A lot has changed in the last couple months. I have a lot to write about. I need to catch up, and I will. I will start with the latest news first, and work my way back over the coming weeks.
I am beyond excited about this new stage in my Jiu Jitsu journey, and can’t wait to get on the mats!
[Read more…] about DreJitsu Goes Blue
I will be competing at the IBJJF Las Vegas Open in May along with many others. This is an open call to all Carlson Gracie Team members to join the effort.
Carlson Gracie Temecula owner and coach, Thomas Cronin put this letter out on Facebook this week and I couldn’t help but get motivated and excited about representing Carlson Gracie Team!
Calling all Carlson Gracie Team members:
It’s with great enthusiasm that we’ve been enjoying repeated success for the team recently. Look around see that we’ve had White Belts winning Blue Belt tournaments, Blue Belts beating Black Belts in ADCC, Women coming out in force & winning, 1st timers defeating their anxiety & putting it on the line, Old timers getting back in the fight. The instructors & students are cross training at each other’s academies & the higher ups are working together to help support the team overall.
Some of you may not realize exactly what it means to wear those bulldogs so let me impart a bit of historical perspective. The Carlson Gracie Team was comprised of rebels. A team formed against the grain in so many ways that it almost seems like a fairy tale. In master Carlson Sr. you had THE Gracie family champion with an ingenious & brutally effective style of fighting that was not based on defending himself from a random untrained nobody, but a guy that wanted to fight & finish the best fighters. He fought against adults when he was under age, anytime. Anywhere. But most importantly he believed in teaching.
Master Carlson broke tradition by teaching people, no matter who they were, even if they didn’t have money. He wanted the best for his students & he was so honest it would offend people. To him, talk was cheap. The truth would always come out on the mat or in the ring. The students that followed him became the first powerhouse team of their time. They dominated in a way that will probably never be seen again, they won everything & there was no question that the Carlson Gracie Team was the undisputed force in the world of Jiu-Jitsu & Vale Tudo fighting. This is a team that flew in the face of tradition & reigned supreme for many years.
Even though the mainstream doesn’t talk about it, you can trace most of the title holders in every major organization back to the Carlson Gracie lineage in some way. But every time you step in the cage or put on a GI & you wear those bulldogs in a competition, people are betting against you. They overlook you & expect you to lose because they haven’t heard of you or your team. All they see is the latest trend of upside down butt scooting techniques on YouTube & when you beat them & you shock them you are honoring the tradition of our Master Carlson Gracie Jr. & his father because you too are also flying in the face of tradition.
Here we are in this day & age, training in a non-commercial manner, without attendance cards or online belt certifications, climbing the mountain & fighting the giants of popular mainstream Jiu-Jitsu. Those Bulldogs you are wearing may seem like underdogs but the blood of champions & unrivaled legacy flow through them & you are a part of that legacy. I know that in our Temecula academy alone we honor a sense of tradition but we don’t follow the modern “business” model formula that most schools do. We don’t tell students what to wear, we pay attention to their skillset & deficiencies & we bug them if they aren’t training a lot. We are in the business of changing lives & kicking butt. It’s so inspiring seeing our students rising up, & we are seeing the same for the Carlson Gracie schools abroad.
Locally we’ve been cleaning up in Southern California & Just this past weekend Master Carlson was on the podium after winning the Chicago Open, a title he’s been chasing for years, simultaneously Master Ricardo Cavalcanti’s students won the 5 Grappling event in Las Vegas. The next organized team effort we are making is to go out to Las Vegas & win the IBJJF Las Vegas Open on May 3rd. I’ve been in touch with Master Carlson Jr. & the team leaders of the other academies. We are taking a monster team out there. Las Vegas is Cavalcanti territory & he has expressed that his doors are open to all team members & he wants to help in any way. If someone needs a place to crash, wants a ride to the event, or wants to get to there & train before the weekend, he & his students will accommodate.
If you’re going to do this with us, register here: www.ibjjf.org and do it right away. Get your ibjjf memberships renewed or created. Don’t wait until the last minute because we may need to move people in different divisions, and everyone needs to register as CARLSON GRACIE TEAM. That’s it, no “Mike Smith BJJ – Carlson Gracie” If you do that, you won’t be contributing to the team points and will probably be fighting against a teammate. Let’s go there, organized, prepared and send that trophy to Master Carlson. Don’t worry, each academy we bring will also get a trophy.
If that doesn’t motivate you, nothing will. Who’s in?
I competed at Grapple Bowl 2014 a few weeks ago and had a blast. I wasn’t too happy with the tournament setup, but I knew what I was getting into being it was a GrapplingX event.
I competed at Masters Heavyweight which is categorized at 30+ years of age, and 200lbs to unlimited weight.
I won my first match, and lost the next two to take 3rd place.
[Read more…] about GrapplingX Grapple Bowl 2014
My journey has already begun. Welcome to the place where I’ll note, log, and chat about my experiences as I practice and learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the gentle art!
Before we get started, I want to give a shout out to my school and team at Carlson Gracie Menifee, my coach Orlando Alonso, Tony Perez, Daniel Cid, and everyone else who has taught and encouraged me. We’re just getting started, and more on all these awesome folks along the way!
In early May, Tony Perez, my business partner, my road dog, and brother-in-law hit me up. He was very enthusiastic about a new Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school opening up in the town we live in, Menifee, California. He tried talking me into going and checking it out, and at first I resisted.
You see, Tony has trained on and off since 2010. In fact, he had a few competitions under his belt already. By this summer, he was already what I consider a very technical white belt. He definitely knew more than me on the mat, still does in fact, and he executes very well. He had slowed down on his training for a while due to injuries mostly, but also because work schedules had been crazy, and the school he had been training at was in Temecula, about a 25 minute drive each way.
In any event, along with our other business partner Daniel Cid (Purple belt), Tony had been hounding me for quite a while to get on the mat. I had always pushed back, I would tell them I love BJJ and MMA in general, but as a spectator, not as a practitioner.
This time was different though. Along with Tony’s excitement and encouragement, my eldest daughter Hallie was also expressing interest in signing up for a martial art. As a fan of BJJ, I naturally encouraged her to try it out before anything else, she was hesitant. She was more interested in starting with striking which I can appreciate, but I felt it may not be the best place for her to start. With the positive pressure from the guys, and my daughters interest, I told her if she started with BJJ, I would too.
This was early May, and off we went to visit Carlson Gracie Menifee, and to meet Coach Orlando Alonso.
I have not only earned a couple stripes, I have lost 40lbs since I started, and I am in the best shape of my life at 36. My four eldest daughters are all practicing as well, making this our new family way of life.
Over the last couple months I have been thinking about starting this site to try and document as much of my journey as possible. Here we are on the eve of Thanksgiving, 2013, and I finally finished the logo, and I am actually writing the first post.
It has been an interesting 6 months on and off the mat, and I believe the next 6, 16, and so on will be just as interesting. I hope you find value in my posts, pictures, and videos along the way.
Don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have questions, I would love to hear from you!