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!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Silent Assassin...

Meet Pesadelo
Since The Gorilla Couldn't Be Used
This Is Going To Be The Logo!

Hope for My Jiu-Jitsu To Be Close To His One Day!

Yoga Feel Guuuuuuuud!

Me At 203
Seven Mo To Go Up

Weight: 203.6

Training has been going so-so...Not so much hitting a plateau as playing with all of my weak spots in my game, and feeling vulnerable about it....Hate it though because as competitive as I am, i don't like giving people the idea they can get the better of me...Have to put that away though, because I need to clear out these holes and make certain I can pull anything I wish out of my bag whenever I need it...funny though, I have worked hard as hell on my takedowns and now, no one will stand with me...Good thing I've brought my passing up a notch, but it isn't near black belt level IMO, and that needs to be handled asap!...something else is that I've allowed
emotion to creep into my rolling/training once more...I've always prided myself on not getting to high nor too too low in my travels...I abhor losing, and use those feelings to fuel prevention of mistakes made in the future, but the thing I always wished to be was calm, precise, and effective...In such a manner as to none of the emotions of life interfere with my execution, but also where none of the feelings during a match would be displayed to give any hint or advantage to my opponent...It was noted, by someone who watched all my matches that I could never live down the exaltation after winning in Brazil earlier this yea, as they felt it was funny to see me show some emotion after being so cold and calculating in the other matches...that was a compliment...But lately, it's been hard to contain...Guess it's turmoil in my everyday life that makes it hard to hold onto in my once impervious place of peacefulness...Anyway, it has to go...One way or the other...
On techniques, I've been playing a lot with half-guard sweeps, as well as my closed guard sweeps...there are a few De La Riva sweeps and controls I need to work much better, as well as perfecting and shoring up my control to finish passes..In other words, making certain I get to a good finishing side control or mount after passing or as I am passing on a higher level...from beginning to there I feel very confident breaking to passing to transitioning between passes, but at my level it's harder now to contain and finish the pass so this is getting worked on now...
Decided I want to fight sometime in March or April, just the one fight Whether I can get cleared or not I don't know....But training will be in order...
Got an invite to the Copa Alliance tournament (all Alliance teams in Brazil) in Sao Paulo, brazil this coming weekend...Travel will be a BITCH ...IF I get to go, I'd leave Friday...Get there 6am Saturday morning...compete....then leave at 12:50am that night(technically sunday morning) and be back about 1135am Sunday in time to get dresssed, pick up my daughter and teach Sunday class!....Phew! Well anyways..a problem with the bank account(some bs bout it may have been compromised...and some prior plans for this weekend...on top of not necessarily wanting to go out of town underfunded may all combine to keep me away...Would be great to compete there though...would be a good thign tofurther bond with the team and professor Gurgel as well as test myself against very good competition who roll a tad differently than we do here in Brazil...Will be good for some personal reinforcement...Even though I've performed ok in tournaments and in teaching, I still feel as though my coming up so fast, makes me somehow unworthy of my belt, and always wonder if I am really good or not...Doesn't feel like it at times..That, coupled with the fact, that I have not met (and feel like I am far away from) my goals, keeps me feeling inadequate on the mat...doubt...the silent assassin...I HAVE to try to get it out of my game...
Well, I am off to my Yoga class...I feel GRRRREAT when I leave there...This has been a really wonderful thing, as I can be really calm, even when I'm struggling to hold the poses...but the body feels really good because of it after classes...May update this after then, but definitely look out for an update to some other posts later this week...As for me...I fight on...

Thought For Today:
"If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him.
Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected." - Sun Tzu, the Art of War

Monday, October 20, 2008

Jiu-Jitsu By The Ocean

Calm B4 The Storm

Podium - Absolute (-1 Medalist)

Performance Redeemed

The Pesadelo Pose

Weight: 202.4

2008 - U.S. Open BJJ Championships XIII

Champion - Brown Belt - Masters/Seniors - Absolute
3rd - Brown Belt - Masters - SuperHeavyweight

On His Promotion to Faixa Preta
(Fabio Gurgel's 30th Black Belt!)


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Crush, Kill, Destroy, Stress (push 'Play' while you read)

I Said Press Play And Listen While You Read Dammit!

^^^And The Winner Is^^^

Right Before I Am The Freest

One Of The Models For My Jiu-Jitsu To Be

Weight: 201.6

Last night at class, once again, when I started, I was preoccupied with problems and problems with people...My mind was and continues to be heavy about just life issues as well as not really feeling like I carry the belt well enough...i.e. I don't feel like I should be where I am, and really, been feeling like no matter how I train, I am not doing so effectively enough to get me to the goals I have....Anyways, technique-wise, I can concentrate on working to close some of the holes I feel are in my game...It's just the overall objective that is blurred and hard to follow for me...

I got to warm up the class...This is really a joy for me, but I have to ratchet it back a tad bit...I forget that everyone is not going to want that same level of intensity and have to moderate how I do it so everyone can be effective and still function...I was happy though, as after class, I had a student come up and ask if I would help him come up to a level of cardio that would allow him to work and function on the level that I was driving them towards tonight...

Anyways, my top game is coming along...In as much as I am comfortable in my passes and can adapt and change between techniques naturally without much if any thought...My weight (crushing) is really coming along as well...My problem I feel is being able to pull the trigger on whichever submission (as well as getting to the proper position to administer it as well as allow for other submission options) I wish to deploy is lacking...That said, we worked on X-Guard reversals (to which I also worked a few counters) as well as a jump triangle and then went into a take down run drill....This is where you have groups of three and the man in the middle does a takedown on each partner and runs back and forth with no break doing so...My inside leg trips are getting very good as are a few of my Judo throws from outside positions...Won't say which in case competitors are watching...I am working to get to a point where opponents would much rather my guard to standing with or pulling gurad on me...I am close...There is one of my throws that I am sloppy on and I turned to our resident wrestling expert on it...Got a tip and will work this much harder....Anyways, when it was time to roll, I chose to start with him...or a few reasons...Being this year's Pan Am champ at Blue in a division with like 80 people in it, he is a tough character...this is mostly akin to his quick learning and the fact he was a national wrestling champion...not only are his takedowns really good, but his scrambling and top comtrol are brutal...He gives fits to black belts and when passing if you are not 100% on top of things he is gone and or on top of you...Just has some real unorthodox things he does that work, that yo don't expect b/c no one should be able to do...Anyways...I start in his guard...Again, working the break and pass techniques learned in my private with Fabio went GREAT!...I went from the break to the pass easily..This, I had always done, but the difference here was when I moved after the break, my control to side-mount was very efficient...I not only got to where I was going, but I got there and isolated an arm in a particular position I've been working on...I got there, worked three different chokes, moved to mount allowed a power roll, and swept back and passed to side and got the same control...Transitioned through a few different GIchokes then moved back to mount for cross choke...Here, I sucked...Just was unable to make the damn thing work...this, even though I had the first hand in damn near behind his neck...Just was having a brain feeze I hope, because this has been a go-to move lately...I need to work it...A lot...It's a staple of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I want my jiu-jitsu to be "Beautiful Rice And Beans" (Ask me if you don't know what this means...)

Healthwise, I am jacked up...Haven't really given my back time to sort itself out and it aches...Not as bad as before the procedure though...My knee though...Man that sucker ain't shit...I really need to go to the doc but scraed he will tell me I have to stop training...Though mentally and emotionally I am really close to quitting, I have not made my mind up to do so as of now, and don't want to be forced to do it...I keep icing it and stretching etc...It bothers me during practice but I mask it enough I think that most don't notice it...We will see how it holds up this coming Sunday....I have gotten the means to go to the US Open...(God fixed this one up for me very nicely!)...Competing against a very decorated and tough opponent in my first match..Hope to make it past that one and get to my goal for this year....After that, I begin shutting it down (Competing perhaps in Houston and in Louisiana, but no more for the year)...No matter what I decide as far as how I move ahead from here, I will begin some intensive strength and flexibility training to get up to 220lbs. by end of January...I came up with a nice logo I think (with help from errybody who gave their opinion of course) for my school if I continue to realize that part of my journey...It is the one you see above...If I can get a school going well enough...or hell, if I can get more than 10 students where I teach on tuesdays and thursdays in plano, I will get my affiliation in order and use the version of the logo above but with the alliance eagle in the middle...We shall see...

As far as my head, and where it's at, it seems turmoil is all around...Just hard to focus, so what I will do, is go to my mountain per se...Keep my head down, stay even more to myself, and allow things and people and issues to go on without me...No more bad energy, no worry other than for essentials of life and my daughter...Jiu-Jitsu has saved my life in many ways, I will do my part and continue to attempt to move forward...Can't do that if I can't see the road ya dig? I go rambling and you, who read this are sitting there not knowing to what I refer, thinking...He crazy as hell...Nah...Just frustrated, tired, a tad depressed, sick of hurting, and wanting to be better all around...I will for now...I fight on....

Thought For Today: "When The Fighters, Are All Around....All The Lovers Are On The Ground..."

What's Myyyyyy Motivation? (I Played hamlet At Cambridge!)

Chaz The Champ!

Ground Zero

Let The Monkey Out

Weight: 204.6

I know I know...As usual I am slackin'...I have got to update the NY Trip post, as well as talk about the private lesson with Fabio Gurgel, along with a few other things....I will do so this week definitely...But, for now...Jiu-Jitsu...

Monday night, even though I was still hurting from my recent procedure, and just not feeling motivated, as well as having a LOT of turmoil in my everyday life, I went to class...A few things stick out, but one thing is, Black Belts in BJJ are truly at that rank for a reason...A highlight of the evening was watching my daughter in class, actually use effectively a standing pass I had been trying to work with her. I need to be a lot more patient with her, and I am working on it, but I see so much potential in her, and to have her do it, without coaching, and have it work...Seeing her face happy about it, and doing well brought me many levels higher after having such a screwed up day...I got to warm up the class as usual...And we went into the techniques...We went over back escapes, as well as some attacks from mount and contingencies for dealing with movements by the bottom opponent...It's really good to see, that my understanding of techniques is such now that I can see the tiny adjustments to be made and focus on them rather than the gross motor movements of a particular move as I've put in the work to the point most things are natural to me...That said, my understanding of where I wish to be, and ability to pick up on these things lets me know truly how much work I have ahead of me....I've come up with a few new goals, and honestly, the amount of effort and work necessary to achieve them seems truly beyond me...Especially in my current state of being where people and things siphon off my enthusiasm for the only thing to have brought me peace of mind...But I digress, When it came time to roll, I ended up starting with one of our really good Blue Belts (he's a really nice guy and a policeman by day....strong as hell!)...He is one of those people who always has given me problems passing and at times finishing submissions...His defense is great...To be honest he is very close, if not right at Purple Belt level...Anyways, I start with him in half guard, and work immediately for a nice sweep which is an area of my game I have been working on diligently, but had put to the side for passing work...Anyways, I allow him to replace full guard so that I can work my break and pass...The lesson with Fabio Gurgel was in my head, and the ease with which I passed surprised him and me...The biggest thing, is that it was with pretty much no physical effort...I'd always known passing to require a physical brutality that I had to forcefully muster up...But not only did the pass work perfectly, the side control(another point of emphasis in that lesson) felt 100% tighter and allowed me to freely work my submissions...I do need to work on my swiftness and decisiveness on my kneebars though...It is fast becoming a favorite to rival Gi chokes in my arsenal, but I need to pull the trigger muuuuuch quicker and tighten up my control ad positioning....Next I got to roll with coach Allen and I decided to go about attempting a few new positions and techniques....I did a LOT better than I thought I would, but I got put into danger and ended up chasing a lot more than I am used to...New things are not to be worked out on Black Belts unless you want to get smashed....That said, I was able to still work, had a few really good things happen, and was able to recognize bad things coming, and feel great about showed me by his movements a few more things I need to work to improve on...I'm always grateful when I get to roll with coach for the amount I end up learning...I am not able to take breaks or have shoddy technique...That does wonders for me...Just don't get to do so often enough...I rolled after this with one of our other Black Belt instructors - Carl...Known for his toughness and his real quick decisiveness on pretty much any submission he chooses, I got to have a much greater appreciation for his reversal game and even though I started each time with him in side control, I was able to work to get to neutral positions and in a few cases to reverse and pass....his was only to be worked over afterward, but I feel good about that roll as well...He showed me a lot of small areas to work on...Looking forward to seeing him compete next year....Honestly, it was good because the concentration level required to roll with these guys allowed me to once again lose myself in the be lost on the mats and be free...I've really been missing that.

Anyways...Tuesday was another horrid day of dealing with people personally, though I had some really good things accomplished at work...Bad energy really does transfer easily from other people into your being...I'm going to work to rid myself of this type thing...It's stealing my joy and I really don't know what I'd do if another source of peace of mind is stolen from me, whether by my hand or not (i.e. my motorcycle, music, basketball....)...anyways, on the way to class, I have another transference of really bad energy, and went in to teach in a very bad mood...This is not good because I don't want to affect the students I have in ANY way that would cause them to be discouraged at this early stage of their travel because really, it is hard enough as it is just to stay in the game so to speak...But We go in and Kell had started warming them up without me even asking...GREAT guy...lucky to have him helping out...That said, we move into the technique portion of class...My problem child, though he asked a lot of questions still, was actually moving a tad bit better and asking relevant questions...The students were really able to take their own route, and adapt to the techniques as I gave them options they could understand it seems....How do I know this? They actually were using the things taught in class (in addition to the few techniques they know) when we went to the rolling portion of class...I ran them really hard in this part too...even the problem worked through his troubles and complications to actually finish out what I put them through (30 min of intense cardio warmup and jiu-jitsu specific drills..40 min of technique/drills...20min of nonstop rolling) gave them no break between partners and thy kept at it...Between them using their techniques as best they could, to them not quitting and pushing through physical hardships, they made me sincerely proud!!!!

Today, I am really feeling it in my right hip, and my knee is still jacked...Very scared to go to the doctor about it...neck is feeling ok, but not 100%, but I look forward to being able to leave behind me, at least for a short time tonight, the issues and problems of the world, and energy of other people...That, is my motivation...I still doubt, that the goals I have will be attained...I do not see me being on par with them, but, nonetheless....I fight on....

Thought For the Day: God carries what you cannot.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rambling Wreck...For Me.

"Pray Before any Important Endeavor or Undertaking"

On The Mat, There Is Only YOU
Conquer Yourself And you Will Surely Win

What's Next In The World?

Weight: 202.8

I write this for myself. To remember my feelings. To know whence I came, in order to have a record when I arrive at the terminus of my journey. Not for acceptance, not for glorification, but for a reconciliation of actions, to words, to life itself.

People ask me why I do this. I almost always answer, "because I love it." I had to think about this though. My love for the art causes a rift in the rest of my life at times. It has become more than love but an obsession, and an increasing barrier to beign able to function in the "real" world. When I thought of why I do this, there are many reasons I came up with. One important one is, I have always in my life, been a quitter. Taken the easy road, rather than traverse the pains and obstacles. To stop moving forward when the going was tough, and thus, the gifts God blessed me with were wasted. The gentle art, is brutal in it's pursuit. I knew that I could not slack in order to progress. To move forward, perseverance, endurance, fortitude, and dedication are required. In addition, there is no one who can influence the outcome on the mat but myself. My work would be shown to be in order or flawed in an instant. The judgment of others is taken out of the window of possibility. I submit or be submitted. Also, it is a pursuit of something that would give the love I put into it back without pretense nor requirement. I do this as I do, because one day I will be old. Not in age per se, but in the ability to chase that which is desired. When that day arrives, I wish to have something to hold up to my child to show as an accomplishment worthy of some level of admiration, as well as as an example she can follow as to how to persist and overcome challenge. I do this for the people I see every day who do not and will not know the joy of even being able to take a walk. Those who can not know the freedom of moving how and where they wish. God gave me abilities that if wasted, as I have for so long in my life, would be a slap in the face to those I suffered with, to those who long to be able to move, to run, to throw, to compete. I do not wish to offend them, even if they do not feel to take it as such. I do this because it truly gives me joy to be able to excel because of my own merit, my own work, which, for the most part, can not be judged subjectively. I do it because I can escape my troubles completely when on the mats. I do it more recently because I love to instruct. This I attribute tot he great teachers in the art I have had, but moreso to my parents who were both long time educators. Perhaps that is the calling God has provided for me. It does truly make me happy to be able to pass on tools given to me that have provided such a rich enjoyment to others. To see them gain what I have. Though it is no Large money maker, it does provide a huge payment in peace of mind. The things I achieve bby work and perseverance int he art allow me to love myself at my most unlovable times. To be honest, this rambling comes as I struggle with trying to be a better father to my daughter, a better friend to those closest to me, and a better person overall. All of which have been neglected in some fashion by my travels through the gentle art. Not continuing would allow me to be better, but would be continuing my patterns of past life, which I want so desperately to stop. I got the most curious letter/email today. It perplexed, encouraged, and saddened me at once. Because of my own flaws and misgivings, I could not completely assimilate it into my being. I will definitely work to do so though, and I am grateful for receiving it because of what it took to be delivered to me. This has been partially initiated beacuse of that, but also because despite all I wrote above, there are times that I honestly don't know why I do it.
That hurts and is worrisome, and I hope to find my way out of it soon. I do have many moments of happiness from my jiu-jitsu travels, such as someone out of the blue coming up to me, telling me they read my blog and were encouraged by it. I was almost moved to tears by that, because of the sincerity in his statement (but I couldn't show that b/c I was being all macho at a tournament! lol). I just don't want to hurt the rest of my life by blindly following my heart for my own happiness. To make up for my own past demons and come to be able to better my own being as it relates to others to assuage my own insecurities should not be the only reason to continue doing this. As the title states, I am rambling...Sorry for that. I know it is incoherent, and some is meant to be so as to provide some anonymity of my own personal private thoughts. But I apologize nonetheless. I have to have a last-ditch effort procedure on my back tomorrow (if this one does not work, then the options to solve it would likely keep me from continuing to train). In addition the stuttering and head pain really is causing me ntot o even wish to talk to people for anything. On top of that, the knee is not good still, and I am afraid to go to the doctor to get it checked. This comes all on top of the regular daily problems of life, in addition to those caused by jiu-jitsu, or rather my dogged pursuit of it....I do not know where I will be taken next on my journey, but, I do pray I will be better for it.
I have lot's to write for the previous post, and will do so asap. the private lesson I had with Fabio Gurgel was overwhelming. There is much genius in simplicity. My game will be much better for having had just that one hour of tutelage. The trip was fine, though I was burdened with life issues, and I was able, with the grace of God to persevere and win my division and absolute. (Still hate NO-GI though). I will make certain to update all that this week. That said, the joys I receive are perhaps not even deserved, but I will fight to better myself as a person, competitor and student to be able to live up to what is given to me by the art...So, until such time comes that I should not, can not, or will not.....I fight on...

Thought For Today: Do not be the fool on the hill. Be different, be better, from now on.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

2008 NO-GI-PAN AM TRIP...1 Step Back - 5 Steps Forward...

With The General After My Private Lesson

Double No-Gi Pan Am Gold Medalist

Weight: 200.2

Pictures From the Trip