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Monday, March 15, 2010

Aliveness In The Moment...Negative Energy

Weight: 228.6

Jiu-Jitsu is a harsh mistress...If you do not remain attentive during the time you are practicing the gentle art, the punishment comes swiftly...To have even a momentary lapse in judgment, assertiveness, or a tiny hesitation in the application of a movement brings you to the point where you are reacting rather than dictating your path...Once you react your are late; when you are late, you use strength; when you use strength, you tire; when you tire, you die!....Yesterday's training session with Marcus was one huge and long brain fart with many periods of being punished for inactivity, hesitation, and incorrect movement...Things I have been taught since my beginner stages, I completely forgot and just really was not there in the moment of training...Aliveness not only means being immersed in the moment and being able to feel rather than think through situations....It also means to see in advance, patterns and movements which will end up at best being a distraction, and at worst being true threats to your performance and well-being...I could not focus, and thus, the work I had planned in my head to attempt to work(securing my weight for passes, opening up my De La Riva game, negating the over under pass) all went by the wayside...It ended up being just an exercise in survival and catch up...that in and of itself is not a bad thing as bad situations must be practiced more than good ones to ensure the calmness of mind needed under adversity to turn a negative into a positive..That said, under the strain of mind and body I have had, seven 10 minute rounds (3min rest) with someone as proficient and assertive as Marcus can be challenging to say the least...anyway, I did do a few things well and realized my in-between and scramble games are very strong, as well as when I set my mind to use my leverage and motion in the passing game as well as attacking am I effective, but when I really needed to move in bad positions or to shut down things coming, I was not in the moment and either shut down or worse, made the diametrically opposite move to what should have been done...the end of this is that I am much more frustrated for having lost the training time on things I needed to work with him on specifically, that I am now jacked up so bad that I can't turn my neck sideways and my low back is locking every 30 min or so(these are result of me not being able to go to the doc to get these fixed prior to training, not to anything he did bad), and I worry that I am not able to control my mental state as I used to be able to do under fire...this in and of itself, against the elite at black belt is something as necessary as good technique and cardio to be successful but really just to be able to survive...I will attempt even hurting as I am, to train tonight to work these things as if I am to not make a complete fool of myself and lose quickly in the Pan Ams, I must work harder to eliminate my deficiencies...Jiu-Jitsu should allow a person to overcome deficiencies and be able to defeat those stronger and bigger than them...I need to get my mind right, and hopefully get the weakness in my hands/arms gone...then I can work through the other pains to be victorious in the battle to improve...I compete with my own inner self...I compete to do better than I did yesterday at a movement or position...Overcoming issues in mind and body, is something that must be done...No excuses...I am tired, and have miles to go before I sleep as the techniques I listed above must have a lot more sharpness (weeks worth at the very least) if they are to become what they must be to ensure my ability to just merely be competitive...I will sleep when I'm dead...

Events this week left me really questioning....not even questioning but truly hating the dreams I had of coaching...Amazing how jut a little hesitation, indecision, disingenuous manner can turn into a huge ball of bile making you really dislike things you loved....Even to question yourself...Honestly things I believed were part and parcel of Jiu-Jitsu, were shown to me to be nothing but idealistic folly in the minds of some...I thought nothing could take my joy that I got from training, competing, and teaching...I was mistaken...Whether I like it or not, i am true to what made me...the American values of I am entitled to do whatever I want and the customer is always right really should not apply in a lot of situations...Today people have no loyalty, no honor, and no respect for that which came before them and even made them...I have seen what I feel is the purity of Jiu-Jitsu...It is not always nice or pretty, nor does it always serve our own wants and desires but if followed, it will always serve our NEEDS!...I must be me and have to do things as I see them successful in other places and do what I feel will be for the best...Those who will be with me, will be...Those who will not, do not exist... I did not start to teach other than to get to a point I could train as I liked and give back something to people which has truly saved my life....I did not do it to be rich and thus I treat those who I deemed to be with me as family...Sadly, it seems, that just can;t be done with everyone.

My aim is to compete and prove my worth to myself as a black belt in jiu-jitsu in the vein of those I look up to and admire...My game is simply too underdeveloped and dirty for me to feel it is anything worthy of what I feel it should be...I think that is why my teaching isn't valued, and the achievements I have garnered do not weigh enough with sponsors to be able to support materially (other than BJJEdge, Jiu-Jitsuforums, and Athletic Body Care as they have done lots to help me to the best of their abilities and are really supportive of me and have been so) in amounts enough to make the tournaments I need to compete in to be in good championship rhythm a reality...By the way, than you very much to Caleb from for your donation bro! Has been the only one to date to do so through the site and it means a great deal that he did...I am blessed to have close friends and family who have helped and I thank God for them as well as a good job that I can pull from to make sacrifices and have the extra to ptake out of my pocket to go...Thing is, those I have mentioned all have personal interest in me...I want to work that my game is respected and admired by those I teach, those who have taught me, and those who are vendors, fans, and students of the sport...I have much to do to get to that point...I will work harder, I will sacrifice more, and the deficient, shoddy game I have now will improve...No matter what, I will be on the podium at Adult at age 40...I will fight on...

The Thought For The Day: The victory is in the pain. The fruit is in the labor. Delight in the work, as therein lies payment.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Take It Personal...

Weight: 227.2

To journey into the land of the elite adult black belts and walk away with hardware, I have much to work on and need to refocus myself...My training will be come more intense and channeled towards being able to do the things I know I can do in other areas of my game and rely on them enough that I have no hesitation in using them...Twice daily, six days per week will be the schedule for my rolling/drilling...and I will concentrate more on my basics when teaching class from here on out...The fact that I will be able to work with Marcus as well as go to the Alliance training camp will be a huge help in progressing...Honestly though things are conspiring to keep me from the Pans...If things continue as they are, I won't make it there to put into practice what I am working on. I don't know what I will do if that comes to pass...Breaking my streak at Sr. 1(won at Purple and Brown), already made me reticent to go, though I am excited to see how I fare against the sports premier athletes in the prime of their lives...But now the thought of not even making it there after what I have done and will do to myself to be able to just stand on par with those guys is disheartening...Perhaps though, if God is willing and I come up with the funds some way, and I can show people that a guy of 39 years old can place or win, then maybe some sponsors will see me differently and this won't be an issue as I plan to test myself at Adult at all but the International Masters & Seniors World championships every tournament until Mundials when I am 40 and I finally say enough of competing with the youngsters...

Only a week away from the anniversary of my 39th year upon this planet, things seem foreign to me. The Jiu-Jitsu I know and love abandoned me in need for the first time in a LONG time. There is more that occurred last night and today that take me aback a bit in reference to the gentle art but right now on to the main things as they pertain to me personally. March 6th was the date, and my match for the gold in my weight class was against Bruno Bastos, arguably a top 5 talent in the world at anything over heavy weight. In that match he was very familiar with my game and worked to shut it down before I even started...In the match he had hold of my sleeve and ripped a hole in a brand new Dax Moskito GI...This GI is like a piece of iron and he just ripped it with a mere grab...anyways what I am so upset by in this match is the fact that beyond the ref allowing him to disengage as he did not wish to deal with my guard, I straight up froze as I was not used to being shut down in my game so thoroughly...It was as people say, when God closes a door, He pens a window....There were open windows ALL OVER, and I did not see them b/c I kept staring at the door...You must not become so fixated upon one aspect of your game in any match as it may not be able to be worked...Though this has not happened to me in I don't know how long, I went to my comfort zone and because he took that away, I was dominated that whole match until at about 9min30sec He went for a knee bar...Problem is, I honestly feel like had I struggled a tad more I would have defended and been out...I hate that feeling..I have not had it since a Blue Belt....I will not have it again...I got to meet Bruno again in the semi-finals of the open after a win on points in my first and a win by knee bar in the second...This time, I was positionally dominated but I got to my comfort zone and truly disgusted myself once again b/c I NEVER pulled the trigger! My defense was very good, and I noticed improvement in that area as being disciplined for the entire 10min is a must...This, is something that I had been working on as rolling with students and even some competitors, I could get away with tiny mistakes...At the level I wish to climb to, I can make no tiny mistakes! The only good I take away is my mental focus in the other matches and that my cardio was not shot, though it must be a great deal better...That said, now that I know I can work things to my advantage, I must pull the trigger efficiently, and expeditiously.

I must reinvent myself as a coach as well. I travel and see the respect and admiration other students have for their instructors and their instructors' lineage/team origins and I am envious...It seems as if my teaching and leadership skills are sorely lacking. Since I have been a Purple belt I have been teaching classes...Really since Blue I was assisting...Since then, through all the people I have assisted in class and the accomplishments I have done on my own, a grand total of three people sought me out from then until now to gain some insight though private classes...Part of this is because I believe it is right to give your all to the beginners as charging them for privates may not necessarily help them when their fundamental movements haven't been developed...that said, it's disheartening to know that whatever I may be seen as, it is definitely not seen as desirable to learn from me in that light...I have put everything I have into teaching at my school, and believe that if I can firmly implant a foundation of good fundamental movement, good command of the basic principles of the core Jiu-Jitsu techniques, and a knowledge of how the body works in concordance with what the aims of a technique are, that people will be much better off and excel...I hoped to give students even 1/4 of what I gained from Jiu-Jitsu...In as much, I returned every day from class happy as I could be, in the thought that I was respected enough to have them trust that I was leading them in the manner they should be...It really feels bad when you have not what you longed for and saw...How can I miss what I never had? I am always asked, how is your school doing? I am not one to lie so I say its small but I am happy...I am not a good businessman nor am I good at marketing so I am certain all that could be done to grow my school as a viable business is not occurring...I felt that the Jiu-Jitsu would win out. I felt that my passion for what I do, and the love I felt for my team would show through and make it successful in the long run by building a team/family atmosphere...I was reminded though that tings aren't personal...Everyone doesn't want to be part of a team etc...I guess the thing is, I must take someone's advice and be more professional. That is what I never wished to be...I feel it's wrong, but the more I travel, the more I keep meeting resistance in the form of folks wanting to do things their way...I progressed so fast because I trusted in my leadership to the point whatever they told me, I did, trusting that it would work out...And it always did. I have tired to be the person that whatever I sold, would be abel to be backed up...It is appreciated by some but most don't. I have to face that I am not the type of coach/insturctor that students look up to in that light...I am always questioned and it seems I am the one who ends up making the concession as the customer is always right...Right? Well, If I am not who I wish to be, I can only be me. I will train hard, I will teach what I know the way I know it should be taught. I will hold my standards up where I see them necessary to be. Those who choose to follow that, will get where they wish, in the manner they should...Those who don't will merely get techniques, and reach whatever height they will by their hand with some assistance from me...Sad to see it this way because I know for any other instructor, this would not be the case...But, I have work to do to gain more insight on more effectively teaching the techniques without having to place so much of my self into it....

There is a lot more to this but honestly, the sting of it makes me not wish to put it down...For those who don't know, there is a lot of detail I keep to myself to be more guarded...I write these to keep in mind what I went through and what I have overcome, that one day my child or students can look and see that if someone as lowly as myself made it, that they could as well...Forgive me for that...

I need to work more on my standing pass, and work more on differing attacks and sweeps from guard. as well as better aggression standing...I will work more on being me in my game, in my teaching, and in my life, and being happy with whoever that is...So, in that regard...I Fight On...

Thought For The Day: Isiah 33:1---"Woe to you who destroy, but you weren't destroyed; and who betray, but nobody betrayed you! When you have finished destroying, you will be destroyed; and when you have made an end of betrayal, you will be betrayed."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Today, Nobody Cares...But Tomorrow They Will...They WILL!

Weight: 224.8

Training is draining....(Hey I made a rhyme!:))...but it is in a good way that it drains me...that said, a new hole has opened up in my guard game that it took the passing game of Marcus to detect...Defending the knee through pass, I am having a brain freeze it seems and rotating my hips the wrong way to defend and thus at times giving the pass easily...this is being worked on, but in the state I am in currently as for health and mental focus(or lack thereof), it seems not to be getting solved quickly or efficiently enough...I have a few new goals to shoot for...Not only to medal at this year's Pan and Mundial tournaments at Adult, in addition to defending my title at the Master&Seniors World championships, but to repeat in being a medalist at Adult in Pan and the World Championships next year when I turn 40(Turning 39 in a little more than 2 weeks from today). Even at the prime of one's life and Jiu-Jitsu career, this is something that only a tiny percentage of people ever achieve...In my declining state of physical being, coupled with the inability to focus solely on training, will be made exponentially more difficult...On top of this all, the sponsorship I do have covers registrations for tournaments, but nothing else...Which means any trips say to Brazil, California, etc for these championships comes out of my pocket....My extremely midget-short pockets...So anyways, Jesus bore his cross without lamentation....I have to just suck it up; as my time to be even close to being able to be even remotely competitive is drawing to a close...Whatever must be done to carry through until then, I will do...

Anyways, on to training...preparing for a tournament in the gym is necessary, but to truly get ready for what you will need to do to be victorious in battle is to actually contest matches when and where it counts...That being said, I will be preparing myself for Pans and Mundials at the Adult level starting this coming weekend in Houston...In addition to being able to see my students perform, I will also be making my debut as a referee in the IBJJF as well as competing with the caliber of competitor I will have to face and defeat in order to achieve the goals I have set...With a monster like Bruno Bastos in my division, my task is definitely not easy, also, as I will put my name in the hat for the Absolute division, with such names as Bill Cooper, Raphael Lovato, Jr., Rodrigo Pinheiro, Marcelo Azevedo, Gustavo Pires, Brad Court, etc etc etc, I should get a true and accurate gauge of where my training has placed me as well as what is needed to work more on...My takedown game has become much more solid, as has my pass game, which I am certain will be tested as most competitors I face look to pull guard as they wish to negate my strength of playing guard...I do hope that I get to work stand up to truly see where I am though as I am going to open my game up much more than usual...A lot of the half and open guard sweeps I use in practice, I think need to be tested at the highest level now...The holes in my game should be more evident after this weekend as they have become in my work and training with Marcus...That has yielded so many results as it is comfortable to feel the need to work hard every second,and to truly be able to learn from the little losses in battles as well as know when certain thins work, that they are ready for prime time as if they can work with him, I do not see many out there who they would not work against...

Physically, my lower back is locking up again...The muscles there, in my hips and in my mid-back are in a constant state of flexion, and I am in pain pretty much all the time...My shoulders, especially the left one, have something blocking or grating on my nerves so that my forearms and hands are affected a LOT!...That said, I do have that familiar, good-sore feeling after training again...I relish that feeling, and just knwo that if I can make it through the way I feel health-wise, and deal with the money/emotional/interpersonal problems of every day and still get to where I wish to be, then I can be truly proud of achievements gained....In that vein....I Fight On....

Thought For The Day: Ephesians 6:13 - Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I Get Delirious

Weight: 222.2

No not the song...But My thought process...In order to go where you have never been, you must do what you have never done...I wish to place not in my age group, but in the adult premier division at Pan Ams and Mundials...Now at Brown belt I have placed at Mundials as well as at Brazilian Nationals so I am confident in my skills to a point, but the Black belt class is a bit different...I am not able to be a full time training competitor as most of the successful(i.e. CHAMPIONS) guys at black belt are...I know I am at a disadvantage because of age as well as my relative age (in experience) in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...That said, it does not change what my goal is...There fore I must find a way around the obstacles to get to where I wish to be...My workout yesterday consisted of 12 Ten Minute rounds with 3 minutes rest between...When I got to teach class and participate in our wrestling drills (Led by Coach Nate Schaffer) I was honestly drained, dazed,and confused....I still pushed through, as this class is getting one of my deficiencies (good take downs and take down defense) cleaned up....It's really funny though...As I get better with wrestling and judo and more concise in my guard game...No one wants to stand with me...go figure, they still try to pull guard on me first, because they don't wish to play in my guard...That has forced; probably since Brown belt, me to improve at passing and top submissions as well as position maintenance...The passing game I have has increased in pressure but needs more precise technical detail in it...That said, I am certain I have improved to the point where it will be a big surprise to those who choose not to test what is still the weaker side of my game (take downs)...I hope to make people pay for this error in thinking and look forward to testing it at the highest level...Anyways, my training has to be better and in order to be ready I have to increase what I do in load and focus...That workout the other day though left me wondering if I am over training to the point I am losing the ability to retain the gains from what I did...I do know that I can push through that many matches and be effective for the majority of them...I have a bit of a test coming up...We shall see where I sit, as I will use this to open my game up way beyond what I would do normally...I just hope not to be punished for it and look stupid...God has blessed me imensely, so I have to try to understand that to give Him the glory first, then give my best, and let it fall where it may...I hurt all over, and having to have another back procedure done, but can't (b/c of stupid insurance glitch), is making things very dim for me being able to actually achieve what I have laid out for myself...but...I fight on...

ThoughtS For The Day: (Judges 14:6) - The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands

(1 Timothy 4:8) - For bodily training is beneficial for a little; but godly devotion is beneficial for all things, as it holds promise of the life now and that which is to come.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You Are Nothing Without Focus

Don't Remember His Name, But He Competed at a NAGA I Worked In Georgia...
He Is Completely Blind and STILL Placed In His Divison!!!
He Is A Hero Of Mine...A Real Inspiration
He Didn't Complain Nor Make Excuses!

God Is Great!

Weight: 222.6

Life comes at you from all directions...Health fails, money leaves, people leave or they stay around and cause chaos and confusion, work...And you must deal with it all. It's amazing how things and negative energy from people can affect your own energy and life and actions in a given discipline....I deal constantly with the realization that God has given me something in Jiu-Jitsu that I am meant to do. Hidden in that is to realize limitations exist, whether or not you choose to break down those barriers is up to you...All the aforementioned ills befall those of us who are not fortunate to have sponsors to allow us to train and teach all the time and this hinders our focus from being finely tuned as it must be to reach certain heights we may wish. Thus, I am in a position to always have some sort of struggle and strife to overcome while attempting to reach for what I wish to accomplish...Though I am blessed immeasurably by having my gym and being able to teach and thus give me peace of mind and a source of calm in my life, I am not a great business man, nor very good at marketing in the sense some do it, so it doesn't afford me the luxury of being able to train as I should to reach the goals I have set...In as much, the goals I have reached and the person that I am seem not to be enough to have a large sponsor be interested as they support other athletes in the sport....That said...The couple that I do have are truly wonderful, and I am happy with them as I understand that they stand behind who I am and who I can be...Just hard to see how I am not enough in other ways...

Anyways, on to Jiu-Jitsu...the theme of focus comes in the vein of training...I have been preparing for tournaments and working diligently, or so I thought, towards getting myself to a place where I'd like to be. That said, due to my recent performances, I have seen a tendency to be a bit too error prone in my game...this has come from the way I train, and somewhat due to being able to be sloppy sometimes and still not be threatened...For some time, even back when I was training at Allen's I wasn't really training...I was more teacher, that trainer, as I'd get questions during the time I would have been drilling, working, rolling, etc...It got to be really hard to prepare and focus upon a straightforward plan of attacking the holes in my game as I needed to...This became moreso amplified when I started my own gym as I care so much for the success of my students, that I started feeling as if I could slide by without the full bore, hard core workout sessions I had been accustomed to...that said, I have started back working and training with Marcus more frequently, and the feeling of just training and learning all in the same session is back...I have to be on point the entire time we train or I will get killed, so I work more technically correct, more muscularly forceful, and more mentally aware...I am taught again to be patient, but this time on an elite black belt level so that my game can adapt and be successful...My weaknesses in sweeps and passing are really very minor. In just a few sessions on top of what I already train alone and with my students, my sweep game and passing game has taken off and grown by leaps and bounds...Developing a pressure in the timing and assertiveness of passing as well as once in dominant position is one of the main aims of training now...I am more apt to work sweeps more patiently and have a tad more confidence in opening my game up now as well to include some traps and techniques I have not used in competition before...Being forced to work patiently but diligently and pulling the trigger without thought or wasted motion, as well as feeling the way through positionsis making me advance again...I have a lot to work on, but I am so happy that even through all the pains and struggles in my every day life which were robbing me of the ability to concentrate on my own training and goals has all but disappeared in the wake of starting to actually "train". I still worked out and worked on things harder than alot of folks I know, but to be successful where I wish to be, there had to be more. Well, sweeps, passes, pressure, and pulling the trigger on some new submissions is on the agenda, and it WILL get done...Being on the Podium at Pans and Mundials at Adult is the goal...It can be done...So, I fight on...

Thought for The Day:

Genesis 32:24-26

24And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.

25And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

26And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Check The Bicep Baby...

Weight: 221.2

A day I never thought I would see in my lifetime came last night. The Saints...My favorite team of all time, who stuck with us fans, and whom we stuck by through the lowest of the lows....are the SUPERBOWL CHAMPIONS!!!! First Our President ...Barack Obama....and Now This!!! Man! What blessings!

Thought For The Day: Not even the most evil of intentions can dull the brightness of God's blessings!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pesadelo Unplugged...Tournament Day and Trip Home

Weight: 222.2

Well I get absolutely NO sleep due to the time change and the normal performance anxiety associated with a big tournament, so I am up and at em on time. I walk into the venue and see the team forming and feel at ease. Not sure why, as I honestly do not feel prepared fully, but I am ok. Drink my red bull I get my sammich (Proscuitto Ham is abundant over here and is the bomb!) and have one of the little cups of coffee...These things are so strong it's ridiculous...Well anyway, in about 10 minutes I am wired! I get my GI on and I am really inspired by seeing all the world class champions on the Alliance team...It's really an honor that they make me feel like such a part of the group...
I make my way to the bullpen and get my stretching and warming up in...Due to the fact I am on the first side of the bracket, I get called first...Two matches and two triangles later, I am champion of my weight division!!! The opponent in my gold medal match was jacked...He was a very nice guy and really strong... when I locked the triangle on at the end, even though I had the angle correct, I could not even get my legs connected for it...So I improvised and used the side of my arm to close the choke!...

Anyways, I sat after that to watch some GREAT matches in the adult division! Our guys put on a show and I really was happy to see how well we were doing and even with not a full contingent there! My open weight comes up and I go through my first two opponents triangle and triangle...My passing needs work seriously though...I ended up facing Ramon Jamur in my third match(Quarter finals)...He got the same takedown I had seen him do throughout his weight division and his first open match...I had made my mind up to jump guard, but was still too slow...I have to improve my decision making at this level is I wish to be successful...He worked to pass the entire time but I was confident he could not...My mistake was that I worked to aggressively to finish him from horrible positions...I should have worked and been more confident in my sweep game to get to the point I wished to be..I had more than enough opportunities, even when he tried to hold on to stall, but I did not pull the the end, I came to a kneebar attempt as well as a very tight straight ankle lock which he defended only b/c he had about 20 seconds to hold out...I know it was close as he had to attend to it at the medics after, but it was too late, so my lack of preparation and bad decision making kept me from the medal podium in the open weight breaking my streak started at purple belt...:(

Later that evening, we found out that the Alliance team placed First in Adult, Female, and beginners, and second in Master/Seniors...The masters (Jacare' and Fabio) honored me with giving me the Master/Senior trophy to take home with me. I was told by Fabio I was the type of fighter they could count! Between that and Jacare' telling me he was proud of what I had done and who I was for the team, I really was moved! This meant a lot to me! :)

The team went to a churrscaria and then we drove around a bit through the town seeing the sights before going back into the hotel...I stayed up through the night to be sure to make it to the airport on time...No sleep really is catch up tome and my ribs for the first time are REALLY aching...Especially on the flight from Lisbon to London...Note: British food is freaking horrible!...Cold salmon chunks, green onions and some little black things..capers i think...are NOT supposed to be in a sandwich...anyways...I get to London and I am treated to being able to sit in the Admiral's lounge to make it through my four hr layover! this secret lair has juices, sodas, wine, and FREE internet....I catch up on good food and emails and get ready for my trip home...Once on the plane, I must reiterate....ANYONE farting on a plane on a trip of longer than 45min, due to the fact planes recycle air, should be stabbed in the neck and/or stomach, and then thrown from the plane! It was so bad, I honestly tuned around, looked in the faces of the two folks behind me and said "REALLY!? Damn...." ...dunno which one it was, but they are dying inside and should see a doctor!...It was almost as bad as the dude who had obviously shat himself, and had the security line in London parting like the red sea as he tried to make it to the AA desk...Ask me about that sometime...But dude smelled like Bagasse (look it up on google...naaaasty)...
I arrive home, hurting and tired as I had only slept perhaps two hrs of the flight, but it's on to the gym to teach...I hope I was coherent but I am certain I was not...LOL I felt better after class as my students always work hard and are good folks...Finally it was home to sleep...I hate the length of travel, but even the worst feelings at the beginning, turn into decent trips ....
I do have new inspiration from some of the younger guys on my team and Fabio having faith in me and my skills, as well as seeing Helvetio and Megaton as well as The General compete in the Adult division....As I had planned to compete in the Adult division Mundials as well as Master/Senior Worlds, and due to the fact I felt I could have competed well in the Euro Championships Adult division had I done so, I plan to enter Pan Ams at Pessadissimo in the Adult division and I WILL be on that podium...I will use a tournament or two before that as a tune up at adult as well...I have much to work on, but, I should be able to with what God has given me. It is a daunting task but I only have a limited time to be able to reach my goals...So....I fight on....

Though For The Day: Today, nobody cares; but tomorrow they will.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pesadelo Unplugged (2010 Euro Championsips Vol1)

Pictures to come later...No Internet Access From My Laptop Right Now!

Weight: 228

Last week, went to the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials...I subbed my first three opponents, and popped a rib in the semi-final to claim third place...I tried to continue after some medical help but the pain was too great...So I was not able to secure a trip to Abu Dhabi later this year...Honestly, had my jiu-jitsu been on point as it should have, I would have been ok to get tot he top of the podium. that said, my training has worried me. I do not feel I am doing enough, nor am I able to focus on developing my game to the point it needs to be to accomplish my goals for this year nor next. Even when I do train, it does not seem I am putting forth enough effort or perhaps I am just not talented enough to reach my goals...I dunno, but, I have been feeling my age a bit lately...
That said...I left for Portugal a day ago, feeling very anxious and upset for some reason. Honestly felt on the verge of breaking up and giving up. Just the rigors of life and the grind of trying to overcome and adapt to my limitations got to me...And I honestly was 2 seconds from notgetting on the plane...I prayed and pushed and got on the plane...Oh and I´ve said this before...but people who fart on airplanes....ESPECIALLY 9 hour flights should be shot and thrown from the plane! Anyways...took some sominex and made it to London...Was still feeling down but anger at Sprint made me a little better...These asshats sold me a phone...and didn´t tell me that because I have a spending limit on my account, that it could not be activated for use in Europe which was why I bought it in the first place...Anyways...They credit me $100 for the inconvenience and tell me I can return the phone then basically say go jump in a lake...Sprint can eat a fat diseased baby rhinoceros scrotum!
Well the flight to Lisbon was cool...Any I got into my hotel which is in walking distance to the venue for the championships only to find some really snotty treatment...No internet service in the room(it didn´t work), and no alarm clock..normally I wouldn´t care but with the time difference(+6 hours) I am worried about waking up on time...Won´t be staying at the Altis Park again if I come! Should have stuck to the Dom Carlos Park!
I get up the next day to get to the championships to find my weight division and open weight are moved to Sunday...So I watch some good Jiu-Jitsu...Saw Tarsis and Bernardo do very well to be third in the adult black belt open and really thought with some missed referee calls they should have won...Anyways...I get back to the hotel, and had the most succulent veal and sauteed potatoes with proscuitto(sp?) hame ever!!!! Anyways, as I type this I am full as a tick and just worried that I will look stupid tomorrow. I have a tough match for the final of my weight division at about 5am home time! and then around 845 am or so the open weight begins with about 24 people in the bracket...We will see how I do...
It feels really lonely being here and so isolated...Being able to get on the net for a while and now having a calling card helps a bit but it isn´t like home...Beside all that I feel like I am just not where I need to be skills wise and my ribs are killing me still...Through all this, I am praying hard, and having faith...only with God´s help can I make it as I have never felt like this...I fight on...

Though For The Day: Psalms 23: 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Learning From the Student...Aha Moment!

Weight: 222.4

I feel tired...Sore...Banged up...and More alive than I have ever been....In other words, I am back to hard training for the upcoming goals and tournaments. I have really come to the realization that I do not fit anywhere but on the mat. It gives me a way to deal with the problems of everyday life. Even in the difficulties it presents, it does not take the life and joy out of me the way issues of the world, people, and things can do. I do not know why it is this way, but I am happy as at least I do know where I should be. That said I have set about closing up holes in my game which need to be fixed as well as improvement in some areas...I have worked on preventing the sweep from standing in open guard whether by De La Riva or X-Guard or regular push back sweeps...My Balance and stance as well as pressure need to be improved 100 fold to be able to get to where I wish to be...That said...I have also needed to improve on the idea of "aliveness" and not losing position at all...This aliveness is akin to being immersed IN the moment...That allows for the ability to maintain and improve position to give more time to work for the submission, while keeping you safe and preventing yourself being threatened. I have endeavored to work on my safety in closed guard, breaking and passing with extremely heavy pressure while switching from pass to pass relentlessly in order to place pressure upon my opponent until they crack and I take advantage of the end game. Everyone has known me for my guard game and feel they must get to guard before I do to avoid my strong suit. Well through a lot of specific work, I have worked to round out my game to the point the strength of my guard may even be less than the strength of my pass and submit game. With my attributes, I have worked and wished to become able to pass through all of my opponent's defenses (i.e. get to mount), and finish there most often with the palm up/palm up cross choke (eventually working to include the Ezekiel choke), as well as the S-Mount armbar. This not only made necessary an expertise in passing, but also a much better knowledge of the body's mechanics and physiology to be able to exploit leverage to my advantage as this is a very difficult position to hold...I worked diligently on this and felt I was making good progress and through several rolls with very good defensive opponents I have achieved control and the finish on probably 80-90% of the opportunities though this must increase to at least 95%...Well I have found that threatening with both position and varying submission set ups while improving my position allowed me to bring my opponent to the golden decision...This is where they have to give up something...Either give the sub immediately or give better position, then where they are forced to give the choke or the arm but they cannot defend both.
I had a student wish to learn to maintain mount and work the cross choke...In preparing to be able to give him good detail and help in private lessons I worked on getting to that position and finishing with just that on everyone...In doing so, I ended up in the position and I had been having problems because of the proper way to finish the technique causes very bad pain in my surgically repaired hand as it is not healed fully...Well during this time, I remembered what I have learned and been told literally hundreds of times in learning the cross choke, as well as what I have taught....but I had an Aha Moment!...I worked to turn my wrists and in doing so worked in perfect harmony with the proper pull of my forearms and elbows and felt that feeling where everything is soooooo easy as BJJ is meant to be that I KNEW I finally did it correct. I had been doing it and finishing it b/c I could basically overwhelm an opponent and they made mistakes enough to give it to me even though it was not technically perfect. I went to repeat this in practice several times and I finally got it. though I will have to work on it more and ask some who know much more than me to help to improve it even further, I know now I can do this on those of my level and feel confident in it. Was a great feeling to get something right after years of trying. I fight on...

Thought For The Day: Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. -2 Timothy 2:3-7