MMA Striking Techniques – CSW Style

Some videos more or less speak for themselves. This is one of them. Ben “The Badger” Jones, puts some mojo on Coach Kiser during the 2011 CSW Fighter and Instructor’s Camp.

Jaw Breakers, Liver Shots and Sweep Kicks abound.

Ahhhh, I love being the camera man sometimes.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Escape Systems: Part 1

Being A Master Escape Artist

I once read Kid Peligro explain how his game revolved around being a master escape artist. That sentiment really hit home with me as I’m generally the smaller, weaker, less experienced guy when it comes to the training partners I get to work with, and as such, am most often, on the run, working one type of escape or another.

As mentioned in the 4 Principles That Changed My Grappling Game post, the idea of a chained, or progressive escape strategy rather than a simple, single and isolated escape technique has done much to get me out of the endless escape cycle and into some positions where I can get off some offense.

Working with Pedro Sauer Black Belts Khuen Khru Will Bernales and Mike Diaz has done much to shape my way of thinking on that subject.

My Eureka Moment

In fact, the series of techniques I’m going to share with you is as a direct road map to my own eureka moment as I can portray through video and description.

It was while working on this series that I saw the first glimmer of what my instructors were talking about. Escape game (or system) vs. escape technique.

I’ve already posted the first piece of this game. And I’ll share it below. Like many of our youtube releases, it was shown, out of context, which although still useful, loses some of it’s meaning and utility when seen on it’s own as opposed to seeing it as part of something bigger.

It’s like looking at a sprocket on a table top as opposed to seeing it beside the 10 speed bike it goes into. This is what we try to bring you here at DamageControlMMA.com vs. our casual viewers on the youtube channel.

Over there you get the sprocket, over here you get the bike and in the Members Area we show you how the bike fits into our entire household as a mode of transport.  But to take the analogy further, there are other important parts of a household, e.g. security, shelter, etc.

Historically, our long series presented in a single post have tanked. Just look at our Leg Kick Defense post. We put weeks of work into that one and it hardly got any play. So again, at the behest of my much wiser and internet savvy advisors, I am going to break this series up into multiple small segments.

We’ll return to the subject later on to show the various other pieces that complete the Side Cross Escape Game, a fundamental component of a sound Jiu-jitsu base.

Until then, work these two and remember that they work together, as pieces of a larger system.

If you have any questions or comments on chaining these 2 escape techniques, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

The Long Sit Out

It’s always a juggling act trying to deliver content to our followers and subscribers that I think they’ll enjoy, while at the same time trying to balance it with what I am passionate or excited about.

To be honest, I don’t think the two are always the same. I know from experience that the flashy submissions and things of that sort have historically always out performed the more mundane subjects we’ve posted and so I try to provide as many of those types of things as I can.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy those types of techniques as much as the next guy,

but at the same time, I find myself more and more enamored by the obscure and or understated positional escapes, grip fighting basics or in this case, Coach Billy Robinson’s take on the Long Sit Out.

I’d learned it, or rather, began to learn it decades ago while wrestling in Jr. High School. But, with wrestling being a season long sport, with only so much time for practices and only a few coaches to manage 3 different grade levels, various weight classes and different levels of potential and skill, there was only so much that I could learn about that specific move way back then.

A season filled with countless losses and 1 victory over the only kid skinnier and weaker than myself coupled with the humiliation a scrawny kid feels after being pointed at and laughed at while wearing his wintergreen tights and doing bridges on the mat in the pre-match warm ups, pretty much sealed the fate of my wrestling career (if I can call it that), and the lesson on the Long Sit Out would have to wait another 20 some odd years before I’d understand it for what it was.

An escape for desperate times.

It’s been months since that lesson with Coach Robinson, and I still haven’t quite made the incorporation of the Long Sit Out into my game seamless, but reviewing the technique as I edited the footage, helped me remember some of the details and again, understand when and where to use such a technique during a roll. It’s a late escape from a Quarter Position scramble, or a pre emptive escape from the Back Mount.

Either way, I’ll continue to work on it as an important niche maneuver of my escape and defensive repertoire.

Coincidentally, Jake Shannon and Coach Robinson have just recently released a new book “Say Uncle!: Catch-As-Catch Can Wrestling and the Roots of Ultimate Fighting, Pro Wrestling & Modern Grappling“. It’s a chronicle of the history and men responsible for the brutal art of Catch As Catch Can Wrestling. I must say, it’s a very interesting read which includes great interviews with men such as Coach Robinson, Gene Lebelle, Dick Cardinal, Josh Barnett, Billy Wicks, Fujiwara, Erik Paulson and many others as well as some fundamental play by play techniques. And heh, whaddaya know, even Coach Kiser and I make a cameo.

Without grizzled men like these, the art could easily have died out just prior to my generation. Their dedication to excellence and their tireless work ethic is really the only thing that’s kept the art alive.
Below you can see an out take from the Scientific Wrestling CACC Certification course. Just look at the seminar attendees, sitting exhausted from the morning session, catching their breath, taking notes and rehydrating, while Coach Billy, pulls up two of the young lads to inspect and then perfect their technique.

He just never stops, every second is spent developing fundamentals, and instilling the desire to achieve the perfect technique.

Coach Robinson IS the King of Catch. Long Live the King!

Next week a few more escapes from side cross with one of my Jiu-jitsu coaches, Pedro Sauer BJJ Black Belt, Mike Diaz.


Extreme MMA Techniques – The Taint Lock

And then you put his toes where?!? That’s right, that taint your @$$ and that taint your scrode. Yes folks, it’s come to this, the infamous Erik Paulson, “Taint Lock”.

I doubt that I will ever tire of studying this art. There are so many techniques, so many variations and so many minute details, and I enjoy learning them all.

Few techniques can be said to be as creative, nor as humiliating as the “Taint Lock”. I mean, just imagine, there you are, rolling with your closest training partner when, tap, tap, he catches you. “What the Hell was that?” you ask. To which he meekly replies “Yeah, that was a Taint Lock.”
Time to hit the showers… and immediately wash off that foot.

To be honest, I’ve seen the lock before, a long while ago, in one of Sensei Paulson’s old internet videos (before the advent of youtube). I’ve asked him about it and even worked on it with him on more than one occasion (can I say that without it sounding hmmmmmmmm… wrong?). At any rate, like with any technique, I never tire of seeing it taught. There’s always something new that catches your eye, or some aspect that a different presenter may highlight that you may not have payed as close attention to as you could have.

This was definitely the case with Khuen Khru Alvin Chan’s rendition.

In the past I’ve relied on butt scooting in an using my arms to generate the majority of the leverage on the lock. But watching how Khru Alvin executes the technique, I really liked how he placed his foot on his opponent and used it to push off and generate a considerable amount of additional tap out potential.

A special thanks go out to Khru Alvin this year for sharing his great teaching abilies with us once more and for being such a great friend and mentor. It was an especially busy camp this year and we had to really work hard to squeeze in a few short filming sessions. Be sure to send him your respects and my regards at www.MD-CSW.com

My advisors here at DamageControlMMA.com have suggested that I shorten my posts, and make my updates more frequent. And as I am admittedly no web, computer, or blog/vlog guru, I’ve chosen to heed their advise and see how it goes. Next week, you can look forward to the return of the Legendary Coach Billy Robinson.

We’ll see if our subscriptions, forum activity and following increase as a result of this new format. If not, I’m going to advise my advisors of the efficacy of their advise. Until next time, happy hunting… and give em taint!

MMA Training Camp CSW Style

(At about 5:19 in the video above you can see the fundamentals of the movement that we use to accomplish the Leg Lock Counter to the Arm Bar Flower Sweep Technique)

After the Paypal debacle (suckers screwed me over, refused to allow me to close my accounts and then had the nerve to send me a “customer service survey”), it was a welcomed and refreshing change of pace to head out to sunny California for my annual pilgrimage to Erik Paulson’s Fighter/Instructor CSW Camp.

As can be expected, the learning was non-stop. Everywhere you turned there was an opportunity for growth and the soaking up of Martial wisdom.

One of the aspects of camp I enjoy is being surrounded by people who are just about as crazy and fanatical about the Martial Arts as I am.

Sensei Paulson and Ajarn Greg Nelson converse with Khuen Khru Vic Spatola the guy responsible for testing me for my Thai Boxing Instructorship under Ajarn Chai.

When your life and mind are occupied by Martial Arts the same way that Rainman thinks about Kmart tighty whitites and Judge Wapner, you start to wonder about your own sanity. But having an opportunity to be in the environment that Sensei Paulson provides, gives lunatics like me a chance to kick back and simply feel like part of the gang.

For me there are really 3 seminars taking place simultaneously at a camp like this.

First is the main seminar. You learn from the likes of Erik Paulson, Greg Nelson, Rigan Machado, Marvin Cook, and Nick Saignac, and you drill the many techniques that they share during their segments. Second is what you pick up from the other high level instructors and fighters that you drill with, spar with, and interact with. You get to see how they’ve tweaked the material you both learned the year before, you get to see tricks that get developed in their relatively isolated neck of the woods and you get to see how the system you’ve developed in your locale fares versus those from around the world.

Lastly, there are the life lessons shared and discussed off camera, during a lunch break, in the hotel lobby. You realize that you’re not alone in your pursuit of Martial excellence, in your attempts to build up a school, and in the stresses and occasional heart breaks that accompany such a journey. You learn tactics for survival, and gain strength from the fact that others have endured and overcome. You see who your instructors look up to and who they glean wisdom from.

As Khuen Khru Nino Pilla said to me this year “It’s so tempting to be seduced into fixing your attentions to the young fighters, winning belts and making the highlight reel, but really your attention should be focused on the old masters (like Billy Robinson, Cacoy Cañete, Dan Inosanto, Buddy Tompson). They have had so much more time to perfect and understand the craft. And more importantly, they hold the wisdom for what is to come for all of us, as we will all get older (if we are lucky), but none of us will ever get younger like those fighters that everyone sees and idolizes on T.V.”

Now that right there was worth the price of admission for me.

But there’s much more that I take away from the CSW Camp experience. It’s a chance for me to see old friends.

The true measure of a great instructor is his students. Eddie Abney, really pushed me and made me think during our sparring rounds. I would expect no less from a student of Khuen Khru Alvin Chan.

Seniors and mentors like Khuen Khru Alvin Chan, who never ceases to amaze me with his kindness and increasing enthusiasm for our chosen profession.

Or Khuen Khru Joe Cargado, who puts up with my joking around and humors my strange quirks.

As I was lining up my sparring partners (to ensure that I wasn’t going to get maimed or destroyed by the likes of the Ben Jones that were amongst the ranks), I was hollering out to my friends “James, you’re 1, Joe, you’re 2, Brandon, you’re 3,” etc. etc. Joe hollers out to each of them, “Yeah, take a number!”

It’s a wonderful place to be, and a real privilege to be able to go, and to be a young kid again, if only for a few days. I returned home, tired, sore, and bursting at the seams with new moves, new ideas and a deeper understanding of the Martial Life Style. And for those of you loyal followers who are wondering, I tapped out that evil wolf this time around. I hope I can do it again the next time I’m on the mats at the World CSW Headquarters, living my life to the fullest.

Mixed Martial Arts to the Rescue!

When I began my study of the Martial Arts, I had a belief that Martial Artists were good people. That the study of the arts improved lives and made for a gentler, more peaceful society.

12 years later, I still hold this belief and after experiencing many of the benefits of the Martial Arts and seeing first hand those benefits imparted on others, that belief is even stronger now.
I love Mixed Martial Arts. I enjoy the idea of breaking down barriers and finding common ground between differing schools of thought and bringing together like minded individuals in collaborative efforts to continually improve the art. But trying to explain this sentiment to friends, family, and the public in general has not been an easy task.

With the most visible ambassadors for our sport peeing on pillows, playing games with their poo poo and a promoter who throws the F-Bomb around like it’s a necessary grammatical part of speech, it’s no wonder the average person thinks of Mixed Martial Arts as simply a practice in barbarism.

Samurai Means to Serve


But those of us in the MMA Counter Culture can change that. I still believe in the power of the Martial Arts. I still believe that the Martial Arts are a way of living, not a way of fighting. I still believe that many of you out there are like me.

We are Martial Artists, not knuckle dragging, blood thirsty Neanderthals. We are protectors, and guardians, honorable, peaceful warriors who stand at the ready, like the Jeremy Glicks of this world, to impart whatever action is necessary, so that others may sleep peaceably in their beds at night.

I would like to start an initiative here, called the Mixed Martial Aid Fund. It is a fund from which 100% of the proceeds will go to help people of the world who are in need. At this moment, it would seem that Japan, Mother of so many wonderful Martial Arts, and Martial Artists is a place that we could be of some service to. The people of Japan have been blind side, cold cocked by a three punch combination, an Earthquake, followed by a Tsunami and now a Nuclear incident to top it all off.

DamageControlMMA.com will be donating $100.00 to help with the relief efforts in Japan. Our hope is that at the very least, 100 of our fellow Martial Artists out there can each donate $1.00 to match our donation. We will post the results of our efforts here on this page. I want the money to go directly to those in the evacuation centers or those directly assisting them. If necessary (due to an inability to find a reputable source), we may simply have to donate our efforts to the Red Cross, but if we’d also like the money to go to direct efforts like Enson Inoue’s. I’ve spoken with his people and have established a rapport. I am inspired by Mr. Inoue’s efforts and am optimistic that we can find others doing the type of work he is, to help with our own efforts.

If you are a Martial Artist and especially if you’ve watched our videos, and haven’t become a member, now is the time to make good. Donate $1.00 to help us in bettering the world. Now is the time to step up and show what we, as true Mixed Martial Artists are capable of. Contribute to the Mixed Martial Aid Fund. And the next time someone tries to say that we’re just a bunch of chest thumping, testosterone driven apes, you can point to our relief efforts and show them what we’ve done.

If you are a school owner, I ask you to take up a collection, contribute it to the MMAid Fund and send us a video of you and your students exclaiming “We Are All One!” We will feature it, and show the growing unity and power of our intentions.

We are the strong who protect those in need. From all walks of life, all parts of the world, and all styles, we are Mixed Martial Artists, and we do much, much more good than we do damage. Please pass this page on, link to it from your blogs and favorite sites, embed the video in as many places as possible and join us in being the guardians of our people. WE ARE ALL ONE.

Suggested Donations to MMAid Fund

Donate $1.00

Please consider an extra .33 cent charge. This goes to Paypal for their transaction fee so that $1.00 gets to the people who need it.

Donate $5.00

Please consider donating an extra $.45 to cover transaction fees so that $5.00 gets to the people who need it.

Donate $10.00

Please consider donating an extra $.60 to cover transaction fees so that $10.00 gets to the people who need it.

Donate $25.00

Please consider donating an extra $1.05 to cover transaction fees so that $25.00 gets to the people who need it.




=========================================================================================

As of April 27th 2011, we’ve taken this initiative offline. Paypal has suspended my account as well as those of others who have tried to help the people of Japan.

We have issued refunds to everyone who took the time to give. Paypal claims that our actions and collection of funds is suspect, but that didn’t stop them from taking their cut.

I remain determined to help the people of Japan, and to do it directly and not through some giant organization. I believe in the goodness of most human beings, and in direct action. The big corporations, governments, “charities” etc. can sit on their thumbs and follow their proceedures. I know that they will eventually do some good. But I am about warriors, people like Enson, on the front lines, doing! Now! Without hesitation or cowardace. It is the warriors way.

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. ”

Death Before Dishonor!

Damage Control MMA: Cutting Room Floor Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the Damage Control Blog, so I’ll dispense with all the worthless excuses. I mean, the Southpaw series with it’s 16 videos wasn’t that time consuming to produce. Tax season has been a cinch this year as we’ve got double the paperwork do to a recent gym move, company restructuring and building purchase. Erik Paulson didn’t roll through town, oh wait a second, he did, and I had a wonderful time training, hanging out and messing around that whole weekend.

Jeff Monson is on the docket for next weekend, but really that was supposed to happen this past weekend. Plans were made, schedules were cleared, but we had to reschedule due to a marathon 5 rounder he went through the Friday night prior to the preposed Seminar date.

Meanwhile I’ve been trying to organize a relief effort called M.M.Aid Fund for people of the world who may find themselves in hard times. Saying this about the situation in Japan is perhaps the understatement of the year, nevertheless, you’d never know how difficult it is to set up a charitable effort until you’ve tried. There’s more red tape in relief efforts than in trying to open up a fast food road kill restaurant at the cafeteria in USDA’s headquarters.

So what did I scrounge up for this Blog Post? Well, it’s a couple of videos we filmed about two years ago that never made it onto our T.V. show, never got published on Youtube, and have been sitting on the cutting room floor until now. I’ve been saving them because I really like the material but we never released them because there was a problem with the audio that could not be resolved. But I liked them so much I kept them around, perhaps for a rainy day like today.

First up is a series of Ankle Pick Takedowns by one of my all time favorite instructors, Coach (Collegiate Wrestler and Pedro Sauer BJJ Black Belt) Chris Wells.

Next is a Swing Kick I filmed with my good friend Khuen Khru Johnny Miller. Johnny has been a training partner and friend of mine for years. I watched him come up through the ranks at my Instructor’s Gym and eventually earn his Apprentice Instructorship under Ajarn Chai. He’s recently relocated to Hawaii and I posted this to reminisce a little about the good old days.

Finally, is a perfectly good clip we filmed at the 2011 CACC Certification with Coach Billy Robinson and Jake Shannon. I didn’t want to put up a post with only damaged goods, so I included this sneak peak at a video that eventually make it onto our Youtube profile. Assistant Coach Sam Kressin, one of the highest ranking students of the Scientific Wrestling (Billy Robinson’s) Program, was kind enough to share these gems and Coach Robinson sneaks in for a cameo.

Stay tuned, we’re still alive and kicking. We’ll be clearing off our plates in the next few weeks and be back to regular blog updates in no time.

Until then, keep your hands up, your chin down, your mouth closed and your eyes and ears open.

Keeping Catch Wrestling Alive

Our journey in the Martial Arts has taken many twists and turns over the years. Coach Kiser and I have had many wonderful adventures and met many incredible instructors, but few have made as much of an impression as Coach Billy Robinson of Catch As Catch Can.

We shared our experience with you, the very first time we met Coach Robinson and Coach Shannon, when they visited our old school in Bountiful, Utah. It’s been a few years since that time, and our respect for these two and what they’ve set out to do has only grown.

You see, Catch Wrestlers are somewhat of a dying breed. Catch Wrestling as an art can be considered, in my humble opinion, as one of Martial Arts Endangered Species.

How did this happen? How could such a formidable art with so much to offer dwindle into a handful of practitioners and even fewer trainers to ensure the survival of the species?

I’m not even going to pretend to know. Perhaps it first began as a business decision as proposed in “The Unreal Story of Professional Wrestling“. Perhaps it has to do with modern conveniences and distractions such as the Wii, Playstation, XBox, and Girls as Coach Robinson once relayed it to me. “Back in our day, we had none of these, it was Wrestling, Boxing, or sitting at home alone.”

Maybe it has to do with the brutal nature of Catch and the feminization of modern human males, who’ve embraced the Metrosexual movement over getting their faces cranked and their shins splintered.

Or maybe the art has suffered due to the lack of an organized governing body to ensure standards and accredit coaches/instructors.

I empathize with this last assertion as I feel that arts such as Muay Thai have suffered from some of the same maladies as Catch.

The lack of a formal ranking and hierarchical structure has made it exceedingly difficult for the layman to know where to go for legitimate instruction.

By contrast, arts such as Judo or Brazilian Jiu-jitsu have flourished under their organization and structure. When looking for an instructor, the first question usually asked is, whether or not the instructor is a “Black Belt”. The Judo and Jiu-jitsu communities are usually tight knit enough that claims by instructors regarding their ranking can be corroborated with relative quickness and ease.

Begin a search for a legitimate striking instructor or in this case a Coach of Catch As Catch Can and what basis do you have to judge your prospective instructor’s ability? This is one of the many reasons why pioneers such as Ajarn Surachai “Chai” Sirisute, Coach Billy Robinson and Coach Jake Shannon are so important to the arts of Muay Thai and Catch As Catch Can respectively.

These forefathers have begun the gargantuan task of establishing organization, structure and an accrediting body to their arts. Under that guidance of Ajarn Chai, the Thai Boxing Association of the USA has taken root and is thriving. I know personally of the high level of skill and the consistent level of quality in the TBA and the instructors it continues to produce.

This gives me hope that the same feat can be accomplished for the art of Catch Wrestling.

Enter Coach Robinson and Coach Shannon and their Certified Catch Wrestler Program. According to Jake Shannon

“The purpose behind the certification program is two fold: 1) to
verify that it’s participants have indeed trained first hand with
someone like Dick Cardinal or Billy Robinson and 2) to insure that
the REAL sport of CACC is carried on, not some cobbled together
mutant born from just watching instructional DVDs and messing
around with your buddies.

Our certification concept is the same quality control concept as
belts in many Eastern martial arts. Each certification provides
evidence that the participant has trained at least 15 to 20 hours
under Billy Robinson, Dick Cardinal, etc.

The assistant coach level is only reached after 100 hours of
verified time, and at the discretion of Billy and I. We’ve only
got two of them besides myself, Sam Kressin and Jesse Marez. Once
you’ve clocked either 800 – 1,000 hours or 8-10 years (depending
upon your other contributions to the sport) of verifiable, and
deliberate effort with qualified expert CACC men, then you can be
full coach in our system.”

As you can see, the foundation for a structured CACC program is just now beginning to take shape with only a few intrepid souls taking the lead on bearing the torch for future students of the game.

I will not deny that there are other perfectly qualified Catch Wrestlers and Catch Wrestling Instructors out there, but the Scientific Wrestling/Certified Catch Wrestler program is taking great strides towards organizing a structure for learning, promoting and preserving the art. Something that I think is paramount for CACC’s survival and future success.

In these formative years of CACC’s rebirth, with only a few good years left for it’s only surviving Practicing Instructors, Catch Wrestling needs you!

If you enjoy Catch Wrestling and want to see it continue to be a fixture in the combat sports scene, you need to get involved. The Certified Catch Wrestling Program is an excellent way to get hands on with Coach Robinson, one of the few authorities on CACC who actually competed in the art. There are also Toe Hold Clubs (New York,United Kingdom, Carlsbad, Inland Empire, New Jersey, St. Emelie)that you can join in your local area where you can learn more about Catch and help to ensure it’s survival.

Will you be part of the conservation or simply watch as one of Combat Sports greatest contributers withers into extinction?

MMA Training Beyond Your Own Horizons

Recently Coach Kiser and I had an old friend stop by for some mitt work and conditioning for an upcoming fight he had here in Utah.

That friend was none other than TUF Contestant and Pit Bull Attack Survivor, Kyacey Uscola.

Between training sessions, Kyacey shared with us some of his favorite tricks he’s picked up during his time out in Sacramento while training with Urijah Faber and Team Alpha Male.

I always enjoy the opportunity to see what’s going on in other parts of the MMA world, especially when they come from teams whos style has as much contrast to our own as Team Alpha Male’s does.

It’s always good to come in contact with new ideas.

Whether you choose to adopt them in their original form as we have (for the most part) with the “Sixes” circuit that we picked up fom former Team Quest Member and Extreme Couture coach Dennis Davis (Kiser replaced the Olympic Bar with Kettle Bells), or to modify them to suit your needs is up to you.

You may even decide to completely avoid the exercises, techniques and tactics you see being used in other camps. But even then, you do so with the benefit of knowing what’s going on beyond your own horizons, and what others are doing to prepare for a battle they may some day wage with you.

At any rate, I urge you to look beyond your own MMA horizons and explore other ideas and possibilities.

Until next time… Happy Hunting!

Submissions