Monthly Archives: March 2016

MMA is Timeless, Well, Almost…

You would think that the big news in Martial Arts would be the legalization of MMA in New York after over a decade of struggling to do so. That is big news but I talked about that a few weeksa ago and didn’t intend on relaying any more of the message I already sent. So what was interesting to me in the world of Martial Arts this week? Well, it is a story where the video has over a million YouTube hits. It is the video of a 68 year-old woman who was approved and fought an MMA bout. That is crazy! 68 years old? Most 68 year olds have serious problems getting out of bed. While your average senior is planning her latest bus trip, Ann Perez de Tejada, the woman I mentioned before, is stepping into the cage and mixing it up.

First, the logistics. In February she put on her MMA gloves and fought her first opponent who was 24 year-old Laura Dettman by the way.

She was quoted as saying, “What matters is what you can do. If you can move like a young person or have the skills, then age doesn’t matter.

There are people in their 30s sitting on the couch who say ‘I can’t play soccer because I am getting old.’ They say it like they take pride in it, but it’s a bad thing. If you think you are getting old, then you will.”

It was hard to find a fight for the senior citizen. The main reason was that her opponents didn’t have anything to gain by fighting her. It was sort of a lose-lose situation. If they lost, then they lost to a much older opponent which made them look bad. If they won, they beat a person whose age would be considered elderly. Believe it or not, Tejada is the oldest woman to compete in mixed martial arts, but not the oldest person on record. That distinguished honor belongs to the late John Williams of Canada. He was 70 when he competed back in 2010.

Before he passed away, he was a hero of Perez’s. She contacted Williams seeking his advice. This is what she said about that, “He told me, ‘Be prepared for a long and hard struggle,'” Perez said, meaning that people would make it hard for her, including not being willing to step into the cage to fight her for the main reason I mentioned earlier. Perez ended up looking for an opponent for about three years. In her own words, “A lot of people thought they didn’t have much to gain by beating me, but they don’t want to lose,” Perez said. “[Dettman] was great that she took the fight.”

The struggle doesn’t end there though, if you have seen all of the Rocky movies, you know that athletic commissions ultimately decide who can fight and who can’t with the issuance of a license that allows fighters to participate in sanctioned shows. A person’s experience, current health, skill level, and medical history all play a role in who gets a license. Medical tests are required and must be passed in addition to the history. To get the green-light on competing, the 115-pounder had to get approval from doctors as well as the Colorado Boxing Commission. She came up short in her debut at the Sparta Combat League in Denver, losing by a referee-stoppage TKO in the first round, when Dettman got in a full mount position and unleashed a ground-and-pound that would end the fight.

In conclusion to this amazing story, I would like to say that if Perez had a goal to simply compete, she won. If her goal was to gain respect, she won. If here goal was to get a little famous, she won. If her goal was to break a record, she won. I guess my point is, that as long as her goal wasn’t to win, she won. Weird to say, but coming from a former fighter, winning was not always the goal, just a great consequence to hard work.

Law Enforcement Knows

I read articles all the time on Law Enforcement Agencies and their need to defend themselves. What better way than MMA? You say it is brutal, but people don’t die when they train or compete in MMA. Not only does it not kill the person who is at the unfortunate receiving end, but it helps practicioners enjoy better fitness and confidence. The last artice I read was about El Paso County sheriff’s officers getting training in mixed martial arts. This is a great form of self defense.

People have tried these techniques and they work. The training teaches approach techniques, immobilization and how to disarm someone with a gun or knife. The training also includes self-defense techniques, ground encounters with weapon retention, ground avoidance and ground escapes.

These skills can save the lives of people who are put in harms way daily.

With all of the negative press surrounding law enforcement in regard to brutality, this may be a great way to reconnect with the community.

The purpose of this training? The training is intended to keep officers up-to-date on the latest techniques and provides them with the knowledge to better perform on the job. As someone who trained and teaches MMA, I can attest to the many benefits associated with MMA. It may go further and actually change the lifestyle of an officer who didn’t realize the obvious benefits until they started practicing. If the training can save a life, or cause an officer to be more confident so that they don’t have to use more force, then the training is working for everyone.

Who was teaching the El Paso police officers? You may recognize the last name, Colin Gracie from The Gracie Gym/Fight School is led the instruction for officers. The Gracie name is famous for being one of the leading founding families in the sport of MMA. Royce Gracie was the first winner of the UFC when it was a tournament style format. I don’t need to go over the entire history, but let’s just say that before him, nobody knew what BJJ was, now all MMA practicioners incorporate it into their regiment.

After competing for a number of years, it became apparent that Officers of the law benefit from training in martial arts. The benefits don’t just include them being able to defend themselves, they benefit the community. When an officer can share his knowledge with the community through teaching, it boosts morale and brings worlds together. The other side of the coin is true as well. When an officer walks into a studio and meets new people, they become more approachable and more understood by the community around them.

In conclusion, I would say that training in Martial Arts is good for everyone. The benefits reach beyond personal goals and self defense tactics. The benefits are social as well as physical.

It is a Crazy World We Live In

So when we are kids, we hear all the time that if people would put the guns down we would have a better world. Unfortunately, a gun is a good way for cowards to even the odds. We can train in martial arts our whole lives and it doesn’t make any bit of difference to a teenager who wants your money bad enough to shoot you for it. When seeing what was going on in the MMA world, I came across this story.

“The East Side Assassin” was nearly assassinated on the east side of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran Mikey Burnett, who competed three times for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) back in the late nineties, was shot three times when armed bandits tried to rob him in the parking lot of Rib Crib, a popular BBQ joint in “The Sooner State.”
Even worse, they also shot his son. Tulsa police said, as the father, Mikey Burnett, and son, Freddie Burnett, got to their car, two men walked up and tried to rob them. We’re told Freddie tried to fight off the suspected robbers when they held up his dad. Police said Mikey was shot three times in the abdomen and Freddie was shot once in the leg. Police said Mikey was taken to the hospital for surgery. Both are expected to survive. Burnett (5-2), now 41, finished with a 2-1 record for UFC, notching wins over Eugenio Tadeo (UFC 16) and Townsend Saunders (UFC 18), sandwiched around a decision loss to Pat Miletich (UFC 17.5). It should be noted the shooters have yet to be apprehended.

That is some scary stuff. The world is in a state now where it doesn’t matter if you’re a good person, it doesn’t matter if you are willing to defend yourself with your fists, it doesn’t matter if you are with your kid… people want to take what is yours. It makes martial artists ask themselves, what is it all for if we can’t defend ourselves in all circumstances? Well, I tell you what I think the answer to that is. The answer in my opinion is not so obvious. The victim in this case may have very well been a martial artist, but the robber most likely was not.

Through martial arts training we learn not to be cowards. We learn to deal with adversity. We learn not to become victims of peer pressure.

Had the guys who robbed Mikey Burnett been involved in martial arts, they most likely would not have done what they did.

Can I say that with 100% confidence that all martial artists are “good” people? Not I can’t, nor do I believe that we all are. I do believe however that it gives us the option to be better people. We learn a set of skills that translate into discipline, empathy, and overcoming adversity. These skills are not just good for our martial arts, they are good for life. These are all things that are characteristics of strong people who do not cause intentional harm to others. In conclusion, I hope that martial arts can become part of the lives of people who would have otherwise done something awful like the perpetrators of this crime. I wish Mikey Barnett and his son full and speedy recovery. I hope that justice is served to the responsible parties as well.

How do I Find a Great Place to Train?

With information taken from an article on proMMAnow.com I wanted to help give information on how to choose a good course of training for people with goals to learn more about training in MMA or any combination of individual arts involved. MMA has become one of the most popular forms of Martial Arts. Along with the UFC, MMA has become very popular in Hollywood. Similar to boxing in the 70s, film makers began making movies about MMA, and so we are introduced to our new heroes.

Even if you don’t intend to fight professionally, MMA training is one of the best workouts you can do.

MMA Fighters are well known for their functional fitness workouts focusing on core strength, cardio, agility, and explosiveness. Whether you are joining the hype in making this your new fitness goal, or just intrigued to try out something new, this is the first important decision you have to make: choosing the right training camp.

When it comes to Mixed Martial Arts it’s not about how perfect it is as a sport, it is about how perfect it is for your personal needs and goals. The first thing you must do is your research. When you’re buying a new car, you wouldn’t just go to the lot and choose whatever available, the same with choosing your MMA Training Camps. We live in an internet era, where information is abundant. Go online to look through the reviews, facilities, information, and anything else you need to know. Consider some of these questions: Are these people willing to answer questions? Does it look reputable? And don’t forget to verify the MMA credentials of the instructors. A website should include all of that information or it may not be good enough. Facilities that are successful can afford to have well put together websites with nothing to hide.

Making a list is also a good idea. While you’re doing your online research, it helps to generate a list of Pros&Cons. Once you have finished, you can start comparing them and narrowing the options down according to your preferences: distance, price, facility amenities, customer reviews, etc. Also, some destinations may not have camps which are exclusively dedicated to MMA training, but offer MMA programs. Many Kickboxing and BJJ schools also offer MMA programs. If you are interested in training to become a fighter, you might want to consider if the trainers’ experience fits your needs. The same when you are a beginner, double-check to make sure that you will not end up getting beat up in your first class.

Call, or send an inquiry to the ones you are interested in. Now that you’ve got your list, there is no better way to determine if a camp is right for you than to give them a phone call or simply send an email. Call the MMA training organizers you are interested in to check out their programs, and if they offer an introductory class or simply to ask for advice. This way, you can be more informed and prepared on what you should bring or expect from an actual class

When it comes to price, spending a lot of money doesn’t always guarantee quality training. However, a safe rule to follow is if you buy cheap, you get cheap. Examine the facilities inside the camp: the mats they are using, whether they provide weights and fitness facility, up to their accommodation. It is also worth checking if there are actually pro fighters who train in the there. If you want to be a professional MMA fighter, you need to join a camp that already has professionals. The trick is to compare as many places on the list as possible, you can always come back if you need to.

In conclusion, there are a lot of options for most people. Pick a school that has everything you need for completing your goals. All of the information above will help you come to that decision. We are confident that we have a facility that fits the needs of almost anyone who is interested in Martial Arts training.