Most people are overweight and out of shape. Going to the gym is not an option for many, since the training is unsupervised. Motivation is really needed when you are with a group of people and have a common purpose to what you want to achieve.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA are really good martial arts to work out to. Since the current craze of the UFC, MMA has been a very popular sport among people who are interested in fighting. While you are learning the martial arts, you will be burning a tremendous amount of calories per hour. Most people really don’t believe it till they experience it firsthand. Imagine if you are using every muscle in your body to attack and defend against your opponent. In most sports, you will only use 1 body segment at a time. For instance, in lifting weight, you would be only using your arms or legs. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you will be using all of your body to control your opponent against any moves, and this what gets the whole body involved.
In MMA, you are learning to strike, kick, and clinch. Most of the calories are burned when you are clinching your opponent since you have to involve your whole body. This is why you rarely, ir never, see any mixed martial artist that is out of shape. Most have to use so many calories to involve themselves in the sparring session.
Training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will help you get fit, as well as, learn great self-defense. In this art, you are using every muscle in your body, and with that in mind, you can burn up to 800 calories per hour. More than any workout at any gym.
This art requires one to learn to defend the guard, pass the guard, and learning submissions. Submissions only comes when one understands the control one should have over their opponent. It is essential to stabilize the other opponent before applying the submission, otherwise the opponent will escape and you will have to start again.
Also, one has to be careful since there are so many moves with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. One can get confused, and pay attention to the basics which will carry them through to the next level. Many of the successful MMA fighters in the world started in Jiu Jitsu, and use that as their core martial art.
Learning the martial art is something special, and something that everyone should look into. Take care in evaluating an academy, and pick your programs wisely. Most schools are not supervised well, and you have to look at how they treat their students, their peers, and how they clean their school.
Look at the programs and start with something that is basic. Diving into an advanced program will only make you quit early and you will never give yourself a chance to participate in the martial arts.
Finding an instructor is also important, and paramount in furthering your skill in the world of the martial arts.
Photoand Story by Dan Bernardi
Marc Stevens, right, trained under the direction of Ken Kronenberg, left, at Tai Kai Jiu Jitsu in Liverpool. Stevens is a current cast member on Ultimate Fighter 12, airing at 10 p.m. Wednesdays on Spike TV.
The third time was the charm for mixed martial artist Marc Stevens on his road to being featured on the television show Ultimate Fighter, airing on Spike TV.
On his third time trying out for the popular cable program, Stevens, who trained in Liverpool, was cast for a shot at UFC stardom.
The show pits two teams of aspiring Lightweight and Light Heavyweight mixed martial arts fighters against each other under the coaching of accomplished Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans.
Stevens has come a long way since getting his start in Mixed Martial Arts in 2005. Prior to then, he had only wrestled.
“I wrestled my whole life. After I left college I was watching the first season of the Ultimate Fighter and saw my old wrestling coach,” Stevens said. The coach was Josh Koscheck, who was an assistant coach at the University of Buffalo at the time Stevens wrestled there.
That spurred him to find out more about the sport of MMA.
Stevens began training with Ken Kronenberg at Tai Kai Jiu Jitsu (www. syracusebjj.com), 911 Old Liverpool Road, Liverpool.
At Tai Kai Jiu Jitsu, Stevens learned the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is a style made famous by Royce Gracie, a UFC Hall of Famer. The style centers around grappling and ground fighting. Using this technique, a smaller defender can often defend against a larger opponent by using a combination of joint-locks and choke holds. This skill combined with a background in wrestling makes Stevens a versatile fighter.
Since 2005, Stevens had attended two Ultimate Fighter casting calls.
“This was actually the third time I had tried out,” Stevens said. “I got a call from my manager about a week before the tryout and he told me I had to be in North Carolina the next week for tryouts for the show.”
Stevens went to North Carolina, tried out, and returned home to wait.
“If they don’t call you just didn’t make it, if they call then you know your going to be on a plane in two days. You’re going to Vegas for casting,” he said.
He was flown to Las Vegas for three days of medical check-ups and interviews with Ultimate Fighter producers.
“After you come home (from Las Vegas) they call you either way,” Stevens said.
Luckily for Stevens, the call was one in which the Ultimate Fighter producers told him they wanted him on the show.
Stevens wasn’t sure whether he would automatically be granted a spot in the house or if he would have to fight his way in.
On the season premiere of Ultimate Fighter 12, Stevens was featured in a match against fellow upcomer TJ O’Brien to determine who would earn a spot in the Ultimate Fighter house. Stevens fought in the first match of the show and defeated O’Brien in 13 seconds.
When asked if that was Stevens biggest match of his life, he answered, “Yeah, I would. Some of the guys had said that. Javier Mendez, (founder of the American Kickboxing Academy) brought up a good point when he said, ‘This shouldn’t be different from any other fight, every fight is your biggest fight.’”
Stevens kept this in mind and tried not to let the fact that this would perhaps be the most noticed and widely talked about moment of his young MMA career affect his preparation.
“I had fought on TV before, but never on a stage like that. The thoughts (regarding the magnitude of the fight) would come in and I’d try to get them out.”
For Stevens, this is the most important time in his career. He explained that opportunities to be featured on a national stage are very rare and success is a necessity.
“As a fighter you have a short window,” Stevens said. “You’re no good to anyone if you lose, you’re pretty much done because nobody wants to watch it.”
To watch Marc Stevens on his quest to become the Ultimate Fighter, tune in to Spike TV at 10 p.m. Wednesdays.
Marc Stevens is a cast member on Ultimate Fighter 12 on Spike TV. The show airs at 10 p.m. Wednesdays.