Sunday, September 27, 2009

My new Promo video

I was mucking round with windows media player and made a promo video so check it out


Friday, September 25, 2009

Saturday is a busy day

Whoa.. ive been flat out today, its been crazy.
I worked Friday night at the service station and was lucky enough to watch the league game between the eels and the bulldogs. What a good game of footy, big tackles and a close scoreline. I was on the edge of my seat but happy that the Eels came through in the end.
The servo shifts at night are 7pm to 1am but i am lucvky enough to have my wife Sam come and hang out with me while im working. It is usually pretty quiet at night times but when its raining its double quiet so not much was really going on besides chatting and Sam reading all the magazines.

Saturday morning i was uyp early and had to head out to civic and do an hour of fundraising for the Heart foundation doorknock appeal. It was actuyally quite fun and i definetly felt like i was helping some people out, (so my lecturer at uni was right that you definetly get way more good feelings helping someone out than you do helping yourself.)
Some of the funny comments were
- i dont have a heart!
the tax department taxed me $50 000 dollars so go chase them up for my money.

but my favourite was "Oh i gave the girls up there some already" (butt here were no girls actually doing any fundraising.)

Then i was quickly off to the ANU judo club for an hour of technical its really good to go a club that arent competition orientated and are just there to do judo and enjoy the sport. But in saying that they can really break down the techniques and in doing so they have a really good knowledge of judo.

Now im off to the service station again for 6 and a half hours on a cold winters day and also because it AFL Grand final day even less customers will come in.
the good thing is on saturdays foreign correspondance is on and i always try to catch that because its quite interesting and you can learn quite abit.

Thats it from me im off to church tomorrow which is sweet because i havent been to our awesome church in so long but samantha and I have been reading 1 or 2 chapters of the bible every night so its a habit hopefully we can stick to.

Have an awesome day

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shoulder injuries article

When i wasnt at school and working alot at the gym i would get asked heaps and heaps of questions regarding training and injuries and fat loss etc. And i decided instead of telling each people 100 times a week i would write articles and when they had a question id just give them an article to read.
this week i got asked about shoulder injuries so i thought id post one of my old articles up on here.

If you want to save it to your computer just click here
Shoulder injuries & gym exercises

During my 5 years in the gym industry I have noticed as well as leant that some exercises aggravate the rotator cuff muscles within the shoulder joint and occasionally damage them. In this report I am going to give examples of some exercises that I do not recommend performing if you have a past shoulder injury.

Rotator cuff muscles
Do not mistake the rotator cuff muscles as the Deltoid muscles. The 4 rotator cuff muscles are the supraspinatus, subscapularis, teres minor and the infraspinatus these little muscles help maintain the stability of the joint.

Behind the neck Barbell Shoulder Press:
This is one of the most popular shoulder exercises performed by all levels of trainers. The problem with behind the neck shoulder press is to get the Barbell behind your head you put your shoulder joint at a biomechanical disadvantage.
You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that you don’t want to be adding any sort of weight to joint that is at a disadvantage.
You may have done this exercise in the past or it may be part of your current gym program if it is I advise you to adjust this exercise and perform the exercise by bringing the bar to the front.

Behind the neck lat pull down
This is one of the most popular exercises to do especially with the older generations of trainers. Many people watch Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Pumping Iron and see him doing behind the neck lat pull down and think this is the way to perform the exercise correctly. In the past year a new law has passed in the ACT stating that no one is allowed to teach a behind the neck lat pull down.
The first reason is if, in the rare occurrence, the cable snaps the trainer will smash the sudden light-weight bar into the back of the neck risking injury.
The second reason not to do behind the neck lat pulldown is because it is another exercise that puts the shoulder in a biomechanical weakened position. This once again is due to the trainer having to put the bar behind their neck under load.

Pec dec
Pec Dec is an exercise that so many trainers have to do as part of their chest workout. As an isolation exercise it is fantastic but yes you may injure your shoulder doing this exercise too.
This is due to the fact that while you are performing a Pec Dec your elbows are resting on the pads at a ninety degrees angle. This is another weakened position to be in which could lead to injury.

Overhead tricep extension
This exercise is the one where you are sitting down and resting a DB in both hands you put the DB behind your head and extend your elbows. This exercise is a great exercise to build strong triceps due to the big amount of weight you can lift. But if you do this exercise you may sometimes feel a ‘pinch’ feeling within the shoulder joint. This pinch feeling may lead to injury if one day you lift too much weight or go to low and your should cant handle it.

Upright row
Upright row is another exercise that many trainers complain of a dull ache or slight pinch in the shoulder the day after doing this exercise. This is due to the technique of how trainers perform this exercise. Many trainers each that the top of the movement the elbows must be higher than the shoulders. The correct technique is, at the top of the movement is to keep the elbows even with the wrists, below the shoulders and keep your forearms horizontal top the floor.
In trying to put the elbows above the shoulders you are putting extra stress on the shoulder joint but keeping the elbows horizontal to the floor keeps the shoulder in a strong position at all times.

With all of the above exercises you may have been doing them for years and never once injured your shoulder. I am not saying that if you perform these exercises you will get injured I am just simply stating that due to the fact that you are lifting in an anatomical bad position means these exercises are a higher risk of injury than other exercises.
Many Olympic weightlifters perform behind the neck presses all the time but these athletes spend a lot of time stretching their upper-body because they need excellent shoulder flexibility for the lifts their sport.

Matt D’Aquino

This weeks activity

This week has been busy busy busy. On Friday i got up at 6am and trained at the ANU open mat. This time my training client Ash came along and did some ground work, he really enjoyed it and definetely saw the value in training with a few other people. especially the really bendy guys who fight very differently to me and have feet and legs everywhere.

The ANU open mat is a great place to train if you want to just come and fight and not have to do an hour and a half instruction and only 30 minutes of fighting. At the ANU open mat you can come and do whatever you like, you can do stand up, or ground work or just come along and have a chat, all the guys are great and just love the sport of BJJ.

Saturday i worked at the servo on the morning shift and then trained at Phoenix gym. I was keen on fighting the brazilian bjj guy that runs the bjj there but he got kneed (how do you spell that) in the chest so he was out of action. So i had some good biffs with Ashley and another fella called Steve and then i just came home and hung out with Sam.

Training at Marist hasnt been on this week because Marist are having a school play on in our hall every night so unfortunbatley judo training ahsnt been on. Luckily enough i have dragged Oren of to the ANU on Wed Thu and mornings at 6am for a quick 1 hour of uchikomi and nage komi.

For the past few weeks i have been massively trying to catch up on schoolwork that i missed while i was overseas. It was my first trip overseas since i started uni so it was a good chance to see whether i could handle full time uni while training and competing over there.
I always thought that studying while overseas would be quite easy but its surprisingly quite difficult. This is because say you have training at 10 you may wake up at 8 have a shower and breaky thats 830 then you have to strap up and maybe walk or ctahc the bus to training and get there 20 minutes early so you cant do much study before then.
then if you train 10-12pm you dont get home and showered until at least 1 then lunch then snooze and then ready for trainnig again a bit later on.
O well listen to me complaining i mean im not saying its impossible its just harder to do than i first thought.

On Sunday i had my little God daughter Clares dedication at my Mum's church in Queenbeyan. She was so cute and pretty much mostly slept and didnt know what was going on but the highlight of the day was seeing my sisters other daughter Emma walking in and out giving her dad scrunched up bits of leaves. Little emma is so cute.

This week i had a maths test, unfortunatley to pass the unit you have to achieve a credit average over 3 tests. I think thats a bit rough, i mean a pass is a pass why do you have to get a credit to pass i think its silly as. I think i did ok in my maths test but a credit ooooo im not to sure.

So thats about it from my end, this weekend i have to do some heart foundation fundraising for the ACT academy or Sport for an hour this Saturday before i train at the ANU on Saturday then off to the servo after that.

Ive also started dieting now that we have some money again, you find when you have no money you just buy really crappy food thats cheap for example $3 chips from the shops fills Sam and i both up, so we may get that a few times.
Now im going to start watching what i eat in preperation for the Samoa World cup in Novemeber. I know its in like 11 weeks or so until the comp but i feel if i dont start now ill be fighting -73kg at next ACT open, taking on the big fellas.

Thats it from my really just busy with studying for school and training as usual and trying to spend as much time with my wife Sam as possible. She is busy doing study as well. Sam is studying Human Nutrition at uni which is a really hard degree but she is doing really with the amount of Chemistry she has to do.
I sometimes have a squiz at her textbooks and its almost like shes doing equations that the rain man couldnt do.

Have an awesome day everyone

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some Photos

Yesterday i recieved some photos done by Eric the ACT Acadmey of Sport Photographer, these were taken at this years nationals. Its kinda cool getting photos and videos of you competing and thats why i have been now trying to film every fight i do because i dont want to get to the end of my career and have no footage or photos of me competing to show my kids one day.

Anyway here are some cool pics.

Also for people that want to know here is a link to my fight at the Olympics

Have an awesome day

My websites

Hey in case people dont know i have a website its

Its mostly a website for my personal training.
I also have alot of videos on youtube, they are mostly instructional videos about Judo Wrestling and Brazilian jujitsu, i also have some workouts on there that i think are good for grappling sports.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

This weeks rundown

I didnt really get up to too much this week, Samantha and I caught up with our good friends Andrew and Nat, we watched a stack of Smallville season 8 its such an awesome show.
I this week got written a gym program from Dean from ACT Academy of Sport. He writes good programs and this one focus's on alot of footwork as well as speed and power using the whole body so im definelty looking forward into doing a stack of that.
Training on Wednesday was a bit lazy due to the fact that everyone was tired due to the comp last weekend but we backed up with a good hard session ran by steve hill on thursday night.
I PT'd one of my clients Ash this week and early this morning he came along to the ANU open mat and fought some other people so that was good to get some variety in styles for him in order to improve.

My next big compeition is the Oceania World Cup in Samoa, so i am saving a stack of money to try to pay for Sam to come along, I havent taken her to the beach in a long long time and she definetly needs a holiday pretty soon.

Im back to work this weekend and have scored a few big shifts over the next few weeks. Today im working at the servo from 930am to 7pm and will get home just in time to watch the Rugby league semi finals, im so keen to just hang out with Sam and chat and sit and do nothing.

This weekend is my gorgeosu little god daughters dedication so on Sunday i have to dress up all nice in dress pants and a shirt and head off to my Mum's church for her pastor to do the dedication, he also did Cheryl's daughter Emma's dedication and it was really nice. So i am looking forward to that.

The weather here has been so nice so hopefully with the better weather it will get people out of bed in order to train nice and early and get some more Judo sessions in throughout the week. Im planning on doing Mon Wed and thursdays at Marist as well as a Wed, Fri and saturday mornings at the ANU.

so thats bout it for me nothing muich else is really gonig on, now im going to quickly go and hang out the washing before i head off to the service station.

Have an awesome day

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Royler Gracie cup comp video
I decided to enter this comp to fight Purple belt in order to fight some experienced fighters. I entered the -67kg weight division but my opponent didnt turn up for the competition so i had to fight in the Purple belt -73kg weight division. I had to fight the winner of Australian Judo representative and good friend Ivo dos Santos or this bloke but unfortunately Ivo lost on points so i had to fight this guy.
He was pretty experienced and pretty calm throughout the whole fight. He was quite hard to take down especially when they are always trying to pull guard, hence why as soon as they do i try to back off and stand up. When i was on top stuck in a half guard he was very calm and just waited nearly upto 2 minutes for me to make a mistake (which i did and he swept me for 2 points) you can tell he was going to sweep me from how high my hips were, i should have scooted my hips out a bit more and then tried to retreive my leg.
My opponent didnt mind being in my guard and didnt really once try to pass it at all. I think because he was up by 2 points he was going to try to shut me down and ride out the 2 point
I was really trying to work the elevator sweep ( and also the far gaurd choke ( he was experienced so i knew i wouldnt tap him with this but i was trying to create space in order to stand back up and resume throwing him (if i could).
I got the feeling when he kept glancing at the clock that he was waiting for the last minute before he was about to attempt a standing guard pass, so i decided to disengage and throw him with a firemans,
All in all i think i won either 4 to 2 or 6 to 2 i cant remember now but it was a good biff but i was glad i won the fight but at the same time i was a bit dissapointed that i havent tapped somebody yet in the 2 bjj comps ive been in. I have entered Purple both times but havent tapped anyone which is a bit annoying because i really wouldnt mind subbing someone soon.
dont know wheather i will enter any more BJJ comps, they are very expensive to enter and there just isnt enough competitors to make it worth while, so i think i will only enter the big ones from now on like the Pan Pacs and Abu Dhabi trials one day.

If you have any comments regarding the fight let me know

Have a great day

Sunday, September 13, 2009

NSW International Open & Marist judo club report

Its that time of year again. The ol nsw open. It always a good tournament with high level Judo there due tot the fact that people have been training consistently opposed to the ACT open in Feb where its had been school holidays and many players are out of shape and fighting in a higher weight class.
That means that even though i fought -66kg this weekend it doesn't mean I'm outta shape ok.
I decided to fight -66kg this weekend in order to get some good match practice in, not just because they are heavier, but because that weight division is stacked with so much talent that i knew i would have some good fights with hopefully as many people as possible.

I worked all day at the service station on Saturday i did 7am - 6pm before Samantha and I drove to Sydney. Whenever Sam and i drive somewhere we always have a great time singing and dancing and just chatting about a stack of random stuff. Luckily enough Mum had booked a hotel already so we just crashed there on Sat night.

Last week in Sydney Sam and i went there with no street map and winged it to everywhere we needed to go. This time though we tries to use google maps and see how that worked out. Its wasn't too good so one of these days we are going to invest in a Sydney street map.

The NSW open wasn't the most exciting competition this year i must admit. It was held inside a Velodrome but this meant that the atmosphere wasnt that intense due to how big the room was. In saying that though, when your fighting everything is blocked out except for you and him and your coaches voice.

My first round i drew a tall guy from New Caledonia, i have fought him and beat him before but it was a tough fight then but more of a tactical fight this time. It was also a massive penalty fest and the referees at one stage didnt even know what was going on. Our fight went the whole five minutes and with 4 seconds to go in the contest i got penalised for a crappy attack and lost the fight on that penalty. I was very disappointed because i was behind the whole fight and with 30 seconds to go i was doing alot of attacking and finally got him penalised so then i was ahead on points. Then i dont know why but decided to change My game plan from stopping his right hand gripping me to letting him get a hold on which case he forced me to do a crappy attack and got penalised to lose the fight.
I was very disappointed weight division aside i didn't lose the fight from being too light or too weak i lost the fight due to making a bad decision with 15 seconds to go, but i will learn from it for sure.

The new caledonian then went on to win his next round against Josh Cook one of the best guys in 66kg so this put my second fight against my good Friend and room mate from the Worlds trip josh Cook. Josh has very nice Judo and you will see when i put the fight up on youtube the difference in styles we both have.
We had a really nice bash with both of us going at it trying to throw each other and with 1 minute to go i was building alot of momentum and i thought to myself "you've got this" but Cooky just wouldn't go over, i would tip him but just not enough to throw him on his side or back. I ended up losing only by a throw where he turned me inside out to throw me on my side. It was a good score and he won on that.
Josh then went on to win his next 2 fights to take 3rd place.

I was telling Samantha that this is the 2nd time in my whole life that i have come away from an Aussie competition without bringing home a medal. Although i am disappointed i lost i have definitely grown as a player which is something i may not have got if i fought in the -60kg weight division.

Marist Judo Club report
Moe fought very well upholding her groundwork prowess by holding someone down but unfortunately losing the final to Margi in -63kg.

Sarah in -70kg did a very nice drop seoi nage on her fellow Canberrien in the first round. Sara's fight for third was a very tactical left vs right match up but she stuck to the game plan and did the right thing to beat her opponent on penalties. Sara has a big task ahead in bringing down Catherine Arscott from QLD who is a strong contestant with good groundwork skills but with a bit more focused training she can do it no problem.

Duke fought very very well controlling the grips but still letting the weaker people come inside which could one day prove him being thrown for ippon. But he fought a superman of a unit in the first round but pushed through to throwing him for ippon.
His second fight alot more controlled ending in a huge pickup (i still dont know how he does it.) And in the final duke controlled the fight very smoothly and transitioned nicely into a hold down to win the mens -100kg.

Oren was the highlight of the day because he hasn't competed very often in the past. With 5 fights in 1 day in the -73kg weight division.
He adjusted very well with the clashing of styles but adapted well and utilised all his skills ranging from sodes, tai otshis, seois but not enough groundwork in there.
Oren had 5 fights im not going to comment on them all but his best was perhaps against 2008 Olympian the very experienced Dennis Iverson. Oren put a scare in Dennis and frustrated him with his strong grips and his uncanny ability to escape his attacks. There was at one stage where Oren was awarded an Ippon for Dennis failing an uchimata switched into a sumi gaeshi attack. It put a little worry into Dennis but i think that switched Oren into thinking he could've won the fight.
In the end Dennis's years of international experience paid off by not being controlled fully by Oren and fighting a very exciting fight form where i was sitting.
3 fights later and Oren was in the 3rd place fight against Dulac from New Caledonia. dulac is very strong and Oren was being dominated but with a pure Judo style only needed 1 opportunity to throw his opponent with his 'secret weapon' to win 3rd place in -73kg.

Dave Bergimeister had 2 very tough opponents on Sunday in the mens -81kg. He drew Patrick Waite first round and dominated the grips and took Dave to the ground where he transitioned beautifully into a reverse triangle hold down and then into a muni gatame (side control) to finish the fight by Ippon.
Dave's next fight in the repercharge was against Ivicia from New Zealand an experienced young fella who utilised his tallness and threw Dave with a nice Uchimata for ippon.

All in all we have alot of stuff to work on technically as well as tactically. Our club must work on grips grips grips in order to control the fight to where we want it to go.


me and Benny Z

me and Moe

Me and Brownie
Below me and Beau

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bored at 6am - still jet lagged

I cant believe i am still jetlagged this is crazy. I have been hanging out as late as i can every night but i am still waking up at bout 6 or 630 every morning. maybe i should go to the gym this morning and have a stretch. But i think i better stay here, have a cup of coffee watch the Today show and then do some schoolwork.

Samantha and i just went and bought a mobile broadband thing so we now have internet at home. Its so so much better instead of having to go to my mums work or sams house or the library or all the way into school to check emails and complete schoolwork.

At the moment my Mum has a Japanses exchange student staying at her house, his Name is Arki (he likes karate not Judo but), last night it was his birthday so we went out for dinner it was really nice chinese food and i think i ate too much of it. It was really good. Arki is doing a stack of study to become a scientist of some sort and all he does is study and study and study and although he doesnt do much else he working towards his goal in life.

It got me thinking bout how Mum raised us 3 kids all by herself. And then i was thinking bout how we all turned out and what we have been doing with our lives. I soon realised that us kids have pretty much achieved what we have wanted to achieve or more so what we are all very passionate about. My sister has a great husband with 2 beautiful baby girls. Malcolm has a nice girlfriend and an awesome car (and hopefully the showroom car will be finished soon.) And i have acheived my dream of travelling the world doing Judo and competing at the higest level possible at the Olympic Games. I just feel that even though Mum was a single parent she has instilled in us something that has made us achieve what we have wanted to achieve.

It then got me thinking about those motivational quotes you see, you know the 'its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the sog' sort of quotes. Im not particulaly a big fan of those quotes but i thought i would whack a few down that i really like.

My absolute favourite because it is so true, doesnt matter if your talking sport or life or anything.
"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." - Everything requires hard work, sacrifice and dedication, there is no shortcut.
"Its a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness." Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Dont know him)
"Who bravely dares must sometimes risk a fall." - Very Judo specific.
"Don't count the days, Make the days count." - make the most out of every session
"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision." Muhummad Ali (not a big fan but i dang good quote.)
"It is not enough to win, you have to make the other guy lose."
"It is not the most talented that succeed, it is the most determined." Lauren Burns (I know Taekwondo but hey very true quote.)

Now some from the bible.
"Work hard and become a leader, be lazy and never succeed. (Proverbs 12:24)
"I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
"Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle." (Psalm 144:1)
"The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. (2 Samuel 22:3)

Also my sporting heroes are.
Lance Armstrong:
Have you read his books, his mentality is through the roof. He was the best because he was a student of the sport and made sure he knew every detail of himself, his bike and the course. He made sure he won, and he knew he would.

Lleyton Hewitt:
Awesome that an Aussie can be world number 1 in such world sport. Lleyton often loses to people who shouldnt but he always plays with such passion and drive that i really admire and he lets it all out on the court. I remember working the graveyard shift when he started his Australian Open match at midnight. Best shift I've ever done.

My favourite Judo players are Jimmy Pedro (USA), Mark Huizinga (NED) and Ilias Iliads (GRE) o and Tadhiro Nomura and Toshihiko Koga (JPN.)

Now off to study a bit catch you all later on

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to normality - kind of

Finally back and started a week of normality, besides the fact that i am still jet lagged and waking up at 6am most days and going to sleep at around 9pm and falling asleep as soon as my head touches the pillow.
One thing thats kinda funny is i get up really early and watch a bit of Today and then after half an hour or so i get bored so i go and wake up Sam. And for those that know Sam she aint a morning person so its a bit of a hobby of mine to wake her up because im all awake and hyperactive and shes all tired and slow and cant even open her eyes. Its a classic.

Training this week has been pretty hard due to the fact that we have NSW International Open this weekend. Along with training for that i have been trying to give myself the motivation to catch up with my schoolwork and study for the test that i had today (and i passed with a Distinction) Yay!

I ran our Marist session on Monday night and we got a huge turnout. I ran the session very Japanesy with alot of timed uchikomi and timed rounds of fighting with large rests in between. To help our athletes taper for compeition. For people that want to know leading upto compeition you want to do short and really intense bouts of Judo followed by a long recovery before doing it again. This is the proper scientific way to taper for compeition opposed to fighting for 2 hours straight with a lower intensity.

Today i went to the ANU open mat and there was so many people there. The ANU open mat is where random people come and train together at whatever you want, weather it be judo, wrestling bjj or whatever u like really. It's sometimes nice to train for fun and enjoy something rather than having to constantly train hard at training and never slacking off.
I also like rolling some of the BJJ guys and show them some of the setups and techniques i use in my game plans because due to the differences in sports i am usually alot quicker and a bit more strength opposed to a slow moving technique that is just as effective, but just different.
After this weekend this will be my 4th compeition in 5 weeks so i am getting a little bit menatally drained so its good to just be able to fight some guys for the enjoyment of it rather than going all out 100% and getting whatever you can out of a session because we only train a few times a week.

thats why i have started an elite training on Wednesday nights at Marist. Its only an hour of intense technical and tactical work that can hopefully give our elite players a chance to train what they want rather than sometimes having to do drills or exercises that are more catered for lower grades.

So thats bout it in my world. Just catching up on schoolwork and trying to get my bodyclock back to normal. I have another comp this weekend and then ill have a week or so off so i can work heaps and savea stack of money to pay all the bills i have upon returing from Europe.
I will look into competing down in melbourne in the Pan pacs for BJJ and see if i can add another placing to my lists of comp placings this year. I was looking at my bio and i have done a fair bit of comps this year, its been great to be able to do this many without it interfering with uni and work.

I will also be starting a new gym program on friday so that'll be pretty cool im looking forward to that when i get it ill post it up here and surely someone will find it interesting

Chat soon
Have an awesome day

Monday, September 7, 2009

Royler Gracie Competition

The Gracie competition was held on Sunday and it upheld the usual unorganised hype that comes with a BJJ competition. Most people say BJJ comps are run on ‘Brazilian time’, which means 10 minutes is actually twenty minutes. The competition started at 9am but most people turn up at around ten to nine have a quick swing of their arms and then jump on the mat.
I decided this comp to enter the Purple belt division even though it is only my second competition. The last comp I entered I entered the blue belt division but they then put the blues and purples together and I won the day with 2 close fights. This time I thought I have improved a lot since then and the best way to learn good groundwork positioning is to fight guys that are going to beat you.
The general rule in jiu-jitsu is that a black belt in Judo is a blue belt in BJJ. But in the purple belt division they fight for a little longer and fighters are allowed to straight ankle lock each other. This adds an element to the sport that we don’t do in Judo so it does worry me a little bit.
As for all competitions I am always a little nervous and want to win and don’t want to lose. But at a sport like BJJ I feel like I’m coming in and representing Judo especially being an Olympian and all. I don’t want to lose to someone and then they are bragging that they beat a Judo Olympian and all that. But in the end it doesn’t really matter. I’m there to learn and improve my skills on the ground in a sport that has very different rules to ours so in the end ill just get over it and fight to win.

I always think to myself that the best way to improve yourself as not just a judo player, but as a person is to put yourself out of your comfort zone. This means training at different clubs, travelling overseas and training all the time, competing in other sports like wrestling and BJJ and putting yourself out there to setup to lose and in doing so you will improve tenfold.
This makes me think of something my friend Ivo said. He also entered the purple belt division but has never been graded in BJJ and he said that he would enter the black belt division if they let him. This is because he has gotten over the fact of losing and just wants to fight in order to improve. That what it’s all about, getting over the awkwardness and going for it.

At the competition just as they were starting the Purple belt divisions I get told that I only had 1 opponent in my division and he didn’t turn up. I was so cranky because they had already completed my weight division in the blue belt division so I asked the competition organiser if I could fight in the blue belt -85kg weight division. He said that he thought they were a bit big so he said I had to fight the winner of the Purple belt -73kg fight between my friend Ivo and a Tall Purple belt from roots in Sydney.

We don’t really know the BJJ rules to the full but the aim is to win by points from achieving various positions or applying a submission to which they tap out and submit. Fights in Purple belt are 7minutes long. Many players at purple belt have usually been doing the sport for at least 6 years so they are very experienced and technical and are pretty good players.

Ivo got taken down with an ankle pick that took an hour to complete, then his opponent advanced to a half guard position for a few minutes before getting Ivo’s back and pretty much just being calm, holding position and winning on points. It’s very frustrating to have someone on your back that is not trying to advance position because they are ahead on sports. But that’s there rules so we have to try to go with it.

I then had to fight the guy that beat Ivo. Am trying to upload the video to YouTube so that you can watch it but its gets to around 2 minutes to finishing and it stalls and stuff up. I’ll figure it out.

Due to the fact that we are Judo players we obviously want to start the fight standing and try to throw our opponents really really hard so they freak out because they aren’t used to it. But it’s quite difficult to throw someone when all they want to do is jump up and wrap their legs around your body and pull guard. Which is what my guy did.

Then I got to half guard and just waited for him to make a mistake, but he was very cool, calm and collected and he was waiting for me to make a mistake. He was pretty slick in that regard. He ended up sweeping me then I somehow got guard back and stayed there for ages without him trying to pass at all. Then with 1 minute to go he tried to pick me up off the ground and as he did I unlocked my kegs and threw him twice and held him down to win 6 points to 2.
He wasn’t happy that’s for sure it was a close fought fight I tell you now and he nearly swept me near the end but I just stood up and walked out to escape his sweep.

All in all it was a good day, there was an awesome brown belt fight that was such a great spectacle to watch and was a good testimony to the sport of bjj and if all fights were like that, many people I believe would watch the sport.

After we all packed up we got some photos and our medals and then we had a Judo training session with Ivo and Pat. Ivo just bashed us pretty much but it was good fun and a great way to end a weekend of seminars and a comp full of just one fight. It was awesome to have a good sweat up and come to think of it was my first Judo session since being back.

On the way home Samantha and I went past the Hill song church in Baulkham hills and although we were half an hour late we still manage to get the pastors message but missed the funky music. Then we had maccas on the way home and just chatted the whole way.

All in all it was a great weekend and I had a fantastic time. Thanks so much to Pat from for paying for our entry to the comp and seminar and letting Ivo and I make some good contacts in BJJ that will definitely further ourselves in the sport of BJJ and Judo.

Thanks also to Pat for sponsoring me 3 awesome Mizuno Judogis and many other training things that will help me train to the best of my ability.

Have an awesome day guys I will try to ask a technical wiz how to whack up that YouTube clip

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Royler Gracie Seminar and Dinner

For people that don’t know Royler Gracie is the younger brother of Royce Gracie who is the guy who won the first 2 UFC back in the day. Royler is a dude that had competed for a long time in various Brazilian jiu-jitsu comps and won a fair amount of them. Pretty much he is a celebrity in the BJJ world.

Royler came to Australia to run a series of seminars and to also make a stack of money. My sponsor from grappling store was the main sponsor for all of the seminars and so i got free access to his last seminar up in Sydney last Saturday. Now this is a big deal. A 3 hour seminar with this guy is $120. And me and my friend Ivo a judo guy from Melbourne) were lucky enough to attend the seminar with around 100 other participants.

The seminar was overall good fun. I didn’t learn all that much that I could apply to competition Judo but i did learn a good way of how to market the ‘sport’ of Judo into more of a self defence rather than a just a sport. The problem is many people look a certain techniques saying ‘oh that wouldn’t work i would do this’ but they always tend to forget that not everyone that’s going to attack you is going to know the counter to your technique. The people who will hopefully never attack you wouldn’t really know any fighting skills.

I don’t want to get into the debate saying yeah he was pretty much teaching judo or whatever because i don’t really care to be honest. All i care about is that people respect each other right to enjoy something they enjoy. Too often in martial arts many participants put dirt on other guys for the martial art they do and how its crap etc etc.

The seminar was 1.5hours stand up and 1.5 hours ground work techniques.
He taught some basic defence from front chokes and some front gi control and a few grip breaking techniques. All useless for Judo competition but once again great if you want to teach self defence. He also taught some headlock escapes, a koshi guruma and a guillotine defence.
Royler then taught some groundwork technique but only one was good for competition judo, it was a variation of the john buchannon strangle. Or the banana bend one. He just used the skirt of the judogi instead.
He also taught a very fancy kata gatame (head and arm choke) from the bottom a technique very easy to defend, but still, everything works once. I cant really remember the rest of the stuff he taught, i maybe should have taken a notebook. Not many people did.

Royler seemed like a nice guy with quite good English and tried to help as many people as possible throughout the seminar. He was constantly walking around giving advice and laughing away.

Then it was time to ask questions the questions were ok at the start but by the end they were stuff like, “do you regard bjj is a martial art or a sport.” “will bjj be at the Olympics” and my favourite “show me an armbar defence.” To which he answered ‘there are hundreds of arm locks, just don’t get stuck in one.’

That night we were lucky enough to go to dinner with Bruno Panno his fiancĂ© Juliette and royler Gracie. Just me, Sam, Ivo and Pat and those three at a very fancy and famous Brazilian restaurant. We couldn’t believe that so many people pay $120 to be in the same room with Royler and here we are having a pretty much personal dinner with him and we didn’t pay and we didn’t ask we were invited along. Makes me feel pretty lucky to experience all this stuff.
The dinner we had was absolutely awesome, pure Brazilian dinner. We ate chicken heart and pork belly. We had heated up pineapple and cinnamon and just a variety of the best meat on skewers you could possibly have. We chatted to Royler bout heaps of stuff he talked about how much he loved Judo and he gave Ivo and I his card and said we can email him and go train with him at his Dojo in California for free. Man, that’s crazy.

I think he really enjoyed the fact the Ivo and I didn’t really know too much about him, so we didn’t talk to much jiu-jitsu or fighting but talked about random stuff like how hard it is to make a book and dvd series, talked about his favourites Gis he likes to wear (which is mizuno by the way,) we talked about him coming to Australia every year and where to hold the seminars etc.
We talked about Brazil as i went there in 2007 for the judo worlds and we talked about how i ask Samantha to marry me there etc. It was funny because Samantha wasn’t really looking forward to dinner that much but another famous BJJ guy there Bruno Pannos brought his fiancĂ© along so Samantha and her just chatted all night about random girl stuff.

It was such an awesome night with the best dessert you could possibly ever ever have. No joke, because Bruno knew the owner we got a massive discount on our meal but we were lucky enough for Pat to take care of the bill.

Overall Saturday was a great day, Seminar with Royler Gracie followed by dinner with Royler that many people would pay a lot of money to be able to do, and we were lucky enough to be invited.

Bruno Panno, Me, Royler Ivo and Pat

Me and Morgan Endicott Davies (fastest ever win at the Olympic games)

Me and Paulo Taveres. Nice guy who loves Judo also runs his own club

Royler graice and I

Me 1st place -73kg Purple belt Dave 2nd Ivo 3rd

Last few days

Since I have been back I have been so busy, catching up with family and friends and then trying to get a few training sessions in along the way.

I finally got home on Wednesday afternoon and my lovely Mum picked me up from the airport and took me home. Waiting for me at home was a package that was sent up by Pat from as he is now sponsoring me. Pat has been kind enough to give me 3 Mizuno Judo suits, 2 beautiful Mizuno tracksuits and an awesome Mizuno gear bag that fits 3 gis easily.

Then I just went home and went to sleep. That night I went to the Southern Cross club with my lovely family, It was Sam, my mum my sister Cheryl and her husband Michael and her beautiful children Emma and my godchild Clare. You may have seen cute kids before but nieces aside these are the cutest kids you have ever seen. They are very blessed to have Cheryl and Michael as parents because if Cheryl is half as nice to them as she is to me then they are in for a wonderful blessed life. Samantha and I (as well as my brother Mal and his girl Sarah) we honoured to be asked to be Godparents to little Clare, we are so lucky to have been asked. For dinner I had the best chicken Schnitzel and chips, I absolutely love chicken schnitzel and chips it is one of my favourite foods behind chocolate and Japanese Katsucurry.

The next day I caught up with my good friend and training partner Oren, He was very keen on hearing about the World Championships and the ever-changing sport of Judo. Oren is another awesome blessing in my life and if I didn’t have Oren as a friend and training partner I don’t know where I would be competitively in the way of Judo.

I also caught up with my awesome good mate Steve. We had a coffee and then also had a training session on Friday in preparation for the comp this weekend. Steve was my groundwork dummy for a long time but each session he got better and better before you know it he's bashing most blokes in Canberra on the ground. It’s great to see. Steve has great athletic ability and easily enough talent to one day achieve his goal of becoming a Brazilian jiujutsu black belt and have an amateur (if not a professional) MMA (cage) fight.

It’s so great to finally be home and see my family again. I have been away for only 3 weeks but I think I have matured more as a person and really appreciate all the things my family and friends to for me. While I was away I was reading my bible and one of the things it said in there as a challenge was to write 10 things down God has blessed you with. Although I didn’t start writing stuff down I started thinking about all the stuff and man, I am seriously the most blessed person on the planet. I have a fantastic wife, awesome family, lovely Mum and a kick butt brother. I have awesome friends and just a fantastic life.

The only bad thing was once I started thinking about all the stuff I just wanted to come home and enjoy all the awesome things in my life. This made me a little home sick but I think you also need that to appreciate where I’m at with Judo and also to make sure to train hard because I’m sacrificing a lot of awesome stuff to be there.

Another Sad thing i leanrt on my return was the sad news that our cute little dog Bobs passed away the day i fought Pac Rim. She was very old for a cocker spaniel around about 14 years old and she was such a cute little thing. But she passes away leaving behind alot of fond memories of missing socks and snot on your leg. I rememeber about 10 years ago in the cold winter days of me taking her for a run a few days in a row and on the 4th or 5th day when i came out with the lead she was hiding behind a tree so i wouldnt take her for a run and tire her out.
Our whole family loved here very much and we are sad to see her go.

Have a nice day guys and maybe today think about all the blessings in your life hey.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Nearly home

Finally on our way home from a 3 week trip that after you fight really does drag on. At the moment i am sitting in Taipei airport in a lovely corner surrounded with bamboo. But i am so so tired.
We left Amsterdam at about 3pm in the afternoon before having a 10 hour plane trip to Bangkok then a 3 hour trip to Taipei. For some reason though we are having a massive 10 hour stop over before our 9 hour trip home. All up it will take us around 40 hours to fly from Amsterdam to Canberra. Just a joke i so just want to go home but it is taking the longest time ever. And to make it worse there are no TV's on the plane. So i have just been reading and studying my Technology textbook because i have a test a few days after i get home.

I still have a pretty busy few weeks ahead, aprt from catching up with my wife Sam i have to study for a Maths test and a technology test so im not really looking foward to studying for that, that's for sure.

I will be competing this weekend in a Brazilian Jujitsu competition and i am looking forward to spending the weekend with Samantha. We will be driving up to sydney and staying overnight in a hotel paid by my sponsor Pat ( he is also paying for Ivo Dos santos and i to attend a Seminar with Royler Gracie (famous guy) and then enter a tournmanet on sunday. Im excited to test my groundwork skills in a BJJ style comp once again and hopefully i have some good people to fight as there aren't many people in Canberra who i can have a good regular fight with.

After that sam and I will probably go to Hillsong chuch in Castle Hill. Its a huge church that plays awesome music and usually at least 5000 people turn up every service on the weekend. So thats going to be pretty amazing.

So thats about it from my end, i hope everyone is going well and i'll be home pretty soon. I just really hope that i get over the jet lag pretty quickly.

Have an awesome day