Tag Archive: martial arts

Parallettes Fun for BJJ….

I definitely have to get me a set of parallettes and this video shows why. Like Ive said a million times before, Im always on the look out for better kdrills and workouts to help my sorry old ass stay competitive in BJJ and this routine is another great routine to add to any BJJ guys aresenal.

I Love how he incorporates passing drills into the routine using the parallette bars…




So a little over five weeks ago I blew out my knee at work. My ladder went one way, I went the other and the end result was a torn meniscus. So as fun as thats been, what was even more fun was going to the Orthopedic surgeon to get the bad news that I have to have my knee scoped.

Now I know in the world of knee injuries this isn’t such a big deal. The surgery is pretty non-invasive and the rehab and recovery are relatively quick.  What got me bent was what the doctor said to me during the consultation. Just to give you a little background about me(if you havent read the bio),I’m 42 and have been training in BJJ since before the first Ultimate Fight.  Now I’m not a spring chicken but Im not an old fart either.

So there I was going over the MRI with the doctor when he says the following “Well if this injury happend to you when you were in twenties than that would be a problem, but since your in your forties its not like your going to be all that active when your in your fifties when arthritis might set in”  Now I know he thought he was saying something positive to me, but all I could think was “F@*K YOU!”

I plan on training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu until I cant breathe anymore.  I’ve know guys who have joined Bjj in there 50’s. 60’s, even 70’s so you cant say to me that I wont be active in my fifties, hell I’m only eight years away from fifty now!!!  I know the old guys like me who train in Bjj feel the same way, but unless a stroke or some other kind of disaster happens to me you will find me on the mat trying to deal with the crazy twenty and thirty somethings that will be making my life hell!

Remember , we old guys may not be that quick anymore, we may not be that flexible, and maybe our cardio isn’t what it use to be, but we are crafty and patient and worst of all, we have nothing to lose…lmao

This is a segment from Stephan Kestings ‘Yoga For Martial Arts” He put out a couple of years ago. This is a great DVD for  anyone looking to introduce yoga to their training. I thought this DVD was very well done…

If you ever met me the last thing you would think is that I practice Brazilian jiu jitsu or any other martial art for that matter. I don’t wear t-shirts that say ‘Tap Out’, “Fight Gear’  or any of the other brand names out there that scream “I want to fight!”  The only shirt you might catch me wearing is my instructor’s school’s t-shirt and that’s probably because I forgot I was wearing when I left the house. Not that I’m not proud of my school, quite the contrary. You couldn’t find a better place to train with fantastic instruction and great people.

You have to go back to the days to when I first started training,before there was a ‘Tap Out’, before there were Bjj tournaments, before the first UFC even to understand why I kept my BJJ background to myself.  I started training about two months before the first UFC. In those days training wasn’t just hard it was brutal. Gracie Jiu Jitsu was just starting to become known and everybody from martial artist to everyday bar-brawlers wanted to see if jiu jitsu really worked.  What better way to test that then to walk into a jiu jitsu school and start a fight!  It was not an uncommon event to walk into class to see my then instructor Craig Kukkuk ,kicking the crap out of some idiot who wanted to put Bjj to the test. What would be even crazier is when we would start class right after the fight like nothing happened. Back then that was just the norm.

Add to that the array of people that you would train with. Bikers, wrestlers, ex-con’s,and straight up lunatics mixed together with business men, computer programmers, guys with ivy-league education’s and the occasional celebrity. It was a very strange potpourri of human beings in one place.

Even the way we trained back then was different. It was all about training for a street fight with the occasional sport move thrown in, much to the disdain of Craig. There wouldn’t be a day you trained when you weren’t wearing head gear while someone was in your guard pounding at your face as you desperately struggled to remember what Craig told you about avoiding punches.  If you told someone these stories back then they thought you were insane because you actually paid to be there!

After the first UFC aired things got worse. We became flooded with more insanity, more challenges, more crazy people to contend with and training became even harder. In the long run, training in those times greatly benefited me, so Im glad I survived the insanity. I learned a lot of lessons from that era, and no greater one then DO NOT BRAG!   I was always one to keep any training I did to myself, whether it be boxing, tae kwon do or muay thai, I really never said much to anyone outside my best friends.

I remember Craig telling me from day one “Don’t go off getting into fights. You need a good year or two just to get the basics down. Your going to look like an asshole if you get knocked out in a fight!”   A couple of months  later a guy named Jeff we trained with learned that lesson real quick.

Seems Jeff was out drinking in a bar the night before and started talking about Gracie jiu jitsu and how he could probably take anyone in the bar. When you make a statement like that in a bar someones always bound to answer the call. So when someone stepped up to Jeff’s bold statements , he took it upon himself (and his 4 months of training) to defend the good name of Gracie jiu jitsu. Two minutes and a broken nose later, Jeff failed miserably. Craig was not amused at Jeff’s antics after seeing him and hearing his story, Jeff was politely asked to leave the school.

Now I know times are different. No one questions the effectiveness of Bjj anymore. Theres now a whole culture built around Bjj and MMA, so wearing a t-shirt probably won’t get you called out like it used to, but talking about your ability to kick-ass surely will.

I learned a long time ago that theres always someone tougher than you, fighting is stupid and gets you either hurt or in jail, and bragging just gets you knocked out.


Brazilian jiu jitsu is one of those martial arts thats extremely hard to train for without a partner because of the complexity that comes with the art, so it becomes difficult to do outside training if you can’t get on the mat in a consistent way and that really hinders your overall progress.

Over the years Ive found a lot of ways to train by myself for certain positions or movements either by researching on the net or coming up with ways of my own. In this video the instructor shows some great variations of using the gi to do pull ups.  Some of these Ive used and some were new to me. I have my own gi pull up variations I do in addition to some of these and if I can ever get over  the horrible thought of seeing myself on camera I might put them up, but don’t hold your breath…lol

Just as a side note, this guy has 9 videos on youtube that are excellent that you should check out. I only mention that because I noticed that this video only got 28 views, me being the 28th and he deserves a lot more …

Fred Ettish

When I first started training, Brazilian jiu jitsu was only known as Gracie jiu jitsu, and even then no one knew what Gracie jiu jitus was.  Then, in 1993 came a very small, unknown tournament held in Denver Colorado  called the Ultimate fighting championship that completely changed the martial arts world forever.

What solidified Brazilian jiu jitsu’s place in the sun was actually the second UFC, because it was there that it showed that Royce Gracies first win was not a fluke and that the techniques of Gracie Jiu jitsu were not only effective in an actual street fight but also against people from  different martial arts disciplines .

If your not as old as I am, then you couldn’t understand what it was like before the UFC days.  Most people chose a martial art because they “heard” it was effective.  No one had any real proof that their martial art was the ultimate one  other than their  instructor telling them it was.  Only the Gracies put their martial art to the test in a laboratory of real street  fights and refined it into the science we know today.

People like Fred Ettish ,who came from a background in tradition martial arts, believed that their training was effective enough to be used in a real life street fight, going as far as to believe themselves so deadly that they would most likely kill some one if they actually had to fight.

Unfortunately  for Fred Ettish he learned a very hard  lesson, one that would be tough enough to handle if it had just happened in a regular street fight, let alone a public arena like the UFC.  You also have to factor into his misfortune all the negativity  he received from other martial artist that came after his UFC debut.

Hopefully for all you who remember  Fred Ettish and were quick to make fun of him ( which I too was guilty of at one time) will have a change of heart after watching this Youtube video, I know I did. You can’t help but respect the man.

He’ll probably never read this blog, but if your out there Fred, I apologize.

%d bloggers like this: