been a flash knockout to me, but watch the replay and judge for yourselves. People are pissed.

Results: Matt Brown via TKO at...i missed it over the boos in the 1st round




Driller MMA: Mecca IV Results (04/26/14)

Sometimes, at night, when I'm not trying to think of something to write that will be wildly misinterpreted, I like to read. I got about halfway through Curious George and the Suprise Party when I realized I just couldn't handle the mounting tension anymore so I moved to something a little lighter: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail.  Having little to no interest in politics, but having enjoyed Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Rum Diaries and The Hell's Angels, I figured I'd give myself a rare glimpse into the world of mud slinging through the eyes of gonzo journalism. As suspected, most of the s*** went straight over my head. Either it was a societal disconnect or it takes a reader with greater information and sensibilities than I to interpret. Either way, it was a pretty slow read. And he uses the N-word, which made me feel uncomfortable in my suburban, lower-middle class home. Though one passage in particular caught my eye. It was a passage that spoke to me as a hack writer--one who has been chastised as often as praised: "So much for Objective Journalism. Don't bother to look for it here--not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms."

~ Hunter S. Thompson

This inspired me, but not in the way you might think. While I never refer to myself as a journalist and I do--believe it or not--believe that I am objective when it comes to MMA fights. My views and comments have nothing to do with a fighter as a person. Who you are outside the cage doesn't matter to me.

You win or you lose. That's your job.

It's cold and callous...and objective.

So, instead of writing round play-by-plays, I am literally going to phone this one in. No write ups, just results via text...with possible witticisms because since there are like seven bars Iin this place, thus be drunk as a monkey.

I mean, come on, if you can't throw a f***ing jab, how am I supposed to not call you out on it? With or without a bloody mary, two screwdrivers and four tallboys...


Dion Kriz (0-1) vs. Charlie Anozie (2-1)

Results: Charlie anozie via TKO at 2:40 of the 1st round.

Dale Walters (0-12) vs. Ed Albrecht (1-1)

Results: Ed Albrecht via submission due to rear naked choke at :29 of the 2nd round

You know honey badger, there are Gyms in and around the eagan area that teach boxing and grappling...

Khaled Afara (0-0) vs. Marc Gomez (0-1)

Results: marc gomez via TKO at 2:29 of the 1st round...after 40 or so unanswered punches from mount 

Marc gomez has both the most lively crew and the most emotional post-fight reaction this side of nate quarry. damn.

Drew Breckling (0-0) vs. Michael Jokondo (1-0)

Results: Michael Jokondo via submission due to triangle choke at :57 of the 3rd round.


*sigh* It's just not the same when she isn't really here.


Ash Majek (5-2) vs. Nick Palmer (3-4)

Results: Ash Majek via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Not gonna lie,all the smarta** comments i had loaded up involved "watch out for that left hand"/KO

Lightweight Title Fight

Alex Wiggs Jr. (4-0) vs. Cameron Gilliam (8-1)

Results: Cameron Gilliam via submission due to triangle choke at :50 of the 2nd round.


Ben Neumann (6-3) vs. Jeremy Castro (11-13)

Results: Ben Neumann via submission due to rear naked choke at 2:00 of the 1st round.

So, i kind told Ben's cornerman Garret's i wouldnt comment on his voice cracking, but...I'm a liar. Oh, and Ben did a move worth YouTubing.

Rick Jackson (4-2) vs. Mike Zimmer (3-2-1)

Results: Mike Zimmer via submission due to rear naked choke at 3:58 of the 1st round.

INTERMISSION...i want a taco...

Starr Roberts (4-19) vs. Roland Larson (1-6)

Results: Roland Larson via submission due to heelhook at 2:45 of the 1st round.

So, I hear there's this thing in Thailand called a "tiger show"...I wanna train in thailand...

Featherweight Title Fight

Jordan Neer (5-0) vs. Nick Compton (9-3)

Results: Nick Compton via submission due to armbar at 2:51 of the 1st round.

Serious tough points to Compton for getting spiked twice going for the first armbar and staying calm enough to lock up the second. damn.

Welterweight Title Fight

Nate Howe (7-2) vs. Ben Smith (9-2)

Results: ben smith via unanimous decision 49-46, 48-47, 48-47  

And the "getting blood on me" streak continues...

By the way, best f***ing fight ive seen in a loooong time.

Satisfied? I don't give a s***.

Does Jiu-Jitsu Need Saving?

About nine months ago I became disenchanted with the current state of BJJ competition as I see it. Flash to now and World Champion Rafael Lovato Jr., someone of far greater experience and pull in the community has voiced similar concerns. We are not connected in this mind you. I'm not comparing myself at all, I just find it interesting that someone of his level is voicing similar thoughts as a shlub like me.

In a podcast posted today (which I'll link later), Rafael went on to detail how disenchanted he was by this year's IBJJF Pan Am Championships (which took place just a day after my article outlining how advantage points are destroying the game...weird...).

He said that the performances were unlike anything he had ever seen before and that competitors were only rolling toward advantages and stalling. They were focused more on not losing instead of winning.

In short, he was disgusted by the game.

I found something very interesting, but I want to play a game first.

Does jiu-jitsu need saving?

Isn't it pretty obvious that jiu-jitsu is evolving? The IBJJF majors have been around for less than 20 years, yet the popularity and rate of evolution has skyrocketed. Not only that but the game, the positions, the attacks, they have all evolved.

How long did it take for changes to implement in football or baseball or basketball?

The shot clock was added to basketball to slow the game down.

Helmets were added in hockey and football to add to safety.

Games have always evolved and will always evolved and when they do, they are always met with those who oppose change.

I heard a story once about the last NHL goalie to start wearing a face mask. Yes, goalies used to not wear face masks. He was so against it that he refused to wear one until the league forced him. His coach believing it was the best for him made him an agreement. Every time a puck hit his facemask, they would make a stitches mark. By the end of the season the mask was almost completely black.

Probably saving the man's life.

Change isn't always welcome, but that doesn't make it for the good of all competing.

In the podcast, Rafael quoted passages from a book on being a samurai and always going for the kill, that we owe it to our opponents to always put forth our best, not just enough to win.

Except that we aren't warriors. We don't kill people. This isn't medieval f***ing japan. This is a game.

You may hate elbows in MMA, too, but they are legal, within the rules and no less an effective way of winning.

This is a f***ing game.

Maybe I believe all this. Maybe you do too.

Maybe not.

What I found most interesting about the podcast was the answer to the question I have had for a long time: when did it all change?

The argument, and the best one I've heard, is that it all started to change when Worlds moved to the United States. Suddenly the market is bigger, the exposure is bigger, the chances for endorsements are bigger.

Money started to come into play. Now it is about the win. Winning is what matters more than anything.

Those old battles with Wallid or JJ or even BJ were f***ing brutal. They fought like animals for the win.

Now the sponsors are watching. Even blue belts have sponsors to answer to now and medals are all they want to see. It doesn't matter if you win by points or submission. Winning is winning.

People know the names of blues and purples and browns as well as black belts now. Ranks are held back more and more to make the best competitors into dominators. Now new black belts are standing atop podiums almost immediately. How can that be? How can Keenan be that good?

Has America helped destroy Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

All this is just conjecture. You love the game or you don't. You accept the changes or you don't.

And make no mistake, the game has changed.

But does it need to be saved?

For the full podcast, go to:

What do you think?

Chaos at Canterbury 5 (2/22/14) Quick Results


[insert words here]

Wish I could have been here, but don't worry, you better believe I was doing something awesome as a part of my rockstar lifestyle.

...I was crying over what my life has become and my eyes were too puffy and swollen to drive.

Quick Results:

Jason Huntley defeated Dale Walters via submission due to kimura at 2:54 of the 1st round.

Jason Allred defeated Ben Anderson via  TKO, unable to continue after the 2nd round.

Dustin Murphy defeated Jesse Rogge via submission due to rear naked choke at :31 of the 1st round.

Clearly the kid is at his best when he has errands to run as soon as the fight ends.

Otis Hamilton defeated Garrett Sowman via unanimous decision (29-28 on all)

Eric Johnson defeated Joe Cook via unconsciousness due to rear naked choke at :30 of the 1st round.

Nate Hoffman defeated Jake Immel via KO due to a knee at :09 of the 2nd round.

Pat Magdaleno defeated Brian Learn via TKO due to punches at 0:19 of the 1st round.

That's what happens when you attend a BJJ seminar by a get a TKO.

Randy Lene defeated Alex Figueroa via submission due to guillotine choke at :30 of the 1st round.

Ben Locken defeated Ben Miller via TKO due to punches at 1:41 of the 1st round.

Kyle Todd defeated Drandon Stoyanoff via submissions due to punches at 1:12 of the 1st round.

Time to fight Nick Diaz. Use those camp connection son! I know I would, my only camp connections resulted in a LOT of therapy sessions as an adult.

Pam Sorenson defeated Christina Jobe via submission due to guillotine choke at :46 of the 1st round.

Chelsi Westrup defeated Hope Sanfter via unanimous decision (29-28 on all).

Berta Gray defeated KC Scott via TKO due to punches at 2:41 of the 1st round.

Kevin Asplund defeated Matt Larson via submission due to rear naked choke at 2:24 of the 1st round.

Ben Neumann defeated Matt Rider via submission due to triangle choke at :58 of the 1st round.

Sean Richman defeated Jesse Wannemacher via unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 48-47)

Because, you know, having three different angles on the fight means three COMPLETELY different scores. 

John Castaneda defeated Derrick Mandell via unanimous decision (29-28 on all).

My eyes are still puffy, I'm going back to bed.

MN Grappling Events Feb-June 2014

Okay, I'll build on this list as I go, but I wanted to get this stuff out there and correct as needed. First up... February 22nd- Midwest Submission Challenge

Location info: Washburn High School, Minneapolis. This was a very smoothly run tournament the first time they were in town. Gi and no gi with submission only formatting (and a clever little OT idea). I'll post more info soon, but I'm pretty sure pre-reg cost is $40

More info at

March 30th- MKG Gi and No Gi Tournament

Location info: Minnesota Kali Group, 4532 Chicago Ave. South, Minneapolis. Weigh-ins are at 9am that Sunday, yes Sunday. This is a double elimination tournament starting at 10am. $25 for 1 division, $30 for both. This is a smoothly run and fun tournament, one of my favorites.

Contact Fabio at 763-370-9763 for information.

April 26th- Grappling Games in Hudson

Location info: Hudson High School. One of my favorite tourneys, well run, inexpensive, double elimination with gi and no gi. All proceeds go to charity. DO THIS TOURNEY!

May TBD- Submission Hunt

No info yet and date not confirmed.

May 3rd- Minnesota Grappling Challenge

Location info: Minneapolis Convention Center Exhibit Hall. See for details. I'll post more soon, but they will be able to answer more than I will.

May 17th- NAGA Minneapolis

Location info: Concordia University in St. Paul. Very cool medals, etc, however, given that this has been a strangely busy competition season for Minnesota, the cost might be a little scary for some people. $80 for 1 division, $100 for both (plus $5 internet registration fee).

Mecca 3 at Epic (01/11/14) MMA Results


When trying to choose the right salsa dance studio for you, there are a lot of things to consider. Do not, I repeat, do not take this decision lightly.

First you need to think long and hard if salsa dancing is really for you. Sure the Latin rhythms can get into your blood, even your very soul, admittedly, I'm not immune to such temptation, but that doesn't mean you are ready for the sort movements involved in highly skilled salsa dancing.

Sure, you can do your research, you can learn the terms and the moves on youtube: cross-body lead, reverse cross-body, copa, reverse copa, hook turn, enchufe, enchufe doble and sombrero.

It also doesn't mean that just because you and your partner signed up for lessons that you will be the next Candice & Lautaro.


So make sure to take your time and really consider if salsa dancing is for you.

I'm in kind of a weird place right now.

So you can expect more of this s***.


Dale Walters (0-12) vs. Sam Khom (0-5)

Round 1) Admittedly, I’m not really paying attention as this fight starts so I’ll save the actual specifics for YouTube. Not expecting this fight to get out of the first, Walters comes out in his traditional aggressive fashion, though neither seems to be presenting anything solid in the way of striking or grappling skills. Oh, case in point, Walters gave rubber guard a shot…okay…and now Khom has a headlock…is Walters actually choking? Are you f***ing kidding me? He tapped.

Results: Sam Khom at 2:44 of the 1st round via submission due to headlock/bulldog choke (yeah, you read that correctly)

Raul Rodriguez (1-2) vs. Lucas Luloff (0-1)

Round 1) Luloff starts off the round working some boxing and throws a flurry that gets Rodriguez concerned enough to tie up. Luloff keeps the action against the cage and Rodriguez slips in an uppercut right before Luloff breaks off and throws another strong flurry. Both men start throwing heavy hooks and the round ends with Luloff tying up.

Round 2) Rodriguez’s nose is bloody and the two trade leg kicks before Rodriguez ties up again. The action stales for a while and the ref is finally forced to break the two. Luloff lands a leg kick and a right cross then gets a thai plum. It looks like Luloff wants to throw knees (illegal in ammy fights). The round ends with Luloff controlling the action, but not landing any additional shots.

Round 3) Rodriguez, probably sensing that he is behind, comes out the aggressor and it is Luloff that ties up. It looks like Luloff wants a single, but Rodriguez easily stuffs it and gets side control out of it. Luloff gets his guard back and it looks like Rodriguez gives a single tap to an armbar, but the fight continues and Rodriguez slips out, back to cross side. Luloff does what he can to minimize the head and body shots and is able to stand as the round ends.

Results: Lucas Luloff via unanimous decision (28-28 on all cards)

Alex Wiggs (1-0) vs. Charlie Anozie (2-0)

Round 1) Wiggs hits a hard leg kick and Anozie shoots in and Wiggs is able to reverse the takedown, but Anozie doesn’t stay down for long. Wiggs goes for the double as they stand and Anozie adjusts quickly as the land, locking up what appears to be a very tight triangle…how is Wiggs not tapping…how did Wiggs escape? Damn. Anozie stands and the two circle as the round ends.

Thank you Deejay St. Joel for making Dani bounce.


I can't believe you missed the live version. Look at her, it's like she's staring in the the spot where my soul used to be. You know, before I drowned it in cheap whiskey, 80s power ballads and shame.

I'm just kidding. I don't have any f***ing shame.

Round 2) Anozie’s right eye is bruised as the round starts and immediately goes for a body lock. Wiggs goes for a guillotine, but Anozie takes it to the ground and passes to side control. Wiggs holds the headlock and Anozie tries to find the Von Flue choke, but Wiggs is able to escape and stand again. They circle and Anozie shoots again, HOLY F***! Wiggs with a monster belly-to-belly suplex slam! Anozie gets back to open guard and slows the pace as the round ends.

Round 3) Anozie is on the receiving end of another huge belly-to-belly and is almost able to get a sort of modified lasso sweep, but Wiggs stands again. The two tie up against the cage…they break, circle, tie up again…Wiggs hits another belly-to-belly and Anozie tries to snag an arm, but Wiggs ends up in top half guard, landing shots as the round ends.

Results: Alex Wiggs via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)

Dustin Murphy (3-1) vs. Ed Albrecht (1-0)

Round 1) Both men come out with authority, but it’s Murphy that’s able to control the pace. Albrecht circles away toward the cage and both men throw flurries. F***! Albrecht goes stiff for a moment from what looks like a Murphy right hand. Albrecht drops to the mat and tries to cover up, but Murphy adds a few more and the ref waves it off.

Results: Dustin Murphy via TKO at :29 of the 1st round (keeping the much appreciate fast knockout streak alive might I add)

An often over looked method to potty train a puppy it to immediately scoop up the puppy when you catch it starting to go to the bathroom. Hold them in a seated position with their tail between their legs (even if it’s a little messy) and get the dog to the grass all the while saying “outside, outside, outside”.

Place the puppy on the grass and let it finish it's business. Even if  your dog doesn’t have to go anymore, praise the dog for doing a good job. This will reinforce not only where they are supposed to go, but that going to the bathroom is a good thing. Scolding the dog for going to the bathroom will only confuse them and make training more difficult in the future.

Andrew Conway (2-1) vs. Ty Bowling (1-0)

Round 1) Conway rushes in with some off balance strikes and Bowling has no trouble getting the double leg and passing to half guard. Bowling passes to side control, but Conway gets half guard back. Bowling starts throwing body punches, Conway turns to escape, but Bowling keeps the control and lands some solid head punches. Conway is forced to move back to half guard and cover as the round ends.

Round 2) Bowlings hands are low as he throws some slapping leg kicks, it’s no surprise when he goes for and gets the double leg. Conway is able to get open full guard and Bowling passes to half. Conway nearly gets the sweep, but Bowling bullies him back down. The ref stands the two fighters and Conway goes for a reaching uppercut, only to be hit with a huge double. Bowling gets mount and keeps punching til the ref steps in.

Results: Ty Bowling via TKO at 2:08 of the 2nd round

Pro Fights

Clarence Jordan (3-1) vs. Bobby Ferrier (8-23)

Round 1) Jordan comes out quick working combinations and Ferrier does what he can to keep up with the pace. Jordan shoots in, but Ferrier is able to sprawl. It looks like Ferrier is trying to sink in a 7-year-old choke, but Jordan is able to escape. Jordan works to Ferrier’s back and quickly sinks hooks and the rear naked choke. Ferrier taps.

Results: Clarence Jordan via submission due to rear naked choke at 1:25 of the 1st round

Carl Deaton III (5-1) vs Brian Learn (20-18-3)

Round 1) Learn is the aggressor with jabs and leg kicks, but Deaton hits the double leg, landing in closed guard. Learn tries to angle out, but Deaton starts landing some heavy punches, forcing Learn to turn over. The ref pauses the action due to punches to the back of the head. The two fighters stand, but not for long. Deaton gets the takedown, passes, Learn turtles and Deaton punches until the fight is stopped.

Results: Carl Deaton III via TKO at 4:00 of the 1st round


Should you ever accidentally break a glass on your floor, use a piece of bread to wipe up any small fragments that you might not be able to see. It can be white bread or wheat. Gluten free isn’t really bread, so don’t use it. Do not eat the bread after you’ve used it.


Mike Zimmer (3-2) vs. DeAngelo Curtis (2-4)

Round 1) They trade shots right away, but Zimmer sticks out a half dozen crisp jabs that makes Curtis circle away. Zimmer has a couple solid combinations before Curtis hits a slamming takedown and avoids a triangle attempt. Zimmer is able to escape and Curtis ties up. The action is paused as Curtis lands a couple elbows to the back of Zimmer’s head. Curtis is deducted a point by the ref and Zimmer takes time to recover.

As they start again, Curtis gets a single and Zimmer works to lock up a kimura, but Curtis keeps his arm straight and avoids. Curtis stays aggressive in top half guard and Zimmer is able to stand momentarily right before the round ends. That point is gonna haunt…

Round 2) Curtis opens up with some head kicks attempts and it is Zimmer that gets the bear hug takedown against the cage. Curtis gets full guard and they eventually stand. Curtis sticks a jab and throws a superman punch, Zimmer responds with a few punches and a knee. Curtis gets another takedown to half guard, where the round ends.

Round 3) Curtis goes for a takedown and almost lands in a triangle. Zimmer is able to sit up and Curtis gets full guard. Curtis turns control the arm and turns his hips over, looking for a belly-down armbar. Zimmer defends…and defends…and defends. Eventually, Curtis lets the sub go and moves to the back looking for hooks over what appears to be an open RNC. The round ends with Curtis in control.

Results: Majority draw…see, I told ya so. 28-28, 29-27 (Curtis) and 28-28


Jordan Fass (8-4) vs. Chase Waldon (5-1)

Round 1) Fass forces the clinch against the cage and Waldon delivers some surprising knees and short elbows, but Fass maintains control against the cage working knees and…shoulder butts? The clinch FINALLY breaks and Waldon comes out with a vengeance. He starts throwing some fierce punches and kicks…did I just use the word “fierce”? Fass shoots but Waldon sprawls and keeps working until the round ends.

Round 2) Waldon lands a vicious overhand right that sends Fass to the canvas. Waldon pounces, but Fass rolls and moves to an omoplata, then a heel hook. It looks deep and Waldon looks in pain, but he is able to endure and escape. They stand and Waldon bullies it back to the ground. Waldon looks in pain as he moves to Fass’s back, but can’t find the choke…s***, so much is happening, I can’t follow it all. Check the fight out when it posts on YouTube. Fight of the Night.

Almost didn’t notice that Dani just bounced by. Almost.

Round 3) Fass wants to tie up early, but Waldon wants the trip even more, bringing the fight to the ground. Fass gets his guard back...sorry, just being a fan, no details… Fass looks for a kimura and almost gives up his back in the process. Waldon dives forward for a guillotine and Fess is able to hold out until the round ends.

Results: Chase Waldon via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Mike Hernandez (4-1) vs. Marvin Blumer (8-3)

Round 1) Hernandez stays mobile and works his boxing, but Blumer continues to pursue without cutting off the angle. Hernandez continues to work his hands and Blumer finally finds a double leg takedown. Hernandez is back to his feet quickly. They separate and Hernandez bounces away. Blumer stays patient and pursues. They trade some nasty punches as the round ends.

Round 2) Hernandez opens with more boxing and movement. Blumer stays in the pocket and kinds a home for his right cross. Hernandez drops to his chin and his eyes got blank for a moment. Blumer pounces, gets his hooks and flattens Hernandez out. The punches start and don’t stop until the ref has seen enough.

An impressive win against a very able striker…but someone please cap Marvin’s microphone time to something under 10 minutes.

Results: Marvin Blumer via TKO at 2:49 of the 2nd round

Tony Zelinski (6-2) vs. Melvin Blumer (8-2)

Round 1) Buncha kicks…it went to the ground…I’m sorry, I’m sure these guys trained really hard and all, but I’m exhausted after the last few fights. I’ll let ya know if anything important happens.

Round 2) Stuff.

Round 3) Blumer goes Marco Ruas (learn your MMA history) on Zelinski’s leg. Zelinski topples in pain and Blumer lands a couple punches before the ref calls it off. Zelinski is in obvious pain and needs to be helped out of the cage.

Results: Melvin Blumer via TKO at 2:05 of the 3rd round

Zach Juusola (9-2) vs. Codie Kahler (4-0)

Round 1) Both men trade single punches and kicks without a combination. The bridge of Kahler’s nose appears to have been cut. Juusola looks calm and circles as he looks for his strikes and takes advantage of his reach. Another punch puts Kahler on his butt, but the ref stops the action because some dips*** spilled a drink off the balcony.

Kahler isn’t showing the same aggression that he’s previously been known for. Crap, I got blood on my computer again. Kahler’s face is showing a lot of damage and he can’t seem to find an answer for what Juusola is presenting. The round ends with Juusola controlling the pace.

Round 2) Kahler comes out with a couple of jump kicks and finally lands a solid cross that forces Juusola to attempt a takedown, but gets stuffed. Juusola comes back with a combination and a couple of knees. The hits keep coming and Juusola lands about three dozen punches, kicks and knees that go unanswered. The ref has seen enough.

Results: Zach Juusola via TKO at 1:44 of the 2nd round


If porcupines developed their quills as a defensive measure over millions of years of evolution, how did whatever it was before it had quills survive that long? I mean, it’s basically just a big guinea pig. That’s the kind of s*** that keeps me up at night.

That and the whiskey spins.


Billy Christianson (9-3) vs. Dan Kiser (11-3)

I’m torn over who to root for. I love the country boy Christianson’s brawling, but Kiser helped me find my wallet. Decisions, decisions. This would be so much easier if I was an unbiased “journalist”.

Crap, is this a five round fight? Not that these two are prone to going the distance, but…it’s about 11:30pm, so, fingers crossed.

Round 1) Both men put out feelers, Christianson tries for a heel kick then blocks a head kick from Kiser. Christianson rushes in and throws a big flurry, catching Kiser with what looked like a left hook. Kiser drops to his knees but stands. Christianson drops him again and follows him to the ground getting both hooks in and digging for a rear naked choke. Kiser cage-walks away and Christianson gets a body triangle. Kiser continues to defend. Christianson turns it to mount at the warning and lands a few more shots before the round ends.

Round 2) Christianson is showing a nasty left hook and he bullies Kiser against the fence. Christianson gets a single and Kiser pulls for a guillotine, Christianson gets to mount and turns for an armbar, but Kiser slips out. Christianson stands and lands a falling punch as he passes to cross side. Kiser turns for an armbar, but Christianson pulls free. Kiser locks up a triangle! But Chirstianson pulls free! Another triangle from Kiser! CHRISTIANSON TAPS OUT! AMAZING FIGHT!

And now there is an exchange of words. Christianson appears pissed that Kiser might have held the choke too long after he tapped. Admittedly, after replay, it did look held a little long.

They hug it out.

Jesus, don’t miss watching the replay of this fight. Amazing from both fighters.

Results: Dan Kiser via submission due to triangle choke 2:56 of the 2nd round


Jesus, I’m exhausted just watching that. Gnite.

Sport BJJ Most Influential Figures- Past and Future

Sport BJJ as we know it, at least the current incarnation started in 1996 with the introduction of the IBJJF Pan Am and Mundail championships, then the introduction of the ADCC Championships in 1998. That being said, I started to think about who has really had the biggest impact on the sport of BJJ. Mind you, I'm not talking about who the most successful competitors are, but who has had the greatest impact on the sport and whose techniques have become the most imitated.

In no particular order, these are the grapplers I feel have had the greatest impact on the game over the last 10 years.


Dean Lister

In 2003, Dean Lister made his mark on the grappling and BJJ community by winning the ADCC Absolute Division, primarily via leg locks. He then repeated his ADCC success in 2011 in his weight division mainly via heel hooks.

It was this event (largely thanks to Lister's sambo background) that put the BJJ world on notice for how effective leg techniques can be in competition. To this day, you still see a large number of ankle lock and toe hold attempts at the highest levels of major competitions (given that heel hooks are not legal in most competitions, but that is an argument for a future BJJ Life article).


Rafael Mendes

Few names are as synonymous with a particular move as much as Rafa Mendes is with the berimbolo sweep. The current king of the featherweight division, Rafa has dominated the world championship at his weight for the last three years, largely thanks to what almost seems to be an impossible to stop De La Riva setup and sweep.

The berimbolo is the flavor of the year these days, largely because it is legal in the IBJJF, but also in it's control and setup to back control. Few moves seem to be as imitated as the berimbolo sweep these days at all levels and weight classes, however few can match the pure control that Professor Mendes shows every time he steps on the mat.


Ryan Hall

Say what you will about inverted guard or 50/50, they are positions all their own and when put into effect, they are incredibly difficult to counter, not to mention the submission threats they pose. And when most people think 50/50 and inverted, the name Ryan Hall tends to spring to the forefront.

One of the early pioneers of inverted guard and a proponent of both 50/50 and the effectiveness of heel hooks, Ryan "The Ry-Angle" Hall is an ADCC medalist who is continually adapting his game. Most recently competing in a pure wrestling competition to show his understanding of how the game is constantly evolving and how we as competitors must adapt with it.

While 50/50 is a tricky position and can lead to a quick disqualification due to the knee reap possibilities, it is still used successfully by the likes of Ryan Hall, Guillermo Mendes and...


Jeff Glover

Deep half guard? You are probably thinking about 2007 Mundail No Gi Champion and 2011 ADCC bronze medalist Jeff Glover. One of BJJ's most acrobatic figures, fond of flying triangles and armbars alike, Glover showed the world the power of deep half guard through dozens of titles and his highly popular instructional DVDs.

When utilized with an aggressive half guard game, many competitors have added on to the groundwork popularized by Glover and his deep half guard skills, but few have been able to replicate the same level of success.

Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles


Three words: De La Riva.

Is that really three words or does it count as one because it's a name? Well, regardless, no one has quite done for revitalizing the popularity of De La Riva guard like Cobrinha has. And most people haven't been as successful at the guard as this eight time world champion, though ever seems to be trying these days.

Of course, it is becoming fewer and fewer as people realize that foot placement becomes really tricky in IBJJF rules. Still, Cobrinha is proof that when you really know the position and rules, you can pull of some pretty amazing s***.

And don't give me any s***, I don't know why the picture is so small.


Caio Terra

There is half guard, there is half guard, then there is Caio Terra's half guard. Of all the other names on the list, I don't think that any have had the same impact as five time no gi world champ Caio Terra. I mean, people sit down a lot now.

Of course, when Caio does it, it is to pull half guard then sweep you almost immediately. Showing that takedowns aren't everything in competitions, Caio has truly changed the face of BJJ competitions with his approach to the game. The only problem is, that while Caio turns his half guard pull into a position to immediately sweep to a dominant position, others just use it because they are afraid of losing two points.

Love it or hate it, the bastardization of this mentality has changed the BJJ game in drastic ways.

The Future...

Okay, it takes me a while to upload pics, so I'm not going to as I run down the figures that I believe will have the biggest impact on BJJ competitions in the years to come. Also, please note that I think the future of BJJ is in submission only tournaments.

Kurt Osiander

One of the funniest, most irreverent and most visually accessible figures in BJJ, Osiander is in a unique position to illicit change in BJJ. Both old-school in his approach to BJJ and an ardent supporter of submission only tournaments, Osiander has not held back his thoughts on advantage points, berimbolo sweeps and wrist locks.

Not that we would expect anything else from a Ralph Gracie black belt. Osiander's recent Finsher Series grappling tournaments are the first step in the revolution to submission only tournaments really getting their foothold in local tournaments. Then the world.

Rener and Ryron Gracie

Forget the Brandon Shaub debacle, Rener and Ryron's Gracie University and Metamoris have been a huge eyeopener for the BJJ world. They are charismatic (minus Rener always saying "that's interesting"), accessible and voices for change toward submission only competitions.

Should Metamoris 3 actually happen at some point with Eddie Bravo via Royler actually happening, it could be one of the biggest moments in competition BJJ. And if Eddie gets another submission, he could also earn a spot on the list (he isn't on the list because of the lack of major competition success by 10th planet black belts, not because he isn't a f***ing marketing wizard).

Paragon Jiu-Jitsu

I know, a little weird that I put a specific gym on the list, especially since I already have Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller black belt Jeff Glover on the list, but given the success of Glover, Bill "The Grill" Cooper and other notable Paragon-ians (?), I think that they belong here.

The main reason I say this is because what I have noticed as a predisposition toward long threads of submission attempts that feed off of and link to each other. Regardless of competition, it seems like Paragon grapplers are ALWAYS attacking something from somewhere. In the current BJJ game, this is a bold move given the possibility of the aggressor losing simply because of a lack of points.

The only issue is that it becomes a chicken or the egg argument. Will tournaments shift to submission only once more gyms start going for submissions over points, or will tournaments need to shift to submission only format before more competitors feel free to end matches instead of worrying about half guard sweep?

Regardless, I think Paragon has the right idea.

Kron Gracie

This one may be subjective to you, but given his recent success both in Metamoris and ADCC coupled with his particular lineage, Kron Gracie may be the link between current sport BJJ and the old-school mentality of winning via submission.

Personally, I don't know if Kron considers himself a proponent of change, but with a father like Rickson in his corner (about as self-defense and basics oriented as anyone in the world) and what has been a growing trophy case of major tournament wins, Kron could be the link between the generation or Royce, Rickson, Royler, etc, and the tournament scene today.

And with a little luck, the submission only format of the future.

I imagine that the argument is almost immediately on the forefront of your minds for names like Saulo or Xande Ribeiro, Marcelo Garcia, Roger Gracie, Leandro Lo, Buchecha, Rodolfo Vieira, Lucas Lepri and about a dozen other world champions. The reason I didn't put them on is because despite their success and proficiency, I don't think that their own abilities have been as often imitated in competition.

These competitors have been able to gain success because of their own particular brand of size, strength and unique skills. Though, I do understand a STRONG argument for Marcelo, though I think due to his abilities and popularity, he is quite happy just to share his teachings and let people flock to him like the salmon of Capistrano.

I sure as f*** would.

But feel free to argue. I know you will whether I want you to or not.

MMA Fighters: You Represent Your Gym

mma ko

A couple of weeks ago I was at the SEG Canterbury fights, seated near one of the corners when a fighter was introduced. Name, record, gym...wait, what? He fights out of where?

No he doesn't!

I had to stop myself from turning to his corner and actually yelling at him that his fighter does not in fact fight out of the gym he claimed to fight out of. Nor did his corner.

I figured I'd let the guy fight and see how he did. Well, he lost. And while a fighter might think that a loss is only felt by themselves, it also reflects on the gym they represent.

Or lie about representing as the case may be.

It turns out that he had once trained in the garage of a former gym member for a few weeks, so when asked what gym he trained at, he lied.

Son of a b****.

Now, there was a time when I didn't think such a thing made a difference. I mean, so what if someone claimed to train at a gym? What difference did it make if they were the ones putting their faces and their record on the line?

Well, everything, actually. A gym is more than about you. It is about the owners, the trainers and all the members there that train day in and day out to improve themselves while some a**hole wanders in off the street and thinks they can fight.

By saying you fight out of a gym, you are showing what you have learned there. You show your strength, your heart and your talents to the crowd and anyone who might see video of the fight.

And yes, it makes a difference.

I remember years back doing some training with Dave Menne at his old Osseo gym (when I still entertained pipe dreams of MMA competition) and having guys literally come in off the streets and say they had a fight in two weeks and they needed a corner.

Dave would graciously, I guess, turn him down. The guy had standards. And frankly, he was probably pissed at the idea of some jacka** wandering in and taking for granted the sport that he had but a s*** load of blood into.

Now, not being a stranger to this sort of scenario, I had to wonder, do gyms set standards by which their fighters must measure up before competing in the cage?


I remember about eight years ago, yes eight, back when there was a Miletech Fighting System school in Apple Valley, they required full contact tryouts before allowing someone to train their as a part of their team. Which is a little weird, maybe why it didn't succeed.

Warrior's Cove requires their fighters have a blue belt in their Shinbudo system (a combination of BJJ and gap fighting with a blue belt being about equivalent to a purple belt in BJJ) before letting them use their gym name in fights. Though given that the fighters have proven themselves, they will corner fighters with a red belt (their system goes white, yellow, red, blue, black).

The Cellar fighters must be cleared by head instructors Kru Chris Cichon and Drysdale black belt Marcelo Nunes must approve their fighters for MMA, ideally after both BJJ and smoker fights.

Academy fighters must qualify to be a part of the MMA competition team after both striking and grappling tryouts, only after being invited to tryout showing proficiency in a skill set.

Other schools all seem to have variations of these requirements at their individual schools. Fortunately, some of the old school grindhouse sort of gyms have failed in the area, ideally setting a new standard for most competitors.

Keep in mind that these standards exist to make you a better, more successful fighter, not just so you can make a quick couple hundred bucks. You might not care if you lose, but your coaches and training partners sure as s*** do.

If you really want to be a fighter, take a deep breath, try and calm down from what I can only assume is a UFC Highlights and Monster Energy fueled adrenaline rush and learn a few f***ing things before you put yourself in position to get kicked in the face.

Still, there are those that want to take shortcuts and take fights for the quick cash regardless of outcome. Some people just don't care about how much training it actually takes to be even a competent MMA fighter.

Bodybuilding legend Ronnie Coleman once said "everyone wants to be big, but no one wants to lift no heavy ass weights". Word, Ronnie, word.

Everyone wants to be a fighter, but no one wants to put in the time to learn to fight.

So they take a fight, thinking that getting drunk and wrestling with their cousins qualifies. They put on TapOut shirts and puff out their chests thinking that it is as easy as Anderson Silva or Chuck Liddell used to make it look.

In fact, they are idiots. You will see them wander into your gym and ask how long it takes to get a black belt, or how long until they can compete. Most gyms, assuming the fighter has no experience, or is a joke on the mats, will say about six  months to a year.

And you will never see them again.

They will train in a garage, they will train in a backyard. They will not make weight at weigh-ins. In general they are just giant turds that turn the sport into a joke thinking they can "stand and bang" with a trained fighter.

Or worse, they lie and say they train at The Cove or The Academy or Spartan or wherever because one time they took a class there and want to sound like they actually have experience.

If you train in a basement or a garage, fine, whatever, I couldn't give a s***. If you are from a big name school and are 10-0, great. If you are a borderline alcoholic and train when it is convenient for you and are 10-0, awesome.

But if you are just some dips*** that thinks he can fight and think that a lie about your gym doesn't mean anything, think again, because I'm sure there are a lot of people in that crowd willing to prove to you that you don't know s*** and will take a lot of offense to your little-white-lie.

And if you need more convincing, remember that lies are ugly. Lies make you less attractive. Lies make Dani sad.


You heartless son of a b****. Why would you want to make Dani less attracted to you? I've been punched in the head a lot...I mean, A LOT, but even I have better sense than that.

In fact, I'm going to go buy some 4 ounce gloves.

Rolling Against a "Black Belt Killer"


It is said in BJJ that there is no lying. You can't fake technique. For all your talk and posturing, at some point you need to get on the mat and show what you know. Or don't know as the case may be. I count myself lucky to have not come across too many liars in BJJ (that I know of), but this guy...well, I had to talk about him.

The other day a guy comes into the gym (I won't say his name, that's not the point). He seemed like a nice enough guy. I noticed him when he was being taken on a tour around. I was teaching class so I didn't have a chance to talk with him. Afterwards I was told some things that I felt hard to believe.

This man, the aforementioned "Black Belt Killer", came into the gym wanting to "train MMA". He was informed that we don't have a formal MMA program and that anyone interested in competing must first train BJJ, boxing and muay thai individually. This did not seem acceptable to said BBK. He didn't want to train just BJJ because he didn't want his game to "backslide".

Because training BJJ means your MMA will backslide. I guess there are no triangles in MMA these days, but I'll get to that...

A little background on BBK, in his paraphased words: BBK was a blue belt (from a Gracie in Singapore, though I didn't get the name and have no idea what Gracies are teaching in Singapore), though he wasn't sure if he even knew where his blue belt was anymore.

Um, sure.

He also claimed that he had submitted most of the black belts he had ever rolled against and that they never really gave him problems. Naturally, I asked "black belts in what?"

Now, usually, this is the part in the narrative where the person says they will come back, but never does, and we are all left to wonder "what could have been?"

But he came back tonight!

Perhaps drawn in by the no gi class, perhaps by the fact that since I'm not a black belt, he should have no trouble with me.

Of course, he wasn't quite sure how to do an omoplata and seemed to rely solely on strength to escape mount, but still, it happens.

In open roll, he demonstrated his triangle defense three times: pushing me off the mat. Something that didn't happen the fourth time. Or the fifth.

He also had no counter to a body triangle, minimal rear naked choke defense, poor balance, no half guard, no knee on belly defense, no mount escape save the attempt at just pushing me off. One of our boxing coaches, Robert Brant, reversed him twice and nearly armbar'd him (no disrespect to Brant, who earned my respect rolling tonight)...

But I digress. The point of this isn't to show what he didn't have or the skill he was clearly lying about, it is to point out that I was f***ing pissed off. What was worse, there is no way he even would realize why I was so pissed off.

He hadn't earned that understanding yet.

No, he did nothing to disrespect the gym. He was nice enough, if not a little douche-y rolling (he used pure strength and was unable to keep any of my white belts in side control). His excuse afterward was that "everyone was a lot bigger than they were overseas". Even my 140 pounders I guess.

No, my problem was the fact that the would tell anyone ever that he had "tapped out most black belts" he had rolled against.

I can only think of three scenarios to explain this:

1) The black belts he tapped were black belts in some other martial art not based in grappling.

2) The "black belts" were lying about being black belts in anything.

3) The black belts in BJJ allowed him to work techniques and submit them as a show of class and good instruction.

If it is one of the first two, that's just a shame. It happens, but it's sad.

If it is the third one, it is totally inexcusable.

Maybe it is me. Maybe it is the fact that I have been lucky enough to roll with local Professors like Greg Nelson, Ishmael Bentley, Chris McCune, Nate Homme and Mike Ellefson that I respect so much that I can't imagine talking that way about any of them. Talking that way suggests you have no respect for the sport or the art or the years and years they have given as students and teachers.

I don't write this post because I want to slam this particular man. For all I know, he is a good guy that got too caught up in the moment and wanted to puff out his chest a little, but what if he walked up to Robert Brant or Raphael Butler and claimed to have " beat up Golden Gloves champs" or told Dan Moret that "it's stupid to fight more than a couple ammy fights, I can beat up any amateur fighter"? How can you excuse someone that flat out lies about something you put your blood, sweat and tears into?

Listen, if the guy comes back to class, I am more than happy to teach him. I give anyone credit that comes back on the mats after being exposed. BJJ is a hard sport, about 75% of everyone that starts quits by the time or before they get their blue belt. It is hard to admit you don't know s***. You can think you know how to box. You can think you know how to kick. You may even think you know how to wrestle.

You are wrong on all counts, no matter what you and your friends do after too many PBRs.

But get on your back and see if you can even start to imagine what to do.

Lying about your rank and your successes is a slap in the face of everyone from white belt to red belt that comes in and puts in their time. And for what? So you can sound a little tougher to someone you have never met before?

Or better yet, don't come back. I would rather roll with someone who can't tap out a blue belt but works their a** off every day in the hopes that some day they will earn all those things you lie about.