If you live in the Hudson Valley and have a young child you’d like to give the gift of martial arts then be sure to check out my school Precision Mixed Martial Arts in LaGrange, NY. Precision teaches real world martial arts in a positive, safe and encouraging environment. More than just martial arts techniques, Precision builds life skills for all it’s young martial artists.
A handful of Precision MMA students made the trip from their Hudson Valley martial arts gym in LaGrange, NY down to Whippany, NJ for the American Martial Arts Invitational Tournament.
The tournament was well run and everyone had fun competing amongst friends. Big victories were earned by Erik Andren, Johnny Miranda, Andrew Colombos and Mike Crawford. I have mixed feelings about tournament jiu-jitsu. On the one hand competition has many positive martial arts benefits. It forces the student to call upon their skills in any unfamiliar environment against an opponent who is offering up 100% resistance. Often times this will highlight technical mistakes and give the student a more realistic view of how their body will operate under stress. For many, the stress of competition is the closest to a simulated street fight. Also, competition can motivate a student to strive for higher achievement and lead to them making positive life changes such as improving their diet, losing weight or simply making martial arts a greater priority. The thrill of victory can snap people out of their complacency in training and force them to take a more critical look at their practice routines.
However, there are a number of drawbacks to tournament centered jiu-jitsu. Jiu-jitsu is supposed to be the weak man’s art. A gentle style that uses yielding and pliancy to overcome strength and power. Minimum effort for maximum result is the beauty of jiu-jitsu. In order for someone to properly harness the power of jiu-jitsu they cannot force things on their adversary, but be patient and weight for opportunities. They must utilize timing to displace their opponent rather than powering through. However, with an artificial time limit competitors are pushed into forcing things, making things happen rather than allowing them to occur organically. Also they are made to use as much of their energy and effort as possible rather than conserving and using the minimum necessary to be safe.
Another drawback is the mindset of tournament jiu-jitsu. Tournament competitors must train to be bigger, faster and stronger than their opponents. However, I teach my students to always assume they have an attribute disadvantage. Do not try to match speed or strength, but rather find the path of least resistance. The calculating gentle style of jiu-jitsu may result in being placed in inferior position and giving away “points” but it means they will not succumb to fatigue or make a careless mistake. Real fights could last indefinitely in theory therefore a self defense minded practitioner must conserve. The Gracie philosophy of not moving faster than your opponent, but exhausting more slowly than them. This training methodology will not necessarily lead to success in a points based system. Tournament jiu-jitsu, in my estimation, breeds athletes more so than martial artists.
Finally, the “safety first” mindset of self defense is often lost in the tournament approach. Students embrace positions in sport settings that would get them in hot water for self defense. For example, sport guard passers standing bent over leading with their heads is asking to be kicked in the face, however it can be very successful for tournament jiu-jitsu. Students jumping to their backs rather than looking for a takedown and top position is perfectly fine for tournaments, but disastrous if fighting an opponent on an unforgiving surface in real life.
In a way my musings about competition centered training is hypocritical since I was an avid competitor for a considerable amount of time and my competition accolades are often what draws people to my schools. However, I never forget that the reason I started training martial arts was to defend myself when I was a weak and frightened teenager. I looked to jiu-jistu because I was certain it could allow me to survive an attack against someone bigger, faster and stronger and that power is worth more than any tournament medal.
If you’re a New Yorker interested in seeing what your options are for Hudson Valley martial arts then I hope you’ll check out my school Precision MMA in LaGrange, NY.
Here’s an article Precision brown belt Jamey Bazes wrote about Precision’s Hudson Valley martial arts program
This weekend I made the trip up to Amsterdam, NY to cheer on Precision MMA boxers Paul Maley and Dan Power. Once again I got a speeding ticket on the way up, but I figured that was a good omen since last time that happened Pat Daka took home the golden gloves title.
The bouts were outside at a baseball stadium. First up was Paul Maley. I knew Paul would be hungry since he wound up on the wrong side of some extremely close decisions recently and was looking to make a statement. Sure enough he took the center of the ring and wasted no time getting down to business. Landing crisp jabs and solid uppercuts Paul was clearly getting the better of his game, but outmatched opponent.
In the second round the ref gave Paul’s opponent a standing 8 count. This sparked more output and Paul made the third round his strongest. As the judges score cards were being tallied we knew Paul had wonNext up was Dan Power. Dan brought his straight ahead pressure style into the ring and immediately went after his rangy opponent. Scoring with heavy body shots and high output Dan comfortably took the first round. At the start of the second Dan smelled blood and went in strong, but got a little reckless and ate a big uppercut against the ropes. He went down but quickly jumped to his feet assuring the ref that he was more than ready to continue. Unfortunately, something the ref saw lead him to think otherwise and he stopped the fight, giving Dan’s opponent the victory. To say Dan was upset is an understatement. He acted as a sportsman and shook his opponent’s hand, but was extremely frustrated that the fight was taken out of his hands when he wanted to continue.
I had mixed emotions. On the one hand I know Dan is incredibly tough and would have gone out there to give it his all. On the other hand I know sometimes fighters are too tough for their own good and perhaps this time it may have been best to live to fight another day. One thing I can guarantee though, whoever steps in the ring with Dan Power next is going to have a bad day.
While I was in upstate New York there were also some fierce MMA fights going on at Valley Forge, PA. My training partner Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman continued his rise up the pound ladder and racked up a dominating victory at CFFC. This makes three straight dominating performances for Charlie, the UFC should be taking notice soon.
Precision fighters get back in the ring for muay thai fights in July and AMA fighters will keep me busy as Andy Main fights in Pancrase and Sean Santella defends his CFFC Flyweight title in the coming months.
If you’re looking to train Hudson Valley martial arts then check out Precision MMA in LaGrange, NY. Call 845-392-8495 or visit http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com to get started
Here’s a cool article one of my brown belts Jamey Bazes wrote about my Hudson Valley Martial Arts school Precision MMA.