Here is a nice mount transition from Rener Gracie and the Gracie Academy.
I am proud to announce that last night my website reached 100,000 page views. It’s pretty impressive, because this originally just started as a way to keep in touch with my friends and family while I was traveling out to Thailand for Muay Thai training, and now it’s blossomed into a multi-faceted site that people all over the world are visiting. I usually receive several emails and comments from people who visit my site each week, and I always welcome that. It’s always great to hear what people who visit my site think. If you are one of those people, please feel free to contact me, even if it’s just to say hello.
To update you on some training news, I’ve continued my weekly sessions with my training partner Chris. He is training for a fight possibly in October, and there is a possibility I will be fighting by the end of the year as well. This week Chris’s friend Tyrone was there for training. He’s a really cool guy who it was a pleasure of meeting and training with. He will hopefully continue to train with us.
I have also been working hard on the Gracie Combatives curriculum with my new training partner Aaron. We have been getting together about twice a week and advancing through the lessons quickly and efficently. We are not rushing through it though, as we are making sure we take our time and focus on the details to really absorb the material.
Also, I am excited to announce that I will be testing my first student for Level 1 (Yellow Prajiet) in Muay Thai. Christian has been working really hard on his Muay Thai training and is ready for his first test. I will update the training journal after he tests, which should be in a few weeks.
Thanks again for helping me reach 100,000 views. My next personal goals for my site are to reach 500 posts (I am currently at 397 with this post) and also generate enough ad money and store sales to fund a trip out to California to train for a week.
I briefly mentioned this in my last training update post, but I wanted to take a few minutes to elaborate on it in more detail. About 3 months ago, I found this website called www.gracieuniversity.com, and I was curious to find out more about it, so I signed up for the free account. I wasn’t quite sure what Gracie University was at the time I did. I actually thought it might be some sort of fly in camp or week long seminar. After I joined the site I realized that the Gracie’s had developed an online distance learning program, and my first impression was to be disappointed in this concept. I had the same reaction that many other skeptics do, and thought that the Gracie’s were “selling out” and watering down Jiu Jitsu by creating this. It was only recently that I realized it was the exact opposite. I’ll explain in detail in a moment, but first I want to kind of explain how the process of me transforming from a skeptic to a believer took place.
About one month ago, I received an email from another member (Bill) of Gracie University in the area. He wanted to put together a “Gracie Garage” and had contacted about 10 other members in the local area who had expressed an interest in finding a training partner. So I read Bill’s email and responded, and set a time to meet. Bill has a personal training studio not to far from me, and I drove down to check it out and meet with him. Bill had explained that 2 other people were also coming to meet and later that same day I met both William and Rex. Rex and I actually share a love and appreciation of Muay Thai as well, which was cool. Bill, William and Rex are all great guys and are now my training partners in our own “Gracie Garage.”
At this point I had not even seen one of the Gracie University videos, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I met the following week and Bill and I went through Lesson 1. Each lesson shows about 20-30 minutes of demonstration on several variations of one specific technique. The videos are hosted and taught by Rener and Ryron Gracie, who are the Grandsons of Helio Gracie.
The way Gracie Academy is set up, is that it is broken up into 2 parts. Part 1 is called Gracie Combatives, and it teaches you 36 “Core Techniques” of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Upon Mastery of these techniques, you have the opportunity to record and submit a video test with specific guidelines and upload that video to Gracie University.com to be graded by one of the instructors. If you pass the test, you are rewarded with a Blue Belt, and approved for Part 2, which is called The Master Cycle. Part 1 is set up very logically and has a nice, seemless flow from one technique to the next.
Now, I realize that some people may think that you are taking a shortcut by taking your test via a video upload, but in reality, you will find that the tests is more difficult and graded harder this way. I have actually taken online college courses in the past, and I have always found them much more difficult than the classes where I went to class once a week. Here are some examples of the Gracie University Blue Belt Qualification Tests.
Now, after you pass the Blue Belt course, as I said, you can begin Part 2, which is the Master Cycle, and will allow you to continue your distance learning via Gracie University, and take various tests for belt stripes and eventually a Purple and Brown Belt. You will continue this path all the way until you are ready to take your test for your Black Belt. In order to take your Black Belt test, you actually have to fly out to California and take a 5 day evaluation at the Gracie Academy in Torrence, CA. While I can’t tell you anything about this path yet, since I am not on it, I can tell you that I am excited to eventually pursue it. On the bottom of this post I have included a video tour of the Gracie University website which is hosted by Rener Gracie. Check it out, and if you are into the concept, surf over to www.gracieuniversity.com and sign up to begin your training. You can actually purchase the individual lessons on DVD or as individual online video streams, which is pretty cool also.
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This post is going to have an unconventional format compared to my usual posts from my training journal category. Instead of having 1 consistant theme, I am going to discuss several things that I have going on at the moment.
My Sick Poppy
About a week ago I woke up to some pretty bad news. My grandfather who will be 98 this year, took a bit of a turn for the worse health wise. We actually had to end up having our family doctor make a house call and found out that my grandfather’s heart is failing. We have had to call out hospice, which sends nurses to your home, and does things like provide items that you need when you are elderly and sick to allow for a better quality of life. Poppy (the name we call my grandfather) now has to be hooked up to an oxygen tank for most of the day, to get more oxygen into his blood and help his heart out. As a result, I have had to realign my priorities. My family is obviously a bigger priority than my personal goals or training, and I have had to put a portion of my training on hold. I won’t be training at the school I was at before. I am needed here during the evening hours to help out my grandfather with certain things, like meals, getting around, etc. I have also been waking up at 7am each day now to make him breakfest and get his day started. It’s a lot earlier than I am used to getting up, but I don’t mind because he is my Poppy.
My Training Partner
My main training partner Chris is on vacation this week. Chris and I usually get together on Tuesday to work on a variety of things from sparring, to grappling, etc. We are both pushing each other and looking to compete in some competitions this summer. I may be doing some stand up as well as some grappling competitions along side Chris this summer. As those develop I keep you updated. One thing we are discussing is a “Shogun Style” fight where the first round is bare knuckles, but you can only hit to the body, but you can kick anywhere legal. Round 2 is you put on gloves and can strike and kick anywhere that is legal. In Round 3, you also incorporate take downs, so you can look to submit or strike on the ground. This is definitel a unique style of fighting and something I am looking forward to if I can get a fight booked.
UFC Fan Expo/Master Toddy’s
3 weeks left before I leave for Vegas to attend the UFC Fan Expo and train at Master Toddy’s Muay Thai Academy. I am excited about this, and I have been doing a lot of conditition and extra training to prepare for this. There will be hundreds of vendors at the UFC Expo that I will be meeting with, not to mention all the UFC stars that I will hopefully get to meet and give pictures with. I am also going to be doing an Eddie Bravo Training Seminar during the Expo. I have recently become a big fan of Eddie Bravo and 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu, so I am definitely looking forward to this. I will also be watching the UFC 100 while I am out in Vegas. I’ll probably head to the Hard Rock or something for that event. Finally, I will be spending the 13th – 15th training 2 sessions a day at Master Toddy’s Muay Thai Academy to learn some new techniques and enchance my Muay Thai skills. After this camp, I feel I will be ready to take a shot at some Muay Thai fights and I will be looking around to try to get in with a local promoter.
Gracie University BJJ Club
About a month ago I started the Gracie University online training program. When I first heard about this program, I was a little disinterested in it, and kind of thought of it as a scam for the Gracie’s to make money and that they were selling out. Now that I have been doing it for a month or so, I have completely changed my opinion of this. Basically, this is no different than simply buying some instructional DVDs and practicing the techniques at home or with some friends. Actually, the Gracie’s do a good job of showing all the nuiances of the techniques. I think to be honest that I have actually learned and understood the techniques better this way than I have at my previous two schools, because they take the time to show you every single fine point. Also, it’s not like you can become a black belt through distance learning. The highest rank you can acheive is Blue Belt, and there are very strict guidelines and expectations to accomplish this. Here is a page of videos of people who passed their Blue Belt Test and there is someone who failed it miserably. Gracie Univeristy Sample Test Page
I have recently become an affiliate with Affordable Supplements, and I will be adding some pages to my online store. They have a lot of great products at really good prices, such as weight gainers, fat burners, protein, vitamins and other nutrional supplements. It kind of takes me a while to create pages in my online store, but once they are up they are easy to maintain, so I will be constantly updating them. You can check out their website at: Affordable Supplements They also have several free promotions where if you purchase one item you get another for free. You will see some of those promotions displayed on my site shortly.
Me and my MMA Head Writer Blair are working on a new project together. We are going to be adding an Interview section to the website. In this section we will be interviewing school owners, promoters, fighters and other people affiliated with MMA. Stay tuned for this coming soon. If you know anyone who would be interested in an interview on the website, please contact me through the Contact Page
New Camp Spotlight Coming Soon
I will have a couple new Camp Spotlight features coming shortly. There will be one on Emerald Gym, Scorpion Gym and Horizon Muay Thai. I also have plans to feature Fairtex, Ultra Gym (Master Toddy’s Bangkok school) and Muay Thai Institute at some point.
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