Relson Gracie Talks About His Father Helio Gracie, And Teaches A Counter To Knee On Belly
This is a fantastic video! It is in Portuguese but there are English captions!
After a year full of injuries and setbacks, two-time Olympic judoka and Washington native Travis Stevens is preparing to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Bettina Hansen & Lauren Frohne / The Seattle Times)
When You Feel Sore, Tired And Defeated; Re-read This Article About Olympic Judoka Travis Stevens
Two-time Olympian Travis Stevens stands toward the back of the mat, hands folded across his chest, a scowl on his scruffy face.
“Yeah, that was not good,” he says to a group of top Northwest Judo competitors on a recent Sunday afternoon at the YMCA Ippon Judo Dojo club.
“That was not good at all,” he repeats, shaking his head. “Everyone get down and give me 50 push-ups.”
Stevens, who has qualified in judo for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, doesn’t mince words.
“He doesn’t joke a lot. Doesn’t talk a lot. But when he gets on those mats, he’s a different person. That’s where you get more than two words out of him. That’s where he feels most comfortable,” says Jason Harai, one of Stevens’ coaches growing up. “But you don’t mess around on the mats when he’s here. This is his livelihood, and he takes it serious.”
For Stevens, most mornings begin with a throbbing headache and little feeling in his left shoulder.
Then, maybe, coffee with sugar and cream and a doughnut before the first training session.
Judo goes from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Jiu jitsu is 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Then, lunch. Maybe a nap.
Stevens, who grew up in Tacoma but now trains mostly in Wakefield, Mass., goes back for Round 2 of judo from 6 to 8 p.m.
Then it’s back to jiu jitsu from 8 to 9:30 p.m.
“I consider myself a hard worker, but somehow he always finds a way to push me past my limit,” training partner Colton Brown says.
“He is an extremely competitive person and has a refuse-to-lose mentality. He shows up to training with that mentality each day and tries to do whatever it takes to win. There have been days where we have nearly gotten into fistfights on the mat, but afterwards go and have dinner with each other. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Travis and his work ethic while training.”
Even traveling doesn’t get in the way of workouts, and Stevens does a lot of flying.
On the way to Cuba to fight in the Pan American Championships in late March, Stevens, dressed in a black rubber sweatsuit, ran sprints at the Miami International Airport’s parking garage to keep loose and cut weight.
“He grew up in an era where there were no excuses,” Harai said. “He learned Judo back in the day when you didn’t get water breaks, there wasn’t air conditioning at the dojo, where it was all about discipline and this old-school Japanese mentality. If he didn’t break then, he’s not going to break now.”
Olympic judoka Travis Stevens, left, and Byron Redditt, instructor at Ippon Judo Dojo at the Lakewood Family YMCA, demonstrate for students Sunday June 5, 2016. Stevens is a two-time Olympian in Judo who is headed to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. (Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times)
The road to Rio, to these Olympic Games, has been trying.
“The concussion was a big one where I had conversations with my coaches and USA Judo where we asked the question of, ‘Could I even get to that level again?’ ” Stevens said.
The stage was the Dusseldorf Grand Prix in Germany. It was March 2015. Stevens, competing against France’s Alain Schmitt, a world bronze medalist in 2013, went for a big judo throw — uchi mata — and nailed it, tossing Schmitt in the air and flat on his back.
“I believe I broke his clavicle and fractured his shoulder,” Stevens said.
But the 30-year-old Stevens also took a beating, hitting his head hard when he landed.
Watch the match on YouTube, and you can hear the smack of his head.
Stevens’ hand was raised, but he lost much more than what he gained in the months following the tournament.
He remembers little of what immediately happened afterward.
His team manager and doctor found him in the corner of a room on the floor, rocking back and forth, whistling to himself.
The doctor was in his face — “But I pushed him away,” Stevens said.
And he didn’t recognize his girlfriend of a year-and-a-half.
“I asked our team manager who she was, because she kept staring at me like I had just killed her dog,” he said.
The night in the hotel was fuzzy, and the following months were full of stress, headaches, vomiting and dizziness.
He finally got back to training after a 2½-month hiatus.
“I tried a couple of times before that, because as my days would go on I felt functionally OK,” Stevens said. “But then once I started going up and down or my heart would start to beat faster and faster I would just get dizzy, and you would see me start to walk and I was tilting to the left. I was able to still medal at Pan Ams (in April), and then I fought some higher-level tournaments after that, and I just lost in the first round every time. That’s when we decided to pull me from training. I couldn’t function.”
Things got worse before they got better.
In July, Stevens contracted Cellulitis, Staph and MRSA in his right knee after competing in the Grand Slam in Russia. With the world championships around the corner, there was no time for rest.
Then he got bursitis in his knee and was vomiting during every training session. But he pushed ahead.
His warm-up for the world tournament, held in Khazakstan in August, consisted of walking in a circle, then onto the mats.
Stevens won three matches before dropping out, but his knee was damaged further and swelled up at the tournament.
Back home, his doctor drained it and gave him some antibiotics.
Then he went on vacation.
“I spent most of the time on the couch or in bed,” Stevens said. “I remember waking up every day in puddles of sweat.”
He returned to his doctor, who told him to rush to the hospital.
There, the surgeon drained 380 CC’s of an orange-like fluid from his knee and warned him to take heed in the future.
“They told me they would have had to cut my leg off if I had come in two or three days later,” Stevens said.
“That’s how bad the bacterial infection was.”
A photo of Stevens from the 2012 Olympic Games has famously floated around the Internet. There’s blood in Steven’s mouth and tape wrapped around his head. It’s from his semifinal match in the 81-kg division, which he lost in a controversial judges decision to 2008 champ Ole Bischof.
“My grandfather died last year,” he said afterward. “And this pretty much feels the same way.”
Stevens does not take this sport lightly. He knows how talented he is. He knows how strong he is. And he knows that he has the opportunity of a lifetime to compete on this stage.
“It’s not just about me, it’s about my coaches, it’s about my training partners,” he says. “As much as I sacrifice, you should see the brutality and what we do to our training partners that don’t get the chance to step on the Olympic field. They don’t take the beatings for nothing.
“They’re just as much as part of the journey as I am. We set a goal, and it’s about getting there, one way or another.”
The greater the trial, the greater the glory! Go train!
Former WWE Star & UFC Fighter CM Punk Earns First Stripe On His BJJ White Belt
In this new episode of the “The Evolution Of Punk”, CM Punk is eager to get back in the gym after a nagging shoulder injury. Once he’s finally cleared to train again, Punk makes positive strides and learns the name of his first opponent in the UFC. He takes the time to put on the gi, and after some time earns his first stripe!
You’re Going To Lose In BJJ Tournaments, So Lose The Fear
When it comes to BJJ competitions there are very few guarantees. There are a few though. One fact or guarantee is that you’re going to lose. Yes, you’re guaranteed to lose in BJJ tournaments at some point or another.
Just saying that stings the ego a little doesn’t it? But it’s the truth. Even the superheroes of BJJ have lost matches. They may have not lost many but they’ve still lost.
This past weekend at the 2016 IBJJF Master Worlds. I scored a win against an opponent I had previously lost to. And I felt compelled to post not just my win, but also my loss against him.
While this goes against what my ego would like to do (it would be much easier to post just my win, and that be it). I think it’s important to highlight the fact that we all lose and when it comes to BJJ tournaments. Because if you lose it’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t mean you suck at BJJ, it just means you lost. Also, it’s not always who’s better at Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Sometimes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions it’s about who plays the game the best.
So if you’re afraid of losing and that fear is keeping you from competing. Realize how silly that is. You’re being fearful of a forgone conclusion. You’re going to lose at some point. But there is also the chance that you can win and experience victory. But the only way you can do that is if you get out there and put yourself to the test.
No sense in fearing something that is bound to happen at some point or another right?
Instead, if you’re fearful of competing because of losing. Take all that energy and thought and put it towards how you can win.
So get out there and compete in BJJ if you want to. Don’t let fear stop you.
– Nick “Chewjitsu” Albin
Intro / Outtro Music : http://www.thesoundproviders.com
1st Match Music: https://julianavila.bandcamp.com
Royce Gracie On Demian Maia, “His Fight Was Perfect”.
Royce Gracie dominated the early days of the UFC with his jiu-jitsu, scoring 11 submission victories in 13 months between UFC 1 and UFC 4, and fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Demian Maia is getting close to his record.
Maia started his UFC career in 2007, scoring five submissions in his first five bouts as a middleweight. After dropping to welterweight in 2012, the Brazilian tapped four opponents in nine of his wins, putting himself three submissions away from Gracie’s UFC record.
“His fight was perfect,” Royce Gracie told MMA Fighting of Maia’s quick submission win over Carlos Condit at UFC on FOX 21. “He showed how efficient jiu-jitsu is, and that he can win only using his jiu-jitsu. The way he’s going, he will beat that number and put the record way up [laughs]. He’s doing great.”
Maia is the most victorious Brazilian in UFC history with 18 wins, and also set another impressive stat with his quick submission over Condit: Maia’s four last fights combined lasted 39 minutes and 15 seconds, but the jiu-jitsu expert only absorbed 13 significant strikes against Neil Magny, Gunnar Nelson, Matt Brown and Condit.
“You don’t need to trade punches or allow getting punched in the face to win the fight, and Demian shows that,” Gracie said. “He spent some time wanting to use muay thai, but grew a lot when he started believing in his jiu-jitsu again. You have to work on your stand-up to know what’s coming, but jiu-jitsu is enough to win the fight.”
Gracie lists Maia as one of the best grapplers in MMA today, alongside with Fabricio Werdum and Kron Gracie, and believes in his skills to beat current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley if given a title shot.
“He has everything,” Gracie said. “He’s a calm fighter, doesn’t get too anxious when he steps in there to try to trade punches. He just goes there and gets the job done.”