Monthly Archives: November 2016

One Video That Sums Up Martial Arts

Jason Wilson is obviously a good instructor. Who is he? He is a martial artist who helped a 9-year-old make a breakthrough, physically and emotionally, when he failed to break a board with his left hand and began to cry. The video from this has gone viral and it shows the boy, Bruce Collins III struggling with the final moments of his initiation test. He has broken a wood board with his right hand, but several attempts to punch through another board with his left have failed. That’s when Wilson gets down on his knee to talk with Bruce at eye level. “I don’t mind you crying. I cry too,” Wilson says. He then tells Bruce “you’re pulling your blow,” perhaps from fear or uncertainty, and encourages the boy to push through the resistance.

“You can do it, you just have to put your mind to it.”~ Jason Wilson

“You can do it, you just have to put your mind to it.” Wilson says as he consoles while still encouraging Collins. That is what a real instructor has the blessing of knowing how to do. They can let someone know that it isn’t easy, but it is possible. The boy goes on to break the board in two. It’s a single board, but it’s symbolic of the hurdles Wilson’s young students will face as they grow up and become men, he told TODAY. “You have to have follow through when you’re facing a barrier in life. You may have a little resistance at the beginning, but go all the way through. Complete the task,” he said. “I wanted him to know, it’s OK to cry, but the key is knowing why you’re crying,” he said. “What that does for a young boy, regardless of his ethnic background, is say, ‘Now I can shake off this false masculinity I’ve been taught, that it’s not human to be this way.”Wilson said he knows too many young men who have been encouraged to choke back their emotions.

The video also includes an exchange with the boy’s father, who was asked to carry his son on his back after performing a series of push-ups. Wilson then slaps the man’s arms with a stick as he continues to hold up his son. He said the exchange is symbolic of the idea that, as a father, “you do not drop and fall, even when things get tough.” Wilson said he’s been encouraged by the response to the video, which takes place athis martial arts academy, where he teaches Musar Ru, or “Discipline of the Spirit.” The style is a combination of Aikijutsu, Brazilian jujitsu, combat boxing and other styles Wilson has studied. “This is an introspective training program. The goal is to create a generation of men who are consciously and spiritually strong enough to navigate through the pressures of this world without succumbing to their emotions,” he said. “We have an opportunity to spread hope and love and free a generation of boys who can finally be emotional. That’s powerful. Do you know the type of men they can grow up to be in society?”

Wilson is the perfect example of what an instructor should be.

Not all instructors deal with kids, and not all instructors that deal with kids do it well. It is a fine line between motivating and discouragement. Not only is Wilson good at encouragement, he made himself vulnerable to these kids. Kids can often see an instructor as a machine, while Wilson shows the students that he is very human with his emotions. Keep doing it right Jason, you’re one of the good ones. The rest of us parents, instructors, and student alike can also learn from this.

a link to the full video is here:

MSG Isn’t Bad for MMA

Exactly as I predicted down to the round, I told my friends when asked about my opinion of the main event in New York at Madison Square Garden (MSG), Conor McGregor knocked out Eddie Alvarez in the second round to win the UFC lightweight title and become the first two-class champion in UFC history. McGregor dominated from the opening bell of the main event of UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. The sold-out crowd at MSG must have been on McGregor’s side because you could hear the roar of the MMA hungry New York crowd. Madonna and Hugh Jackman showed up along with a long list of top celebrities. As I have blogged about a few times, the UFC was live and legal in New York for the first time since an MMA ban was lifted earlier this year. “This is the biggest event in the history of MMA,” UFC color commentator Joe Rogan told the crowd.

In conjunction with the sentiment of the fans and fighters, the UFC stacked the card with three title fights that were expected to help set a gate record of more than $17 million at MSG. The 1999 boxing match between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield drew a record $13.5 million. So the UFC had high hopes. Tyron Woodley and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson went to a majority draw that allowed Woodley to retain his welterweight belt. I have to say that I have always like Wonderboy but he showed some serious heart in that fight and came back to almost upset the champ after a head-jarring shot followed by a cranking guillotine choke. Joanna Jedrzejczyk successfully defended her UFC women’s strawweight championship with a unanimous decision win over Karolina Kowalkiewicz, that was a display of heart and skill.

The UFC had never run a show in New York City because of a two-decade ban imposed by New York that left only unsanctioned and unsafe MMA fights in the state. State lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed in April to end the ban following years of failed efforts by MMA supporters. The law authorizing the sport took effect in September.

New York couldn’t wait for the biggest MMA promotion in the world to throw an event.

MSG was packed with nearly 20,000 fans and UFC was on pace to set a gate record for the arena. Historically, the UFC last ran a major show in the state at UFC 7: The Brawl in Buffalo on April 7, 1995. UFC, under Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, exploded into a global phenomenon, and became a staple on network television and ran PPV cards that hit 1 million buys during the ban. UFC 205 was expected to reach around 1.5 million PPV buys. I hae also blogged about the sale of the UFC which sold for approximately $4 billion to a group led by Hollywood entertainment conglomerate WME-IMG in July.

In one I didn’t predict, Yoel Romero caught Chris Weidman with a hard flying right knee and finished him off in the third round with a spectacular, bloody knockout victory. Weidman was bleeding as much as I’ve ever seen in MMA. It looked like he got hit with a machete. Romero’s win made him the No. 1 contender for Michael Bisping’s middleweight title and they wasted no time hyping that potential matchup. Bisping was scanned to by the camera to which he responded in a Bisping-like gesture that involved his middle finger. In another fight, Miesha Tate suffered another loss. We all know she played a pivotal role in the women’s division rise to prominence in UFC, announced her retirement inside the octagon following a loss to Raquel Pennington. The 30-year-old Tate says the loss played a role in her decision. “I had a lot more to give but I couldn’t pull it out of myself,” she said. Tate defeated Holly Holm in March to win the bantamweight title and then lost the belt in her first title defense to Amanda Nunes in July. Tate (18-7) had coached Pennington on “The Ultimate Fighter,” a reality show used by the UFC to recruit new talent. The Madison Square Garden crowd gave Tate an appropriately loud applause when she announced her retirement.

Needless to say, there was a lot of action in this event. The UFC has been so saturated with events lately that it is hard to get a good show from the first to the last fight. In my opinion, the UFC gave us a treat and the fighters stepped up to the challenge and made this show entertaining.

UFC 205 Historic in New York

Professional mixed martial arts is quickly off to a great start in the state of New York, two months after lawmakers ended its status as the only state to ban it. While there have been a handful of bouts in the state since the change took effect, an upcoming UFC event at Madison Square Garden is expected to be the real benchmark for MMA. Promoters say it’s likely just the start of a long relationship between New York City and mixed martial arts. With such historic venues in New York, it only seems fitting that major events will be thrown there. There are several great boxing venues around the world and in the united states but none quite Parallel with the Garden. With such an important place in boxing history, Madison Square Garden is the premier venue for mixed martial arts. Joel Fisher, an executive vice president at the Garden, said “it’s only fitting that the first UFC fight in New York state is taking place at ‘The World’s Most Famous Arena,'” one of its many nicknames.

“It should have been legal in New York 15 years ago,”~ Scott Coker

We all know the UFC isn’t the only major promotion, even if it is the most famous in the United States. Bellator has been holding its own for a long time. The president of Bellator, Scott Coker was quoted as saying, “It should have been legal in New York 15 years ago,” the promotion is hoping to hold an event next year at the Garden or at Barclays Center. “We’re going to bring a big, big show, probably the biggest card in the history of Bellator.” It has long been known that there are some very accomplished fighters from New York. There are several top caliber schools. The legalization in their home state is awesome for fighters from New York who have had always had to travel elsewhere to fight professionally. “This is a dream come true,” middleweight Chris Weidman said in September. A native New Yorker, he who will be one of several fighters in Saturday’s pay-per-view UFC 205 event.

State lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed in April to end the two-decade old ban following years of failed efforts by MMA supporters. The law authorizing the sport took effect in September. Cuomo concluded the move would boost the economy by luring bouts to the nation’s largest city as well as upstate venues, with one estimate that MMA could generate $137 million in annual economic activity. In response to critics concerned about the sport’s violence, lawmakers added provisions that raise the insurance required to $50,000 for fighter injuries, a $50,000 death benefit and $1 million for life-threatening brain injuries. The law was also intended to regulate existing amateur mixed martial arts events. It’s a huge expense for promoters, and that prevents guys just starting their career from being able to fight in New York. I know this is true but I feel that it will change in the future. MMA is extremely young in the state of New York and a major victory was won, there will still be obstacles though.

Although I Wouldn’t Recommend It

So I have, in several posts, given you all of the positives that come along with Martial Arts training. I have even gone as far as to cite specific examples of martial artists doing heroic deeds like saving a family from a burning house. Yes, this blog will do the same, but more along the heroism of crime fighting. I certainly wouldn’t condone anyone attempting what the young man I’m about to describe did, but it is nice to hear a story of martial art’s effectiveness that also ends happily. The story is out of Albuquerque New Mexico, where there is certainly a lot of martial arts training going on.

The local Police say a martial arts instructor took down the suspect of a robbery in progress. Per a police report, two male subjects with t-shirts wrapped around their heads ran into the Dollar General Store at 840 Juan Tabo Boulevard around 8:44 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27th. Both men were armed with knives and threatened the clerk, who moved from behind the counter. The men proceeded to remove the cash register drawers from the registers. One suspect took the drawer and proceeded to exit the store, while the other suspect who was later identified as Tyrone Yazzie, remained in the store, struggling to remove the drawer from its register.

The alleged thieves had no idea that the instructor from the martial arts school next door was watching the whole thing go down. According to the report, Beau Velasquez was in the parking lot watching his students run exercises in his dojo. Velasquez watched as the suspects entered the store and began the robbery, then he ran to the front of the store, tackling the first suspect who was leaving with the register, knocking the register out of the suspect’s hands. “I just grabbed him,” said Velasquez. “Grabbed him by his head and kind of slammed him on the ground. We wrestled. At that time the money box had already fallen.” That subject was slipping from Velasquez’ grasp, however, so Velasquez let him go and went inside the store to concentrate on Yazzie.

Velasquez tackled Yazzie to the ground, police say, knocking the knife to the floor. Another man from the martial arts school came to help Velasquez detain Yazzie until police arrived. “I’m glad one of them at least is taken off the streets so he can’t terrorize anybody else,” said Velasquez. Velasquez says Yazzie asked to be let go while he had him on the ground.
“Once we had him on the ground, the guy was, you know, kind of crying. “C’mon on man, let me go, please, please,'” said Velasquez.

“And it’s like, man, how are you gonna cry after you just tried robbing somebody?~ Velasquez

To me that is a typical response of someone who preys on the weak. At the time, nobody knew the extent of Yazzie’s criminal accolades. Police believe this latest event was Yazzie’s seventh robbery in the last two months.

So Velasquez stopped a guy that not only robbed the Dollar Store next to his studio, he probably prevented a whole bunch more robberies from happening. Police say the spree started at a Family Dollar store on Juan Tabo Boulevard and went on to include the robberies of a Check and Go, a Ross Dress for Less, a Big Lots, an At-Home, and a Walmart. But it wasn’t until Velasquez tackled Yazzie at the Dollar General that Yazzie was finally arrested. There are heros out there. You always hear law enforcement and firefighters saying “Don’t be a hero.” Very understandable, but “Don’t be a victim,” is what Velasquez says. “Train. I know it’s scary sometimes, but this happens on the regular, you know, so don’t be a victim.” I agree with him. You don’t have to go out and try to be a vigilante like the movie Kick-A (rest left out as explicit). It just further demonstrates my point that martial artists are a different breed.