One of the things I love most about training Mixed Martial Arts is that I get to meet a bunch of really cool people, who share similar interests and philosophies. That was definitely the case when I first crossed paths with Brian Yamasaki from Mushin Self Defense Academy in Utah. Both Brandon and Brian from Mushin took the time to answers some questions about themselves and their school in Utah. It is a school I am definitely looking to train at someday. You can visit them on the web at www.mushinselfdefense.com Here is the interview with Brandon and Brian.
1. How did the owners of Mushin Self Defense, (Brian and Brandon) meet?
Brandon Kiser: One day I walked into my Thai Boxing Class with Kru Bernales and there was this 140′ pound Japanese guy shadow boxing in the mirror. Kru Bernales (My Instructor) pulled me aside and said “Hey Kiser, this guy wants to fight, I am going to have you spar him, he seems pretty cool but I want you to put it on him and then we’ll see if he really wants to fight”. We paired up and threw down numerous times. I did everything I could to crush this guy’s dream of fighting but he kept coming back day after day. His name was Brian Yamasaki and he quickly became my new favorite training partner.
Brian Yamasaki: One day as I arrived to take a private lesson from my instructor Khuen Khru Bernales, I saw a guy shadowboxing in the class just before mine. It was strange because it was almost like I could see Ajarn Chai’s spirit inside him as he moved. You know how it is, when you go to a concert or something and you hear a musician play a single note and you know right there that, that guy has talent. That’s how it was for me when I saw Kiser for the first time. But instead of a note, it was a knee. I saw him throw one and I knew that he had talent. He was something altogether different than what I saw in all the other students. I did everything I could to convince him to help me prepare for some fights I was getting ready for. And we’ve been best friends and business partners ever since.
2. What arts are you certified in?
Brandon Kiser: MMA (Erik Paulson’s Combat Submission Wrestling State Representative)
Brian Yamasaki: I am an Associate Instructor in Muay Thai Thai Boxing under Ajarn Surachai Sirisute, and a Coach Level 3 in Combat Submission Wrestling under Sensei Erik Paulson
3. How long has your school been established?
Brian Yamasaki: I’ve been running my school since 2000 and I believe Kiser joined me in 2001.
4. What is your current student population? Does that consist of fighters, men, women, children, etc?
Brian Yamasaki: It consists of Men, Children, Women and Fighters. We focused on our fight team for the first 5 years or so but now we are primarily interested in catering to Martial Artists and helping to spread the arts of Muay Thai and Combat Submission Wrestling.
5. Your school is set up mostly as a Muay Thai/MMA school. Which art would you say you gravitate more towards?
Brandon Kiser: I am 100% most inspired by MMA.
Brian Yamasaki: I have a love for both Muay Thai and MMA. They’re like wine and cheese for me. One only serves to contrast and bring out the beauties and uniqueness of the other.
6. Is there an art that is not on your schedule that you enjoy practicing?
Brandon Kiser: Power Lifting
Brian Yamasaki: Kali, Silat, JKD, Judo, Catch As Catch Can, Freestyle, Folk style and Greco Roman Wrestling, and Survivorman Techniques
7. Do you feel it is necessary to have fight experience in order to be a good coach? If so, what is your experience as fighters?
Brandon Kiser: Fighting has definitely helped me to be a better coach. I am a junior olympic gold medalist, competitive grappler and Utah State MMA Champion.
Brian Yamasaki: Yes, I think it helps if you want to train other fighters. You have an inside perspective into what your fighters will go through mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Other than that, it’s not the most important aspect of being a good coach IMHO.
I am 1-1 in Muay Thai, 1-1 in MMA, and 2-0 in submission grappling.
8. What fighters have you trained or worked with?
Brandon Kiser: I have cornered or trained the following UFC Fighters: Josh Burkman, Melvin Guillard and Brandon Melendez. Sportfight Champion Dennis Davis. Bodog Fighter Kyacey Uscola. Gladiator Champion Jake Paul. The Bernales Fight Team: Johnny Miller, Paul Roberts, John Mckean and Aaron Okura. Mushin Fighter Corps Team: Brian Yamasaki, Dustin Gapusan, Trevor Osborn, Kensei Sato, Konrad Jones and more.
Brian Yamasaki: I have trained and worked with Brandon Melendez, Gladiator Challenge Champion Jake Paul, Mushin Fighter Corps Team: Dustin Gapusan, Brandon Kiser, M’lisa Kiser, Trevor Osborn, Mika Kofe, Sterling Okura, Mark Brinkerhoff, Kensei Sato and Konrad Jones. I have consulted and been a contributing trainer for the Bernales Fight Team: Johnny Miller, Paul Roberts, John Mckean, and Aaron Okura.
9. You guys do a lot of unique Internet promotion such as your You Tube Channel and the Damage Control MMA Blog. Tell us a bit about how both of them got started.
Brian Yamasaki: Taking It To The MMAT (our Youtube Channel) started off as a t.v. show on our local Comcast Cable Network. Kiser and I had seen a lot of the MMA programming available (which wasn’t that much) and most of it had a tough guy, thug, fighter feel to it. We wanted to show a different side of MMA and Martial Arts in general.
Later when I received my Associate Instructorship from Ajarn Chai, I asked him what I could do since I didn’t feel that I had done as much to earn that ranking as my fellow Associates. He said “Help me to spread the art of Muay Thai sir. I want to see this (he pointed to the Thai Boxing Association Logo on my shirt) everywhere. I want to see Discipline and Respect in MMA one day.”
I decided that the best way to do that was to expose as many people as I could to the wonderful mentors, instructors, influences and friends that I had met through the Thai Boxing Association of the USA, Combat Submission Wrestling, Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Guro Dan Inosanto’s lines of Martial Arts, and the Arts in general. I felt that these people, more than anything else would be able to show what the arts are really about. So Kiser and I set out to publish as many videos as possible of our favorite instructors and friends.
Damage Control grew out of some research we did that showed us that just as many people were watching our out takes and non-martial arts related footage as were watching our instructional. So we put together a format that could include more of that material.
10. Anything else we missed that makes you guys unique?
Brian Yamasaki: No not much. I guess if there’s anything that makes us unique its that we aren’t and that we don’t try to be. I think a lot of people relate to us because we’re not UFC fighters or superhumans. We’re just regular guys, Seekers, explorers on the path of Martial and self discovery. We feel the same pains and elations of every other guy and gal out there on this path.
Our mission has been to generate positive energy and to relate with others on our adventures through the Martial Arts while exposing people to the hearts and souls of those who have helped mold and create us as Martial Artitsts.
I would like to thank Brandon and Brian for taking the time to do the interview with me for all of my readers. You can check out the guys on the web at www.DamageControlMMA.com or www.mushinselfdefense.com or also on Youtube at www.youtube.com/user/TakingItToTheMMAT If you live in Utah of the surrounding area, make sure you stop by their school for some training or a seminar.
Erik Paulson will be conducting several semianrs for the remaining months of 2009. Seminars include Combat Submission Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts and STX Kickboxing. If Erik is having a seminar near you, I suggest you attend. He is a funny guy and a walking encyclopedia of submissions. For more information visit www.erikpaulson.com
» July 25th (One Day Seminar)
» July 26th (One Day Seminar)
1 day seminar
More contact info to follow
» August 1st
Josh Barnett fighting in Affliction, Orange County, CA
» August 9th (One Day Seminar)
Stephanie & Victor Lashley
» August 15th and 16th
Cory Smith and Tim Mcfatridge
More contact info to follow
» August 29th & 30th
» September 12th and 13th
More contact info to follow
» September 19th (One Day Seminar)
» September 26th-27th
tenative 3 day camp
Definite schedule for a two day seminar
More info to follow
» October 3rd and 4th
» October 10th and 11th
Eastern Academy of Martial Arts
Virginia Beach, VA
» October 17th and 18th
» October 24th and 25th
Bruce Lombard and Paul Zelinka
412 W. College Ave.
State College, PA
» November 7th and 8th
contact info to follow
» November 14th and 15th
Montreal Quebec Canada
235 Cure Labelle
Tenative Canadian tour will follow
more info available soon
» November 21 – 22
» December 2009
Tenative tour of England, Scotland
More info to follow
Khuen Khru Brian Yamasaki, CSW Coach and Thai Boxing Instructor out of Bountiful Utah demonstrates the basic use and set up for the Hop Overhand Right. He then shows a second variation of the technique.
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Sorry for the late notice in posting this information. If you are in the area, and into MMA, you may want to check out this seminar. Unfortunately, I can’t make this one, but training with Sensei Erik Paulson is well worth the experience.
Mixed Martial Arts Seminar With Erik Paulson
Erik Paulson will be conducting a 2 day MMA seminar on June 6th and 7th from 10 am to 4 pm. This seminar is open to all skill levels. Don’t miss this opportunity to train with the “Encyclopedia of Mixed Martial Arts”.
Price: 1 Day – $110 2 Day – $160
Time and Date: June 6th & 7th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Location: 1323 E. Lincoln Hwy, Levittown, PA 19056 | 267.202.4507
Contact: 215-949-9989 or http://tsmaapa.reachlocal.com
CSW Coach Brandon Kiser shares one of his favorite sweeps from the Guard. He shows how to transition mid sweep into a Kneebar submission hold in this video clip.