Follow a man’s unlikely story of how he came from a small Nebraskan town of 200 people to becoming a cornerman in the most distinguished Mixed Martial Arts promotion in the world.
A Lesser Told Story of Mixed Martial Arts In the Blue Corner: by Jerome Gage
Tucson, AZ-‐2014 – Mixed Martials Arts (MMA) is emerging into a mainstream sport. As it grows more recognizable so do many of the stars. There are copious amounts of television shows, books, magazines, and radio shows highlighting the biggest players in the game. They constantly showcase the lifestyle and training of these fighters, who receive large sponsorships, fight out of renowned gyms, and make the big time money. However, for every one fighter, trainer, or promoter in the limelight there are thousands in the sport who do it solely for the love. Some of these people are promoters, fighters’ wives, gym owners, teammates, and trainers, all of which have their own story of their roles in the sport.
In the Blue Corner is a unique glimpse into one of the lesser told stories behind MMA and the fight lifestyle. It’s a narrative of how a hobbiest in the sport found himself cornering his friend in MMA. This book recounts the story of the cornerman while discussing training camps, scouting opponents, dealing with loss, overcoming injuries, the importance of good teammates, and the attitude behind the winning mindset.
Leo D’avila is an Atos team member, competitor, coach and IBJJF referee.
Leonardo Henrique D’avila Correa, known only as Leo D’avila. is 5’ 8” and 195 pounds. In the last two years he’s has medaled 27 times in IBJJF sanctioned tournaments in weight classes ranging from Medium Heavy, to Heavy to Super Heavy to Ultra Heavy. He in an elite group of competitors who regularly get on the podium, gi and no gi.
He was born in 1985 in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro. Leo just turned 29 today. (Happy Birthday!) He graduated from university with degrees in Physical Education and Sports Science. Leo received the black belt when he was only 20. While living in Brazil he competed and won many competitions like the State Rio de Janeiro Championship (seven times) and the Brazilian National Championship (two times.)
He is now training in San Diego at the home of Atos headquarters and Andre Galvao.
As an Atos black belt, he has taught 30 seminars in 13 different countries (Europe, Americas, Asia and Africa) including a seminar for the US Navy at Naval Base San Diego. He has traveled to Sweden many times to teach a seminars and twice the UFC fighters Gustafson Alexander and Nicholas Musoke attended.
In 2013, he was Cris Cyborg’s Jiu-Jitsu coach for her title fight at Invicta FC 6 against Marloes Coenen. Cyborg won. He also cornered Andre Galvao in the 2012 IBJJF Pro League and at the first two Metamoris (vs Ryron Gracie and Rafael Lovato.) At Metamoris 3 he cornered the athletes from Atos; Keenan Cornelius and the Mendes Brothers.
But you probably recognize him as a referee at IBJJF events. He’s at a lot of them.
As for the rest of 2014 Leo plans to keep competing and getting better until he can say he's ranked number one in the world. Then in the a few years maybe try his hand at MMA, at least once.
When it comes to an individual's Jiu-Jitsu game, everyone looks to become the best. Mastic Fight Wear does just that in their contribution to the grappling community.
Mastic Fight wear Kimonos are available in Pearl Weave and Crystal Weave.
Both options are made of 100 % cotton. The difference between the fabrics is that the Crystal is much softer than the Pearl. However, don't let that sway your decision because each kimono carries the durability of a double weave with the weight of a single. It a suitable choice for competition and is IBJJF approved. The color choices are White/Grey Stitching, Blue/ Grey Stitching, and Black/ Orange Stitching.
Being an owner of many gi brands I got the opportunity to try out this much talked about gi and after careful analysis this is what I discovered:
Jacket: The jacket portion of the kimono is a classic construction model any grappler would admire. Made out of 100 % cotton the jacket is composed of a thick but light strong weave fabric material, which makes it easy to move around in during class instruction providing absolute comfort while training and competing.
The patchwork designs of the jacket are standard with the Mastic Fight Wear logos located of both sides of the shoulders. This layout gives me plenty space to represent with my academy or sponsor patches.
Pants: The Mastic gi pants are made out of ripstop material. From experience, I know these trousers are capable of withstanding the toughest matches from competitors in your division to challenges of in the absolute division. They also are a great fit and are comfortable.
Shrinkage: Mastic Fight Wear kimonos are labelled as Pre-Shrunk. After testing there is no evidence shown for the customer to be concerned about it shrinking after it comes out of the washer. If this is still a concern, a secondary option would be to wash the kimono in cold water by itself and hang try it.
Conclusion: There nothing quite fitting than having a great product in your hands. Comfortable, Competition Ready, and an everlasting usage the Mastic Fight Wear kimono certainly delivers in all areas. This gi is one of the top kimonos I have purchased in a long time. The price blows all other competition out of the water which means you will save a lot of money. There gis are a hot sellers so don't wait make your purchase before they are all sold out.
Truly top-of-the-food-chain innovation from New York's premier fight co. This is the future of real world technical training. On the street, what if a tough guy starts checking out your girl but is wearing a short sleeve shirt? In old-style jiu jitsu you'd be defenseless. Now you will be prepared. Also getting caught in spider-guard sucks, or should I say, used to suck.
Featuring the same fabrics and embroideries as the original Goose, minus the frustration of grip fighting.
If you want to help evolve Jiu Jitsu then stop reading and grab your Short Sleeve Goose before the deal expires!
Gabi Garcia 3:30pm PST near Jardim da Saude, Brazil Sao Paulo, March 27th. 2014.
In will to provide further information, and in order to explain my situation about a notification, at the USADA's panel, accomplished this Wednesday, march, 26th. 2014, regarding the presence of Clomifen, in a Urine sample provided by me, at the 2013, Worlds Championships – Long Beach / CA.
Despite all the ongoings, I coudn't be happier with the results. One more victory in my career.
For months, I've been spending astronomical $ values, in wich I don't have available, with the best attorneys in the sports business (Jorge Ibarolla e Claude Ramoni / Libra Law – Lausanne / CH), all that to make it clear my innocence. And I'm very happy to finally prove that. Together with USADA and my attorneys, for not acting negligent,for having no fault due to this contamination.
We've pulled up all data, and it was detected the presence of the substance due to contamination, during the manipulation process of a gynecological medicine.
For the uninformed, the substance, Clomifen, is not an steroid and does not even mascarate one. In the female body, it only not increase sports performance, but it only prejudices it. Womans get slower and sensible. Then, it makes it obvious of the 'why' not to be used.
During my career, I've Always had (have) all the caution possible with every single medication and supplements ingested by me. I've never utilized of illicit resource to increase my performance. I always fought and still fighting for a clean sport.
I believe that all athlete's merit is the result of hard training, dedication and seriousness. My honesty is what took me to be the athlete and person I am today, and what took me to be the champion I am are, my will to be always the best I can to the sport, my family and the few friends I have always by my side. I don't compete to collect titles, I compete to the growth of the female sport.
For my innocence and my absolution, warrior as I am, I wont be affected by any of the accusations and fingers pointing at me. I wont stop training hard, never surrendering because everything I've conquered was with my own sweat and a lot of training.
In any moment I acted with negligence or reckless.
One month and a half before the test, I've done one same test and resulted NEGATIVE, test wich was developed by USADA. This result was a isolated fact. I develop periodic control tests, gather with my physiologist. I don't ingest any kind of medication or supplement without be certified of the security of it's use. Anywhere I am, I always take all my supplements and medications my self, all manipulated and of my own trust. I don't buy anything for my use. Always consult my doctor about all everything I ingest, even my food.
I'm extremelly caution with this and absolutly sure that I've never done anything to increase my sports performance. If I had really ingested clomifen on purpose, I would be doing that to harm my own performance , and NO contious athlete would never do that.
Inspite of my idea that something odd happened, because IBJJF brought up a new weight category (Super-Heavy) just at the same day that I've been declared ' No Fault' at the test,and simply BAN the anti-dopping test (until now at the PAN'MAS) on 2014, and not have tested some world champions, I WILL COMPETE at the WPJJC (in bu-Dhabi) and also WILL COMPETE at the WORLDS 2014. I'm 100% eligible to compete in any event in Internation/National character.
About my fans,friends and Family, now worries. ' Nobody throw rocks in trees that don't grown good fruits'. To all that sent me and continue to send me affection messages, thank you so much.
Due to the respect, trust and regards I have for my fans, Family, friends and all the general Jiu-Jitsu community, I'm clarifying the situation.
Anti-Doping Results Updates for 2013 World Jiu-jitsu Championship 27/03/2014 No Comments Total Comments
While we are not a WADA Code signatory, IBJJF recognizes the importance of clean competition, and has taken an unusually proactive stance in implementing an anti-doping program on behalf of clean athletes and the integrity of our sport, which includes adherence to the WADA Prohibited List. No one ever wants to see a rules violation, but we are all committed to, and fully stand behind, the anti-doping program and what it represents for fair and honorable competition, and for clean athletes. In this case, it was determined through the full and fair legal results management process that there was a credible explanation for the presence of clomiphene in Ms. Gabrielle Lemos Garcia's sample, and that the athlete was found not to be at fault. She has accepted the findings, and the loss of results will be carried out by the IBJJF. Her eligibility for competition has not been affected. We are committed to ensuring that our athletes, our sponsors, our fans, and all of those who love Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can have the confidence that we will carry out the highest level of professionalism and integrity.
In the interest of full disclosure, I really like Flow Kimonos and have since I saw their website for the first time. A year or so ago Jonathan sent me a test sample of an unbleached hemp gi. I beat the heck out of that thing and it’s still holding up great. Six months after that I got my hands on their ultra-light Pro Series (the lightest gi that I own) and finally a few months ago I was sent the Classic. Before getting into the review itself it’s worth noting that I still have and use all 3 of my Flow Kimonos. In the last few years I’ve had a few dozen gis but these three are going to be in closet for a long time to come. This review is going to be a lot different than my normal reviews, it will be very heavy on pictures. I hope you like it.
Notable Stats: The Classic Series gi is a pre-shrunk 550gsm gold weave gi that is available from Flow Kimonos in three colors (white, blue and black) and in traditional, slim & husky cuts. As a lanky guy their slim cut fits me very well and so far all three of their A3Ls have had the same cut. Flow is one of the few companies that I recommend on a regular basis to those looking for non-traditional sizes.
The gi has all of the standard features regarding quality stitching, reinforcements and well sewn embroidery. Two things that do set it apart are that it’s made in China (the gi is priced very well for one made in China) and that is still using a cloth drawstring. I like that it’s made in China and the drawstring not so much (but it does work). All the pictures were taken in the last few weeks. I wash and dry this gi every time that I wear it. For washing I use a gentle cycle and cold water, for drying I use low heat and dry it completely. If I'd wanted to keep it a little longer I would have skipped the dryer to stop shrinkage.
Wrapping It Up: Jonathon & Flow Kimonos make great gis and have great service for their customers. If you’re a Redditor you’ve probably seen more than one thread from a satisfied customer and you've seen Jon on there as well. As I said before I’ve had 3 of his gis, I’ve kept all of them and still wear them all on a regular basis. That may not sound like a big deal but I've had about 2 dozen gis over the last few years and these are 3 that I'll never part with. The Classic Series gi (154.99 for blue) is a very comfortable, durable option and ideal for someone that is looking for that workhorse gi. Check them out at their Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Athlete, Garcia, Accepts Finding Of No Fault And Loss Of Results
Colorado Springs, Colo. (March 26, 2014)- USADA announced today that Gabrielle Lemos Garcia of São Paulo, Brazil, an athlete in the sport of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has tested positive for a prohibited substance, which was determined to have been ingested by her without fault or negligence, and will lose competitive results.
Garcia, 28, tested positive for Clomiphene as the result of an in-competition urine sample she provided on June 2, 2013 at the International Brazillian Jiu- Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World Jiu-Jitsu Championships in Long Beach, Calif. USADA was contracted by IBJJF to conduct testing for the event and collected Garcia’s sample in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Agency International Standard for Testing.
Clomiphene is a prohibited substance in the category of “Hormone and Metabolic Modulators” under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (the “Code”) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List. Clomiphene is classified as a Specified Substance, and therefore the presence of Clomiphene in an athlete’s sample can result in a reduced sanction.
After a thorough review of the case, USADA was able to conclude, to a comfortable satisfaction, that Garcia had not acted negligently and was not at fault for the positive test. Although Garcia was not found to be at fault or to have acted negligently, in accordance with the Code, a violation of the anti-doping rules in connection with an In-Competition test automatically leads to the disqualification of all results obtained in that competition. While her results from the IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships shall be disqualified, Garcia did not receive a period of ineligibility and, in accordance with the Code, remains eligible to compete.
In an effort to aid athletes, as well as all support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference documentation.
USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.
Congrats Kimura BJJ. 42 belts handed out at their last belt promotion ceromony. Nice picture from our inbox. Thanks for sending.
On Saturday, March 8th Kimura BJJ held another amazing belt promotion. It was a fantastic day for Kimura BJJ with over 150 people in attendance. 130 students were promoted in total including 42 belts- Blue, Purple, Brown and newly minted Black Belts Bruno Braz and Alex Vicente. While the school continues to grow and thrive, the sense of unity, camaraderie, and family has never been stronger. The unique bond that all Kimura students share was evident throughout the ceremony. We want to thank everyone who made this belt promotion a huge success and all Kimurense throughout the world who have contributed to making Kimura BJJ the best Brazilian Jiu-Jistu school around! After more than 10 years since its founding in the U.S. our school has never been stronger and we look forward to the continued growth and success of our students for many more years to come.
Keelan Berg recently had a stellar performance at the Baddest Blue tournament which found Berg showcasing his great talents against some of the top blue belts in Southern California. He is a blue belt under D.Davis and trains out of Primal Jiu-Jitsu in San Diego. To Keep his competitive spirit going he trains a lot, teaches the kids class and competes every chance he gets.
Care to share with readers about yourself and your BJJ background? Keelan Berg: I started wrestling in high school because I was tired of getting beaten up by my two brothers. My younger brother is a big guy so I needed a head start. At the same time, my older brother started BJJ and he soon was able to take us both. I found D. Davis at Primal Jiu Jitsu and my skills developed quick, at least between my family rivals. I’m not the kind of student that wants to jump around to a bunch of different schools and I have never trained anywhere but Primal. BJJ has developed into a lifestyle for me and I have learned much more about myself.
How has being a participant in BJJ impacted your life? Keelan Berg: It really revs up your mind and imagination. Like the other day I was standing in line for lunch and realized I could choke and armbar everyone in the line if I wanted to. But on the serious side, it really has made me focus more at school- my grades have gone up and I am way more confident taking on the challenges of starting a life for myself. I also have learned to not sweat the small stuff and as long as I work hard and make decisions based on my heart that everything will eventually fall into its proper place. The greatest thing I’ve learned is that it takes time to become an expert at something. So many people today think that everything should come them quick, but BJJ has taught me to slow down and enjoy the experience of learning step-by-step.
Being a participant everyone wants to make the best of their experience. Making the step to competing what were your reasons for wanting to become a competitor? Keelan Berg: I kind of treat every roll like a competition, so I feel it was a natural progression for me. I constantly want to test my skills and always enjoy a tough match. There’s only so much you can learn in the classroom bubble, and I feel it’s important to put your heart on the line. The only downfall of competing is if you have regret that you didn’t put enough on the line, and if you do that, then there really is nothing to lose.
How would you define yourself as a competitor? Keelan Berg: I definitely try to be aggressive and continuously search for an armbar. I don’t like to defend a submission until the very last minute. I like to use offense and constant movement as my defense. I don’t know if it’s the best strategy, but I just love the feeling of getting a submission.
What are some of the benefits you gained through competing? Keelan Berg: Girls, money, and fame. Yeah right, at least not yet. Primarily, I think it’s the best tool to see if my game is progressing or regressing. If I’m not seeing progressively better results in competition then I have to go back through my basics and see where I can improve. One of the most beneficial aspects has been the mental toughness that is gained through competition. It really is scary stepping out there to fight someone I don’t know, but when it’s over I realize that it’s not that big of a deal. I’m starting to learn that this mental toughness can be used in all aspects of my life, not just on the mats.
Now just recently you competed in a grueling tough tournament known as the Dream Jiujitu's Baddest Blue tournament. How the overall experience was and how does a competitor such as yourself deal with the shortcoming of a lost? Keelan Berg: The 40-minute semi-final match showed me that I can overcome adversity one minute at a time, and it was the toughest match I’ve had. I think the emotion of that match really took it out of me, and next time I’ll need to be prepared for the mental stress that a long match can put on you. As for the loss, I am focusing and preparing on arm barring the Baddest Blue winner at a future tournament. It’s tough because I had beaten him a few months ago in a point tournament, but I’m sure we will be seeing each other for many years to come.
Looking onward what do you see for yourself in future in this sport? Keelan Berg: I’m a fairly new blue belt, so right now I’m focusing on winning the major IBJFF tournaments at blue. Also, I teach the kids class and hope that my knowledge gained through competing can be passed on to the little guys and girls. I try not to focus on things too far in the future because it is a little daunting. I just want to make a solid foundation for myself so I don’t develop any bad habits that will hamper me at the higher levels.
Any closing remarks before we close this interview? Keelan Berg: Thank you Monta Wiley and bjjlegends.com for the chance to tell others about Primal Jiu Jitsu and myself. We are a fairly new school and it’s always great to see how BJJ is expanding.
Special thanks: To Professor D. Davis, Coach Craig, and my teammates for all the motivation, instruction and friendship. Also, to my two brothers for constantly trying to prove that they were tougher than me.