Category: MMA

Posted on July 30, 2008 in MMA


Navigating the landscape of martial arts training can sometimes be a daunting and mysterious task. Following up on last month's article on how to choose a Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) academy, I asked a few more questions of a panel of experts in the art. This second article in a three-part series addresses how to survive in Brazilian jiu-jitsu once you've got started--meaning how to navigate everything from ringworm and cauliflower ear, to what to wear underneath your gi and how not to annoy your teammates.

This month's panel of experts

Jimmy Tang has been training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, both with and without the traditional gi, for six and a half years. A frequent tournament competitor, Jimmy earned his brown belt from Jean Jacques Machado in 2006.

Felicia Oh earned her black belt from Jean Jacques Machado in four and a half years and has been training for seven. She teaches BJJ and is a certified CrossFit trainer at Big John McCarthy's Ultimate Training Academy in California. In 2007 she was the FILA World Grappling Champion and Pan-Am Champion in both gi and no-gi divisions.

Kenny Florian is a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, Ultimate Fighter contestant, and top contender in the 155-pound weight division in the UFC. He has been training BJJ for approximately eleven years and earned his black belt in five and a half years, from Roberta Maia of Gracie Barra.

Valerie Worthington has been training for nine years. She earned her purple belt from Carlson Gracie and Carlson Gracie, Jr. Currently she trains under Johnny Ramirez and John Ouano at New Breed Academy. In 2007 she won the gold in her weight division at the World Grappling Games in Antalya, Turkey.

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on December 19, 2007 in MMA

fight club

Photo courtesy of Team Quest.

Becca Borawski talks with a trainer who's been working with MMA fighters and world class wrestlers for decades, about how he incorporates strength and conditioning work with skills training and how he peaks and tapers training leading up to a fight.

Ideally, when preparing for a mixed martial arts (MMA) fight, an individual would like to have eight to ten weeks of preparation, a period known as a "fight camp." Frequently, however, for younger competitors fighting in smaller organizations, or even a fighter the level of current Pride Welterweight champion Dan Henderson, fights can come up with as little as three to six weeks notice.

A fight camp, regardless of length, consists of three elements of training: skill, strength, and conditioning. How often do you see skilled fighters "gassed" halfway through a fight and left unable to execute their well-honed techniques? Or see fighters with great muscular and cardiovascular endurance but only rudimentary skills to pair with it? All three elements must be trained, but this must be done in such a way that the athlete is not overtrained by the time of the fight.

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on November 28, 2007 in MMA


CrossPit is a blending of CrossFit with the Pit, John Hackleman's mixed martial arts (MMA) and fitness training program—a blending that we believe best prepares fighters for the ring and the rest of us for general self-defense. CrossPit's efficacy comes from its simplicity. Proficiency in stance, movement, and a few basic strikes, combined with the gas to go the distance, is usually more effective on the street and in the cage than extensive training in complex martial arts sequences. The Pit's Chuck Liddell has demonstrated this at the top level of professional MMA, and amateur fighters from the Pit are regularly beating much more experienced and “highly trained” fighters.

CrossPit, like CrossFit, is a multidisciplinary approach that takes what works and discards the rest. What works is what wins fights. MMA provides a great testing ground, and the abundance of street fights posted to the Internet show what works without a referee. The same protective stance, proper movement, power to stop your opponent, and stamina to outlast him are needed in both arenas.

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on October 28, 2007 in MMA


A dream gym. That is what Big John McCarthy opened earlier this year in Valencia, CA. Opening a gym had long been a thought in John McCarthy’s mind, and in March of 2006, at the urgings of close friends and his wife, he decided to go for it. Just six months later Big John McCarthy's Ultimate Training Academy opened its doors.

For a mixed martial artist seeking a gym, the Ultimate Training Academy has everything (including new CF affiliate CrossFit Valencia). When McCarthy's wife first discovered the warehouse space it was dirty cobweb-ridden space that had been left vacant for a year and a half. Today the gym is an impressive sight and a veritable martial arts playground.

The facility itself is 14,000 square feet of floor space, with an additional 2,000-square-foot mezzanine overlooking the training area. With thirty foot ceilings, the atmosphere is very open and inviting. A full-sized Octagon and a 24' × 24' Pride-sized ring are the focal points of the gym. These are flanked by a 32' × 16' space holding approximately twenty heavy bags. Beyond this is a 3,100-square-foot mat area. In addition, there are two 400-square-foot matted rooms for private training. A 1,500-square-foot free weight area sits at the back of expansive space below the mezzanine, and yet another area holds stationary bikes and rowing machines.

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on June 9, 2007 in MMA


Nothing quite catches the attention of an audience like a knockout, whether it be in boxing, kickboxing, or mixed martial arts. The left hook is a particularly famous knockout punch, and it is the focus of the second part of this four-part series on striking. However, it’s not just for knockouts. The left hook can be utilized in the gym to develop explosive power, hip movement, and coordination.

All techniques and stances in the article will be described for a right-handed individual; left-handed fighters will need to reverse the left and right directions for all the techniques (e.g., right foot forward in fighting stance and a right hook).

The left hook

There are three distances a fighter can work from: long, middle and tight. The left hook is a powerful tool for the tight distance, also known as “inside” fighting. The left hook is typically a power punch and consequently a fighter puts his whole body into the punch. Fighters who do not train proper technique fall victim to what is termed an “arm punch,” or a punch without the power of the hip and bodyweight behind it, strictly swinging the arm. As with everything in CrossFit, our goal is to learn to use multiple joints and the entire body in coordination, with the end result being powerful explosive movement.

This entire article is available in the CrossFit Store.

Posted on November 6, 2006 in MMA

Due to the efforts initially of the Gracie family, and many others to follow, Brazilian jiu-jitsu was introduced to the United States in the 1970s and has since thrived. Jiu-jitsu has evolved into a popular art and one of the essential elements of the growing sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).

triangle.jpg The triangle symbolizes Brazilian jiu-jitsu both philosophically and physically. The triangle shape is embedded in the logos of schools across the country. It represents not only the distribution of balance and strength that a jiu-jitsu player’s body should possess but also the spiritual aspect, the three sides representing mind, body, and spirit. In its simplest, most physical explanation, though, it represents the submission known as the triangle choke.

The triangle choke is a blood choke, which restricts the flow of blood through the carotid arteries to the brain. When applied properly, it can quickly render the opponent unconscious.

Read the full article in PDF

Additional Resources


Category Archives

» Seniors and Kids, by Greg Glassman - February 03
» Beginners' Workout, by Greg Glassman - May 03
» Virtuosity, by Greg Glassman - August 05
» Foundations, by Greg Glassman - April 02
» Killer Workouts, by Eugene Allen - May 05
» Why Fitness, by Greg Glassman - July 04
» What is Fitness?, by Greg Glassman - October 02
» CrossFit PT, by Greg Glassman - December 04
» The Lifting Shoulder, by Greg Glassman - September 05
» Breakfalling, by Tom Crubaugh - March 05
» Skill-Based Warmups for Groups, by Tony Budding - September 06
» Weight, Velocity & Volume in Medicine Ball Training, by Jim Cawley - October 06
» Metabolic Conditioning Glossary, by Pukie & Greg Glassman - June 03
» Performance & Health, by Tony Leyland - March 07


» January 2007 CrossFit Journal
» February 2007 CrossFit Journal
» March 2007 CrossFit Journal
» April 2007 CrossFit Journal
» May 2007 CrossFit Journal
» June 2007 CrossFit Journal
» July 2007 CrossFit Journal
» August 2007 CrossFit Journal
» September 2007 CrossFit Journal
» October 2007 CrossFit Journal
» November 07 CrossFit Journal
» December 07 CrossFit Journal
» January 08 CrossFit Journal
» February 08 CrossFit Journal
» March 08 CrossFit Journal
» April 08 CrossFit Journal
» May 08 CrossFit Journal
» June 2008 CrossFit Journal
» July 2008 CrossFit Journal
» August 2008 CrossFit Journal


» CrossFit North's Annual Championship, by Tyler Hass - November 04
» Pullup Challenge, by Greg Glassman - November 04
» Reading Between the Lines, by Dave Castro - August 07


» What is CrossFit?, by Greg Glassman - March 04
» Understanding CrossFit, by Greg Glassman - April 07
», by Greg Glassman - December 05
» The Business of Guerilla Fitness, by Doug Chapman - March 07
» Interview: Coach Greg Glassman, by Greg Glassman - March 03
» Ergometer Scores and Hall of Fame Workouts, by Greg Glassman - December 02
» How Fit Are You, by Greg Glassman - April 03
» Tabata My Job, by Joshua Newman - November 05
» Theoretical Template for CrossFit's Programming, by Greg Glassman - February 03
» Forging Mental Fitness, by Jim Decker - November 06
» Evidence-Based Fitness Discussion, by Greg Glassman, et al. - January 07
» On Being a Trainer, by Greg Glassman - August 07

CrossFit Games

» Reading Between the Lines, by Dave Castro - August 07


» The Garage Gym, by Greg Glassman - September 02
» Garage Gym II: The Revolution, by Greg Glassman - July 05
» Strategic Shopping: Outfitting a CF Gym on the Cheap, by Eddie Lugo - June 06
» Personal Equipment, by Mark Rippetoe - October 06
» Plyo Boxes, by Lincoln Brigham - September 06
» Two Training Aids, by Greg Glassman - September 03
» Really Cool Homemade Parallettes, by Greg Glassman - September 03
» History and Use of Stall Bars, by Larry Harmsen - April 06


» The Muscle-up, by Greg Glassman - November 02
» The Overhead Lifts, by Greg Glassman - January 03
» The Pullup, by Greg Glassman - April 03
» Three Important Ab Exercises, by Greg Glassman - May 03
» The Slow Lifts: Bench Press, by Mark Rippetoe - June 06
» The Power Clean, by Mark Rippetoe - August 06
» Medicine Ball Cleans, by Greg Glassman - September 04
» The Kettlebell Swing, by Greg Glassman - September 04
» The Slow Lifts, by Mark Rippetoe - March 06
» The Dumbbell Lunge, by Mike Rutherford - October 06
» Suitcase Deadlift Dumbbell Style, by Mike Rutherford - March 07
» Calisthenics, by Roger Harrell - May 06
» The Push-up, by Greg Glassman - March 03
» The Odd Lifts, by Greg Glassman - January 03
» The Clean, by Greg Glassman - July 03
» The Glute-Ham Developer Situp, by Greg Glassman - October 05
» Kipping Pullups, by Greg Glassman - April 05
» Functionality and Wallball, by Greg Glassman - August 03
» The Deadlift, by Greg Glassman - August 03
» Swingers and Kippers, by Tyler Hass - April 05
» Dumbbell Vertical Press, by Mike Rutherford - January 07
» On the Safety and Efficacy of Overhead Lifting, by Rippetoe, Kilgore, Starrett, et. al - March 08
» The Dumbbell Bear, by Mike Rutherford - June 07


» Metabolic Conditioning, by Greg Glassman - June 03
» Metabolic Conditioning Glossary, by Pukie & Greg Glassman - June 03
» Putting Out Fires, by Lon Kilgore - March 07
» What About Recovery?, by Greg Glassman - January 05
» An Aerobic Paradox, by Lon Kilgore - December 06
» Anatomy and Physiology for Jocks, by Greg Glassman - August 03


» The Back Handspring, by Roger Harrell - July 06
» The Swing, by Roger Harrell - August 06
» Ring Strength, by Greg Glassman - July 04
» Gymnastics & Tumbling, by Greg Glassman - February 05
» The Freestanding Handstand Pushup, by Roger Harrell - June 06
» The Handstand, by Greg Glassman - January 04
» Stretching and Flexibility, by Roger Harrell - January 06
» Gymnastics Hurdle, by Roger Harrell - November 06
» The Front Handspring, by Roger Harrell - December 06


» Kettlebell Clean, by Jeff Martone - March 07
» Kettlebell Basics: Drills for Improving Your Swing, by Jeff Martone - November 06
» Improving Your Swing Part 2, by Jeff Martone - December 06
» One-Arm Swings and Beyond, by Jeff Martone - January 07
» Kettlebell Clean Combinations, by Jeff Martone - April 07
» A Performance-Based Comparison of Kettlebell Methods, by Steve Cotter - July 07
» The Turkish Get-up Part 1, by Jeff Martone - May 07
» The Turkish Get-up Part 2, by Jeff Martone - June 07
» Swingers and Kippers, by Tyler Hass - April 05


» Police Training, by Greg Glassman - March 03
» Combat Calisthenics, by Tony Blauer - July 06
» The Grinder: CrossFit Operations Order #1 "CHAD", by Greg Glassman - July 06
» The AOFP CrossFit Austere Program, by Greg Glassman, Wade Rutland, JT Williams - August 06
» Canadian Infantry School Austere AOFP Program Results Briefing, by Wade Rutland, JT Williams, Jeff Bird - August 06
» A Concept for Functional Fitness, by USMC - January 07
» The CrossFit Insurgency, by Scott Satterlee - July 06
» CrossFit, Stoicism, and an American Prisoner of War, by Andrew Thompson - December 04
» Monster Mash, by Capt Andrew Thompson, November 04
» Training in Austere Locations, by James Decker - March 06
» The Grinder: CrossFit FRAGO #8, "SHANE", by Greg Glassman - March 07


» Working Wounded, by Greg Glassman - May 05
» CrossFit Shoulder Therapy, by Tyler Hass - October 05
» CrossFit Induced Rhabdo, by Greg Glassman - October 05
» Trigger Point Therapy, by Christian Lemburg - September 05
» On Recovery, by Robb Wolf - January 05
» The Yin and Yang of the Back, by Michael Rutherford - December 06


» The Triangle, by Becca Borawski - November 06
» The Left Hook, by Becca Borawski - March 07
» McCarthy's Ultimate Training Academy, by Becca Borawski - January 07
» CrossPit Basics, by Tony Budding - April 06
» Fight Camp, by Becca Borawski - December 06
» Surviving in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, by Becca Borawski - April 08


» Glycemic Index, by Greg Glassman - November 02
» Fast Food, by Greg Glassman - December 02
» Fit to Eat: Pick of Summer Dinner, by Benjamin Sims - August 06
» Getting off the Crack, by Nicole Carroll - October 05
» Fit to Eat: Spring Dinner Menu, by Benjamin Sims - May 06
» Fit to Eat: Summer Picnic Menu, by Benjamin Sims - June 06
» Fit to Eat: Spicy Summer Barbeque, by Benjamin Sims - July 06
» Fit to Eat: Autumn Dinner, by Benjamin Sims - October 06
» CFJ Issue 21: Zone Meal Plans - May 04
» CFJ Issue 15: Nutrition -Avoiding Metabolic Derangement - November 03

Olympic Lifts

» Learning the Olympic Lifts: The Stance, by Mike Burgener & Tony Budding - November 06
» Pulling Positions for the Snatch, Mike Burgener with Tony Budding - March 07
» Skill Transfer Exercises, by Tony Budding - May 06
» The Scoop & The Second Pull, by Greg Glassman, January 06
» The Burgener Warmup, by Mike Burgener & Tony Budding - January 07


» Parkour Basics: A Compendium, by Jesse Woody - November 06
» Tic-Tac & Wall Run, by Jesse Woody - August 06
» Parkour Part 3: Jumping, by Jesse Woody - July 06
» Parkour, by Jesse Woody - March 06
» Underbar and Gate Vault, by Jesse Woody, October 06
» Parkour Basics Part 1, by Jesse Woody - May 06
» Basics of Parkour: Environmental Awareness and the Roll, by Jesse Woody - April 06


» A New, Rather Long Analysis of the Deadlift, by Mark Rippetoe - November 06
» CrossFit & Powerlifting, by Jason Bagwell - May 05
» Popular Biomechanics, by Mark Rippetoe - March 07
» Slow Lifts 5: The Deadlift, by Mark Rippetoe, -July 06
» The Deadlift, by Greg Glassman - August 03
» The Slow Lifts 2: The Squat, by Mark Rippetoe - April 06


» On Being a Trainer, by Greg Glassman - August 07

Rest Day/Theory

» Science and the Rest Day Discussions, by Jeff Glassman - November 07


» Strategies for a 7 Minute 2K on the Concept II Rower, by Greg Glassman - November 02
» Rowing Technique, by Angela Hart - October 06
» What's Your Power IQ, by Angela Hart - December 06
» Using Erg Data to Fine-Tune Your Training, by Judy Geer - March 07
» Rowing Workouts, by Angela Hart - May 07
» Row Fast: How to Prepare for an Erg Test, by Peter Dreissigacker - February 07
» Indoor Rowing: Damper Settings & Intensity, by Peter Dreissigacker - April 07
» Ergometer Scores and Hall of Fame Workouts, by Greg Glassman - December 02

Special Populations

» A CrossFit Grandma, by Mary Conover - October 04
» "The Girls" for Grandmas!, by Greg Glassman - October 04
» High School Phys Ed., by Tony Budding - October 04

Sports Applications

» UC Riverside Baseball Fall Conditioning, by Josh Everett - February 07
» Why Swimming is Different, by Terry Laughlin - March 05
» Slacklining, by Michael Street - November 04
» Bike Control Basics: Static Skills, by Scott Hagnas - October 06
» Inside-Out Breathing, by Terry Laughlin - December 05
» Speed Development, by Karl Geissler & John Baumann - March 06
» U.C. Riverside Women’s Basketball Off Season Conditioning, by Josh Everett - March 07
» Recovery and Regeneration Interview with Carl Valle, by Tyler Hass - January 05
» Swingers and Kippers, by Tyler Hass - April 05
» CrossFit to Go, by Lindsay Yaw - June 05
» Bike Control Basics Part 3, by Scott Hagnas - December 06
» Hooverball, by Greg Glassman - February 03


» Science and the Rest Day Discussions, by Jeff Glassman - November 07
» On Being a Trainer, by Greg Glassman - August 07


» The CrossFit Total, by Mark Rippetoe - December 06
» Interval Generator, by Greg Glassman - June 03
» Fooling Around With Fran, by Greg Glassman - March 05
» The New Girls, by Greg Glassman - November 04
» Ergometer Scores and Hall of Fame Workouts, by Greg Glassman - December 02
» Benchmark Workouts, by Greg Glassman - September 03
» "The Girls" for Grandmas!, by Greg Glassman - October 04
» Team Workouts, by Greg Glassman - October 03

CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.
original site design: