Monthly Archives: September 2011

September 24, 2011

Most Needed Attributes to Excel in Martial Arts

A student recently asked what is considered the best attributes to have in order to excel in Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Most likely the student was expecting the answer to be, flexibility, athleticisms, or maybe strength. The student raised an eyebrow when the answer was given; efficiency, patience, and control.

At Scranton MMA Gracie Jiu-Jitsu transcends the application of chokes, locks, pins, throws, and strikes. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is a way of life. Beyond the academy, members are encouraged to live balanced, healthy lives based on the same philosophy that governs Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Grand Masters Carlos and Helio Gracie believed that the principles of efficiency, patience, and control held the key to success in all aspects of life.

Efficiency, the ability to achieve maximum results with minimum efforts, is a core principle of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. During training at the academy, we always assume that your opponent will be larger and more athletic than you. Students quickly learn that the only way to succeed is to exhaust your opponent while conserving your own energy. This of course is accomplished through the use of leverage-based techniques and natural body movements. In life, as in a fight, a student who learns to expend energy efficiently will achieve maximum results with minimal effort. For example; eating healthily, being an honest/respectful person, being a hardworking/morally correct being. All of these are examples of ways to achieve maximum results with minimum effort.

Patience is often another key to success in a fight against a bigger opponent. Usually, it is not the person who attacks most often, but the one who exhausts the least that emerges victorious. Acting impulsively, aggressively, or without purpose wastes energy. Patience also applies to your timing; even a perfectly executed technique will fail if attempted at the wrong moment. In life patience and timing enable you to “make your own luck” by calmly watching and waiting until the right moment when you can apply your energy most efficiently. Be patient with your friends and family, be patient with your enemies, allow impulses to pass before acting, consider all outcomes before committing. Patience and timing allow you to know when to commit while efficiency ensures that you have sufficient energy to achieve your objective when the time is right.

Control, the final objective in a fight is to impose your will on your opponent. Nothing achieves this more quickly than physical domination after which surrender usually follows. Physical domination means controlling your opponent. Without control, you risk losing. In life, control applies not only to a simple contest between you and an opponent, but also to the conflict within yourself. Self-control reflects your personal discipline and is the foundation for every decision you make in life. Without self-control, you risk a lifetime of poor choices that invariably lead to tragic consequences. Refrain from using drugs or alcohol, choose nutritious food over junk food, have the discipline to exercise and rest.

Remembering these attributes will make your journey through the martial arts a far more enjoyable experience while having the added benefit of making your journey through life a far more enjoyable one! See you on the mats!


September 21, 2011

Scranton Mixed Martial Arts East coast Judo Championship recap

As a new chapter of Scranton MMA’s Judo competition season began, the final chapter in a major part of East coast Judo history was written. The 45th and final East coast judo championships were held this past weekend in Newark, New Jersey.  Always known for being a hard hitting, no nonsense tournament, The East coast championships have showcased not only the best talent from New York and New jersey, but from around the country as well.

The tough level of competition was best illustrated by Scranton MMA’s Lee Loewinger  who, competing  in a 12 man green belt division, went 3-2, had one of the fastest victories on the day, and yet finished in fourth place  because of the large quantity of competitors in his division.  Lack of medal aside, his coaches were  very pleased with his performance ”This was Lee’s first major tournament outside of the dojo/academy setting and he proved himself  more than capable of competing with the toughest up and coming competition out there “ Said Head judo Instructor Tom McGuire  “This was a great beginning for him”

Writing a sort of new beginning for herself was Bev Koss who, competing  with Scranton MMA for the first Time, displayed a new confidence and new set of techniques  defeating  two out of three of her opponents using new groundwork techniques she learned at the academy on her way to going 2-1 and earning a second place finish in the women’s Masters category.

Also finding success in the Masters category was head jiu-jitsu instructor Jeff Reese. After having a little difficulty in the senior division, Jeff, undaunted, jumped into the men’s masters category  and battled his way to a third place finish executing well timed throws as well as  powerful matwork. Proving the old adage to be true “it’s not how you start, it’s how  you finish”

Day two of the East Coast featured smaller competitors but just as big of fight as the kids took Center stage on Sunday. The day opened with three of Scranton MMA’s youngest members taking to the middle of the Mat as Nathan and Braden Reuther as well as Jake Leslie competed in the boys 4-6 year old division.

Despite their young age, each competitor demonstrated technical skill well beyond their years with Nathan finishing 2-1 and claiming a second place finish, Jake  battling to a 1-2 record but by all accounts having  one of the best  matches of day and Nathan, despite going 0-2, fighting his heart out till the very end.   Scranton MMA’s asst instructor Matt Marcinek was very impressed with his youngest students performances on the day

“How great were they?!” Marcinek asked with a smile I couldn’t ask for a better showing from my little guys, this was Jakey’s (Leslie’s) second ever tournament and he fought like he’s been doing this forever and the twins? (Braden and Nathan) for their first tournament?  Just awesome”.

Part of the reason that the younger kids do so well is that they have the ability to practice with a host of very talented older students at Scranton MMA who also showcased their talents on Sunday.

Jake’s older brother Matt Leslie, a very season competitor, slammed his way to a gold medal in the 8 and 9 year old division while Gavin Williams aggressive, take charge style netted him a bronze in the same division.

Cole Wendolowski, competing  in his first tournament ran into a very tough competitor and while he fought a very sound technical game, came up just short going 0-2  but regardless of medals  one thing is very sure with such talented kids and adults Scranton MMA’s future is extremely bright.

September 16, 2011

Scranton Mixed Martial Arts Weekend Schedule for 9/17/11

Just a reminder that this weekend, 9/17 and 9/18 is the 45th Annual East Coast Invitational Championship to be held in Newark, New Jersey. Scranton MMA instructors and students alike will be journeying to Newark to compete this weekend. Therefore this weekend’s schedule will be as follows:

9am Children’s Class as normally scheduled

10am Foundations Class – open mat practice under supervision of Tyler Calvey and Frank Alogna

1130am Judo Class – open mat practice under supervision of attending black belts

Also remember that Saturday is the Fight Gone Bad Fundraiser event hosted at Keystone CrossFit! If you are not competing this weekend in New Jersey it’s not too late to register for this cool event. See Tim Muenkel to register.

September 14, 2011

Benefits of Martial Arts Training

A prospective student often asks, “what are the benefits of training?” A generic answer at this juncture of the conversation of course would suffice the inquiry, however there is nothing generic about Scranton MMA or the way we feel about martial arts training. In truth, the benefits will vary from individual to individual so we asked Scranton MMA instructor Jeff Reese to relate some of his personal experience with regards to training in the martial arts.

“I’d like to start by saying I am no martial arts expert, and while I am of course bias and feel Gracie Jiu Jitsu is the most complete martial art on the planet, I believe the pursuit of any martial art is a worthwhile endeavor. With regards to the question at hand, the benefits for me have been life changing! Let me begin with how I got my start in the martial arts and then relate the benefits.

“My first introduction to the martial arts came at the age of six with wrestling. While most people don’t associate wrestling as a martial art it certainly fits the criteria. Of course back then I didn’t view it as martial training, it was just fun. I enjoyed training for the sake of training. That always stuck with me.

“Fast forward a couple decades to my sophomore year at college. I was caught up in the party scene and had dismissed wrestling as a childhood memory. I remember that semester watching UFC I, the ultimate test of martial art style versus martial art style. I saw Royce Gracie enter the octagon for the first time and thought to myself ‘Oh man, this kid is gonna get killed. We are about to witness the first televised death!“ Of course I was wrong and like the rest of the world shocked at the ease with which Royce defeated every opponent by using Gracie Jiu Jitsu. During the remainder of my time in college I got grossly out of shape and UFC 2, 3, 4, and 5 aired with this skinny Brazilian repeating his performance over and over!

“Post college I returned to Scranton, PA and while flipping through the yellow pages for a restaurant from which to order myself one meal closer to an early grave I hit the M’s and martial arts training and here was this tiny add that leapt off the page reading ‘Learn Gracie Jiu Jitsu”. My first thought was ‘no way’ but intrigued I called the number. Turns out 2 local brothers were friends with Royce and had been training with him for a few years. They told me I was welcome to come by, meet Royce, and train. I was blown away when 72 hours later I met Royce Gracie and had my first lesson!

“I trained for a few months and immediately started to see the benefits of this training. Mostly in my waistline; I was 199 pounds the day I first stepped onto the jiu jitsu mats. I wrestled my senior year of school at 135 pounds! Weight loss, discipline, a happier demeanor, confidence, flexibility, and so many more intangibles. After my first six months I was hooked, and let me preface this next comment by saying I do not recommend this course of action to anyone, took a drastic measure to be able to train more and more. I quit my job and began traveling to seminars all over the east coast. My poor parents nearly had strokes! Thank God it worked out for the best and now Scranton MMA is what it is today!?

“My journey into Gracie Jiu Jitsu rekindle my love of wrestling and I was able to begin training that anew. In addition, at the nudging of Royce I also began to study Judo. The three arts truly rounded out my over all martial arts experience. Now in 2011 I have the experience of over 30 years of wrestling and have earned my brown belt in both Gracie Jiu Jitsu and Judo.

“For me the martial arts are about discipline, community, training your mind, and strengthening your body. This isn’t my lifestyle it’s my life. Wrestling is my flesh and organs, Judo my bones, and Gracie Jiu Jitsu my soul.

“Your martial art training will vary greatly depending on what arts you choose but no matter your path it’s incredibly easy to start. What stops most people is intimidation. If you’re like me, you will be afraid in the beginning, but once you get past that first heart pounding hump, you’ll be glad you did. Realize for yourself just some of the benefits that I’ve realized: friends, humility, discipline, confidence, coordination, and so much more”

Jeff’s journey is of course only one of millions world wide, become part of the martial arts movement and benefit for yourself from the experience. See you on the mats!

1 2 3 4