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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Learn The Lessons That Losin' Some Fights Taught Me

Weight: 222.8

Well I've wondered where my level is for some time now, and had gotten a pretty good feeling about where I was and what it took to get where I wish to be...That kind of shattered a bit over the past weekend as I did some things in a match that I have NEVER done. I mean not EVER. Not even as a white belt. One of the things I have noticed and been instructed on, is it will be the tiny mistakes or tiny adjustments which would win or lose matches at the level I am now and will be on later. In addition, it will be the ability to instantaneously capitalize on the mistakes of my opponent without thought or hesitation which will allow me to prevail. Well I was a participant in a Super Fight at the Texas International Grappling Festival in Houston against a very good competitor names Lance Rammoth from Urban Jungle. He is a really nice guy and strong as hell...VERY sound and relentless in his Jiu-Jitsu. Short and sweet, We work standing for a while trading grips, then he works to pull guard. I get to combat base and pressure the guard pass twice while he works to reconstitute guard, but I have done my drills well it seems as I worked on making sure the legs were X'ed to prevent guard closing. I get the hip/Fabio pass...I work to side control and grab the inside of the collar with a cross face...I switch shoulder pressure and work to secure the under arm the rotate my weight back over and work for the paper cutter. I walk my body around to north south too far and take my weight off him which allows him room to do his escape. He was really hard to control there anyway...We get back to standing, work grips and I pull guard again...He works to sucker me into throwing a triangle by feeding his hand behind him like Brad often does in class...I had promised myself I would not work a triangle in this event as I wanted to work my sweeps and top game/submissions...My instincts though had me working to get him to give up some of the little clue moves for me to set it up though.
He had good posture and very good technique with his elbows inside though so there was no opening to do so, and my inability to overcome what is so natural to me had me ignoring sweep attempts etc...I end up going to open guard and he worked furiously to pass but I did a good job of replacing guard and fending the pass attempts off...I worked for a triangle set up subconsciously which he saw and backed away...We stand and I worked to pull guard way too predictably...I am still up 3-0 at this point with an advantage for the choke attempt...When I get tot he ground he does not allow me to close guard and inexplicably, i grab the same side lapel, stiff arm him and attempt to do a technical stand up. I have NEVER, EVER done this. I have no idea why I got up but I tried, and when I did, He pressured forward, which did not allow my back foot to establish position. He opened the angle to my left(the hand/lapel side) and as I turned into him to close the hole, he hops to the other side. Again, I did something i NEVER do, I leave my hand attached to his lapel. As such, when he gets to the other side, he is not only passed, but he has my left arm trapped beneath him. While there, I did another no-no, instead of moving to open the angle and rotate myself around and out to escape, I wait for him to move. At this level, he is moving, but only moving very tightly to secure the arm. When he releases top pressure, he only does so to further secure the gift wrapped arm. Here's where him being a nice guy comes in, He works the Kimura, and as I rapped my own arm underneath me I could not counter. I am sure he knew this and did not rip my arm from it's socket. Nice guy! I am very honored to have participated in my first Super Fight and felt good to have everyone in attendance stop what they were doing to watch us compete. Lance is a great competitor and I hope to see him again soon in competition, though I am sure he will be a Black Belt before too long. This weekend was really necessary as I had not been really threatened in a match in a very long time(since sometime last year) and even when I made mistakes, I was never really feeling like I was in trouble. The mental part of the game is where I need to grow, as I can understand what my problems are, and how to fix them physically/technically, but I feel the understanding of what I need to do to eliminate this type thing is what I need to work on, and it bothers me, as I have no idea why I did things I have never done. That means I have no idea how to fix it.

I did pick up a sponsor! Kelly' s Lawn Service which agreed to provide $200 per event in exchange for some GI patch advertising so look to see that patch next time I compete! Hopefully, that will show other potential sponsors that I can do a good job representing their brand and getting their name to more people...That said:
I am looking to find a sponsor to help me get to compete at the Brasileiros (Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Championships)! About $1,000 would handle the airfare and hotel. If you know anyone or would like to sponsor all or part of this upcoming trip (It needs to be paid for by end of next week as the tournament is in Rio the weekend of May 16&17!!!)...This tournament along with the Asian Open in Tokyo are the only two majors I have not yet made. To feel worthy of promotion to Black belt, I need to get to this one at least and do very well as this tournament has been said to be much stronger at times than even the Mundials and Masters/Seniors World's. So hopefully, I can come up with some sponsorship to help me make this important stop on my journey to the Black belt. I can offer GI Patch sponsorships and/or private lessons in the gentle art in exchange for sponsorship. I am also well versed in doing radio ads etc and will make concessions necessary to give back equal value for your generous donation. Please contact me at if you are interested or know anyone else who would be. Thank you and God Bless!

My school opened last week and things seem to be going pretty well. Though the Tues/Thur commute and schedule is kicking my ass. (5:30-7:00 at my gym, 25min drive to Plano, 7:30-9:00pm teaching in Plano, 25min ride home)...That said, I have had teaching class be a really liberating experience...Classes went well last week. They were really small, but some guys I have trained with before dropped in here and there making it an easy transition and I had a few folks I am waiting on to see if they will sign up. that said, I had my first two official sign ups last night. Two ladies! I am very excited and hope to see if I can get to have five students on the official rolls by the end of the Thursday night class. I am hoping in the next two to three weeks to add a couple day classes to the schedule. I signed up and officially became a member (well the school is) of the Gracie Magazine Association ( ) which will afford the school some advertising space in the print and online editions of Gracie Magazine ( the foremost authority on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) as well as give an outlet for me to be able to recognize students from the academy in a worldwide forum! Hopefully I can get more sign ups soon as my next goal is to have my school become an official member of the Alliance network (Read: paying member)...That will happen when I reach 10-15 members on the roll. That will afford the school and members some other benefits as well. I fight under the eagle flag now as Coach Allen is a member but I want to have my school and students under the banner as well...Business side of this is really something I need to work on. I suck at marketing etc...

Anyways..Mundials is coming up, and I really hope to have a good showing. So I am going back to my drilling and aggressiveness/attacking thought process training on some things I worked from Marcus and continuing to ramp up my passing and top game. If my pass this weekend can be said to be a bright spot, I feel like it will be to good use there as many wish to pull guard on me to avoid my guard. Getting my top submissions and positioning even better will take that option away if my passes are heavy and tight. I will work to get them there...

Physically, my weight is close to where I wish it to be. I seem to be gaining without putting on a lot of fat and gaining strength as well. My lower back problems have flared up again though and at times it locks up and feels like someone is stabbing me in the back! Going to have to hit the ortho/pain doc and see what can be done. I have a little tweak in my ribs so I have to be careful as I do NOT want another rib injury so close to hese major competitions coming up. Shoulders still bothering me as is my forearm issue back, but...all that said, I have lessons to learn a,d miles to go before I sleep, so I will sleep when I'm dead...I fight on....

Thought For The Day: (A Repeat Because I Like It!) "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."


justin said...

Hopefully I am not cursing myself with this statement. Losing is one of the best experiences for me. While I tighten up some attacks techniques whatever when I am successful, I am blessed with a chance to step back and learn when I am not successful. One step back for me means 3 steps forward, while One step forward... only ends up being one step. (thank you for your help in everything)

Jeffro aka (Jeff Mullenax) Jeffro Gameness, Jeffro Hurt'n Machine said...

i was there bro n saw the match,,,very technical on both parts,,,I am nowhere near your level but I always go over footage of my losses with my coach and we figure out why I did what I did and what to do to correct them,,,sorry you had to dig out early,,,I had a good day against the young bucks in the reg adult divisions as well as the masters. Keep it up Buddy.