Judo

Outstanding News: Black Belt Magazine published my Article

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Great News!! This weekend I found out that Black Belt Magazine published an article (September/2008) I wrote concerning exploratory research I conducted on what percentage of “fights” actually go to the ground. I bumped into a forum on the net where people I never heard of were having in-depth discussions about me and the article and it was surreal.

After I went to Black Belt Magazine’s  website to make sure it was real, I noticed that my article title made the front cover at the very top. It was 10 PM but I hopped into my jeep and drove to the nearby Books-A-Million and scooped up a few copies. Sure enough, just as on the web, my article’s title was featured at the top of the cover and featured on page 92. On the website it states:

FEATURES

GROUNDED IN REALITY

A Ph.D. studied videos of 300 street fights and analyzed them for lessons that will benefit all martial artists.

Black Belt Magazine is a magazine that I used to really enjoy as a child and teenager and who would have thought that I would be published in it one day. This is not my profession, so it took me by surprise.  When in communication with Black Belt, I was still teaching at my former college. So when they decided to publish it, they had no way of contacting me, using my old email address. I’m glad I found it.

If BJJ  and Mixed Martial Arts would have been around when I was a kid, even a teenager, I probably would have been in MMA instead of being an academic. Maybe not. But it sure is an honor to have them publish my work.

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Cartwheels and Airplane Taps

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Big K led class again this Wednesday. I am posting late so all I can remember from the technique portion is learning how to achieve the Twister from controlling the back. As a big guy, I had to modify it a bit. Big K told me I should perform the butterfly stretch more often to loosen my hips and my inner thighs. He believes this will give me a lot more flexibility.

I had a good rolling session. I achieved the airplane tap on a newer guy. This is a technique I learned from my first instructor, David Fermin, where you have your hooks in on your sparring partner and they are laying on their stomachs with their arms pinned underneath their chest. As soon as their elbows seem to be in the middle of their chest, the person on top lifts up and spreads their arms wide as if they are flying. It is an inconvienence tap and skinny and less skinny guys can pull it off.  After this, I tapped him again with a knuckle choke.

Then I rolled with Big K. I was able to pull off a cartwheel in the middle of our roll to get to his other side. We were going pretty good (reversals and passes) until my hand fell into an awkward position. I felt a lot of pressure on my wrist while I was in his guard and I had to tap to get out of it.

Good Class: Sub-par Roll

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Monday, we worked on hip movement, guard passes and a hip toss. The first exercise was a hip toss. I haven’t been thrown that much in a long time. However, the good news is that I can still fall correctly without being injured.

Our second drill consisted of all of us laying on our backs and then Smiley would walk left or right. We had to follow him by rocking and rotating our hips. We had to keep our head and feet off the ground. The purpose of the drill was to make sure that we always have our legs in the proper position to defend someone trying to pass our guard while standing up. 

The remainder of the drills were guard passing techniques. The main drill consisted of grabbing the gi pants of the person between their knee and groin, folding them into a ball and then “driving” them left or right. Then we insert the knee over the leg that’s on the ground and step around for the pass.

I have to admit that by the middle of class I was just holding on. When it was time for rolling I had a sub-par performance with Big K. I could barely defend and was only able to hold out just long enough that it didn’t seem like I was pitiful.