Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Styles make fights... make your own!

Watching UFC Fight Night: Sanchez vs. Stevenson, I noticed in the main event, and also in the fight featuring Josh Koscheck vs. newcomer Paulo Thiago, two exceptional wrestlers in Stevenson and Koscheck chose to fight with a striking style.

To have success in an MMA competition, fighters train for hours and hours every day, and in the case of wrestlers, for many years as children. It perplexed me to see these two athletes forgo a skill they've spent many years mastering to use one they still are learning. Wrestling technique is so powerful to be able to dictate where a fight takes place and "Octagon control" is a judging criteria for the UFC. It would be understandable if their opponents were able to stop the takedown, but if I recall correctly, not one was even attempted. Neither Koscheck nor Stevenson received their win bonus that night. So why would a wrestler turn an MMA bout into a kickboxing match? Maybe they wanted to test and challenge themselves. I can understand that. Martial arts is very much a journey of self-knowledge and it's wise to consider the "L" on one's fight record to mean "learning experience".

At Ray Longo's IMAA, we practice Jeet Kun Do. This statement can be misleading because Jeet Kun Do is actually not a fighting style. It's the name of a philosophy Bruce Lee coined that can be applied to martial arts, food preparation, and all other areas of life. "Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system." Each day Ray has schedule different classes for students to learn and master all styles of combat. As I am writing, today is Tuesday and tonight we have boxing, wrestling, and then MMA class back-to-back-to-back. By training this way, a martial artist can learn any and every technique, and then choose which ones to adopt into her or his practice, based on its efficacy for this person. This is the Tao of JKD (the way).

To my two former opponents, Josh Koscheck and Joe Stevenson, I applaud your heart and determination and wish you luck in upcoming fights. To all the JKD students out there, keep growing and learning all that you can. Use your strengths to exploit your opponents' weaknesses if you want to take home the winner's purse... and if things work out to be something other than the way you expected, use the experience to learn something about yourself. You will be better off in the end.

- Luke }:-)

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Congratulations to Serra-Longo fighters as they swept their way to a perfect night, going 4-0 at Lou Neglias Ring of Combat XXIII!!

Chris Weidman debuted in dramatic fashion, putting the MMA community on notice with a textbook greco-roman throw which resulted in his opponent wisely tapping out due to a kimura lock!!!

Anthony Abatelli debuted professionally fighting his way to a 3 round unanimous decision which he controlled with utter precision over a veteran in Garrett Carmondy.

Al Iaquinta debuted professionally showing why he is talk of the town. Al overwhelmed his opponent with a takedown, and a vicious ground and pound before cinching in a d'arce choke to finish the fight with a submission.

Costa Phillippou continues his assault on the Northeast with his 4th straight victory, only this time at the 185 lb division. Costa once again exhibited his striking prowess is too much for anyone to handle as he knocked down a highly regarded aaron meisner with a straight right, before submitting him with a rear naked choke.

Friday, January 9, 2009

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