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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.


2011 New Years Resolutions

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to renew our ambitions and our commitments to ourselves.

I enjoy the challenge of setting goals for myself and seeing if I have the fortitude to follow through.

I have succumbed to the gluttony that accompanies celebrating the holidays. And, as a result I am suffering from the maladies that so often result from such self indulgence, such as a complete lack of physical shape and an extra 10 pounds to go along with it. In fact, I am polishing off the last slice of Razzleberry Pie with my morning cup of coffee as we speak. Not because I want to mind you, but because I don’t believe it’s good to let anything go to waste.

And If you buy that one well, I have a very profitable website that I’d like to sell you for the bargain basement price of $3,000,000.

So, at the risk of being cliche, my first new years resolution is to loose that extra 10 pounds and pay interest on my lack of fitness by not only reclaiming the aerobic base of an average American male (yeah I know, aim low, why don’t I),

but actually getting physically fit enough to possibly drag my arthritic bones back onto the mat for one more hurrah at a competitive level.

Second I have been working diligently to produce a Southpaw series for DamageControlMMA.com along with accompanying article. I’ve drawn up the plans and storyboarded all the shots. I’ve even casted all the characters. In fact, that’s what’s been holding this resolution up. I’ve casted UFC and TUF veteran Brandon Melendez in the role of our token Southpaw. He’s a true to life left hander and I feel will make the series a lot more compelling than having Coach Kiser act like a southpaw.

Unfortunately, Melendez has been under the weather for the last few weeks and hasn’t been able to make it into the studio. Rest assured, I’m on this like a tick on a hound. Look for the Southpaw series sometime in early 2011!

Next is a project I’ve been dreaming up for some time now.

“Does Size Matter?” Is a smaller object, moving at a greater speed equivalent to a more massive object at a slower speed? In terms of combatives, does F actually equal M x A?

Jake Paul and Coach Kiser demonstrating the basic CACC Ready Stance.

Jake Paul and Coach Kiser demonstrating the basic CACC Ready Stance.

I want to employ some of our local college physics departments and see if they can come up with a way to measure foot pounds of force in a way that I and Coach Kiser can experience them.

For instance, the average difference between a 9mm Luger and a .45 acp is roughly 100 foot pounds of force.

What do 10 foot pounds of force feel like? I’d like to know so I can make an estimated guess at what that difference really means. I also want to have these brainiacs come up with a way to exert various iterations of this 10 foot pounds of force on Coach Kiser and I. For instance, I want to feel the difference (if there is one) between 10 foot pounds of force created with a mass of 10 grams moving at say 1 foot per second, a 5 gram mass at 2 feet per second, and a 1 gram mass at 10 feet per second with their mass distributed across the same surface area.

Now I know that my increments of measurement are all off, and that’s why I want to hire the smart kids for all the math, measurement and scientific stuff, but you get the picture right?

At any rate, if I can accomplish this goal, you can expect to see the results, video and article here as “The Anatomy of Force.”

In addition, I’d like to feature more BJJ this year in our coverage of the various Martial Arts. BJJ continues to have a huge impact on my game and my life, and I don’t feel we’ve given it justice with our level of exposure.

Pedro Sauer BJJ has been the backbone of my grappling style. We haven't covered it as much here at DCMMA but that's about to change.

Part of that has to do with it’s practitioners. They aren’t exactly ringing my phone off the hook with offers to shoot video, but I have spoken with Coach Wells and he’s already agreed to another shoot sometime in the future.

I think those are fair and noble resolutions for this up coming year. To accomplish all of them, will take some doing. It will be a challenge, but if it wasn’t I don’t think it would be worth writing about. Happy new year!

Please share your resolutions so we can help keep each other honest. Together we stand, divided we fall. All for one, and one for all!

Oh, and one last thing, I resolve to return this pie tin to it’s rightful place of origin, and not partake of the .50 cent discount on a new pie while I’m there… but a slice… well, that’s an entirely different matter.

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?

CSW, CACC, BJJ, MMA Training, Oh my!

To say it’s been a busy couple of months would be an understatement.

Coach Kiser and I have been racing from one place to the next to train with some of the World’s Greatest Instructors so that we can bring you the absolute best in MMA technique, tactics and training.

Below is a brief overview of our adventures over the last few months.

Kiser and Yamasaki batte on the mat yet again.

Two friends battling it out and pushing each other yet again, at the 2010 Utah Erik Paulson Seminar.

Kiser: Erik Paulson 2010 CSW Seminar (Salt Lake City, Utah) – A huge success. The biggest seminar we’ve ever hosted. The highlight of the seminar for me was that Yamasaki and I got to see our student Shane promote to coach level 1 in CSW. Shane has been training with us for about 6 years. During that time he has attended all of the Erik Paulson seminars and traveled to 3 CSW camps. He is the first student of the Kiser Yamasaki Duo to get a coaching certification straight from Erik Paulson.

The seminar was a total blast.

Erik Paulson knows how to make training fun and productive at the same time.

I picked up some new tricks, got in a lot of rolling and shot a new segment for Damage Control MMA.

Yamasaki: I have to agree with Kiser 100% on this one. We’ve worked so hard to build a CSW coach with the skills, and personal qualities that Shane displays. Many others have come and gone, during the time that Shane has been with us, but he has stayed the course and worked equally as hard to be a qualified and respectable representative of CSW and of the Mushin Self Defense gym.

I have to admit however, that another one of the highlights was to be able to work with my best friend, Coach Kiser and enjoy the Seminar as a couple of students, just like everybody else.

Kiser: Billy Robinson Catch As Catch Can Seminar (Salt Lake City, Utah) –

This was one of the most significant “game changers” that I have ever experienced.


So much time and attention was spent on the basics of Catch Wrestling which didn’t feel basic to me because the art is so different from BJJ.
Kiser and Yamasaki working referee position at the CACC Book Photo Shoot.

Kiser and Yamasaki working referee position at the CACC Certification Course with Jake Shannon and Coach Billy Robinson.

I felt my game getting better by the minute in Billy’s
presence. Not only is he one of the most effective instructors I have worked with, he is also one of the greatest characters.

Yamasaki: Coach Robinson continues to impress me with his wealth of knowledge and inspiration.

Every time I see him it’s like getting an energy recharge in terms of my passion for the Martial Arts. If he can be so enthusiastic and excited about the Martial Arts after as many years of teaching and fighting, there must be many, many more great times in store on my journey!

We worked on those little things, so easily incorporated, so subtle, but have immediate and profound positive effects on your grappling game.

Kiser: Erik Paulson CSW Camp 2010 (Fullerton, California) – This camp continued to re-enforce the same mantra that came from Billy. Basics basics basics.

Kiser with Cub Swanson after a hard roll at the 2010 CSW Camp

Kiser with Cub Swanson after a hard roll at the 2010 CSW Camp

Good positioning, posture, stance, footwork etc. I have been to every single CSW camp since the birth of the organization and this was
my favorite! The pace was perfect and the coaches were top notch.

Yamasaki:

Camp was no joke this year. Plenty of hard training and intensive instruction. Again I will echo Kiser’s synopsis of the stress on the Basics. And I loved it.

Boiled down, easy to digest and implement BASICS! Basics and fundamentals that make your game so strong and so internally sound that it makes it difficult for any opponent to find a point of entry. Wonderful, wonderful experience, technique and advise from some of my favorite Instructors in the game.
Chris shows off his souvenir from CSW Fighter Camp. A proper black eye.

Chris shows off his souvenir from CSW Fighter Camp. A proper black eye.

Especially rewarding to me was finally starting to get a handle on the Boxing Method presented by Coach Marvin Cook. I’ve been studying his approach to Boxing for the last 3 years and found it very difficult to understand as it seemed to be completely opposed to the method I had adopted and come to love from Professor Leonard Trigg. But after being open minded and truly giving it a fair shake I finally felt like I understood what Coach Cook was presenting. Rather than being opposed to Professor Trigg’s Method, it was actually and completely complementary. It was the second half to the same coin.

What I discovered was that when your opponent counters the style the Professor Trigg has taught me, openings for Coach Cook’s style began to open up, and vice versa.

It was such a great feeling to consolidate the genius of these two Pugilistic Masters.

On top of all that, I was able to vanquish the Evil Wolf Within me and send him home, tapped out and demolished.

Round two with my baser self goes to the better side of me. And I am very proud of that accomplishment.

Kiser: Catch photo shoot (Salt Lake City, Utah) –

Our friend Jake Shannon is putting together a Catch Wrestling History and Technique Book

and picked Jake Paul, Brian Yamasaki and myself to be the models for the instructional portion of the book.
Jake Paul and Coach Kiser demonstrating the basic CACC Ready Stance.

Jake Paul and Coach Kiser demonstrating the basic CACC Ready Stance.

I love doing this kind of work so needless to say I had a great time hanging with my friends and doing the photos for Jake.

Yamasaki: What an experience.

Kiser got hypnotized by Jake Shannon, got regressed between lighting adjustments for the photos and discovered some deep and hidden self revelations. No Joke!

Jake Paul learned things he shouldn’t have by hanging out in a CACC gym, that’s all we need is a professional fighter with super human strength walking around with nasty new Catch tricks. I’m going to be steering clear of him on the mats for sure lol.

Kiser: Ricardo “ICA” Medina Half Guard seminar (West Valley, Utah) – My first time training with Ica and it was anything but basic. Half guard and X-guard for an entire day. I partnered up with my friend Mike Stidham and did everything I could to improve these two unique positions.

Kiser with Ica Medina and Mike Stidham

Kiser with Ica Medina and Mike Stidham

The moves were unorthodox for my game. Despite the complexity of the techniques I felt like I was starting to get the hang of it thanks to the detailed instruction that Ica was giving us. I couldn’t wait to get to the gym and try some of this stuff out.

The techniques actually worked better than I expected. I was sweeping guys left and right!

How to Join An MMA Gym: A Beginners Guide

5 Tips To Help You Get Started In MMA Training

Joining an MMA gym can be an intimidating experience for beginners.  But it can also be an exhilarating rush to finally start training and learning.  Here are five tips to help you make the most of the experience and not look like a total noob.

Old Jock Strap

Tip 1: Your Gear.

You don’t have to go out and buy all this stuff right away, but the Basic Start Up Kit is a must.

Basic Start Up Kit:

  • Jock Strap And Cup, don’t leave home without it.
  • Mouth Piece

  • Mouth Piece. You don’t need a fancy one, just some rubber between your teeth so that you don’t loose them or get them chipped by an errant shoulder bump or spinning elbow to the forehead when your fellow white belt spazzes out of a position and accidentally clips you.
I took a spinning elbow just yesterday from a white belt.  If you look closely, you can see the imprint of his double weave gi in my forehead.  I wasn't wearing my mouth piece... I should have.  It felt like my teeth were about to crack.

I took a spinning elbow just yesterday from a white belt during Brazilian Jiu-jitsu class (he was trying to escape the back). If you look closely, you can see the imprint of his double weave gi in my forehead. I wasn't wearing my mouth piece... I should have. It felt like my teeth were about to crack.

Intermediate Kit:

    MMA Gloves 

  • 16 oz. Boxing Gloves for training is what I’d recommend.
  • Shin Guards. My favorite are the cloth shin and instep protectors that cost all of $15.00 and you can throw them in the wash when they get stinky. Some people argue that they don’t offer enough protection. I say, if you need that much protection, you and your partners are going way too hard.
  • MMA Gloves. Nowadays they offer both the training variety and fighting gloves. The trainers are a nice way to show your training partners you care.
Advanced Kit:

Rash Guard

  • Rash Guard and Leggings. These are to protect against microbes. They put an extra barrier between you and whatever worm, rash or creepy crawlie that might be wiggling it’s way into your training partner’s skin. They also help protect your knees and elbows from mat burns which create openings in your skin for said creepies to get a foothold and start setting up shop on your body.
  • Knee Pad

  • Kneepads. My favorites are the bubble knee pads for volleyball. They take off that extra wear and tear from working from your knees all the time or from dropping hard, repeatedly on a knee for your shots. I’ve experimented with applying Shoe Gu to the Asics Brand of bubble knee pads that I like best. They increase the life span and aren’t too abraisive to your partners if you take the time to make sure you smooth the surface before the Gu dries.

Some MMA gyms have equipment for sale. The basic equipment can be found at most sports stores.

You can find all kinds MMA equipment online at MMA Warehouse.

Recon

Tip 2: Research Your Potential Instructor(s).

Look them up on the internet. Take the time to learn about their background and what organization, if any they are a part of.

While organizational affiliation doesn’t always mean that you’re dealing with an upright, credible and helpful instructor, the lack of affiliation can sometimes be an indicator that something is amiss.

Often times it is not, but it’s something to take note of and place in the databank for future reference should other indicators arise down the line.

How do you know if an instructor is a good one?

Take a lesson or two and ask questions. There are about as many different ways to do a said technique as there are instructors. The how to isn’t as important, in my opinion, as the why.

If the instructor on test drive is able to explain to you, in a way that makes sense, why you should do what he’s instructing you to do, that’s a pretty good indicator that he/she knows what they are talking about.

If they start looking around, or give you the, “because I told you to”. That’s another one of those, things to put into your databank and tally up with the organizational affiliation thing at the end of the day.

Most importantly, did the potential instructor provide you with a safe and enjoyable learning environment?

If not, then despite what the findings were in the first set of suggestions, I’d be in a mad dash to get out of that gym. It doesn’t matter if the instructor in question is God’s gift to MMA, if you didn’t have a good time, or if you got the feeling that you might not last more than a week before suffering some catastrophic injury in the environment you were in, you should get out of there.

Don’t be a sissy and drop out just because you don’t like doing a push up or two, but if you fear for your life because you’re seeing other newbies getting tossed like cookies at cruise ship case of food poisoning, having their heads snapped back like crash test dummies from the punches being thrown, I’d suggest a different gym.

You’re looking to learn, have fun and increase your level of physical fitness and overall health. No jah rah budkus about training like “Real Fighters” is going to justify the potential for injury that you will find at a place like this.

Skill will come from hours trained, and this means injury management. The fewer the injuries, and the lower the severity of those injuries, the more mat time you’re going to get. The more mat time you get, the better you’re going to get period.

Blessed is he who in the name of good will and charity, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness.

Tip 3: Know you’re potential training partners.

During your test drive of the MMA Gym you are looking into, try to get a read on the current members. There is always going to be some level of snootieness going on. It’s the pecking order and birth right of any gym.

You have to EARN the attention and respect of the seniors there… to a degree. Not being coddled by the upper level students isn’t anything that should be raising alarms but it’s nice to find a place where you at least get friendly vibes from these guys.

And perhaps more importantly, if the seniors are simply using you as a piece of fresh meat to be beat on (and you wouldn’t believe how many people have come into my gym with horror stories about this actually happening at a few different gyms in my area), that should be sending up red flags.

Don’t try to lose 10 pounds before you go on a Diet

Tip 4: Get started now!

Don’t wait. So many people feel the need to get in shape before they get into an MMA gym. That’s total nonsense. The MMA Gym should be the means by which you get into shape. Just be smart about it and do it the right way. Communicate your fitness level and your limitations and don’t be ashamed to say, “I’m reaching my breaking point.” Training, fitness and Martial Skill are an exercise in long term dedication.

If you are so sore after your first day of training that you can’t get off the toilet, you’re probably not going to want to subject yourself to that torment again.

Kudos to you if you are that kind of person. But otherwise, take your time and ease into your training sessions and gradually increase the intensity level of your workouts until you get up to speed. It’s usually only a matter of a few weeks.

It's alright to be a white belt if that's what you are.  It's alright to be a white belt even when you may be something more.

It's alright to be a white belt if that's what you are. It's alright to be a white belt even when you may be something more.

If you knew it all, you’d be teaching the class not the other way around.

Tip 5: Don’t be afraid to be a beginner.

No one likes to be a noob. But the reality of it is, you are. And that’s totally o.k.

Don’t try to impress your partners or instructors by trying to tap or knock out anything that has arms and legs in the gym.

If you want to impress your partners and coaches, impress them by your egolessness, your humility, your respect and your willingness to be tapped, to learn and to listen.

Even if you’re transplanting from a previous gym and have some prior experience, don’t go in and try head hunting. Taking scalps and going after the seniors is only going to hurt you in the long run.

Here you see our student Dane H. using the Anaconda Gator Roll Takedown (Bonus Video 1 found on our member sign-up page) on his senior, professional fighter Johnny Miller and then against me during a training session a week ago. Yeah, that'll teach us.

These guys are your biggest assets. They are going to show you the ropes, give you the inside scoop, take you under their wings so to speak. Even if you can tap them out, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have something to teach you or can’t give you something that you may have never seen before. And how likely do you think it will be for them to go out of their way to help you after you’ve destroyed them on their own home turf.

Relax and learn. Once you’ve proven to your fellow training partners that you’re a friend, not a foe, that you’re there to learn and grow vs. to satisfy your ego, they’re going to help you out big time. But if you force them into a Kill or Be Killed type of situation, they’re going to do what they need to do to survive. And that might mean anything from simply shutting you down during your roll, to with holding some critical piece of information that might really take your game to the next level, because let’s face it, does anybody really want to go out of their way to make their own life more miserable?

MMA can be a great way to get in shape, meet wonderful, driven and goal oriented people with a common passion for the arts. It can be a great basis for self defense, and for learning life skills. There are so many stress relieving and rejuvenating qualities that can be had by training in MMA. If you are interested, don’t wait to start up. Find a good gym, or check out our members online mma training area and get started today!

The Breath Of Life!

“What is a saxiphone but a big hunk of metal until an artist gives it the breath of life?…
art has nothing to do with paint. Art is not a technique, but an expression from your heart… There is nothing you can’t do, there is nothing you can’t change if you believe and want it badly enough.”

-Denny Dent-

So often, I have been inspired by great artists. Truely, amazing people who’s message and passion transcend the medium with which they express themselves. Many critics and detractors will say that if you really look at them, they’re not that talented, or that their technique is not as sound as so and so’s. But to me they’re missing the point.

It’s not about the technique, it’s about the passion, the power of the human spirit, resonating and giving the “breath of life” to whatever it is that is being expressed. And in this sense, it doesn’t matter if the medium is Music, Painting, Iron Man Triathlons, Bush Craft, Zoology, Cooking, or Martial Arts.

There are certain artists out there that touch us, and move our sense of what is, and what can be. They inspire us to be and do more that what we thought was possible. This blog post is dedicated to those who have done so for me.

John Denver

To be pure of heart and intention is the essence of freedom.

Team Hoyt

When asked, “Rick, what would you do if you had the use of your arms and legs for one day?” Rick responded “I’ve thought alot about that question, and at first, I thought, maybe I’d like to play football. Then, I thought, maybe I’d like to play basketball or baseball. But then I think really hard, and the answer becomes clear… I’d strap my Dad to the chair and I’d make him let me push him for a day.”

At 52 years of age, Dick Hoyt was doing for himself and his son, what most 20 year olds cannot do for themselves. Triumph of the Human Spirit. The definition of love and devotion.

If you’ve ever seen these two compete, you realize that to say that you “can’t” is simply not true. That to do so is simply a weak man’s easy way out… That it isn’t that you are unable, but rather unwilling. Being a warrior in any sense means stripping that notion from your conscience.

Survivorman

Survivorman doesn’t just survive, he thrives. He looks at an otherwise desperate situation and finds ways to enjoy the moment. I was once told by one of my Jiu-jitsu Instructors (BJJ Black Belt Mike Diaz), “Sometimes all you can do is survive… and sometimes all you SHOULD do is try to survive.” It was then that I realized that most of the time, my real MMA troubles only started to worsen when I’d try to do too much when in a bad spot instead of just concentrating on survival and waiting for an opportunity.

Crocodile Hunter

Have you ever seen someone so full of passion and love for his life and his living. We should all strive to live as Crocodile Hunter did. RIP Steve Irwin.

Iron Chef Morimoto

If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right and with all your heart and soul. To watch Iron Chef Morimoto cook is like watching a sword smith forge a Hatori Hanzo. His cooking is infused with nothing less than his soul. It is done with respect and honor. These attributes should be the goal of any artist, Martial or other.

Genki Sudo

Need I say more. To see Genki, and how he developed as a philosopher and fighter is simply amazing. As he improved as a fighter, his mindset and “Weltanschauung” or world view became increasingly altruistic and egoless. You can see it in his smile and how he wasn’t fighting per se. He wasn’t there to destroy his opponents, but rather to express his art. And what a beautiful art it was, pure poetry in motion.

I’d love to see and lean more about your inspirations? Who is it, that gives the “Breaths of Life” to your art, your life?

Modern Catch As Catch Can: Written By Kris Iatskevich

Eddy Wiecz Carpentier

Eddy Wiecz Carpentier

” Let me show you how to properly do a front face lock”

Thinking that there wasn’t much an old ”pro” wrestler could teach a veteran grappler like myself, but having been brought up to respect my elders (and this guy was old, very old) I let him do his stuff, telling myself it would make the old man’s day ( I’m nice that way). He wrapped his still massive arms around my head, placed a hand on my shoulder, figure foured his wrists and cranked. Although he didn’t seem to apply much pressure, my knees buckled. My jaw, neck and spine made a loud cracking noise. I was certain he had just ripped my head straight off of my shoulders.

But he wasn’t done yet…he took me down and put me in a leg lock, a half Boston of all things, a fake ”pro” move (or so I thought).

What hadn’t cracked on the earlier move cracked then. Two weeks of regular chiropractor visits later, I humbly made my way back to the gym, armed with a new found respect for the old ”pro” wrestler and a desire to learn more about the old wrestling methods.

And so began my journey into the world of Catch as Catch Can wrestling… REAL ‘‘pro’’ wrestling.

(you can see the half boston crab in a MMA fight at 6:00 in, in the clip above)

Much like today, the Catch wrestlers of old were always looking for new ways to pin and submit their opponents. Their livelihood depended on it. In the past, these men dedicated themselves to the very real tradition of wrestling and engaged in completely real professional bouts. Furthermore, this wrestling was not the collegiate, free style or Greco-Roman wrestling we see today. It was submission wrestling, using techniques these men called “hooks’’

These submission wrestlers, called “hookers, shooters, pistols” by those in their trade, were the sort of men who sought real challenges and were not afraid to learn or show anything, Of course, this lead to a blend of wrestling styles. European styles mixed with Russian, Indian, and Japanese styles. So anyone claiming to know the ‘’true system’’ of CACC is either ignorant or trying to confine it to a mould that never existed before. There is no ‘’one way’’ of doing things, only principles and rules for you to use and play with. These principles and rules are what define Catch as Catch Can Wrestling and give it its unique flavour. I do admit that there are some Catch techniques and set ups that I have yet to find in other grappling systems, but what really sets it apart are the underlying principles behind the techniques, the philosophy of the art if you will.

After making its way to North America, around the end of the 19th century, the English Lancashire CACC wrestling style was blended with the “rough and tumble” American mentality of the era and a more aggressive catch-as-catch-can style of wrestling emerged, creating some of the most outstanding grapplers of that period.
In all the annals of history you would be hard pressed to find tougher and more skilled mat men than the Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestlers. These old time shooters took on all comers from all over the world and emerged victorious through a flood of blood, sweat, tears, and broken bones.

You can get a feel for the type of person who would study this art back in the day.

You can get a feel for the type of person who would study this art back in the day.

Catch can be particularly aggressive. Unfortunately, some mistake this aggressive pace for a lack of technical finesse.

The system is based on domination and pain compliance, but also on leverage, physics and control. The use of pressure points is also encouraged to set up techniques and keep opponents on the defensive.

All forms of submission holds, heel hooks, neck cranks and small joints manipulations are allowed within the CACC curriculum.

Catch has a wide appreciation of body mechanics and demonstrates a flexible and innovative mindset when it comes to submissions.

Not only does it use the typical subs you see across styles, but also flows freely from one technique to another, often times improvising subs to better take advantage of whatever the opponent leaves open during a scramble. Hence the name Catch as Catch Can (Catch a hold anywhere you can).

Basically, besides gouging, fish hooking, biting and deliberate striking, all is permitted within the CACC rule set. It’s all about getting the job done, as quickly and as effortlessly as possible.

Here you see typical wrestling holds, arm bars similar to in jiu-jitsu, and throws found in sambo

Here you see typical wrestling holds, arm bars similar to in jiu-jitsu, and throws found in sambo

Actually, the term ‘’ No Holds Barred’’ was originally used to describe the wrestling method prevalent in CACC tournaments during the late 19th century

, Meaning that no holds were banned from competition. That is why the CACC Wrestling men had to know how to throw, control, pin and submit their opponents from every angle and position imaginable. These men coupled brutal submissions (double wristlocks, neck cranks, toeholds etc) with an ability to twist their opponents into pretzels to pin them.

Since a Catch as Catch Can match can be won by either submission or pin, Catch wrestlers pay particular attention to positioning; high level of proficiency in breakdowns, rides and pins is required to excel in this system. Position is crucial to pulling off any submission, and even more so to obtain a pin.

Bottom escapes is another aspect of the game that is perfected. knowing that your opponents will work extra hard at keeping you on your back to obtain the pin, an incredible amount of time is spent working our way back up from bottom .

CACC became by far the most popular American sport during the post-Civil War period up until just before World War I, especially in the carnivals and fairs.

The carnival’s wrestlers challenged the locals as part of the carnival’s “athletic show”

and the locals had their chance to win cash reward if they could defeat the carnival’s strongman by a pin or a submission. This eventually led to the carnival’s wrestlers preparing for the worst kind of scenario and aiming to end the wrestling match quickly and decisively. As carnival wrestlers traveled, they met with a variety of people, learning and using techniques from various folk wrestling disciplines, many of which were accessible due to a huge influx of immigrants in the United States during this era

An ad for a "Catch As Catch Can" Wrestling Bout

An ad for a "Catch As Catch Can" Wrestling Bout

It is important to remember that there were also many style vs. style matches. In this way, the Japanese, amongst others, became very aware of the CACC tradition and vice versa.

Judo expert and prize fighter Mitsuyo Maeda also known as ‘’Count koma’’ perfected his fighting system by competing in and learning Catch as Catch Can before moving to brazil and teaching is style of fighting to Carlos Gracie.

Another judoka, Masahiko Kimura, also learned Catch as Catch Can while working as a professional wrestler. Kimura would go on to defeat Helio Gracie with a staple hold of CACC the Double Wrist Lock aka ‘’The Kimura’’.

Karl Gotch after honing his skills at the infamous ‘’Snake pit’’ in Wigan were he learned CACC, travelled to india and studied Pehlwani (Indian Wrestling) and then to Japan were he studied Judo and Sumo. My coach Edouard Wiecz Carpentier, , practiced Greco Roman Wrestling, Boxing and Savate before turning his attention to Catch as Catch Can. Later, he also became an avid Judo player.

Much like many of their contemporaries, these men were cross training even before we had coined a term for it.

I often thought that, were Karl Gotch, Billy Robinson, Edouard Wiecz and many of the old time greats in their prime today, they would be at the forefront of MMA fighting, as it is results oriented instead of performance oriented like pro wrestling. Given their training and dedication, they would have been at the top of the mma food chain.

Eddy Wiecz Carpentier, Paul Leduc, Bob "Legs" Langevin

Eddy Wiecz Carpentier, Paul Leduc, Bob "Legs" Langevin

Unfortunately, while many of the ‘’Old Timers’’ kept a very open mind towards training. Some coaches today seem to adopt a very dogmatic approach to teaching.

Beware of all teachers who tell you that their method is the only legitimate one. All Grappling styles are good, it’s up to you to find witch one suit you best.

On a closing note, here is what I have learned in my 30 + years of practice.

Judo, Sambo , Wrestling (Freestyle/Greco Roman/Folk style) , Catch as Catch Can and BJJ are all legitimate combat sports. They’ve all been proven effective.
Nothing else needs to be said.

If you want to be good at grappling, find a good grappling club and train there. The rest all comes down to the instructor and the individual.

We all know what styles are effective and which ones are not. Just pick one you have access to and train hard. For the best grappling system out there, the only one worth devoting yourself to, is the one you enjoy practicing.

And to paraphrase my good Friend Jake Shannon president of Scientificwrestling .com

‘’So what is modern Catch as Catch Can Wrestling? ANYTHING that is legal under the rules of a catch wrestling contest IS catch wrestling. I think a lot of people get confused that because catch wrestlers show a lot of little known but effective techniques that they think there is some sort of secret society where a few anointed people “know” catch wrestling. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Catch wrestling is “Open to suggestion”. Anyone can contribute as long as their contribution “works”.

The only “proper” way to pin or submit a man is the way that works. That’s it. Catch wrestling isn’t necessarily a canon of technique; it is a METHOD and a set of rules.
Each person will chain the techniques their own way. Each person will apply the subs and pins based on their individual body types and knowledge base. Catch is rigorously individualistic.

That is why we are here, to continue experimenting in new ways to pin and submit people; no points. The permutations are endless.

That is why it is called Scientific Wrestling; test it, prove it, use it, teach it to others to help them.

These men will champion catch (their own brand of catch) and will have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they know their subject. It is truly an exciting time!’’

Exciting times indeed!

As an addendum to the original article, Coach Iatskevich asked me to include the following links for reference:

first is an article written in 1905 and debates catch wrestling vs Jiu jitsu
http://ejmas.com/jcs/jcsart_leonard_0802.htm

second Is an overlook of the history of MMA and it,s link to catch wrestling
http://www.kocosports.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=18493&z=9

third is the story of Ad Santel vs judo
http://www.sherdog.com/news/articles/ad-santel-and-catching-our-history-11623

From Kris Iatskevich: “I know some of these stories seem a bit negative,I personally don’t like comparing systems. But what you get from them. is the understanding of how much these arts influenced each other.”

Kris Iatskevich has studied different fighting arts for the last 30 + years.

– Catch Wrestling under the guidance of Eddy Wiecz Carpentier since ’96
– Lead Instructor for the Scientificwrestling.com certification program
– Black Belt and Regional rep. for SAW (submission arts wrestling) Hidetaka Aso
– Black Belt Judo
– Canadian rep for FIAS Sambo
– President of Catch Wrestling Canada Association
– Owner and Head coach of the Quebec Toe hold Club

You can learn more about him, his system and more at his official website:
http://www.catchwrestlingcanada.com/

__________________________________________________________________

As a final note from me (Brian Yamasaki), I would like to add that I own both of Coach Iatskevich’s Competition Catch as Catch Can DVD’s and consider them some of the best DVD’s I own.  They contain an enormous amount of useful information and give a fresh perspective to the art of Submission Wrestling.  I highly recommend either or both of these wonderful volumes.

Competition Catch As Catch Can Volume 1

Competition Catch As Catch Can Volume 1

Competition Catch As Catch Can Volume 2

Competition Catch As Catch Can Volume 2

The Catch Wrestling Shin Lock

Training with Sakuraba's Coach, the legendary Billy Robinson

Training with Sakuraba’s Coach, the legendary Billy Robinson

After first learning about the coveted but elusive Knee on Shin Lock and Elbow on Shin Lock, I was obsessed. I had to have them. I had no idea where to find them or how to go about getting on the mats with someone who knew the real skinny behind these old school Catch As Catch Can Techniques. But as luck would have it, the answer would literally fall at my feet.

Jake Shannon president and founder of the Scientific Wrestling Group, a society he has tasked with the consolidation and preservation of the many forms of Catch/Carnival/Wigan style Wrestling, recently changed his place of residence from sunny CA to the desert colony known as Utah.

2, 90 Degree Angles on 2 separate planes make for a more efficient SNAP!

2, 90 Degree Angles on 2 separate planes make for a more efficient SNAP!

W.A.R. Catch Wrestling: Lessons in Catch-As-Catch-Can with Billy RobinsonUpon arriving he needed a place to host an upcoming seminar with the legendary Catch As Catch Can Instructor Billy Robinson, a first generation student of the late Billy Riley. Jake called up his friend, our instructor Sensei Erik Paulson. Sensei Paulson suggested that he get in touch with his state representative Coach Kiser and the rest is history.

Having the once in a lifetime opportunity to train under one of few remaining authorities on Catch Wrestling, we picked as much of Billy’s brain as he and Jake could stand. The result was a bunch of footage that, to this day is some of my favorite material.

For anyone interested in learning more Catch As Catch Can moves directly from Coach Billy Robinson, I whole heartedly recommend
W.A.R. Catch Wrestling: Lessons In Catch-As-Catch-Can with Billy Robinson