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Thursday, June 19, 2008

To Learn, One Must Teach

Weight 196.8 :( Being sick, I've lost a bit, but I am a tad bit better now...

I got some big news (at least I think it is, but it's down a little ways as I haven't updated in a while)
Been sick lately, and dealing with the toes in addition to whatever cold/flu/allergy I've had has sucked ass...On top of that money/job/people/etc have all been problems in some way shape form or fashion...It takes motivation away at times but thankfully not totally...

I started back training, and have to wear these dumb ass wrestling shoes b/c of my hinders some things but honestly, I think I've passed another one of the plateaus that you hit in training...I see things almost before they happen now, and even when rolling with really technical brown belts, I have been able to employ the techniques I saw at Mundials very effectively...My guard passing and control in half guard and pressure have all increased just as a result of me listening to my coaches and implementing some things I saw in practice at the highest level....Couple of highlights were executing a perfect pressure pass on one of our most technical brown belts and then maintaining side control efficiently...I got the compliment that I felt heavy afterward and that meant the world to me as it's always seemed that I played a light man's game...The other was getting one of our really big guys (at least 245 and strong as an ox) in a triangle after passing his guard, maintaining mount and being able to keep the pressure on...And this was without the GI!!! In the process though I think I strained a ligament in my knee in addition to getting a hurt neck and hurting my toes....:(
I've been cleaning up my judo as well...This...I will enjoy adding to my game...Once I do, things will be rough on the competition...Thing is it will take some time...Not sure how much I can implement by July in Brazil but, it will be done...I will put my time in...

Now for the news, I am now the Head Jiu-Jitsu instructor at Vision Martial Arts in Plano...On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I will be there teaching from 7:00pm - 8:30pm...It's a very small class as of now, but I hope to help it grow...As the people in the class are VERY new (most have no more than perhaps a month or two under the past teacher) it will help me greatly in being able to teach the basics and gain a greater understanding of the basics as well as refining my style and teaching skills for when I eventually have my own gym! Teaching has always helped to advance my game, so for that I am grateful, but, I am also thankful for Coach Allen recommending me highly for this position and having the faith and trust in me to be able to guide new people in their travels through the gentle art...The skills I have received from Coach Allen and Marcus have shaped who I am in the art, and will allow me to give others the gift I have been given I hope...Jiu-Jitsu really did save my life in many ways...I hope to be able to pass that on...So...I fight on....

Thought For Today: God is good! All day, everyday!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ooh Ah Alliance'!

Team Alliance Before The BB Semi-Finals

My Friend Tarsis Humphreys


Lucas Lepri
Nicest Guy You Ever Wanna Meet That Can Whup Yo Ass! LOL

Braulio "Carcara" Estima

Gabriel Vella

Antonio "Batista" Peinado

Sergio Moraes

Lucas Lepri, Gabriel Goulart, Tiago Clemente

Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles Maciel

Kyra Gracie

Jacare' and Fabio On The Podium

Just About The Entire 2008 Alliance World Championship Team

Weigh 200 Even

This is being posted late, but it's about the final day of the 2008 Mundials...Everyone from Alliance came in their T-Shirts...Was a great site to see so many different people united and having fun...We took our seats next to the folks from Gracie Barra, and Gracie Humaita was across the way from us...each were also decked out in their team shirts...Brasa was there in a small group but we couldn't tell who they were unless they cheered for a Brasa athlete...Once the matches started, the chants started....I learned so many Portuguese curse words and slang derogatory terms it was ridiculous...This was especially fun during times when we had a competitor opposite one of the other teams...Our team did very well, and thus, we had a LOT of reason to celebrate during the dy as well as to deride the other teams...All in good fun though...As bad as the chants were, at the end of the competition, before the medal presentations, the teams pretty much had a good will and a lot of happy conversation...Alliance ended up winning the overall championship and we did a few more chants...I go pictures with a lot of guys I look up to in the sport, and have become good friends with...Got a lot of invites to come train in Sao Paulo as a lot of the guys I have gotten to know and gotten to be friends with train there with Fabio Gurgel...My damned toes still are killing me, and I am still down from my loss the other day, but times like this day almost made up for it...I will say this though, the team as it stands, along with the kids coming up and the guys who didn't make it this time will be a force for a long time to come...Also, seeing the instructors' joy, and being around the sport in a cpacity where I know I belong and can fit in with those at the top, I have made my decision up to go full force forward with my desire to own my own school...More on that later...Anyways, enjoy the pictures...I have to get back to training, b/c in July, I plan to win and at least be a World Champion amongst the old folks! lol...I fight on!

Thought For Today: "Life is not easy for any of us. We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained."

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My Pants Won The World Championship

Arriving At The Pyramid On Competition Day

At The Medal Podium

Royler Gracie

Rickson Gracie

Ronaldo Jacare'

Weight: 202.2

Well today was the day. I got to the tournament venue on time after not sleeping pretty much at all the night before...Had dreams of standing on the podium after straight submission wins all night...Also was running through my head all the scenarios of things that could go wrong, and how to counter them...
Well I got myself there and started to warm up pretty well, and for once, I got the warm up right...I felt GOOD...Only thing was I was still nervous about having the step up in level of competition, and living up to the expectations of everyone...
I get my call, and step up for my first match...I promised I would get my judo throw (even though that was outside my game plan) which is a variation on the kataguruma...And for some odd reason, the guy set himself up for it perfectly...I get it and it's beautiful...I get to side mount and work from there to 50/50 back and forth for the next few minutes...Tried for a paper cutter, cross choke, and a step over lapel choke...could not finish any but got advantages...Ended up winning 2-0 with 3 advantages...
Next match is against a guy who gave Chris Moriarty problems int he first round of the Brown open the night before...He outweighed me by about 20 lbs and was strong as hell but his game is really loose...I pull guard but only get to De La Riva guard...I start working from there to spider guard and back, and eventually secure a triangle...I think it is over but he just pulls his head back out..I try to go to uma plata but miss and go back to De La Riva...I get both sleeves then work spider guard...I get his left arm extended and feel like I am just on the verge of the sweep...As I am pushing him over he drops his hips ...HARD to that side...(i have no idea how the hell he did so with me pushing him over ...chalk it up to a LOT of strength on his part)...As he does this I feel a sharp pain in my foot and ankle and let the foot off his arm, to which he promptly moves to side mount...As he is really loose I don't feel like I am in trouble so I stretch my leg to get my foot feeling ok...When I do, I look up to see my second toe pointing back at me...Literally more than 90 degrees up from where it is supposed to be...It takes the ref a few more seconds to come around to the other side as he was watching my face thinking the guy had a choke judging from my facial expression of pain...When he does..his reaction to how my toe was is funny now (though it wasn't then...)...He calls time, and the paramedics come out..they tell me to look the other way while they re-set it...They pull and put it back in place and I scream!...That shit HURT!...Anyways the ref wants to cancel the match b/c I screamed (verbal submission) but I asked them to buddy tape it and let me continue...He does...
We restart, and I get my self to the side, them my knees and grab for a single leg reversal...I go to push off on my foot to finish and it's the foot with the effed up toes!!! It gives, he gets my back, and moves in for the lapel choke...:( After I finish I go to the medics to get it iced and taped, and find the third toe is broken, and the second is dislocated to the point it stretched the ligaments...:(
So I went one and one...Had I won that one I would have gone on to the semi-finals...Sucks ass...:(I have a LOT to work to do. I understand the pacing of a high level Brown belt match now and must work to get myself accustomed to it...I also need to work harder. I did not prepare as well or as hard as I could/should have...On top of that, I was not tough enough...Not focused enough to make it through the pain to stay focused on the task at hand...That can not happen again...Had I focused on keeping my foot placement, I would have given myself the upper hand b/c he could not pass the guard...Anyways...He ended up placing second to my teammate so it was pretty good!...I must work harder and more focused...My toughness needs to be increased...Do not know how I will do that but it will be done...
By the way...Antonio "Batista" Peinado who is a teammate competing at Heavyweight had his pants rip and had t find a replacement...Since we are approx. the same height, he borrowed my Gi pants and went on to win th Wrold title at Brown Heavy...So at least my pants got a medal! LOL
To all the people who supported me, encouraged me, instructed me, trained with me, sponsored me, and looked to me to produce today, I let you down and I am truly sorry. I will not be found lacking again, nor will I let pain or anything else keep my focus form where it should be...I apologize for letting you all down, but I promise I will work never to do so again...I was not prepared enough nor tough enough this time, but the work to change that begins now...I fight on!

Oh and the Alliance team is kickin ass..I think we have a great chance to win the team title...We will see tomorrow! Oh, and I have video of Kron's first match at Black Belt (he lost to an Alliance BB by submission) as well as Roger vs. Galvao and Vella vs. Xande in the semi-finals of the BB absolute...Will post these when I can dump and upload the video!

Thought For The Day: If you move one grain of sand, you have changed the world!

Friday, June 6, 2008

In The Presence Of Giants

At The Pyramid - Cal. St. Long Beach - Mundials 2008

(The Next Six Pics)
Jacare' Cavalcanti

Fabio Gurgel

Tarsis Humphreys And Fernando "Soluco" Di Piero

Marcello Garcia

Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles Maciel

Gabriel Vella

Me And Carlos Gracie, Jr. - Head Of Gracie Barra and IBJJF

At The Spot Where Legends Are Made in 2008

Weight: I have no earthly idea...Forgot my damned scale.

I know I know...I've been here in L.A. since Wednesday and hadn't said a thing... Truth be told I've slacked a tad bit in the recent past b/c I have been getting ready for where I am now...
Mundials 2008
Walking among the greats of the game gave me a sense of what I've been involved in. Got in Wed. night get tot he rental car place, start to check in and the computers go down ...i have to get in a line and wait 15 min to get to the front to be told that i could have gone outside to get a car, gett he keys and come in for them to fill out the papers by hand b/c of the computers being down...i go..take my bags, open the car door, open the trunk and pack the car with my things, only to realize this car had no keys in it!!! i go back in, tell them, come back and select another with keys, then wait in line another 20 minutes and finally drive off...then had the hotel experience from hell..1st...they had me in a smoking-double...they ask me to check it to see if it smells too bad to stay in b/c they gave away my king non-smoking room as i came in late (even though i called ahead and they said they'd hold it!)...i go check, and not only did the room smell, but the whole floor had the horrible smell of smoke! i go back to the desk, and a different guy tells me he will help and get me a room which miraculously opened up...he makes me wait a few min and then gives me the keys to rm 1011...i get the bellman with my bags and up we go...put the key in the door, open it, and form the door i can see the bed is not made!!! So I am about to get pissed when a few more steps reveal the reason it isn't made...There's a man SLEEPING IN IT!!!!...The bellman sees as he is walking in behind me, and starts apologizing..we back out fast as hell...luckily the guy never woke up! LOL...I smelled alcohol in there so I gues she'd had a bit to drink and was knocked out!....So, back to the desk, and I get upgraded because of that and got my room...
1st day I get to the venue, and it's real laid back...Met up with the Alliance team and talked with all the guys I'd trained with, and worked on my Portuguese!...Had a bunch of good matches in the white and blue belts...Alliance had 3rd in white belt and 2nd in juveniles...
2nd day heated up as the brown(open)and the purple belts hit the mats..I got to take pictures with a lot of jiu-jitsu greats!
There's lots I am leaving out, but I am really nervous about tomorrow...Just want to give a good showing...Really just feeling insecure about my skills, but, everythign will be left on the mat tomorrow...EVERYTHING I HAVE!...Will hit this up later...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.
I know it's A re-run but I liked it and need this line of thinking tomorrow!