Duane Ludwig & T.J. Dillishaw Bang Muay Thai Seminar in Florida

Duane Ludwig & T.J. Dillishaw Bang Muay Thai Seminar in Florida!
Duane Ludwig with Bang Muay Thai Coach, Brian Ruscio
Duane Ludwig with Bang Muay Thai Coach, Brian Ruscio
Duane Ludwig & T.J. Dillishaw Bang Muay Thai Seminar in Florida!
Duane Ludwig & T.J. Dillishaw Bang Muay Thai Seminar in Florida!

2 time Coach of the year, Duane “Bang” Ludwig will be holding a 3 hour Muay Thai Seminar at Grappling Mastery, in Central Florida this coming Saturday, May 13. Duane Ludwig holds the record for UFC’s fastest knockout at only 6 seconds. He will be teaching unique combos from his Striking System that are proven in both the Ring and the Octagon.

T.J. Dillishaw will also be in attendance.

Pre-Registration is only $100 or $125 at the door
You can pay at the Academy or online by clicking the ticket link below and skip to the online store > services > Muay Thai Seminar it will ask you to make an account after you press checkout.

Space is limited so there can be no spectators unless you have registered. Remember to wear a white shirt or your appropriately ranked shirt.

RSVP on Facebook

Register for the Seminar

 

How to Find and Choose the Best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy

Professor Brian Ruscio and the Grappling Mastery Team showing support at the Fighting for the Cure BJJ Seminar in Orlando Florida

If you are new to Grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, also known as BJJ, how do you choose the right school to join?  I’m going to assume that you may not live near our Mount Dora location or any future location we may open.  Grappling Mastery opened in 2013 and since then, running my own school (previous to that I helped run a Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu Academy in Orlando), I realized a couple things.  These things are important to check into before joining a new academy.  Choosing the right BJJ Academy is important to your ability to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu effectively.  Joining the wrong school can waste your time or even get you hurt.  Sometimes it can even set you backwards in your progress as you learn improper techniques and strategies.

Your Perspective is your own.  The main thing is that “you”, potential members, are coming in blind.  You may or may not have ever trained in martial arts before, particularly, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ).  This means a few things.  First, you have no idea what “good” technique, or for that matter, what “Great” technique is.  If I put a legit blue belt (2nd belt after white) to “roll”, or spar, with you and said they were a “Black Belt” you wouldn’t know the difference.  It’s all a matter of perspective.  As a new martial artist you would simply be overwhelmed by the blue belt, and assume they are excellent. Don’t assume someone being good or better than you means they are good enough to teach you.  This person will be your mentor for a very long time and the decision is very important.

Skill level of the students.  The students are a reflection of the instructor.  Don’t believe everything you are told.  The mats don’t lie.  There are huge gaps between the skill level of each belt.  You shouldn’t see lower belts beating higher belts regularly.  A White belt tapping a Purple Belt or higher doesn’t mean the white belt should be promoted, it means the Purple Belts rank should be questioned.  Belts aren’t to be handed out like candy.  Belts are earned.  Does the instructor compete.  Do the members compete.  Do research on the tournaments. Are they small, in house, or local tournaments? Or are they larger, more prestigious tournaments, where more challenging competitors choose to test themselves?

Is your Instructor a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt according to the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation?Research the Instructors Lineage.  Where did he learn his skills.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was developed by Carlos and Helio Gracie after being taught by Mitsuyo Maeda (Count Coma).  The lineage should start there and be able to be traced to your instructor.  Usually the closer to the source the better the lineage.  An example of a good lineage can be found in Grappling Mastery.  After Carlos Gracie Sr. is his son, Carlos Gracie Jr., then Marcio Simas, who is Brian Ruscio’s Instructor.  If an instructor doesn’t have a solid lineage that is a red flag. Again, do your research.  Another red flag is when someone “bounced around” and hasn’t been with the same instructor.  There are cases to be made for when someone moves out of state, etc. But if the person in question has been local the entire time, why wouldn’t he stay with someone from beginning to end?

Teams & Affiliations. Similar to lineage, an Instructors team or affiliation should go hand in hand with their lineage.  The Professor who awards your Instructor with his belt is his lineage and they are usually part of a team. Some examples are Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu, Alliance, Fight Sports, among many others.  There are exceptions, like costs of being affiliated or franchising, however, other than that an instructor should be proud to represent the team that taught him everything he/she knows.  For example, here at Grappling Mastery, Professor Brian Ruscio is a Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Master, Marcio Simas in Orlando, Florida.  We have had offers from several other schools to become affiliated with them and turned them down immediately without question.  We feel there is no reason to claim affiliation with a team that didn’t have a part in our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lineage and education.

Affiliation hopping is a red flag!  Did the instructor get his Black Belt from the team they claim affiliation from?  Affiliation hopping is when a person doesn’t stay with the same instructor or affiliate without a legitimate reason.  This is usually because they have done something the instructor of affiliation doesn’t approve of and they get kicked out or even stripped of their black belt!  Beware of affiliate hoppers.  People will sometimes pay for an affiliation just to display some sort of credibility, even though they didn’t get their Black Belt from that lineage.

Research the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation.  Local and Federal Government doesn’t keep track of an Instructor who claims to be a Black Belt.  The could literally lie about it their rank just so they can run a school, or be rewarded rank falsely by another just to collect affiliate fees from them.  So who is here to protect consumers?  It’s the IBJJF, International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation.  They are established to keep track of a Black Belts lineage. The only way to be accredited by the IBJJF is to have an accredited IBJJF 2nd Degree Black Belt sign off on your application. So each person in the instructors lineage would have to be an Official IBJJF Black Belt for them to appear on the IBJJF Black Belts Database.  The academy should also be registered with the IBJJF in their Database of IBJJF Recognized Schools.

There are Black Belts, and then there are BLACK BELTS.  Huh? what?  Basically, getting a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu should never be an easy feat. Or what is it really worth in the first place?  However, even at that level, there are “normal” Black Belts, “good” Black Belts, and “Great” Black Belts.  This goes back to competition.  Do your research. Try not to go in blind.  What has your potential instructor won.  Has he proven himself against other Black Belts in actual high level tournaments? This is not a must, but the mats don’t lie.

Quality of Instruction.  Just because someone wears a “Black Belt” doesn’t mean they are good.  Just because they are “good” doesn’t mean they are a great instructor.  I’ve had over a dozen wrestling coaches and met some great jiu jitsu instructors and athletes in my life. Through various housing moves as a child and have seen the good, great, and downright bad coaches in my life.  The best coaches explain everything in detail.  All the way down to finger positions and which way to look with your eyes (yes, it can be that important of a detail).  Does the instructor give each member individual time or does he get on his phone in between techniques? How well does he answer questions?  Does he get upset when someone questions a technique or does he take the criticism and give a satisfactory response?

Reputation in the BJJ Community.  Ask people who would know firsthand.  These are people who already train in neighboring cities that would know about your potential instructor.  Don’t ask schools that are close enough to be competition. But make sure they are close enough that it’s possible they have old members that have moved there or from there and have heard stories about the gym and instructor.  BJJ is a tight community and they want new people to have the best experience possible. They will be happy to recommend where you should or should not train.

Research if the instructor has a criminal record.  The IBJJF makes this easy since every potential Black Belt must pass a background check. However, it still doesn’t hurt to make a quick search for “Instructors Name Here, Mugshot” or take it a step further and do your own background check.  Remember, this person is going to be spending time with you, your wife possibly, and your kids.  He or she is a role model, whether they like it or not, and should represent what you want yourself and your family to become.  A black belt with a criminal record is a red flag.

Feeling Good about a potential school? Give it a trial.  Call and ask about their trial classes.  Go try it out.  See what the members think.  Most should be happy and friendly.  If they are not, that’s another red flag.  They shouldn’t be trying to prove anything to you.  Remember you are a newbie.  Why would they have to show you how fast they can beat you.  Remember, anyone can put on a show for one day.  At Grappling Mastery we offer a Free 30 Days to everyone!  You want to go back at different times. Watch classes, participate in classes, get every perspective you can.  If members are not ecstatic about training there, it’s a red flag.  I mean, they pay to be there.  Which brings me to the next subject.

Class Format and Curriculum. Are the classes organized and can the instructor provide a curriculum and/or list of moves that you will be learning?  Is there ample time to drill techniques or are students thrown into sparring scenarios without a chance to get a few moves under their belt first.  This is a quick way to get hurt.  Imagine doing takedown training and never being shown how to perform any takedowns or even worse, not knowing the proper way to break a fall.

Contracts?  It’s normal for gyms and martial arts schools to have contracts.  If they offer a month to month plan, it’s generally a good idea to go with that so you don’t get stuck in something you need to get out of.  At Grappling Mastery, we only have a month to month, no contract option.  That’s because we know you will love it and stay.  We don’t need to keep anyone bound to us by paper, just great classes!

Friendliness & Trustworthy? BJJ is addictive.  You will experience improvements in your confidence, fitness, stress levels and so much more.  You will want to spend more and more time at the academy.  You will end up developing relationships with your teammates and meet new people all the time.  For this reason, it will be important that the people you meet at the academy are sincere and genuine in their intentions.  Someone seeming like a nice person is not enough.  BJJ is a martial art that deals with very dangerous positions and if you are “rolling”, or sparring with someone they have the opportunity to severely hurt you.  You need to have 100% trust in your partners at the academy.  I’ve heard numerous horror stories about people rolling with someone and was injured by them, later realizing that the person was sent by the instructor to “teach them a lesson”.

Beware of Toxic Environments and Cultlike Atmospheres!  It’s an unfortunate fact that owning a martial arts business gives manipulative people a powerful position to find victims.  I’ve heard countless stories of instructors doing inappropriate things to younger students.  Instructors sending their “disciples” to hurt students that made them unhappy.  Coercing students to pay for things the instructor should be paying for, lending money to them, or even promising quicker promotions in rank/belt by doing favors for the instructor.  There are certain codes or conduct, or rules of etiquette in any martial art but schools with a cult-like, or manipulative mentality take this many steps too far.  Forcing you to feel outcast, or “not part of the team” if you choose not to follow along. Rules that seem simple and harmless can lead a manipulative instructors “subjects” into a downward spiral of feeling under their thumb, and helpless, and likens itself to an abusive, toxic relationship.  The student even fears leaving the school for the chance they may see their old instructor around town.

Environment. How do the students treat each other? Are there cliques? Or does everyone get along.  Do they respect the instructor and each other. How do they treat new people.  How do experienced students treat the inexperienced ones?  Do they dominate them, or do they try to help them get better?

Cleanliness!  This is a contact sport. The mats should be extremely clean!  No shoes allowed on the mats, no food, no drink.  Members should have clean uniforms (Gi) and should never stink.  There are many skin conditions that can be shared between people in close contact.  I’m proud to say that I’ve been told many times by visitors and sponsors of athletes at Grappling Mastery that we have the cleanest gym anyone has seen.  We keep a foot cleaning station at the door before people get on the mats and one by the bathroom for people on the way out.

Read Reviews.  Most schools have Reviews on Yelp, Google Plus, Facebook, and other sites.  Do your research and look for well thought out reviews.

Visit 3-5 schools and don’t accept any hard sales pitches.  They should be confident enough to let you explore your options and think about whether you want to join or not.  Like stated above, you may want to visit some that are not in your area just to get a good image of what there is out there or even see what they know about the one you plan on joining.

FOCUS Magazine Features Kai “The Hammer” Staton

Kai "The Hammer" Staton, Florida BJJ State Champion

Bang Muay Thai in Central Florida!

Bang Muay Thai Mount Dora in Central Florida

Bang Muay Thai comes to Central Florida!

“This is the Best System in the World.” – Joe Rogan

Central Florida's Premier Bang Muay Thai Affiliate
Bang Muay Thai for MMA
Duane "Bang" Ludwig and Coach Brian Ruscio
Duane “Bang” Ludwig and Coach Brian Ruscio

Bang Muay Thai was developed by the one and only Duane “Bang” Ludwig who currently holds the UFC record for the official fastest knockout, only 6 seconds. He is also well known for leading T.J. Dillashaw to his dominating TKO victory over Renan Barao.  Duane “Bang” Ludwig won consecutive Coach of the Year awards in 2013 and 2014!  He was considered the key element in helping Team Alpha Male win the Gym of the Year Award by the World MMA Awards.  Previous to these coaching accomplishments, Duane “Bang” Ludwig won several championships with K1, ISKA, WKA, and IKF. He was the only K1 World MAX Champion to compete in UFC and 1 of only 5 K1 Champions to do the same.

Grappling Mastery is proud to have Coach Duane Ludwig at the head of our Bang Muay Thai program!

Muay Thai is known as the art of 8 limbs because it uses knee strikes and elbow strikes in addition to feet and hands. Originally known as Muay Boran, it was designed for war, to take out an opponent as quickly as possible. Like grappling, Muay Thai Boxing is up close and personal,  perfect for the grappling styles.

Grappling Mastery offers Bang Muay Thai classes to compliment our superior grappling, giving our students the complete package for MMA. Great grappling and awesome striking! Perfect for MMA! Ready for any situation!

Bang Muay Thai Central Florida Kid's Program
Grappling Mastery’s Little Ninjas!

We also have incorporated Bang Muay Thai into our Kids Bullyproof Program as well!  The Little Ninjas will learn how to defend themselves should they ever need to.  They will learn how to punch and kick in combinations just like the adults in a class that is focused on them.  We teach Muay Thai as a martial art first, so respect and discipline is very important to us.  Students will have the opportunity to be ranked in the Best Muay Thai System in the World!

We will be implementing the program immediately.  Anyone who attends class in April will receive a Free Bang Muay Thai Ranked Shirt.

Information on Ranking and Requirements will be provided as it becomes available.  If you are new to Muay Thai you can find gear at MMA Warehouse.  You will need 14-16 ounce Boxing Gloves and Muay Thai Shin Pads.

Classes will be 6 days per week, morning and night!

SCHEDULE

Fighting with Disabilities in MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, Jean Jacques Machado

I’m reminded of an old wrestling poster that said “Any Body can Wrestle!” featuring a large heavyweight and a very small wrestler, both Champions.  This is especially the case in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu where many times it’s focus is to use leverage and technique to overcome strength and size.

But what about people with disabilities?

In my BJJ journey I’ve learned that many of the “guards” and other positions/techniques were often developed to overcome a handicap or injury that an athlete had.  From PTSD to a bum leg, amputees, partial hands, diabetes, suffering seizures, and being exceptionally weak are only a few real examples of disabilities BJJ and MMA fighters have overcome. These are some physical or mental disabilities that people may be concerned about.  I have also experienced parents with concerns of their children having ADD, ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia and other behavioral disabilities or special needs that they think might hold their child back from learning.  In many cases, I found it to be the complete opposite! Many times these are the children that excel and thrive in my kids classes!  Many adults and kids experience huge benefits from Grappling specifically pertaining to their challenges.  This is in addition to the long list of benefits of training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu every person who trains can tell you about.

In the following post I’ll be reviewing some of the most popular Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, and MMA athletes that overcame their disabilities to improve themselves rather than letting it hold them back.

  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, Jean Jacques Machado
    Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, Jean Jacques Machado

    The first that comes to mind is Jean Jacques Machado.  Cousin to the Gracie’s, and a Black Belt under Carlos Gracie Jr., Machado suffered birth defects resulting from Amniotic Band Syndrome, which left him with only his thumb and pinky finger on his left hand. Despite this affecting his ability to grip in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he won many National and International titles, including Gold in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Nationals for 11 consecutive years.  He also won a Gold in Abu Dhabi and earning the “Most Technical Fighter” award.

  • Kyle Maynard wrestling
    Kyle Maynard wrestling

    Kyle Maynard, born with congenital amputation, is a quadruple amputee who wrote the book No Excuses: The True Story of a Congenital Amputee Who Became a Champion in Wrestling and in Life.  Maynard began training in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in 2005.  He had his amateur debut fight on April 25, 2009.

  • At 19 years old, Roberto “Gordo” Corriea suffered a knee injury in competition and damaged the cruciate ligaments in his knee.  This injury lasted a very long time and prevented him from using one of his legs.  He didn’t let this stop him from getting better.  He overcame the injuring by working around it. Through his adjustments in his jiu jitsu game, he contributed to the development of the “Half Guard”, one of the most important positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu today!
  • Keith Miner, MMA fighter
    Keith Miner, MMA fighter

    In May 2000, then 19 year old, Keith Miner was feeding trees into a wood chipper when the driver of the truck it was on pulled forward without telling anyone. He tripped and his hand and forearm got caught in the wood chipper.  Right handed, but now without without being able to move anything past his shoulder, he had to learn how to do everything left handed!  He started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA, holding a record of 5-5 and becoming the first professional amputee fighter.

 

  • Tracy "Tra" Telligman, UFC Fighter
    Tracy “Tra” Telligman, UFC Fighter

    Tracy “Tra” Telligman was in a car accident crushing his ribs when he was only one and a half years old. Tra can be seen fighting with a deep recess in his chest because he is missing his right pectoral muscle and his right lung due to the accident! Telligman began training in karate when he was 8 years old, continuing until he was 13 years old, and then began boxing until he was 15. During high school he started training in jiu jitsu.  Tra Telligman has a professional Boxing record of 4-2 and MMA record of 7-5-1 and has fought some legendary UFC fighters!

  • Garrett Holeve, MMA Fighter with Down Syndrome
    Garrett Holeve, MMA Fighter with Down Syndrome

    Garrett Holeve, of Cooper City Florida struggles with Downs Syndrome and is also fighting to be allowed to compete in MMA.  On November  8, 2014 he earned a victory in his first sanctioned MMA bout.

 

“You expect great things from your children, but you learn how to be realistic with a child that has sensory problems early on. You learn their limits fast and try not to push too far past those too fast. Most people know my awesome fun loving son, but haven’t seen what it took to get there. He amazes me all the time, but on this day he really went past his limit and way beyond. He showed strength, heart, control, and above all respect. He put it out there on the mat then with the exception of a few heartbroken minutes he left it there and told me what he was going to work on in the future. I am proud to call him my son and I have seen the struggles we went through break through the clouds to a beautiful moment. It’s almost too much and I never though Jiu Jitsu of all things would bring this out of him. So thank you Brian Ruscio and Rita Rojas, you have given me something way more precious than any medal he could bring home.”
– Brandi Rust, Mother & Behavioral Health Tech.
“Building Champions On & Off the Mats!”

New Muay Thai Classes in Mount Dora!

Kids Muay Thai Kickboxing Classes in Lake County, Florida
Ladies and Kids Muay Thai Kickboxing is great for self defense
Muay Thai Kickboxing Classes for Kids and Adults!

Grappling Mastery is proud to announce our New Muay Thai Kickboxing Class Schedule.  Due to our continued growth we have decided to split our class into a Kids Muay Thai Kickboxing Class at 5pm until 6pm on Fridays and Adult Muay Thai Kickboxing Classes every Friday at 6pm until 7pm.  We will hold Open Mats afterward to allow time for additional drilling, sparring, or even rolling.  You can find the Grappling Mastery Class Schedule here.

Grappling Mastery Head Instructor Brian Ruscio and Muay Thai Coach Mike Sgroi
Grappling Mastery Head Instructor Brian Ruscio and Muay Thai Coach Mike Sgroi

All Muay Thai Kickboxing Classes are taught by Coach Mike Sgroi and Coach Brian Ruscio!

Muay Thai is known as the art of 8 limbs.  Some of the greatest fighters in the UFC and other MMA events are Muay Thai fighters.  Coach Sgroi and Coach Ruscio have trained many MMA Fighters, both Pro and Amateur.  Muay Thai is an effective martial art for self defense and will prove to be a great workout as well.  Many places offer “Cardio Kickboxing” which may give you a workout but wouldn’t serve you well to protect yourself or your family.  Our Muay Thai Classes at Grappling Mastery will teach you proper techniques to help you learn how to defend yourself should you ever need to while giving you workout you are looking for.

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BANG Muay Thai Combinations from a recent class at Grappling Mastery

Muay Thai Class at Grappling Mastery in Mount Dora

Here are some videos from another Muay Thai Kickboxing Class at Grappling Mastery MMA Academy in Mount Dora, Florida.

Caitlin “Meathook” Kelley training with Kai “The Hammer” Staton

Kai "The Hammer" Staton and Caitlin "Meathook"

Caitlin “Meathook” Kelley is an 11 yr old Mixed Martial Artist.  She didn’t speak until she was 5 and has dyslexia but doesn’t let that stop her! She competes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, MMA, and is a RMA ambassador against bullying. Caitlin has been training with Mike Sgroi in Muay Thai Kickboxing at Grappling Mastery and has found a unique training partner in Kai “The Hammer” Staton who has an impressive Boxing and Kickboxing record himself. Below are some videos of the training.

2013 IKF World Classic Jr. Novice Girls Welterweight International Rules Champion Tiger Schulmann First Degree Black Belt 2012 November Fightergirl of the month 2012 Nationally Ranked 1st State of Florida 2012 Nationally Ranked 4th South 2012 Nationally Ranked 47th Nation 2011 Nationally Ranked 1st State of Florida 2011 Nationally Ranked 2nd South 2011 Nationally Ranked 13th Nation 2011 1st place COPA Sport MMA 2011 2nd place COPA Sport MMA

Caitlin: “I have been a fighter since the day I was born. Like Ronda Rousey, one of the female fighters I want to be like one day, I was born with the cord around my neck. I did not speak until I was 5 or 6. I have dyslexia but will not allow any of it to keep me from reaching my goals!! I love to train and compete. My mom says if I’m not training I’m not happy. I work to be a great role model for other kids and other girls. I end each fight with a smile and a hug. I believe that anyone who gets out there should be proud.”

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BANG Muay Thai Combinations, Drills, and Conditioning

We recently had another great Muay Thai Class at Grappling Mastery: BJJ & MMA in Mount Dora.  We reviewed some more great Muay Thai combinations as well as some good Sparring and Conditioning Drills which can be used for MMA or Self Defense

Subscribe for more Muay Thai Combinations, Techniques, and Drills or Join Grappling Mastery for 30 Days Free!

Photo Gallery of our Grand Opening in Mount Dora!

Grappling Mastery Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA hosted a Self Defense Seminar, Ginastica Natural Class, and a Zumba Fitness Class at our Grand Opening of our New BJJ Academy in Mount Dora on US HWY 441 near Loch Leven.

Enjoy the photo gallery below!

It’s not too late! You can still enjoy Grappling Mastery BJJ & MMA Academy for 30 Days Free!  For more great pictures and videos subscribe to the Grappling Community below!