Friday, October 19, 2007

Liam Robert Kressin

How it Went Down

October 14th my wife began having contractions around 6 pm. By 7 pm her contractions were strong and a consistent 2-3 minutes apart. We waited until 8:30 pm to go to the hospital. The pain and intensity of her contractions where good and we knew this might be the real deal. We got to the hospital at 9:00 pm. My wife's water broke as soon as we got to triage. They admitted us and we had the baby at 10:30pm. Liam was eight pounds ten ounces. He did really well and we left the hospital at exactly 24 hrs after his birth.

Liam Robert

We chose to name our son Liam Robert. The name Liam is the Irish name for William. It means great protector! Which he will be once he learns Jiu-Jitsu and the Crazy Monkey. My wifes grandmother was the first generation to come here from Ireland in her family so an Irish name is well fitting. Robert is the name of my wife's father who froze to death when she was thirteen years old.

Liam likes to eat. He nurses for an hour at a time and sleeps a lot. He is a happy baby very calm. Our daughter Hannah is really sweet with him and loves him very much. It is wonderful to see my wife so happy. She is an amazing mother to both my children. I can't believe how well she takes care of them. She is selfless and giving encouraging me to sleep longer hours than her when she is the one who needs the rest and still taking time to help everyone. I know for a fact if my wife's father were here today he would be so proud of her and his two grandchildren.

My wife and I want to give special thanks to all our family and freinds everyone from Jiu-Jitsu and anyone who has been there as a positive support and encouragement to us.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chris Haueter 2007

I have been bringing 3rd Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Chris Haueter down to San Diego every year to coach us for several years. This past weekend we were able to enjoy an awesome Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu seminar with Chris.

The seminar began discussing some of the primary differences between the Art, Sport and Fighting aspects of Jiu-Jitsu. Chris specifically emphasized the importance of sport. Haueter who in addition to coaching his private students is an instructor at
Rigan Machado's Academy where he recently had been rolling with several world class black belts. Chris Haueter had some keen insight on the benefits of competitive sport oriented Jiu-Jitsu.

"When you are in competition with someone you don't know who is trying to choke your neck its not the same as rolling with someone you know in class every week playing a friendly game," Haueter said.

For the first two hours we worked on our technical game. Covering a guard passing series Chris has put together specifically for competition. Often you will only be able to control one leg with a single grip when faced with a highly competitive opponent. Chris went into great detail covering numerous ways to gain hip control and pass against an active aggressive opponent from nothing more than a single grip. After an hour of guard passing Chris showed us the defense and counters to all the guard passing techniques he had just taught us.

Pictured Above; Chris Haueter showing us how to go straight to an attack after defending the pass.

Following two hours of instruction on passing and defending the guard for tournament oriented situations we began rolling. Chris rolled with me first which was a lot of fun. After rolling with me Haueter went onto roll with everyone of my blue belts spending ample time rolling with each one of them. These are some very tough blue belts Chris had to roll with. Chris Cichy recently went 1-1 in the purple belt division loosing his 2nd match by a very controversial disqualification against a purple belt from Rickson’s camp.

After rolling for close to an hour straight Chris called Peter out onto the mat for a roll. Peter is a lean 230lb blue belt who is very close to the purple. Peter gave Chris a battle and had a very impressive roll. Afterwards Chris commented on Peter’s game saying, "Peter is feeling more like a purple belt it’s hard to tell because of his size however it does feel like he's really using skill and not just his weight." This was a very nice complement not just to Peter but to everyone Peter has been training with for the past several years.

After rolling with Chris Haueter we went into some Iron Man Games. The Iron Man game we played went as follows; two of us would take center mat, the Iron Man would start on his back with the opponent in his guard. Whoever scores first wins. The Winner stays on the mat. Four wins in a row makes you a champion.

Spencer and Brian B. started off the Iron Man games first with everyone else following. All the white belts looked really good many of them being very close to the blue belt level. During Brian B. and Jeremy’s roll Brian passed the guard to side control and then allowed Jeremy to escape to an arm lock. “That was so white belt of you!” Chris shouted out as Brian gave up side control. For the majority of our white belts it’s simply a matter of eliminating those white belt mistakes in order to make a blue belt level game.

I stepped on the mat last and began blasting through all my students until I met up with Peter who passed my Guard! Overall the everyone showed a lot of improvement by the end of the night we had been training for close to 4 hours!

I remember the first time we had Chris Haueter down Joe Celona was there along with about 5 others all white belts. This past weekend we had close to 20 of us there including Joe! The group has come a long way.
While no belt comes easy in Jiu-Jitsu it’s a lot of fun to see everyone’s game progress.

Pictured Top; Jeremy fully attentive to Haueter's Jits instruction.

The best part of the entire experience was just getting everyone together to train and have a good time. Chris joked around with our protégées Patrick (12yrs, yellow belt) and Mc Crae (13yrs) hitting Mc Crae with a stick several times and calling Dan the No gi Bastard! Afterwards a large group of us went to Wahoo’s for dinner. We are looking forward to brining Chris Haueter back soon. For right now we need some time to digested and integrate all the material and coaching he gave us into our games.

Pictured Below; Chris Haueter a truely seasoned black belt!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Where can you find the best coaching?

The best coaching in the entire world should come from those who you regularly train with day in and day out. When everyone in your training group is actively trying to teach, coach and help one another you’ve got the best coaching in the world. Period.

Here is another way to put it;

A good martial arts coach should be able to teach their students to become skilled. A phenomenal martial arts coach should be able to teach their students to teach each other to become skilled.

I was totally stoked when I received this email from one of the students in our Martial Arts Life Program the other day.

“Peter and Bruce came over tonight and we rolled and drilled for about 2 1/2 hours! It was killer. We worked different escapes (mount, side, and a little knee-on-belly), and then put them into a drill round robin style. We made sure to switch it up so the same person wouldn't be rolling with the same opponent the whole time. Then we rolled, Iron Man style. I started, leap frogging Bruce and then rolling for 5 minutes immediately followed by repeating it with Peter. We did more conditioning, then moved onto Iron Man for Peter. By the end of I thought I was going to puke/pass out.

I did my best to remove the rubber stuff as much as possible and both Peter and Bruce noticed a difference and I fared much better than the other night. I also used to some great pointers that Peter gave me for some escapes. All in all, I was way hyped on the session and just wanted to let you know. Also, Peter, Bruce and I made a pact to keep up conditioning and helping each other...TEAMWORK STYLE.”

When everyone in the group begins to work together like this miracles happen. When everyone begins making pacts with one another to help each other out and elevate the skill level of the entire group that’s when the extra ordinary is accomplished.

Unfortunately in most martial arts programs especially Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the majority of the class members compete with one another. They actively battle to beat each other rarely ever stopping to try and elevate the ability of one of their class members or piers. The focus is too often on who you can beat and who you want to beat next.

Our Martial Arts Life Program has moved in the opposite direction. For this I am grateful!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Buried with a Shovel Uppercut!

Last night I spent some considerable time coaching the shovel uppercut. Specifically we worked on the proper mechanics and how to correctly strike to the body.

The stronger your defensive structure the better you'll be able to work in a good counter shovel uppercut off a straight jab, cross or hook. Changing ranges, getting in for the shovel hook and getting out with proper foot work and always follow up with several linear strikes to head after going to body are very improtant aspects of the technique.

After a solid thirty to forty minutes training the shovel uppercut I worked in some rounds of light sparring. I think just about everyone of my students nailed me with a good solid shovel uppercut at some point during the nights sparring sessions. Each one at some point seemed to find their mark and bury me with a fist.

I had become so accustom to dealing with the jab hook and cross to the head and sparred with so many guys who simply don't know how to go to the body properly. When I faced a gym full of athletes who had the proper mechanics and technique to deliver a good body shot my ability to read the attack was off.

At the end of the night driving home I felt good about the training knowing as I raise the skill level of those around me I'm able to grow further myself. Part of a true Martial Arts Life program is rather than compete with those you train with try to lift them up. You'll find your own skills and abilities will only progress further as you do.