Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Seminarfest 2009

My string of seminars continues.

I really enjoy teaching seminars, especially when I get to go back and follow up six months or a year down the road to see how everyone's doing with the techniques.

Savannah, GA - Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Savannah, GA at Redline MMA was no exception. I've known head instructor Abe Stem since 2004, when we competed together at one of Anhtony Huss's "Tap Factor" tournaments. Abe is a super nice guy with no formal BJJ training, but an excellent grappling base anyway. The focus of this seminar was jiu jitsu to defeat the wrestler, especially when their goal is simply to hold you down. This seminar was well received, and I got to roll with Abe for about 20 minutes (super tough, and a lot more technical than the last time we rolled) and several of the students.

Bristol, TN - Monday, October 26th, 2009

After a visit with my folks in Columbia, SC, I headed to Bristol, TN to teach at Dee Smith's gym, Absolute Jiu Jitsu. This is like a second home for me, and I jumped right into some intermediate techniques. We were working advanced leglocks and Kimura setups by the end of the seminar. I look forward to returning again soon.

Charlottesville, VA - Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Gordon Emery runs Charlottesville BJJ, about an hour west of my gym. Gordon has a great group of guys in this BJJ Revolution affiliate gym. For his one year anniversary in their own space, he had Eric Burdo and me in to teach a seminar. We covered topics Gordon's guys specifically wanted covered - defense from the guard against punches, wristlocks, leglocks, and taking the back. Afterward, we rolled with everyone in the gi.

West Deptford, NJ - Saturday, November 7th, 2009

This Saturday brought me to Rob Mudrak's NextGen MMA gym. Mudrak is a talented Balance purple belt - turned MMA fighter. It was a real honor to teach my leglock seminar here, as my friends Emily Kwok (IBJJF world champion, Ricardo Almeida black belt) and Rick Migliarese (Relson Gracie black belt) were in attendance, among other brown belt stud grapplers such as Derek Leyrer, Josh Vogel (Sloth!), and purple belts Jimmy Cerra (Hobbit) and Chris Romanchick (Turkey Sandwich). Everyone seemed to pick up on the concepts right away, and I look forward to hearing about lots of hobbled opponents (kidding). Training was fantastic and humbling, especially rolling with Rick Migs, who does things that nobody should be able to do while rolling.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rochester, NY event - October 10th

US Grappling ran our fifth Submision Only tournament in Rochester, NY (actually, Webster, NY) on Saturday, October 10th. The event went really quickly and smoothly. As always, we took some notes and learned a few ways to improve the overall flow of the tournament. I got to know a few of the grapplers in the area, which is really good, since I'll be back up there for a seminar on Saturday, January 9th, and US Grappling will run a referee certification on Sunday, January 10th in Buffalo (a couple hours from Rochester).

Full results are posted.

October's No-gi Pan Ams

These past couple months have taken me all over the place. October 3rd was the no-gi Pan Ams in New York city (Harlem). I lost 2 matches on points - way too much focus on the Kimura gave up mount points and a guard pass in my first match, losing to Marcos Barros (Gracie Barra), and then 2 takedowns in the open division to Aldo Batista. You can see how everyone did at the IBJJF's results page. These matches made me want to win again in competition. I know that might sound kind of odd, but I really wanted to see how what I had been working on in "the lab" (the gym) would play out in competition. OK, cool. I figured a few things out, and now I want to win.

Jon Burnley ("JB") came up with me, and had a couple very good matches to win his division (senior 1 blue belt lightweight)! Huge congrats to JB, bringing home the gold for our team.

Thanks to Alberto "Manto" Marchetti for taking the pic!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sunday open mat brought 2 world champions to my gym - Emily Kwok and Valerie Worthington.

I was really happy to be able to do 2 10-minute rounds with each of them, no-gi, as Emily and I are both getting ready for the no-gi Pan Ams in NY in 2 weekends (Oct 3rd and 4th). Both are always fun to roll with, and they both open up and move a lot without being careless at all.

I also got to roll briefly with Paul (fun) and Ben (tough!), along with my students, including Dax and Chrissy. I may have had a few more 10-minute rounds in there I'm omitting, but overall it was a very productive day of training.

Monday night saw a new student sign up at Revolution. Awesome. The new location should start paying big dividends soon with the student base. Kimura month continues...

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Richmond BJJ's noon class was fun: intro to the Kimura. I covered closed guard stuff exclusively, just working the basics. This is probably going to be my favorite topic to cover for the month of September, right before I compete in the no-gi Pan Ams in NY. Gary Nimmo and new blue belt Mark Maddux trained together, and the rest were relatively new white belts.

Trey has a neck injury, so I taught the evening no-gi class at Five Points.

Back to Richmond BJJ to catch the tail end of advanced gi class, and then to roll with Burdo a couple rounds (he's getting ready for IBJJF's American Nationals, where BJJ Revolution Team holds four consecutive team titles). I rolled a while with Jarrett Church, who is returning rapidly to old form (the baddest dude in the universe). It was a slightly more painful version of the technical rolls we've been having. Great to have him back.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day class

Wednesday 2 PM class - 5 minute rounds, 45 seconds of rest between rounds (boxing timer). Good training. I went over a detail for finishing the armlock off the Kimura grip at the very end. Next up: Muay Thai, then no-gi.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Monday, August 3rd - Free Jiu Jitsu Intro Lesson

Monday at 6 PM is our free introductory lesson to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu theory and techniques.

Ever thought about trying a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class? Here's a chance to try out a free lesson!

An introduction to the fundamental concepts of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, including the basic positions and overall strategy, as well as positions and submissions will be covered in this one hour class.

Please show up about 15 minutes early to sign the waiver and meet the instructor.

Our regular class schedule can be found here.

Meet the instructor here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fightworks Podcast interview; open mat training; Grapplemania NC results

The current episode of the Fightworks Podcast features Ryan Hall and me sharing our thoughts on the Submission-Only tournament concept, training as an instructor, competition techniques, and more. Check it out:

Grapplemania NC's results are posted:

U.S. Grappling ran a very efficient local tournament. Check out BJJ Revolution instructor Trey Martin's brown belt match from the event:

Finally, open mat training at the gym was really fun today. I spent the last 18 minutes doing a super long no-gi round with my purple belt, Vince. It was really productive, and made me look forward to the no-gi Pan Ams in October. Can't wait.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Submission-Only IV (Richmond) last minute info

Today is your last chance to pre-register online and save money and time. Online registration closes at 8 PM tonight:

You can weigh in Friday night for the whole weekend at:

Revolution BJJ:

2540 Gayton Centre Dr.
Richmond, VA 23238

You can also register to compete at Revolution BJJ, but you don't get the pre-registration rates. However, you can use your credit or debit card to pay in person now! We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. This goes for registration Saturday (8-10 AM at the venue) and Sunday (9-10 AM at the venue) as well as Friday night weigh ins (7-9 PM at Revolution BJJ).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Muay Thai/BJJ - Friday

Friday night's Muay Thai class focused on boxing. Scott showed a couple relatively basic combinations, and then we did some light sparring (boxing only) at the end. Mitchell signed up (15 year old), so that's always a good thing for a new, growing program.

BJJ was a pretty small class, so we rolled for 9-minute rounds to warm up (several students are getting ready for Submission-Only 4 here in Richmond). I sincerely hope Big Mark follows through and destroys all the other over 220 pound blue belts and then murders the absolute division. If he doesn't, it's probably because he decided last minute not to compete. Bjorn will do well at 139 white belt and beginner no-gi. Maltby should do well too, at around 145 pounds. They're making good sparring partners, now that Maltby has reduced his elbows and knees to once per round.

Between the three Richmond gyms plus Charlottesville, our presence is going to be strong at this tournament. I hope the majority of folks who say they're competing end up doing it. U.S. Grappling will break out our new mats for this one! Can't wait.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Back to blogging

Whew. OK, so I'm back to semi-regular blogging. I hope to have something every day once again.

I took ten days off last month because of ringworm! This is every good instructor's worst nightmare. Ringworm is a fungal infection that's incredibly common among grapplers. The key to not spreading ringworm is first and foremost not to roll when you have it, and second to tell your instructor and classmates that you have it.

That's behind me now, finally. Suffice it to say I will never borrow a gi again (I did in L.A. last month). Take a lesson from this and educate yourself so that you avoid ringworm in the future.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY

Lots of women were still in town from the open mat the previous day downtown. Open mat was hopping.

Alaina, Elaine, Rosie, Chrissy, and maybe 6 other women were there to train, along with the dudes- Vince, Dax, MikeByrd and Brian Linzy. I want to say I rolled for 3 1/2 hours or so.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Thursday - I was a little under the weather, so I just taught and then rolled a bit. Showed arm drag to tane otoshi, then everyone sparred on the feet, and then a footlock on the ground.

Friday - Muay Thai - elbows and knees. Good warmup and endurance round. BJJ- recap of the grip strip to tane otoshi, but with sumi gaeshi added, and then opening the guard with the lapels, logsplitter-style. Alaina Hardie came with Chrissy and Brian.

Saturday - women's open mat was going on at Richmond BJJ, so my class was light - Dax, Bjorn, Chris Lombard. Grip strip to tane otoshi, o goshi counter to tane otoshi, and then o goshi combo to tane otoshi. Lots of rolling to warm up and after drilling.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Back training in RVA

Tuesday- Richmond BJJ - no-gi. I was glad to get back to training. Burdo showed a basic arm drag to the Russian and a couple back attacks. I rolled for about half an hour after class, maybe 45 minutes. It was really good to be back out there training.

Wednesday - Revolution BJJ. Rolled a few times with Gordon (owner, Charlottesville BJJ) and Tommy, who seems motivated once again. All told, there were about 8 students for the afternoon session, so it was pretty light and an excellent workout once again. Muay Thai was pretty uneventful- relatively intense workout. No-gi at 7 PM - no Vince (his daughter graduated from high school). I showed a low single and the logsplitter guard break. Rolled until about 10 PM.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Good pics of Parker going for the armlock taken by my friend Kenny from

Sunday at the Mundial was a long day. Rudy and I got there at 10 AM as the first quarterfinal black belt matches were starting. Felipe Costa won his first match, but lost his second. Check out the semi-live play by play I did on U.S. Grappling's Twitter page.

The black belt finals were almost all disappointing, with notable exceptions:

  • Roger Gracie, who finished his opponent with a choke from the mount, just as he had done for his other 8 opponents
  • Braulio Estima, who finished his opponent with a triangle
  • Lana Stefanac, who became the first Mundial double gold medalist at black belt
  • Valerie Worthington, who's a good friend of mine and who faced a very tough Penny Thomas in the finals, ultimately losing to Penny via choke in a very competitive match

Other than that, it was way too much strategy and not enough jiu jitsu. Boo.
Still, these guys are phenomenal at what they do, and I learned a lot just by watching.

Sunday night, Johnny Ramirez invited me to New Breed to train. I accepted, and we got to roll. Johnny remains incredible at jiu jitsu, and our training was a blast, as always. I also had the opportunity to train with Kurt, a tall, big purple belt from Oregon Johnny kept calling "Skeletor." Kurt was a lot of fun to roll with because he was able to shut down most of what I tried to do, being really tall and good at jiu jitsu and what not.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Big Ol' Mundial Write-up


I got on my plane in Richmond (standby; very exciting) at 6:30 AM and stepped off at LAX at 11:15 AM west coast time. Kenny Savercool and I split a cab to the venue - $80. Ouch, but whatever.

Snake was first up. His division (Galo) had nine guys in it, which meant 3 to win for Snake for gold. Snake's first match went pretty well - Son was able to slow down enough to pass the guard and establish side control. As his opponent tried to turn away, Snake got his back and finished with a bow and arrow choke. Nice!

Next match was a lot tougher. Snake was down 9-4 with just 30 seconds to go when he got the kid's back. This meant he was still down 9-8. Snake got the bow and arrow choke once again, and the clock ticked down... 5.... 4.... 3... 2.... 1..... tap!! The kid tapped immediately before the whistle signified that time was up. Holy crap.

Finals match - Snake was taken down and mounted by a kid from Rey Diogo's gym, another Carlson Gracie team gym. It's cool that two Carlson guys closed it out, but would have been a little cooler if Snake had won. Still, silver at the Mundial is not bad at all.

Devin was up next - pena, or featherweight. Devin lost on points to the guy who took 2nd, Takahashi (I think). The kid had a great guard and was able to sweep Devin and eventually pass his gaurd. Tough draw for his first match. Devin fought hard, though.

Parker and Tommy were both in lightweight (leve). Parker won 3 matches, subbing 2 guys (triangle and armlock from the triangle) before losing a close match 2-0. Tommy won and then lost 2-0 to the eventual champion, Chris from Alliance.

Good day for our guys overall. We had Korean BBQ to finish the day, and I gained five pounds.

Friday was a bit more relaxed for me. Ryan Hall ended up taking 3rd in his weight division, which Zak Maxwell went on to win in dramatic fashion (omoplata to the back to lapel choke). Somehow I managed to spend pretty much all day at the venue anyway.

Saturday saw Valerie Worthington winning her 2 matches in her weight division, setting up Sunday's absolute finals. There were a lot more great matches I'll write about later, maybe.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mundial - pics of Snake and Tommy

Wednesday before the Worlds

Day class - small turnout since many of the hardcore Wednesday day crew are already in or on their way to L.A. for the worlds, including Tommy, Devin, Snake, Ryan, and Seph, among other semi-regulars. I got to roll with Gordon several times, and to give him a little advice here and there. Gordon is very talented, but I can still help him with a lot of conceptual stuff. Acie is another monster purple belt who is always fun to roll with, and Acie and I had a good round or two. I think there were seven students total for this class, probably the lightest turnout all year so far.

Muay Thai - eating/stuffing the hook to throwing a knee. I love this stuff. Not great at not flaring my elbow out, but I'm getting better.

No-gi - low single takedown and opening with the logsplitter. I had my ear drained earlier (thanks, Antoni!) so I didn't roll at night.

Tuesday no-gi

Burdo showed some cool stuff from both arms under pass defense (one ending with a triangle and one with a crucifix/turtle control). I rolled with Dave and Scott, helping them get ready for their fights, and several other students. Not a very eventful BJJ day for me, as my car was getting fixed earlier.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New month, new theme

Monday - private lesson, then basics class- headlock/kesa gatame escapes on the ground. I love this series - it's so practical for self-defense, but also for grappling against wrestlers who are new to BJJ and "tough guys" who walk into the gym with a point to prove (and an ego in need of deflation).

7 PM class - takedown drills and closed guard opening. This is stuff everyone needs to work on but nobody wants to do on their own, myself included. This will be the theme for the month, but the takedowns will be from a very simple, small pool of techniques, limited completely to double and single legs and the arm drag/belt grab position.

Open mat Sunday

Open mat at Revolution BJJ provided me with a good opportunity to work on the stuff from the seminar, especially the rocking chair position and a couple lapel chokes. I actually got Vince with a brabo choke (set up from the knee cut pass). Vince is pretty tough to choke!

Tommy and Parker are on point right now. They compete Thursday at the Mundial, so I'm looking forward to seeing them tear up the division. If Sunday is any indiction, they'll do great- it may be the largest division ever in a jiu jitsu tournament - here's the full list.

Rodrigo Medeiros

BJJ Revolution Team co-founder Rodrigo Medeiros, 4X black belt Pan Ams champion and Carlson Gracie black belt since 1996, came to Richmond BJJ to conduct a seminar. This was maybe my 20th time training with Rodrigo, and his fourth or fifth seminar in Richmond.

Rodrigo's seminar broke down into three simple parts: opening and passing the closed guard, side control lapel chokes, and half guard on the bottom ("rocking chair" position). Rodrigo's seminar was perfect for me - nothing was brand new except a few details of the positions, so I retained all the information well and I'll be able to bring at least a good portion to my students.

Arthur Ruff, one of Rodrigo's older black belts, was there to assist. Arthur lives in Ohio now, but he started a gym in Arizona called the "Ruff House" (get it?) a few years ago that's still running.

Friday, May 29, 2009

MMA, Muay Thai, BJJ - Friday

Dave "Loco Pony" Charbonneau (sp?) and Scott Eckert are getting ready for their MMA figths in a few weeks, so we did some light MMA sparring. I like this stuff. I'm not great at the clinching, but I'm starting to time catching kicks and stuff like that. The ground stuff is really good because it "keeps you honest," so to speak.

Muay Thai - absorbing the kick and going into a combination of your own. I've got to stop dropping my hands when throwing a lead hook, but otherwise, I think I got the combo pretty well.

BJJ - light class. Cool. Rolled to warm up, several rounds. Tommy competes in a week, so I'm pleased to report that he feels as ready as ever to rip seven guys apart on the way to a gold medal in LA. Kevin Santi, an old friend, stopped in to train as well. Glenn and Big Jus partnered for technique, and I got to roll three or four times with everyone there.

Thursday - Richmond BJJ noon

Noon class downtown was fun. Another 14 or 15 person day class, plus an intro. Basic stuff to warm up, then high bite to sweep to armlock, then stack counter to belly-down finish. Rolled a few times with Dax at the end and maybe a little more (can't remember).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wednesday competition prep, and other stuff

Wednesday's 2 PM class (actually gets started around 1:30 PM) was once again a great workout. I may consider changing the name of the class to "competition training" or "advanced gi class." It's not an easy class, and I love the way the flow works - there's no resting between rounds except to find another partner. Water breaks are assigned every five rounds or so, so students learn to pace themselves.

Gordon Emery came down from Charlottesville again and brought Nick (Sponge). It's really great to train with Gordon and see his progress. I was able to give him a couple tips on improving 2 or 3 specific situations, and he was able to press the pace and beat me up a little. Parker and Tommy got to train with Gordon as well, which is really important for them. Gordon's their size, and they compete next weekend. They're looking good. Snake is continuing to work on smashing from the top and staying there. He's starting to figure it out.

Klint from Mechanicsville Martial Arts came in again. Klint continues to be one of my best training partners. We can flow quite a bit when we're rolling without turning it up much, but both of us figures things out and gets a lot out of the roll. MikeByrd came with. All told, there were probably 20 people on the mats again.

I ran the Muay Thai class as a cardio intensive workout since Cornell is recovering from an eye injury (he'll be back training tomorrow, but needs to sit tight for a couple days). I don't mind doing this from time to time as long as the classes are small (not a problem this time).

No-gi: surprisingly small class for a Wednesday night. Vince and I had a 20 minute round at the end, and I rolled with Parker, Justin, and Jason (who's back from being tied up by work and/or other various excuses). Arm-in guillotine and the Sao Paulo pass.

Tuesday travels

Headed up to Fifty/50 BJJ to train with Ryan, Seph, Luis P. Klint, MikeByrd, and Snake came along for the ride. 2 hours or so of non-stop 8 minute rounds. Lots of these guys are getting ready for the Mundial next weekend, so I'm glad I can help them get ready and get some really good training in myself.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just another not-so-manic Monday

Private lesson at 4:30, then basics class (rolling to warm up, then headlock escapes). Group class: brabo with the gi from closed guard. Mean stuff. Ahhhh.

Good rolling with Vince, Brian, Chrissy, Big Mark, and a few others.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

In-house team tournament

My gym hosted our team's third in-house team tournament. Attendance was crushed this time by Memorial Day weekend, but we had some great matches and the 25 or so competitors had fun and got a little more competition experience (some people's first ever).

Tommy and Fred had a really good match in the blue absolute, with Fred hitting a deep half guard sweep (he's been working on that) to even the score at 2-2. Fred was able to finish with an Ezekiel choke for the win! Tommy and Parker went 1-1, with both guys learning a lesson on strategy. This bodes really well for the worlds.

Lo vs Tyler - Chrissy on the scoring table with spectators in the background.

Devin and Tommy - Devin will represent the team at featherweight (pena - up to 154 with the gi) and Tommy will represent at lightweight (leve - up to 167.5 with the gi). This match was good for both guys.

Dax is a beast who will be good once he learns to relax. He's physically strong and fast, and he learns pretty quickly.

Burdo and I. The atmosphere was very positive, and everyone who competed seemed to have a really good time, getting valuable experience.

Saturday noon class

Revolution BJJ - my gym. Noon class brought visitors from Winchester - George Wehby, who has reffed numerous times for U.S. Grappling, and his student, Eddie. George is a brown belt who runs MMA Institute of Winchester. I gave Trey a heads up that George would be there, so we did a lot of rolling (me, Trey, George, and Thomas from YJJ RVA). Karl and Scott Saslaw drilled basics while we were rolling, then joined us. Good rolling.

The UFC was a better card than I can remember for a long time. Lyoto Machida beat Rashad Evans with superior everything. Matt Hughes and Matt Serra had a war - I saw it as Hughes being way better at MMA than Serra, but Serra really, really wanting to win and dedicating his life to beating Hughes. He came damn close. Grappling was... meh, as per usual, this time around.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Trained with Klint, MikeByrd, Todd Brooks, and a couple other guys at Klint's gym during the morning. Abmar was supposedly coming out, but he had to head back to northern Virgina instead.

Muay Thai: 6 PM. Focus once again was on kicks. Lots and lots of kicks.

Jiu jitsu: 7 PM. Full class on a Friday; pretty weird. Only 2 blue belts, though - Chrissy and Justin. We worked on the closed guard X-choke series (finishing with the armlock). Situational sparring, then almost everyone left (I just rolled with Brian Linzy, Brian Maltby, and Chrissy).

Abmar Barbosa

Thursday day class at Richmond BJJ was packed (for a day class, anyway). I covered basic cross chokes from the guard and an armlock, and had everyone spar situationally. After class, I rolled with the usual crew, plus Curt, who is sticking around at the end of classes every time. He'll be good if his level of dedication remains. Parker and Dax were as game as ever.

Thursday night brought Abmar Barbosa, multiple time Brasiliero champion, 2007 Pan Am brown belt absolute champion, and now one of the up and coming world class black belts. Abmar's instructor and team is 2007 ADCC absolute champion Robert Drysdale.

Abmar showed some really cool stuff at his seminar at Yamasaki RVA. Afterward, there was a review of the techniques where we drilled them all. I rolled with Abmar for ten minutes (always humbling), where he pretty much played with me the whole time and worked on some things.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Another long day at Revolution BJJ. Day training brought Gordon from Charlottesville BJJ along with two of his students, Nick and Cynthia Myers. Gordon continues to be very technical and a great training partner for me. Nick is a solid blue belt who's tough and smart enough to adapt quickly and learn. Cynthia is a very tough and technical blue belt, and a great training partner for Liz and Lo.

Muay Thai - worked on the kicks. Gotta get that hip into it.

No-gi - closed guard when your opponent stands. Good basic stuff (push sweep and star sweep) and a kneebar setup. Rolled with Vince to close out the day. I was mighty tired at the end of the day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Day: Noon class at Richmond BJJ. Burdo showed some good details on - guess what - closed guard basics, and then a back take that Carlson Gracie Jr showed in MD the previous week. This stuff fits really well in my jiu jitsu game. I rolled with Gary Nimmo for the first time in a while (beast 185 blue belt), and Dax twice, Ferguson, Dave Phinney, and Burdo (I think that was it).

Night: No-gi at RBJJ. Closed guard guillotine (standard and arm-in) to warm up, then back take to RNC and armlock (with the variation Vince likes to use to finish). Rolled with a couple guys who were in town with the military who apparently kinda sorta train somewhere, and Ivan, who is tough, and Liz, who is tiny. I wanna say I rolled with a few more people, but it's tough to say.


Jiu jitsu. Private lesson at 4:30 PM, basics class at 6 PM (had James from Patrick Henry try a class). Very basic closed guard stuff, including a few details on the Kimura and hip sweep, plus the triangle from there.

7 PM class: closed guard basics to warm up followed by cross-grip stuff from closed guard (one of my favorite series). Rolling: Tommy, Devin, Greg Hoder, Vince, etc. I probably got about 45 minutes in at the end, which isn't bad, but it's not ideal for me, either. Wednesday and Thursday will be a lot better this week, though.

Referee certification (U.S. Grappling)

Sunday was a very good day for our tournament. At noon, we had the meet and greet for the referee candidates (some have reffed for us before and are just brushing up, but some are very new to reffing). We exhaustively went over the rules, scoring scenarios, legal and illegal techniques for each division, and the refs scored two video matches on paper. Finally, it was time for live reffing. Every ref made mistakes, but rose to the occasion and learned a great deal from the clinic.

It doesn't get better than the six hours we spent on Sunday to prepare referees for the live experience of reffing.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

3 hours of Muay Thai with Jarrett Church

Excellent seminar today by Jarrett. The mAn knows his martial arts. Not only is Jarrett a BJJ Revolution black belt (got his belt from Julio, same as me), and really, really good at jiu jitsu, he's amazing at Muay Thai kickboxing, and he knows how to share his knowledge with a class. We worked lots of clinchwork today, an area of Muay Thai where I feel relatively comfortable.

We finished with 20 minutes of clinch sparring with burpees in between rounds. Tough workout, and a great seminar.

Friday night

No MMA training tonight, since original Richmond BJJ Muay Thai instructor Jarrett Church was to do a MT seminar downtown tomorrow.

The energy level in class was really high. Slipping punches is becoming one of my favorite things to work on, and I'm starting to get it - just a bend of the knees and a pivot, no dropping my head at all. Endurance was tough but merciful.

BJJ rolling: Tommy brought his brother Bobby back in. I think he'll sign up. Tommy is continuing his tight game play. I'm confident he'll bring home a medal from the worlds.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday - Richmond BJJ noon

Once again, the day class at Richmond BJJ was hopping. A dozen people in your gym for a noon class is pretty encouraging. The energy level is high, and it makes you happy to be doing jiu jitsu on a sunny afternoon.

Closed guard - De la Riva's sweep from five years ago, and how to open the closed guard correctly, then situational sparring. Devin's knee got hurt, so that sucks. Hope he's OK. Everyone rolled well, made lots of mistakes, learned from it. Curt was there, so I rolled with him at the end of class, along with Dax and Parker. Parker tapped me with an armlock. That's a good sign that he's getting ready for the worlds.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


This is my gym on a Wednesday, during a more sparse moment (thanks for taking the picture, Klint!). K-Rad (Klint Radwani) from Mechanicsville Martial Arts (YJJ RVA) was there, along with Ryan Hall, Seph Smith, Jen Flannery, Fredson Duff, Eddie McCummisky, Parker, Tommy, Thomas from YJJ, and a smattering of others. I got to train with nearly everyone, and several more than once. At the end of the workout, I showed a basic setup from closed guard to the back (from the wristlock).

Muay Thai - switch kick. Grrr... that's all I'm going to say for now. Once I've been doing it for a few years, I'm sure it'll be natural...

No-gi - had an intro, so the technique was basic - straight armlock to triangle, and the shoulder lock/straight armlock variations. Worked with Parker on leglocks afterward (read as: tapped him a lot while I still can). He'll be very good with them in about a year, I think. Brian Maltby continues to improve... he's still spazzy, but starting to relax as he has an idea of what to do from each position. Bjorn is tiny and will be really good in another year or so.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday and Tuesday

Monday night:
Revolution BJJ. Home sweet gym.

4:30 PM private lesson, 6 PM basics (taking the back and finishing), and 7 PM class (closed guard). Rolled with Devin and Tommy, getting them ready for the worlds and giving them a few tips, and Greg Hoder, Vince, and several others.

Tuesday night, I paid Trey's gym a visit. Trey was banged up, but I got to roll with Russ "Meat Blanket" Helm and a few of Trey's white belts, including Joss, who is going to be really good, I think. I stopped by Richmond BJJ to roll no-gi with Dave and Scott (getting ready to fight) and some other students.

Monday, May 11, 2009

U.S. Grappling rules: straight footlock legality

Chrissy took some pics a few weeks ago for use on the U.S. Grappling rules page. I'll do my best do describe some of the submission legality and point scoring issues we shot.

The legality of the "footlock," or straight ankle lock, is perhaps the most common area of confusion in all of BJJ and submission grappling rules. Below are several examples of legal methods by which to apply the footlock vs illegal methods.


Note: you must fall to the same side as the leg you are attacking.

Note: my foot rests on my partner's hip and my toes point outward.

Crossing your feet outside is OK.

Finishing belly-down is OK.

Finishing the cross-body ankle lock is OK, provided you fall to the same side as the foot you are attacking.


Note: the plane of my partner's hip is breached. This is called "reaping the knee," and jeopardizes the safety of his knee. This is never allowed in the gi, and is only allowed in no-gi advanced divisions.

This is illegal. You must fall to the same side of the leg you are attacking. This is never legal with the gi, and is legal for no-gi advanced only.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday open mat (5/10/09)

Klint Radwani stopped by once again to roll, along with MikeByrd "the MikeByrd" MikeByrd. Rolling with Klint is always good for me. Today, Klint beat me up a little. I was playing very lazy, but that's good to do with high level guys sometimes, and it was a fun roll. MikeByrd continues to improve.

Vince is always a pleasure and a challenge, and still remains my top student. He rolls more like me than anyone else.

Tyler from YJJ was there to train as well as Big Jus, Dax, Curt (new), and Daniel from downtown (tiny).

Here's Cobrinha vs Rafael Mendes in a very strategic match:

Saturday's tournament - Copa NoVA

We (U.S. Grappling) handled bracketing for the Copa NoVA, a local tournament in northern Virginia. The tournament was.... long. Brackets were done by 11:15 AM, though, so we definitely did our part par excellence.

Big Jus had his first competition experience as a blue belt, losing his first match by choke, then coming back to win his second by passing the guy's guard with like 30 seconds left. Good experience for sure! It's great when my students can walk away from a tournament with at least one loss as well as one win. Justin brought home a silver for his effort.

Jay Rollins from downtown had his first competition (apart from the team comp last December). Jay doesn't know much, and he's only been consistent downtown for about 3 months now. He notched up 3 wins, though, and definitely learned a lot (even in the middle of the matches! Great job listening). Jay ended up taking 3rd in his gi division.

It was cool being able to focus so much on coaching for a change. Since all we were doing was brackets, I was able to do this. I was especially glad to coach Cynthia in her seven matches. She did great, tapping all but one girl, and "avenged" her only loss of the day with a nice heel hook. The apple does not fall far from the tree, it seems. I'm proud of her.

Friday: MMA/grappling, MT, BJJ

I just helped out and rolled this time for MMA training. Gene and Scott tired each other out on the feet, then I rolled with them a little before Muay Thai.

Class was pretty tough, with a couple non-endurance-rounds (sic) that were tough. The hook punch still eludes me a little.

Jiu jitsu: Tommy is on point. He should medal at the worlds. Bjorn is really coming along. As a smaller white belt, that's got to be tough.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thursday - Richmond BJJ noon

Solid afternoon turnout. Dave "Loco Pony" Charbonneau and I rolled a couple rounds at the end of class. Dave is getting ready to fight in June, so it's good to watch him up his strategy and intensity a little in training. He's going to do really well.

I worked from the closed guard once again, this time focusing on a wristlock to set up the overhook control position. We had a brand new dude, Cody's roommate. He picked up on things and by the end of class was turning Gary Nimmo's head purple with his triangle. Eddie McCummisky is in town and got to train. He's fun to roll with, even though he's a rusty new-ish purple belt.

Nighttime: U.S. Grappling strategy meeting (or something else that sounds equally important).

Thursday, May 7, 2009

mAn day

Wednesday (mAn day) brought the usual day class: 2 hours of rolling non-stop (six minute rounds with 30 seconds between each round) followed by brief technique at the end based on what everyone needs the most help with. I spent 20 minutes at the beginning with Thomas from YJJ, then everyone showed up - Gordon from Charlottesville BJJ (head instructor there, purple belt) came and brought his new blue belt, Daniel. I got to roll with Gordon four times. Gordon has a lot of talent, and plays a very different game than I'm used to, so it was really good training with him. Daniel is really good on the feet as well, and we did a round at the end starting on the feet. Snake, Devin, Antoni, Lo, Bryan, and a few others rounded out the class.

Muay Thai came very soon, right after I picked up the Diamond State Games posters. They look sharp. Cornell's class: lead foot jab, then catching the lead foot jab and countering. Foot jab endurance round. I likes me some foot jab.

No-gi class: closed guard focus continued with the high bite armlock and defense against the stack. Chris Lombard and Brian Maltby are coming along, although the "new Merrett" has a long way to go towards calming down. Lendo was there again, and Vince and I had a really good, fun round to close things out.

No-gi downtown

Trained downtown at Richmond BJJ. We did no-gi. Burdo showed a reverse omoplata finish that I enjoy using but I'm not very good at yet. Rolled with Burdo, Cynthia, Jarrod, and a bunch of new guys for a good, light Tuesday workout.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Another Monday at my gym. Private @ 4:30 PM, then basics class. Lots of rolling this time, since the class was small, with an informal question and answer session along the way.

7 PM class: closed guard focus. Light, basic drills to warm up, technique, and lots of rolling (Vince, Cynthia, Tommy, Devin, Justin, Antoni, and Karl).

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday open mat (5/3/09)

Sunday's open mat at Revolution BJJ was, like always, a fun one.

I got to train with Russ (brown belt), Vince, Cynthia (my girlfriend, blurple belt), Chrissy, Brain, Lo, Dax, Bryan Moore, Parker, and a few others: Gi for about an hour and a half, then no-gi for about an hour.

I've been working on the above entry into 50/50 that Cobrinha uses to sweep Guilherme Mendez. Got it a few times on Sunday, but it still needs a little work. I really like what he does with the omoplata (cross sleeve entry) into the leg entanglement.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday's tournament

The Pendergras Classic no-gi tournament went really well. USG handled the bracketing, and the first matches were underway a little after 11 AM. The last matches were at 5 PM.

Parker won his advanced division, tapping a brown belt and a tough dude along the way. He was beaten by a very game and experienced brown belt named Jake Whitfield in the absolute division. I've fought Jake before, and he's a really nice kid, very technical. We always had fun rolls, and I'm sure that Parker will beat him eventually.

Trey beat Bumpkin in his division, then his knee sort of wonked out while he was grappling with Brandon Garner, a very technical brown belt from N.C.

Brian (Brain) had a couple pretty tough matches against Lamonte Tyler (brown belt) and Brandon Tackett (blue?) from Team ROC, who both were eventually able to tap Brian. He went straight from bracketing to the matches, though, with no warm up, and fought far more experienced guys, so props to him for competing and getting the experience.

I only had one match with a tough wrestler kid from Greenville. I played around a lot in the match, getting the Kimura grip and actually kind of getting a verbal submission, but letting the grip go. To Jeremy's credit, he did get my back briefly (I made sure he had both hooks in, doing a Rick Migliarese-style straight armlock from the back). I escaped and finished him with a banana split, so I felt OK about the match.

All in all, U.S. Grappling (Brian, Chrissy, and I) did a great job keeping the tournament going. We'll need more mats for the next one for sure.

Friday: MMA/grappling, MT, BJJ

I decided on Thursday that I was going to compete in Saturday's Pendergrass Tournament run by us (U.S. Grappling), so I didn't do any MMA sparring, but rather rolled with the guys (Scott, Gene, Thomas, Devin). Scott had us do more knees from blocking a right hook (plumb) and then a light endurance round. Jiu jitsu was all about rolling with Tommy, Devin, and Lendo, with a top secret ninja death technique at the end.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Noon class; getting ready for the weekend

Downtown class at Richmond BJJ was sparse due to final exams. This gave me an excellent opportunity to go over some basics with a couple of the newer white belts there, and to refine a few details with Parker. Afterward I rolled a couple rounds with Parker and once with one of the new white belts. It was a nice light workout after Wednesday's 6 or so hours of training.

At night, I met with Brian and Chrissy to plan for upcoming U.S. Grappling tournaments. The meeting was great, and we got a lot done. Short entry today.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gi, Muay Thai, No-gi

1:30 PM: gi training. Structured six minute rounds with Ryan Hall, Seph Smith, Brendan Raedy, Acie, Parker, Devin, Liz, Jen Flannery, Lo, Jose, and others. Great training again. I showed an attack from side control after 2 hours of rolling.

Muay Thai: knees! Yes! I love the clinch/plumb position. It makes a lot of sense to me as a grappler to control the guy's head and throw knees easily. Cornell didn't kill us with the endurance round today, and I'm not complaining.

No-gi: Vince was late. Weird! I had everyone warm up with the usual half-guard drills, then showed some more deep "floating" half guard stuff (2 entries and 2 basic sweeps), and then watched everyone spar with it. It's pretty impressive to see how easily the sweeps come once the position is acheived. I rolled with Big Jus, Lenny, Brian Maltby, maybe one or two others (or maybe not), and Vince (10 minute superfight death round). Vince is really, really hard to submit with upper body stuff. I worked Kimura grip stuff to death, but he Houdinied out of it again and again. Vince = awesome.

Richmond BJJ stuff (gi and no-gi)

I rolled at Richmond BJJ's noon class (Burdo was nice enough to let me roll, as I was out running errands). I trained twice with Eric, once with Dax, and once with Acie. I went over a little positional stuff with Eric (top secret ninja techniques I've been working on) after rolling.

I came back in time for the no-gi class at 7 PM (no more afternoon classes... boo... but this is a really good thing for Eric since he was doing way too many classes per week, something like 20). Eric went over a closed guard high bite attack for an armlock (nice details), and then a sweep when the guy defended the armlock (belly down finish and then grip breaks). I rolled with Jared Aune, super nice and tough blue belt, Scott Eckert, Liz, and a few others at the end of class. Nice light workout for today (tough training tomorrow). I also worked with Liz a little on an attack from the mount I picked up from Rob Kahn, who has a big head and who is good at jiu jitsu.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Justin = blue belt

Monday night's classes held a private lesson with Lo followed by BJJ Basics at 6 PM (reverse kesa gatame to mount). Monday's 7 PM gi class followed up with deep "floating" half guard stuff. Most students got it by the end of class; some will get it later.

I gave Justin "Big Jus" Kornfeld his blue belt tonight. In case you don't already know Justin, if you ever train at my gym or come to U.S. Grappling tournaments consistently, you will soon. Justin is always there, training consistently, competing, and helping out wherever we ask him to at our tournament. He's not the most gifted athletically by any means, but through consistency and hard work, I've watched Justin turn into someone I'm now proud to call a blue belt. This is only the fourth blue belt I've given out, so it's kind of a big deal for me. I hold my students to a high standard for promotion.

Justin tapped his 3 guys with the same submission from the same setup on Saturday. This was the perfect time for his promotion, and I'm sure he'll remember it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Open mat at Fifty/50

On the way back (kinda) from Winchester, we stopped by Arlington to train at Fifty/50. The women had an open mat at noon, and dudes were welcome after 1:30 PM. I got there around 1:45 and rolled a bunch with Ryan Hall and David Jacobs. Training with Rock was a ton of fun, and I haven't rolled with him for a couple years. We're both very relaxed when training nowadays, but both working on various things while training, so the result is just like I wish it was nearly all the time - like a lab.

I also got to roll with Hobbit for the first time. He's really short. He apologized for rolling crappily afterward, and had to leave early. I hope the little bit of advice I gave him helped out. I like Hobbit.

I rolled with Arial and Eoin as well, both blue belts with Yamasaki, and Jennie "Tigers," a brown belt under Gustavo Machado whom I've known for about six years now. We had some fun training, and I tried to help Jennie out with some simple but practical advice.

Submisison-Only 3

We (U.S. Grappling) ran our third submission-only, no time limits, no points tournament on Saturday. We got to the venue before 7 AM, got the mats and registration area set up, and opened up the weigh ins at 8 AM. Weigh ins officially ended at 10 AM, and the first brackets were printing at 10:45 AM - terrific! We got the matches going right at 11 AM.

Right off the bat, we had our longest match of the day between Micah Crouse and Tim Koren in the advanced no-gi 159.9 division- 3 hours! Both guys withdrew due to exhaustion at the three hour mark, and were unable to continue in their divisions.

Notable performances: Ryan Hall won the 159 division and the advanced absolute division, finishing Rob Mudrak with a heel hook from the 50/50 position (I know - shocker). Mudrak had a great day himself, winning 11 matches and losing only in the advanced absolute finals.

My student Tommy had the second longest match of the day at about an hour and a half. He faced Firas from Tony Passos's school. These guys had rolled the Wednesday before at my gym (and I rolled with Firas a couple times). In the end, Firas was able to finish Tommy with an armlock in a transition. Tommy won his weight division with the gi, which bodes well for his training for the Mundial in June.

Devin won against a tough Mike Troxel in his blue belt division, and then lost in the finals to take 2nd. We've got some things to work on before June, but Devin is game, and is always improving.

Big Jus did great, winning 3 matches by Kimura in his white belt 30+ division.

JB, Sean Kelley, and several other students had some good days, winning a bunch of matches and taking their lumps as well.

Alaina Hardie finished a match with a kneebar. She owes me $100 for that, since I showed her how to finish it Thursday night.

Results are already posted here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

MMA, Muay Thai, BJJ

Once again, we met at my gym at 5 to do some MMA sparring at my gym in preparation for Scott's MMA fight in June. It was challenging, but a lot of fun trying to close the distance and bring the fight to the ground, and then trying to land some light strikes on the feet.

Muay Thai class was easier when I didn't think about having to run a tournament the following day. Scott showed a couple good basic combinations, we drilled them, and then did a double endurance round. Whew.

Jiu jitsu was super informal. Several studnets were getting ready to compete the next day, and it was super nice outside to boot. I worked half guard drills, then did a little basic Q&A with the students. Sometimes the small classes are very productive, almost like semi-privates for the students there.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Leglocks at night, jiu jitsu by day

During the noon class at Richmond BJJ, I expanded on last week's butterfly half guard theme. It's interesting to teach once a week at Eric's gym because I have to consolidate a week's worth of theme into one day there. Typically, I stick with very basic stuff, but this time got to be a little more advanced since I went over the very basic stuff (guard recovery and a very simple sweep) last week.

I rolled with Chris Ferguson, Parker, and Dax. Ferguson is getting more aggressive, which is good for him. He's technical, but lets people push him around a little much when rolling. Parker is still in competition mode, fresh off his 3rd place finish at the Pan Ams (I refuse to stop calling it that). It's good to roll with him nearly every day, sometimes several times a day. Dax is really strong. Once he calms down a little (white belt), he'll be fine.

During the afternoon and early evening, I got the truck to load the mats, then met up with Big Jus, Bryan, and Aaric to load the mats up. The excitement of the readers of this blog must be hard to contain. I am, of course, looking forward to running our third Submission-Only torunament on Saturday. I just wish we had magic mats that transported themselves to the venue and set themselves up.

At 9 PM, I gave a private lesson to Alaina Hardie, who wanted to work on her leglocks a bit. Alaina has had some success in competition using 10th Planet techniques like rubber guard and half-guard lockdown, so I hope that the lesson helped round out her game.

Here's a video of some of Alaina's matches (before my private lesson, so they're only going to be so good):

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Tough day of training. The gi session at my gym was just plain awesome. I got word from Tony Passos that he was going to be able to come down and train around 1 PM, so I met Tony, his student Firas (blue belt) and his friend Vicente Junior.

Vicente was incredible - about 135 pounds of technical De la Riva black belt knowledge. Vicente was light as a feather as he passed my guard, took my back, swept me, etc, but he also totally let me work. The guy is clearly on another level. I found out later that he placed 3rd in the Mundial (might have been the CBJJE Mundial) at black belt, losing only in the semi-finals to pluma legend Bibiano Fernandez, and he also just won his match at the NY Open last Saturday:

I got to roll with Vicente several times, and each time it was really fun. Rolling with Tony was a lot of fun as well. Tony is quite good. Finally, Mike Crawford was back in to train, and I got in at least a couple rounds with him.

Having four black belts on the mat for a Wednesday afternoon class isn't something you see in every city. I feel very fortunate to have my gym in the position it's in.

Seph Smith also made the trek down, and I got to train with Seph several times as well. Seph can really be good when he's on.

Tommy, Devin, Antoni, Lo, Scotty, Jose (the owner of the gym) and a handful of others rounded out a very full mat. Whew!

Muay Thai was my second wind. We got into a hook punch to the floating ribs, which was new for me, and drilled a lot. Cornell was merciful with the endurance round today.

No-gi jiu jitsu class - Vince, Big Mark, Parker, Brian Maltby, Chris Lombard, and several other students worked on the butterfly half guard to footlock transition I showed, did some situational sparring, then rolled with me and with each other until almost 10 PM.

LOOOOONG day. Whew!

Tuesday - Richmond BJJ and a trip to Yamasaki RVA

Tuesday was another good training day. Eric Burdo's fundamentals class at 4 PM focused on attacking and defending from the back. I picked up a very minor (yet not so minor) detail about back defense, and got to train with Eric a few times, and with Fahs (tough blue belt), Acie (purple belt beast), and a few other students.

From there, I headed across town to Mechanicsville Martial Arts, a gym run by my friends Mike Crawford and Klint Radwani, who have both been coming to my gym to train lately. I decided to return the favor, and got to spend nearly 3 hours rolling with the guys over there, including Crawford (fun roll), Dan "Hooligan" Staats (very tall purple belt who is getting very technical), Matt "McDoublejoint" Fuller, Tyler (blue belt teen), Josh (beast wrestler and new blue belt), and Keith Parknow (purple belt, Senior 1 Pan Ams champ at Pena).

I finished my day a little sore and tired, but not too tired to watch an hour of jiu jitsu on youtube and google video.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday at Revolution BJJ

Private lesson w/Lo at 4:30, then basics class at 6 PM. Closed guard when your opponent stands up. Great drilling from the students the whole class. For whatever reason, the vibe was dilligent.

Group class was solid. Big Mark is back after jacking his shoulder a couple weeks ago (I threw him after putting a third stripe on his blue belt, no joke). It's great having him back in the class because he presents a formidable challenge to everyone he rolls with, including me. Tommy, Devin, Lo, Big Jus, Antoni, Jason, Gabe and Bruno (the kids), and a handful of others trained, along with (of course) Vince. Oh, Greg Hoder is back (my third blue belt).

Lots of the students are getting ready for this weekend's Submission-Only tournament in Winchester.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday open mat (4/19/09)

Revolution BJJ

Open mat at my gym has been a staple on Sundays for a couple years now. I go if I'm in town as a general rule. The man in charge is my older brother from another mother (and father), Vince Newton. Vince might be the coolest guy on the planet. He's 47 years old, a hippie, a father of 3, and my first purple belt. Vince is the last person on the mats nearly every class.

Today, I kept the rounds going at 6 minutes for the folks getting ready to compete. We did 8 or 9 rounds, took a water break, then came back for more. It was pretty laid back training, but it was constant. Blue belts Parker and Snake, and white belt Lo (all getting ready for the worlds) were there, along with blue belt Bryan Moore (does my school's site), Dax (from the downtown school), Lenny "Lendo" Greenberg, and Rebekah Carrow. Jarrod (he's brought the P.A. for U.S. Grappling events in Richmond, and apparently I introduced him to grappling many years ago at the judo club at VCU) came in to roll along with a guy named Ian, who was trying jiu jitsu for the first time. I worked with Ian a bit one on one, explaining the concepts of jiu jitsu, and having a little fun rolling.

All told, it was about 3 hours of good, solid rolling, mostly with the gi, but no-gi at the end.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Saturday's noon class was very laid back. I had the students drill some basic half guard stuff to warm up, then we did a guard recovery drill from butterfly half.

I rolled with each of the students on the ground - Chrissy, MikeByrd, Brian Maltby, Big Jus, and Russ "Meat Blanket" Helm, one of our brown belts. After 5 six-minute rounds, we started on the feet for another set of rounds.

Chrissy also got a bunch of good photos for the U.S. Grappling rules (illegal techniques and point scoring). These pics will be used to illustrate the written rules on our site, something no other major tournament organizations do.

Thursday/Friday training (4/16 + 17) - BJJ, MT, MMA

Thursday's class at Richmond BJJ focused on butterfly half guard. I had the students drill for about half an hour to warm up, light stretch, and then a couple basic techniques from the position.
Rolling was standard, but solid. I rolled a bit with the students, including Parker, who is getting ready for the worlds. Snake wasn't there, although he did train Wednesday at 2 PM and at 7 PM for no-gi. I mention Snake as well because he is heading to the worlds as well.

Fundamentals at 4 PM, Burdo went over some basic mount positions in very good detail. It's good for me to train as a student because I pick up a lot of details for my students from a different perspective than simply executing the techniques. I got to roll with Burdo a bit (neither of us is in "tournament mode" right now, so there was a lot of flowing and little smashing going on). Chris Ferguson, who will "run the gauntlet" next week twice (train at all four classes on Tuesday and Thursday at RBJJ) was there. We partnered up, then rolled. Chris is the bald bear in the pic above.

Friday at my gym - Revolution BJJ

I got a text from Scott Eckert, our Muay Thai instructor, about meeting early to do some MMA training. "Trane UFC? I'd love it!" So we met at 5 PM, put on the 4 ounce gloves, and played a little. Dave "Loco Pony" was there. He's tough both on the feet and on the ground, as is Scott. It's really fun training with light strikes on the ground. On the feet, I'm a bit of a fish out of water, but with consistent training, I'd like to change that.

Scott is getting ready for an MMA fight this summer, so he's looking to up the number of times he spars MMA each week. I'm down to help him get ready as much as possible, and to train a little myself (just for fun).

Muay Thai training afterward was fun. Yeah, that's right - fun. Mark, a new guy, came back with paperwork to sign up (woo!), and he partnered with Kevin, who is super tall. Mark is a big dude himself. I worked with Big Jus, whose balance is getting a lot better, and who already punches pretty hard. The endurance round was kind of a killer, even though it was only three minutes, and you can do anything for three minutes, right?

BJJ class was open rolling with Tommy Nooooo!!! and Devin (who are getting ready for the worlds, blue belt feather and light, respectively), and Big Jus. We did a total of 12 rounds, rolling 4x with each partner. Great training. Tommy and Devin are getting sharp. Justin's conditioning is good and his technique is getting good as well. My weight was 167.5 with the gi on before class, or exactly the lightweight cutoff. I mention this because I am toying with the idea of competing at the worlds, although I have pretty lax ambitions at this point.

A few years ago, I would have thought this was an impossibly tough day of training. Last night, it was just another day at the office. Being able to say that feels good.