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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Tai-Kai Jiu-Jitsu: High School BJJ Class

This was from Jamesville Dewitt Physical Education Class. Mike Bidwell taught a few gym classes and Ryan Buck assisted.

Did you know that we do lots of Community Service projects at Tai-Kai? We will come in and teach (FREE!) for any local organization (Schools / Groups / Boy Scouts / Girl Scouts) Classes focus primarily on self-defense applications, fitness, etc.
To schedule an event – email MikeJitsu1@gmail.com

The Mighty Mitochondria by Joe Mullings

Reprinted from Jiujitsu Mania

The Mighty Mitochondria…..The Engines that Drive Endurance

As a combat athlete, one of your primary goals should be building your endurance capacity. All the positions and techniques in the world tend to go out the door when you’re your gassed and your body ultimately seizes up. The good news is that you can seriously increase your engines gas tank by some well structured and intense exercise. Your mitochondria are those engines that are at the base of your endurance system.

… one of the best ways to increase your mitochondria is to perform intense endurance exercise….

Mitochondria are microscopic structures inside your muscles where carbohydrates, proteins and fats can be broken down in the presence of oxygen to create the energy you need in order to compete at intense levels. As the density and quantity of your mitochondria increase, so does your endurance capacity.

There is enough research available to suggest that one of the best ways to increase your mitochondria is to perform intense endurance exercise within a training period of up to one hour. What is more important than the “time” spent exercising, is the intensity over a given time.

In non-athletes, studies have shown an increase of mitochondria density of up to 70%. Again, these were individuals who had been sedentary and had nearly zero exercise in their daily lives. In the case of elite athletes, an increase of mitochondria density has been regularly increased in density by 20%. An increase in 20% of mitochondria density in an elite athlete is substantial. Especially in the case where most elite athletes and the events they compete in are decided by a “razors edge”. So imagine outlasting your opponent on the mat or in the cage due to the capacity of your endurance. Your ability to “recover” more efficiently and ultimately breaking him first is always your goal.

Establishing a Baseline
One of the best ways to establish a baseline and reference point for the level of intensity required for your training is to have a VO2 Max test performed. VO2 Max testing is regarded as one of the best tools to establish the level of efficiency. VO2 Max refers to the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense or maximal exercise. The more oxygen you can use during high level exercise, the more ATP (energy) you can produce. This is often the case with elite endurance athletes who typically have very high VO2 Max values.

These tests take place in human performance labs under strict testing protocols and are typically pretty pricey. So for the assumption of this article instead of using VO2 Max values, we will use maximum heart rate as a reference. Use the equation of 220-(athletes age) = Max Heart Rate (MHR).

Managing your MHR will require you to purchase a good heart rate monitor of which you can get at your local Sports Authority or online at any runners site or a triathlete training site. I personally like the tri sites as they tend to be more scientific in their approach to the endurance components of training.

… there is no easy path on this one…”Go Hard or Go Home”

Your training target for increasing your mitochondria density should take place at 90% of your MHR. Your ultimate goal for the ideal balance of increase mitochondria development in relation to time training should be 90% MHR at a 30 minute clip. Remember, that is your goal for optimum returns on your training regimen. Working up to that is the key. Even an elite athlete will not likely be able to reach those levels without at least a 6 week training plan. It is highly likely that you will have to work your way up to the 90% MHR / 30 minute target.

Working Specific Body Parts
Also keep in mind that mitochondria are muscle specific. This means that as you train, you have to develop a training program that will address your legs, torso and arms. The effect is not “systemic”, instead it is body part specific. So if you are working on your aerobic base on a treadmill or stationary bike, you will only be developing your mitochondria in your legs. Not your arms or torso. So for sake of developing it in your arms and legs at the same time you may want to consider using a rower or a stationary bike like a Schwinn Aerodyne which has push-pull handles on it. In the training of our athletes we use treadmills, cable machines, truck tires, car pushes, dumbbells with squats, etc in order to best develop that body parts mitochondria. All the while keeping the 90% MHR target in mind.

Here is what I suggest specifically addressing the 90% MHR / 30 minute target. As mentioned, even an elite athlete will not be able to step right up to the 90 / 30 goal. What is non-negotiable though is the 90% MHR number. So if you can only perform the exercise modalities selected for 5 minutes or 10 minutes, thats OK. Continue to work towards your goal of 90% MHR for the 30 minutes. Keep the workout going and be sure to mark your metrics on heart rate and duration.

In order to build your endurance engine you have to “Go Hard…or Go Home”. There is no easy path on this one. Your results are directly related to the accumulation of intense exercise over time. If you are diligent and work the metrics, you will get phenomenal results.

OK, Lets Get Started
Keep in mind that mitochondria development is “site specific”. Meaning that if you are hitting your legs hard, the mitochondria density is being developed in that region. If you are hitting your arms and shoulders hard, the mitochondria density is being developed there. Here is a suggested program to get you started :

For all programs you will need heart monitor and your goal is to keep your heart rate at 90% Max Heart Rate (MHR). To address full body development, I will usually develop 5 to 6 minute “rounds” that hit legs, arms, and shoulders in each round. Repeating these rounds will allow you to eventually work up to the 30 minute minimum for best results.

• Burpees for 1 minute
• 400 meter run for appx. 1 minute or 100 meter sprints for 1 minute, no resting.
• Push Ups for 1 minute
• Body Weight Squats for 1 minute
• Bear Crawls for 1 minute

In between each set the athlete can take a as much as 2 minutes to recover. This is not ideal, but if this is your first attempt at this type of training and conditioning, you will need it. As the athlete is able to recover more efficiently the time between sets can be reduced and in some cases perhaps eliminated.

Address Your Recovery
As always, be sure that you finish your training. It is not done until you give the body the building blocks it needs to repair the damage from this training session. The bodies adaptation to the abusive workload is what makes the body stronger. You need to give the body the fuel to heal. That means immediately after the training session you need to drink your protein, engineered carbs, BCAA’s, Argnine, Glutamine and Creatine shake. Sip it, don’t down it. Best wishes with this program. Let us know how it worked for you. It is not for the feint of heart.

Self Defense… The Foundation of Gracie Jiu Jitsu by Felipe Grez

In this day and age of modern Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition, Submission Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competition, it is easy for people to forget why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was created. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was created as a means of survival and self-defense for a smaller, weaker individual to overcome an attack from a stronger and more aggressive attacker! Helio Gracie spent his life developing and refining the techniques of Jiu Jitsu that we now know today as Gracie Jiu Jitsu (or more commonly Brazilian Jiu Jitsu).

Helio Gracie was the pioneer who applied the theory of leverage to the techniques of Jiu Jitsu and in the process began a revolution that allows men, women and children of all ages, shapes, size and athletic ability learn techniques to defend themselves with maximum efficiency and minimal effort. Gracie Jiu Jitsu was the catalyst for modern MMA competition and the UFC. And although MMA is soaring in popularity, it is important that we do not forget Helio’s original teachings and intention for Gracie Jiu Jitsu and that is Self Defense.

One of Helio’s many famous quotes regarding Gracie Jiu Jitsu is: “Always assume that your opponent is going to be bigger, stronger and faster than you; so that you learn to rely on technique, timing and leverage rather than brute strength”. Through the techniques of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, an individual is able to develop confidence, awareness and a sound technical arsenal to protect themselves should the need ever arise. Another great Helio Gracie quote is: “Jiu Jitsu is personal efficiency to protect the weaker, which anyone can do. It is the force of leverage against brute force”.

Just last Friday I began training a new student, Kimberley who had no prior Martial Arts experience, yet was keen to develop more confidence and learn how to protect herself. Kimberley took to Gracie Jiu Jitsu training like a fish to water and within the first 10 minutes was starting to develop some serious base! I at around 95kg was not able to push her or drag her around once she understood the basic principle of dropping her weight and establishing base even though I outweighed her by around 35kg!

Once Kimberley saw the results of good technique and the correct application of leverage we moved onto Bear Hug defenses both Front and Rear. Within minutes Kimberley was able to escape and throw me with remarkable ease and confidence! Again no small feat considering this was her first exposure to Gracie Jiu Jitsu and Martial Arts in general. After being beaten up and thrown to the mat over 50 times we moved onto mount Escapes, specifically the “Upa”. Again we started slowly and gradually added progressive resistance as she her technique improved and she gained confidence with her “Upa”. To say I was impressed with how fast she learnt and understood the movements would be an understatement… Shocked actually! 🙂 Kimberley soaked up the techniques like a sponge and was showing some real promise, all while smiling and having fun… As a coach I felt both proud and inspired by her progress and her new-found confidence in Gracie Jiu Jitsu!

On a side note in case you missed it, there was a little secret to success mentioned in the previous chapter and that is the idea of having fun while you are training. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing you wont put in the necessary time required to learn the techniques and develop your reflexes. A teaching principle I try to apply to every class is that of “S.S.L.”. “S.S.L.” stands for Smiling, Sweating and Laughing. If you can have your students doing all three while working hard on developing your technique you have the recipe to develop lifelong Martial Artists and Jiu Jitsu practitioners. Remember Gracie Jiu Jitsu has so much more to offer than just physical self-defense techniques, it can literally change your life as it has mine but that is a topic of another post! For now always keep in mind that Self Defense is the foundation of Gracie Jiu Jitsu and should always remain so.

Good Luck With Your Training And Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

A Winning Mind Set Tip Rev It Up? Or Turn It Down? By Kevin Seaman

What we say and how we say it has an amazing power sub-consciously in our determination and perception of the events in our life. I had a friend say to me the other day, “I have GOT to go to the Gym. I have a really hard time motivating myself. I’ve been putting it off for two weeks, and I just can’t make any more excuses, I have to go.” As I reflected on this statement and the message it projects, I was immediately prompted to remit, maybe you just need to change, “I have got to go to the Gym to I get to go to the Gym?”
He stared at me with disbelief and said, “You’re right!” I’m acting like it’s a dirty job that I have to do, not something I love.” There was no doubt in my mind as to why he has a hard time motivating himself. When you begin to perceive something you love to do as a chore, you naturally reduce your drive to do it.

Some of these annoying human qualities edge their way into my life as well. I also sometimes find myself using words, metaphors or phrases that distort or exaggerate the meaning of something and it absolutely affects the way I view that task or event at that moment. At that moment I will stop and correct myself, using a positive, empowering twist to my phrase and it always brings a smile to my face.
Let’s look at our work time for example. You can always tell when someone dislikes their job by the way they view time on the job. Do you have four more hours before you get to leave or is your perspective “I only have four more hours left to finish this?” Do you have to do this or do you have the opportunity to do this?

Now, let’s focus on competition! Have you ever amplified the meaning of an event with a phrase like, “I got crushed, they killed us or they trashed us! “How about, we were beaten? Now, let’s think about what these statements imply? What sort of images do they conjure up?
What if those were replaced with a de-amplified version, a more realistic description, like, “We didn’t play to our potential, I learned a lot from my match, or I’ve got some things to work on.” These statements portray a different image and a different emotion, don’t they?
When we use empowering, solution-oriented statements, they help us see how we can improve our outcome. Negative amplification of events have an opposite affect, because they are problem focused, rather than solution oriented by nature, they have a tendency to make things seem much worse than they were and make it difficult to move to a solution. It’s a little hard to recover and shake it off when you’re CRUSHED, KILLED, TRASHED or BEATEN.
It’s also very hard to ask yourself, “What did I learn from this?” while licking your emotional wounds, when you’ve subjected yourself to these colorful terms.

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones,
you’ll start having positive results.”
-Willie Nelson

How can you use this?
Pay attention to the metaphors and analogies you use to describe events for one week. Pay particular attention to the figures of speech that you use. The reason is, that while some of these are empowering, others can be quite debilitating. Did you get yelled at or was there a difference of opinion? Did you get dumped on or confided in? Was it the worst day or challenging? Are you at the end of your rope or looking for more creative solutions? Are you hanging in there, not too bad, surviving? Or feeling awesome, great, terrific! You get the picture. Now, for that ONE WEEK de-amplify the terms that exaggerate the meaning of your negative experiences and amplify the areas that need a boost. In life we don’t really experience reality, we experience our representation of (our) reality. What representation do you want to experience?

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

The Bottom Line: Remember in life, we don’t experience reality. We experience our representation of reality. It is how we Re-present our experiences, that determines our outlook on those experiences. Ultimately, it is your outlook that creates your Winning Mind Set!
Have an incredible Life!
Kevin Seaman

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most fools do.”
-Benjamin Franklin

Sifu Kevin Seaman teaches both Thai Boxing and Filipino Kali on Monday and Wednesday nights at our main Tai Kai location in Liverpool. He is a Master Coach with 40 years of experience. Training in his classes will broaden your skill base and sharpen both your physical and mental training. His books are available at the front desk.

Congrats to all Tai Kai- NAGA Competitors 3/10/12 Albany

Congrats to all Tai Kai Competitors in Albany this past weekend. I hope I did not leave anyone out

1st Expert Light Heavy NO GI- Chris Roach
1st Int. Heavy NO GI- Mike Mucitelli
2nd- Int Heavy NO GI- Saboor Coleman
3rd- Lightweight ADV NO GI- Brody Neville
1st-NO Gi 14-15 year old 130-139 Ryan Buck
1st NO GI-149 lbs- Ryan Buck
2nd Kids No GI- Bailey Sherbourne-
1st No Gi-Beg- Super heavy -Saldin Cumurovic
1st place – kids beginner gi-Cole Saxon
3rd place – kids beginner gi-Noah Carbone
2nd place – masters white belt light heavyweight gi-Jessie Carbone
3rd place-kids beginner NO gi- Anthony Karsada
2nd place- Kids GI-Anthony Karsada
2nd- Middleweight Purple Belt Mens- Ben Tallini
1st Blue Belt Heavy-Saboor Coleman
2nd Blue Belt Heavy-Mike Mucitelli
1st-White Belt Super Heavy Saldin Cumurovic
2nd- Kids Gi- Bailey Sherbourne
3rd Teens Gi- Matt Isenberg
2nd Kids GI- Dylan Healy
3rd Kids GI- Jack Sherbourne

If I left anyone out please email me





Three Timings for Getting Out of Submissions by Stephan Kesting

Reprinted from Grapplearts.com

esterday I was reading a thread on a popular forum discussing MMA fighter Ben Henderson’s ability to slip out of submissions. And I ended up posting something about the topic of submission defense myself, which I’ll share with you below.

(What I didn’t say on that post is that the topic of getting out of submissions is really near and dear to my heart just now, because it ties in well with a really cool product I’m getting ready to release. But more about that another day…)

Anyway, here’s something that a lot of people don’t realize about countering or defending submissions: there are at least three distinct timings you can use

1, You can shut down a submission early, or preemptively. Let’s say that you’re using your guard and your opponent starts going for an ankle lock. He encircles your ankle with his arm, and you can see what’s coming, but he hasn’t You rotate your leg (the right way, of course) and your foot pops out before you’re ever in any real danger.

This is an early escape, BEFORE he applies the lock. If you have a choice then shutting down a submission early, before it ever really gets started, is definitely the best way to go!

2, You can escape as your opponent is applying the submission. Back to the ankle lock: let’s say that he’s locked it on and is falling backwards. If you can ‘hitch a ride’ and get to the top as he falls back and then squish him like a bug, then you’ve just countered it DURING the attack.

Escaping submissions as they’re being applied is the most under-utilized timing, but it can be very useful. It’s just so much easier to do it now rather than during the next stage (i.e. when it’s fully locked on).

3, Finally you can do a late, or AFTER THE FACT escape. These aren’t as easy or as high percentage as escaping before or during, but you still need to know them.

Back to the ankle lock for sec; let’s say that he falls all the way back into a good position, gets on his side, starts arching, etc. At this point you might be trying to uncross his legs and escape your hips out sideways, or (if it’s legal) apply a heel hook to one of his legs, etc. Last minute, hail mary type of stuff

So there you go; I’ve just tripled what you need to know! You might’ve thought you only needed one good counter to the triangle choke, the spinning armbar or the inside-out, upside-down, cross-collar Jehoshaphat choke. But now you know that you actually need to learn THREE defenses, early, middle and late.

Tai Kai Kid’s Belt Graduation a Success !!!!!!

The Belt Graduation for our Kid’s program was a great success. About 50 kids showed up. Which means almost 140 parents and adults in there too. The kids had to go through a hard warm up. The little ones got to grapple their parents first. Then everyone was paired up to do some live grappling. Those that were getting new belts had to do some more grappling with adults and other students. About half the kids got new belts and half received some new stripes on their belts. The energy and enthusiasm in the room from instructors, students, and parents was amazing. These graduation nights are some of my favorite at Tai Kai. Anyone that was not able to attend the ceremony we will get you your new belt or stripes in class this week. Here are some pics from the ceremony.