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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Tai Kai Boxers to Fight NYS Amateur Boxing Championships” Sat July 9th at 6PM. Holiday Inn Convention Ctr – Electronics Pkwy.

Show your Support!!! Tai-Kai boxers trained under Coach Darin Carroll will be competing in the NYS Amateur Boxing Championships Sat July 9th at 6PM. Holiday Inn Convention Ctr – Electronics Pkwy.
Tickets are available at the school or at the event.

See Matt Spack, James Bradshaw, Samantha Hillman, and Josh WilliamsThis is right down the street from the school so everybody get there and show support

Helio Gracie Mount Choke/ Roger Gracie Teaches and Wins with it in Mundials

Roger Gracie shocked everyone when he finished world class Black Belts in the mundials with a simple Cross Collar Choke from the mount.This is the choke that Helio Gracie has loved and been teaching for years. Watch the two videos below. The first one is Roger teacher the choke. The second one is a highlight from the Mundials. Watch Roger submit many black belts with the same choke.

Why Should Women Grapple? by Stephan Kesting

Most Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission grappling students are male, and in most grappling schools females are the exception, not the rule.

My foundation in the martial arts was self-defense oriented, not competition oriented. From a self-defense perspective I think that grappling is incredibly important for women: there is no better way to learn to deal with the stress and pressure of a real attack than trying to apply your techniques against resistance while sparring on the ground. However my opinion in this area may have limited value: I am a 200+ lb male, and my experiences on the mat and the streets are very different from a 120 lb woman.

So I asked the female readership of the Grapplearts.com newsletter why they thought women should grapple, and was overwhelmed by the thoughtful and insightful answers. Without further ado, here is why women should grapple:

Stephan Kesting

Grappling is valuable to women because it shows that you do not have to be the biggest or strongest to be successful at something. It helps show the values of women empowerment, strength through adversities, and sacrificing to succeed at all costs. Grappling does not differentiate between male or female; it just matters if you know the correct technique and can execute them flawlessly.

Cassie Feinstein
University of Iowa Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club

I think grappling is valuable for women because it teaches them endurance and determination, and also not to consider getting knocked to the ground the end of the fight. Knowing how to maneuver on your back, understanding the physics to use angles and speed versus brute strength and, most importantly, understanding that you DO have options that can turn the tide in your favor if you are alert and willing to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves, can literally mean the difference between surviving and being killed if it comes down to a life-and-death situation.

Jami M. Lynn
Student of Sifu Rick Tucci and Guro Amy Tucci
Princeton Academy of Martial Arts, New Jersey
Why I think grappling is valuable for women in particular: domestic violence, including physical and sexual abuse, is far too prevalent in the US and abroad, and most of the time, the victims are women. Most girls growing up aren’t taught to be tough physically, we aren’t taught how to throw a punch, or to fight back. We’re “supposed” to be sweet and gentle and kind. The source for my facts is here:http://www.datehookup.com/content-domestic-violence-fact-sheet.htm

In addition to all the things that men get out of it, grappling training is great for women because it teaches us how to fight with men, and it trains us to be tough. A woman who can defend herself against a larger and stronger opponent, and neutralize the threat of an attacker, is much less likely to become an unfortunate domestic violence statistic.

Rosie ‘Supervixen’ Fitzpatrick
Instructor: Luis Pantoja
School: Yamasaki Academy

My name is Heather and I have trained in Taekwon Do for years, but I have just recently begun grappling. I am confident in fighting while I am on my feet, but the ground work was a whole portion of my training that was missing. Being a female, and considering that a large percent of all fights end up on the ground, it is important to know what to do should you find yourself in that situation. So whether you train in grappling for sport or self defense it is definitely knowledge I suggest all females should possess.

Heather Richards
Instructor: Ron Dupuis

I feel that grappling is important for women because we should all know how to fight on our backs. I’m not sure of the exact statistic, but an amazingly high number of altercations on the street end up on the ground, and for a woman to be able to think clearly and defend herself on her back is incredibly important.

And as for the grappling itself- from a non-self defense point of view…. It makes you amazingly fit and it’s some of the most fun I can think of!!!”

Kristin Kelly

My name is Deedee Hagar: I am 29 years old and I have trained in BJJ under Tony Torres-Aponte for close to two years now. I can tell you that grappling has changed my life for the better. Not only has grappling given me more confidence in a self defense aspect but I feel like it allows a lot of life’s challenges to be worked out through problem solving skills learned on the mat. Every move is looked at through different aspects, often counter intuitive and this
transfers beautifully into day-to-day life. Also, a lot is to be said for the self control that comes with training, the experience of total power over another or vice versa and the sense to realize that this is training in case a life-threatening attack ever occurred. This knowledge is priceless for women.

Grappling is mentally challenging, physically beneficial and tremendous fun. Tony, my instructor is an incredibly gifted teacher and whole heartedly encourages women to join the art. Hopefully the future will see more women involved and accepted in the sport. Once you give it a try it’s easy to see why it can be so healthfully addictive.

Deedee Hagar
Instructor: Tony Torres-Aponte
School: Urban Jungle Self Defense / Gracie BJJ
Houston, Texas

I think that grappling for women is important for the same reasons as for men…

Grappling (in all its forms) is a challenge to master – and I like challenges. It is realistic in terms of self-defense training, it’s great for building strength, conditioning and flexibility. Grappling has both a technical aspect as well as an athletic side. For those who like to compete I would say grappling offers a variety of quality competition, but mostly for me, grappling (BJJ) is extremely fun.

Personally, I think more women should train it simply to understand the pressure factor. Panic tends to set in when someone bigger is on top…breathing is difficult…then exhaustion…then bad stuff can happen. If one can get used to feeling the pressure…then breathing is better, relaxation can take over and one can actually mentally function under the pressure. After a few months of training I have already gotten accustomed to feeling it . Still doesn’t make it easy to physically escape but I am not panicked and I can breath.”

B. King
White belt
School: Charles Gracie JJ
San Mateo CA

I think it’s important for the sport because it makes it even more appealing to the everyday person to see both sexes practicing MMA. Another reason grappling is good for women because 100% of rapes happen pinned down to the ground so being able to defend yourself is very valuable.


There is an obvious self defense aspect, how many women have a fear of-or have been held down against their will? The self defense is valuable and so is the empowerment. When women realize technique is based on leverage and not strength and that they can do this, they learn quickly and feel good about themselves. I think all women should grapple!!! Oh, and what a way to stay fit!

Suzanne Ramsden
Maverick Training Center
Huntsville Alabama
Helio Soneca Bluebelt

First, grappling is an important way to learn to apply techniques in different combinations and orientations, which is important to remembering precisely how to use them. Women are unlikely to wrestle with friends – unlike guys maybe – and so lack opportunities to apply techniques. Also being generally smaller/less strong than most guys, we get knocked down more easily, especially in sexually motivated attacks. At 105 lbs, I’ve experienced (in street situations) the ease with which I can ‘become airborne’ and end up on the ground, even if the attacker (of whatever gender) is not very big.

Many women are unused to groundfighting which may seem undignified or ‘unfeminine’. Being used to practicing grappling can reduce/remove the psychological intimidation factor, freeing you to deal with the more important physical aspects of the attack better. Finally, grappling is fun, and there is no better workout!!

Teacher: Leon Vu
Budo Shin Jujitsu

Grappling for women is important because it gives you more confidence in yourself and makes you less afraid to face everything – attacks on the street and even life decisions. My first competition was frightening, but I’ve learned to remain calmer in situations and be a little stronger and more confident. Grappling also gives an alternative to rougher sports that they may not otherwise do, such as boxing.

Christina “Dolly C” Fraquelli
Roger Gracie Academy
Mentor (my Mr. Myagi): Felipe de Souza
Coach: Jude Samuel
Surrogate Dad: Mauricio Gomez (Roger’s Dad)

Grappling is good for women for the same reason it is good for men: It is a great exercise, sport, self defense and its fun.
Grappling is especially good for female self defense since few women can strike nearly as hard as men (of course there are exceptions) and the ground is where an assailant would probably try to get a women anyways.
One problem I have is that normally cool guys don’t want to get beat by a women so they go all out every time making it difficult to ever practice new techniques (but I still beat them).

I am 51 years old and have been in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) for one year. I teach at the Virginia Military Institute and we offer a combatives
course. Among the reasons I practice BJJ is:

It is a great work out,
I love the technical work
The self confidence it has given me is profound!!
BJJ has also given me a ‘sense of presence’. My first reaction to having someone mount me was to bite! Now, I am better at not panicking and I can think more clearly through the movements. A great metaphor for life!

Holly Jo Richarson

Because it is like no other martial art when you have to defend yourself. The moves and techniques of BJJ are all a woman needs to know. Once you take down your opponent – you can ground and pound, choke, or armbar and have them TAPOUT!

Linda “Da Pounder” Salas
“It’s all about your JAB (Jiu-Jitsu, Armwrestling & Boxing)!”

Training BJJ has really changed me, inside and out. There are so many benefits of regular training (aside from the obvious physical benefits such as increased strength and agility), from clarity of thought, to self confidence, to increased concentration, to a better understanding of your body, and also strength of character, that will give you an edge not only while fighting, but in everyday actions such as working and problem solving. BJJ is also a wonderful way to relieve stress. It has done wonders for me.

Syble Abshire
Blue belt under Mike Ellender
Lake Area Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Lake Charles LA

I started grappling and a bit of stand-up two and a half years ago. Here are my two cents worth regarding your question why grappling is valuable for women:

As my instructor pointed out, if a situation were to escalate to a physical confrontation, I’m going to end up on the ground sooner or later, most probably with a much heavier and stronger person. Good idea to learn to what to do.
Also if I have encountered the feeling of a heavy person squashing me, trying to choke me, etc. I’m more likely to keep my wits about me, panic less and hopefully remember something from class.
Fitness, looks and vanity. It is the best work out imaginable, keeps my mind engaged so I cannot think about what stresses me, exercises just about every muscle in my body (even the ones I didn’t know I had), instant strength training by trying to push against another body, increases my flexibility, and is a cardio workout galore in every class.
General awareness and pain tolerance. I have noticed in myself a greater awareness about my environment, the body language of people around me. Instead of having mental images supplied by Hollywood, I think about the people in class. I’ve never played any competitive sports, I’m certainly no athlete, so having experienced a few bruises and sore muscles, I have now more tolerance for discomfort than I’ve had before. It’s very applicable to my daily life.
Michaela Wolfert
Trained by Pete Tremblay and Tanya Vlahac

Marc Stevens Wins by Dominant Fashion in CES MMA 6/10/2011

Here is the play by play

Marc Stevens vs Abe Pitrowski

Round 1

Pitrowski opens with two big low kicks but Stevens moves in on the second one and gets the takedown. Stevens on top in Pitrowski’s full guard. Pitrowski tying up well from the bottom and threatens with a guillotine but Stevens pulls his head free. Big right from the top from Stevens but Pitrowski uses the seperation to stand up. Punch lands for Pitrowski but Stevens takes it right back down and moves to side control. Stevens controlling from the top. A knee to the body and a short punch. Stevens stands over Pitrowski and lands a right hand on his way back into Pitrowski’s full guard. Pitrowski again threaten with the guillotine but Stevens passes to side control. Stevens again stands over Pitrowski and kicks the legs before moving back in with a punch and moves right to side controll. Stevens opens up with strikes more but still stays tight. Pitrowski recovers full guard nicely and again threatens with the guillotine. It looks deep and the crowd reacts but Stevens pulls out and stands up again and again moves back down landing some nice shots on the way in to side controll.

Round 2

Pitrowski paws with the jab to start and throws a low kick. Stevens catches it and also connects with a right to the jaw as he takes the fight down. Stevens again easily passes to side controll. Stevens stands over Pitrowski and again moves in with a punch right to side control. A few short punches and Stevens stands again. Low kick to the thigh and then Stevens moves in with a punch as Pitrowski tries to stand. Stevens again right into side control. Pitrowski rolls to his knees and Stevens looks to take the back but Pitrowski rolls back. Stevens on top in Pitrowski’s full guard briefly before passing to side. Ground and pound from Stevens, hammerfists and short elbows. Pitrowski starting to bleed from his nose. Stevens looks to mount but Pitrowski is able to trap a leg in half guard. Stevens is undaunted and opens up with more punches. Pitrowski regains full guard but Stevens quickly passes to half. Back to full guard again but Stevens staying busy with punches. Stevens stands again and Pitrowski is able to land an upkick but Stevens again throws the legs aside and moves to side control with a punch on the way in.

Round 3
Pitrowski with blood on his chest from his nose as the round starts. Stevens with a superman punch but it’s just short. Stevens light on his feet and circling as Pitrowski misses on a one two. Stevens staying just outside Pitrowski’s punches and moves in with a low kick. Pitrowski answers with a low kick but it’s caught by Stevens for the takedown directly into side control. Stevens tight on top with occasional short elbows. May be looking for an arm triangle or kimura but Pitrowski keeping his arms tight. Stevens with a nice elbow to Pitrowski’s face. Pitrowski tries to regain guard but Stevens stands up. Pitrowski looks to get up but Stevens rushes in and takes his back in the scramble. Pitrowski able to roll to his back and Stevens settles into his full guard on top. Pitrowski trying to walk up the cage but Stevens sucks his hips away. Punches and elbows from Stevens who again stands up. Again Stevens tosses the legs aside and moves to side control. Short knee to the body and short elbows by Stevens. Pitrowski trying to make something happen but Stevens is firmly in control and picking his shots.

Marc Stevens wins by unanimous decision

NEW – Fitness Kickboxing Classes!

NEW – Fitness Kickboxing Classes! This is a great conditioning class for weight loss, muscle toning, strength training all with emphasis on proper form, etc.

* Orientation Special – 3 Classes / Boxing Gloves $19.99
* Schedule: Tuesday / Thursday 6:45 PM – 7:45 PM, Friday 6:00 PM- Saturday 11AM

Please Register Here

The Real Secret by Kevin Seaman

What is the most important skill you need to develop in order to become a great martial artist? Kicking skills, right? Because if you have powerful, lightning fast kicks you will easily defeat any opponent. Wrong! What about footwork and agility? Then, no one can touch you. You will control the distance, being able to strike out with blinding speed and effectiveness, frustrating and overwhelming your opponent at will. No, that’s not it! It must be MAD Jiu Jitsu skills?? Grappling will overpower the most extreme individual. Not that, either?? Remember, we’ve all been told if you lack conditioning everything else will go down the tubes if you get tired, thats it right? Okay, Okay. Then it’s got to be a winning attitude. No one can stop you if you have that.

It has its time and place when it’s important. You’re on the right track, but guess what? The most powerful, effective tool in your martial arts toolbox is RESPECT, consideration, and courtesy for yourself and others!

Respect for yourself means to take good care of yourself. Your appearance, your hygiene, your personal habits, how you eat, and what you put in your body all reflect a personal respect for your body. And what about respect for yourself on a mental and emotional basis? Do you treat yourself the way you would like others to treat you? Do you put yourself down, ignore your potential, put guilt trips on yourself, let others manipulate, use, and/or take advantage of you? Do you then lose your temper or patience with yourself rather than being honest and assertive about your problem and solution? These are all issues of personal consideration and respect.

Why is respect for yourself so important? Because people who lack respect for themselves and others also lack self esteem. If you don’t care about “you” how can you possibly meet or exceed your potential as a martial artist. More profoundly, how can you respect others if you don’t respect yourself.

Ever wonder why courtesy and respect is stressed so often by experts when teaching others how to develop their skills in the Martial Arts? Because we want you to understand that the way you treat yourself and others is a direct representation of your attitude. We want you to respect life and use discretion as to how and when you use your skills. We want you to reflect a positive image of yourself to others, for them to admire and respect you. We know that without self respect and respect for others you will never reach excellence in the martial arts. We know that without self control, self discipline, strong ethical standards, and courtesy and respect for others you’re a dangerous liability for yourself and others. With SKILL and POWER, comes responsibility. That’s why!

What can you do to improve? Quite simply exercise your simple courtesies on a daily basis. Simple courtesies are FREE. They don’t cost you a thing and they are an excellent emotional investment, because of the positive impression they impose on others. Look for opportunities to sharpen your respect skills everyday. It will totally amaze you how you will feel and more importantly how others will feel about you. Say something to make someone feel good. Point out a positive quality you’ve noticed about them. Hold the door for someone, give a cheerful thank you or please, or help someone with a problem. Listen to a friend, spend more time trying to be interested instead of trying to be interesting. A simple act like giving your seat to a senior or shoveling their walk can mean a lot to someone in need. The bottom line, is that martial arts is one of the most amazing vehicles for self improvement you have available to help you become a better person. Make the emotional effort to improve your courtesy skills next time you are in class or out in the world. Develop a Winning Mind Set, seek excellence and always remember, in life you don’t get what you want, you get what you are.

Parents Night Out, Buddy Week, and New Kid’s Classes


New Kids Classes – Mon / Weds 5:00 PM
New Juniors Boxing Classes – (ages 10+) Friday 4:15 PM


“Parents Night Out” & Kids FUN NIGHT 6-9 PM Saturday 6/18 Cost: $20 (or 1/2 for additional family / friends) We will have foam sword fighting, Dodge Ball, and a kinds of FUN ACTIVITIES, prizes & MORE!

Kids Program – BUDDY WEEK
6/13 – 6/18 Bring a friend to class FREE all week! FUN activities in class ALL WEEK!

Monday Night Blue Belt and Purple Belt Stripe Promotions at Tai Kai

There was some Monday Night Striping at Tai Kai Jiu Jitsu. Congrats to

Robert Matrone- 1st Stripe on his Blue Belt
Bryce Tallini- 1st Stripe on his Blue Belt
Brandon Ashby- 3rd Stripe on his Blue Belt
Phil Mitsiell- 3rd Stripe on his Blue Belt
Stan Sabokta- 4th Stripe on his Blue Belt

Brody Neville- 1st Stripe on his Purple Belt
Dave Briest- 1st Stripe on his Purple Belt
Ben Tallini- 1st Stripe on his Purple Belt


5 Tips to Supercharge you Side Mount Game by Rob W. Gramer

If you want to open up a world of side mount control submissions and pin guys with ease, then check this out.

When I first started jiu jitsu I spent a lot of time on top. Why? Because I’m a big/strong/fast guy and almost everyone else was smaller…or…didn’t have enough experience to handle my body type (I started with a bunch of blue belts).

This was great at first, but as time went on I started noticing guys would pull guard or roll to their knees – effectively neutralizing my side mount game.

So, I moseyed over to the local wrestling team (I was at Florida State University at the time) and asked their guys for some pointers. Here’s what I learned.

Side Mount Tip #1: The Pin

A classic wrestling pin is the head and arm. You simply underhook the arm that is farthest away from your body…and…slide your other arm behind his neck. Then you clasp your hands and hold.

A key point of this pin is to drive your shoulder into your opponents chin and make him look away from you.

This prevents him from looking into you and getting to his knees. And since you have an underhook, he cannot roll the other way.

Now this works great for wrestlers. But because you have to worry about your opponent pulling guard in jiu jitsu, you have to do some small slight modifications. And that brings us to…

Side Mount Tip #2: The Hips

A lot of new guys will lift their hips to help drive their shoulder into the opponents chin. This is a big no-no. Why? Because your hips are way off the ground. This gives your opponent tons of space to pull guard.

To block against your opponent pulling guard, you must flatten your hips against the ground. This removes space and makes it difficult for him to slide a leg under you. But there is a certain way to do this once you’ve pulled the head and arm pin.

Side Mount Tip #3: Cockroach Feelers

Ok, so you’ve secured a head and arm pin…and…you’ve flattened your hips against the ground, but you’re still getting pulled back into guard. What’s going wrong?

Well, you’re not using your cockroach feelers.

Let me explain. Have you ever seen a cockroach before? They are a disgusting little insect that scurries around in dark places. In these low light conditions they can’t use their eyes. Instead, they’ve grown long antennaes in front of their heads to “feel” what’s going on.

Just like a cockroach, you have feelers too. In this side mount situation, your feeler is your knee.

After pulling the head and arm pin…and…flattening your hips to the ground, you must place your knee against his hip. As long as this knee is always against his hip you can “feel” how he moves and prevent him from pulling guard again.

Ok, that’s it for the head and arm side mount. Let’s move on to the next basic side mount pin…

Side Mount Tip #4: Pizza Spatula

My first black belt instructor was an Brazilian ex-special forces badass named Ricardo Texiera. He taught me this following move.

If you can’t get the head and arm pin, there is another highly effective side mount pin. In this case you reach your arm over his head and overhook the arm that is on the other side of you.

Then, you put your other arm between your hip and his hip. Here’s why it’s called a pizza spatula. Just like a spatula, you place your hand palm down on the mat and wedge it right under his hip.

This acts just like the cockroach feeler and allows you to move around while still “feeling” his hip.

Side Mount Tip #5: How Control his Free Arm

In each one of these situations you are completely controlling one of his arm (either with an overhook or an underhook).

However, he still has a free arm…and this is where his escapes will come from.

So, how do we control this arm?

I use a little trick called the knee rake. And it works for either one of these pins. Here’s how you do it:

1. After you’ve secured the pin bring the knee that is closest to his head up and place it against his rips.
2. After you feel his ribs with your knee, rake the knee up towards his armpit…always keeping contact with his body.
3. When you get to his armpit, dig your knee underneath him and trap his arm between your thigh and ribs.

If you’ve done this properly you should have complete control of his upper body with a full lock on both of his arms.

These two moves will make it a huge pain in the ass for anyone to pull guard on you. Plus, they’ll open up numerous side mount submissions for you. Try them out and watch your top game go through the roof.