Tito Ortiz, MMA Legend Retires – Learn English with Slow News

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One of the projects I have been working on is to teach people how to speak English (as well as Spanish). I have been creating videos to help people with the language and I decided to cover Tito Ortiz with my latest one. For almost 20 years I have watched Tito Ortiz and I am amazed that he has fought that long. He has been entertaining and a pillar in the MMA community. To check it out click the link:  Tito Ortiz, MMA Legend Retires .

You can read Bakari’s books: Grappling 101: How to Avoid being Bullied on the MatPsychology of Brazilian Jiu-JitsuGrappling Games: BJJ & Submission WrestlersTapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.


Fighters shouldn’t retire until 46-BJ Penn

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*Check out Youtube video of post here: Fighters shouldn’t retire until 46

Okay, BJ Penn is coming out of retirement again to fight Yair Rodriguez. After a two year lay-off he is at it again and wants that UFC gold. That’s great. I will never knock a man for chasing his dreams. Trust me, I want Penn to win. I bought his books, watched his BJJ channel religiously and even learned a couple of his boxing combinations. I never used them because I thought the four punch combo would leave me too open.

However, Rodriguez is a live wire, unpredictable and has momentum. He is 24, full of fire and venom and has been training non stop for the past few years. Penn just turned 38 and has had long layoffs in the sport. I think this is a dangerous fight for him on many levels and not just because of his age. Age is a factor, but I think retirements are a major factor in tripping up many fighters who return to their sports.

I am recognizing a trend that is prevalent in many sports, but more so in combat sports such as boxing and MMA. Fighters retire and then come back after long lay-offs and put themselves in dangerous positions. They are convinced they are hanging up the gloves and going off into the sunset. However, since a fight is a fight and anything can happen a retired fighter can almost always get an upper tier or championship fight after doing nothing for years. Therefore, they keep coming back.


When I say stop it. I mean stop retiring. I propose that instead of fighters retiring, they instead state they are placing themselves on Inactive Status until the age of 46. By doing this they can avoid many things.

1: Lessen Ring Rust

By claiming an Inactive Status they will know that they will most likely fight again. Therefore, they can continue to train, learn new techniques, evolve as a fighter, stay up to date with inevitable changes in the sport and always be in shape. No, they do not have to train at full tilt. However, they should train hard and smart enough to maintain skills, flexibility, endurance, etc.

2. Spend less Money

By training and staying in shape they can avoid bad habits retired people and people with a lot of money and nothing to do fall into. These habits include eating too much, traveling too much and spending money on unnecessary items to entertain oneself.

3. They will be realistic

Many fighters who go out on top or near the top still believe they can ‘whup’ anyone placed in front of them. All they need is to join up with the best trainer and a great camp. Hogwash! Yes, I said hogwash. They do not know how much they have declined and carry false ideas of greatness.

It is similar to the 40-year-old who thinks he can beat his nephews who run high school track because he used to be a Division I track athlete. He remembers his old glory and doesn’t realize how much he has declined. However, by claiming an Inactive Status (with the full intention of fighting again) he will continue to train and will know how he measures up against up and comers. He will not get surprised. People in your camp and who you bring in to spar and help you out are not going to tell you that you don’t have that “It Factor” anymore. They are just going to pump you up and in worst case scenarios, collect a check.

4. Avoid Missing the Game and coming back to do something stupid

Finally, by claiming an Inactive Status and continuing to train with the full intention of getting better and improving I believe many of the guys who do eventually return will fare better. They will accept or take more appropriate fights and know their limits or if they have any. Also, it will lead to a more disciplined life. When they turn 46 they can hang it up knowing that they had a full fighters experience and don’t have to return to try to check off some boxes they left untouched.

***Fighters who have suffered severe injuries, concussions and other health maladies should never continue fighting. Fighters should always train safely to minimize the effects of CTE and other maladies that come along with combat sports.

What do you guys think?

You can read Bakari’s books: Grappling 101: How to Avoid being Bullied on the MatPsychology of Brazilian Jiu-JitsuGrappling Games: BJJ & Submission WrestlersTapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.


In MMA, does a smile (at the face-off) mean you will lose?

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According to a study conducted by Michael Kraus and David Chen (via BPS Research Digest), MMA fighters who smile at the “pre fight” matchups are “more likely” to lose their fight.

Coders for the study were asked to assess whether fighters were smiling during their pre fight matchups (without knowing the fighters or the outcome of the bout). Then the researchers studied UFC statistics and found that the smiling fighters were more likely to lose their fights. The results were not major, but enough to question if the findings have merit.

According to the BPS Research Digest, fighters who bared their teeth were “more likely” to be:

1) “Knocked down”

2) Wrestled to the mat; and

3) Hit more times

The fighters who hadn’t smiled were “more likely” to “excel and dominate” according to the BPS Digest article.

The article also stated that people who bet on fights tend to favor the non-smiling fighter as well. The researchers posit that smiling is a cue to the other fighter that you are submissive, lack aggressiveness and lack hostility.

I find this very interesting and wonder if it also applies to BJJ and submission grappling by default.

What are your thoughts?

BPS Article: Smiling Fighters are More Likely to Lose

Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Grappling 101: How to Avoid being Bullied on the Mat,  Grappling Games: BJJ & Submission WrestlersTapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.

Michael Clarke Duncan – A BJJ Man

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I was very sad to hear about Michael Clarke Duncan’s passing today. I heard about his heart attack several weeks back, but I always assumed he would be okay. Not to mention that his family, friends and close ones lost someone dear to them, but he also made a huge impact in our world.

Not just from great films that he starred in, but Duncan is also a cultural icon; especially when it comes to BJJ and MMA. Although the man was a giant among men (6’5 300 lbs), he still loved BJJ (he was a Purple belt) and took the time to learn the art. Here is a man who probably never, ever, EVER, needed to know a ‘lick’ of grappling who respected the art and heralded it. I have seen him many times at UFC events, front and center, and heard about his ventures training with the Gracies and in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

He’s a part of my cultural landscape and I wish him good travels.


Michael Clarke Duncan wrestles Tom Arnold below:

Michael Clarke Duncan discusses MMA, NBA, Boxing and tries to avoid looking at Eva Longoria.

GSP’s demonstrates the “Clamp”

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While looking up guard passes on Youtube I bumped into this Georges St. Pierre video. GSP demonstrates his guard defense, which he calls the “Clamp,” during a seminar. The “Clamp” does three things:

1. Protects you from strikes

2. Immobilizes your opponent; and

3. Allows you to work for submissions

Check out my new books, The Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and Grappling for Newbies on Amazon.com!

UFC 91 – Birthday & Spoiler Alert….

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Participate in BJJ Survey ? – Posted Nov 17, 2008

It’s my birthday and I just spent all day celebrating. I am finishing the night by watching UFC 91. This is the last thing I will do that’s BJJ related until tomorrow, which will be the one year anniversary of Jiujitsu365 and my project. Oh yeah, I also bought Eddie Bravo’s “Mastering the Twister” today. More about that in a later post.

Thoughts on the fights:

Demian Maia vs. Nate Quarry: I knew Quarry was in trouble when he said that his game plan for the fight was to stop Maia from taking him down with his fists and his hips. How many guys can stuff takedowns an entire fight? Once Maia took him down it was like watching big brother versus little brother as he quickly submitted Quarry for the choke.

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Josh Hendricks: Oh my goodness!!! Gonzaga is still a monster. It was like watching rams butt heads. I am going to be honest with you though. Even though Hendricks has won his last ten fights I think this fight was an easy way to put Gonzaga back into the ‘mix.’

Matt Brown vs. Ryan Thompson: It is hard commenting on the newer fighters. The UFC runs through these guys. I remember Matt Brown from TUF, barely, so I rooted for him. Brown provided a solid performance for the win.

Dustin Hazelett vs. Tamdam McCrory: These guys fully committed to their strikes. Hazelett’s kicking ability saved him at the beginning of the round and then the omoplata saved the day.

Also, what’s up with the mountain man look in MMA these days? I watched an old King of the Cage last night with TUF’s Kyle Kingsberry and he took the beard look to an entirely different level. I think the IFL guys had the best beards though. I guess if you don’t have to shave, you don’t have to.

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Jeremy Stephens: It looked like Silva threw Stephens to the wolves with the choice of dos Anjos in the first round. Anjos has strikes, takedowns and Jiu-jitsu. Stephens has heart though and pulled it out with that vicious uppercut. I hope we get to see dos Anjos again.

Kenny “Ken Flo” Florian vs. Joe “Daddy” Stevenson: First of all, Bruce Buffer gets too excited. Kenny Florian definitely outclassed Stevenson in standup, but you could see that rear naked choke 10 seconds before it happened. What was Joe the Grappler thinking?  (Sorry..)

Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Couture: As I turned 35 today, I have an investment in Randy Couture. However, my father who is in his late 50s looks (mostly) like he is in his late 30s, early 40s.  So I think I will be okay.

But I’m worried for Randy this time out. I hope I’m wrong. Technically, Couture should win but Lesnar’s size and strength gives me the jitters. They need to create a new division (235 to 265).

1st round: Wow! That was the first time tonight that I jumped out of my seat. Couture proved right away that the fight would be even.

2nd round: Man…..  Lesnar’s meat hooks clobbered Couture with what looked like a grazing blow. Also, I think the referee waited too long to stop the fight. But what can you do?

Jorge Gurge vs. Aaron Riley: It’s difficult to watch Gurgel’s fights. A Black belt that plays to his weakness. His punches looked like slapping blows. Why wait until the second round to take the guy down?

Alvin Robinson vs. Mark Bocek: A grappling fest. Bocek was impressive with his RNC victory.

Participate in BJJ Survey ? – Posted Nov 17, 2008

Dana went full retard —- “Never go full retard.”

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Last night’s TUF episode was truly entertaining, although the decision-making left me thinking, “Hunh?” I have always thought that having alcohol in a house full of men quarantined in a “McMansion” with nothing to do was asking for trouble. The producers always get what they want. It also exacerbates any alcohol issues the ‘fellas’ have.

Yet, the two guys, Junie Browning and Shane Nelson with the drinking issues on last night’s show were a danger to everyone. I mean, put you in the hospital dangerous. The only thing saving this episode from truly getting out of hand was the fact that the sober ones wanted to remain in the house and not get kicked out for beating up a drunk guy.

Dana’s decision to keep these guys in the house boggles me. I can recall plenty of times, when I was in the Army, guys who would turn into angry raging drunks after a few beers. No one was safe and someone usually ended up getting hurt. No matter how many times Dana called the pair “retarded” it didn’t change the fact that they were always a second away from having a visit from the paramedics the night before.

He endangered all of those other guys by letting them stay. It is also unfair to those kicked off the show for fighting. Some of those altercations weren’t alcohol related and I’m sure they would not have done it again, knowing what was at stake.

But I must admit, this season’s crew are making up for the last season.