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Monday, June 18, 2012

Alexis Davis: Invicta FC 2



Alexis Davis is scheduled to fight Hitomi Akano as the co-main event at the Invicta Fighting Championships 2 in Kansas City, Kansas on July 28, 2012.  She is a renowned Strikeforce Fighter, the 4th ranked 135lb Female Fighter in the World (Unified Women's MMA) and the 2011 WMMA Female Bantamweight of the Year.  She has a Black Belt in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and holds a professional MMA record of 11-4.  Davis is Canadian and currently resides in the Bay Area studying under Cesar Gracie.  She is a leader in the rapidly growing world of Female MMA (FMMA) and definitely one to watch. 


The following is an introductory interview leading up to her July 28 fight:

How did you get started in martial arts?

A friend of mine asked me to do kick boxing with her. After taking an interest in Martial Arts, I joined BJJ. I have been training for about 8 1/2 years now. I am currently a 4 stripe Brown Belt in BJJ and a Black Belt in Japanese JJ.

What made you decide to compete in MMA?


I got interested when I watched one of my instructors train for a fight. I saw it as a new way to challenge myself.

How do you structure your training camp leading up to a fight? 


I usually train about 4-5 times a day consisting of BJJ, conditioning, Muay Thai, stand up and ground. I study the film/video style of my opponent and add specific training geared towards that.



How do you describe your fight style?


A lot of being hard headed and a lot of heart. (lol) I refuse to give up or give in. I train to be the best and I fight to be the same.

What are your thoughts going into your July 28 Invicta fight?



I am happy to be a part of the inaugural Invicta events. This promotion is bringing the FMMA to a level never seen before. I am happy to be a co-main and represent all the females wanting to excel in this sport!

Who do you want to fight after Invicta?


I would LOVE to fight Miesha Tate, I think our styles of fighting would make a fight that would have the crowd standing every round. I respect her and know this would be a FIGHT OF THE YEAR nomination.


What advice do you have for women in MMA?


Stick with it no matter what, although the frustration and hard times may come, focus on where you want to be. Stay positive and supportive of all the females training to be the same. We are in this together and together we will make FMMA a respectable sport for all to watch.



Monday, April 30, 2012

Chia


Add chia seeds - the seed not the pet - to your daily sport nutrition plan for enhanced energy, endurance, Omega 3s and anti-oxidants.  Taken pre-workout chia provides a significant natural boost to your training.  If you haven't tried them yet, this is your public service announcement.




Monday, February 27, 2012

The Female Fighter Project - Shawn Tamaribuchi















Nobody is doing what Shawn Tamaribuchi is doing:  She is a female fighter photographically documenting female fighters. Her unique perspective, respect for the sport, passion and persistence will make this body of work stand out for generations to come. - posted by Carey Rockland for OTM SF.

1. What is the Female Fighter Project and what are its origins?

Shawn’s latest project is entitled “The Female Fighter Project". It is an on going portraiture series documenting female fighters around the globe. In 2010, Shawn left for a year of international travel, visiting and training with some of the best female fighters from Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo. She carried over 70 lbs of luggage consisting of three Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gis, 2 pairs of Muay Thai gloves, numerous mouth pieces, rash guards, shin pads and head gear as well as a very heavy Hasselblad 500c camera with loads of 120mm film. After paying over $500 in overweight luggage fees and more airport security lines than one could imagine, she landed back in California in 2011. She now is continuing her project stateside working for the largest public photographic community center west of the Mississippi.

"The Project's origin is quite simple. I am a traditionally trained photographer who started competing in MMA in 2007. I have trained in Muay Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 7 years now and currently hold the rank of purple belt. I began my MMA and BJJ career under world champion, female, black belt Lana Stefanac and now train with the Bay Jiu Jitsu team in Northern California. In 2010, I decided to do what every fighter dreams of, travel the world and train at some of the best international academies. As a photographer, I habitually brought my equipment around with me every place I went and consequently took pictures of all of my training partners and female fighters I encountered on my travels, thus the Female Fighter Project was born. I continue to shoot my training partners and heros I meet along the way on the path that will hopefully lead to attaining the rank of 'faixa preta".

2. Who have you photographed?

I have had the incredible honor and privilege to not only photograph, but also train with most of the fighters I have shot. This list includes, but is not only limited to: Megumi Fujii, Hitomi Akano, Sayaka Shioda, Ayaka Hamasaki, Roxanne Modafferi, Lana Stefanac, Kyra Gracie, Windy Tomomi, Leticia Ribeiro, AJ Jenkins, Michelle Nicolini, Elaina Maxwell, Veronica Locurto, Sarah Boyd, Colleen Schneider, Amanda Lucas... the list goes on and in fact I hopefully will get to shoot Ana Laura Cordeiro today (fingers crossed). Basically, I shoot the amazing women I train with everyday and those I happen to run into at different academies. They are my friends and my fighter family.

3. What is it about female fighters that draws your attention and is there a message that you want to convey through this work?

Well for starters, I am one. In a lot of ways this is my version of a family album, a tribute to the women in my life who I respect doing something we all love. They are my heros and friends. More often than not, female fighters do not get the attention or respect they so drastically deserve. Mainstream media has a very narrow lens when it comes to female athletes. This is my contribution to showing the world that the talent pool of female fighters runs deep and wide, and hopefully one day soon, female fighters will be able to have a secure position in the world of sport fighting that will sustain and respect them for who they are, amazing athletes.


4. How has the project transformed since you started it? 

Well hopefully the photos are getting better, ha! But seriously, travelling the world in some of the most hot and humid climates plus numerous xray machines jacked up some of my negatives. I had to do a lot of work to salvage the images (now I have them hand check it). I also have to opportunity to shoot more frequently since there are so many fighters around me so hopefully the project is getting broader and more inclusive aside from sheer growth of images. I am trying to get every fighter I meet, from full time moms to full time fighters and some who are both. It can be a slow process since I only really shoot with film (120 6x6 on a Hasselblad 500 cm for all you photo nerds out there) and hand process, scan and retouch every single image which can take hours per image. I am developing a better workflow around it to help be more productive and efficient.

5. Who would you like to photograph?

Pretty much any female fighter I come in contact with. I'd love to shoot Marloes Coenen, Sarah Kaufman, Cris Cyborg, Misha Tate, Rena Kubota, Tara LaRosa, Rosi Sexton,  Lucia Rijker... the list goes on, again if I run into a female that is a fighter, I want to shoot her.

Megumi Fuji, Shawn Tamaribuchi and Rina Tomita by Jenny Irahara






Shawn Tamaribuchi holds a BFA in Photography / Digital Media from Scripps College, and has completed studies at the Glasgow School of Art. For the past six years she has worked in the commercial and performing arts worlds. Her previous film, an animation short called Kenn’s Dream, screened at the Mad Cat Women’s International Film Festival and is included in the Asian American Media curriculum at Bryn Mawr College. Shawn is occasionally invited to lecture at universities and festivals about the politics of representation through the lenses of feminist, queer, and racial theories."The Female Fighter Project".

Thursday, February 23, 2012

10 Ways to Improve Competitive Edge --D.Cody Fielding













D. Cody Fielding is a San Francisco based master trainer, strength and conditioning coach, and owner of Empowered Health.  He has done extensive combat sport training and has high level proficiency with regard to combat principles and strategy.  His ability to accurately assess the strengths and weaknesses of individual athletes and provide break-through strength, conditioning and strategy prep is world class.


Here are 10 ways to improve your competitive edge in MMA.  The first five relate to ground game, the second five relate to stand-up. 

Ground Game:

1) Competition creates more stress than rolling/sparing in your own gym. Replicate things in your training that will create similar mental/emotional states as in full competition. For example, use bells for rounds, having coaching from ‘corners’ and a third person as a referee. 

2) Use less tightness/tension overall when grappling. You burn-off critical energy and lose the information you would otherwise be receiving from your opponent's body. 

3) Spend entire training sessions focusing on breathing/use of breath. Most ground-fighters’ breathing is constricted rather than more relaxed. 

4) Sometime drill blind-folded. The key data for winning is not found through your eyes, but through the information you receive from your opponent’s body. You’ll dial into that more with the eyes closed or blindfolded. 

5) Don’t over-train before a competition. A fighter’s body should be rested and healed as much as possible leading into a competition. You can roll lightly (for technique and fluidity) almost anytime, but the really hard work should stop 4-6 days before most competitions.


Stand-Up:

1) Work realistic combinations. A hook (short punch) after a cross, rarely works in an actual match for instance.

2) Be more exact/precise in your targeting. You’re not just punching the head or the body, you’re punching the nose, side of jaw, liver etc. The more accurately you aim the closer to the target you will be.

3) Find a better position for your head and neck. “Head down” does not necessarily mean ‘chin-down’ which is more important/accurate to what is needed. If the chin is up/exposed a whole host of problems arises. Another way to cue this can be “Look out of your eye brows”. If you’re looking out of your eye brows, your chin will be down. Thus your chin/jaw and cervical spine will be in far better position to take blows.

4) Find better ways of connecting with your corner. Most fighters have trouble being able to hear advice from their corner during a bout. Work on ways to better be able to hear this important feedback.

5) Reconsider what your defense is. Your hands being ‘up’ is of course vital. But equally important is that your defense is made up from your movement (be a moving target) and your spinal position. The spine should be slightly “C” curved (to absorb lateral force) with the chin down (as noted above) and you should be executing small movements almost constantly. A moving target is harder to hit AND this tends to allow for ‘glancing’ blows rather than being hit ‘square’ which more often leads to brain reset/knockouts.











D.Cody Fielding may be contacted through  Empowered Health.


Posted by Carey Rockland for OTM SF

Monday, February 20, 2012

Seven Ways To Prevent Grappling Injuries - Magdalina Gofman, MSPT













Magdalina Gofman, MSPT, and brown belt at Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu San Francisco is our primary physical therapist for grappling and MMA related injuries. The following is the first in a series of injury prevention and rehabilitation posts from Magdalina Gofman.

Seven Ways To Prevent Grappling Related Injuries:

1. Listen to your instructor. Make sure you practice safe and correct technique. Jiu-Jitsu movements are designed to be safe and natural for the body. Most of them can be performed with a neutral spine, or in a curled / "crunch" position (as opposed to an hyperextended or twisted spine). Keeping good posture helps use the proper muscles that support your spine, especially when kneeling or standing.

Some other examples of correct technique:

*Illegal grips are guaranteed to break your fingers.

*If you are flexible, don't try to overuse your flexibility to achieve a position. At the end ranges of the flexibility of a muscle, the muscle is not strong. Try to stay in the mid range of your muscle flexibility and use proper technique to line up your body to achieve the technique instead of reaching far with your hips, legs, arms, or twisting the spine.

*Avoid turning your feet out, it will save your knees. When your knees are bent, they should be pointed forward (the direction your pelvis is facing) or outward, never inward with the ankles and feet out. This is especially important when you are transitioning from a kneeling position to a sitting position, which includes going from turtle to guard.

2. Have good flexibility especially in your hamstrings and hips. If you don't have enough motion in your legs/hips, the motion will come from somewhere else, most of the time, your back. Hips are meant to rotate, if your hips don't have enough flexibility in rotation, your spine will over-rotate. If you don't have enough flexibility in your hamstrings to be stacked comfortably, your low back will have to take over and be overstretched.

3. A strong core helps with everything. It connects your lower half to your upper half, it helps you move faster, allowing for more fluid transitions. It helps your balance, again by connecting your upper half and lower half. It helps your body be stronger, so you don't have a missing link in the chain (with a strong upper body and strong lower body). It ensures that no one twists you up...

4. Do a proper warm up, which includes warming up all of your muscles as well as stretching. For example, I make sure I can do a comfortable "Plow pose" (from yoga) before I train. That means I can be comfortable stacked before someone else tries to stack me.

5. Be honest with yourself, don't train when you are too exhausted, or when you are injured. If you do decide to train, it's ok to tell your partner how you feel. We are all at the academy to train with each other, not kill each other. If you are injured, tap early, after all, it's just a game. If you know there is a certain person that is always in competition mode, try to avoid that person when you are injured.

6. Regular yoga practice can be an excellent compliment to your jiu jitsu training, teaching you how to stay calm and breathe smoothly, even in challenging positions, and by keeping you flexible. Weekly yoga practice can reverse all the general tightness and stiffness that jiu jitsu practice generates, thereby making you more fluid, less rigid, faster. Think of it as an investment on your long term training, as opposed to something that takes away from your weekly training schedule.

7. We should keep in mind that we are also responsible for the safety of our training partners and preventing their injuries. At the academy, before winning, comes safety.

Magdalina Gofman, MSPT


Monday, February 13, 2012

D. Cody Fielding of Empowered Health on Competition Prep













D. Cody Fielding is a master trainer, coach and owner of Empowered Health. One of his specializations is fight competition preparation with emphasis on strength, conditioning and mental strategy. We love our technical coaches and the intricacies of our sport, but what Fielding does is different. There are not a lot of guys like him who specialize in the mental game and the specificity of S & C relative to individual physiology and psychological composition in combat sport prep. Fielding has been one of my professional mentors since 2008 and what follows is a brief Q & A overview of some of his work:

What type of competition prep do you do?
All forms of competitive athletics with a specialty in martial arts. boxing, kick-boxing, MMA, grappling, fencing & stick fighting along with surfing, soccer, marathons, triathlons, track & field events, baseball & football.

What principles is your event prep based upon?
What are the specific athletic needs of the event and where is the althlete relative to those needs – I work to close the gap so that the athlete is physiologically as well as mentally & emotionally prepared to beat their competition.

How does preparing to win differ from thorough physical prep?
First, athletes and technical coaches are not per se experts on understanding the ‘energy signatures’ that particular events require. This is where a Strength & Conditioning specialist comes into play. Analyzing the precise muscular and athletic needs is a specialty in itself. Second, rarely is the critical component of the mental game brought into focus. In MANY matches of all types it’s the player with the better mind-set that wins. We fold both of these together and at times can combine that with the tactical needs the coaches are preparing for the fighter in this case.

Why do you feel this type of event prep is important?
Training to win vs. simply training hard is vital because there’s a reason two people are fighting, they are (hopefully) reasonably fairly matched. Thus on any given day, either one can win. So the logical course is to use every tool and means available gain those few percentage of gains that give the best chance for victory.


Fielding may be contacted for consultation by following the contact link on his website, Empowered Health.





Written by Carey Rockland for OTM SF.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Patrick Jernigan on MMA Prep, Noble Iron Fitness and His Upcoming Fight



On Saturday February 11th Patrick Jernigan, Manager of OTM SF and owner of Noble Iron Fitness will be fighting in the Dragon House Cage Fight Series at Kezar Pavilion. I asked him a few questions about his own MMA prep and the work he does to help athletes prepare to fight.

Who are you fighting?
I'm fighting Noe Tellez from K-One Fitness Academy.

What performance objectives have you set for yourself going into this event?
My main performance objective is to get the fight to the ground and stay on top. I like the guard but this fight has two minute rounds and judges don't always understand the guard.


What are the primary components of MMA competition prep for yourself and for the athletes you coach?
Cardio is the number one concern for most MMA fighters. Even at the top level you see guys gassing. In my kettlebell classes I work a lot on mobility, which goes beyond flexibility, in that some people have no idea how to use some of the muscles in their bodies.

How do you structure your training program?
I started training for this fight about six weeks out which is about average. I train six days a week outside of camp so fight training means more no-gi training and MMA specific stuff outside of the BJJ, and Muay Thai stuff that I do. I actually do less kettlebell training leading up to a fight, focusing on cardio and saving strength work for outside of camp.

What type of mental strategy do you focus on when preparing to fight?
Mentally, I try to relax when I'm not training and push the pace when I am training.

How do you dial in your nutrition and what do you do if you need to cut weight?
I cut out beer and ice cream leading up to a fight. I never really eat junk food anyway.

What do you do for your own strength and conditioning, and for the athletes you coach?

The main thing I do besides BJJ, and Muay Thai is kettlebells. Outside of camp I do presses and squats. During camp it's swings and turkish get ups. Nothing fancy. There's a lot of mobility work that I incorporate into my classes that I do before and after BJJ.

Check out this short video on Kettlebell lifting for MMA from Noble Iron Fitness:

video


written by Carey Rockland for OTM SF