Thursday, 4 December 2014

Book review - Mario Sukata’s Definitive Guide for Mixed Martial Arts

In our ever increasing digital age, for someone born in the 70’s, it’s always nice to be able to pick up a book and read about something.  I’m all for online resources and apps for this and that when you’re on the move or sat on a long train journey, but there’s nothing quite like picking up a book and having a good read.

Mario ‘Sukata’ Neto and Gary Savage have teamed up to produce a book on MMA, offering an insight into the training methods that have made Sukata a household name on the MMA scene. I have known Gary since the beginning of BJJ in this country and beyond into the misty realms of Traditional martial arts.  I first met Mario when the Wolfslair first opened its doors, where the club held a no gi comp which I entered and ended up mixing it with the likes of Shane Rigby, Tom Blackledge, Chris Brown, Antonia Silva, Scott Pickering, Rob Broughton, Paul Taylor and others and witnessed the epic finals fight between Shane Rigby and Barry the Bastard. 
'Barry The Bastard'

Since the early days I trained at the Widnes based gym in the morning pro MMA class and was lucky to meet the likes of Mike Bisping, Tom Blackledge, Cheick Kongo, Rob Broughton, Rampage Jackson and many more and took my students to the gym for MMA sessions with Mario on a Saturday morning.

I have first-hand experience of training with Mario at the gym and can attest that the man means business. When you step on the mat expect to be pushed to the edge and beyond, physically and mentally, as Mario expects nothing less than 100% effort from everyone.  When you’re training the in the morning pro MMA class, you’re running with the wolves and there are no easy rolls, especially when you have guys prepping for upcoming UFC fights.  Rolling with Mario is not a nice experience, the guy is a wrecking machine and very deserved of his nickname ‘Sukata’ (roughly translates to ‘car crusher’).
With Mario and Antonia at Wolfslair

The book is split into fourteen chapters and covers the following topics:-

·         Acknowledgements
·         Dedications
·         Foreword
·         Introduction
·         Getting started
·         Combat Conditioning
·         Striking for MMA
·         MMA takedowns
·         Groundfighting
·         The Guard
·         Side Control
·         Mount Attacks
·         Attacks from the Back
·         Leg Locks
·         Defence Strategies
·         Drill Bits
·         The Cerebral Fighter
·         The Final Round

The book checks out at 266 pages and is packed full of inspirational quotes from the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Rickson Gracie, Henry Ford, Dan Gable and others.  In each chapter there are various techniques with clear, easy to follow photos and text, with tips and pointers, front and reverse angle photos to help the reader get the most out of each technique.

Most instructional books give the reader lots of techniques to practice but not much on the defensive side of the sport.  It’s all well and good learning the techniques to get the win, but what happens if you end up on the wrong side of a guard or in mount, with your partner ready to rain down heavy leather?

In the defensive strategies chapter, Mario goes through defences from arm bar, triangle, defending the guillotine, options defending the rear naked choke, crucifix position, defending the Achilles lock, side control options and mount defence.  Lots to learn alone in this chapter alone.

The Cerebral Fighter chapter outlines the mind-set needed to be an effective and successful MMA fighter, coming from Mario’s own experience of cage fighting from around the world at the highest level.

The Drill Bits offers a varied selection of training drills specifically for MMA training, covering striking, clinching, wrestling and take down drills, close quarter drills and controlled sparring drills.

The techniques covered in the book offer a beginners guide to MMA and is an ideal starting point for anyone interested in beginning MMA training, as the book gives a very well rounded overview of the many components that make up the MMA jigsaw and paves the way for follow up books that cover intermediate and advanced training techniques and concepts.

The book is printed by Martial Arts Publishing, the ISBN number is 978095444642 and can be purchased through Amazon.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Venum Hurricane X Fit!

Not been near a laptop for a few weeks, thanks to that four letter word known as work :(

Just thought I'd share a photo or two of me modelling the Venum Hurricane X Fit tshirt, one of the company's best sellers and with good cause.  Here's a few words from their website.........

''Approved by Venum Team UFC Fighters - as Lyoto Machida - this training t-shirt benefits from the latest technological advances. Using our brand new X-Fit™ construction with a 4-way fabric, our "Hurricane" X-Fit™ T-shirt allows upper mobility extending your range of moves.

No matter the weather outside, you will able to train hard and stay focused on your target. Its ultra-lightweight polyester/elastane fabric mixed with mesh panels keep you lighter and dry quickly. This strategic Bi-Material construction uses an innovative heat-weldable seamless assembly to provide extreme comfort on your skin. Add to this our Dry Tech Technology that wicks sweat away to keep you and your gear always fresh!''

I must say that Dri fit tshirts are the way forward for me now, the product is awesome; I sweat a lot when teaching and training and even wearing a rashguard under my gi, the gi ends up really wet. 

Not so with the tshirt.

I've been wearing the tshirt whilst training on the mats and in the gym and at the end of the session you'd hardly know I've been working out, the sweat just vanishes and my gi's are a lot drier and less whiffier.

I'd highly recommend you get yourself one of these tops and see the difference yourself!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Goodies from Venum!

Huge thanks to Bart Montarello, Director of Business Development at Venum for sorting me out with some pretty awesome products for me to test out; I have a deadly black gi from the Elite range, an eye catching dri-fit Hurricane tshirt, brand spanking new Spider 2.0 shorts and a brown belt, all ready to be road tested at my gym and on the mats at London Fight Factory, where they'll be put to the strongest of tests.

Product reviews will follow, so keep your eyes peeled on here and see what I have to say about the gear.  

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Move of the week - wrist lock with Fabio Santos!

Not been able to get to post on here since the grading day at LFF, so I am sharing a great video of red and black belt Fabio Santos covering the wrist lock from the closed guard and you might recognise his training partner too. I remember as a purple belt training with Gabriel Kitober and he wrist locks you for fun from the closed guard, it was a scary place to be when you rolled with him.  The submission is IBJJF legal from white belt, so add the wrist lock submission to your game and make your closed guard a place of bone crunching misery!

Watch the video and as always, drill out in class!


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Grading Day at London Fight Factory!

Over 100 students filled out the mat space at London Fight Factory on Saturday 25th October, as Luiz Ribeiro gave out some well deserved belt promotions and stripes; seven black belts were on hand to help Luiz out with instruction after the belts were awarded, which included Neto Nunes, Mosquito, Bruno Matias, Sidney Silva and the legendary Terere.

After Luiz handed out the promotions, all attendees were given a free tshirt as a thank you from Luiz, which was a really nice gesture, the guy really is dedicated to all his students and their individual progression on the Jiu Jitsu path.

Black belt tuition followed, with each coach sharing a few techniques and I have learned an absolute killer spider sweep to arm bar, all thanks to Bruno Matias, a super heavyweight who moves like a feather weight, which is currently being drilled to death.  All the techniques shown were all high percentage moves, some of which I'd seen before and some I hadn't, all of them packed with tiny details to make them as efficient as possible, giving me some new material to drill at LFF and to pass on to my students.

All that remained was the ritual belt whipping and I am so glad I wasn't one the guys promoted as the gauntlet ran to over 100 students in a large U-shape on the main mat; blue belts had to walk there and back once, purple belts twice and brown belts thrice - Ouch!

Once the whipping had ended, Luiz wrapped up the day with a inspirational speech and we headed off to a local cafe for a few beers, rounding off what was an excellent day all round for everyone involved.

Thanks to Luiz for organising a truly memorable day, all the black belts for sharing their knowledge so freely and to a guy who I believe is nicknamed Hiccup for the photos that grace this post.



Had the extreme pleasure and honour of sharing the same mat space as the legendary Terere at the weekend, as London Fight Factory hosted their grading day and what a day it was! Seven black belts were on hand as Luiz awarded well desreved promotions and stripes to an absolutely packed house, with well over 100 students present.

More news about the grading day in the next post, just think this photo deserves its own post :)


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Old Skool SFUK Interview - Remco Pardoel!

If you are old enough to remember the good old days of SFUK, then here's an interview I did with my very good friend Remco Pardoel, one of many interviews I conducted with him over the years.

I was a lowly white belt at the time of the interview, just starting my journey along the BJJ path and just before I got my gig writing for the ADCC website and attending ADCC 2001. 

Happy memories indeed.