Absolute MMA and Murray Boys & Girls Club Hold Anti-bullying Event


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Murray Boys & Girls club held an anti-bullying event on February 22nd. Terra Bueno, Director of the Murray Club, invited Professor Pedro Sierra of Absolute MMA to her facility. Professor Pedro had just completed two appearances at Monte Vista Elementary … Continue reading

Your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class.

So you’re going to your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class and you don’t know what to expect. That’s not uncommon, it’s new, it’s unfamiliar, it’s to be expected that you won’t know what to expect. We’re going to talk about a few things that, hopefully, will set your mind at ease.

Let’s talk a little about your motivations for going to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class in the first place. There are many reasons a person decides to take up BJJ. There are those of us who are looking for an unconventional (and highly effective) way to get or stay in shape. Maybe we live in a rough part of town and want to learn to defend ourselves. Perhaps you have the hopes and aspirations of being a cage fighter. There are many reasons and all are valid. There’s one underlying goal which ties them all together: Learning. We’re all there to learn. It should be our priority and if you ask anyone who’s practiced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for any length of time, they’ll tell you it’s inevitable. You WILL learn regardless of whether you’re in the right mind-set or not. But it’s important, to get the most out of your experience, to be in the right mind-set.

You’ve made your way to the gym, it’s your first day, you have your Gi on… or maybe you don’t, that’s okay. Someone has shown you how to tie your belt and class is about to start. (If the students have not already introduced themselves to you, introduce yourself to them. They don’t bite). You get through the warm-ups, you’re already starting to sweat; breathe heavily and are wondering if you’re going to be able to make it.

“How do these guys bend their bodies this way? Did that guy just do a somersault??? I’ve never moved my body this way in my life! Who knew my head was this heavy?!”

The instructor begins to teach the technique(s) for the day. The instructor, in most cases, is a professor of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; a black belt. In some cases the instructor may be a lower ranking belt designated by the Professor to teach for the day. In other cases a lower-than-black-belt instructor is all that’s available in the area. That’s okay, too. They will more than likely be able to teach you quite a bit. The instructor will demonstrate a few techniques and allow each of the students to practice them on each other in break-out sessions. They will bring the group back together occasionally adding details and perfecting the movements to complete the techniques. They will also be available to answer questions in-between instruction. Don’t be afraid to ask.

“What is an armbar? D’arce? Guillotine? Triangle Choke? Wait… Choke? No one said anything about chokes… I didn’t sign up for this!”

After the instructor… well… instructs, it’s time to put into practice what you know. (If this is your first class, then it is very little, if any. Which is okay). We call this “rolling”. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is unique in that we can practice our sport with 100% resistance from our opponent with a reasonable expectation of not getting hurt. Which is unlike boxing, or other striking arts where if you sparred with your partner at 100% someone is going to end up getting hurt. In a lot of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools, beginners don’t take part in “rolling” on their first day. A lot of times, they don’t even roll until they’ve learned the basics: Guard, Mount, Half-Guard, Back-mount, Side-mount, Half-mount; basic grips, holds, movements; submission defenses, etc.. It is always up to you to decide when you’re ready to jump in during rolling time. Don’t be afraid jump in and get going but don’t hesitate to say: “I’m not quite ready” if you don’t feel quite up to it.

First and foremost: Your training partners are not trying to hurt you. They’re there to learn just as much as you’re there to learn. If you do feel like your partner is trying to hurt you, tell someone. It’s likely they’re newer to the sport as well, and don’t realize they’re being potentially harmful. Your safety is important and you have the right to request a different, more experienced partner to train with if you feel your safety is at risk. Conversely, you are not there to hurt your partner either. It’s important to remember, especially when training with a more experienced partner, that they’re going to match your speed/intensity/strength/etc.. That is to say: they’re going to go just as hard as you… or just as light. If they feel that you’re trying to hurt them, they’re going to do something to prevent that and it will more than likely not end in your favor… which leads me to my next point.

You are going to get submitted. You will tap. You will say “uncle”. This is not a bad thing. It is, in fact, a good thing. You and your training partner are each working on different parts of your respective games. In this case your partner is working on their submissions and you are working on recognizing the submission and tapping early. Tapping early to inform your partner that the hold/lock/choke/etc. has been applied effectively and that you’re “submitting”. That’s right: Tapping. Early. Don’t try to see how long you can hold out before tapping. As soon as you recognize you may be in trouble, tap. Tap your hand, at least twice, on your partner’s body (anywhere). If you’re unable to move your hands, say: “tap” loud enough for your partner to hear. Sometimes we have to use our feet to tap, but those are rare cases. Tapping is something we should do a lot of and, as I said earlier, a good thing. Try to see every tap as an opportunity to learn. Learning happens on both ends: your partner learns what is and isn’t an effective way to apply that submission and you learn how to recognize the submission in order to avoid it next time. Whatever you take away from each tap is up to you. Whether it be “I’m not going to get submitted that way again”, or “What did I let happen in order for that submission to be applied?”. Take these questions to your instructor, ask that your partner repeat what just happened and break it down for you, then ask how you could have prevented it. What you take away from it will depend heavily on your mental attitude. “Man, I SUCK!”, “I can’t believe this LITTLE GUY is submitting me AGAIN”, or “I lift weights, I should be able to SMASH this guy!” will more than likely hinder your progress toward preventing it from happening again and learning Jiu Jitsu in general. That being said, if you are ever uncomfortable for any reason, tap. If you can’t breathe, tap. If you feel like you’re going to vomit, tap. If you’re panicking for any reason whatsoever, tap. Our training partners have been conditioned to stop whatever they’re doing and give us space to recover when they feel someone tap on them. There’s no wrong reason to tap.

Breathe! This cannot be emphasized enough. We need oxygen for our minds and muscles to work properly. If you’re not getting enough (because you’re holding your breath) then neither of the two will be working right. It’s easier said than done, we know. Try to be mindful of when you’re grunting and holding your breath when exerting yourself. It happens a lot when we try to push someone off of us or try an explosive move. We hold our breath and strain against whatever it is we’re trying to move (ourselves, someone else… or both!). Holding our breath while exerting ourselves can cause injury, let alone makes it significantly more difficult to accomplish the movement we’re attempting. Everyone who has never grappled, or doesn’t continue to grapple on a regular basis is out of shape for BJJ. There’s no two ways about it. You cannot be in shape for your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class before you get to your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. Expect to wear yourself out and prepare for it. You will sweat a LOT, especially if you’re wearing a Gi. Bring water. Drink water all day leading up to class. Be hydrated beforehand so you don’t have to worry about it while you’re in class. Sip water if you need to, to maintain your hydration, but you should already be hydrated by the time you get there.

While all of this is happening, while you’re sweating and breathing heavy, while you’re tapping and getting smashed, tossed, rolled-up, flipped and flopped, learning and having fun is of paramount importance. I’ve heard a Grand Master say: “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong”. Have fun and learn. All the while accomplishing the goal you set out to attain. Whatever it may be.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a very dynamic and effective martial art, with some potentially harmful locks and holds. When practiced in a controlled and constructive environment it is 100% safe and can be applied without injury. Now, that’s not to say that accidents don’t happen. You run the risk of stubbing your toe every time you get up in the middle of the night for a glass of water. Understanding these risks is key to preventing them. Application of the things mentioned in this post can minimize risk, but that’s not to say there aren’t more things we can do to ensure our safety and the safety of our training partners. Use your head for more than just keeping your ears apart.

So, let’s recap:
No one is trying to hurt you. Don’t try to hurt them.
You will get submitted. Tap. Early.
Ask questions.
Drink water.
Have fun :)
Most importantly: Learn!!!

Once you get past your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class, these things will get easier. Just take it one class at a time.

Jiu Jitsu Progression

Jiu Jitsu Progression by Justin Mitterling

Much like in life, everyone progresses in jiu jitsu at different speeds. I have found that when training it is most beneficial to be goal oriented, this will enable you to measure yourself, so to speak, when training. For example: when I roll with my trainers I pretty much know that I’m going to tap to them, odds are that they will probably tap me several times within the round. So to measure myself I  say: “ok, they may arm lock me but I will defend the choke with everything I have”. This doesn’t mean I will give up the arm lock intentionally it simply means that choke defense is my number one priority. I find that I get less frustrated when I set little goals like this for myself. Even if I do get choked its certainly not the end of the world, I just work harder the rest of the round to defend my neck. Obviously your goals will vary depending on your jiu jitsu skill level and that of your training partner. As a relatively new jiu jitsu blue belt I often have goals to simply defend attacks from my more skilled training partners. When I roll with someone at or below my skill level my goals change to perhaps passing guard, attaining the mount position and submitting with a specific  submission. Being a very goal oriented person in general I find this is an effective remedy for the many frustrations that come with training in the gentle art (jiu jitsu). This may not work for everyone and really everyone has to find things that may work just for them.
Progression then within the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can only truly be accurate when you measure yourself and do not compare yourself to others. It is important to remember that everyone around you who trains regularly is improving as well. So measuring yourself against them really isn’t an accurate measure of your progress. It is like standing on an escalator 5 steps behind someone. If neither of you move, you will never catch up to them while on that escalator.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is so dynamic that people may progress in spurts in some areas and then flatline in other areas (at least this is the case with me). The key I believe to working through those tough times is simply consistency and patience with yourself. In addition I don’t think it is a bad idea  to take some time off the mats either (you can have to much of a good thing)  If you have a really rough training session and your feeling burned out take a few days or a week off. I find that this clears my mind and when I come back I am excited and ready to learn.

Maintaining that learning attitude is crucial in this sport. There really is no room for ego on in jiu jitsu. One experience I will never forget was when Grandmaster Flavio Behring (ninth degree red belt)was in town for a seminar and demonstrating a specific technique he turned to one of our trainers Pedro and said “you specialize in this type of sweep” to which  Pedro responded “no sir, I specialize in learning” (this coming from a 2nd degree black belt). If someone as skilled as Pedro can maintain such as an attitude it should be a breeze for the rest of us. Well now that I have rambled completely off topic I will end this post. I “progressed” from talking about progression to maintaining a humble attitude :)

Justin is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt under Rob Handley at Absolute MMA in Utah. He maintains his blog at http://jiujitsu17.blogspot.com

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion to Teach at Absolute MMA

We just got word! Marcio Corleta, 4th degree black belt under Grand Master Flavio Behring, multiple time Mundial and Pan Am Champion and former Jiu Jitsu coach to Mirko Cro Cop, will be here this week! Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm he will be teaching Absolute MMA members Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques that he has perfected over many years of practice. The price is $50.00 for both days of instruction, Tuesday and Wednesday. This is a rare opportunity to train with a champion and competitor of this caliber. Marcio always gives from his experience and doesn’t hold back his knowledge. Don’t miss this chance to improve your Jiu Jitsu with a multiple time champion of the highest order!

Absolute MMA Doiminates MMA Fights with Jiu Jitsu!

Absolute MMA victory! Showdown Fights: Evolution proved to be a showcase for Absolute MMA fighters. Two of three fighters came home with a victory and all put on a good show.

William DaBell was the second fight of the evening. This was his debut fight in mixed martial arts. William was a bit nervous in the locker room but warmed up well and had a look of determination in his eye as he walked out to meet his opponent. The fight started out with each fighter looking for openings with jabs and crosses. William’s opponent took a shot and got a big double leg takedown but William popped right back to his feet, defended a guillotine choke and the fighters exchanges punches. The two circled a bit with jabs and body blows being exchanged. William was put up against the cage and after some good takedown defense, got lifted and driven to his back. The round ended with William covering against the last 10 seconds of punches form his opponent.

Round two opened with punches, William taking some to the head and a few uppercuts until he clinched and the two ended up on the ground with William in his opponent’s guard. William stood to pass the guard and got tripped up as his opponent grabbed both ankles to take him down. The position reversed, William defended punches and then applied Behring Jiu Jitsu self defense to finish the fight! As his opponent drove forward, forearm in his throat, William passed the arm to one side and applied an arm triangle. His opponent, busy defending the choke, could do nothing as William moved his hips out to the side until he had enough leverage to reverse the position and secure his victory in the mount, forcing his opponent to tap. Round two win via arm triangle! Congratulations, William!

Eduardo Rivera was fight number three on this card. Edurado fought a much taller opponent. Eduardo came out swinging and landed some early shots, pushing his opponent up against the cage. The two separated and clashed a few more times, each time Eduardo would land a few head shots. His opponent turned the tide quickly, however. Keeping Eduardo at distance he started to fire off punches which Eduardo was unable to respond to. Adding leg kicks to the barrage seemed to disorient Eduardo and he clinched with a body lock and went to the back to avoid damage. His opponent locked in a Kimura and took Eduardo to the ground. As Eduardo avoided the shoulder lock he fell into a straight arm lock which his opponent finished belly down, preventing Eduardo form anything but a tap to end the fight.

Denver Merrifield-Nirva came into this fight with a 3-1 record. His last fight was a loss and he was looking to get back on the winning side of things. Denver’s opponent had a 5-6 record and was looking to do the same. First round the two touched gloves and circled. Denver’s opponent threw a few punches with bad intention but didn’t land. The two clashed while standing a few times with both landing some hard crosses and hooks. Denver ended up eating a hook which knocked him off balance and forced him to put a hand on the ground to keep his feet. He was rushed but sprawled beautifully and forced the clinch as he put the other fighter into the fence. A few strikes and some knees later, Denver controlled his opponent’s legs and took him down, right up against the fence. His opponent scrambles and Denver takes his back, pulling him backwards. There is another scramble and the two get back to their feet, throwing punches as they separate. Denver catches a hard left on his forearm as he blocks and circles away. The next time the two go for punches, Denver drops his level and executes a beautiful double leg takedown. Denver’s opponent looks to roll and escape but ends up on knees and elbows eating punches under his arm to the face and to the side of the head. He takes a couple big shots as Denver passes his guard, rolls again and catches Denver in his half guard and eventually full guard. Denver wants none of it and stands up to throw punches with ill intent. Forced to defend against the barrage of strikes, the other fighter rolls again. This time Denver maintains top position as he continues to deliver devastating punches which force more movement from his adversary. Denver flows through side mount, knee on back, knee on stomach, half mount, back and mount again as his opponent desperately tries to get away from the constant hammering of elbow and fists. Denver sticks him in side mount, bouncing elbows off his head and sets up an arm bar. His opponent defends by grabbing two hands together and gets rewarded for his efforts with a crushing hammer fist to the face. Denver places the leg back over his opponents head and finished the arm bar with little trouble to secure a second round victory! Congratulations Denver!

We are proud of all our fighters! Congratulations on a great night!

Jiu Jitsu was the finishing factor in all Team Absolute fights that night but Muay Thai played an important role as did Wrestling.! Come train at Absolute MMA for all your MMA needs.


Grand Master Flavio Behring Seminar in August!

Grand Master Flavio Behring is coming to Utah! Absolute MMA will be hosting a seminar by Grand Master (GM) Flavio on August 6th. This will be a gathering of all Flavio Behring Jiu Jitsu schools in the United States bringing students and instructors from Arizona, California, Montana and Utah.

There will, of course, be instruction from GM Flavio, one of the leading experts on the planet in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. GM Flavio always provides details and specifics about all of the techniques he shares as anyone can attest to that has participated in one of his seminars. GM Flavio is an open and giving teacher and will share his wealth of knowledge with a first week beginner the same as he would a twenty year veteran practitioner of the art.

Promotions are always a part of the excitement at GM Flavio’s seminars. We all get to share in the pride and accomplishment of our teammates. It’s a great feeling to be a part of each other’s success, knowing that we all rely on each other to improve. Their improvement is a direct result of working with each and every one of us. It is also prestigious to be promoted by one of the few Red Belt Grand Masters in the world. Bragging rights and authenticity insured.

Absolute MMA invites all who want to gain skill and be a part of a great experience to sign up for this fantastic event. Call (801) 255-1166 for details or stop by the gym at 7800 South 1338 West in West Jordan, Utah. Don’t miss meeting and working with a Jiu Jitsu Legend.

Far East Fit Tournament Results!

Far East Fit Tournament Results

Adult Divisions!
Light Weight Adv
Denver Merrifield-Nirva 1st
Lance Gorman 2nd
Welter Weight Beg
Dan DeCort 1st
Colton Kynaston 2nd
Aaron Upwall 3rd
Welter Weight Inter
Gavin Allyn 1st
Welter Weight Adv
Chris Kennedy 1st
Steven Sharp 2nd
Middle Weight Inter
Pedro Escalante 1st
Michael Sjodin 2nd
Thanks to everyone who made it out!

Gannon 1st Place
Tommy 2nd Place
Under 18 Beginning Bantam Weight
Jake White 1st Place
Dakota Zucker 2nd Place
Under 18 Welterweight
Aaron Thomson 1st Place
Austen Symes 2nd Place
Under 18 Intermediate Light Heavyweight
Samuel West Thomson

Tournament Footage of Pedro Escalante.

This is a clip of Pedro Escalante competing at a tournament we participated in on April 30th. We had a great time, won more than we lost and met some great people. The competitors from the other schools showed great sportsmanship and technique.