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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Young, Pretty, Hit Hard, In The Best Shape Of My Life....

Weight 207.2

For some odd reason....even through all the injuries, surgery, and frustrations of training...I feel GOOD! Have a lot going on in my life, money issues, work, the day to day thing trying to be a good father, among other things, and my mind is muddled...But, the focus upon what I want to accomplish has not left me. God is good...ALL the time... Only He, could bring me through all this in any way to have me even able to think of being successful...
I am working to get through closing the holes I have in my game, and though I have come a very long way in an extraordinarily short time relative to the art, I have a really good feeling about where I stand and my chances at Mundials...In fact, in my dreams I see the matches....Clear as day, I can see counters, see my attack chains...I even see my difficulties, but the difference in these dreams is I see my way through them...Interspersed through these visions is the vision of me with the medal being placed over my head...There are many people I wish to quiet, including my own internal demons, there are many things I wish to achieve here, and it really FEELS like I will...
Workouts have been going well...I worked out with Coach Allen for about an hour today, and he corrected many things for me which I will attempt to implement during tomorrow's workout...My top game and passing game is moving where I need it to be though there is one technical thing I must get right....But the grinding, pressure, punishing game is where I am trying to go as my top choke game is varied to the point I feel about as comfortable there as I do from the guard...There are a few little issues nagging me as I know how and what to do, but I just don't DO them when necessary...As I've been successful with them before I haven't been forced to correct them as I should, and have neglected to do so, but with the step up in the level of competition both because I have moved up to Faixa Marrom and because the Mundials is the premiere competition in the world, I need to close this up, and will bust my ass over this next week to make sure this is done...All that said, once again, because of the exemplary work of the doctors I see, and trying to eat better, as well as getting the right rest,the only little issues I have are from lack of medications which I hope to correct this week too...
I have until Monday to put in my work and tune up to get sharp...Tomorrow and Thursday will be very hard days...Hopefully one of our really good Brown Belts will come through for me to work with, and maybe I get to work with Marcus and Coach Allen as well before end of the week...Then I can get my most specific situational work done...Sort of a final exam on what I wish to do...Biggest thing is, I have to keep the dreams...Even though they keep me tossing and turning, and restless in my sleep, I feel they mean something and are good..They keep me motivated among other things...I truly hope that I can live up to my belt, and the trust put into me...
Finally my focus time is here...Everything is going towards finishing...Being an aggressive, and forceful finisher from wherever..I do not wish to win...I wish to succeed!...I wish to stand apart in the win...EVERYTHING which is not directed towards me performing at top capacity is OUT...No bullshit, drama, worry, etc...If not life or death, then there is no time for it....I am going to Go Gettem!....I fight on...

Thought For Today: Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life. Do not be concerned with escaping safely - lay your life before him.

Friday, May 23, 2008

One Mo' 'Gin

On The Way To The Surgery Center

Walking In


Toni CRNA - The Lady With The good Drugs!

DR. JERRY Gettin' Ready To Operate

Recovery Room

Weight 206.6

Well. I had the other shoulder done today...Everything went pretty well...Dr. Holubec said things seemed to be going well with the other shoulder as well...As for how long I am supposed to be out, I don't know how that will work, as Mundials is June 4- June9 and this coming week is supposed to be my last hard week of preparations. I'm gonna try to ease back into in starting Monday... As for teaching class on Sunday, I am trying to figure out how I can do so with a minimal shoulder/arm interaction in the moves...That one escapes me! Ah well. None of that matters...I WILL be a medalist this year...So nothing, including this little spate of injury/surgery/etc will be allowed to keep me from that...Can't wait until this space can go back to being about training and competitions...
I would like to say thank you here to:
Dr. James Brown DC
Core Chiropractic, 3041 Churchill Drive, Suite 200, Flower Mound, TX. 75022

Dr. Mark Zuber DC
Plano Physical Medicine & Rehab 4708 W. Plano Pkwy. Ste. 300 Plano, TX 75093

Dr. Jerry Holubec
1111 Raintree Circle Suite 170, Allen, TX 75013

These guys are all great and have definitely helped allow me to continue to chase my dreams...I recommend their services with the highest confidence...If you practice the gentle art or any sport, or even if you just hurt...Check them out...With their help and many of you who read this as well as my coaches, friends, sponsors, and supporters,....hell, even with my enemies...I fight on!

Thought For Today: Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

An Apple A Day

After Practice This Past Monday

Surgical Procedure Pictures From Today


Dr. Jerry & Me In The Operating Room

The Nice Nurse

CRNA Putting Leads On Me

One Of The Injections Before The Work After I'm Knocked Out

Beginning One Of The Procedures

The Monitors Of The Inside Of My Shoulder

Checking Out The Right Spot To Work On

That's The Spot


Weight 204.6

Ahh well...Back in to the breach...
Had another procedure today to help correct the problems with arm numbness, grip strength loss, and pain in the neck/arms/back....Today the work was to check out what's in my shoulder and to work on the Brachial Plexus nerve bundle with injections and manipulation to help break up the adhesions in there and to help them work correctly...Was supposed to do it bilaterally, but Dr. Jerry didn't want to have both my arms numb and recovering at once...So I have to go back Friday to have the other side done as they did the worst side today.
This made me miss practice, which sucks, because every one from here until the Mundials counts. I have a good plan going (accomplished some things i needed to very efficiently on Monday at training and had great cardio/drills on Tuesday) and it seems my work is bearing fruit but missing today and now ending up missing Friday as well, worries me. I had to get this fixed though, because I plan to prove to those that doubt me, what I can really do when I get out to California. I fight on...(can;t fight sleep any more and typing with one and one half an arm sucks ass! lol

Thought For Today: Pain is only temporary, no matter how long it lasts.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I Hear, And Forget...I See, And Remember...I Do, And I Understand.

HAD To Bring This One Back

Working/Teaching Side-Control

Happy Feelin's / Look At California
Hope To Have More Soon

O protetor de boca do pesadelo

After The Comp.

Weight 202.4

I got my custom mouth-guard today from Stars Guards...Has my nickname imprinted on it, and is VERY comfortable...Jeff, who is the owner, was in touch every step of the way and showed a level of customer service that you don't see pretty much ANYwhere nowadays, and had things turned around in about a week and a half total...If you need a great custom mouth-guard from a good company check out ..Tell Jeff I sent ya...they have done guards for lots of folks from curret UFC fighters on down to weekend warriors! WELL worth the $.
Tonight's class was rough training-wise. We worked on some half-guard escapes as well as some transitions from half-guard escapes to attacks, and then got right to business. Instead of our normal rolling, Coach Allen put me and a couple of the other guys who are going to Mundials out and lined everyone else up along the walls...In turn each person got to start either in side mount, mount, or back mount...Coach would break us at random times..sometimes short sometimes long, but we got no break as soon as we got broken, the next person in line got to attack...This went on for 15minutes straight...I got several submissions but not as many as I should have by a long shot...The good thing is, that each different person I went with, not only did I get the escape quickly, but I got a sweep or reversal with each...This was surprising as I didn't think my reversals were as far along as they seem to be, and because about 3 minutes in...there went my arms/hands, and the shoulder pain started as well... But again past my first wind, my cardio is in line for where I am, though I was nowhere near as aggressive as I should have been and wish to be....
The next roll was with an extremely good guy...Coach Allen has been helping me close up a hole in my half-guard passing game for some time now...If you note the title of this post, that's been my problem with the solution to my issue as well as with a couple reversals he's shown me over and over...Sometimes you have to just have it click and do the technique without question for you to "get" it...I am normally good at this but for some reason with this particular variation, I haven't been...Well the guy I went with is someone who plays the game that this is tailor made for, and even after being shown this, I always get frustrated and go to a different pass with him, even after Coach Allen working it with me...Sure I can go to something else that is effective but it requires repositioning and more energy expenditure...Anyways...tonight...we roll after the marathon session of rolling and I get the pass...I settle back and allow my leg to be caught again, and get it again...I settle back once more and get it again to make certain that I did just do it and this time I consolidate....As I have been working my top submissions and whittling away to the automatic and strong ones to use, I went to one of them which is the scarf/leg-over choke from side-mount...I got it and sunk it but didn;t use the ten-count rule and let it go at about 8 as my damned hands were losing strength...Coach Allen also told me my hold was too shallow, and hopefully with the procedure Wednesday coming on my nerve center, I will get some relief and be able to to this one as well as the rest I like from that area...
I also had a couple other rolls where I finally worked the cross choke setup from knee on belly perfectly, as well as the triangle set-up I used at NAGA, and lastly caught the baseball bat off an allowed pass. All of these I had to use good control with my lower body and positioning with my upper body due to pain and diminished grip...I do have more than a few things to work in positioning and my effective aggression off reversals...I am trying to change my modus operandi to look not only for the submission, but for the submission from ANY position...I am working to identify submissions I can throw even out of the worst positions...Submission is the spirit of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and what I want to strive for....I have a LOT of work to do to get there though, and I have to start doing the things I've been shown to be able to understand and apply them. I have great instruction, I just have to follow it...I fight on...
Oh, make sure to check out the June issue of FIGHT! Magazine (On newsstands now... is the website but they haven't updated the issue yet) to see Marcus Hicks in it..He has a FULL page...So pass the word and definitely pick up a copy and check him out..That's a big thing!...

Thought For Today: He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Changing Levels...

Too Many Times!
(And Some Of You Dudes Are Bitches Too!)

Fighting Off The Enemy


Back In The Day!

Weight was 203.2 this morning...

Getting old sure does suck...Have to have another procedure this upcoming Wednesday on my neck and shoulders as well this time...more about that later...
Training has been going ok, though I have been feeling a little unmotivated lately. Seems that in addition to my own insecurities about living up to the level I feel I've been on to date, others have the same doubts. Those folks are folks whose opinions I do respect. I've been working really hard to live up to my own expectations, but also to live up to what I think folks expect to see from a Brown Belt. (Not just a brown but one who can and does excel in competition, training, and teaching.)...I've gone about asking even more questions than I normally do, and worked to make certain the corrections I get from Coach Allen, Marcus, and my own study, get immediately assimilated into my game. The problem with and the beauty of Jiu-Jitsu is that it is very hard to have anything mastered immediately. Getting ready for the Mundials, I really feel as if I am behind and don't wish to have a poor showing because of this fact. I've had good rolls with everyone I've been with but, in a lot of circumstances I don't feel like I am fluid enough, nor do I get as many submissions as I should. (i.e. rolling where I get three, I feel I should have gotten double that or at least more...) ...I have been starting from bad positions (i.e. side mounted and allowing the person to cross-face...etc) and still making things work but something just does not feel right. I think a part of my problem is that I don't have any high competition level browns close to, at or above my weight to work with. for that matter not even any purples near my weight. I don't feel like I muscle anything, and watching my practice video confirms that, but it's still in the back of my head. I have so much floating in my head when I roll; between bullshit from my personal life, money, wanting to live up to expectations, and dealing with the constant physical issues and injuries; that I am very hesitant at best. My cardio is up to about a level where I can be comfortable if I have to go 5 or 6 Eight-Minute matches. Problem is, it takes about 2 of those for my shoulders/arms to give way, then I am training for position only and this is good and bad...Good because I am working my positional control and transitions, but bad because it takes away half of my game, and I don't get to work on that as much.
As for myself...Been going to Doc Zuber ( and getting relief from the ART and adjustments he employs, thing is I think between training, and for how long I've had the injuries (in addition to it may be more complicated) , the other issues I had are making things worse between my visits to him. Wednesday coming, I go back in, for another procedure on my neck and shoulders.I sure hope this works. The supraspinatus, infraspinatus, Brachial Plexus, and the c5 and c6 vertebrae are what is to be worked with. we wills ee how it affects training.
In reference to my last post, I have not worked enough it seems, to remove people and things from my circle of influence to allow me to be free of mind enough to get to where I wish to be, or at LEAST to be able to give the best possible effort. In fact, it seems I allow people and things back in that are nothing but hindrances. I've got to do better. Because I won't be able to accept not giving myself a chance.
I figured out why I want to be a World Champion at this. I've never felt good enough at anything I've ever done. I've gone out of my way to be liked, accepted, respected, etc...At times, I've done so in the very opposite and wrong way than should have been taken. I've turned the corner on that, but thing is, the validation of whatever level I've achieved is something I've never felt in the manner I wish it to be...Not in class, competitions, not back in my music, work, or anything. I have to work harder. I fight on.

Thought For The Day: Crowded elevator always smell different to midget.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Gameday Starts Today!

For Those Who Come Here With Intent Other Than Being Interested In

What's Going On Here...Follow Above Directions Then...Kick Rocks...
For Everyone Else I'm Glad You're Here...Read On...Thank You For Your Time And Interest!



206.8 (Need to be at 217 by the time I get to Mundials...)

The title of this post, comes form a conversation I had with Marcus today. I am always telling him that all the distractions need to be gone form his life so he can get to that championship in the WEC (and he WILL). Today he returned the favor.
It feels since I got this new belt, that I don't want to let Marcus down, don't want to let Coach Allen down, don't want to let my teammates down, don't want to let Professor Jacare' down, and I definitely feel the need to make sure that I "look like a Brown Belt" when I roll, when I teach an most certainly when I teach. But I realized something, after having some ignorant and very obviously sad people come here with the intention of making fun of me or whatever (funny, I was the best thing since sliced bread, now I'm the opposite? which is it? sad.), and also had to hear a lot fo people talk about how I may not be deserving of the promotion. I realized, that I have and allow too much bullshit and bullshit people and things that really aren't important bother me and hinder me from my goals. They gotta go.
Training has been going well I guess...I have to cut out a lot of exercises for strength etc in my upper body at the direction of Doc Zuber so as not to keep making my arm and neck problems worse. I've been concentrating on expanding my submissions, and making the finish from wherever I am...Problem is, in addition to wanting to have the answers and variations to each of the things I work well in my game in order not to be stymied anywhere, I also want to have these so as to be a better teacher...I think this will have to take somewhat of a back seat for a while. Not only for the reason it is keeping me from being able t effectively make my gameplan concise for the Mundials, but that it is keeping me in a constant state of hesitation...In rolling, he who hesitates is tapped...
The other day rolling, I did my normal guard break which works just about with anyone...and then got to the half pass position and my mind didn't draw a blank, it drew like a flood of information...I was processing my opponent's movements and position and kept changing what I was going to do every millisecond...In short, I froze...eventually I went on to pass but that can't happen with good brown belts...Yesterday in class and tonight in class I worked on just going without thought and things moved along pretty well...
The holes I have been working on, if I can keep myself from over thinking seems to be shrinking to a point that I can begin to move on to laying out my plan of action without fear of falling into those potholes...That's good not to have those handicaps anymore...

Before giving you the low down on tonight's training...I have to say I am VERY proud of my daughter! She tested for a new belt tonight and passed...It was good because I really try to allow her to go her own way (even though I do coach her pretty hard when rolling)...But she worked and studied and has been doing very well in classes, and her confidence level is way up...I am very happy for her as she was so excited to get the new belt...

Her Name Means Beautiful In Italian ...Ain't She Though!?
This is us at the 2007 Machado Tournament...

Tonight my rolling was pretty smooth...Particularly in a match as my coach paired me up with a guy new to our gym. He's a fighter, and from watching him he was very strong, but I underestimated that. My coach told me to take it easy on him and to work with him so first time I allowed him to have a really good side control (used to be one of my holes in my game...)...I even allowed him to cross-face me...Well I escaped very quickly without much energy expenditure, but due to my not realizing how strong he was, Once I got him to half guard a few of the submissions I've been working on didn't work as they were not as tight as I'd like and he fought them off well...I ended up going to full guard to work some new set ups for subs and my sweeps...almost allowed him to push the leg down to get to half guard, and took a tad bit of work to regain my positioning...dude was diesel strong...but I worked first this new triple attack which allows me to start and end with the triangle or with the high guard arm bar, or to go to a sweep if I like...Well first time, I worked triangle...during me cradling him to finish he had his elbow in my face and was able to turn it and was a bit of a bother due to his strength but I finished...Next I worked from him in side control again..regained half guard, went for a choke attack but hand slipped so I reversed to see if one of my competition reversals did...I went for the arm triangle, went just to the finish, but remembered something i taught in class and went directly from the arm triangle to the leg triangle...(ha haaaaa...I love this set up..if you don't know it, you should it's tight!)...then the next couple times I worked top transitions and the last time I went to guard and work pendulum and transition to open guard and hook and flip...Anyways it went pretty well...I hurt everywhere though...Body is telling me this shit is too much and I have three more hard weeks of training from now until the Mundials...

There are folks who don't think I should be where I am. There are those who think if I go that I will not be able to medal or compete well at Mundials. In my own mind I do not doubt. But I know the more I allow the things that have been problems to be so, the more I allow the people who needle and cajole to stay in my circle of influence, the more I continue to hesitate and not trust in what I've been taught and in what God has given, and the more I allow pain, difficulty, or that I can not achieve even one of my goals. This, I will not allow to become reality. If I do not do well, it will have to be because I face an overwhelmingly better adversary, but not because I did not prepare well because of distractions or infirmity.

Anything, anyone, anywhere that hinders where I am trying to get the words of the late Robin Harris: "Gotta go, gotta go."

Gameday starts today...I fight on...

Thought for today: “Prohibit the taking of omens, and do away with superstitious doubts. Then, until death itself comes, no calamity need be feared.” -Sun Tzu

I Astalavista Babelfish...Do you?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Confidence Won In A Loss...No Mistakes Allowed Against BB World Champs!

1st Match Win and 1st Medal As Brown Belt

Getting The Body Ready
Even If I Can't Go Compete At Mundials Or Masters/Seniors Worlds
I Will ALWAYS Be Ready

What Some Folks Need To Do

Refereed at the NAGA / Dollamur Championships yesterday...And competed in my first tournament as a Brown Belt....Got a submission win against a good Brown Belt(Triangle)...Then lost to 2 time World Champion Black Belt Rodrigo Pinheiro(Even had a choke set in against him)... After, I had a great talk with someone I respect and admire not only just in the Jiu-Jitsu realm but in everyday life as well. Details...

Got to the tournament a little late but it was ok as it started a tad bit behind schedule though not much...There were about 600 competitors there so things picked up pretty nicely...thanks to Kip Kollar and Joe Cuff ( for selecting me to be a NAGA referee...Was good to see and talk to tyler (my official equipment sponsor... http://WWW.GOMGI.COM sure to go check em out..the BEST GIs and No-Gi equipment ANYWHERE and at the best prices!)...I felt pretty decent as Doc Zuber worked out the scalene muscles for me and got rid of a headache I'd had for some time the week before...Had a tad bit of stress from my personal life and work, but all in all I felt ok...I was very conflicted though b/c so many of the guys, girls and kids from my gym whom I've worked with to get ready were going to be competing...some of which on the mat I was refereeing (Mat 8)...and I would not be able to coach or really pay attention to their matches, both because I had to pay attention to my own mat, and because as a referee we can't look partial...this became a little stressful during the day as I'd often look over at folks and give them a quiet nod or wink or head jerk to try to help them along...
anyways, I had a great day refereeing, only had one controversy (had a kid get a takedown in the overtime of his match only to realize after conferring with the table official that it occurred after the time was up...had to "confer" a bit with his coach and parents but it went ok in the end)...and had one guy choked all the way out...(he stood with a guy who had him in guard and the guy slapped on a gi choke..he said he was OK until he fell to the NO injuries nor arguments about points, calls, etc other than that...Had a few kids cry, but I worked hard to get them to laugh and feel good about themselves, and seemed to be able to do so each time..We at my mat decided to give two third places in a lot of cases, which also made the kids happy...
My team looked pretty good even though a few people we thought would win for certain, placed second or third and I am pretty sure we won the team title in No-gi, though I am not sure about the Gi...
All day, I thought about doing the match in the Gi and had more than a little self doubt...1. because it was my first at Brown Belt. 2. I'd been on my feet all day, concentrating on refereeing, and not making mistakes, as well as worrying about all sorts of things in life, and hadn't eaten much nor taken my meds all day (I forgot em at home like a dumbass) 3. because I knew the guys in my division would all outweigh me substantially, in addition to having some of them be Black Belts as well, and I wasn't going to have much of a chance to warm up properly, prior to competing...Ah well..hell with it...they call me up and I get chance to stretch or anything...I'm up against a pretty good Brown belt who weighs two twenty something...Well One of the 100 things to do before you get your black belt (from Gracie Magazine) is to compete when you aren't "ready"...So I go in, and because I am a tad nervous I think it helped as I pulled guard VERY authoritatively...I work a set up Marcus showed me and it worked perfectly...Popped the triangle on him...Dude tried to muscle out (seems like that escape is popular and he seemed as if he was confident in it...), but...I wrapped the leg...tightened up as he tried turning and cradled him and got the three lil taps! FIRST WIN AS A BROWN BELT!!!!! so my next match is against Rodrigo Pinheiro...A Black Belt under Saulo Ribeiro...he is a couple time World champ...three time Pan Am champ...five time Brasileiro champ among many other tournament victories and placements...I go in with the intent of not making a mistake and getting to my strong points...He seemed to be coached on me from Leonardo Xavier and he beat me to the punch and pulled De La Riva Guard immediately...He was strong as hell...He got the reversal as I tried sitting back (instead of grabbing the off leg and defending to the pass as I should have) which let him control my far leg so I could not move and got put into a bad position...He went straight to north/ he did he reached for Kimura...I've been working on something for this as a lot of people in my school like this submission and set up for it...I am very proud of myself (he told me I did well with it after! :-D ) for keeping my arms in, and I shot for my move I've been working of shooting my arms straight in for the collar choke...It's risky but I've worked a lot on being able to defend the arms being taken out and for it to work to that point against him, I knwo it works...Well I get the hands in pretty deep as my arms are long and he is shorter than me,,,,but even with my knees against his shoulders and my hands in his collar I could NOT pull him back for the choke to tighten...we stayed in this position about 1:45 as he could not move to side control without tightening the choke and I could not move my arms for fear of him taking one and finishing me as he was extremely strong...Something in my head is telling me..."just be NOT move your have a submission..just wait..." but I heard someone say he was hunting for the Kimura again and felt him tug on an elbow again... so my hand went...on it's own..damned dumb trained hand! try to grab my hand in defense, and he switched from the opposite arm he was attacking, and grabbed it and wrist locked me hard as hell!...I tapped...:(...Though I am not happy with any loss, this one, given circumstances, how I felt, and who I lost to and knowing I had a chance to win...I felt good and learned a lot...If I make another major championship, I know that I am good enough to place or win. I will work to close a couple more holes, and be ready always.
Afterward, I had dinner, and after dinner stayed to talk with someone I really admire...Don't think he understands what that talk did for me. It allowed me to drop some really major demons I've carried with me probably since 1st grade!!! Thank you is not enough for me to say Kirk! You are truly good people, and it shows in you and your son as well!

Well, got paid for the reffing the tournament (which was an unexpected surprise), got a damned headache again, which is killing me as I write this, and learned a lot...There's lot's more in here, but That's enough for this one...I fight on...