Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New patches available!

Click on the page tab at the top of the blog-- cleverly named "Patches Available."

And something fun to watch... Keenan and Galvao training back in August, 3 rounds.  You can skip the cutesy intro (from the Matrix, which is cool and short, but if you're not in the mood..) and go right to about :40.  Check the nice footsweep attempt into a single by Keenan at :45.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Amazing charity BJJ seminar, please chip in!

Better late than never... some friends in Seattle had a fabulous charity seminar recently with instruction from people like Renato Laranja and James Foster and you can still chip in a bit for a worthy cause.

You can even get access to the video of the whole darn thing.  Here's from James Foster of Foster BJJ:

Karl Walters Jr. is currently battling a rare form of cancer that only 1 out of 100,000 people get. He is receiving treatment and valiantly battling like a true WARRIOR!

Fighting like a World Champ!

As I’m sure many of you know the stresses mentally, physically, and financially that Karl and his family will endure throughout this fight are immense. That is why I am reaching out to you, my friends and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu family, to ask that you help support one of our own by making a donation to the fund I have set up called “Care for Karl”, with 100% of the proceeds raised going to Karl and his family. It would also be greatly appreciated if you could use all of your favorite social media outlets to help me spread the word about this incredible cause!

On Saturday, February 22nd I will be hosting [hosted] a fundraising seminar featuring well over a dozen of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belts the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Each Black Belt will show one of their favorite moves, their bread and butter, absolutely the best technique they have to offer! When you make your donation you will have the option to choose the “perk” which allows you to attend the seminar. Something we’re doing that is really cool is taping all the techniques shown and sending everyone who attends the seminar a link to view the HD videos afterwards. So no more worrying about forgetting all the cool stuff you’re shown, you’ll be able to go back and review the techniques anytime you’d like! For those who cannot attend in person, there’s also a donation option that will give you access to the HD videos as well, don’t worry, I’ve you got you covered :)

If you don’t want to take advantage of the perks that is fine too, you can donate as much as you want, although I’d highly recommend choosing one of the awesome perks and attending this one of a kind event for a wonderful cause! Lastly, and most importantly, you do not have to have any involvement with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to make a donation. Whether you’ve had a personal battle with cancer, had a loved one who was affected, or just plain care for your fellow man, I encourage you to support this amazing cause and show that you Care for Karl!

 James “300” Foster

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How did I get my start in jiu jitsu?

I get asked this question a fair bit, and since I just replied to a friend on this topic, thought I would share here:

I started in another art called Kajukenbo which includes jiu jitsu and judo, mainly because it was the martial art offered at the "regular" gym near my office, and I do not keep up with exercise unless it's both competitive and social. Running, swimming, biking-- BLARGH. Soccer, racquetball, flag football, AWESOME. I am very competitive, and very social, so martial arts seemed a good fit.

Then I discovered I hate kata and love sparring. I love training with "aliveness" meaning you are really trying to do the technique and not holding back because you're "just training and don't want to hurt your friend." Jiu jitsu gives you instant feedback as to whether your technique is solid, without the binary of "not hurting them because you haven't connected yet" vs. "hurting them because you punched them."

 There is plenty of time to tap before it hurts too much, which gives you plenty of time to think about your counter, your reaction, and (at the time) that seemed plenty of time to act on it, compared to striking/kicking arts. I also grew to love the fact that there is no one set of moves everyone has to learn regardless of size, shape, attributes... instead there are a myriad of techniques and you will craft your own "plan" according to your unique strengths and weaknesses.

I didn't quit kajukenbo until I got my first belt, but as soon as our class did some jiu jitsu and judo, I knew that was where my heart was. Every minute spent striking a pad or doing kata was a minute I could and should have been grappling. To be fair though, even for a yellow belt test, you had to do real rounds of standup and grappling against 3 opponents each, so, I give kajukenbo a lot of credit I don't offer other TMAs.

While still training at the kajukenbo academy, I had the opportunity to do a seminar with Helio Soneca, a Gracie cousin, and I jumped at that like a duck on a junebug. This might be one of the earliest pictures of me related to jiu jitsu. The guy immediately behind me in the blue shorts is a good friend of mine, Ivelin, who is a purple belt in BJJ at Relson Gracie Austin. Helio is sitting to the right of me in this picture and the kaju blackbelt is Tony Morel in a red shirt.

Never pass up a chance to choke a blackbelt :)

Then I told him I dance salsa, and he demonstrated his skillset there too..

Once I quit kajukenbo, I started training around the corner at Relson Gracie Austin.  I did my first tournament a month later-- nogi, round robin, co-ed under 155 pounds.  These are the two other ladies from that division.

So it's not Thursday, but I don't care, it's Throwback Tuesday for me.  Have a good one! I gotta get to work, it's a busy week.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chat with the author of the rape apologia on, Daneul Summers

·         Conversation started Tuesday
2/11, 9:34pm
Hey... just wondering if you're willing to talk with me about a piece you wrote for
·, 9:37pm
Yeah sure. What's up?
·, 9:38pm
I'm talking about your piece regarding the civil suit stemming from the NYE [ALLEGED] rape by Schultz and Maldonado...
·, 9:39pm

·, 9:39pm
I'm just curious about a lot of things you wrote in it...
who did you get your legal information from?
I don't mean the legal status of the criminal and civil proceedings. I mean your interpretations of the legal proceedings and the rationales for parties' choices.
·, 10:11pm
Sorry. I was in the middle of cooking dinner.
I used some insensitive wording in that article. I apologize to anyone that I offended by writing that story.
·, 10:32pm
Hey no worries, I'm on east coast time, didn't mean to interrupt.
Have you considered writing a public retraction and apology?
·, 10:36pm
It's all good bub. I've greatly considered it, but I've decided- with the advisement of my publicist- that what I said wasn't a big enough deal to have to. Or so I thought. Listen, like I said, I used an insensitive tone when writing that story. However, I don't believe that it's necessary to print an apology, and a retraction is out of my hands.
·, 10:37pm
Your publicist is leading you astray, bub...
But of course it's your choice.
Do you plan on a career in writing?
2/11, 10:38pm
I do.
·, 10:39pm
Then you realize not only the poor editing, but the insanely insensitive rape apologetics, will likely haunt you.

2/11, 10:40pm
Then at least I'll be remembered for something!
·, 10:40pm
Oh that's funny srsly
Well played
Who else do you write for
I'm assuming not just the one site?
·, 10:41pm
Yup. Just the one site. I'm working full time and going to school.
·, 10:42pm
I hear doesn't pay well
One reason I continue working as a state employee (death penalty prosecutor)
What are you studying
·, 10:44pm
Not at the moment. But I'm trying my best to get a foot in the door. I'm currently studying creative writing for the entertainment industry.
·, 10:44pm
Where are you in school
·, 10:45pm
Taking online classes at Full Sail University.
·, 10:45pm
·, 10:45pm
Listen, I didn't mean to offend anyone when writing that article.
·, 10:46pm
Oh? Had you read a bunch of the background when you wrote it?
·, 10:46pm
I used information readily available online. My wording was insensitive, but I assure you that I in no way condone the actions of those accused.
And yes really. Why do you ask?
·, 10:47pm
Just never heard of doing online writing classes
·, 10:48pm
And not extensive research. What was necessary to write the article and cover the portion of the story I was assigned.
It's a good school. Happy to be going there.
·, 10:49pm
I imagine once done, you don't pursue a piece further...
But have you read Jake Rossen's work or Brent Brookhouse's work on these situations?
·, 10:50pm
If I'm interested I do. I'm a fight fan. So I try to keep up with the news.
Not for this particular story, no. The story didn't catch my interest strong enough for me to pursue it further.
·, 10:51pm
Huh. Ok.
·, 10:52pm
·, 10:53pm
I suspect if you read Rossen (The Cult of Lloyd Irvin) or my story stream on my blog or Brent's on Bloody Elbow, you might see it was a much more interesting story.
But I am biased
·, 10:54pm
I'm sure it was. Again, I didn't mean to seem so insensitive.
How so?
·, 10:55pm
Obviously I think it's interesting, having been writing about it over a year now
·, 10:57pm
Very true. That story was the first I had even heard of the situation. I obviously didn't realize how deeply involved readers were with that story.
·, 10:58pm
May I ask how old you are
2/11, 10:59pm
·, 11:00pm
I asked because this story would, I think, be draped in red flags to a more mature journalist
(I worked as a journalist before and during law school)
·, 11:01pm
I'm just going to chock [sic] it up to being young and inexperienced and take this all as a learning experience
I should have been more aware of the importance of the story presented to me. For that blindness I cannot be apologetic enough.
·, 11:06pm
For the record, I am posting this conversation in its entirety so your apology might be read by the survivor and other survivors, perhaps it will help ease the pain they felt.
Unless you would like to write a public one?
·, 11:08pm
I would have liked you to tell me that you planned on sharing it  ;)
·, 11:09pm
If you prefer I not, you're welcome to write your own, but it is nice that you apologized at least to someone, to at least one rape survivor...
·, 11:14pm
You can go ahead. I apologize once again to anyone that I have offended. No creature ever deserves to be mistreated or abused. My whole heart goes out to anyone who has ever been violated by another. I'm in fact a sweet kid. I never meant to turn the stomachs or sting the hearts of my readers. They are my livelihood and I want them to see my name and recognize it in a positive sense with warm and admiration. Consider this my formal apology to anyone that I hurt or angered in any way.
·, 11:15pm
Does that mean you think it's good news they won't be on a sex offender registry?
·, 11:15pm
The only thing that I ask is that you do not bash I love those guys. My publicist is one of best guys I've ever met.
And there is the insensitive wording.
·, 11:17pm
Well, they only should be embarrassed for the horrible editing and permitting so many errors of grammar, spelling etc in the final product.
·, 11:17pm
Hell no I don't. Ok meant that they would see it as good news, not that it is in fact good news.
·, 11:17pm
How about the timing of the civil suit?
·, 11:17pm
I have been trying my best to remedy that within my own work.
·, 11:18pm
(You'll recall your article did not say that they'd SEE it as good news, but that it WAS good news)
Your comments about her timing of the civil suit as intending to drag Lloyd Irvin through the mud as long as possible
·, 11:19pm
Good news for them.
Basically saying that it was lucky for them.
Which was her intention. Why wouldn't it be? They deserve to be dragged through the mud.
·, 11:21pm
Did you interview her?
·, 11:21pm
I feel like the insensitive wording I used caused readers to twist my words.
·, 11:21pm
Or any lawyers, to explain to you why the civil suit is filed when was?
2/11, 11:21pm
Come on now.
·, 11:22pm
Because I interviewed her....
So did Brent and Jake....
And you're making pretty big claims about her intent, so I assume... surely you wouldn't unless you'd actually talked to her?
·, 11:23pm
And I'm a broke kid from a small town in Indiana...
·, 11:23pm
Do you mean you think we paid her?
·, 11:23pm
Now I simply feel like you're beating me down for a 250 word news blast.
·, 11:24pm
·, 11:24pm
What? Lol. Wow...
·, 11:24pm
There's much better news tonight
·, 11:24pm
I'm implying that I no way have the means to be able to interview her.
·, 11:24pm
Mateo Maldonado, the models, and Gotham, for three
You have the internet. And a phone. That's all you need.
You think I hop on planes.... ha state employee!
If you feel beaten, perhaps it's because I'm trying to show you that your errors weren't just sensitivity issues, but actual fundamental flaws in logic and factual knowledge, which could've been avoided with a little legwork....
·, 11:27pm
Ma'am. It was a 250 word news blast. My job was to simply inform our readers about the civil suit. I have apologized time and time again for the insensitivity of my wording and tone in said article. I have learned my lesson and will be much more conscious of the news I deliver.
·, 11:28pm
Awesome, that was my goal. Thanks
·, 11:28pm
No ma'am, thank you
Don't be too harsh on me?
·, 11:29pm
I won't editorialize, your conversation stands on its own legs
I'll post tomorrow probably
Tonight is all for Mateo
·, 11:30pm
Enlighten me.
·, 11:31pm
Go look?
·, 11:33pm
Will do Goodnight Ms. Oden. Believe me I've taken everything we've talked about to heart. Thank you for being kind. I hope you have a wonderful night.
·, 11:33pm
The previous post contains a link to my interview with Nick Schultz. You're welcome, take care and good luck!
·, 11:34pm
You too!