Category: training


I just published a well-received story for ItsOnVillage about the decline of mixed martial arts within the GTA. I wanted to quickly address some of the points that were brought up after publication.

First, it is truly a great thing that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is affording bigger and better opportunities for its elite athletes. I want to note how BJJ wiz Braulio Estima only fought 1x in MMA in 2012 and then walked away. He does not need to be in the UFC. Robert Drysdale also had a good argument for why most BJJ black belts teaching jiu-jitsu are better off than the average MMA fighter.

Claude Patrick demonstrates technique

This is not saying that BJJ competitors cannot or will not transition to MMA. Look at Rafael Lovato Jr., who is 8-0 in MMA. Garry Tonnon is 2-0, having only just gotten his MMA career started this year. Tom DeBlass finished his MMA career at 9-2. All great BJJ guys who made a strong transition to MMA.

Second, I am not suggesting that qualified MMA coaches don’t exist in the GTA. Just that there are not as many qualified instructors as needed to build enough pro fighters. Remember–fighters are still learning, training and growing all the time in the city. But just not in big enough numbers for there to be breakout stars who originate here.

Good coaches do exist, but they can only work with the talent they have. And if their fighters can only get 1-2 fights per year, plus need to travel out-of-province, etc., then the constraints against their prospects are even harder to surmount.

Pro MMA fighters in other places like Montreal or Calgary likely still have numerous challenges. But if there are more shows happening out there, then the coaches have an easier job building momentum so there are legit opportunities to learn by doing (only way it happens).

Finally, if someone or a group of people with deep pockets arrive on the scene, they could potentially change things. Or not. Promoters have tried to make Ontario a profitable venture and failed time and time again. The Ontario Athletic Commission must scale back regulations that cause costly overhead, first and foremost. Until enough lobbying achieves this, any finger-pointing or criticism at promoters or investors themselves is moot.

This is all just my take. I do hope that MMA in the GTA becomes more sustainable for all involved. But at the same time, the UFC has achieved what it set out to do: prove which styles of martial arts are useful. Now that we have that information, we must use it for ourselves.

 

 

Advertisements

Enter the McDojo

Enter-the-Dojo-500x404

Just wrote a well-received (100 Facebook likes so far!) piece for CagePotato.com, Enter the McDojo: My Experience With the Bullshit Culture of ‘Traditional’ Martial Arts:

A revolution is something that changes the system in a radical way. It’s an advancement that brings new ideas to the forefront. In many ways, this was what UFC 1 was. Organized by Rorian Gracie, Art Davie, and Bob Meyrowitz of Semaphore Entertainment Group, martial artists from a variety of styles were called upon to prove the superiority of their art by entering an eight-man elimination tournament at a November 12, 1993, event hosted in Denver, Colorado.

Many MMA fans know about the legend of Royce Gracie defeating professional boxer Art Jimmerson, Pancrase fighter Ken Shamrock and Savate champion Gerard Gordeau in one night to be crowned the first ever UFC tournament champion. But now, nearly 20 years after that historic event occurred, how much “truth” about how to effectively train and prepare for fights has trickled down to martial artists across the globe?

Sure, there are growing numbers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools and a resurgence of interest in Muay Thai or other stand-up styles suited for MMA across North America. But the same old “McDojo” styles consisting of impractical or untested methods are just as prevalent today as they were decades ago before the inception of the UFC…

Read the full article here

As a special treat, Alexandre “Xande” Ribeiro, multiple-time world jiui-jitsu champion and ADCC champion, made a visit to TorontoBJJ tonight. He was giving a seminar the following day, but had shown up to watch our evening class.

FIRST PHOTO: Professor Jorge Britto demonstrates a move from the guard with instructor Thomas Beach. SECOND PHOTO: Professor Jorge Britto (L) and Xande Ribeiro (R).

We learned a very useful sweep where one hand grabs the triceps and the other underhooks the leg. This can also be turned into an armbar if the opponent posts their arm in an attempt to base out.

For the very elite belts, crossing paths with a practitioner of Xande’s caliber is a rare opportunity to test their skills. He is so far beyond the skills of most black belts, it would not be unfair to liken Xande to someone driving a Formula 1 car by comparison.

Xande represents the highest degree of perfection attainable in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I felt very lucky to have met him.