Tuesday, November 24, 2009

First Fight Dec. 5 @ the Fighthouse

First Fight Dec. 5 @ the Fighthouse

After numerous cancellations I now have a confirmed fight.

Details now; filler to follow.

Fight is set for Saturday December 5th at the Fighthouse. There website doesn’t have any detailed info yet, but will re-post as soon as they do.

122 Wet 27th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, New York 10001
Take the R or W train to 28th street
Or take the 1 train to 28th street
Fight is at 130 lbs.


My first fight was scheduled for 125 lbs division on October 31st; it was cancelled.

My next first fight was scheduled for 125 lbs division on November 7th; cancelled as well.

After that, the next two fight promotions were set for December 5th or the 12th.

Take On Promotions, the company organizing the December 12th fight, could not get find me a 125 lb debut fighter, as I was beginning to realize, it isn’t easy.

Just when things were looking their darkest, Master Aziz pulled me aside during the beginning of class today to let me know that he found someone serious. Finally, a quick sigh of relief, followed by a deep oh-crap sinking feeling. The fighter already has one fight and is looking for a second, at the very least, I know this guy will show up to fight. The fight will be at 130 lbs, and will also have same-day weigh-ins, which is fairly standard at amateur events. Aziz ended the conversation with, think about it, you have all class to think about it and give me your decision! HA, great! Typical Aziz. He is the best.

The way I see it, in a week and a half I will be in the best shape of my life.

Before I fight would like to thank Master Aziz, Christian, Will, Tank, Omar, Patrick, Kevin, Andrew, Jay, Goose and the entire Sitan Gym crew who kicked me in the face, punched me in the liver and never gave up on me.

A special thanks to my lovely wife, who allowed me to come home, night after night, bruised, tattered and limping, but had the strength to allow me this dream.


Shout out to my family – BANSAI!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

First Amateur Fight: I'm on the Fight Radar

Spoke with Aziz and he said that I will be able to fight in the next month or two.

Very excited and nervous.

Already begun running and generally feel real good.

Walking around at about 140 lbs., but should be at 130 by October first.

The goal is to make the 125 lbs division.

No details yet, but will post again soon.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Best Cup Ever!: How I Survived A Low Kick To The Groin

Executive Summary:
I was watching Sport Science on some random day and they were setting up a demonstration of all the groin protection used in sports. They wanted to see how the cups would stand up to a 90mph fastball. The damage was clear, they all either broke or shattered into pieces. The few that didn’t still would not have protected the “boys” in anyway. That is until they brought out the Nutty Buddy . Cheesy name, I know, but it does what it says. It protects the nuts, like a good friend should. To demonstrate, the inventor and former MLB pitcher Mark Littell redesigned the way the cup was shaped, thus affecting the way it absorbs impact. As he puts it, when you take a shot to the pills, even if the cup doesn’t bend or break on impact, the twig and berries have no where to go, so end up getting hitting the cup itself. Not cool at all. So he demonstrated taking a 90mph without flinching. This guy means business.

Video of Nutty Buddy Inventor taking a 90mph shot to the pills.

My Results
I have never worn a cup, and by shear luck have never really taken any accidental shots to the junk. Now practicing Muay Thai, and after watching the demo, I had to have one. So I went to the website to order. They recommend that you first wear a pair of compression shorts, then put the jock strap on, and place the nutty buddy in between the two. Their website also allows you to build a package and order all the items needed to protect the family jewels. Very convenient for someone like me who likes the one-stop-shop.

Key Issues:
1. Mark Littell will be thanked for saving many babies
2. The redesign of the cup is a stroke of genius

1. Go to the website and buy the package, nuff said

My Experience with the diet
- Pros its only costs $20 for the nutty buddy
- With the set of shorts, strap and shipping it came to about $60, a price I am willing to pay

- As soon as I received it, I put it on and tested it. It will definitely take a shot head on. And that’s the key. The shot must be head on, problem is that in muay thai, boxing and mma, sometimes upper-cuts and low kicks come up from under. If this happens you are probably not going to survive.

Funny story.
The day after I ordered it I went to Sitan Gym for the advanced class for sparring.
Feeling good that the nutty buddy is on its way.
We finish the warm up and start sparring.
I partner up with a nice guy, he catches me with a stiff jab, my head snaps back.
I get upset.
I rush in with a 1-2 combo followed by a low kick.
I didn’t feel a cup.
I felt awful.
All the consolation in the world means nothing when you have that sinking feeling in your stomach.
We then switch partners, I get a taller guy, whom I have never sparred with.
I eat a jab, then take a low kick.
I guess that’s fighter’s karma.
What goes around comes around. Oh yeah did I mention, the nutty buddy was on its way. Dang, how it hurts.

Today’s class was different.
Teamed up with a jerky-motioned partner, the kind you have to watch out for weird twitchy movements.
Low and behold, I took a low kick right in the tackle box.
After an awkward flinch, I took the damn kick to the groin!!!!
Insert sigh of relief.
Only thing I had to do was slightly readjust to ensure it was seated properly.
Funny how the low kick just came in at the right angle and so it was perfectly deflected into my hips instead of the groin.
Thank you Mark Littell and thank you Nutty Buddy.
This marks the end of this post as I am fresh out of groin euphemisms.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fighter Focus Diet: Is the Slow Carb Diet the BEST diet for fighters?

I don’t need to tell you how important dieting is for any sport, especially when there’s a chance that you might not have enough energy left to block a hay-maker in the last round.

I have been now been on this diet for 8 weeks now and think it’s one of the best diets out there for both being functional and fairly simple. Its called the Slow Carb Diet and it has been known as a variation of both the Atkins diet (Atkins Official Website) and the Cyclic Ketogenic Diet (CKD on Wikipedia), which was popularized by Dean Karnazes , the crazy awesome guy who ran 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states.

My Results
I have had so much fun testing the limits of both my body and my mind with this diet. By making sure that I would be disciplined and stick to the diet to the “T” I wanted to test the diets limits and essentially run a small-scale experiment on myself. This diet has been touted as an easy fat burner and muscle builder diet. Issue was I was fine at my weight of 135 lbs. What I wanted were the ancillary benefits of the diet, become healthier and see if it would have any effects on my body fat content or muscle development.

Executive Summary:
There are really only four components to the slow carb diet as I have come to know it by Tim Ferriss , author of the Four Hour Work Week.

Key Issues:
1. Avoid white carbohydrates- bread, potatoes, pasta, tortillas and anything breaded
2. Create meals using the same few ingredients:
a. Proteins- Grass fed beef, pork, chicken and fish
b. Legumes- red, black, kidney, lima beans
c. Veggies – frozen and fresh
3. Don’t drink calories- try to avoid
4. Take one day per week off- carbo load, calorie spike, binge day, whatever you decide to call it, eat whatever you want, as much as you want, this day is the key to speeding your metabolism for the week.

1. Avoid white carbohydrates- the following is a list of items that you may NOT eat
a. Pasta
b. Bread- be careful with this one. Just because it says whole wheat doesn’t mean it isn’t a white carb. Many bakers use white flour and enrich it with molasses or some kind of sugar to give it the brownish color- So I say stay away from the breads all together.
c. Fried foods- they will usually either be coated with flour or batter made from flour or with seasoned bread crumbs
d. Rice
e. Cereal
f. Potatoes
g. Sweet Potatoes are also out, they contain a bit of sugar and are full of starch
h. Corn- beware don’t buy the frozen mixed veggies if it includes the corn.
i. WAIT! Only time you can eat white carbs is after an intense resistance-training workout
2. Create meals using the same few ingredients. So what can you eat? The following is a list of items that you MAY eat:
a. Proteins
i. Egg Whites for breakfast
ii. Grass fed beef- let them eat grass, its good for them and good for you
iii. Free Range Chicken- healthier and will force you to buy more local products
iv. Pork- organic if you can find it, if not, then oh well
v. Fish- can get expensive but for a once in a while meal it isn’t bad
b. Legumes
i. All the beans you can eat
c. Vegetables- some of my faves but feel free to explore
i. Spinach- I am a huge spinach fan, its chock full of vitamins like, vitamin a, beta carotene, folate, vitamin c, vitamin e, vitamin k, some calcium, iron and some protein. You can use fresh or frozen.
ii. Zucchini- its low in calories and contains folate, vitamin a, potassium which is known to prevent most muscle cramps and manganese.
iii. Broccoli- known for its high amounts of vitamin C and fiber
iv. Most all other vegetables are also ok, just be careful with corn
3. Don’t drink calories- try to avoid drinking meals
a. No soda, unless sugar free
b. Juice
c. Smoothies
d. Try to avoid drink milk in large quantities
4. Last but not least the carbo load day:
a. Eat everything in site
b. I weigh in at about 135 normal/walking and can easily hit 147 by the end of my carbo load day, coming down back to about 140 by mid next day

My Experience with the diet
- Incredibly simple instructions to follow
- I usually prepare everything much like a catering hall on Sunday afternoon for the whole week. When I first started I was a mess, cooking, braising, boiling for hours on end. I know have it down to a science, usually done in less that 2 hours with prep. I then store in a Tupperware and split out during the week.
- Cooking it yourself helps you control what you put into it. I have a family history of heart disease, so whenever possible I NEVER cook with any added salt. I do have enough spices to create amazing dishes without salt, cant even tell.
- Cost effective. I use Fresh Direct, they are a great food delivery service that works online. You create an account, order all your food, veggies, meats, deli cuts, anything, and they deliver it to your door. Its awesome and I highly recommend it. It saves me money, time and headaches
- I have become a part time baker on carb spike day and really appreciate the amount of time it takes to cook and bake.
- Carb spike day gives me something to look forward to.
- I must stress how easy this diet is to follow.
- I have been doing this diet for over 2 months and it is no longer a diet, its just how I eat. My wife is on it too, and even though she eats oatmeal for breakfast and cheats all along the week, she has benefited from the diet as well.

- I start craving my Saturday carb spike starting Tuesday by browsing the food network recipes.
- Beans are gassy. Its no secret. So is broccoli and most fibrous healthy veggies. What I do to counter act this is as follows. Before EVERY meal I drink about 20 ounces of water, I then eat about one pound of food and follow it up with about 10 more ounces (size of a cup of joe) and a generic gas-ex chewable tablet. That usually helps out a lot.
- If you follow the water drinking routine above, you will be going to the bathroom often. Im sure the people at work are wondering what is wrong with that guy. But its ok, the results are worth it.
- This diet is so simple and almost radical, that I believe that even most health-care practitioners (MDs, RNs, NPs) are not really up to speed on the benefits because it wasn’t taught during their academic schooling. I find it very hard for me to describe the calorie spike day with out getting a cringe of sorts and suggestions for a “better” diet. I will be going to the doctor soon for my annual check up and will keep you posted for all the numbers.
- Not really too many negative things to say. If you have any more negatives please add. Would also love to hear of your dieting experiences/nightmares

Love this and will continue to stay on this diet until science, doctor’s blood tests prove otherwise.

Since starting this diet I have activated my dormant inner-chef and have started developing some of my own recipes with no added salt, and keeping a few other things that a fighter needs in consideration, so in short, recipes to follow.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fighter Quick Training Technique: Strengthen your feet in one easy step!

Fighter Quick Training Technique: Strengthen your feet in one easy step!
My Experience with the Vibram Five Finger Shoe

Aside from the awful stride pun, it’s actually very easy to strengthen your feet without adding an extra set to your training regiment.

Go Barefoot!

Fewer shoes, will actually increase the strength of the foot. For most of us, we have been raised on the preconceived notion that we need cushion for the heel, support for the arch and all the toes need to be wedged into a spade like form, which orthopedists now are saying can actually be inhibiting strength AND causing damage (Click here for study abstract). The summary is that walking barefoot will strengthen the heel, the arch and not inhibit the toes from their natural position. Please read on for details.

A resurgence of barefoot walking and running clubs like Running Barefoot have come out of the woodwork because people are becoming more aware of the benefits of running/walking/being shoeless.

Increased Strength: To be used for kicking and squatting
The first overall benefit of going bare is the strengthening of the more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments in your feet. By walking barefoot you allow the individual toes and muscles to move, grip and propel the rest of the body in the natural motion that it was intended to. Imagine how weak your hands would be if they were constantly in leather mittens and couldn’t grip anything with your fingers.

Unbind Those Feet
This might seem obvious but I’ll say it anyway, walking barefoot, is non-foot binding. We have all seen examples of bunions (Click to see image of bunion), which is essentially the foot forming into a spade, taking the form of some awesome-o Italian leather shoe, and I must admit I’m a bit guilty of this too. Not wearing shoes prevents this human-created foot deformation.

Reduced back pain
The raised heel at the back of both work shoes and sneakers increases the amount your body tends to lean forward, to counteract this; your lower back contracts to make sure that you are standing upright. This is not a form of exercise. This constant pressure can really hurt people’s lower back. Remove the added heel and remove the back pain and improve your posture. Take a hard cover book, stand it up, then wedge something underneath one end, that’s sort of how it works.

What supports the arch?
The dang arch will support the arch. That question is the equivalent of putting on a glove and asking what supports the thumb. The arch supports the arch. Know what else, those instep soles you stuff in all of your shoes to support the arch, useless in my non-professional opinion. Utterly useless. The arch needs to develop the strength to develop itself so that it can learn to become strong enough to support itself, that’s what it does. This is the point in the conversation where about 20% of Americans will ask what about flat-footed people what should we do? Well I have heard from many flat-footed people all over the internet that this is not a problem for them and may actually help with this. I know that this is a bit shady and light on the support, but I can’t say for certain for two reasons. I am not flat-footed and will only post things that I can test or find adequate scientific evidence supporting. Secondly, I could not find enough rigorous studies that prove this to be true. My feeling is that no one has really taken the time to study it. I’ve also heard many times but can not verify that there is some crazy possibly urban myth that goes something like this, “Something like 60% of Olympic athletes are flat footed and that number increases drastically when you look at medal winners.” I have looked far and wide through Google, but can’t seem to find any data to back this. If you know any information that can verify this please let me know and I will update this post.

I will attest to the improved balance, stability and posture from the barefoot stuff, the problem arises when you live and work in the concrete jungle. Obstacles like cement floors, broken glass, dirty puddles of liquid trash and dog poop will all prevent you from enjoying a nice barefoot stroll to work, the gym or just about anywhere. So where do you go from here? You want to increase the strength in your feet, reduce your back pain, improve your balance and you need to shield if from all the elements of your domain.

Let’s narrow down the choices in footwear:
1. Sneakers: they are better that the leather binding designer shoe, but they still come to a spade-like point at the and have a raised heel.
2. Flip-flops, This one is a bit better: The front of the shoe is a quadrangle, the toes can breath, but there is a bit of heel. Some of them have an even flat surface for walking and others have groves for the heel, arch and indentations for the toes, avoid these. What flip flops don’t do, is allow your toes to grip the ground fully, sprint or go for a jog. Still a better choice than the sneakers.
3. Tabi Boots/ Ninja shoes: If you don’t know what they look like please google. I have been wearing these for years. On a trip to Japan I found that rickshaw runners, and construction workers were wearing them while doing some pretty rugged stuff and decided to start wearing them too. They improve the stability of the ankle and the heel. They weigh nothing, are machine washable and were about 30 bucks in Japan. They are also wicked cool. They do however come to a bit of a point and don’t let each toe grip the ground.
4. Vibram Five Finger Shoes: You guessed it; these shoes give you all the benefits of walking barefoot, all while keeping your soles protected. If Batman was gonna go fight crime barefoot but couldn’t because of the possibility of stepping in dog poo, he would wear Vibram’s five finger shoes. They have a thin layer of rubber reminiscent of super hero suits that protects your soles from the elements, although they still won’t repel bullets. A little background info on Vibram. They are the company usually behind the scenes that creates the soles for a bunch of different hiking boots and mountain climbing type shoes. I believe this is their first fully designed shoe, and it is cool as hell. They have three models, one that is like a sock shoe that leaves the top of the foot open and is pretty bare bones called the classic. The second is the same with a strap and the third looks like an ankle sock but with a strap. My personal favorite is the classic. Sizing is a bit tricky so I ordered three pairs in different sizes and models and just kept the one that fit best. Best thing to do is ease you into the shoe. Don’t wear it everyday all at once. This could injure your feet. For the first few days wear the shoes to the commute to work, some thing like a 30-minute walk or less. This is to get your feet used to supporting themselves. I was pretty used to using tabi boots, which are pretty minimal and still, ran into some foot pains initially. Watch your heel. Just like it takes time to get your shins used to hitting a heavy bag before you can break bats with kicks, it takes time for your heels to get used to the constant hammering of everyday walking. They also look really cool, constantly getting inquiries into wear to get them, why I wear them and this is actually why I’m blogging this up. By the way the classic runs about $80 bucks. Have had them for about a month and wear them to and from work and all is well, no real wear or tear yet.

This is just one of those cases where less is more. I find it incredible that million and billion dollar companies have spent so much money developing footwear and marketing these technological advantages that may actually be disadvantageous to the wearer.

So this is my real first post. Hope you like it. If you plan on coming to the site daily to see what new posts have been posted you will be pleasantly disappointed. I will only post when I have something to say and will only say it if I have done at least some research in the area. Hopefully what I have to say benefits someone somewhere. Please post comments that will help me be accurate and not sloppy. This is the only way I actually know someone is reading this.