Monthly Archives: September 2011
Monthly Archives: September 2011
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.
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.
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!