Leg Locks

The training of leg lock submissions has always been a controversial issue in the grappling arts.  Sambo and catch wrestling practitioners swear by them while… Read More

My First MMA Fight

After Dino's win at Yankee Lake Brawlroom On June 16, 2012 I made my amateur mixed martial arts debut at Yankee Lake Brawlroom; a small promotion in Ohio. Originally, I was supposed to fight at WCC IV on June 8 in Greensburg, PA but my opponent backed out for unknown reasons. I was disappointed because three of my teammates were already lined up to fight on the same card and I didn't want to be left out of the action. Read More

Renzo Gracie Pittsburgh 2011 Recap

Two thousand twelve is here! The past year went really fast for me so writing this was a nice way to reflect on all the good memories. Challenges overcome are always good memories so I’ll start with those. The toughest challenges were thrown at guys most of us respect. First, Lance Thompson had a very serious injury last December. I’ve heard that the number one reason purple belts don’t move up the ranks is due to injuries. This is understandable having had one myself. It is amazing how such an obstacle can change your mental state. Injuries give some people a powerful reason to quit something, even when it is positive for them. Lance underwent surgery and came back even better than when he left! Mike Wilkins faced a different kind of challenge. After establishing himself as one of the areas best amateur MMA fighters, he decided to step up a level and go professional against the advice of the armchair critics and other people involved in mixed martial arts. He finally got a fight in Costa Rica. He lost at the very end of the first round (which he dominated) to a submission. It was a difficult way to lose after spending almost a year on improving his grappling. The critics and naysayers were vindicated, right? Wrong. Mike came back and had a dominating win in his first official pro fight right here in Pennsylvania. Heather Wiederstein also came back from injuries and losses. Read More

Watching a Cagefight

I first met Mike Wilkins at Mad Dog Gym a few years ago. It’s a little gym in the back corner of a tattoo parlor. Inside, you’ll find mats, punching bags, and screaming death metal. I was new to the world of MMA, and in between getting slammed, spraining my neck, and being caught in bicep slicers on a nightly basis I met Mike. He was a friendly guy with an oddly likeable alpha-male persona. These days, we train together at the Renzo Gracie Pittsburgh Academy in Lawrenceville. Read More

A Quick Insight Into BJJ Competition

Competition plays a huge role in every sport, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is no exception. On October 15, 2011, several members of RGA Pittsburgh put their skills to the test at the 5th Annual Western PA Grappling Championships. Afterwards, I got the chance to interview one of our white belt competitors, Jonas Rubiano, and pick his brain about the experience. Read More