Saturday, January 29, 2011

Youth is Served

I've often mentioned on this blog that I wished I had received an early start to better prepare myself to pursue mixed martial arts, whether it would have been taking martial arts classes as a kid or maybe deciding to wrestle in high school. I probably could have taken on a more assertive stance on the latter.

(I have been told by good friends that I could still pursue training now and I don't disagree. Unfortunately, less desirable personality traits that I possess make it difficult to overcome insecurity about being a possible somewhat older novice training with a younger professional.)

If I had done that, maybe I could have been like these two kids. They practice at Evolve Academy in Gaithersburg, not Frederick like that article states. The two kids have already competed overseas in various kickboxing/martial arts tournaments, which I'm sure was a mind-blowing experience for someone so young.

Another article about the kids can be found here. As the video in that article shows, the kids are in good hands at Evolve. Speaking from personal experience, the gym provides top-notch training and guidance, even for a blatant novice like me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Down at the copa, the Copa Nova

It doesn't quite do justice to Barry Manilow, but you get the idea.

Sadly there is no Cuban theme to this post. But there is a Brazilian theme, specifically in jiu-jitsu. The Copa NOVA BJJ Winter 2011 Championships were recently held in Ashburn, Virginia and Maryland was well represented to its neighbor to the south.

Yamasaki Academy of Rockville took first place overall at the event, followed closely by Team Lloyd Irvin of Camp Springs. Other Maryland gyms finished among the top 28, including Evolve Academy of Gaithersburg and Ground Control Baltimore.

Speaking of Maryland and Virginia, Maryland MMA fighter Jon Delbrugge won several gold medals at the Maryland Grappling Championships. Delbrugge, who I believe fights with Lloyd Irvin, was part of the marathon MMA event I attended in Manassas, Virginia last month. Delbrugge was one of several first-round knockouts at that event and if I remember correctly, his knockout resulted in his opponent being taken out on a stretcher. But winning several gold medals at a grappling competition proves he is more than just a stand-up trader of punches.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tournament time

It's playoff time in the NFL, when the league starts its own single-elimination tournament to determine who makes it to the Super Bowl this year. Last year's Super Bowl participants, the Saints and Colts, each lost in the first playoff games yesterday, so we will see a brand-new Super Bowl match-up this year.

But mixed martial arts schools in Maryland are also participating in their own tournaments during these long winter months. Evolve Academy in Gaithersburg were expected to have several of its students compete in the Copa NOVA Winter Grappling Championships this weekend in Ashburn, Virginia, according to Evolve's latest e-newsletter..

The event looked to have numerous division competitions in the No-Gi and Brazilian jiu-jitsu disciplines, which almost always begs the question to me of how it can all be tracked in a single event in a single day. If this wasn't an all-day event that started early and ended late, I would be surprised. One would think that they probably had multiple competitions going at one time; which seems to be a common occurrence at events like these.

Evolve students are also expected to compete in the WKA North American Combat Sports Championships next month in Hampton, Virginia, the gym previously announced. That event appears to have something for everyone, from Muay Thai to MMA to kickboxing to Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Even as winter continues to grip the area, hibernation seems to be a dirty word to the state's MMA gyms.