World Class Training At Pesadelo Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

If you are looking for World Class BJJ Training Classes in the Dallas Forth Worth Love Field Area look no further. Click here to learn more about our new and exciting kids and adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training classes by Stephen "Pesadelo" Hall, Alliance BJJ Black Belt. Click Here to see about our FREE 30 Day Trial Program!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day Five - Rio Trip - Surf, City, And Christo...

I Still Feel Like This Inside

Kyra Gracie

Fabio Gurgel
Weight 200.0

Here are some pictures from the morning of my last day in Brazil on the beach as well as from when we went up Corcovado to see the Redentor statue...
I came back with a knowledge of how little I really know about Jiu-Jitsu, and a real appreciation for the art, the Portuguese language and a feeling that I've really found something I connect with.
Honestly, I am humbled by this past weekend's events and just hope that I can live up to what is thought of me. I have lot's on my mind, but can't seem to get it out. I am thankful for my Coach Allen, Marcus, and all who have instructed me, trained with me, encouraged me, and/or believed in me to get me to this point in jiu-jitsu...God is good.

Day Five Surfing Pics

Day Five Christo Pics

Thought for today: Do...Or Do not...There is no try!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day Four - Rio Trip - Jon B. Wins, I Surf, It's A Great Day!

Catching My First Wave

Getting Ready To Go Surf

Xande And Royler

Jon As A World Champion

Leonardo Xavier

Weight: 203.5

Today was a good day...No pressure for me, but I could tell Jon was really anxious...The night before, we had a mishap with the Air conditioning unit which woke us up in the middle of the night dripping water...We had to use all our towels and a bucket and still were kept up by the sound of it running, but as it was so late, we tried to keep sleeping in to make certain Jon had rest enough for the day's work...We got up about an hour later than we wished, but Jon went off to hit the Sauna to make weight while I set about getting dressed and getting the maintenance people on their job...They came and cleared it up and I was ready as he got back...My sternum area is on fire about now...Will have to see a doctor about that...Well, off to the tournament...We unluckily hit Carlos again, and SOMEHOW it seems he has forgotten the way once again!? Ehh, we make it on time anyway though...The city is beautiful and the view of the Corcovado mountain and the Redeemer is gorgeous...Very calming though Jon is talking a mile a minute...I can feel he just wants to get to it but doesn't want to make a mistake...Once we get there though he seems to calm a bit...
General Day Four Pics

Walking into the Tijuca Tenis Clube, I am greeted by Xande Ribeiro, who slaps me a hello on my back and immediately starts apologizing...He goes on to say to me that He thinks I hurt it more when I screamed than when the guy elbowed it! LOL...He also asks what we are doing tonight? I tell him nothing and he invites me an Jon to a club called Zero Two One in Barra De Tijuca! I'm excited so we will see what's up...Off to meet the Alliance team to sit...It's really cool b/c today "Gigi" Paiva, Fabio Gurgel, and Fabio Clemente along with a few other heads of Alliance Schools and al the other competitors are all there...A GREAT atmosphere...Hell I have seen more red and black belts here today in one place than I thought were even around in the world...This place is a mad house...Got to meet and talk with De La Riva as welll!...Had one of the older gentlemen, who had about 4 stripes on his belt ask me how it felt to be a World Champion!? I never really felt that way but it made me proud that I can say that! He was also commenting on the fact he felt the level at this tournament, especially the Rio Open was higher than the Brazilian Championships he attended earlier this year...I don't know about all that but it makes me happy about being able to get a medal in the division with the young guys!!
It's time so Jon goes down and I go to take pics of his Gold Medal Match...The guy is a bit smaller looking than Jon but is said to be really tough...Jon paces around nervously a bit but flashes smiles around and all the guys get along well between out team and theirs...When the match starts, Jon does just as he has been running on about..inside low single and gets the take down...Jon goes on to pass, then work to 50/50 where the guy almost rolls, but Jon reverses mid-air and goes to mount...He works from submission to submission smoothly and works in for a toe-hold...The ankle pops and he let's go but the guy didn't tap...So it's back into the match...He works the guy over really well and works back for a reversal and mount and then time is called...Jon is a World Champion!!! :)
We come back for the Absolute later on in the evening after going Surfing (Jon's idea...My ribs hated it but I loved it...See below)...Jon won his first match (as seen in the set of photos below against the guy in the blue GI) by not accepting the guy pulling guard, and working for another toe-hold, then switching to a knee-bar...I am really happy and proud of him...Submissions are hard to come by out here...His second match in the absolute had him up against a much bigger opponent whom he tried a standing suicide cross baseball bat choke ...He should have held it a tad bit longer, but let go and once the guy had the advantage for that, he held on tight and Jon couldn't escape until about 45seconds left in the match, at which time the guy ran to secure the victory...He did great though! After saying good by to the team, we went back to the hotel, got changed and went back to our favorite new spot...that's right...Nik's to meet some folks from the tournament...I tried more than a few new dishes tonight at the request of the host and we got free deserts because of our medals (we were asked to bring em to show)...And here I am back in the room...we are to try to go to that club Xande spoke of in a while...Hope it's fun...Read below about my surfing...
Jon Match Pics

Well suffice it to say that things were pretty good yesterday...I had fun out on the beach in between Jon's matches and actually got up surfing...I got told I needed to eat more by some brazilian girls on the beach and got some kind of little cornbread and meat pie of some sort...I forget the name but they are good...After which they proceeded to laugh at my bad surfing...That was my first outing and tomorrow I will try again before going to the Redeemer statue among some other famous places in Rio...The nightlife was CRAZY...Will have to put that in probably on the plane for update when I get home though...Don't think I will be able to before we leave tomorrow...Oh well, enjoy the pictures...There are 100 in this slideshow...
Me On The Beach Surfing Pics

Thought For Today: You have but one life. Live it!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day Three - Rio De Janeiro Trip - Intl. Masters & Seniors Day

On Praia De Leblon

In The Bullpen B4 The Match

Working 4 The Choke 1st Match

Finishing Triangle In Semi-Final Match

Happy Pesadelo After Gold Medal Match

On The Podium

Weight: About 94KG...

Well, today started off with us going down to the beach earlier...I made a promise to myself that I would be more prepared as my ribs hurt more today, so a good breakfast and good hydration were a must...Plus, I wanted to be relaxed...I felt a bit more pressure as getting a silver yesterday had folks feeling that I was a shoo-in as the gold winner today...
We went off to the beach and got with the surf professor... The surf was too big for Jon, and I was about to succumb to peer pressure and try it so we decided to walk/jog the beach...Again, I am taken by the beauty of the area and the laid back nature of the people..everyone just out playing on the beach, beach volleyball(but with your feet...sort of a cross with soccer), surfing (those dudes were crazy...waves were breaking like 18 feet constant), and even had one dude free swimming like 400 yards from the beach..if u could see the current and think of those waves...That dude had to be a relative of flipper b/c he swam even against the current! Anyways...I end up walking through the water while taking pictures, not noticing that the damned waves are crashing behind me and thinking it will just break across my feet, I get damn near waist deep into water! For a sec it's ok, until I realize my camera and earpiece, passport and other stuff are in my pockets..I run up out of there like I saw a shark, causing some folks to laugh at me like the fool I am!....So I take my ass up to the room to change, while Jon catches his last surfing lesson...I notice from the window that Jon gets up on four waves today...He is getting a lot better..I can't wait to try...

Morning On The Beach

We get Carlos the driver once more but this time he knows where he is going...We stop on the way to get some water/gatorade and food...I got a Bob's (sort of the Brazilian McDonald's) double cheese burger and actually ordered in Portuguese...Felt good about that...The burger was good as hell too...There was an accident int he tunnel under the mountain to Tijuca so it took us a bit, but we still made it with time to spare...The weather was great around Lagoa and we managed to get some good pictures...When we got there we went and found the Alliance team to sit with, and got comfortable...Talked with Gabriel Vella, Fabio Clemente, and Sergio Moraes (We practice his english and my portuguese)..They are always really nice to me..Me and Batista crack jokes on everyone as we are the tallest amongst the team and Fabio congratulates me for last night once again... I went and got changed after checking the brackets (it seems as if I will have to fight more fights than everyone else as I have been moved from the place I was before...Smells like home cooking...No matter..I am feeling really well except that my sternum area really has been affecting my breath and takes it away whenever i cough or move violently...So warming up was a bit of a chore...I put on my Lidocaine Patches and taped em down...And got ready...They call my divisions and it's good because it's my friend Gisaa who is my ring coordinator...On the way to the bullpen, I pass none other than Xande Ribeiro, who says "Heeeyyy, I remember you man!" which frickin' blew me away...It's like you, the Absolute Champion of the World remember me...Im thinking he is bullshittin and just bein nice when he calls me Pesadelo...So he had seen me the day before and said congratulations and was wondering why I had a GI on today...I told him how old I was and he said it was amazing and good luck..I told him congratulations from the Mundials win and he invited me to come by the gym whenever in San Diego...I'm feelin pretty good now, and on the way further I stop and speak to Megaton who always is really nice and remembers me when I see him, and I get tapped on the shoulder by Royler Gracie who says "oh you only speak to Megaton?" LOL Man, this is getting ridiculous..I know We don't know each other or train but they make folks feel so at home, to be so good and be so humble and down to earth is really refreshing...Well off to the bullpen where I meet up with a guy I beat in Europe at the championships...His name is Felipe' and he had just won his first match...He is still a purple but very tough...By now, it's time for me to go as they called my name over the loudspeaker...good thing b/c my portuguese being so bad and the sound system being several times worse than that, only the funny way they say my name (Stee phe en) is how I get to know when I am up...Well, here's my first match with Sandy Yu Chen from Gracie Humaita -220lbs....

Before The Tournament

Here we go for the first leg of my Weight Division...It's against a guy I am warned is a very good judo guy, and who has a very heavy top side game...He weighs in at 220.0, While I am about 208.2 with my GI...He stands about a foot shorter than me though if not more, so I am worried about keeping low, as when I do get low it bothers my ribs...We start and he doesn't really want to engage, which is kind of unusual for a judo guy, but I see what he wants is a sideways attack, well I time it well and instead of him moving in for a hip check, I turn and use his momentum and we go to the ground as he realizes his mistake...Immediately I go to his side and work to the back as he turtles up...I work to get in the hooks...Do so and then start working the choke...Not noticing that he is attempting to cross my ankles to use to try for the submission...His legs are strong as hell but my length gives me enough leverage to fight off the attacks...We roll a couple times so I can get him in a way to get flat, but when I do and try to arch to flatten him out, the cartilage tear hurts like hell (see if u can see where in the pictures! lol) ...So I roll again, move out to the side then back into back mount where he tries again a couple times to use even one leg to try to submit me with a leg attack,..again it does hurt but I fight it off and keep working for the choke...But dude ain't got no damned neck! (I need a LOT more work on my back attacks to bring them up to level!)...I even try taking my own lapel out to sucker him but he keeps his chin tucked and I can't dig in to get a choke...I had one lapel at once time but had a brain fart and did not go for the back clock choke...Dunno why as that is exactly what Batista was yelling to me...But I rode out the time and got the win 8-0...I need to work my back attacks more...The ribs and sternum are "ok" but that arching attempt wasn't good for em...
First Match In Pictures

First Match Video

On to the next match...This one is against a De La Riva school guy ...Carlos Alberto Mendes...Dude is about 6'2" or so and weighed in at 99.2 KG...The dude is cut though and looks a lot bigger than that...coming from the De La Riva school I am not going to play into his guard so I make a concerted effort to give him the impression that I am going to shoot by my grips and stance and immediately work into my guard...When I pull him down, we stop for a minute as it seems he has hurt himself...Think he caught on in the jewels on the way down...Ref asks if he needs time and he says no...(Glad I got my luggage so my titanium ball protector is being worn..lucky i made it through yesterday without having gotten the peepee smashed! phew!)...Anyways we resume and I work for the Roger armbar setup I have been working and in working to break him down as he almost easily was about to open my guard, he posts RIGHT on my sternum...Dunno if he knew but I stopped breathing a bit right then...It was like my body shut down...I made my mind up, that I didn't give a damn what happened, but I was going to shoot the triangle and get it done...Well I did my push/pull, and shot it and as he stood , too slowly in his reaction to counter (feels like he is so strong he didn't think he could be finished there) and I tighten the triangle, and then work to grab his arm to armbar at the same time I am rolling him up on his side...This is hurting me as well but I am not letting go...I get the three taps...I am happy but don't think I showed it much as I honestly am hurting badly now...I get off the mat though to a chorus of some dudes sitting around Luiz Big Mac saying "Pesadelo Triangulo Sinistro!!!" THAT shit felt great to my psyche...Too bad it didn't work on my sternum and ribs! lol
Semi-Final Match In Pictures

Semi-Final Match Video

Here we go with the final match...It is against Sergio Resende Luz from Ataque Duplo...He weighed in right at the limit and actually had to change to a lighter GI to make weight so I know he is tough...Also watched his semi-final match and his guard passing game looked to be crushing as he beat a guy that was about my height but his weight by easily opening and passing his guard...I did NOT want him to my side mount and played with the idea of trying to get the takedown for top control, that is, until someone came by to pat me on the back to say Boa Sorte' (good luck)...That took my breath and shot pain to the front of my chest...Ah well, gonna dance with the horse that brung me...We work and I noticed the guy had a good duck under to double leg, and was not going to allow myself to be down 2pts because of how good his control game was...So I worked on breaking his balance in little jerks and went immediately to pull guard...I thought I'd messed up as he was almost to half guard b/c I sat at the wrong angle...I fought my ass off to regain guard and ended up being able to do so through angles and vigorous movement...I saw the look on his and his coach's faces that that was NOT what they wanted...Well here I work to control and break posture but dude is strong as a horse...And He posts several times directly in my rib cage..I hear grating but I am not sure..Once again, I work a push/pull and it sets up perfectly for me to shoot the triangle...Once again it seems he is not thinking he would be able to be caught, and moves slowly and methodically...As strong as he is that isn't enough but he does manage to keep the inside arm locked for some time...When we get back down so I can work it better...I grab the shin and start my adjustments...He doesn't allow for the pull over and instead when I get it halfway across he rakes his elbow across my sternum because of the angle I have him broken down at and I feel the crack grate against each other...:( I'm desperate now but I can not let go of a submission attempt...He grated against is so hard that the Lidocaine patch with tape came off as well...Well I worked the bounce technique with the legs that Marcus showed me and got the elbow across...I get it across and squeeze with all I got which is damn near submitting me as well...He taps but I don't notice and the referee has to stop me...I get the three taps and I jump up, hurting and all and let out a scream so loud I scared me!!! Guess the pain and happiness etc all were too much...Was really happy! I know i have a LOT, and I do mean a LOT to work on and improve on...Watching these videos I can see sloppiness that has to go away and more efficiency that needs to be worked on...But all things considered, and how I am feeling now, physically, I did ok.
Final Match In Pictures

Final Match Video

Well after I get my medals etc, and I meet the guys who were chanting my name..they were funny as hell! And I notice my breathing is short so I go off to the doctor by the medical station and let them check me out...He touches the fracture in back and it is painful but not unbearable...The cartilage pull isn't too bad...But when he pushes on the one in front by the Sternum I can feel it grate on itself...And I damn near want to black out...He asks me how I feel and I tell him just tape and spray it and I can go...I stil have the Absolute coming and I think I can mke it through another few matches, which if I can, would be some good points for the team....So he calls Fabio over and tells him I shouldn't be allowed to compete as it could break and puncture a lung or sumn...I tell him I did that already but Fabio says he is proud of me and I have done much...I am not too happy about that, but as he is the General here of the team, and he says I did well, I am ok...So I change, take some pictures with Kyra, Fabio Clemente, the team mates, and look around a bit and we break...
Podium Pictures And After

Afterwards we come back to the room, I shower while Jon goes to sauna to drop some weight, and we are back off to Nik's...Tonight is great as there are even more people, and our favorite host Nina is there...We get our food and this nice older lady (Claudia) notices us speaking English, and asks where we are from...We speak for a bit and go back to eating...Because I won today I got a free desert and Nina came to ask a lil bit about the tournament as her brother owns Krugan's Kimono's ...As I am getting back fromt he bathroom in anticipation of us leaving, the lady Claudia asks me over to the table and introduces me to these women she is having dinner with , a Doctor(forgot her name), Lawyer(Nicole), and Computer Merchandising and Publishing(Danyiell) and invites me to sit and talk...They want to practice their English and I get to practice Portuguese with some pretty Brazilian women...It's nice as one of them, the doctor actually has a good command of English and even cracks jokes on me and Jon...Claudia is very well traveled and helps with translation a lot and they tell us all the places we should go and what to do...Claudia and Danyiell and the other young lady all say they will come tomorrow to watch the Jiu-Jitsu championships and tell me they are sorry they missed me competing...The Doctor can't come as she will be working a 12 hour shift...They just but It was nice to be invited in by some locals...I got a couple compliments on my Portuguese and my tattoos and height...(Everyone here comments on called Will Smith more than once and even had this little girl about 8y/o call me Michael Jackson! dunno if i like that one though...) and we got a line on the best things to do once Jon is finished competing tomorrow...The locals all seem to be like that here..Very inviting, very helpful and eager to be helpful...It's late as hell so I am off to bed...But...I fight on...

Thought for today:
“He conquers twice who conquers himself in victory.”

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day Two - Rio De Janeiro Trip - Rio Open Day

After The Win


Weight: 94.6 KG (208.557lbs)

Woke up early, expecting to get the luggage in around 10am as promised...Uh...NO...Called to check on it and they tell me it MAY be 2pm or so, depending on customs before they can have the bags here...So, that means I am in another country Sans Gi once more...For some reason, I am feeling really weak, and because I didn't wake up until about 11, I missed breakfast...Well I got in some time on the pc...stretched, then watched from the window, while Jon went back out to his second surfing lesson...He rode three waves in, and also took a few big spills but it looked fun....The beach and ocean was BEAUTIFUL as the clouds of yesterday were burned off...And people were out in force!
Jon comes back in and we decide to just go on over to the tournament venue and get a Gi there...We get downstairs and ask for an english speaking cab driver, which the hotel provides...His name is Carlos...turns out Carlos trained under Carlson Gracie many years ago...His english is pretty good and he tells us no problem, that he will have us there in time and even wait on us...Well Carlos was nice enough but he was full of shit! He didn't remember the exact place (Tijuca Tenis Clube) so we drove around fo 30 minutes once we got to Tijuca asking different cabbies and passers by for the directions to the tournament...Meanwhile I coughed hard a few times and tweaked my rib again! I put on a couple of these Lidocaine patches on my sternum and my side area where my cartilage is pulled/torn...Not feeling much relief and starting to think this is a bad idea...Anyways, we get there and there are some really nice vendors out there and a couple of Gi companies I'd never seen so I went with a Thor brand lightweight competition Gi (Pissed that they didn't have a black on in my size) but it fit well and I had no choice but t get it to compete anyway...Got it for like $85 bucks with the belt...
Went inside and shook hands with Royler Gracie and Megaton who both said they remembered me...Forgot to take pictures with em though:( Damn...Anyways..we go over and find the Alliance team guys...Jon gets a chance to get a Gi as well ad checks his weight...He is about 5 pounds over but he ate today...Speaking of which, I still haven't....Well I get re-acquainted with the guys then put on my Gi...I am weighing 94.6KG which is my normal weight but everyone else int he division all weigh in at 100KG or right at the weight limit ...Anyways I try to get my lidocaine patches and ribs wrapped but the medic says it is a bad idea...So they tape the patches down and off I go...
First match is called and for some reason the guy gets DQed after me sitting there for some time...I still am not sure why, the ring coordinator was trying to explain but I couldn't catch it...Meu Portuguese Muito Pequeno...Well next fight is up with a guy who I am warned has a bunch of wins and is strong as an ox...He didn't particularly look that way, but when we locked up, I knew...He attempted to get me in a wristlock off the clinch, but I recognized it and took the hand out and worked to try to pull him for the fake guard pull to single leg....He circles the other way and tries to pull half guard...I do not accept it and worked on passing and had really good positioning...But I saw a triangle opportunity and attempted to rotate all the way around for it...I didn't get it locked so they gave him 2pts for a takedown...ehh...We work for a while and I think about taking myself out to the side for an armbar but decide it might hurt my ribs so I just work controls and get back to my house...Full Guard...We work for a while with him attempting wristlocks and his hands are like vice grips...even with my hand above my head he was cranking with a good pressure...I get it free and work his Gi around his back to set up the choke...I did not keep my elbow in well enough, and eventually when trying to switch grips, I lose the lapel as he posts directly in my chest...The sternum shot I feared!...Hurts like hell but I keep my composure....But in losing the lapel, I have my shot...I shoot the triangle, and honestly inside I'm turning flips...My eyes got wide and I dive for the leg...I tighten it and we fight for a few...I act like I am pulling for the armbar but just to make him give up the arm to cross...Since I have his leg I just tighten and squeeze to hold and hope he doesn't struggle much and hurt my ribs more...Well he taps eventually...I get my first true win in the ADULT division at Brown Belt...
Rio Open Adult Brown Super Heavyweight Semi-Finals Match

Next match is against an Alliance Teammate...Name is Felipe and he looks like a mini He-Man...That said, we work on fighting grips form the start...And eventually after faking that same guard pull take down I get to guard...He tries to work the lapel wrap around to control my sleeves and works twice for some stand up guard breaks but I do not break...I do however tweak my ribs once more...Well...The last time I get him back into guard...I shoot the triangle but sloppily...He manages to get a hand in barely...I work to pull it out but again decide not to fight it more and risk the rib nor risk a pass attempt as the score is still zero zero...Well I decide to open up a tad bit and he sits back and attempts to roll for a toe hold..I defend it perfectly, and we roll a couple times with me defending and coming up on top to attempt the pass while he has my leg...But I am too fast in moving and he switches back to toe hold and we roll onto another mat...I am blocking the toe hold attempts easily and move the wrong way right into a knee bar...I am watching the referee as I think he is about to stop us as we are rolling into the other guys on the next mat and ease up as he is moving in towards us...But he is just allowing us to continue as Felipe has the kneebar about set up...When the ref stands in I think he is calling time, and I relax, and there goes the knee...I yell and tap b/c I am pissed he cranked it but I realized he didn't see the ref plus it is MY fault I eased up:(...Ah well...He is a really good Brown Belt under Fabio Gurgel and after the match Fabio tells him as he is complaining about attempting to break my guard, that "Steve has a Monster Guard! He is really tough!"...That made my day...So I it with a Silver in the Adult Division of the Rio Open (No age classes) and Brown...I got interviewed by a nice young Brazilian woman named Gisaa and went to get my medal...My breathing is labored and hurts and my sternum is hurting bad again so I decide not to do the Open in the Adult division so I can do well tomorrow at the International Masters & Seniors in my weight class and the Absolute!

Rio Open Adult Brown Super Heavyweight Finals Match

Back to the room we go...we get here and first our keys don't work....Make it downstairs get new ones, and our luggage is here...BUT we have a large leak in the ceiling near the A/C unit...It rained badly for a short time today...We call down and Jon goes off to the sauna to cut some weight...They come and remove like 2 buckets of water from up in the ceiling...I still haven't eaten and hope I have not forgotten much, but I am honestly feeling good about myself and my skills a bit...The level of the art here is HIGH...Tomorrow is another opportunity ...hurting or not, I will do my best....I have my own Gi, underwear, medicine, etc etc...It's time to get back to work! Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read...I will post both videos when I can dump them...I fight on....

Though 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.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day One - Rio De Janeiro Trip

The Roof Top Of My Hotel - Marina Palace Hotel - Leblon, Rio

In Front Of The Leblon Shopping Centre

That Brazilian Sexyfineness Y'all Been Hearin' Bout...
This AIN'T IT!
A Shame I Didn't Know Enough Portuguese To Say:
"Hail To Tha Naw!"

On The 767 From MIA To Rio
Yeah I Was Happy Until My Ribs Started Kickin My Ass!

Another View From The Hotel Top Looks Just Like This From My Room! You Are Seeing Leblon, Ipanema, and Copacabana Beaches Here

The Jogging Is Nice On The Beach

Weight: No frickin idea but I am sure I've gained a bit b/c I'm eating constantly...

The Photobucket Slideshow (about 100 pictures..and im too damned lazy to write captions on all of em so just ask what everything is if u wanna know!) will be up sometime late tonight or earlier tomorrow...its taking FOREVER to get it uploaded!

OK...I KNOW I will forget something...So I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off...But I get tot he airport about 1hr and 45min ahead of time...Get in through security smoothly and even get to the gate and get an upgrade to 1st class on the N.O. to MIA segment of the trip for me and Jon (The Black Belt from my school I am traveling with)...We are to go from DFW to N.O. to MIA to Rio...
They call our flight...We get in line for the flight to N.O. ...Here goes...First ten minutes then thirty then an announcement that they don't know when they can have the valve on the plane replaced (they'd called to see if they can take off without fixing it!!!)..I go to the desk and let them know we won't make the connecting flight to MIA if we don't get reassigned...We do so, and it gives us about an extra hour and 20 minutes or so past the time we were supposed to leave, but b/c it is a straight DFW to MIA flight, we will stil be on time!!!...They put in the request to move our bags...We go to get some BBQ Brisket, mashed potatoes and corn with sweet tea...then off the gate....
We get to the gate, ask if our bags were transferred...The lady tells us yes they had plenty of time to make it and to check in MIA...We get on the plane...B/C we got upgraded we r in first class..I wanted a window seat which I had on the other flight, but got an aisle...So I promptly sat in the window seat and end up sitting next to this bleached blonde lady (Sarah) with a white bichon-frise dog...I could tell this even before she spoke (from quite some distance away) that she had probably consumed a bottle or two of Jack Daniels...Looks like a decent enough lady...tells me she's 33 but looks 53...and has like 21 1/4 short stubbly gray beard hairs pokin out the left side of her jawline...She sits down, I ask politely if I am in her seat (knowing damned well I am!) and she says "I don't mind if you stay there as long as you don't mind my dog being out...and takes him out and hides him under her blanket in the seat next to her...Over the next couple hours...I am heavily being persuaded to drink with her, attempting not to be full force in the way of her breath that by then smelt (yes I said smelt) like wet garbage fermenting in the dallas sun, and finding out that she was off to Miami to buy a house, had bought houses in new orleans and newport beach and that she could obviously not get the hang of not screaming dumb sit at the top of her lungs because she had the damned earphones in...Then crying because she was moved by her starting a new life in a new home in Miami....(really moved by the white wine and cocktails she had on the plane, plus whatever the hell it was she had before she got on!!)...On top of that, we were on a 757 from the 1970s which had something outside on it that created a hum that many passengers said was reminiscent of a crop duster....
Well we make it there to Miami and I honestly had a very nice layover there...Got time to relax, walk around, notify everyone I was ok, and spend some time just sittin and talkin....
My next Single serving friend was Heidi...Met on the plane to Rio...We get on the plane and I am seated right behind another gentleman who got reassigned so as to make the flight to Rio on time...Apparently he had a lot of beans, buttermilk, and soda b/c the gaseous emissions were retched...Heidi told me of her trips...she'd just come from kenya and is on her way to Rio to do more study for her PhD in Public Administrations...funny thing is I could not get over, that she spoke in fit and starts...even when sleeping but especially in the in between times, I SWEAR she had to be a stunt double for the woman in Deuce Bigalow's movie that was narcoleptic...she would fall side to side with her head and even bumped into a passenger walking by to the restroom...THAT was some funny shit...Other things of note on that plane was we had a flight attendant that resembled Mr. Clean ...and the pilot was doing like 5mph on taxi out to take off and in from honestly took us 20 minutes to taxi in after landing here in Rio...
Getting in to the airport, we had to get scanned but didn't get searched and went to get baggage....uhhh
Apparently they LEFT it on the original plane, which got to N.O. NOT in time to get the transfer to the plane to we SHOULD have it in the morning....Seeing how I compete tomorrow...this is NOT what I needed to, some meds I need for these fuckin ribs are in there...:( ...We make our claim then ride to the hotel....Very nice taxi driver named Beto...Damn I shoulda taken a picture of Beto...But he slowed down for us to get pictures of all the landmarks...We get to the hotel with just our carry on bags and are told the room isn't ready...Anyways it is great because it is RIGHT across the street from the beach...we walk out..cross the street and hit sand...To the right you can see the Sugarloaf...and all the way down to the left of the hotel are the ipanema and copacabana beaches...So we go off for Jon to get some shorts from the mall...Then we come back to the hotel and go up to the rooftop pool and viewing area! This shit is marvelous...We took some real nice pictures and as soon as I can have the pics up...I will...Well we went off to have some food once we finally got to the room...The room has two SINGLE FUCKING BEDS!!! What the hell I'mma do tryna sleep in a single bed??? They have about 3 english speaking channels...The view though is the shit...We can SEE up and down the beach from the room...and even though we are on the 23rd floor the ocean pounding on the beach sounds like it is pouring down rain...THAT is how close we are!!!...We went out and Jon had a surfing lesson...the waves are like 10feet tall and close in succession...He wasn't successful yet but he is going back tomorrow..the water was cool but not cold...I am gonna try probably sunday or monday so as to save my body from the beating for the tournament...We went out later to a place called Nik's Sushi in Ipanema (Make sure you go and ask for Nina! She speaks english and remembered Jon from last time he was here!) The Salmon and Beef off the grill was tight....Now I'm back in the room and can look back on the day, and see that 75-80 degree weather, where folks are actually in the water kickin it in "winter" in a place with as beautiful people and culture as this is amazing..I can not wait until tomorrow to compete...Oh and for all the guys who ask...YES, the women ARE like that down here...No pictures yet of that...
As for knees and hips are creaky and stiff as hell...all that flying, no meds and a lot of walking around...The cartilage and muscle pull in my side as well as the cracked floating rib that hurts in back is flaring up again...all those hours on planes (over 12) have and are taking their toll...I am starting to worry whether or not being added tot he weight class and absolute divisions with the young guys in the Rio Open is a smart idea...Man the spirit is willing but the body is weak as hell...I am hoping to have my things in the morning and HOPE to get some good rest as well as taking some pain meds tonight...If all else fails I will have to buy a GI or borrow one from a teammate (only one I can think of that I know from down here that would be able to fit if I have to borrow and cant buy one) , and I have these Lidocaine Patches from my pain mgmt doctor that I can plaster along my side and on my chest...The crack in my rib/sternum area only bothers me with direct pressure...The other things bother me with twisting core movements...I just hope not to look stupid and embarrass everyone back at home...I'd like to at least have a good showing to uphold jiu-jitsu where I'm from....There's probably a LOT I have missed ...sorry but I'm trying to do this and to upload about 100 pictures to photobucket at the same time...As well as trying not to keep tweaking my ribs...We will see how it goes...You know me....I fight on...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Smart Dummy, The Power Of Prayer, and Getting What you Asked For


Thumbs Up

Bad Rib, Bad Elbow, Good Submission

Weight: 201.0

Well I was always a smart kid...Graduated first in my class in HS, in fact never made less than a B until college...My uncle, whom I love but feared immensely as a child because he was mean as hell in his discipline to all of us nieces and nephews and seemingly me more so; always told me I was the smartest dummy he knew...
Well I've worked hard to try to get rid of that but more often than not it has borne itself out to be true...doing things I know damn well I shouldn't, trusting people who I see treat others like crap with my most personal details and expecting them to be stable with me, in general just living kind of on the edge.,..
Welp, I did it a smart sort of way...I don't think I was putting God to the test, as that doesn't line up with what I believe, but I wanted to show myself that what I believed works...Went to visit my boy Whiz (Glad you're home and well man!) in the hospital after his heart attack, and his girlfriend had a lady form her church visiting...In talking my competition came up and she asked if I was in pain...the sternum/ribs etc showed on my face I guess...she asked if she could pray over me, and asked if I had any aversion to her laying hands on me...I said no, and it was the most beautiful thing I've had a feeling of in a long time...I was moved nearly to tears (was tryna be hard b/c of Whiz and Knes being there! though! lol) ...I felt 1000% better then...
So that night I went in to class...Knowing I had to take precautions and listening to everyone I know say don't do ANYTHING, if I wanted to compete...I also knew I had to see what I could and could not do to have a decent game plan going in...The lady told me and said in prayer that we are given pain, but it has no dominion over us...Well, that night, it had none over me...I worked top game and guard game even more effectively than I'd been doing to date in practice..some discomfort was there muscularly but the searing intense pain was there, but not there when I went to do things...God is GREAT!...
Anyways, I went got a check up the next day and it's still as it was but I know in my heart I will be able tp push through it...It bothers me at all times except when i step out on the mats...anyway...Went and taught class last night and things are going great..It feels so good to have my own students and help them to see the beauty of what the gentle art is...
I am just hoping my skills are up to the task of producing results on the greatest BJJ stage in the world pretty much...
For the record...I not only will be doing the Int'l Masters & Seniors World Championships in weight class and the open...but I will Also be entered into the Rio Open (i.e. the young diesel cats who've been studying BJJ for like 15 years) in weight class and the Open...
Brazil is ahead of my timezone by two I will be competing on
Friday - Brown Belt - Super Heavy - Adult - 3:30pm
Friday - Brown Belt - Absolute - Adult - 6:00pm
Saturday - Brown Belt - Super Heavy - Senior 1 - 2:30pm
Saturday - Brown Belt - Absolute - Senior 1 - 6:20pm
those are the starting times and based on Brazil time...
so I will get a lot of competing in, and hopefully be able to contribute to points for the team in each...Hope the body holds up!
Oh, and there's a damned hurricane over the gulf/carribean etc
hope we fly clear of that...Love flying but that shit scares me...anyways..Pray for ya boy...I will be hitting up updates from there as much as possible when I can get some wireless connections...Hopefully I will be able to get plenty of pictures and video...I hope I do not let any of you down...I will do my best not to...I fight on...

Thought for Today:
by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of Circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of Chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find me, unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Frailty Of Life

Me at 203.6 after Practice

A Match When I Injured My Ribs, Dislocated My Elbow, and STILL Won By Submission

Thumbs Up In Cali
Weight 201.2

First off...I'd like to tell everyone...PLEASE...take time EVERYDAY, to tell those that you love and care for how you really feel about them....Cherish them, make certain they always know what you feel. Take care of them, make sure they are taking care of themselves. Almost lost someone I consider a brother to a heart attack (at age 35) this weekend. It was and is a wake up call to me, not only for him and my other family and friends, but for myself as well. I am happy that he is recovering well and will soon be home. God is good!

As for other things...there are always people in life you don't care much for, that have done you wrong, etc...It just isn't worth the energy to hold on to...For those folks, i may not be able to let things go totally but at least I can and will, on my part anyway, to co-exist on the earth without holding onto the negative, even if that means just ignoring the evil etc from folks...

As for training...
I feel as if I've been a sponge...things I have been picking up by osmosis, and my jiu-jitsu understanding keeps growing...Lately, when I've worked on rounding out my game and closing my holes, I've been able to see and immediately implement the changes...Lately without a ton of repetition...That's a God send.anyone who knows the game, knows that isn't normal....Not sure why, but I'm trying to get the most out of it that I can.
All the rough training has been because I am going to compete in the International Masters & Seniors Championships in Rio De Janerio, Brazil. Leaving Wednesday July 23 and returning Tuesday July 29! Hopefully I will get a chance to train a tad bit down there as well as experience the city. Normally when I am off on a competition trip, I don't do anything but sleep eat and compete then come home...
Haven't had much of an appetite, so I think I will be a bit under normal weight when I get to compete. As I am already competing a weight class up (meaning I will be fighting people weighing sometimes as much as 25lbs more than myself) I have to be on my game...The mind is willing but the body is telling me to hell with this!...Picked up a couple new supplements and that has made things easier as well...Don't normally like to take those things but the wear and tear on the body of this old fella has been catching up to me lately...Hope that this also has a good effect on me overall in everyday health...
Well between my training, and now training my new students in Plano(, I just don't get to stop much...seeing as though I am getting laid off July 31st, I will have more free time, and took that as a sign that I should go much harder after the dream I have of opening my own school. The toes still bother me, even though one is healed, the other is still broken...I've had to adjust that as well in my take down training and seem to be passable with that. Problem is, as I stated...i am fighting my body in addition to the art and life...
Friday, I was working out...doing guard pass and king of the mountain drills, I had a really good pin half guard sit out pass on a guy who's about 215-220...Executed it perfectly, and when I went to turn to stabilize and force him to flatten out, he posted his elbow in my chest...I hear three distinct cracking noises...Long story short, cracked sternum, pulled rib cartilage, and cracked floating rib...hurts when I breathe, talk, sneeze, etc etc...Don't knwo WHAT the fuck Imma do to compete but no way I won't be going...It was/is really a downer b/c of the way I've been going, I felt like a world beater...first the toes assist in the loss at Mundials, now getting ready for the old man World championships and my first time competing in Brazil (The cradle of the sport and home to the best jiu-jitsu players anywhere in the world...i really want to at least show up well), It has me really depressed. I have to figure out a way to stay on schedule...though I know I should rest..this championship means a lot to me..roe than a lot with the way my life is going sliding down a hill lately...Trying to make the last few big tournaments this year as depending on the job situation, I may not be able to do much of anything after sept/oct or this will not be allowed to stop me. jiu-jitsu is about overcoming a greater adversary when at a disadvantage...i will attempt to do just that. To the people that have helped me get where I am, supported, encouraged, or assisted me in ANY way in life and jiu-jitsu thank you and God bless you. Injury or not, i will not let you down....I fight on...

I got lots more to write, but honestly it's a lot going on inside and it's hard to verbalize...sorry if this is a tad disjointed...

Thought For The Day: Pain is only temporary, no matter how long it lasts!

Monday, July 7, 2008


Me At 205 Getting Ready
Hopefully Will Be at Least 210 by Brazil

The Brown Belt Gauntlet

After a Hard Practice
I was the hammer that night!

Putting In Purple Belt X-Pass Work Needed To Get That Tightened Up
It's Heavy And Brutal Now!

Happy Faixa Marrom!

Congrats To Kelly Rundle On Your Brown Belt!

The New WEC Lightweight Champion
Marcus The Wrecking Ball Hicks
August 3rd!

Weight: 202.4

Well, I haven't updated this in some time. I am sorry for those who do take the time to come and read, but I've been hella busy. I would like to thank all of you who do read and take your time to check this spot out. It means a LOT to me that you do so. this was started for me to be able to chronicle my feelings, pains, triumphs, etc through my travels in the gentle art...It's nice to know that others get something out of it and care enough about it or me or whatever it is to come here..Hell, I am even thankful for those who come here who really dislike me. congrats to My boy Kelly On His new Brown Belt!!! As for training and preparations...Someone has to pay for my broken toes and Less than successful Mundials. Even though I won a match I could have done better. trainign has been going well...I have just this last couple days started just taping my two broken toes together and working without the wrestling shoes...The toes will have to wait to heal for a time...There is too much work to be done...Most days I am the hammer, but I have been forcing myself to be the nail more. A few holes I discovered I'd had, I have been working diligently to cover up. My age has been showing itself, but I refuse to let it beat me. Been constantly sick which has hindered my breathing, and concentration as I've started back having my headaches, but the good thing is, that fighting through this, I am sure to be able to make it through just a normal match when I get to feeling well. I have been having issues with a new guard pass I like...Not so much the technique and application, but rather chaining it together with others when making pass attempts and keeping the proper pressure when I do...Will have to get some work in with Jacob or coach Allen on this soon...I'd like to work with Marcus on this one as it suits his style perfectly as well as his escape game for it, but he is getting ready to win his fight (WEC championship against Jamie Varner - Aug. 3rd!) so I don't want to bother him with it...The other things, I've been working are simplifying my game, and concentrating ont he tiny little things in the most basic of moves that make them unstoppable...Been working the Roger Gracie armbar, with a lot of help from Coach Allen, as well as some things picked up from Rickson Gracie's commentary on the armbar as well as more control and quicker submissions from top game...The straight up armbar is coming along nicely, but still working to make my cross choke from mount effective to my standards...a positive note is that I can get there efficiently, but my positioning on the finish leaves much to be desired...I've been taking more time (at least an hour added to practice combined b4 and after) just doing basics drills...Even back down to just body positioning etc in addition to technique...It is paying off immensely...
that coupled with me started to teach at vision with REALLY new people is helping my understanding of the gentle art move beyond me just practicing...only thing is that I obsess over not giving them any mistakes and hitches in their game that may take them a long time to correct...everyone gets's human,...I just don't want to be the cause of any bad habits so I've been taking a little extra time to give really good base foundation skills to them... It really feels good to pass things on to them, so I just want to give it to them correct. I have been working on some new teaching methods as well, so wish me luck with my first batch of newbies!!!
I am SO looking forward to going to Brazil...even trying to see if I can compete at the Rio Open in addition to the International Masters & Seniors to make the most of it...will be going with a good friend and one of the black Belts at my school, Jon Bjorkesten...I wish the day was already here....anyone with tips on Rio etc I welcome the information...
this year I hope to make it to World No-Gi (Aug in LA), American Nationals (Sept in LA), Pan American Games No-Gi(Oct NYC), US Open (Oct in Santa Cruz, CA), and maybe even Tokyo for the Asian Championships in Nov...but I am looking for sponsors, so if you know ANY small companies etc that would put small amounts toward me going in exchange for me putting their company/product on my GI and/or promoting their product/company...Please let me know!
Jiu-Jitsu has given me a lot...I hope to have my own school open no later than Jan. 2009...This job stresses me to no end and looks to be ending at the end of July anyway. Hopefully, the dream will become reality soon! I fight on....

Thought For Today: 'Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'