greg jackson

The news website Axios is reporting that renowned mixed martial arts trainer, Greg Jackson, is thinking about a run for Congress. The co-owner of the Jackson-Wink MMA gym in Albuquerque, N.M., Jackson is considering running as an independent for the seat being vacated by New Mexico congresswoman Deb Haaland.

Haaland was recently nominated by President-elect Joe Biden to be his Secretary of the Interior, meaning a special election will be held to fill her vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Jackson, who has trained a host of MMA luminaries including UFC champions Jon Jones and Holly Holm, has mentioned criminal justice reform - including the instruction of MMA to law enforcement officers to avoid the use of deadly force - and early childcare programs as issues he's committed to.

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.

Keep Reading Show less

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

Keep Reading Show less