greg jackson

Greg Jackson co-owns one of the top MMA training centers in the world, Jackson Wink MMA Academy, training many successful fighters like Holly Holm, Jon Jones, and Michelle Waterson. He founded his own martial art, Gaidojutsu, combining techniques from catch wrestling and kickboxing with basic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and judo locks.

Jackson volunteered his time to FightBack, a week-long virtual live training event featuring some of the best martial artists. The event raised money for Red Cross to support first responders and the medical professionals on the front lines against COVID-19.

Jackson's seminar covered "mirror stance," the boxing/kickboxing term for when two combatants are in mismatched stances (one is southpaw and the other is orthodox), and how this affects your strategy and move set. If you participate in any stand-up striking art, this is a don't-miss session!

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No matter how much you plan to spend, you'll find just what you need on this list. Buy for a loved one — or buy for yourself with your Christmas cash!

The staff of Black Belt gets to see and sometimes use the coolest products in the martial arts world. (No, we’re not hiring right now.) Because it’s the season of giving, we decided to look back at the items we’ve come across during the past year or two and post the most interesting ones — with clickable links — for your convenience. These are a few of our favorite things. For the Frugal Buyer! Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method: The Complete Edition Since their rerelease as Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method: The Complete Edition, the four volumes from the founder of jeet kune do have taken on a new life for a new generation of martial artists. The hardcover book features digitally remastered photos of Lee, a chapter by Ted Wong and an introduction by Shannon Lee. It’s the perfect complement to the Tao of Jeet Kune Do. $24 Nigel The Ninja The “mission” of Nigel the Ninja is to gather information about the martial arts by studying other young-artists-in-training. A great source of fun and inspiration for any home or gym, Nigel stands 12 inches tall and has a felt body and a resin head. It comes with a sling bag and back-story notecard. Coloring book sold separately. $30 . Bruce Lee Action Figure Bandai and Tamashii Nations have released a Bruce Lee action figure that comes equipped with a staff, a nunchaku, a pair of kali sticks and detachable body parts: three extra heads and nine extra hands. It stands 5 inches tall and is fully posable. $50 . . ProForce Open Face Headgear What makes this piece of protective gear special? A heavy-gauge, reinforced vinyl shell. Lightweight molded-foam padding. Multiple openings for maximum air circulation. Plus, the open-face design is lightweight and visibility-friendly. The integrated strapping closure makes it fully adjustable. $60 . Tai Chi Documentary Barry Strugatz made The Professor: Tai Chi’s Journey West to tell the world about Cheng Man-Ching. In the 1960s, the master moved from his native Taiwan to New York, where he began teaching his art — often controversially — to Americans. This moving documentary, available on DVD or as a download, is guaranteed to make you want to take up tai chi chuan, and it might even have you tearing up by the end. $25 ProForce Compression Shorts This compression garment uses a wicking fabric to draw moisture away from your body, thus helping keep you cool and comfy. The muscle-hugging stretch fabric is reinforced with flat-lock seams. The meshed pocket allows air to circulate and keeps the vented groin-protecting cup in place during the most strenuous workouts. $40 . Traditionz Shirts These two greats of the martial arts world have joined forces to launch Dragon Traditionz. The company markets a product line composed of active wear for martial artists and anyone else who appreciates shirts and hoodies with great graphics, great materials and great construction. $24-$39 each . For the Working-Class Shopper! Grapple Buddy After collaborating with a Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor, Century Martial Arts created the Grapple Buddy. It gives young students an easy way to practice their ground techniques without the distractions that can accompany working with a human partner. This child-size dummy is made of high-density foam and reinforced vinyl for maximum durability. $80 Century Kicking Jeans Suitable for a variety of styles, Kicking Jeans from Century Martial Arts are rugged denim pants that offer durability without sacrificing comfort and breathability. These stylish and contemporary jeans are made from a special blend of denim and elastane fibers with a stretch range of approximately 30 percent. The VariFlex Twinseam design allows for optimal flexibility with a generous gusset for kicking. $60 Ultimate Karate Collection Hayabusa recently introduced the Ultimate Karate Collection. It includes everything a serious practitioner needs: professional-grade sparring gloves, shin protectors and footpads, as well as uniforms that are designed for competition and training. There’s even one uniform that’s been called the world’s finest gi. $13-$150 . Tribute Jiu-Jitsu Gi The 96 Especial Jiu-Jitsu Gi is a tribute to Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Ricardo Liborio’s victory at the inaugural IBJJF World Championship in 1996. He became the first world BJJ champion, despite the fact that he was competing in a weight division above his own. Century collaborated with Liborio to create this gi and make it suitable for future champions. $130 For the Big Spender! Spyderco Nirvana Knife This top-of-the-line folder from Spyderco came from the mind of Peter Rassenti, who created a design that uses a solid piece of titanium to form the handle. Named Imported Knife of the Year by Blade magazine, it features a stainless-steel blade that’s 3.76 inches long. The materials and resultant weight — 4.8 ounces — make it feel substantial and high quality, like a family heirloom waiting to be passed down. $720 Century Martial Arts’ Versys Vs.BOB It’s the first free-standing bag on the market to offer all the benefits of the Century VS.3 with the added feature of a BOB-like torso with arms. This unique combination allows athletes to experience the most realistic training outside of live sparring. $500 . . For the Digital Martial Artist! Greg Jackson Mixed Martial Arts Core Curriculum Black Belt’s 2015 Instructor of the Year has committed the first part of his acclaimed MMA program to video, and it's available as online course you can access via any smartphone, tablet or computer. Unlike other courses, it teaches techniques in a logical progression so anyone can get up to speed on the essentials that are needed for competition and self-defense. $90 Kelly McCann’s Combatives Self-Defense Course Black Belt Hall of Famer Kelly McCann teaches a crash course in hardcore self-defense that you can view on your digital device. In its four-plus hours of instruction, the program deals with empty-hand attacks, as well as defense against sticks, knives and guns. Best part is, McCann teaches only techniques and tactics that he knows will work in real confrontations. $119 Kelly McCann Combatives 2: Stick & Ground Combat In this intermediate course, Kelly McCann focuses on stick fighting, both the offensive and defensive components, as well as ground fighting. His techniques aren’t flashy and they weren’t designed for competition. Their sole purpose is self-defense on the street. $99 . Kelly McCann Bundle Pack Sign up for both of Kelly McCann’s streaming-video programs! Get Kelly McCann’s Combatives Self-Defense Course and Kelly McCann Combatives 2: Stick & Ground Combat. This complete volume offers users the ultimate instructional course on hand-to-hand combat, ground fighting and weapons. $218 . Tree of Shaolin Kung Fu With Shaolin Monk Wang Bo Delve into traditional self-defense with Buddhist monk Wang Bo, who began training at the famed monastery when he was 8. He teaches the philosophies of the martial art and the fighting methods Shaolin monks have used for the past 1,400 years. BONUS! You get instant access to a story titled “The Shaolin Whole-Body Workout” and “A Concise Guide to the Tree of Shaolin.” $90 Burton Richardson's Silat for the Street In this online course, Black Belt Hall of Famer Burton Richardson presents the most relevant tactics and techniques of the Indonesian art of silat. He selected them so 21st-century students of self-defense can add them to their arsenal at will — there’s no need to scrap your art and adopt this one! $90 . Fumio Demura Karate Weapons: Complete Video Course Watch all six classic Fumio Demura kobudo videos — which feature the bo, nunchaku, sai, tonfa, kama and eku bo — then learn the advanced forms that feature those traditional weapons through footage filmed in 2016. This online course is the full-motion companion to the best-selling 765-page book titled Fumio Demura’s Karate Weapons of Self-Defense: The Complete Edition. Includes new footage of the master discussing how karate has changed over the years, what continues to attract modern martial artists to traditional weapons and how you can improve your skills. $130 (pre-order sale price)

Teshya Alo competes in 3 grappling sports, and as proof of her prowess, she owns 21 national championships in wrestling and 30 titles in judo and jiu-jitsu. The secrets of her success? The right attitude and supportive parents!

When I attended the 16th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival, which showcased more than 130 entries from 15 countries, I was pleased to learn that the organizers had included three must-see martial arts-themed movies: • The Assassin — From Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien, this highly anticipated movie could redefine the wu xia genre. • Deadman Inferno — This Japanese flick pits Yakuza members against zombies. • Winning Girl — This is a wonderful dynamic documentary, one that’s perfectly timed considering last year’s defeat of UFC champ Ronda Rousey. Directed by Kimberlee Bassford, Winning Girl documents four years in the life of a 16-year-old, 125-pound wrestling and judo champion from Hawaii named Teshya Alo. As such, it includes plenty of training, trials and tribulations. The film opens with a mention that since she was 6, Teshya has won 21 national championships in wrestling and garnered 30 titles in judo and jiu-jitsu. That’s impressive — but not as impressive as the maturity the teenager shows. “When I went to my first national wrestling tournament and lost, I was very sad,” Teshya said. “I remember watching the girl who won. She was like a celebrity. I used my loss as motivation, went home to Hawaii, trained really hard, and two years later, I beat the same girl to win the nationals. “I realized that by working hard and beating that girl who was older and stronger than me, that if I keep working hard, one day I could make it to the Olympics. My dream is to win the Olympics in judo and wrestling.” Teshya knows it won’t be easy. “To get to the Olympics, I have to win the world championships in both sports and beat adults who are much older and more experienced than me,” she said. “So right now, my goal is to represent Hawaii and the United States at the world championships and win.” Throughout her childhood and early teens, Teshya built a solid reputation as a force to be reckoned with — by defeating boys, girls and women twice her age. Part of the film is the coming-of-age story that takes place from age 12 to 16, which is when we get to witness the challenges and struggles she had to face to advance in two combat sports that people her size and gender rarely participate in, much less excel in. As Teshya moved up the judo ranks, her signature technique — which she still uses at tournaments — was tomoe nage, the circle throw. But after she won the judo nationals at 16 and represented America at the World Judo Championships, she faced an opponent who constantly countered her tomoe nage attempts. Teshya ended up losing. “I was confused and became paralyzed — [I] didn't understand the concept of strategy,” she said. “But I'll learn from the loss.” It reminded me of the UFC 193, which saw Black Belt Hall of Famer Ronda Rousey lose to Holly Holm. Rousey attempted to use her trademark armbar but was repeatedly foiled by Holm, who was trained by Black Belt Hall of Famer Greg Jackson. When the armbar failed, Rousey either forgot or abandoned her strategy. In its place, she seemed to fight with anger. Meanwhile, Holm appeared to remain calm. Check out the Greg Jackson Mixed Martial Arts Core Curriculum from Black Belt! Stream lessons to your digital device and start learning how to incorporate MMA tactics and techniques into your current art. When Teshya, then 15, represented America at the World Wrestling Cadet Championships, she lost her opening match against the former world champion, but she battled on. After a quick succession of follow-up matches, she won the bronze. A year later, she bagged the gold and became the world champion. Ultimately, Winning Girl is about empowering young women. It shines a spotlight on the specific challenges associated with Teshya’s quest to become a champion wrestler and judoka while living in Hawaii, while learning about her heritage and while being forced to raise funds to attend the big tournaments. The refreshing part is that throughout the film, we see that for Teshya Alo, the keys to success in competition are belief in oneself and the support of one’s parents, who ideally use positive reinforcement to power the athlete’s drive to win. (Photos Courtesy of Making Waves Films LLC) Go here to order Dr. Craig D. Reid’s book The Ultimate Guide to Martial Arts Movies of the 1970s: 500+ Films Loaded With Action, Weapons and Warriors.

Perhaps the best way to get to know Greg Jackson is to review the names of the MMA fighters he's coached: Holly Holm, Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones, etc. Now you can learn mixed martial arts from this Black Belt Hall of Famer on your tablet or smartphone!

Part 1: If you read the cover story of the June/July 2015 issue of Black Belt, you know who Greg Jackson is. Of course, if you’re a follower of the biggest names in MMA, you probably already knew. The reason you’re reading about him here is he’s much more than a successful MMA coach, as you can see from the comments he’s made in past interviews. “We, as mixed martial artists, can’t be saying traditional martial arts doesn’t give us anything. In true mixed-martial-arts fashion, we need to take the best of all, and we especially need to grab the social value of traditional martial arts. It has a lot of techniques that we’re using all the time, but the social thing is a big deal. When you learn traditional martial arts, what do you think of? Respect, bowing, discipline — things that are important to the world. We need to absorb that into our culture.”

Greg Jackson on the cover of the June/July 2015 Black Belt

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