Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Aldo Batista convicted on all counts


Friday, December 12, 2014

New Hampshire BJJ instructor on trial...

Aldo Batista dos Santos' first trial ended in mistrial when his victim's relative shouted at him.  Now, his second trial is underway.  I will keep you posted on the verdict and sentencing if any.


From www.nashuatelegraph.com, Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Nashua man’s second trial underway at Superior Court; accused of multiple sexual assault offenses


Staff Writer

NASHUA – It wasn’t long after the young, athletically inclined girl and her dad and two siblings had settled into their new home in Hudson in February 2012 that she discovered the world of martial arts. And even better, she took to the sport immediately, enjoying class immensely and improving her skills rapidly. And better yet, everyone at ABC Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the Nashua studio owned by black belt holder Aldo Batista dos Santos, considered themselves one big family.

By August 2012, six months after she joined ABC BJJ, the girl, who was then 13, was doing so well she signed up for additional classes. By then she was spending about four hours a day, 4 to 5 days a week at the studio. But all that was about to change.

The girl, now 15 and a high school sophomore, described in often–excruciating detail Tuesday in Hillsborough County Superior Court South how her instructor­student relationship with dos Santos descended into one of alleged sexual abuse that prosecutors say caused the girl to suffer physical and emotional distress and led to dos Santos’ arrest in May 2013 on multiple charges stemming from the alleged pattern of abuse.

Testimony in dos Santos’ second trial on the charges, which include two felony counts of felonious sexual assault and 10 misdemeanor counts of sexual assault, got underway Tuesday morning in Superior Court before Judge Jacalyn Colburn. His first trial, in August, ended in a mistrial after a relative of the victim interrupted proceedings with an angry rant against dos Santos and his attorney, Tim Bush.

Colburn found the relative, Victor Traverso, in contempt of court, fining him and sending him to jail for one day. Traverso later apologized, saying he wasn’t prepared for the explicit nature of the testimony. On Tuesday, Colburn reminded those present in the courtroom of the rules and warned against disruptive behavior, saying anyone who acts out will be removed from the courtroom.

Colburn also excused one of the jurors, a man, after a brief bench conference with him and Bush, Gill and David Tencza, the other prosecutor. That left a jury of eight men and five women, one of whom is an alternate.

Gill called the victim to the stand shortly after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday after she and Bush completed their opening statements. Bush was in the process of cross­examining the victim when testimony ended for the day. Cross­examination is expected to continue when the trial resumes shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Gill in her opening statement described the victim as a “very social” girl who “liked to be part of the community” of dos Santos’ studio. Soon after the victim joined the studio, she and dos Santos’ wife became fast friends, Gill said, going places together and spending time at the dos Santos home with their son. “That’s when he developed a relationship with her,” Gill told the jury. “It began with a kiss.” Gill said the victim’s testimony would outline how her unwanted relationship with dos Santos
escalated from that brief kiss to him directing her to change her clothes in front of him and eventually to the day he allegedly brought her to his house, led her to the bathroom, undressed and had her do the same, then led her into the shower where, Gill told the jury, “he started washing her naked body ... and had her do the same (to him).”

After the shower, Gill said, and the victim later testified, dos Santos picked her up, brought her into a bedroom, lay her on the bed and performed sexual acts on her. The victim grew emotional during that part of her testimony, sometimes struggling to answer Gill’s questions and crying at times. The victim several times told Gill she didn’t tell anyone what was happening because at first she was confused, then “scared,” and as to why she didn’t tell dos Santos’ wife, she “didn’t want to tell her ... I wasn’t ready to tell anyone.”
Bush, in his opening statement and again during cross ­examination, focused mainly on the dates and times the victim was allegedly abused by dos Santos. He pointed out some inconsistencies in statements the victim gave to police and the Child Advocacy Center, where she was also interviewed in May 2013, shortly after she and her father went to Nashua police headquarters to report the alleged assaults. They went to police late the night of May 11, according to the victim’s testimony, shortly after she told her father that dos Santos had allegedly been abusing her.

She told the court that she “began shaking ... crying, hyperventilating” as she talked to her father. She said he made some phone calls, then sometime later that evening they went to Nashua police. Bush, upon cross ­examination, suggested the victim’s physical and emotional problems may have stemmed not from the alleged encounters with dos Santos, but from a difficult breakup of a relationship not connected to this case.

“The reason you needed to go to the doctor was because you were hyperventilating because of the forced breakup” of the relationship, “not because of Aldo, like you said earlier,” Bush said. Bush also challenged wording in the victim’s statement to police, in which she stated that dos Santos “performed oral sex and penetration” on “multiple occasions.” “But you said today that there was only one (incident of) oral sex,” Bush said. The victim responded that what she told police “was meant to be taken that he did stuff multiple times.”

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com.

Published: Thursday December 11, 2014.

Text messages, dates of martial arts events and alleged victim’s recollections discussed during Wednesday testimony in dos Santos sex assault trial


Staff Writer

NASHUA – Defense attorney Tim Bush Wednesday morning showed posters, photographs, cellphone records and two brief videos to the jury in the sexual assault trial of his client, Nashua martial arts studio owner Aldo Batista dos Santos, telling the jury and the alleged victim that the exhibits support to some degree his assertions that the victim’s statements and testimony contain multiple inconsistencies.

The victim, now a 15 ­year­ old high school sophomore, reported in May 2013 that dos Santos, who owns ABC Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Nashua, molested her on multiple occasions between August and November 2012 when she was 13. The girl was a member of the studio and was taking martial arts classes from dos Santos during the time of the alleged assaults, which began with embraces and kisses then advanced to fondling, oral sex and attempted digital penetration, according to her testimony and prosecution documents.

Wednesday was day two of dos Santos’s second trial, which comes about three months after a mistrial ended his initial trial after about two days of testimony. The girl, who joined dos Santos’s studio in February 2012 shortly after moving to Hudson with her father and two siblings, responded to Bush’s cross­examination by acknowledging she could have gotten some dates and times mixed up and that it’s possible her various statements and testimony didn’t match up word for word, but insisted she never knowingly made inaccurate or untrue statements.

“I was nervous ... that’s why I forgot some things here and there,” she told the court. As the legal process went forward from May 11, 2013, the day she and her father reported the alleged assaults to Nashua police, the victim said she started to remember more details. “Trial is bringing some things back ... I start remembering things more clearly,” she said. Dos Santos, 39, of 32 Gingras Drive in Nashua, was arrested in May 2013, shortly after the victim went to police. Her parents also filed a report with Hudson police, saying that their daughter told them some of the alleged assaults took place in that town. In all, dos Santos is being tried on two counts of felonious sexual assault, Class B felonies, and 10 counts of sexual assault, all misdemeanors. One of the felonies and one of the
 misdemeanors are alleged to have occurred in Hudson; all others allegedly happened in Nashua.

Dos Santos, a native of Nova Esperanca, a city in the southern Brazilian state of Parana, moved to the United States in 2003 with intentions of opening his own Brazilian jiu jitsu studio, according to Bush.

One of seven siblings, dos Santos spent a year in the Brazilian military then took up jiu jitsu, Bush said. “He came to New Hampshire, all legal and everything, and worked three jobs” in order to save money to open his studio, Bush added. He indicated to the jury that dos Santos will likely testify during his trial “not because he has to, but because he wants to,” Bush said. “He’ll tell you, ‘I have no interest in 13­ year­ old girls. That’s not me.’” Two interpreters have been taking turns sitting with dos Santos, whose first language is Portuguese. He speaks English, but not fluently.

The victim, who spent about four hours on the stand Tuesday and two more Wednesday morning, became emotional when describing details of the alleged assaults but later Tuesday and Wednesday she remained composed throughout questioning. Prosecutors Leslie Gill and David Tencza, and Bush, took turns redirecting and cross examining the victim Wednesday morning. Bush brought out posters showing text messages the victim exchanged with Sonia Batista, the defendant’s wife, with whom the victim had become close friends after she joined ABC BJJ studio.

The records show the two communicated via text messaging the night of Oct. 6, 2012, which, according to the victim’s testimony, would have been just a few hours after dos Santos and she showered together and he allegedly put her on a bed and performed oral sex. In the texts, according to Bush’s exhibit, the victim and Sonia Batista appeared to be making plans “to hang out” the next day, with one of the victim’s texts stating “you should know ... I want to hang out with you guys,” a reference to dos Santos, his wife, and their young son. “This is the same night of the alleged assault, right?” Bush asked. The victim said yes. Bush, citing texts by Sonia Batista suggesting that her family and the victim “hang out” at a city playground that next day, said he was surprised the victim agreed to meet them after what allegedly happened earlier that day.

“You went to that playground one day after those unspeakable acts? Despite what you say he did to you, you still went to be with him the next day?” Bush said. Earlier, the victim told Gill in redirect that she felt OK about going to the park “because I knew I wouldn’t be alone with him." In response to Bush’s suggestions that the victim may not have begun curtailing her friendship with Sonia Batista as quickly as she said she did, Gill produced an expanded version of the victim’s text­ message records.

While the two communicated a number of times in October, records show they texted on only four days in November, three in December, and just once a month from January through April. Gill also asked the victim about one of the videos Bush showed earlier, a roughly 30­second segment depicting a 2012 martial arts event that the victim had said she attended. Bush pointed out that since the victim didn’t appear in the video she wasn’t there, contrary to what she said earlier. But when Gill asked the victim about it, the victim said she spent about half the event in the weight room – one of the places she said she would sometimes go when she didn’t feel up to participating in training or a match.

Friday, December 05, 2014

The elf on a shelf....

I never personally participated in an "elf on a shelf" tradition but I think it's cute. Here's an idea for those of you who do...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

What you should make, now that you're not cutting weight...

Gingerbread snack cake and hot buttered rum, of course.  Good for post-shopping, post-training, decorating a tree, or like me, just sitting around the house procrastinating work.

Gingerbread Snacking Cake
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen and Martha Stewart

gingerbread snacking cake

This cake may not look like centerpiece material, but it is no less worthy of your full admiration. As written, it makes a maximum intensity (via fresh ginger and a full cup of molasses) gingerbread cake. For a moderate intensity gingerbread cake, skip the fresh ginger (I usually do because I’m a wimp) and swap 1/3 cup of the molasses with honey or golden syrup. If you can’t get molasses, use black treacle syrup. I suspect it would also make a wonderful layer cake, maybe with eggnog filling and whipped cream for frosting. It can be baked in 1 9×13 pan or 2 9-inch round or 8-inch square pans. I cut it into 32 petite squares.

so many spices

8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for pan
1 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 cup unsulfured molasses
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (optional)
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting finished cake
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, essential for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Butter and flour parchment and sides of cake pan, or spray both with a nonstick baking spray.

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan (or large one, if you’d like to make the cake entirely in there) and add baking soda — it will foam up! this is fun! Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in butter until melted. Whisk in dark brown sugar, molasses and fresh ginger, if using. Mixture is usually just lukewarm by now, but if it still feels quite hot to the touch, set it aside to 10 to 15 minutes to cool further before using.

Place flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and baking powder in a fine-mesh strainer or sifter so that you can sift them over the wet ones in a minute.

Transfer molasses mixture to a large mixing bowl if your saucepan isn’t large enough to make the batter in. Whisk in eggs until just combined. Sift dry ingredients over wet, then stir the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer cake to a wire rack and let cool completely. Once fully cool, cut around cake to make sure no parts are sticking to the side and invert cake out onto a rack, then onto a serving plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares. Please, promise you’ll serve this with lightly sweetened, softly whipped cream. They’re made for each other.

gingerbread snacking cake

Do ahead: Whipped cream needs to be stored in the fridge, of course. Cake keeps at room temperature for up to a week in an airtight container.

Hot Buttered Rum:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch salt
Bottle dark rum
Boiling water

In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Refrigerate until almost firm. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture into 12 small mugs. Pour about 3 ounces of rum into each mug (filling about halfway). Top with boiling water (to fill the remaining half), stir well, and serve immediately.

Emeril Lagasse, 2002

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday BUY EVERYTHING!!!!

FIRST, happy Thanksgiving and happy holidays :)

My first stop for holiday gifting is Detales, because I love their womens' short sleeve rashguard and spats... They're offering 15% off with this code, too, through December 15: #givingthanks.

Second is Raven Fightwear's Brony spats and rashie, on preorder now to ship out December 20.

Third is the half-off discount at Groundfighter, with the coupon code BLACK.... some great instructionals including two new ones from Ryan Hall....

My budget is already spent, but if it weren't I'd be perusing THIS LIST....

Happy shopping peeps :)

Friday, November 07, 2014

Jack Taufer gold.

Up here in Edmonds (Washington, just north of Seattle) we were blessed with a visit from Jack Taufer recently.  Jack is a blackbelt under Dave Kama (Rickson Gracie's first nonBrazilian blackbelt and one of the original Dirty Dozen.)  Jack teaches in Laguna Niguel CA and trains with Rickson couple times a week, when Jack's busy work travels allow. We profited from Jack's visit to Seattle and look forward to him returning.  Why?
  • Solid foundational high-percentage moves
  • All the "invisible jiu jitsu" you want and hope for-- the little tweaks and details which finally make things like the upa escape, the cross collar choke, the scissor sweep work.  Those "whitebelt basics" that never seem to work? Now they will.
  • He reads his audience very well and gives what the group can absorb.  This is a skill that stems from lots of teaching experience... instead of teaching to the highest belts in the room he teaches in layers, so there are takeaways for every level in the class.
  • His instruction begins with a useful warmup.  I know we all get in ruts as far as the warmup before class, so it's nice to see a new/different take on things (we did a nice self-defense/judo toss/moving warmup drill thing I've never seen before.)
  • He's really good about involving everyone in the class as an uke at some point, and allowing everyone to try their "before" version of the technique on him really helps.  In our case it was a cross collar choke, and he had everyone in class try to choke him.  
  • He's also great about walking around and doing the technique with every person in the class.  Either you'll do it to him or you'll feel him do it, or often both.
  • He teaches one fundamental technique, but then fills in followups for those who are ready to absorb the next link or two in the chain.  (For instance, after teaching a better way to maintain posture in the guard, he added a hip-bump counter, and then a back take from there.)
  • You don't walk away feeling like you wasted all your previous years in jiu jitsu, because he makes it seem like you just needed a little adjustment instead of a major wipe and overhaul.
  • Finally, he's a genuinely nice guy (and a ginger!) whose love of jiu jitsu shines out of his language, demeanor, attitude.  He geeks out over details the way I do, he's articulate in his explanations, and always includes the whys and rationales for the specifics. 
He just posted this video, if you want a taste:

He appeared on This Week in BJJ:

Here's his thoughts on triangle finishes:

And here, on the day Jack got his blackbelt, some secretly recorded rolling video...

Someone else writes up Jack's teaching style, here.

 Lucky us, he'll be back here next weekend, and we can't wait.  I hear he's going abroad to teach as well.  If you want some elegant Rickson jiu jitsu, get in touch with Jack and fit your school into his travel schedule.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

$1000 Women-Only Submission-Only!!!

Ladies, finally, a big cash prize for women only... plus, double elim, gi, sub-only!  AND a prize for the winning coach... which might cover their airfare.  Who doesn't want a little weekend in Florida right before the holidays?  Plus this is being organized by my good friend Dory, who has supported his two kids (great wrestlers and grapplers, both) through years of grueling competitive successes... I'm so excited to help support their efforts with this tournament.  Check it out!!! :)

Contact: Dory Bele                                                    
Tel. 954-701-6326
Email: fearthefinisher@gmail.com


$200 to the Winning Coach

The Finisher is a True Double-Elimination, Submission-Only Gi tournament.

 It is being held Saturday, December 20th (9am check in/ 10am start) at the Markham Park Corporate Pavilion, located at 16001 W. ST. RD. 84 Sunrise FL 33326.  (I had to look it up too.  It's Broward County, north of Miami, about 10 miles east of Ft. Lauderdale.)

Entry-$100, Spectators are $5.00 (There is a $1.50 admission to the park per person).
This is sponsored by GrapplersDiet.com and Detales Clothing.

The Finisher is not another ho-hum tournament where everyone gets a medal. This format is designed to produce the best fighter, not the best staller or the one who knows the rules inside and out. Fight to win! You battle the opponent and the clock. No points, advantages or referee’s decisions. You submit and you win, it’s as simple as that.

We are honored to cater our kickoff event for the women of BJJ. They deserve a nice cash prize and a showcase event. Don’t worry guys we have something for you planned in a few months. Everyone should prepare themselves. The Finisher is a Mt. Everest in grappling competition. It will legitimize or break some people. The Finisher is daring you, will you answer the call?

About The Finisher

The Finisher is a Partnership of Grapplers with varied backgrounds who want to put the excitement back in competition. Why? Because we all love winners. The Finisher’s sole purpose is to give a proper showcase to grappling in its purest form prior to modern day sport bjj craze. Check us out on Facebook - www.facebook.com/fearthefinisher and visit our site https://fearthefinisher.squarespace.com, or call us at 954-701-6326.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Less frustrated :)

Still training a ton.  Still working from home (a ton, too)... and happy to report my rolls have been a good bit less frustrating lately.  I think one of the resident blackbelts was getting ready for a tournament and I'm flattered he says he was using me to experiment on. Now that it's behind him, he's gone back to a more pleasant lighthearted (aka-- it's more about me) style and I feel more in the game when we roll.  Or maybe I just lightened up and opened up my game somewhat, that's a more remote possibility but I wouldn't kick it out of bed for eating crackers.

Last night had a great class with a good friend and second-gen Rickson blackbelt. which I will write up separately.  Right now I gotta get serious work done on this appeal due the fourth. 

happy training :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A nifty wristlock...

My buddy Anthony Argyros, a blackbelt under Carlos Catania (Sergio Penha lineage) and NAGA Grappler of the Decade, 2000-2009, has a "technique of the week" channel on Youtube now, and his guard passing drill is sweet.  Oldy but a goody that I'd forgotten since the days of the Coach Giberson and Jordan Silverman warmups that lasted an hour at the Relson school...

Also, he posted a nice wristlock.  I have been seeing them (as victim and attempted perpetrator) lots lately.

This is Anthony's channel.

I like the videos-- they're quick and easy to watch, with good explanations.  Here's that wristlock...