Wednesday, May 24, 2006


So just another MMA based blog, eh? Not exactly.

I am not a "world class" fighter. No official belts to speak of or wins/losses to brag about. So why read my posts?

Because reguardless of my position in the MMA world circuit (non-existent), I am and have been an MMA enthusiast since 1997. Since that time I have followed grappling and it's success in the tournaments with passion. My opinions are definetley my own, and they are by no means uneducated.

A little bit about myself...

I was trained in some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 1997 privately from a friend who took it in a class setting. This was not my first exposure to the discipline. My sister dated a second degree blackbelt who was trained under Helson Gracie in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Though he never taught me any of it, when I met my friend who trained me, much of what Fabrecio talked about came back to me. Learning it was the best time I have had doing any particular hobby. Much of it seemed to come naturally , and as long as I remembered the fundamental truths of the style, I did well.
After a total of 12 lessons, I was transferred in the service to Okinawa. I ran into a Marine who had been taking BJJ for 3 years with a friend in the similar type setting as I. I believe he was taught differently however. Though he spoke the language, his practice was not as disciplined. I submitted him with a triangle in less than 5 minutes. After that match, the first challenge apart from my teacher that I had experienced, I decided to look for official training. The only class I could find that even closely resembled BJJ, was a base taught Judo class. After 1.5 hours of witnessing the silliness of Judo, I asked the blakbelts if any wished to grapple. I explained my limited BJJ and one who was my age agreed. This was my first time ever rolling with a gi on, and within 10 minutes I had submitted him with a rear choke.
Finally finding a BJJ class, I attended without hesitation. In a class of 8, I was immediately the #2 student as far as skill was concerned. None of which I credit to me. The only problem with this class is that after 2 months I was still the sparring partner/teacher to the other 6 in the class, and I was learning nothing new. I realized that classes were a waste of time, I had already bagun learning in the best way possible...1 on 1 instruction with a solid foundation in the philosophy of the system, not the moves of it. Needless to say, I left. My only experience in grappling after this time was teaching firends, mostly ex-wrestlers, whatever I knew. They became good quick. 10 months later I returned home.

I looked up my friend and instructor right away and we trained again. Immediately I could tell the difference. It took him quite a while to submit me (around 20 minutes)and he commented that he was impressed at my progression. He asked how hard I trained there and I told him that only for the first 3 months did I "train." Beyond that I just immersed myself in video or teaching others, and even that time was slim. I learned that by studying the discipline and watching or teaching others, you improve greatly even with a lapse in training.
Since that time I have not trained with my instructor but I have been involved in the Marine Corps Martial Arts. Though a decent program, I believe it lacks those fundamentals that made me successful. I have yet to lose a grappling match to a fellow Marine reguardless of the belt. I do not believe thaat streak will continue if I do not begin my training again, but again I find myself in the role of sparing partner/teacher than that of a person being taught. I hope to change this soon. I have been reconnected with my old friend and instructor who has very good connections these days with world champion talent. I did not connect with him for the reason of networking, and I cannot say I would train to fight MMA.

Maybe, if you read all this, you will be interested in this commentary blog I have created. Maybe not! However I will not disappoint for those who are MMA purists and not just simply brawler happy. I credit my knowledge and success to my firend who taught me all I know, and I hope to see some of you out there...maybe in a ring?


Me at 193 lbs in Iraq


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