Posted tagged ‘BJJ’

BJJ and Collegiate Wrestling – The Training Mindset

June 18, 2009

This article is made for you grappling enthusiasts out there, specifically the wrestlers and BJJ players that are just starting out or need to revisit their passion for their sport. – Taylor Winzeler

You’re stepping on the mat. The home and sanctuary of all of your blood, sweat, and tears. Where you have spent a countless number of hours practicing, drilling and training. Now it’s time to put it together. A familiar feeling sends a wave of adrenaline down your spine as you step on to your playing field.

Are you a wrestler strapping on an ankle band? Or are you the BJJ player unweaving the tattered belt? Whichever you are,you share an unknown bond. The mat.

wrestling-takedown-2Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Collegiate Wrestling are not the same, nor do they have the same origins or scoring systems. But with all their differences, it is intriguing to look past and focus on what lies underneath the root of competition.

Think of back to the first day of your sport.

Do you remember thinking about where and when you should position your body to gain an advantage? Remember trying to resist a maneuver with pure strength and then getting crushed by somebody who has correct technique and the speed and power to back it up? This is the starting point for both sports. The struggle. This is how both clean white belts and fresh wrestling shoes begin their journey.

What’s amazing is when look back to the first technique that actually worked for you. Whether it be the arm-bar or half-nelson, the realization is both sports contain almost the same system of learning. Only by  repetition and drilling does technique become a part of muscle memory.

So how do we keep progressing?

helio_gracie-742955First, find a technique that really catches your eye and study it. Then break it down, understand it, and eventually perfect it. Once the you begin to pull it off, it’ll become a new drug and you’ll want to do it over and over until it is second nature. Every grappler or wrestler knows exactly what I’m talking about. Once you have it down, move on to the next one. And repeat that over and over with different techniques for the rest of your life.

Remember, with grappling and all things in life, it takes drive, passion, and discipline to continuously get better. Achieve that sense of accomplishment never comes easy but the juice is worth the squeeze. After all, succeeding at something that at first seemed like a foreign language will always be satisfying no matter what you do in life.

MTV’s ‘The Hills’ Star Spencer Pratt – Bar MMA Champion

April 7, 2009

Do you watch MTV’s reality show ”The Hills?’ Yeah me neither but I was on the other day and saw that one of the show’s “stars” allegedly happened to train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu like many of our own ninjas. So this got me thinking – is Spencer Pratt really that much of a badass to be a purple belt practicioner under Rickson Gracie? Well the jury’s still out on Spencer and his grappling prowess but nobody can question his striking skills now! The man is a Chuck Liddell clone! Notice the technical nature of his looping punches and the strength of his kung-fu grip in grabbing the collar. I know now that I would NEVER mess with Spencer. He fights like an ANIMAL!

Check the video below and see for yourself!

Behind-the-Scenes of Creating a Live MMA Event

March 5, 2009
Ninja Ricardo (right) during the weigh-ins before his fight at Lonestar Beatdown. Ricardo won via anaconda choke in the 1st round.

Our very own Ricardo Talavera (right) during the weigh-ins before his fight at Lonestar Beatdown 1 in College Station, TX. Ricardo won via anaconda choke in the 1st round.

For the general public, attending a live MMA event can be a very exciting experience. Fans usually walk away satisfied as they take in the visual spectacle that is the explosive nature of Mixed Martial Arts. From seeing the fighters twisting their opponents’ limbs at unnatural angles for the submission to the brawl-for-it-all nature of combatants going for a knockout, there is no doubt that watching this sport live can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the casual fan.

What most people do not see, however, is the amount of detail and hard work that goes into producing a live event. As a USACA-licensed Official for Lonestar Beatown, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of seeing all the effort that goes into providing a succesful experience for everyone involved. And it’s certainly not only the fans that the promoter has to worry about! Many other aspects behind-the-scenes have to be taken care of in order for an event to become successful. A portion of this includes compliance with athletic commissions, the relationship between the event and the gyms involved in training fighters, event promotion, and of course making sure everything flows efficiently when fight night arrives.
Here in Texas, as with most other states where MMA is legal, not just any Joe-Schmo-Dana-White-Wannabe off the street can be a fight promoter. One has to obtain an official promoter’s license before they are legally allowed to host an MMA event. This role is reserved for those who have the desire and wherewithall to complete the tedious application process to become licensed by the state athletic commission. The cost can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, all for the right to host MMA events. And just like promoters, all ringside officials must be licensed by the state as well. This includes timekeepers, referrees, scorecard managers, and judges.
Next, there is the task of setting up the fight card. This is placed in the charge of the event matchmaker, who always has a difficult task ahead of him. The reasons are numerous! First of all, matching up fighters isn’t just about finding two guys the same weight and telling them to go at it. There are other aspects to consider, such as the amount of experience, tangible skill-level, and the stylistic matchup between opponents. For this, the matchmaker has to create and nurture a relationship with the coaches & trainers of prospective fighters. It is through this and the trust implied that the matchmaker can truly gauge who should be fighting whom and whether they are truly ready to step into the cage. Once the bouts are set the matchmaker has to keep working as fighters can drop out at any time, for any reason. Nonetheless, it is the matchmaker’s job to ensure that the fans see exciting fights on the night of the live event, and enough of them to feel like they got their money’s worth.
Also, once the promoter arranges for the ideal venue for the event, the event has be marketed to a cross-section of casual fans, die-hards, and gym all across the local area. This typically involves a grass-roots effort of the fighters and the gyms they represent. Usually, those associated with the gladiators involved make up a healthy portion of the attendance. Above and beyond that, additional promotional channels include print publications and the all-powerful internet. Websites like,, and do a great job of promoting MMA events locally here in Houston.
Finally, on the night of the live event, there are about a million things going on at the same time behind-the-scenes. From the officials and fighters all the way down to the ushers and medics, everyone has a place to be and a role to play. The fighters warm up with their coaches, the ushers make sure fans get seated in orderly fashion, the officials and ringside physician take their places, etc. The event can only go well through the cohesive teamwork of everyone involved. Remember, It’s not just knockouts and tapouts guys.

We’ll see you at the fights on March 28st!

12354951572lonestar8_c2 Lone Star Beatdown 8  brings amateur cage fighting to Houston on  March 28th 2009. The venue for the event is the Houston Arena Theater. Tickets – $20/$35/$50 now available at

Announcing the Animal Fightwear™ Submission Championships on Feb. 21st!

February 4, 2009

Our very own Jordan Rivas is competing against Chris Westfall in a superfight for this tournament. Come out and support Jordan and the rest of the ninjas as they fight for victory on Saturday, February 21st!

By the way, don’t forget to mop the mats before you get out of here!

Fearless Weekend Sports Predictions from a Ninja

January 30, 2009

Okay so the biggest sports weekend so far in 2009 is upon us. Let me peer into my magic 8-ball and give you guys my fearless predictions. Anyone who wants to bet against me can comment below if they want to lose some hard-earned dollars.

UFC 94 Main Card Bouts:

  • Georges St. Pierre (#1 Welterweight in the World)* vs. B.J. Penn (#2 Lightweight in the World)*
    As everyone else who has seen UFC Primetime this past 3 weeks can see, these two guys are ready to go at it. Most everyone is picking GSP to win because of his all-star training camp and freakish athletic skills to go along with 3 years worth of improvement. Me, I’m not going that rout. I think BJ Penn will win. He sees this as the biggest fight of his career and has trained accordinigly. If his cardio holds up, and it will, GSP has no way of finishing him. And looking at it the other way, BJ can submit or KO St.Pierre. I say BJ by taking GSP’s back off a failed takedown attempt and choking him to the tap.
  • Lyoto Machida (#4 Light Heavyweight in the World)* vs. Thiago Silva (#10 Light Heavyweight in the World)*
    On paper, I would think that this is the most challenging fight of Lyoto’s career. A physical specimen at light heavyweight with Chute Boxe stye agression and extremely good muy thai striking. Add to that a BJJ Black Belt and Thiago Silva should have a shot at beating Lyoto. Only one problem though… He’s dealing with the most tactical, technically-proficient striker we have ever seen. Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida is as intelligent of a fighte as they come, formulating a game plan that can stifle and frustrate just about anyone. I’m picking Lyoto to KO Silva in Round 2, right after Silva gasses trying to catch a ghost. 
  • Karo Parisyan (#10 Welterweight in the World)* vs. Dong Hyun Kim
    Karo Parisyan is supposed to run through this guy. He’s talked a big game as usual and has aligned himself with Greg Jackson’s supercamp. Only problem is that Karo seems to be dealing with some mental issues right now and I’m not sure he’s even going to make it to the cage on Saturday. There are talks if him back out. Even if he doesn’t, I’m taking Dong Hyun Kim by upset.
  • Nathan Diaz vs. Clay Guida
    Nate Diaz has been on a role lately. Losing fights all throughout and pulling it out with a slick submission in the end. Guida is an exciting fighte but prone to just this type of trap. I’m picking Nate Diaz by triangle in Round 2. After that, the UFC really needs to sign KJ Noons to settle that score. After KJ wins that one, Nick Diaz will be back in the UFC.
  • Stephan Bonnar vs. Jon Jones
    Stephan Bonnar is back from injury! He was on a 2-fight win streak prior to injury and should by all accounts win this match, as he has gotten better during his time out. Unfortunately, I do not see him taking Jon Jones down and despite his golden gloves, I think the upstart Jones is just a little too fast for him on the feet and a little too good at wrestling to take down. Jon Jones by unanimous decision after he bloodies Bonnar’s face is my guess.

UFC 94 Preliminary Card Bouts:

  • Jon Fitch (#2 Welterweight in the World)* vs. Akihiro Gono
    Fitch by whatever he wants. This time by stoppage after dumping Gono on his head and GNP’ing his way to victory.
  • Jake O’Brien vs. Christian Wellisch
    Jack O’Brien by boring lay-n-pray decision.
  • Chris Wilson vs. John Howard
    Chris Wilson by submission.
  • Manny Gamburyan vs. Thiago Tavares
    Tavares by KO in the fight of the night. This will be a wild one on the feet, on the ground, in transition, and in finish.
  • Matt Arroyo vs. Dan Cramer
    Who cares? Arroyo I guess.

Super Bowl Pick

Pittsburgh Steelers over the Arizona Cardinals 31-24 in an up-and-down game. The game will be decided by a turnover.