Tapout is holding a MMA Fantasy Camp May 24th-30th at their gym in Las Vegas. The camp features training in multiple disciplines, by several top MMA instructors, one on one training and even a night out with some top MMA Fighters. Check out the flyer below. I am not sure of the price, but if you click the flyer it will take you to the Tapout site.
Since Sunday was my only free day between the Expo and Training, I was looking for a gym that was open so I could squeeze an extra bit of training in during this trip. I had looked at going to Xtreme Couture’s (I still might if I can swing it) and I had also checked out some BJJ schools online, but all of them are closed on Sundays. I was lucky to find out a little piece of information while I was at the UFC Expo, and that was that UFC Star Wanderlei Silva has recently opened a top of the line MMA gym in Las Vegas. To top it off, he was having a special 3 hour Seminar on Sunday. So After I moved to my new accomodations here at Master Toddy’s dorms, I packed my backpack full of my MMA gear and called up Albert (my guide/taxi driver while I am in town) and headed out to his gym.
When I arrived at the gym, I was greeted by two very nice and attractive Brazilian woman, one who is actually Wanderlei’s wife. I told them I was there for the seminar, filled out the paperwork and I was all set to go. Since I had showed up a half hour early, I got to walk around the gym a bit and scope it out. Man, is this place nice. If I ever open a gym, I want it to be set up like this place. To be honest, I am not sure what the square footage of the gym is, but it’s big enough to hold a full sized cage, a weight area, a full sized training floor with about 15 or so heavy bags, a pro shop, a kids playground area, bathrooms, some offices and a nice front desk area. Point being, this place is pimping! I am actually going to include some photos in this blog.
As it was getting closer to the start of the seminar, I was looking around the room which was starting to fill up a bit. I reckon there was about 12 guys in all. The seminar started with a bunch of standard MMA warm up conditioning drills such as running, side shuffle, knee high run, heel slap run, jumping jacks, etc. We followed that with a brief stretching session. Finally after that was all done and we were good and warm, we got to the bulk of the training session. Wanderlei started off the session focusing on striking, and he was accompanied by his two BJJ Coaches at the gym, Vitor and Sidney. Wanderlei showed us some cool techniques, some that were basic and some that were unconventional, which I suppose is his fortey as a striker. We even covered a bit of takedown during the first hour. It was basic seminar format, where they would show a technique and then you practice it with a partner back and forth, with the coaches coming around to correct you. It was pretty cool to demonstrate the techniques for Wanderlei and get his seal of approval on my application and form. That was definitely a good feeling.
Speaking of partners, I was pretty happy to be paired up with a nice guy named Joy who was from Austraila, but I believe he was of Indian ethnicity. He flew all the way out from Austraila just for the Expo and to attend UFC 100. Joy has a strong kickboxing background, but didn’t have much ground game, so i helped him through a lot of that stuff. I was glad he was my partner, because he was a really nice guy.
During hour two, Wanderlei pretty much handed off the session to his two BJJ coaches to cover some ground stuff. We learned a couple pretty cool and effective guard passes, some good sweeps from Side Control, and a few different leg locks, most of which I hadn’t seen before, but I was able to pick up quickly. Oh yeah, we also learned an arm bar setup which was pretty cool. I have actually had it done to me a couple times before, so now I am glad that I know how to do it, as I will know what I was doing wrong to end up in that position and also how to apply it myself. I am not going to discuss the setup details right now, because I want to surprise my training buddy Chris down the road.
Hour three was a cross between MMA and sparring. We started off with just kicking sparring, then moved into hands and feet combos, and finally into MMA with takedowns. This was my only bad experience part of the seminar. For the first “light sparring” round, I was with Joy and me and him had a decent sparring session going back and forth. However, we then switched partners and we were suppose to have another round of “light sparring” I ended up getting paired up with a guy about my size and height, who is in town for a week or so training for an MMA fight. If you have ever heard the term “training dick” well that just about describs this guy. He is one of those guys who only has 1 speed hard and fast.
The round started off ok, with us kind of trading off blows back and forth. I was tagging him lightly, while he kept chopping away at my left leg with leg kicks. Even when you are wearing shin pads those things fucking hurt. I started to notice that every time he went to kick, he would drop his hands, and whenever he did that, I would tag him. Even though I wanted to, I wasn’t tagging him hard, because I did not want to be disrespectful. Well, that must have just pissed him off, because he start to really whale away on my leg. At one point I had to stop and tell him to take it easy, basically because I didn’t want one training dick to ruin my entire time here in Vegas and be too sore to train. That worked for about 10 seconds, and then he started lighting me up again. At that point, I should have either elbowed him in the nose or given him a strong knee to the face but I just sucked it up and made it through the round. I’m not too happy about the fact that my left leg is all bruised up now. Man, I hope that fucking guy gets pounded worse than Bisping and Mir combined in his fight.
During the final round of sparring we switched partners again, and I went with a guy named Walter who trains at the gym. This round included takedowns and strikes. It was pretty cool, because my takedowns suck, but at one point I shot in on Walter, he defended and we ended up in the clinch, but eventually I scored the takedown, which made me think maybe my takedowns are getting better. We ended up on the ground with me on top and I was able to pass his half guard into side control. Instead of going for a submission, I decided to try to pin his hands and just strike. From there he tried to escape to my back, but I blocked it and we ended up with me back in his guard. As I passed, Walter went for an arm bar, but missed and I made it back to side control when the time was up. I was happy with my performance and gave me a lot of confidence to try my hand at more MMA sparring.
At that point, the seminar was over and we all got the chance to take a lot of photos with Wanderlei. We all also got a nice gift of a brand new autographed T shirt personally made out to each of us, and a little supply of Xyience supplements. That alone was easily worth the cost of the seminar.
Since this is a review, and not just a recap, I am going to give this some grades for the following cateogories.
Facilities = A+
Techniques = A
Conditioning = B+
Personal Attention = A
Extras (Photo Ops, etc.) = A+
Overall Experience = A
Would I Recommend This Seminar = Yes
My only complaint is I would have liked a little bit more technique directly from Wanderlei, but I really can’t complain about his BJJ Coaches Vitor and Sindey, because they were also top notch. If you guys are ever in Vegas you should definitely stop by the gym. The website is www.wandfightteam.com
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Well, the day has arrived. I leave for the airport in a couple hours and I am off to Vegas Baby, Vegas! I have a pretty complete trip planned. I’ll be in Vegas for 1 week, and my trip will include 2 days at the UFC Fan Expo, which I will be meeting many of the UFC Fighters, the Ring Girls, and many other celbrities. I will also be talking to a lot of vendors to try to get more products to do my product reviews on. There is also the Maxim UFC Ring Girl Search, The Limp Biskit Concert, Dana White’s commencement address, The Grapplers Quest Tournament, and the Eddie Bravo workshop that I will do during those first 2 days.
On Friday night, I am going to spend a few hours training at Xtreme Couture, I’ll be taking the MMA and Muay Thai class. Saturday night is UFC 100 of course and me and my buddy are probably going to head to the Hard Rock to watch the fight, and then search for the best place to go to one of the after parties at.
Starting on Monday I will spend 3 days training at Master Toddy’s for a seminar he is having out there. It’s 3 days of intense training of both morning and evening sessions all 3 days. I am hoping to round out my trip with 1 day at a BJJ school if I can find one that is open on Sunday’s at it is literally my only day that is not booked on this trip. I fly back on Wednesday night on the red eye and arrive Thursday morning next week. It’s going to be an exciting trip, and I should be posting regular updates on my blog for those that are interested, with photos and videos of all the events. Wish me luck.
So I am still trying to figure out all the specifics of my timw while I am out in Vegas, but it looks like I will have a couple of evenings free, and rather than sit around in my time share room, I am thinking about checking out Xtreme Couture’s gym while I am out there. They have a purchase deal where if you are visiting, you can take unlimited classes for one day for the price of $25. Since I fly out there on Thursday, I will have both Thursday and Friday evening open to train. I am looking like it is more likely to be Friday evening, after my first day of the UFC Fan Expo. On Friday night, they have a MMA Class followed by a Muay Thai class, so most likely I will do that. They also offer Jiu Jitsu, Boxing and Wrestling at the gym as well.
Xtreme Couture’s gym has over 12,000 sq ft of training space, and has an Octagon and a Boxing right. They also have a cardio and free weight area. Some of the trainers include Randy Couture, Tyson Griffin, Mike Pyle, Gray Maynard and Robert Drysdale. For more information on the gym you can visit. www.xtremecouture.tv
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OK, so the UFC Fan Expo is less than a week away, and I am pretty excited. I fly out this coming Thursday to spend a week in Vegas divided between the UFC Fan Expo and training at Master Toddy’s Muay Thai Academy. Typically, when I head to a camp or seminar like this I try to really up my cardio and conditioning ahead of time so I don’t seem like I am a mess when I am there. Unfortuntely, with my grandfather being in the hospital the last couple of weeks, I have had many responsibilities that have forced me to slack on my training a bit. Family is more important than training to me. My Grandfather is back home and doing well, so this last week I can focus a bit to try and keep up to par for the Master Toddy Seminar.
The first part of my trip will center around the UFC Expo. I am traveling out there with my buddy Kalif, and we are staying in a time share while we are there. I am excited because I haven’t really seen him since I got back from Thailand, because we both stopped training at the school I was training at. There are several big things we will be doing while we are at the expo.
Obviously, one of the biggest draws of the Expo is the ability to meet, get photos with, and autographs from many of the UFC stars. Among the stars that will be there are: Minotauro Nogeuira, Rampage Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Diego Sanchez, Shane Carwin, Lyoto Machida, Chuck Lidell, Randy Couture, Renzo Gracie, Royce Gracie, Shogun Rua, Wanderlei Silva, and Ring Girls, Arianny Celeste, Edith Labelle, and Logan Stanton. I am going to try to snap photos with, and get autographs from all of them and more, and hopefully find out where the after party is!
Training And Development Session With Eddie Bravo
The master of The Twister and The Rubber Guard, Eddie Bravo of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu is having a training session at the UFC Expo, and I will be attending it. I’m very curious about the No Gi 10th Planet system. I know a lot of people hate on this, but I am always open to learning new styles that may be effective. Other training and development sessions include Wanderlei Silva (Sold Out), Mark Dellagrotte, Urijah Faber and Rumina Sato.
Maxim/UFC Octagon Girl Search
So I just found out that Maxim is hosting the next UFC Ring Girl Model Search. The contest will be held live at the UFC Fan Expo. You know what that means??? Tons and tons of extremely hot women will be there. From what I understand it is a judging panel that decides the next ring girl, but I am sure that the audience feedback plays a part. I’ll snap off a bunch of photos and video while I am watching the pagent style event.
Grapplers Quest is holding a grappling tournament at the expo. Some of the big name people in the open division include Vinny Magalhaes (from TUF 8), Ramina Sato, and Joe Stevenson. There will be many divisions of the tournament. I have wanted to compete in one of these for a while, but I probably won’t do it here, because it will take time away from all the other stuff I have planned, but I will definite watch it for a bit.
There will be many vendor booths at the UFC Fan Expo, that I will want to attend which I will want to visit while I am there. I have already made contact with some vendors and theyw ill be supplying me with some products in the future to do more product reviews on. I will let you know as I make some connections, and I am sure you will see the adds on the site. Some of the vendors I have touched base with are MMA Adnetwork, Get Rung Mats and Body Kore.
I’ll try to make a couple posts while I am out there if anything pretty awesome happens, and I also will give you updates from Master Toddy’s as I am training there as well.
Oh yeah, if you want to go to the UFC Expo, you can get tickets from here: UFC Fan Expo Tickets
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