Archive for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Gracie Survival Tactics – The Inside Scoop

Posted in Jiujitsu, Martial Arts, REVIEWS, Safety, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2016 by bradvaughn

The Non-Lethal Techniques Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know

by Brandon T. Vaughn  01/06/16

GST - Group Pic GJJ

Over the years my position/role/career as a martial arts instructor has offered many opportunities and experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. The most recent of which took place last month, November 16th through the 20th, and took me back to California, a place I first had the pleasure of visiting two years ago when I participated in the Gracie Academy Instructor Certification Program in 2013.

My second visit to California would also be connected to the [Gracie] Academy, only instead of Torrance, this time I would be going to Pleasanton, a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area approximately 25 miles east of Oakland, CA. I decided to take advantage of a formal invitation to all CTC Certified Instructors to assist and participate in any upcoming Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) Instructor Certification Courses. Eager to get an inside look at this program only available to active or retired law enforcement and military personnel, and in desperate need of a vacation (even if it would be a working one) I jumped at the opportunity. I’m glad I did. It was an incredible opportunity to learn the GST curriculum first hand, meet some of my fellow CTC Instructors, and get some “mat time” with Ryron Gracie himself.

 

Adapting To Meet A Changing Climate

GST - Vaughn teaching 2For those of you who aren’t familiar with the program, Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) is the Gracie Academy’s Defensive Tactics Program for Military & Law Enforcement Personnel. Created by the Gracie Academy to meet the ever changing needs of their clients, the GST program is itself an amalgamation of two earlier combative/defensive tactics programs. Gracie Combatives, an intensive course based on the most effective techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu developed for the United States Army, and G.R.A.P.P.L.E (Gracie Resisting Attack Procedures for Law Enforcement), a non-violent and court defensible program developed for police officers. Both of the aforementioned programs were originally developed by Rorion Gracie, eldest son of Gracie Jiu-jitsu founder Helio Gracie, and creative mind behind the UFC.

Since it’s inception Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) has been taught to countless Federal, State and International military and law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service and the US Border Patrol. During my five days assisting with the GST Instructor Certification Program I was able to meet men and women from a wide range of agencies and hear many of their first hand accounts of situations that they have found themselves in while on duty. As well as some of their concerns with the level of self-defense training that their agencies currently have in place.

 

The Road To Certified GST Instructor

For law enforcement or military personnel (active or retired) wishing to learn Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) for their own continuing education, the complete 23 lesson course is available on www.GracieUniversity.com via online streaming video. However, if you are an officer wishing to implement the GST program at your department or agency the only way to do so is by completing the GST Instructor Certification (Level 1).

The Gracie Academy teaches anywhere from 5 to 10 of these instructor certification courses a year varying by location. Some are hosted by the Academy itself  at their main location in Torrance, CA while others are hosted by various agencies around the world or by individuals within those organizations. The particular course I volunteered to assist in was hosted by a member of the Pleasanton Police Department with the actual training sessions taking place in the gym of a local high school.

The week long course began at 8am Monday morning and started with Ryron Gracie giving a brief history of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, including its creation, their work with the US Army and the development of Gracie Combatives and how working with the military and law enforcement over the last 20 years led to the creation of the techniques that we would be learning over the next five days. He then moved seamlessly into the first of eight techniques that we would cover that day, setting the pace for the rest of the week. Ryron would teach a technique, using either myself or one of the other four instructors that were there to assist in the course, then when he was sure that everyone understood the technique he would release them to practice the technique with their partner. At this time the assistant instructors would walk around and observe the participants doing the techniques, offering feedback and making any necessary corrections.

Day two and three began with the class reviewing all the techniques that they had learned the day before while. After the review period, which lasted anywhere from 10-15 minutes, we would move on the block of techniques that would be taught that day. The training sessions ended with a series of fight simulation drills in which the participants would combine several techniques from previous sessions with the ones that they had just learned, thus building their muscle memory and making them more familiar with how the individual techniques can be used in any possible combination.

While the first three days were dedicated to the learning of the GST techniques, day four was dedicated to instructor training, where the participants learned the most effective ways to teach the GST techniques to their colleagues when they return to their individual agencies/departments. The fifth and final day of the course consisted of a final evaluation to test the participants overall comprehension of all the material covered during the previous four days.

The GST Advantage

GST - Vaughn teachingWhat sets Gracie Survival Tactics apart from other defense tactic programs currently being taught to law enforcement and military personnel is it’s lack of reliance on striking techniques (ie. punches and kicks) which may not be effective against an assailant who may be physically larger or stronger or who may be under the influence of a substance that dampens their ability to feel pain. Instead, all the techniques in the GST program are based on leverage, timing, and efficient use of energy. This means the techniques can be employed effectively regardless of gender, size or athletic ability.

With the number of fatal police shootings reported to be nearing 400 nationwide in 2015, and allegations of excessive force at an all time high, GST provides law enforcement officers with a much needed alternative to relying solely on their firearm or secondary tools (ie. baton, stun gun, pepper spray) in situations where the use of deadly force could have possibly been avoided. The GST curriculum also address the high rate of instance where law enforcement officers are shot in the line of duty by an assailant using the officer’s own firearm by including weapon retention techniques in the curriculum as well as a variety of effective techniques that allow an officer to get back to their feet and create distance in the event that they end up on the ground underneath an assailant.

 

A Fear Of Change

With a seemingly endless list of benefits and advantages, it’s hard to imagine that all law enforcement agencies aren’t already taking part in the Gracie Survival Tactics program.

From conversations I had with some of the men and women participating in the GST Level 1 Instructor Certification Course, I learned that one obstacle the newly certified instructors will encounter when trying to implement the program in their own department may be the very officers that they are trying to help.

Whether it stems from an over reliance on the tools they have at their disposal or the lack of continued fitness requirements after they graduate from the academy, some officers seem resistant to any self-defense training outside what is mandated annually by their state. When you consider that 40% of officers that are shot in the line of duty are done so with their own weapon, it would seem that all law enforcement officers would be eager to learn any technique that, would not only teach them how to retain their weapon, but also how to subdue a suspect without the use of their firearm or auxiliary weapons.

Another obstacle that new GST Instructors may have to deal with is a natural resistance to change. Either from the administration or from their department’s defensive tactics instructor, in the event that the GST Instructor doesn’t also serve that role. Strategies on how to address these and other common concerns are included in the support materials that each course participant receives on the final day of training.

GST - Group Pic Sm

 

Final Thoughts

Gracie Survival Tactics is quickly proving itself to be not only a valuable resource for law enforcement officers, but to military personnel as well. As I am writing this article, the United Nations Security Service has become the most recent agency to adopt Gracie Survival Tactics.

My experience at the GST Level 1 Instructor Certification Course in Pleasanton, CA was like nothing I have experienced before and I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to not only assist, but to participate in the training as well. As a martial arts instructor I’ve had the opportunity to teach students of all ages how to defend themselves. Even if learning self-defense was not their primary reason for enrolling, it was still a skill they acquired while working towards whatever their personal goals were. Having said that, I have to admit that there was something exceedly rewarding about working with individuals that will most likely be using the techniques you are teaching them a regular basis.

Brandon Vaughn

Certified GJJ CTC Instructor

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10 Questions with Samir “Sandman” Seif

Posted in 10 Questions, Jiujitsu, Martial Arts, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2015 by hybridfightingmethod

Samir Sandman Seif

Take a moment to tell us a bit about your training and professional backgrounds
My professional background began at Red Lobster, ironically enough. I was working tables, washing dishes and cooking, trying to pay off my Police Sciences degree – that course now is called Police Foundations.  I had done some “bouncer” type stuff at parties for cash, on account of my martial arts background, yet nothing too serious. One day as I was serving a table, a man named Randy introduced himself to me, and complimented me on my people skills. He asked if I had ever thought of doing security.  I told him I wanted to be a cop, and he said this would be a perfect start.  That was the start of my security education and the end of me ever being a cop.  I worked the hardest, grimiest bars in Hamilton for 2 years.  It was a security temp (Ranton Security) agency, so I was sent to the bars no one else wanted to work.  In 1993 two things happened, I began training in wing chun and I met a bartender who introduced me to the Canadian Division head of Griffon Group International who trained and hired me.  I went from being a bouncer/martial artist to a professional in executive protection, close protection, and casino security.  Training took place in Toronto and Windsor Universities.  These were my formalative years transitioning from a martial artist into a professional Law Enforcement/Security specialist trainer.  Working the travelling casino’s, protecting clients and training correctional/Law Enforcement in baton, handcuffing and pepper spray use-of-force programs.  The training was based on effective communications, prevention and prediction.  That lasted until 1997 where I went on my own and began training people under the Samirs Combat Reaction name. I continued training in Pain compliance and control systems under Stay Safe President Steve Summerville.  I learned how to be a true professional and legally articulate use-of-force.  That brought me to the next level of teaching and applying Law and Security in my professional capacity as a trainer and operating in the field.  I was hired on full time as the use of force trainer at a large security Company in Hamilton.  Doing work protecting Liberal assets (insured persons), fleshing out RCMP details, and running large security crews for multiple night clubs.
Who have been your major influences in training and teaching?
Major influences in my training and teaching has been Wayne Wells of Griffon Group International.  If you look him up, he has a long line of martial arts qualifications himself.  Ironically he was the first that treated my black belt in jiu jitsu and black sash in wing chun as only a small part of the greater subject when it comes to combatives, close protection and security/law enforcement.  His socially acceptable techniques, politically correct nomenclature and proper training heavily guided my own hand when I began designing programs.  His experience also played a factor in my development as he had committed so many years of his life to training trainers as professional, with himself having trained with the best in the world.  For locks and holds- specific to control and restraint, and with corrections experience my next major influence would be Master Robert Krantz and Master Alex Andrews.  I was a member of the CJC, and CJA during the 90’s.  Master Alex taught me small circle ju jitsu and Judo that would work specifically for Corrections and Law Enforcement.  The timing was perfect, as I was able to apply my skills as a trainer for Wayne’s company and use the skills myself as the head doorman at several clubs.  Master Robert actually graded me in one of my jiu jitsu black belts under the WKF.  He has a no-nonsense style of locks, and with his correctional back ground his method was invaluable.  Between the two, I tightened up my physical locking game, and brought a very high level game to handcuffing and grounding subjects.
The greatest striking influences was Master Chris Hader for giving me the gift of wing chun.  The only martial art that allowed me to assimilate every physical course I have learned and apply it within a solid theory and concept.  He was an old school, hardcore Sifu that put his stamp..and his foot on my spine.
The last phase of major influence in training and teaching has been Grandmaster Bram Frank and Shuki Drai.  As much as I had been doing weapon training throughout my entire professional and martial arts life, a fundamental and moral pillar changed. From a young age I trained with known weapon experts like Grandmaster Rudy Timmerman, Master Robert Doiron and Guru Brian ‘Buzz’ Smith.  All three are traditional martial artists.  Gifted,respected and in the Kuk Sul Wan, Hap Ki Do and Kuntaw world very well known.  They trained me to strike to kill.  In the sense, how most martial arts train..the kill shot.  Meaning that my use of weapons was literal, with no thought to the law and the consequences of armed combat.  I was a martial artist ,with a martial artists mindset.
Meeting GM Bram Frank and then continuing my work with Shuki taught me a new world of reality. How society views weapons of gun, stick and knife. How I view it as a tool like any other item you might find in a tool box. Knowing case law, applicable law of use and defense.  My teaching ability and success by using GM Bram’s “train the trainer” methodology and gross motor skill progressive training under pressure has swelled the curve of skills and attributes.  I can teach and learn new skills or refine old skills in 1/10 of the time it used to take me.  Thats how we get our troops ready-in months not years.  My understanding of anatomy, nerve systems and use of modern day weaponry (firearms) has made me a much more evolved combatives instructor and practicing combatant.  Bram in particular introduced me to many men and women that either had seen or yet remained in active duty in the war theatre, active duty as a police officer or form of duty that included weapons.  It forced me to reevaluate my martial arts training, and get to the range ,and work with skilled shooters.  The impact of reality training, experience in the field coupled with my own experiences has made me search and continue to develop realistic skill sets for modern Combatives.
Lastly the literature of Bruce K. Siddle and Lt.Col Grossman along with the translation and interpretation of Book of 5 Rings by Steven Kaufman have influenced me since I was old enough to pick them up and study them.  They are constant companions to all my combative efforts.  Their work is influential and in my personal opinion iconic.
What systems have you trained in that you find applicable to the kinds of attacks you see in your profession?
The systems that I have trained in that have been most applicable to the kind of attacks in my profession as a security specialist, and close protection specialist has been Wing Chun, Kali, Muay Thai, wrestling and Jiu Jitsu.
Wing Chun has allowed me to deal with the conversation that goes bad.  Most people speak with their hands.  They point, they grab and push.  Welcome to hundreds of hours of chi sao (sticky hands).  If it’s standing and arms are in the touching or within the intimate zone of personal space wing chun has been the answer.  Then the use of KALI becomes equally important as weapon sense from bottles, ashtrays (back in the day), stantions and anything else a person could grab comes into play.  The relationship between wing chun and Kali is synergistic and they complement each other in the CQC area.  If wing chun didn’t have the answer, my Kali filled in the blanks and vice versa.  When it comes to subjects that are actively resisting and striking back, I have to say Muay Thai is the most applicable and has been personally the best “show stopper”, in the arsenal. The neck-tie up (plum), and the devastating elbows conclude any form of aggression very quickly. I have personally had great success with single strikes to assaultive subjects using the elbow, the knee and the round kick. Wrestling tie ups and takedowns go hand in hand with Muay Thai clinching skills; its never my first choice to fight on the ground, yet it’s my first choice for anyone I’m trying to control.  Wrestling allows me to apply that pressure when number of people, size and strength come into play.  A hard head snap or duck under and boom down they go.  Saying that, brings me to the last art I find applicable to my profession.  Bjj/Jiu Jitsu.  Grounding a subject and skillfully lifting them back up with minimal effort and damage to oneself and them.  The controls gained by vascular restraints, joint-locks and come-a-longs are invaluable.  When it comes to mitigating collateral damage, liability and negligence the system of Jiu Jitsu is hand crafted for my profession.
What role does MMA play in your training?
It’s the pressure tester of the weeks drilling, training and specific sparring.  MMA training allows for learning, growth and adaption under real or closely simulated combative pressure.  Resistance to submission attempts, and being stuck in a pound-and-ground position.  Basically have full resistance with protective equipment to see how everything works, and improve the next weeks drilling where the holes were found.
Does MMA prepare someone for street violence?
 
That really depends, as does the last question on what you define as MMA and how it’s being trained/taught.
If your “MMA” training does not include the following variations of multiple opponents, weapons, hostile environment and role playing I do not believe it will fully prepare you  for street violence.  An example is on several occasions I personally have taken out high level MMA fighters, and watched even my own staff of guards take out good  level MMA fighters for drunken and disorderly.  Their mindset prepared them for the one-on-one, and in that they won hands down.  It was the follow-up of hostile environment, tables, people, hard surface, wet surface and multiple opponents that quickly overcame them.
MMA only prepares you for resistance and pressure. Cardio under battle stress, elevated heart rate and blood pressure.  Exertion and blunt force trauma.  It does not prepare you for pre-indicators of violence, violent confrontation through words. Threat cues, prediction and prevention.  The anatomy of violence and street confrontation can be markedly absent from MMA training.  For the record I would put my money on a well trained MMA fighter to survive a confrontation better than a traditionally trained martial artist.  That being said, as the variables increase, so does the MMA fighters advantages decrease if he is trained in MMA rules, single opponent training.
How can martial artists alter their training to make their system suitable for the street?
 
As previously mentioned I believe to street-proof any system the following fundamentals must be included.  Multiple opponents, weapons (stick,knife,gun), hostile environment and role playing.  Then all of these need to be trained with progressively increased pressure of resistance.
This is just the physical aspect.  One needs to learn the physiology and phycology of violence to oneself and to others.  The ability to prevent, predict and proactively train.  Confrontation does not just happen.  There are cues and steps that are not part of the regular martial arts training program.  These have to be taught and trained.  It’s a science and must be treated as such.
What are some common traits you see among unprovoked attacks?
The common traits I have observed that unprovoked attacks carry are the attackers are 99% male and under the age of 40.  My reports and court cases would average late 20’s.  They include intoxication or drugs.  They involve criminal elements, meaning that person or persons doing the unprovoked attack have either been through the criminal system or associated with a criminal element.  The person being attacked almost always have their hands down, and are not in control of their intimate zone. It’s like they don’t realize they are in an argument or that the other person could actually hurt them.  The number one has been the attacker was prepared to fight or attack, and the victim or victims were not.
Among the ambushes you’ve seen, what tactics have the defenders employed successfully, and what tactics have they been unable to employ successfully?
I have seen many ambushes via cctv in my years of working security. Among the ambushes the defenders have had success or failure dependent on the reaction to the attacks.  I use the  3F system (First,Fast,Furious) to measure success or failure.  If the attack is first, then the counter-response must be fast and furious.  In all cases of success the reaction time from the subject not simply becoming a victim is they retaliated fast and furiously.  They grabbed a weapon and closed the distance instantly.  If no weapon was grabbed they gave up no room and instantly grappled.  The most successful move is to crash the attacker, hug and hold the attacker and not allow for repeated blows of the dominant hand.  They also covered up initially as they moved forward, blunting whatever attack was coming in.
The reaction that failed almost every time was moving backwards or away.  The environment did not allow for unimpeded movement.  That means they tripped or fell and damaged themselves more on the way down, were continued to be attacked and mounted in most cases.  Ironically it’s not the first reactive block that fails, it’s the fact that time and time again the victim has continued to try to block without any counter.  In one case I watched as the first block worked to stop a knife, and that the person being stabbed had not realized they had been ambushed with a palmed knife.  They continued to back away from “punches”, and was stabbed 3 more times still trying to block the same angled attack in the same manner.  They at that point collapsed, and the ambushed escaped.  In another example, the ambush happens perfectly, but someone behind the ambusher flinches and the victim reacts by putting out their arms.  The knife is blocked barely and the victim slips to one knee, where they are “nicked” in one artery and nicked in a vein,they barley survive and take 6 months to come out of serious condition.
Blocking and not moving forward, blocking and repeating the same block allowed for the ambusher to gain momentum,timing and distance .
Successful defense against the ambush has been that the reaction has not only been fast and furious,but also that the furious included striking and defending.
Failure has come from being slow to react ,creating too much distance that allowed the ambusher momentum and increase in number of attacks.  They also were not being struck back, as the victim was too busy concentrating on defense and not counter attack.
The ambush attack in all cases was missed,as it was clear watching the videos that all threat cues are missed. Clenched fists,blading of the body, puffing of the chest, lifting of the chin..all for naught.  In one case I remember watching in awe as a male takes their jacket off and makes like he is turning away.  He takes off his jacket..how does one miss this..??!!
If someone could do only one thing to defend themselves successfully from an attack, in your opinion what would that thing be.
Be First, Be Fast, Be Furious.
That’s my one thing.  You feel it coming, you see it coming, you predict it’s coming..Doesn’t matter.
Be FIRST!  Thats a concept and that’s a technique. Eyes, Groin and Neck.
Smash it, bite it, kick it, slap it, stab it, bring blunt force trauma..Just make sure your FIRST.
Being first makes you FAST. You will be at the right place, at the right time to bring on maximum force, with minimum effort.
Which brings you to a place of momentum.  When the engine is rocking and rolling, it brings a furious energy.  Chain your attacks until no one is standing.  Bring an element of controlled passion and anger and rage and even cold tempered steel.  BE FURIOUS.
No matter what reaction you have, nor the style you train you need one method to withstand a seen attacker and the unseen ambusher. BE FIRST, BE FAST, BE FURIOUS.
Where do you see the martial arts as a whole in ten years?
In ten years I see the same evolution of what UFC did for martial arts, blending and merging the best techniques and concepts to create the MMA era happening in the Reality Based Self Defense and Combatives.  The difference will be the best technologies will be brought to simulate weapons of modern and traditional origins.  We will see swords, knives, bats, guns, explosives and multiple persons.  We will have simulated gang attacks, and small armies battling.  We will know how the sword works against the axe, and crossbow against 45 pistol.  The martial will be brought back, and it will become an arena for true to the death combat between not just two dueling combatants, but a plethora of situations that will include multiple simultaneous attacks.  They already have multiple opponent MMA in Russia.  They have prototype weapon and at our dueling in Australia.  A decade from now we will simulate injury, pain and trauma to find the essence and truth of combat which is death on the battlefield without actually killing anyone. That is I’m sure until someone wants to try it for real.  Then we may even return to gladiators and the true arena.
– Interviewed by: T.J. Kennedy
Hybrid Fighting Method
Samir Sandman Seif

Master of Goshin Ryu Seif Jiu Jitsu

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Watch and Learn Jiu-Jitsu – By: Ryron Gracie

Posted in Day's Lesson, Jiujitsu, Philosophy, Teaching Topic, Techniques, Training with tags , , , , , , , on December 3, 2013 by Combative Corner

Ryron Gracie - Gracie JiuJitsuA while back I was sparring with Rener and I remember being in danger of a choke. His attack was relentless. I tried every technique that I knew, but the choke kept getting deeper and deeper.  Seeing no other option, I abandoned the idea of pure technique and used everything I had to twist free from the choke. Let me be clear… I was more than close to losing the battle. What kept me from tapping or sleeping was not technique, but a strategic explosion.

Read the Original Article in Full! (HERE)

Q: Is it better to be technical and lose or explosive and survive?

Ryron’s Answer:

Its more efficient and a better investment of your time to be technical and lose. There is value in exploding out of bad situation to safety, it helps you understand what you are physically capable of.  Be aware of the risk of injury , worsening the position and most of all running away from learning the intricacies of jiu-jitsu.

Originally Posted on November 21, 2013 by

The Evolution of Metamoris

Posted in Discussion Question, Fighters, Jiujitsu, News, REVIEWS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2013 by Combative Corner

Metamoris-II-Gracie-vs-AokiJune 9th

Metamoris II, wrapped up over the weekend and although an amazing and prestigious venue with incredibly talented athletes, many viewers (and certainly many tournament-goers) were left in a state of melancholy.  While I believe most people felt this, I believe that even those people that held the greatest of sadness still feel the same;

The no points, “submission-or-decision” version is a platform to showcase jiu-jitsu skill at the highest level – and we are all glad to have the opportunity to experience it.

Does the ‘Bad’ Overshadow the ‘Good’?

There were some great jiu-jitsu matches: Rafeal Lovato Jr vs. Andre Galvao, Brualio Estima vs. Rodolfo Vieira, and Kron Gracie vs. Shinya Aoki (despite a prolonged “feeling out” process in the beginning).  Things took a turn for the worst in the highly-talked-about match between Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu and Brendan Schaub (video).

Schaub vs. Abreu Metamoris 2Abeu, who did just about everything he could to engage in the fight, was highly disappointed afterwards (despite winning by decision).  Athletes come to an event like this to both test and showcase their skill in grappling.  Abreu wasn’t truly given the opportunity, and Schaub’s “nullification” of Abreu’s jiu-jitsu was borderline disrespectful and his strategy, confusing.

The Will To Survive

Ralek Gracie said, “I founded Metamoris to create a tournament where submissions are the only goal, not points.  With the introduction of judges, we will avoid judges… Someone in a fight is always sharper (link).”

As a student of Gracie Jiujitsu (Joyce) and who has had the opportunity to speak and train with both Ryron & Rener Gracie (Schaub’s jiujitsu trainers), I can say I understand what the Gracie system is all about.  Obviously Gracie Jiujitsu works and is a highly-refined martial art, however when you put a brown belt (Schaub) up against a 12-time Grappler’s quest, 3-time World Nogi Champion (and many more accolades) back belt (Abreu), you can only hope for one thing in my opinion, to survive.

In addition, the thought somewhere in Schaub’s brain, were UFC President Dana White’s one condition for taking this contest, “Don’t get hurt.”  Fortunately or unfortunately for Schaub, it was just his reputation that got hurt.

What Needs To Be Done

The only problem that I see in the Metamoris Tournament is in casting.  I believe that the matches should only be performed by players of black belt level or higher.  Furthermore, the black belt must be in a grappling-based system of martial art.  Metamoris does not need to be in the game to bring in “big names” (such as those in the UFC).  Audiences around the world wish to be riveted by high-level, submission-only grappling and while some competitors can be found in the UFC, Pride, etc, the focus should remain on those whose grappling game holds a high degree of depth and intelligence.

In that light, I am very pleased of the announcement of:

Royler Gracie vs. Eddie Bravo for Metamoris III

Eddie Bravo: “..they want to find out if I got lucky that time.” (Full 1st Fight video)

Royler Gracie: “He got lucky.”

Combative Corner: “We shall see won’t we? Either way, it should be a best outta 3, don’tcha think?”

MICHAEL JOYCE

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Sport Jiu-Jitsu, Combat Jiu-Jitsu and Attitude

Posted in Discussion Question, Jiujitsu, Miscellaneous, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2012 by chencenter

There was a lot said and a lot of opinions expressed after the 20 minute long jiu-jitsu match between Andre Galvao and Ryron Gracie.  One of the best quotes came via Rener Gracie’s tweet/instagram:

“I don’t know why Andre was so upset… I can’t tap Ryron either and I’ve been trying for 28 years.”

The fact is: There are different types of jiu-jitsu being played.  Players of jiu-jitsu have different motivations for taking up the martial art… And there are also different approaches to the art.  When jiu-jitsu becomes a spectator sport, is there or should there be one kind?  Some say yes.  I certainly say, no.

Watching Ryron (in the match above) reminded me of boxer Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker in his prime.  Whitaker was a masterful, defensive boxer that many fans disliked watching.  Those that knew boxing saw genius and couldn’t look away.  There is an obvious genius in Ryron’s game, mixing outstanding defensive maneuvering and thoughtful attack.

After the allotted time was over, Andre spoke with commentator Rener Gracie and spoke his mind.  Many were disappointed over his lack of humility, and although I didn’t care for it, I found it understandable.  Andre is a person whose drive is competition and he was up against someone whose drive is to “Keep it Playful.”  Even though Ryron had it in him to win (submission only), his nature, training and goal was to show HIS jiu-jitsu – that is to say, his family’s jiu-jitsu.

Andre said (wanting to set up a rematch), “…I could set up a fight on my rules and see who wins.”  And although “the rules” are unclear, the fact remains that a submission was never achieved (which reminds me of the famous Helio quote, “If you don’t lose, you win.”).  But my personal thought is this, “Everyone has their arena.”  Those that want tournament style can join or watch the tournaments.  Those who want to test their might in the arena of fighting can join the UFC.  But if you want to test your jiu-jitsu – the way YOU play jiu-jitsu – this event was such a platform and I am looking forward to watching more.

I can’t wait.

I’d like to leave you with the words of my friend and jiu-jitsu extraordinaire, Ari Bolden who said (in regard to this event),

“Jiu Jitsu isn’t some philosophical concept that is to be debated over and over on Internet forums (like that means anything at all). You DO it. You live it. It makes you a better person.”

Michael Joyce

Golden Thread Workshops, NC

RELATED POST:

Keith Owen’s Blog: From The Ground Up: Metamorphis

10 Questions with Ryron Gracie

Posted in 10 Questions, Jiujitsu, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2012 by Combative Corner

The CombativeCorner got to talk with @GracieBrother, Ryron the other day and answer our questions (and yours!)

If you don’t know Ryron by now (We won’t ask you where you’ve been), but please take a listen to this interview.  In it, Ryron answers such questions as:

  • Is there a secret to being “un-submittable?”  [7:35]
  • What is Ryron’s Top 5 Techniques?  [12:41]
  • Starting Jiu-Jitsu Late in Life? [27:12]
  • Who would You Fight? Bonus Q [31:42]

Also, let us know who you’d like us to interview in the future, and what questions you have for him or her.

For our Master List, go here.

Ryron and Rener can be reached via GracieAcademy.Com, on their YouTube Channel or on Twitter @GracieBrothers

For more from The CombativeCorner, click the links below.

 

 

 

RELATED POSTS:

SECRET TO GRACIE JIU JITSU MASTERY

10 QUESTIONS WITH RENER GRACIE

JOURNEY TO BLUE BELT IN GJJ

 

 

10 Questions with Keith Owen

Posted in 10 Questions, External Arts, Jiujitsu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2012 by Combative Corner

How did you become interested in learning the martial arts?

I grew up in a single parent household and my mom couldn’t make ends meet.  I had wanted to do martial arts since I was 7 but we just couldn’t afford it.  I saw a karate demonstration at my school at that age and knew that I “had” to do martial arts.  I didn’t start taking martial arts lessons until I was 16 when I got a job and started paying for them myself.  I never looked back.  In the early 90’s after I got my black belt in Kung-fu I saw an article on the Gracies and was intrigued.  They were beating up everyone.  Later I saw Royce Gracie tap out Dan Severn with a triangle choke and thought that’s the martial art I need to train in.  I found Professor Pedro Sauer in Salt Lake and I never looked back.

What personally drove you to learning jiujitsu?

A small guy can beat a big guy using technique. Think of what a big guy like me could do using Technique? I thought this was “the way!”
If you had to pick 3 of your favorite techniques, what would they be?
  1. The Fog Choke-Keith Owen “Lights Out”
  2. The Triangle Choke and the 10th Planet “Gansta Lean”
  3. Deep Half Guard
  4. Hip Compression- Keith Owen Favorite Moves Vol 1
  5. The Biermbolo -I’m playing with this-I suck at it
  6. The Twister and the truck-10 Planet
  7. The Eziquel choke-Keith Owen “Lights out” via James Foster
  8. Arm in Guillotine

A little more than three..sorry.

Who are a few of your mentors and what impact have they had on you?

I don’t know about many mentors but I have numerous people who have had a profound effect on me so since you asked I’m going to share.
  1. My Wife Shirlane- 21 years and going strong.  She should have divorced me a long time ago.
  2. Professor Pedro Sauer-The best instructor in the world. He has forgotten more then I know.
  3. Sifu Joesph Cowles- My Wu Wei Instructor and former student of Bruce Lee
  4. Tren Long- One of my purple belts who has produced all of my videos and my toughest student.
  5. Matt Owen (no relation) One of my purple belts.  He and his son Dylan are the rock of my school.
  6. Dean Heileman who got his black belt before he died of Cancer.  Got me motivated in Jiu-Jitsu.
  7. Royce Gracie for showing me “The Way.”
  8. Allen Hopkins-One of the most technical black belts of the Pedro Sauer Association-He helped me out a lot going up the ladder.
  9. Professor Sergio Penha in Las Vegas for being a great example and giving me another perspective of Jiu-Jitsu.
  10. My Mom-The most emotionally tough women I have ever met.

and I’m forgetting my friends, Damon Tong (My business mentor), Rob Smith (one of my instructors) and Rob Namer (my firearms business partner).  I would not be where I am without the help of these people.

How do you feel about martial arts for: the dojo, the street, and for competition? 
You asked about Martial arts and not specifically BJJ so I’m going to give you my opinion of the Martial arts in general.  I think a lot of martial arts are practiced in the dojo and then the instructor brags about how street lethal their martial art is.  They never test anything out to verify.  I often say that most martial arts instructors have four years of martial arts training repeated three or four times over. Competition is a little closer to the street because you are going up against another human being – but the rules of the contest can make a person lose their edge and fight by the rules. For instance,  MMA doesn’t allow groin kicking or eye gouging.  Kicking the guy in the groin and eye gouging are great self defense techniques for the street.  Just look at the guys who get kicked in the groin or eye gouged in MMA they typically need time to recover.  I’m a big fan of martial arts for the street and for competition, you just need to put it in perspective for what you are doing and know that there is a difference.  Just because you have one down doesn’t mean you know the other.

Are you a big fan of competition fighting? Why or why not? (and if so, who do you like to follow)

After having said my previous comments- I love competition bjj and I love MMA.  My favorite BJJ competitors are Marcello, Saulo, Jeff Glover and Roger Gracie.  My favorite MMA fighters are Johny “Bones” Jones, Anderson Silva, Nick and Nate Diaz, Clay Guida and GSP and my son Alex Owen (laughs).

What is your stance and/or concerns about online learning?

Well, since I have a lot of videos and an online download site  (www.keithowenonline.com)   I think it would be a bit hypocritical to say that it’s a bad thing (laughs).  Seriously,  I think the internet has made bjj more accessible then ever to the masses.  It really helps in getting students everywhere better.  I do think that the best way to train for the average person is too have an awesome bjj instructor to show you the technique, then you go to as many seminars as you possibly can and then you top it off with online or video training.  I think that would be the perfect regimen.  This is a great time to be alive and training in BJJ and Martial arts in general.

How effective (do you believe) jiujitsu is in self-protection?

This comment is going to piss a lot of BJJ guys off but Jiu-Jitsu is not my first martial art for the street.  It’s my back-up martial art – done if I’m taken down, slip or take someone down if I get attacked.  The pavement, parking lot, side of the road, gravel, snow, ice, wet grass or a field of stickers is no place to ground fight.  I want to knock that mutha out or be able to evade and escape if a weapon is presented or their is multiple attackers.I also don’t think in many cases that arm bars are very effective in ending a fight in a life or death ground fighting situation.  You could break a dedicated opponents arm and in many cases he could keep on fighting.  It’s far more effective to use some kind of choke that would make an opponent pass out.  I think on the other hand if you are just a stand up fighter and you get taken down then you are in a world of hurt, so Jiu-Jitsu is important but for me it’s my last resort in a real fight. I’m not going to put up my dukes and then run over and jump into the guard (laughs).I would also like to add that the gi is a very effective tool to practice self defense.  Many attackers are wearing coats and pants and the more opportunity you have to choke a dude out, the better.
What elements of jiujitsu would you teach your wife/daughter or loved one for self-protection?

Collar Choke, Arm Bar and Triangle Choke from the Guard because that is where they will likely be in an attack situation.  i know I said that the arm bar wasn’t very effective but it’s hard for an attacker in a rape situation to get aroused when they have a freshly dislocated or broken arm and anyway, the police can have a free clue as to who the attacker was.
What is one thing that you’d like to emphasize to the beginning jiujitsu student?
I don’t have just one but the first “things” I would emphasize is to have fun, play around and get better.  I want my new students to work on getting rid of their ego so that getting better is the goal and not having to win at any cost.  Many guys don’t like to tap out and they take it personal.  They will often quit because they think they are lousy at Jiu-jitsu and since they are lousy it’s no fun.    We also can’t afford injuries at this level because shoulder and knee surgeries are expensive and people’s spouses aren’t too keen on letting them come back after a sever injury, It would be a shame if a potential world champion quit at the beginning because of ego or injury.    I promise that if they get rid of ego, do their best, keep an open mind, come to class, take care of their partners, get addicted to BJJ and stay loyal that I will take them to Black Belt Jiu-Jitsu Mastery, I promise.
Bonus Question
You’ve got 6 months to train… the money is on the table, who would you personally like to “have a go at.” (it could be anybody, living…dead. just a fantasy questions)
I would  train (friendly) with any bjj black belt for free as long as they have good technique.  I would super fight anyone for money though, What the hell (laughs).
·
Mr. Owen, we thank you greatly for giving us this interview. 
Readers – if you’d like to learn more about Mr. Keith Owen, please visit his website by clicking the picture at the top of the page.  For his instructional videos, click here.

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