Thursday, June 25, 2009

An Excellent Audio-Video Recap of This Year’s Mundials World Championships


I just received an e-mail about this video from my man, Caleb over at The FightWorks Podcast. It’s a video summary of the results of this year’s black belt championship matches held at this year’s Mundials World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament, June 7, 2009. Caleb does an awesome job providing audio commentary for these outcomes, and while the video cannot capture how it must have felt to have been in attendance, Caleb really did an excellent job bringing the results to life for me as a blind listener to this video. Check out the video below to watch the footage and listen to Caleb’s account of what happened during this action-packed event.
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Larry, the LTrain

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Rant about “McDojos” and Random Thoughts About Training

Last Monday Darren came to class all fired up about something, and waited for class to begin before telling us what was up. He, along with two other Team Evolution teammates, went to visit a “McDojo” before class on Cleveland’s West side that claimed to teach Jiu Jitsu. Now those of you who know me know that I have a lot of respect for traditional Martial Arts, and actually still train in them, for the conditioning and the attention to flexibility and focus has complimented my GJJ game. But one thing that I will never accept is when a “McDojo” dilutes the “Martial Science” that is Jiu Jitsu in an attempt to steal money from students who wish to learn “the gentle art”.

The leader of the “McDojo” had a blackbelt in some sort of martial art and was a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu although he wouldn’t tell Darren where he got it. Needless to say, Darren mounted him with ease and the guy didn’t escape. Either Darren’s a nice guy, I’m an asshole, or both statements may be true, for I would have tapped this guy out in front of his students and exposed him for the fraud that he is. He’s not alone. There are "pretenders" out there who are running Martial Arts academies who are trying to rake in the cash by offering their own brand of grappling and calling it Jiu Jitsu. I had my own “McDojo” experience when I was a 2nd stripe white belt. The “McDojo” owner was trying to brand his own flavor of grappling which has since fizzled, and he couldn’t even pass my white belt guard. The sad thing about these “McDojo” posers is that not only are they stealing money, but they’re teaching things that will get their students really hurt if they try to use them outside the “McDojo” in a real-life situation. I’ll never forget my own experience where the instructor was actually encouraging his students to try for submissions while they were mounted by someone!!!!

I’m all for cross training, and think it’s an awesome idea for traditional martial arts schools to provide Jiu Jitsu as part of their class offerings, but for God sakes, get a solid instructor in there to teach proper technique and principles? I mean, you don’t often see a great Jiu Jitsu fighter teach striking—rather, he defers to instructors whose expertise is striking and the student is best-served by this act of humility!

Enough ranting for this post….Training’s been going well—Andres showed a few more interesting sweeps from Spider Guard last Saturday that I’m beginning to implement when people begin to stand up in my guard. He also showed me a really cool set-up from a scissors sweep into a triangle choke that I’ve really come to like. “Basics” and “self-defense” are on the GJJ menu tonight, and I’ll keep you all posted if I pick up any interesting tidbits, details, etc.

Respectfully Submitted By:

Larry, the LTrain

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

TEAM “EVOLUSH” and the “Ohio Grappling Challenge” #10

It seems like forever and a day since I’ve put something up on the blog. I’ve been training hard, although I had most of last week off due to an out-of-State family reunion in Virginia. Hillbilly reunion jokes are welcomed under the comments section of the blog, although I’m sure you won’t post any joke that I haven’t already heard.

On June 6, Team Royler Gracie-David Adiv, Ohio or “Team Evolush” as we affectionately refer to ourselves, took a contingent of competitors to the Ohio Grappling Challenge #10 held at Cleveland State University.

We all had a blast, and “Team Evolush” let everyone know who was “IN DA HOUSE” that day! Everyone charged super hard, and some of us scored multiple medals at this tournament. Special acknowledgment goes out to our coach, Darren, who always puts it on the line whenever there’s a tournament within driving distance of Cleveland. I totally respect Darren for competing as much as he does, for there’s lots of instructors out there who hide behind their teaching credentials and duck competing in tournaments. I attribute this to the reality that they’re chicken-shits who are afraid of the possibility of losing in front of their students. But Darren’s totally transparent and unassuming about his own GJJ journey, and this gives him tons of credibility as an instructor. Also, my man, Grissom (AKA Clark) brought home two Gold Medals. Clark and i have formed "TEAM APPALACHIA" due to our TN, KY, VA heritages, and we definitely did that Mason-Dixon line proud--LOL!

I can humbly report that the LTrain had a respectable showing in this tournament. I took the Gold Medal as a middle-weight “no-Gi” and the Bronze” with the Gi. This is a bit baffling to me, for I train with the Gi more than I train without it. Here’s a video of my "finals” no-Gi match; originally, I posted the "semi-finals" match as well, but it was a pretty boring match, so I've elected to just post the "finals" match.

OGC CLE - Larry NoGi 2 from EvolutionJJ on Vimeo.

These two matches weren’t my most exciting performances, and I was disappointed that I couldn’t finish the guy in the “finals”. I was happy with my control and my passing, but need to do a lot more work if I expect to compete in the “submissions only” tournament that I plan to compete in this coming September, so I'll be opening up my game a bit more this summer.

Of course, I’m not posting the video where I got swept and finished with an “arm triangle”—smiles-but I’ve already taken measures with Darren to avert such an outcome in the future.

As for my training this week—the few days off were just what the “LTrain Doctor” ordered. I feel great, and went pretty hard on Monday, and am amped up to hit it hard tonight. I’m focusing on smoothing out my transitions as well as further implementing the Della Riva Guard into my game a bit more. I’ll endeavor to blog a bit more frequently for the remainder of this month!


Larry, the LTrain