What do you give a man that has everything he wants? Well that is the dilemma I find myself in every year for Howe's birthday. Lets backtrack a little, Howe is a friend, training partner, doctor, brother and mentor. I have known him for over a decade now, and when his birthday comes around I am always grasping at straws as I dont know what I could ever give to a man that has everything he wishes for. That is until a few years back when he asked me to roll with him nonstop and as real as I could for one hour. I asked him are you sure? He said yes. He wanted to know that he could push through and do an entire hour regardless of his age or mine. Well we have done that ever since for his birthday. He has always pushed through and completed the hour, a most impressive feat in my eyes. Nothing but respect to you Howe, you are as I said before a brother, a mentor in and out of the mats and an inspiration to everyone that knows you.
Gracie Regionals Chicago, go luck to everyone from the team that is competing!
Darlenes and Jennifer's birthday carry-in! Address will be posted on the group page! Bring food and drinks and have a great time with the team!
Camping/Cookout trip to Lake Charlevoix! All the info will be posted in the event page on Facebook! If you're not in the event page but are interested in going then contact me! Hope to see everyone from the team there!
Kroyler will be teaching a seminar in Muskegon, contact Jim Carey on Facebook for info.
Drew Garber will be teaching a No-Gi seminar with emphasis on Single-Leg set-ups, follow-ups, finishes and counters. Drew Graber is a two time Indiana high school state wrestling runner up. Single season school takedown record. Career school take down record. Division 1 Cleveland state wrestling. Asst northridge high school wrestling coach.
The seminar is open to all schools and it will be from 10am-12pm at 1632 E Bristol St, Elkhart, Indina 46514. Cost is $25.
Kroyler will be teaching a seminar at Black Lion Jiu-Jitsu. Contact Chad Pomeroy for more information or visit the link below:
Ps: there will be more updates in the next few days as we schedule more team events so stay tuned.
Congratulations Austin on your Blue Belt!!!
Incredible escape...Read More
Hard Work pays off and this is just one step further in the amazing journey that is jiujitsuRead More
I was invited to teach a seminar at Nick Pollaro's school on May 7th. I was very happy to be invited to teach at his school as I have known Nick for a long time and this would be a very fun visit.
As expected all of Nick's students were great guys, super friendly and welcoming, and that is a result of Nick nurturing such an environment.
Pollaro asked that I teach a seminar on Guard work, specifically on armbar set ups and finishes. I taught a nice series of attacks and if you missed it.... well beg nick to be nice and enough to show you....
I also got to roll with some great guys, and I finally got to roll with Kim, who is one of the highest ranked females in the midwest. Thank you for the fun roll!
Thank you all that came out! I loved the vibe, thank you Nick for the opportunity and keep up the good work!
On April 30th, 2016, I had the pleasure of having one of my very good friends visit my academy and teach a seminar. This was Javier "Showtime" Vazquez's, aka Javi, first time in Indiana. The first time Strike Based Jiu-Jitsu was ever taught in Indiana.
Javi calls his style of Jiu-Jitsu "Strike Based Jiu-Jitsu". He has implemented his extensive fighting experience into his Jiu-Jitsu, where all of his techniques are refined to be 100% applicable to fighting. That is all of his techniques have a incredibly heavy emphasis on simply not getting hit at all as well as being able to deliver the most efficient amount of damage should the situation call for.
Like me Javier has systematized his knowledge, it was very interesting seeing someone else with that level of experience having a very similar teaching style as my own.
Javi focused on the Mata-Leao aka the Rear Naked Choke. Javi said the Rear Naked Choke was his baby, and that he spent a major part of his fighting career just focusing and polishing it.
It was very cool to see the fruits of his labor. But the best aspect of his Rear Naked Choke system, was the pure simplicity of it.
As Jonathan Ive once said "I think there is a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity; in clarity, in efficiency. True simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation. It's about bringing order to complexity."
That is very applicable to Javi's Rear Naked Choke system. I am sure the rest of his Strike Based Jiu-Jitsu System is just as good.
Thank you Javi for the seminar
Ps: I will be teaching a seminar at Javi's School in Rancho Cucamongo in September, contact Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Rancho Cucamongo for more info on that.
I received a call from Master Stambowsky on March 31st, asking me if I would like to teach at his Jiu-Jitsu camp in Mexico. Immediately I said yes. Who wouldnt?
My wife and I had never been to Mexico, and we both love to travel, plus I would get a week with Stambowsky learning from him on just about anything.
So my wife and I met Stambowsky at JFK International Airport and we flew down to Mexico together. After a very long journey we arrived at a hidden gem in Mexico. We were immediately welcomed with a hot and sunny weather and incredibly welcoming people.
When we left the airport, we took a cab to the hotel, a one and half hour drive, and the cab driver played us Tupac and Bob Marley as he zoomed like the driving laws didnt apply to him. Needless to say it was a very exciting drive with a most beautiful scenery.
Upon getting to Puerto Escondido and our hotel we met up with Brad and the others from the camp and we walked over to the Spirulina, a super laid back and chill restaurant. Where I got to try Hibiscus Flower Juice, and some of the most amazing cooking.
Then we went back to the hotel, changed, and headed to our training area where our host Adrian welcomed us most warmly. We had an open mat that night, it was amazing to train and roll for hours while overseeing the ocean and the sunset. To finish training we had Ice Cold Coconuts.
That night Taylor and I had dinner at the hotel just by ourselves as we were exhausted. Dinner at the hotel was incredible. Just the freshest items were used. Arguably the best salsa we had.
Every morning we started it off in the best of ways by having breakfast at the hotel were we had fresh mangoes and a huge assortment of freshly cut fruits, eggs, cheeses, coffee and plenty more.
We usually followed it by doing a morning training sessions, then usually an amazing lunch at a location that Brad or Adrian recommended. Then an afternoon training session, then great food for dinner. I was very blessed as my wife and I were never disappointed with anything in this trip.
We also were taken to local attractions by Adrian such as a "Mezcal-aria" that was family owned where we learned about Mezcal; Also taken to see the local market which contained a number of different fruits and vegetable and handcrafted items I had never seen before.
One of the things I noted the most about Puerto Escondido was their sense of freedom and artistic expression, lots of street art everywhere.
The other thing to note was people's general stress levels were so low and almost none existent, mostly because of the laid back attitude that everyone seemed to have... I assume a daily dose of Jiu-Jitsu, Beach, Surf, Sunlight and great food will do that... But on a serious note we should all take note that we are in this world to live and enjoy it, not to stress and deteriorate.
I got to share some of my favorite techniques as well as some philosophy and mindset that can aid everyone in their journey. We discussed: behavior, mindset, reactions, techniques, reflex development, longevity and growth both in and out of the mats. If you missed out on this... well you missed in some great knowledge that got dropped.
On top of the attractions Adrian and Brad had planned for us, Taylor and I, wanted to see as much of this place as possible. So we arranged for a Bio-luminescent bay excursion which was incredible, I have never seen such a phenomenon.
We also managed to go to a Bird Sanctuary tour. Which was surreal, we saw a large number of different species and got to finish our tour at a sandbar that had a single hut on it, the ocean on one side and a lagoon on the other. We had breakfast there. It was incredible being that isolated from modern society and surrounded by nature.
We also got to release baby Sea Turtles and learn about them. That was another really cool experience.
On my birthday, the camp guys with Adrian's help managed to make it an extra special day by arranging for a true legitimate mariachi band to come out and sing happy birthday to me. I can honestly say that was a very unique experience. Then later that night they managed to get a birthday cake for after dinner. Thank you all for that experience.
As the week ended, having trained and taught with all of the camps participants i shared something with them. I told them that I originally took this trip mostly for a mini-vacation with Taylor and for a week of getting to talk/learn from Stambowsky. However I, from day one, was just pleasantly surprised and happy that this trip became something more. I created friendships and a bond with each of the participants. I came to the trip knowing only my wife and Stambowsky and Brad.. Yet a left with a group of very good friends. To me that was one of the best things about this trip. Thank you all for being a part of our amazing experience. That's why I love Jiu-Jitsu, if you train, we are one big family even if we haven't met yet. So thank you all for the friendships and for sharing on this experience with us.
As always a special thank you to Adrian for hosting us, you were/are incredible, and to you as well Brad for organizing this event.
A bigger special thank you to Master Marcio "Macarrao" Stambowsky for the life lessons as well as the Jiu-Jitsu lessons on this trip. As always you are a great influence.
PS: Expect me to visit the Macarra Region this fall!
April 2nd, 2016 Master Stambowsky visited our school and taught a seminar....
I picked him up early that day and had breakfast with him, showed him around the small town of Elkhart prior to taking him to my school.
We arrived at the school and almost immediately he started giving off his most contagious positive energy to everyone present. He talked and joked with all the attendees. Soon after that everyone had their gis on and the seminar was starting.
Stambowsky started off the seminar explaining that there are 4 key aspects of Jiu-Jitsu that need to be understood and applied to any and all techniques you ever learn or teach (You'll have to come in and ask me in person what those 4 key principles are)...
He started off by teaching basic clinching techniques, followed by a takedown. He followed it up by teaching submission follow ups to his Self-Defense Clinching Techniques.
He proceeded then to teaching some more advanced Guard Passes and a couple sneaky submissions.
Seminar was concluded as the 2hrs flew by and minds were blown with the amount of detail and mastery and insight on these techniques.
My takeaway from this seminar was very simple.. You make think you know Jiu-Jitsu, that is, until you get to experience what true mastery is like. Stambowsky showed us that yes you may "know" a triangle, but your level of knowledge depth on the triangle is nothing compared to his. He earned his over years and years, a lifetime, of practice and study and obsession over this technique and this art.
We can all take that lesson to heart, that no matter how old or young, how experience or inexperienced, how athletic or nonathletic, how much you "know" or dont know, what your rank is or isnt, you can always master a technique or an art should you never quit learning and relearning forever. In simpler words, be forever a student of the art, learn from everyone, and never give up the search for perfection.
Armbar switch to truck!
Sneak peak into week 3 of our leg up attack series! Come in and see us to learn the whole series!
I will be teaching a seminar at Nick Polaro's school May 7th 2016. Come in and learn some of my Guard principles and Attack Series. I guarantee that it will take your Guard game to a whole new level! Do not miss this opportunity!
This is just a small sample of one of my Attack Series we will exploring other attack series in this seminar! I'll see you there!
2605 East Main Street, Suite 100
3 years ago I got hooked up with Phalanx, and I must say that they have never ceased to amaze me with their amazing family culture and amicability but also with the quality, style, comfort and cutting-edgedness of their gear. I received their new line a few days ago and I have not yet stopped wearing it since then. Amazing stuff. DO yourself a favor and get yourself some gear from their newest slickest sickest gear from them to date, it literally just got released today!
So proud to be part of the #phalaxarmy
check them out at www.phalanxfc.com
Congratulations on your Blue Belt Andrew and Austin!
Most excellent performance!!!
Patches are in, so come in and get yours today!
Andrew and Austin will be testing for their Blue Belts at 6pm
Javier Vazquez will be teaching a Strike Based Jiu-Jitsu seminar! More info at the link below:
I will be teaching a seminar at Nick Polaro's. We will cover Guard Principles and Attack Series. Interested? Contact Nick at :
2605 East Main Street, Suite 100
Competition Class will be held at the beach! We will be going to Warren Dunes, please bring refreshments as training in the beach will be hot and staying hydrated is a must. Time will be disclosed soon. We ask for a $5-15 donation if you attend as we will be renting a very large canopy so that we can train and have some shade. We will also be having Yoga after the competition class.
We will be competing at the Hoosier Open, so if you are thinking about competing this is a good tournament to go to.
New Breed will be having their tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Gracie Regionals in Chicago (Sub only)
We will be having our team cookout/camping weekend trip. If you are interested let me know and I will send you more info.
When I was a purple belt, back long before Facebook and Instagram were a thing, I had the immense luck of meeting Marcio "Macarrao" Stambowsky.
He was one of these guys that I heard many many stories about from both close family members and friends alike. He was this mysterious guy that everyone I knew talked about and respected him.
I did my research on him, and found out that he one of the very few people that received their black belts at the hands of the legendary Rolls Gracie; furthermore he was this amazing guard guy who revolutionized the closed guard, triangles, and leg locks. I absolutely love guard work, therefore I immediately was interested in learning from him, this was going to be the guy that takes my Jiu-Jitsu to the next level.
However much to my avail, Grand Master Stambowsky was incredibly elusive, no footage of him anywhere, no contact info, no anything. Mind you back then social media was in its infancy. Luckily however my father, a friend of Stambowsky's, ran into him in a tournament in New York and was able to obtain his contact info.
Immediately I started campaigning to bring him out to teach a seminar at our school. It would be such an incredible honor to finally meet and learn from this guy even if just for a few hours. Soon we set it up and he came out to teach this seminar at my school.
So the day arrives and I get to meet Stambowsky.
He started the seminar with some Ginastica Natural, if you have never tried it you should give it a go its an incredible workout. Me in my naive purple "beltness" thought the entire time there's no workout out there that can even make me sweat. I was so wrong, he killed us, there were things I couldn't even do. The kicker was that he did them all with us.
Once the 1 hour long "warm-up" ended he started teaching the seminar... and.. I can say that everything he showed me was new or contained details I had never seen before.. Needless to say I was just mind blown at the level of teaching and technique.
The seminar ended we grabbed dinner and next day he went back to Connecticut..
I couldn't wait to see him again and learn more. He had been such a game changer to my Jiu-Jitsu style, I needed to see him again.
A couple months later I called him and asked if I could come and train with him for the summer. I told him I was a poor college student and I would sleep on his mats and help in any way that I could if he would allow me to train with him that summer. He told me that he would love the company.
So I flew out there, he met me at the airport with a most warm welcome. As soon as we got in the car he was like you wanna roll? Immediately I was like yes please. He called he's top guys at his school at the time. I got there and Marcio had us (me and his students) roll hard for an hour. After the hour was over, he didnt even put a gi on, he said okay lets go get some food.
We picked up fresh fruit and cheese from the market and we went to his house, he made fresh juice and we drank it for dinner, I was beat. Took a shower after dinner and went straight to bed. Next morning before the sun was even up, he woke me up told me to get ready and back to his school we went. He taught classes from before the sun was up to long after the sun went down, from privates, to kids class, to group classes (he still does that today). I participated in all his classes, every single one, even if it meant just being a dummy for his private students. After a very long day, we went home had juice again. This time after dinner we played chess. Then I showered and went to bed.
Before sleeping I was realizing how sore I was, it felt great to be sore as I didnt get sore very often back then and I missed the feeling. I slept.
Again before the sun was up we left to train. We trained all day, and again I participated in all the classes. That night we watched one of his old fights and played chess. I showered and went to bed. I remember thinking there is no way he can keep this up every day, but if he can so can I. We trained everyday all day for my entire stay, we would often train just the two of us if we had breaks between his classes.
That summer my Jiu-Jitsu grow immensely, more so than any one other period of time. On my way home I kept thinking of all the techniques I learned and sharpened and improved while I was there. But what really stuck out to me wasn't even the Jiu-Jitsu i had learned. Rather it was whom Stambowsky was. He taught me that one should always be positive and kind to everyone from every walk of life, taught me that the best way to improve on any facet of life is to just work hard, taught me that kindness and passion are the keys to teaching and influencing your students and people around you to better themselves. He lead by example, and made me want to strive to do the same. He taught me that respect must be given and earned in order to be received. He showed me that being "tough guy" on the mats, and/or being technically sharp aren't equivalent to being a good teacher, to be a good teacher one must focus on your students with equal passion as one may have when one is training and improving oneself.
I landed home and immediately wanted to return to Connecticut and train again and learn more about Jiu-Jitsu and about life.
I repeated that summer trip every year for several years and I still try to visit him at least once a year, even if just for a weekend. I met my cousins Neiman and Deborah through those trips, as well as my "aunt" Carla. Through those trips I was able to take my Jiu-Jitsu to a whole new level. But my growth in Jiu-Jitsu had nothing on what Stambowsky taught me off the mats.
Like I mentioned before I was able to meet Neiman and get to know him, he's a most excellent person, friendly, hard working and honest; all that on top of being a great fighter. I truly appreciate Neiman's growth in Jiu-Jitsu and in MMA he represents the family in the best possible way both on and off the mats.
I got to meet and know Deborah, whom much like her brother and father a very much a happy soul. Deborah has become a great instructor and currently teaches in UAE and her team is becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Lastly Carla is no different than her husband and kids, is a very compassionate soul who cares deeply for family and those around her. I particularly enjoyed learning my own family's history from her, she has a lot of stories I had never heard before.
One of my proudest moments in my Jiu-Jitsu career was the first time Stambowsky invited me to teach a seminar at his school. It was a great honor to share my little bit of knowledge at Stambowsky's school as he is one of the greatest minds of Jiu-Jitsu.
Over the years I got to see how Stambowsky has grown his school in Connecticut and the surrounding areas. He does this by through his passion of Jiu-Jitsu and through his passion of teaching. His hard work and positive and happy energy is contagious and it shows through his teachings. If you ever want to take your Jiu-Jitsu to a place beyond where its currently at you must make the time to train with him at least once.
This Saturday, April 2nd, he'll be at our academy to teach a seminar (open to all schools and affiliations). Don't miss this opportunity. Check the link for more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/446634188874867/
Patches are in!! Come get yours today!!!
Javier Vazquez will be Indiana for the first time this weekend, and he will be visiting us and teaching a Strike Based Jiu-Jitsu seminar! Dont miss this opportunity!!
1632 E Bristol St, Elkhart, Indiana 46514
Javier will be teaching his own style of Jiu-Jitsu aka Strike Based Jiu-Jitsu this Saturday (April 30th at 10am) at our school, do not miss this opportunity! Javier is a great instructor with lots of experience as he has fought in every major venue there is as well as competed in all the world class Jiu-Jitsu tournaments.
More info at the link:
This is a quick brief recap of my interaction with a very different but nonetheless interesting pair of guys...
Roughly 3 years ago, one of my students, introduced me to John and Thomas McGuin. I chatted with them very briefly as we were in a tournament and I had to go coach some of my students that were about ready to compete. I told them they were welcome to visit me and my school whenever.
About a week later they dropped in and asked if they could participate, I said sure.
Soon after that initial meeting they decided to start training full time at my school. With a very good base it was easy to refine the talent that was already there.
Soon I found out that John competed in MMA, and he had interest in venturing into it some more. After about a year of training john got hooked up with BlackHouse MMA, and he flew out there and trained with my cousin Ryron Gracie as well as some really good up-and-coming guys at the BlackHouse HQ.
He came back from the training camp ready to fight. Check out the above video for a quick highlight reel.
John and Thomas have both sacrificed a lot to continue training and focusing all their time and energy to it. And their progress was very noticeable.
On March 26th of 2016 John showcased his hard earned skill set in his second Pro MMA fight (video bellow):
Looking forward to seeing where John and Thomas's martial arts career takes them.
Grand Master Marcio "Macarrao" Stambowsky will be teaching a seminar at our school. This event is open to all schools and all affiliations. Do not miss this opportunity.
Starts at: 10am, April 2nd.
Where: 1632 e bristol st, Elkhart, Indiana.
Check the link for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/446634188874867/
EGO Tournament, we have several guys going so if you're interested in competing check out the link below. Go support the team if you aren't competing.
Javier Vazquez will be teaching a Strike Based Jiu-Jitsu seminar at our school. Come out and attend, your Jiu-Jitsu thanks you ahead of time.
Cost: $75 at the door, $65 online (Check the link for online registration.)
Starts at: 10am, April 30th.
Where: 1632 e bristol st, Elkhart, Indiana.
To register online:
Check the link for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1568030766851821/
I will be teaching a seminar at Nick Polaro's School.
Contact Nick for more info: (219) 476-6857 or http://www.pollaroma.com/
Cookout/Lake Weekend Get-Together, let me know if you're interested in attending and having fun with your Jiu-Jitsu familia.