They say no one has invented a time machine, but while watching the UFC 118 in Boston, I was hard-pressed to believe it. I say this because when that old question, “Can a boxer beat a mixed martial artist?” reared its ugly head again courtesy of the co-main event, it felt like I’d traveled into the past by exactly 117 UFCs. After all the hubbub, mixed martial arts legend Randy Couture choked out boxer James Toney in three minutes 19 seconds. Certainly, UFC president Dana White seemed to be experiencing a bit of temporal distortion. “I thought we answered this question back in 1993,” he said. It was answered to the satisfaction of everyone except James Toney, who lobbied Dana White for the better part of a year to let him compete. When Dana White relented—despite years of actively resisting the sideshow appeal of the early UFCs—and matched him with former heavyweight champ Randy Couture, James Toney’s pre-fight hype shifted from surly to obnoxious. Describing the bout as a contest between boxing and MMA, James Toney insisted he’d single-handedly bring boxing back to the forefront of combat sports by easily knocking out Randy Couture. As the current International Boxing Association heavyweight champ, James Toney did come into the match as the most accomplished boxer to ever set foot inside the octagon. He’s won numerous titles in his 22-year career, but that statistic belies the fact that his best days were nearly 20 years ago when he fought at 160 pounds, not the pudgy 237 pounds he slimmed down to for his MMA debut. Of course, Randy Couture, 47, has likewise seen better days, but such details were lost on the public as James Toney cast himself as the UFCs biggest villain and ignited an interest that took many by surprise. Sean Smyth of WBZ-FM said the hype surrounding the UFC’s Boston debut, and especially the Couture-Toney bout, caught some at his station flat-footed. When it became apparent that this was a must-see event, they quickly set up a live 90-minute pre-fight broadcast from the arena. White, a Boston native, said the reception for the UFC in his hometown exceeded all expectations. Besides the Couture-Toney “fight,” he loaded the card with local favorites, including Joe Lauzon, who garnered submission-of-the-night honors by quickly armbarring Gabe Ruediger, and Kenny Florian, who came up short in his bout with Gray Maynard, losing a unanimous decision. The main event was actually a rematch between lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and former titleholder B.J. Penn. Although Frankie Edgar silenced his critics by winning a lopsided decision and making B.J. Penn look old, the Couture-Toney matchup was what had the sellout crowd of more than 14,000 buzzing. Randy Couture entered to a standing ovation, and no one sat back down during the fight, which was less a legitimate MMA contest than a chance for a grappler to school an untrained opponent. Immediately, Randy Couture shot in for an easy single-leg takedown and put James Toney on his back, where he was helpless. “I had to dust off the low single from college,” said the former All-American wrestler, explaining that the more customary double-leg takedown would’ve necessitated a closer approach, putting him inside James Toney’s reach. “I had no illusions about trading punches. You don’t see the low single much in MMA because you have to start from farther away, and a good grappler will just step out of it.” Fortunately for Randy Couture, James Toney was not a good grappler. Despite claims that he’d trained for months to stifle his opponent’s ground game, once he hit the mat, James Toney resembled nothing so much as those strikers from the first UFCs who’d never been downed before. Randy Couture quickly got a full mount and began pounding James Toney, whose only answer was to swat from the bottom, a strategy that was largely discredited 17 years ago. Couture finally secured a side choke along the fence, prompting James Toney to stall with his beefy arms. “The Natural” hit him a couple of times, then flattened him out on the ground. As the raucous crowd chanted, “UFC!” Couture reapplied the side choke, forcing his foe to submit. When asked later whether he’d take on James Toney in a boxing match, Randy Couture responded, “I would respectfully decline such an offer.” Always the gentleman, Randy Couture said that he respected boxing and that a good boxer could make the adjustment to MMA—as he’d done from wrestling—if he put in the time to learn the game. He also pointed out that he’d probably do as well in a boxing match against Toney as Toney had in MMA against him, reiterating that MMA and boxing are two different sports. So who really is better, a boxer or a mixed martial artist? The answer is the same one we came up with 17 years ago. A boxer is better at boxing and a mixed martial artist is better at MMA. We really didn’t need a time machine to tell us that. (Mark Jacobs is a freelance writer and martial artist based in New York.)
Black Belt: How did you end up playing the lead in this film?
Gillian White: You know, I was offered the role. The producer and the director contacted me and said, "We got a script for you. We think you'd be great for it. Let us know what you think." As soon as they told me what it was about, I knew I wanted to do it. Coming in and being able to showcase my martial arts skills and fight skills has been awesome. I always wanted to do action. I got a little bit of it playing Amoria on Xena: Warrior Princess. I mean, it's absolutely exciting. I did choose to have a stunt double, but the actual fighting is me.
Black Belt: Who choreographed the fights for Take Back?
Gillian: Mainly, my husband. We also had our stunt coordinator Arnold Chon, who does a lot of stuff in the film. He has trained a lot of MMA fighters in Bellator and the UFC. And we [had] stunt choreographer and director Larnell Stovall (Captain America: Civil War).
Black Belt: This role had to be physically demanding — you were very convincing!
Gillian: I don't want to look like I'm acting or I'm reading lines. I want you to feel me in the moment, in my tears and my happiness or whatever I'm trying to portray at the moment — so believable, so genuine that it just makes you want to cheer for my character. To make it look effortless, to expend energy at that level, [I have] to simultaneously be dramatic, be funny and sensitive, be someone that the audience can relate to. As an actress, I never want to come across on the screen as I'm "acting."
Black Belt: You have fast reflexes, very strong kicks and jumps, upper-body strength and tremendous athleticism. How do you stay so fine-tuned?
Gillian: Because I was an athlete, I am physically in the best shape of my life. I make smarter choices in my diet and how I take care of my body and the things I put in it. I'm very aware, and it's very important to me. Yeah, I keep on my diet, staying in shape training with my husband, not drinking or smoking, not doing anything that I know is gonna affect my body in a negative way.
Black Belt: Besides screen time, what are some of the differences between your roles in Take Back and last year's Welcome to Sudden Death?
Gillian: In Sudden Death, there was only one scene where I got to fight. It was so much fun, but it gave me that little bug of "Oh, I like this! I can do this!" [It was] not as hard as I thought it would be, you know, being able to fight and do choreography and still staying in character. I was thinking that it doesn't matter if it's a small role. It doesn't matter if I die. It was a moment like I got to be badass crazy! (laughs)
Black Belt: You've obviously made quite an impression. Welcome to Sudden Death has garnered great reviews. What kind of feedback are you getting?
Gillian: You know, I've had men tell me that they're going to put their daughters in self-defense and martial arts. Some guy told me his daughter's 15 and that he can't wait to take her and her friends to go see this movie — so just a lot of positive responses. And that is what it all boils down to for me. I just love inspiring people.
Black Belt: When will your fans get to see more of your martial arts skills on-screen?
Gillian: I'm playing an MMA fighter in a new prime-time television pilot, but I can't talk about it just yet. And I just finished a drama called Love You Anyway where I play the mother of a woman battling her whole life with mental-health issues and depression. It's very important to me to have a range of characters.
Black Belt: You are breaking new ground in Take Back. What do you want to say to the girls and women who see it?
Gillian: I want to say [that] I started learning martial arts late in life — and look at what I'm doing and look where I'm at now! So at a younger age, the possibilities are endless. If it's something that you want to do and you work hard and put in that dedication and time, you can do it!
Black Belt: Congratulations, Gillian. We look forward to seeing your work inspire a new generation of women in the martial arts.
Gillian: Thank you.
For more information about Black Belt Hall of Famer Gerry Chisolm, visit ladysensei.com.
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Carlos Gracie knew balance was crucial not just physically but mentally, emotionally, and nutritionally. He knew that what happened in life outside the dojo affected your jujitsu in the dojo. And that any imbalance leads to poor performance and an unhealthy life. If you read some of Sr, Gracie's quotes, you will grasp the idea much better. For example, Carlos said, "Apply the largest amount of your time on self-improvement and not time criticizing others. Hold a good opinion about yourself and communicate that to the world, but not through dissonant words but through good works. There is no losing in jujitsu – you either win or you learn."
However, one of the most significant things about Gracie jujitsu, in particular, is the Gracie Diet developed by Sr. Carlos Gracie. The diet's central concept revolves around balance. The sole primary purpose is to maintain the pH balance of your meals as neutral as possible. This is essential for proper assimilation and digestion of nutrients. And to do this, each meal must have a combination of balanced nutrients from different types of food to optimize energy and live well. Furthermore, the food you eat cannot poison your body.
How It Works
First, you must choose your meals and what to eat. For example, if you are going to eat fruit, you need to eat enough fruit until your next meal. Three hours is the minimum and five is the maximum time before you can eat again. The concept of time is essential for your body to fully digest the meal before the next to prevent combining foods. For example, if you eat a starch for lunch and you are hungry in one hour, and you eat acidic fruit, according to the diet, this is not healthy. You can only eat when your stomach is emptied.
Gracie Diet Menu
The menu is from https://graciebarra.com/eating-well-2/gracie-diet/
Group A- Vegetables and Greens / Meats and Seafood / Fats and Oily Foods
Group A can be combined with each other and only with one from Group B.
Vegetables and Greens
Arugula, asparagus, basil, bay leaves, red beets, bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, fresh corn, cucumbers, eggplant, beans, garlic, ginger, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onions, oregano, parsley, fresh peas, hearts of palm, pumpkin, radish, red cabbage, cabbage, spinach, soy, turnips, sweet tomatoes, and watercress.
Fats and Oily Foods
Avocados, almonds, butter, Brazilian nuts, cashews, dried coconut, all fats in general, melted cheese, all nuts in general, olives, olive oil, peanut, pine nuts, sesame seeds, and wheat germ.
Meats and Seafood
Chicken, crab, crawfish, eggs, fish, fish eggs, lobster, mussels, octopus, oysters, red meat, shellfish, shrimp, and squid.
Group B- Starches
Do not combine starches with each other.
Barley, breadfruit, cereals, chestnuts, corn flour, beans, dry corn, dry soy, lentils, oats, potatoes, quinoa, rice, rye, sweet potatoes, wheat, and yams.
Group C- Sweet fruits and Foods and Fresh and Creamy Cheeses
You can combine any foods in Group C with each other and only with one from Group B. The Group B food must not have fat like butter and oil to be combined with Group C.
Sweet Fruit and Food- Fresh and Creamy Cheeses
Red apples, acai, dried bananas, fresh cheese, coconuts, cottage cheese, cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, dates, figs, sweet grapes, guava, honey, melons, papaya, pears, persimmons, prunes, raisins, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, sugar cane, syrup or juice with sugars, watermelon, all sweet fresh fruits, teas, peel of orange or lemon, black tea, mate tea, cider, chamomile, and various herbs.
Group D- Acidic Fruits
Do not combine these foods with any other groups or foods.
Green apples, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cider, currents, grapes, grapefruit, kiwis, lemons, lime, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, pomegranate, raspberry, strawberries, tangerines, tomatoes, or any acidic fruit.
Group E- Bananas
You can combine bananas with red apples, fresh cheese, fresh cream, fresh figs, sweet grapes, melons, milk, papaya, pears, plums, watermelon, and all fresh sweet fruits.
Do not combine bananas with avocados, butter, dry fruits, honey, olive oil, oily fruits, sugar in general, sugar cane, oil or any fat, and none of groups A and B.
Group F- Milk
You can combine milk with bananas, breadfruit, cooked yolk, artificial sweeteners, all of Group B, milk derivatives except curdled milk, kefir, yogurt, and other curded dairy products, which should be eaten alone.
Do not combine milk with avocados, egg whites, fruits, meats, oils, fats, oily fruits, olives, sugar in general, or anything in group A.
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I recall Floyd Burk who is also a regular writer and contributor to Black Belt Magazine once asked for my input on article he had in the works entitled 'The Aging Martial Artist'.
Specifically he wanted to know the biggest change in your martial arts ability that you've noticed over the years? (Answer could be physical, philosophical, strategic, etc..)
Because judo is so physical, many of the moves I can no longer do because of prior injuries and trying to avoid future ones, (after 60 it takes much longer to recover). So my role have gravitated towards being involved in running the judo organizations, promoting large events, refereeing, developing future leaders, as well as providing wisdom that comes with age and experience.
He also wanted my advice to younger martial artists?
Focus on the big long term picture. Competition only lasts till you're too old to really get out there and do it. In judo we do have master divisions but I think there are better ways to serve the development of judo by developing dojos and students. I'm much more into using the principle of judo (maximum efficiently with minimum effort) then I was when I was younger.
I noticed it's harder for me to pull off big throws that require getting under an opponent's center of gravity. I favor small throws such as foot sweeps but these require perfect timing and skill to pull off. As I get older being smooth and in touch with the flow of the opponents movement becomes extremely important.
I'm also much more into judo as a life style than simply for competition. Judo has effected every aspect of my life, from my family to friends, even business, I see the tie in between what is done in the dojo as a microcosm of what happens in the real world.
Finally he asked; What can people do to best prepare themselves for those transitions?
Read books on judo's philosophy that are now more available compared to when I was growing up. These include Mind over Muscle by Naoki Murata, The Art of Peace by George Ohsawa, Judo Heart and Soul by Hayward Nishioka, Three Budo Masters & The Way of Judo by John Stevens, The Second Life of Judo by Alan Rafkind, Judo Memoirs of Jigoro Kano by Brian Watson, which all give terrific insights on the true meaning of judo. Also take good care of your mind and body by doing things in moderation.
Paul Schollmeier a judoka who's also a Barrick Distinguished Scholar and Philosophy Professor and I talked about the importance of understanding the samurai concept of mushin being focused on the here and now or being present.
Paul recommended these additional books; The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman, The Heart Sutra and its translation and commentary by Red Pine. In Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Live by Shantideva. Epectitus might be a stoic to start with. There is a short collection of his thoughts that served as a handbook for Roman soldiers. It's official title is Encheiridion, but it is also known as the Handbook.
To this end I really appreciate Jeff Przybilla's Life Skills Test which he incorporates into his at SCSU classes.
Jeff in action
Nanka will be hosting a free Zoom seminar from 2:00 to 4:00 PM (PDT) on Saturday September 18, 2021.
Nanka Judo Yudanshakai's relationship with Kano Shihan goes back to 1933, when during his then visit to Los Angeles he supported the formation of Nanka. So our interest in being able to present and enable conversation on Kano ideas and intentions is relevant to us and we believe the judo family at large.
It is our pleasure to be able to present this seminar featuring Lance Gatling – Jigoro Kano and Judo, the Secret Behind the Man.
It is well known that Kano frequently spoke about his judo philosophies for many decades, but he never ever disclosed their origins, nor their exact meaning which has escaped judoka ever since. His writings were not only influenced by ancient Eastern philosophy, but also from 19th century English philosophers.
While living in Japan, Lance Gatling has studied and researched Jigoro Kano for the past 15 years, discovering much that has not been seen for nearly the past 100 years.
During this seminar Lance will be present materials originated by Kano on a wide range of topics that include; Kano's judo philosophy; its origin and meaning, Kano's view of education, his thoughts on judo vs. today's sport judo, the five historic judokas, and his Twelve Principles of Judo.
Many of these concepts have never been discussed before and through his unique understanding of Kano, Lance will reveal a side of Kano we were not aware of. We expect a very large audience to this seminar. Register now at the link above!
The USJA's Board of Director's Election
(Voting has begun Eligible Voters have been notified)
Here are the best choices based on their judo, business, and educational experience
From left to right: Paul Bova, Jan Finkbeiner, Bonnie Korte, Dr. Ray Marquez IV, Paul Rivera
Detailed Bios can be found on the USJA's Election Website
Jefferson City Judo Club is excited to begin hosting Challenge of the Champions! We wish to extend an invitation to everyone, near and far, to participate in this spectacular event. Judoka and grapplers from all styles are welcome to participate. This tournament will be a great opportunity as we will offer BOTH Freestyle Judo and IJF Judo. Contenders are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in both rule sets.
As this event continues to gain momentum, we anticipate a tremendous turn out. Participants, coaches, referees and spectators can expect a great experience as you are greeted into one of the finest dojo facilities in the Midwest. Our school is 9500 square feet with two, full sized competition mats, which will be running simultaneously to keep the day flowing smoothly. You can also expect highly qualified and experienced Freestyle and USA (IJF) referees on the mat.
We will have Junior, Senior and Master's brackets ages 5 and up. Registration/weigh-ins are Friday, Oct. 8th from 3-8:00 p.m. Brackets will be available to view and we will start promptly on Saturday, Oct. 9th at 9:00 a.m. Preregistration is encouraged and can be completed by calling 573-301-1738 / 573-680-4694 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a registration form which can be mailed/emailed back to us.
Payments can be taken over the phone, check by mail and we also accept cash. Cost is $40 per competitor.
Head over to visitjeffersoncity.com to find places to stay while in Jefferson City.
Other useful links include:
Challenge of the Champions is sure to be one of the most impressive tournaments you will experience this year. Please come, be our guest and allow JCJC to serve you a memorable day full of judo as you step out, share the mat and challenge yourself with other champions. See you on the tatamis!
I'm always looking for new subjects to write about regarding judo as well as contributions from my readers. Please send them to email@example.com, thanks.
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