Archive for the ‘Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’ Category

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With the dethroning of Jose Aldo, Connor McGregor is the latest to best a giant. It only took him 13 seconds to accomplish this feat. Holly Holm being the last one before that. The one thing I have learned over the years is that MMA is so unpredictable. You are never safe in a MMA fight. The greatest champs on paper might not make it out of the fight with gold.

Lets break down what little of the fight there is to break down. Aldo came out aggressive, looking to take the fight to Connor. Connor timed a perfect hook to the jaw of Aldo. He was caught being aggressive and over extended. Aldo actually caught Connor with his own hook in the exchange. But fate was on Connor’s side on this night. Not to say it wasn’t skill that finished the job, but anytime a fight is finished in such a quick time questions are still left to be answered.

I would say a rematch would be in the works if it is not already signed. I know as a fan I want to see the questions get thoroughly answered. I want to see if Aldo’s skills can really exploit holes in Connor’s game. Mendes showed that Connor was human. This only adds more questions that need to be answered.

Aldo was a great champ and will be back for sure. Now we will get see if the Irishman will live up to the hype.

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My new book

Posted: July 29, 2015 in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, MMA
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 A Beginners Guide to Becoming Mixed Martial Arts by Don Davis

I have not made time to post in a while and figured I need to get back to it. My training schedule over the last couple of months has been horrible. I have maybe been getting one day a week of jiu jitsu and maybe one or two more days of workouts. I have had some sickness, a child in the hospital, and a relative pass away all here recently. The blog kinda took a backseat to life. Hopefully I am now back in the swing of things.
I will start off with my recent tournament experience. I competed at the Southeast Missouri Open. It was not a large tournament but a good solid start for a first annual region tournament. The guys at midwestgrappler.com put on another very professional tournament. It was well run and well organized. The brackets were good with some tough jiu jitsu matches. Some of the best teams in the Midwest put on some very good matches.
Here is the rundown on how I did. Now understand I am in the blue belt masters division. This division is notorious for not having enough competitors to fill a bracket. So what usually happens is that we get thrown in with the young guys. No big deal. Well on this day they did not have a light heavyweight division, so I get grouped with the heavy/super heavy division. I am by far the smallest guy in this division with the largest topping out at 300 plus. Luck of the draw I get the first bye. My first opponent in the semifinal round is 6’5” 250. Myself I am 5’7” 201. I have to say I played a pretty good match and finished 11-0 on a solid tough opponent. This put me in the finals with only one match. Well with the move in division it placed me in the finals against a teammate. We have the rule as do most schools, we won’t compete against our teammates. So what do you do in this situation, we had an epic rock, paper, scissors battle to the death. Needless to say I am still here and crushed his rock with my paper. So I could not complain about my showing in the gi. Next was what they called an Old Man Superfight. I didn’t have anyone in the light heavy no gi division so I had a teammate from the main academy step and challenge me. By the way, thanks Michael Collins for the match. I was able to secure a darce choke and win the no gi superfight.
So all in all it was a good day and a great tournament. I was able to get some mat time. I felt good even though it had been some time since I had put in any hard training. I also received a very good compliment from a respected higher belt, and that was the best of all of it. It was a good day.

have been training and competing in jiu Jitsu for many years. I’ve rolled with just about every body type and style known to man. I’ve rolled with small super fast guys, muscular ectomorphs, monstrously large guys, and just about every kind in between. I have also seen guys who don’t fit in nice neat packages. I have rolled with super large guys who had lightning speed. I have also rolled with guys who weighed a buck thirty, but could crush you like a steam roller. So take the following descriptions with a grain of salt. This is a very basic assumption of body type and Jiu Jitsu or submission grappling style.

Let’s start with what I call the three types of Jiu Jitsu body types. The first type is the monkey, followed by the chimp, then the gorilla.

1. Monkey. This is normally the small highly mobile Jiu Jitsu player. These guys usually weigh in somewhere between one thirty and one sixty. These guys are your berimbolo, inverted guard, turn you in circles till they pass kind of Jiu Jitsu guys. Not to say the bigger guys can’t do this stuff just bear with me, while I make broad stroke assumptions. These guys are also the highly mobile guys, who stand from your guard and sprint past it. The monkeys are usually very tough wiry guys, they are hard to pin down, and usually hard to submit.

2. Chimps. The chimps are guys between one sixty and two hundred pounds. Here is where you find a lot of the super strong, fast guys. These are the guys that can crush you into the mat, but also pull off a cartwheel pass like an Olympic gold medalist. These are what I consider the most dangerous of the three types. Most guys fall into this category, and with most people falling into this category it would only make sense that you would have an over abundance of tough guys in this section. These guys come in all kinds of shapes and sizes also. You have to have a good balance between being heavy on the mat and being light.

3. Gorillas. These are your monsters. These are your over two hundred crowd. Let me tell you nothing sucks worse than having a two hundred and fifty pound man crushing you into the mat. Big guys, even without skills, can be dangerous. If you have a large guy who really knows how to use his weight, it can be a long day if you get stuck under him. If you really want to know something even more scary, it is a big guy who is strong and fast. These guys can not only crush you, but can do it so fast you can’t stop it.

I have labeled guys like this for ever. I know it is just a judgmental statement of outward appearance, but at least you have clue on how to prepare yourself and for others. My instructors always talk about how Jiu Jitsu is attribute driven. The first thing to learn from Jiu Jitsu is how to use your body. Each type will have specific things that they can do better maybe than the others. Use this knowledge to your benefit. I know myself being about two hundred and five pounds I will squash the monkey if I can and I will try to be more mobile than the gorilla. Use the types as a starting point then leave them behind as you progress on your Jiu Jitsu journey. Now where is my banana.

Primate portraits that are 97% human

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Anup Shah and Fiona Rogers / Rex Features (1289286do) Primate Portraits That Are 97% Human They say that little separates us from the apes and these humorously human portraits show just how close we really are. The lighthearted collection, which captures the likes of chimpanzees, orangutans, baboons and bonobos in the wild, shows that it’s not just use humans who like to monkey around. The heartwarming primate portraits were captured by British wildlife photographers Anup Shah and Fiona Rogers. They have spent the past year travelling the world to capture stunning images of some of the planet’s most elusive primates. And though their subjects may be rare it’s clear to see why they are considered to be our closest cousins. From puzzled to playful, musing to mischievous, the all too human expressions reveal a capacity for emotion that rivals our own. Whether it’s yawning, smiling cheekily or looking pensive, these candid images show that apes are undeniably 97% human. MUST CREDIT PHOTOS BY: Nature Picture Library / Rex Features For more information visit http://www.rexfeatures.com/stacklink/VMIIKWFZD

I was reading an article this morning about how the human brain rewards negative thinking. It explained that as a natural defense mechanism, our brains are wired to reward the negative thoughts with a rush of dopamine.

Paying attention to the negative is what has kept the human race alive. The article made the comparison of stopping to smell the roses or paying attention to the tiger stalking you behind the roses. The negative was rewarded in your brain as a feedback loop to keep you alive. The brain’s default position is negative. The article explained how happiness took effort. Happiness definitely is not the default setting of our brain. You have to get out and experience life. You have to make the effort to be a part of something.
I’ve learned just coasting through your day doing the things you have to do definitely doesn’t make you happy. You have to experience more of life than just working and going home and watching TV.

I am the father of two boys and have a wonderful wife. I feel like I owe it to them to give them life experiences. My oldest, eleven, is very active in sports and school. He also trains in jiu Jitsu with me. The little one is only three, but when we are training he is right there with us. Giving them experience also means preparing them for life. As a western society we tend to think our school system prepares our kids for life. It does only to a point, but it is up us to prepare them. Ok that is a topic for another day, but I want to get back to happiness. It is a simple formula. Happiness is doing.

The more I learn about how the brain operates, the more I believe happiness lies in the zero mind. If you are not familiar with the concept, the zero mind is what people refer to when you talk about someone being in the zone. Happiness is in the zone. Happiness is about doing activities that are fun and stimulating to your brain. Since the brain defaults to the negative, the only way to combat this is keep it busy. You turn off the negative by being in the moment. For me, this happens anytime I am working out or at jiu Jitsu class, or playing with my kids. Jiu Jitsu Class is a place of zero mind for me. It is a place I lose myself from the everyday. I am happy in the doing. My brain is shut off from the negative and the nowness of jiu Jitsu is the only thing that fills it. The doing is what shuts off the negative from your brain. Whatever your zero mind activity is get out there and do it. Get your wife, your girlfriend, and your kids out there doing something. You brain will thank you for it. You kids and your significant other will also. Don’t forget to get your family involved. Spend time doing. Shut of the negative and be in the zero.

​​I have been a lifelong martial artist. I have trained and competed, and trained some more. I have lived and breathed martial arts. I ran my own school for almost 15 years. I put in tons of hours training fighters, watching video, and studying fighters. Now this is not a bad thing, but it does become a perdominant part of your life. When something saturates your whole being like this you want to tell everyone about it. You want to talk about with your friends, your parents, your coworkers, and of course your spouse. Whatever you do, do not do this. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. My life was so concentrated on martial arts, mixed martial arts particularly. I wanted to tell everyone especially my wife. I bombarded her with conversation about this fighter or this event. I dragged her to MMA shows. I constantly watched MMA on TV. I even ran my own amateur MMA promotion for seven years. MMA at our house was bread and butter. You could not escape it. I noticed after awhile our conversations started to wane. We were not talking as much. I was so focused on MMA I didn’t know what to talk to my best friend about. We have been together over seven years , not nearly enough time to run out of things to discuss. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t like we weren’t speaking, I just had my focus to narrow. I learned the hard way, that she supported me, but did not love it like I did. She was just tired of hearing about it. She was tired of watching it, and tired of living and breathing it. I have finally closed my school and my MMA promotion. This was probably one of the happiest moments of my life. The stress that was lifted from me was incredible. It also meant that MMA was not the main focus in my life anymore. I still train BJJ and MMA occasionally. I have a gym at my house and go to BJJ class a couple a nights a week. I have learned to have normal husband and wife conversations again. The best thing you can do is never talk about your hobbies with your spouse unless they start the conversation. Know when to keep your mouth shut. One more thing, talk to your spouse. Let them know how you feel. Especially if you are the one on the other side of the conversation. Communicate, everyday.

I noticed something with my son this year during wrestling season. He was just not as strong as the other kids his size. I first chalked it up to him taking a year off from wrestling. Then I started to realize it just wasn’t the lay off from wrestling. It was his lay off of just about all sports and activities, since playing baseball at the beginning of last summer. To take it even further it was his new obsession with a video game called Minecraft and a couple of others. Which I understand the video game obsession I spent many a night hunting bad guys on, insert popular fps of the time. As much as I understand his video game obsession, I know too that he spends way too much time playing it. With school, homework, chores, and then videogames, he has stopped being physical. He stopped going outside and playing. As a parent I feel like I didn’t do my job and make him turn the game off and go out and play. I am not with his mother so he lives about 45 minutes away. This has made parenting so much more difficult. I don’t know if this is why I missed this or I just could hear my parents telling me turn off my Nintendo and go outside.
Now that I know what one of the issues is, I want to correct it. I don’t want to be one of those crazy parents that you see on some horrible reality show, pushing their kids to beyond reason, but I want to make a change for the better. Now how do I get my son to be competitive without enrolling him in boot camp. Time to start with some stealth parenting.
Here are some stealth ways to disconnect your kid from the TV, Xbox, or computer.
1. Get them out of the house. How you say. Take them to the park. I can’t tell you how good of a workout you can get by playing on a jungle gym. Climbing, running, jumping is about as athletic as you can get.
2. Play a sport with your kids. Get outside and play ball. It does not matter what sport with a ball. Baseball, football, basketball, it does not matter.
3. Go bike riding. This is one of our favorite things to do with the kids. I have mentioned my eleven year, but I have a three year old also who absolutely loves to ride on the back of a bike.
4. Go for a hike. Find a good nature trail and plan a day. Picnic, hike, have fun. Most state conservation websites give you all the info you need to find a great nature outing.
5. Go to the beach, a lake, or river. Swimming is a great exercise. See number 2. Play ball at the beach.

Ok these are just a few of the things you can do to get your kid in shape. The plus, if your are out there doing these things, you will also get the added bonus of getting in better shape. Now these all seem like warm weather activities, and yes for the most part they are. You just have to be more creative when the weather is bad. Locally we have a place with a warehouse full of bounce houses. Two or three hours and your kids will crash out as soon as they get home. You just have to find things that are fun and physical.
The biggest advice I can give, if you want to get your kids that edge in competition, is get out and play with them. Disconnect them from the Xbox and yourself from the TV or computer. Get outside and play, don’t just watch them. Play with them. If you don’t they will end up right back playing computer legos, while the other kids get stronger. Go play with your kids. I know I will be. Stealth is the key.