Category: training


Enter the McDojo

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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.

Cover Girl

Three-time boxing world champion and 2012 Olympian Mary Spencer made a visit to Humber College today in order to give a boxing seminar. I debated whether or not to go– would this be a demonstration, a real workout and could I take something valuable away from her? The answer was a little bit of all three.

Just last August, Spencer had lost in her first match of the Olympics:

Spencer fell to Chinese boxer Li Jinzi in a quarter-final fight at the Olympics on Monday, losing 17-14 in front of a near-capacity crowd in the ExCel arena in east London. A win would have at least guaranteed her a bronze medal.

Spencer received a bye through the first round of the 12-woman draw, and she was drawn into the easier side of the bracket, avoiding two fighters who have already beaten her this year.

The National Post, August 6, 2012

A video of the final round of this fight is available here (only for Canadian viewers, sorry!). Spencer appears to get swarmed by an opponent who clinches without hesitation. Spencer’s long arms made it hard for her to fight on the inside, and she is too inactive in the final round.

As for the seminar, due to the mixed-experience level of the group, the instruction was at a beginner-to-intermediate level. We did a warm-up, stretching, three rounds of “Polish boxing” (punching with high-knees), basic combinations, defense, suicides (sprints back and forth across the gym) and a cool-down.

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