Greatest Impact on your game 2004

Since we are nearing the end of 2004, looking back, who has had the greatest impact on your game this year? I realize that this may be a post where everyone lists their coaches, but I also would like to get feedback on any influential teachers that people got a lot from in a seminar or training trip that they don't train with regularly. Mine would have to be (in no particular order):

  1. Helio Gracie

  2. Rener Gracie

  3. Ryron Gracie

  4. Helio "Soneca" Moreira

  5. Steven Alphabet (judo)

For 2003, they were:

  1. Scott Tanner (wrestling)

  2. Eddie Bravo (no gi jiu-jitsu)

  3. Rodrigo Mederios

As far as videos that really influenced me the last 2 years (not saying that I necessarily worked through all the material yet!) I would have to list (in no particular order):

  1. Anything by Gracie Barra (Tinguinha Spider Guard, Marcio Feitosa, Batata loop chokes, etc.)

  2. Rodrigo Mederios Series

  3. Rodney King DVDs

  4. Kevin Jackson-Mike van Arsdale Wrestling Tapes

It is amazing and simply incredible, but videos have played the biggest part in my game this year. A real tribute to the whole MA media. I don't have any Coaches beyond those of the long distance kind.

Pretty much the SBG had a massive impact on my game this past year.

  1. Rodney's CM. What needs to be said?

  2. Endless tie up tips from the Singers, have improved my pummeling and controling game in the clinch.

  3. Matt's Guard material on various DVDs/VHS. I have always been a "top game" guy and never really deveped my Guard game. Now, it's pretty good. I'm enjoying myself.

  4. Luis' PAW...yes a "kid's" series. Has given me a new way to look at training. Has shifted my Assemblage Point fo' sho!

  5. Greg Nelson's Clinch stuff. Knees and takedowns will never be the same.

  6. Scott Sonnon's Leg Fencing. An entire element of using the legs for takedowns to Sweep, Post, Reap, etc. in MMA that I never really had developed.

Aus: great point. Videos have come such a long way in just the last 5 years. When I was growing up you couldn't get any videos on entire martial arts, now they have tons on specific parts of individual martial arts. You really were limited by where you lived (for me that was Cleveland, Ohio where a Tae Kwon Do/Judo school was, where my teacher, great guy and all, didn't teach much judo and taught in a traditional hardcore Korean kind of way).

When I was 19 I moved to Atlanta where there were a few more martial arts options (Thai Boxing, Kali, and Wing Chun with Francis Fong) - but now 10 years later the market has literally exploded with tapes by some of the best instructors in the world. I have spent many hours a week watching martial arts instructional videos the last 5 years or so!

If people sincerly take the vids and REALLY utilize them for what they were intended for, and combine that with coming online for any questions it's really close to the real thing.

While on the subject of tapes I will give a review of some of my favorites in each martial art:

Gracie/Brazilian Jiu-jitsu:

Gracie Basics, Intermediate, Advanced, and Street Defense. Renzo Gracie-Craig Kukuk, Renzo Adv.Blackbelt Techniques, Renzo No Gi Series, Rodrigo Mederios Series, Sperry 1 and 2, Marcio Feiotsa, Tinguinha Spider Guard, Batata Loop Chokes, Rey Diogo De La Riva Guard Tape, William Bittencourt De La Riva Guard Series, Margarida Escapes DVD. (I should note I haven't seen Matt Thorton's ground DVDs or some of the ones that Aus mentioned yet).

Boxing/Thai Boxing:

Don Familton, Rodney King (big thumbs up for each set!)

Wrestling: (been wrestling only a short while so you might want to get a second opinion on these but I think they're great - began in August 2002 but have been very inconsistent)
Darrell Gholar series, Mike Van Arsdale-Kevin Jackson Series (have not seen Singer's clinch tapes yet)

For me my biggest influence this year has been guys at the gym.
Matt Thornton, Jeff "Possum" Wassom, Carlos, Omar, Ken Allen.
All these guys are great role models. Thanks for the great year!

Not in order:

Matt Thornton

Eddie Bravo

Rodney King

Wagnney Fabiano

and (not sucking up...)

My wife Rebecca for her boundless energy, enthusiasm and

FB... who did you train TKD/Judo with? One of the Kim brothers?

Without question ...

Danny Suarez - got me to break that blue belt plateau, pushed me to get back in shape, train consistently and compete again by helping him get ready for his own fights, showed how someone can grow in (fighting/teaching) with hard work and dedication ...

speaking of hardwork and dedication - both his students and my own continue to inspire me to be a better coach and athlete ...

and of course - Matt Thornton and Luis Gutierrez. even though i only see them a limited # of times a year, every time i do i always come out of having learned such a great deal and inspired to pass that along to others.

thats basically gonna be my list for the next couple of years it seems =p

Kevin - lol, thats really random that someone would know that. Yes Master Moo H. Kim from about age 5 to 18 or roughly 1979 to 1993 (with a few years in between when I was in Florida and not training with him).

For 2004, also in no particular order:

  • Tony Passos - nobody's heard of him (yet), but he's a should-be-brown purple under "Boca" of ATT and now Pedro Sauer. Great teacher and competitor, and my main training partner and coach, pushes me every day.

  • Burton Richardson - long time, long distance coach. Always willing to help, such a sincere person. Has MUCH more technical grappling knowledge and skill than he is given credit for, I think.

  • Eddie Bravo - I try to be slick like him.

  • Baret Yoshida - I try to be slick like him.

  • Matt Thornton - through seminars, videos, and forum discussions, Matt has changed the way I train forever, and provided some of the best (best=practical) technical details as well.

  • Rodney King - CM for life.

  • Pedro Sauer - great teacher, great guy. Proud to be an affiliate.

  • Luis G, Mike S., Adam S., Jeff W., Paul H., and everyone else at the SBG forum. Technical, conceptual, and philosophical ideas are thrown around there every day, with a sincere desire to help each other grow. Not to diss on the UG, but it just ain't the same. ;)

  • The guys who beat me in competition this year. Showed me my weaknesses and fueled my desire to overcome them.

  • All the guys at my gym!


The guy who got me interested in the MA was under MH Kim. His name is Mike Rushin... I also had a passing aquaintance with Mike Poyle. Did you remember either of them? I never trained with Kim (I started TKD at the Cleveland Academy), but I did work out with the "Mike's" a couple Sunday's at Kims.


Some big dude from the States that said "dude" a lot and then crushed me while explaining to me that where he came from, everyone says "dude".

Seriously, Matt Thornton made the greatest impact on my game in 2004 by far, when he came over to do a seminar. Thanks again, Matt, and I hope to see you soon next year. I might make it to the Ireland or Estonian seminar.

Dude, thanks much ; )

Honestly, thanks Jon and everyone else who says I may have been a positive influence in one manner or another. It is always humbling.

In no particular order, and over the last few years

Jeff Rockwell (one of my favorite training partners and has all the latest vids)

Matt Thornton (Showed me what aliveness really was so I'm always streamlining my training)

Erik Paulson (Just a great guy/coach/fighter)

Guru Dan (a living example of humility and training, without him BJJ & MT wouldn't have spread like they have)

Rodney King (He's made me a MUCH better striker, and coach)

Barret Yoshida (he's just made my guard sneeaky and scary)

Nog (a great example of how u can constantly improve)

Vanderli Silva (see above but more scary)

interesting thread
My 2004 would be for people I have trained with:

1) Mauricio "Tinguinha" (for all his help over the past 5 years on BJJ)
2) Mac Danzig (Conditioning and Wrestling)
3) Russ Miura (Wrestling)
4) Forum member Loki for giving me someone really tough to train with be it wrestling or BJJ

In 2005 I moving so I am looking forward to training with these teachers, Rodney King, Soneca , John Frankl and Andy Wang.

Matt Thornton, Luis Gutierrez and all the Straight Blast Coaches for showing how to train intelligently

John Frankl through his video and then in person at the SBGI Spring camp

Rob Kahn for helping me solidify my topgame and getting back to the core fundamentals.

All my training partners on Team Empire

My friends Bruce Carleton and Mike Brown from Maine

My son Aidan for all his enthusiasm and appreciation of life, his endless laughter and most importantly my wife Cheryl for her support and friendship

Can't wait for 2005

Definitely my training partners, especially Baret
Yoshida, Egan Inoue, and Charuto Verissimo. Constant
evolution and refinement of the basics. Also, Dennis
Alexio for his style of sparring that blends well with
MMA based approach.

The other big influence are my friends in the
nightclub business who give me feedback every week
about what they see in all-out fights. Keeps my
teaching focused on that environment.