Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A close call

I came across this story last week and it has already made the rounds into news outlets nationally and beyond, including the Vancouver Sun.

Lloyd Irvin, founder of Team Lloyd Irvin in Camp Springs, suffered a way closer call than anyone would like to two years ago. Apparently he was asleep on his couch at home in October of 2008 when two men attempted to rob him. Luckily Irvin reportedly neutralized the weapon one of the two men was using before any serious damage or injury could occur.

This story is getting more play because according to the link, one of the suspects in that case is also a suspected serial killer. While I am definitely not making light of a potentially tragic situation, those two guys definitely picked the wrong house to try and rob.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ready for their close-up

It wasn't "SportsCenter", but it was close.

Evolve Academy in Gaithersburg was recently the subject of a feature on the local Comcast SportsNet network here in Maryland. One of their shows, Geico SportsNite, profiled the gym and its reporter, Michael Jenkins, participated in the gym's popular "Primal Skills" mixed martial arts fitness program, which is still a program I hope to begin taking part in as well. The recession does affect everyone y'know. Even us bloggers.

Anywho, the piece also featured Royce Gracie, one of the original practitioners of Gracie jiu-jitsu and widely considered the innovator of MMA and one of the first and most prominent competitors in the original UFC. In addition to Gracie there were also interviews with current and former UFC lightweight competitors Sean Sherk and Jens Pulver.

Jenkins also interviewed Evolve's owner Mike Moses and Master Mike shared some of his perspective on MMA, most notably the widely held belief that it is vastly superior to boxing. Moses mentioned the corruption that is allegedly widespread throughout boxing (which I agree with; it's no secret that Don King basically screwed Mike Tyson out of thousands, if not millions of dollars) and the fact that many times boxing fans truly don't get the fight they want (which is particularly true at the moment as it relates to Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao).

All in all it was a very informative and entertaining segment. While this show is only broadcast regionally, Maryland is still a relatively new market for MMA and can serve as a good introduction for someone who is new to the sport.

The full segment on Evolve and MMA can be seen here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Training our very best

Even though members of our military receive the best training in the world, they can always use a little more from various sources.

Members of the Maryland Air National Guard's 175th Security Forces Squadron recently learned some Gracie jiu-jitsu from Steve Adornato, an instructor who runs a jiu-jitsu academy in Reisterstown.

The soldiers look like they learned how to take a combatant to the ground and keep him there, which should come in handy against enemies who probably are not well-versed in hand to hand and ground-based combat.

The art of teaching MMA to soldiers seems to be gaining traction. In fact, members of the U.S. Marines trained with this past season's cast of "The Ultimate Fighter".

Plus, if someone can get Osama bin Laden in a triangle choke, then he will finally know what happens when you fuck with America.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A star instructor

Star pupils are often highlighted and recognized, and rightly so. When a student goes above and beyond to accomplish something, you want to recognize that and give them positive reinforcement and continued motivation to excel.

Evolve Academy in Gaithersburg is taking a slightly different approach however. While there is no doubt the gym is home to some stellar students, it never hurts to bring in some "star power" to push them even more.

That is exactly what Evolve is doing by bringing in Wilson Reis to not only hold a seminar for their students but also their instructors, according to the gym's weekly e-newsletter.

Reis has compiled a 10-2 record in his mixed martial arts career and has competed in several organizations, including EliteXC before MMA journeyman Seth Petruzelli's 17-second knockout of Kimbo Slice ultimately led to the organization's collapse. I guess that's the risk you run when you put all your eggs into the basket of a guy whose claim to fame was basically engaging in Bumfights in backyards.

Regardless, Reis is a real notch in Evolve's belt in terms of the instruction it provides its students. Reis has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which makes him about as qualified as anyone to help Evolve's instructors and fighters pick up a few things.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mad men (and possibly women)

As this video appears to show, Team Lloyd Irvin of Camp Springs can probably consider itself "top dog" in Maryland mixed martial arts.

I know I have written about Team Lloyd Irvin at length since I started this blog and with good reason. The team has several affiliates, including the Evolve Academy and others. The team is oftend mentioned during UFC broadcasts, as several competitors that have competed in the UFC once started out as students at Team Lloyd Irvin.

But one of the things that truly seems to set them apart is the enthusiasm and passion the students have. The above video does a great job showing this. Simple grappling matches between the students seem more akin to the environment seen at a college football game. The students are into it, chanting, clapping, cheering on their fellow students.

If a Mount Rushmore of Maryland MMA was to be built, it's safe to assume Team Lloyd Irvin would play George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.